Friday, August 17, 2012

TBR welcomes Mal Olson

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Mal. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Mal: First of all, I am delighted to be here today. Thank you so much for having me.  As for a description of me:  I am optimistic, diligent, upbeat, a wife, mother, grandmother, nurturer, friend, and an obsessively compulsive writer—an author of adrenaline kicked romantic suspense. On the more wordy side:  When my consuming passion for writing allows time, I enjoy reading, flower gardening, jamming with friends on the mountain dulcimer, and hiking in a nearby state forest (or in the mountains somewhere).I have  three grown children and one granddaughter and reside with my own special hero in southeast Wisconsin where I juggle writing time with my freelance landscape design business.

TBR: Tell us about Shadow of Deceit  and where can it be purchased?
Mal: Shadow of Deceit is  a romantic suspense filled with non-stop action, hot and sexy characters, betrayal, smokin' romance, and a thrilling plot. ~ On the two- year anniversary of a car accident that robbed Shannon Riedel of her husband and infant son, a gunman breaks into her office and accuses her husband of swindling a half million dollars from him. When FBI agent Tony Crazaniak, an ex-Delta Force Operative with demons of his own, shows up to investigate, sexual heat sizzles. They collaborate to unearth secrets Shannon's husband left behind—secrets connected to a terrorist leader Crazaniak has vowed to take down. With danger surrounding them, two emotionally wounded  souls bond, but can they put their demons to rest and trust in love? Can they survive long enough to find out?      

Here are the buy links:

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Mal: Excerpt Shadow of Deceit:
The gun Shannon came across at the bottom of a neatly folded stack of masculine attire on her bed shouldn’t have surprised her. She’d seen the agent’s Glock earlier.
Intrigued, she reached for the pistol, an object that seemed so out of place in her bedroom. As though she were familiar with handling firearms when she wasn’t, she wrapped her hand around the grip then jerked her head toward the bathroom door, conjuring up thriller fantasies.
But she didn’t have to conjure anything when she noticed a letter poking out of Crazaniak’s inside jacket pocket. Nor did she have to imagine the fact that the closet door stood slightly ajar. Her stomach clenched, a mix of anger and unease. Had the FBI agent been nosing through Tyler’s belongings?
Tit for tat—the urge to sneak a peek overwhelmed her. Her heartbeat ratcheted up as she shifted the gun to her left hand and reached for the letter. 
At that instant, she sensed a presence behind her. Even as the sound of water pounded the walls of the tub enclosure, Shannon knew in her heart of hearts that six foot-plus of dripping wet, naked man stood not relaxing under the water jets, but hovering five heart-palpitating feet away.
“Want to toss me my clothes?” he asked.
Unwilling to face him, she remained quick-frozen like a pillar of ice.
“Tell me you weren’t snooping in my things,” he rumbled.
“Tell me you weren’t snooping in my closet.”
“ I wasn’t snooping.”
She eyed the edge of the letter. “I thought I’d treat your duds to some suds. You want to hang out in my robe for a few?”
“Not enough material there to cover my manly attributes. I’ll settle for day-old Jockeys, and what the hell were you doing with my pistol?”
“Nothing.” She almost turned around.
Her chest thumped. The thought of Crazaniak au natural not only spiked her pulse, it titillated her imagination. She waited for a chord of guilt to strum across her heart. It didn’t happen. Instead, discord fluttered low in her abdomen, and she sensed him moving closer.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Mal:  I start out with a good idea of who my two main characters are and what they want, then I create a short, almost synopsis-like  description of the story.  I usually fill out a goal-motivation-conflict chart for each character. From there on, when I put the characters together on the page, they lead the way. So maybe I'm a bit of a plotter, but not a rigid one. Rather, I'm a pantser who works with a sketchy map.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Mal: This is from J. A. Konrath, a great thriller author who does a lot to help struggling writers:  "There's a word for a writer who doesn't give up. Published."

TBR: Which of your characters would you most like to invite to dinner, and why?
Mal: Tony Crazaniak, my hero in Shadow of Deceit.  Because he's hot. What can I say?

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Mal: I discovered how much fun research can be when I took a twelve-week Citizen's Academy course from the County Sheriff's Department.  Before that I never realized I'd be shooting a Glock 22. Target practicing and scenario training with real law enforcers definitely kicks up your adrenaline. 

TBR: What's next for you?
Mal: Another romantic suspense, Too Sexy for His Stetson. ~ A rookie deputy and her training officer try to stay focused on business--the white supremacist gang that's threatening their Idaho mountain community--while fighting the forbidden attraction that sparks between them.

TBR: Any other published works?
Mal: I have two free short stories available on Amazon and at most ebook retailers (also on my website).  Me and Brad is a contemporary romance with a canine twist. It was in Amazon's top 100 in that category for around three months this spring. Danger Zone, though short, is a romantic suspense that will kick up your adrenaline in record time. ~ Air Force pilot Katrice Kennedy is a woman with nerves of steel capable of flying an F22 at supersonic speeds. Ex-Delta Force operative Benjamin Thigpen is a Homeland Security specialist immersed in national safety issues twenty-four-seven. They're  strangers when they board a 747 in Washington D.C. But are they destined to become kindred souls when they survive a rock 'n roll landing on an icy Milwaukee runway and chase a could-be terrorist into the DANGER ZONE?
TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Mal: I loved the review from Beverly at The Wormhole so much I even used it in my blub. ~ "Wow! This one has it all! Non-stop action, hot and sexy characters, betrayal, smokin' romance, and a thrilling plot."

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Mal:  I think Gregg Hurwitz is a phenomenal, brilliantly fresh author. I'm currently reading one of his thrillers They're Watching. Suzannne Brockmann is my all-time favorite RS author, and I love Tara Janzen, Linda Howard, and Trish McCallan, to name a few. Trish's Forged in Fire is one of my most recent RS favorites.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Mal: What kind of fictional hero really pushes your buttons?

TBR: Readers, Mal will give away a $20 Amazon gift card at the end of her Sizzling PR tour to one lucky commenter. The winner will be picked after the tour is finished on August 31, 2012  and will be announced here. Be sure to leave your email address so she can contact you.

Thanks for visiting TBR, Mal. Best of luck to you.


  1. Welcome to TBR Mal! Your book cover's very cool.

  2. Thanks, Cate! I fell in love with the cover the minute I saw it, so glad to hear you like it. Thanks for the great interview questions.


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