by Karyn Lawrence
Billionaire CEO Shawn Dunn has plenty of sex, power, and money. A woman turning down his advances? Unfathomable. Yet that’s what she does, again and again.
Kara Hayward is supposed to be off limits. Her sister is hiding from the dangerous assassin she escaped from, and it’s best for everyone if Shawn keeps his distance. Certainly as far as Kara is concerned. Shawn’s only after one thing and then he’ll walk away, just like her ex-husband.
But Shawn has larger desires and he’s used to getting what he wants. He doesn’t care if being together is dangerous. He doesn’t believe that threat to him, or his empire, is real. Right up to the night he has everything taken away.
This man moved with an elegance that was off-putting, as if everything was calculated, and then the gun disappeared into his suit coat.
“Does that make you feel safer?” he asked.
“No. It doesn’t.”
He gave her a pleasant smile. “Why do you think that is?”
Maybe she could stall him. Maybe the police weren’t far behind and any moment they’d burst through the door.
“I’m not naïve,” she said, for her benefit more than his. “Plus I know what kind of man you are.”
“Really?” He looked, for lack of a better word, delighted. “What kind of man am I?”
“You’ll do anything to get what you want.”
“How do you know that?” His tone mocked her.
“I used to be married to a man like you.”
He gave her a look, his pure eyes shinning, one that said he highly doubted Paul was anything like him. That he was so, so much worse than her ex-husband.
“We’re going to have fun together, you and me.”
A chill ran down her spine.
It is my pleasure to welcome Karyn Lawrence, author of Keep, to Room With Books.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I manage a large team of graphic artists that build ads for regional newspapers. I’m also a mom of two young sons. My husband would probably joke that I’m never NOT writing.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Definitely Anne Stuart, who can write an anti-hero like nobody’s business. In her Ice Series, she does a sexy, ruthless man opposite a tough and smart woman and I eat up every book. I’ve also recently discovered Cristin Harber’s Titan Series and I’m working my way through those whenever I get a chance.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
The biggest challenge was getting back my edit from the editor. I’d spent years getting feedback on my screenplays, so getting notes wasn’t a problem. (Plus my editor was great at being constructive.) It was the sheer amount of work I realized I was facing. She called me mid-edit and said she was struggling. “Stay” (my first book) was three books in one. It was a mystery, a thriller, and a romantic suspense, and the parts weren’t working with each other. I had been too ambitious and used a non-linear structure . . . it was kind of a mess. So when I got the edit back, I needed to toss out 1/3 of the book and rewrite the entire middle section. It was absolutely necessary, but so scary. I love, love, love how it came out, and I cringe now when I think about the draft I sent her.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I’d say the power of flight, but I don’t really “do” heights. Being invisible would be pretty handy.
What was your first job?
I worked at a family-owned ice cream parlor/restaurant, only it was in Wisconsin so it was frozen custard. It was fun, but sexist – girls always had to work the register and scoop the sundaes, and the guys always got to work the grill, which was viewed as a pretty sweet gig.
What types of books do you write?
I write romantic suspense. I do my best to make the woman strong and smart, and the man opposite her as an alpha jerk that you can’t help but love. Those are the books that I like to read.
Who’s your main audience?
Readers who like fast paced stories with some action and danger. Oh, and some steam. 🙂
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite?
Shawn, the hero of “Keep.” When I started to write him, I only had control for the first paragraph. After that, he became a real character and I was just along for the ride. It was so much fun, I didn’t want to stop writing him.
What does your writing schedule look like?
I write typically two hours a day on the weekdays, and longer on weekends when real-life allows. I try to finish a first draft within three months of starting.
Do you use your OWN experiences?
I’ve used some of my experiences for inspiration; such as the opening scene is a worst-case scenario of an employee termination I handled last year.
Was it easy to pick the title for your book?
Oh my gosh, no. Picking a title isn’t easy, and staying with the title I’ve picked is harder. The first draft of my debut novel was “Tether” and the sequel was “Bound” but those both gave off a BDSM vibe even though these books aren’t that. Once I’d settled on “Stay” I knew I wanted the second book to have a command type of word, but struggled between “Keep” and “Hold.” Ultimately, people liked “Keep” better.
What one profession would you choose if you were not an author?
I love my day job as a graphic artist. It’s another creative outlet for me.
What are you currently working on?
I’m polishing the second draft of the third book in the Command Series, working title “Surrender.” It’s due to the editor in late December and I hope to put it out around April 2015.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Mint Chocolate Chip
Night owl, or early bird? Night owl. I’m scary in the morning.
Red, or white wine? White wine
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? (No heights!) Water rides.
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? Pool. I have an abnormal fear of seaweed.
Walking or fitness club? I’m a runner. (Outside if it’s not too cold, otherwise treadmill with my iPad.)
Any last words?
The first book in the Command Series is going on sale for 99¢ for five days in mid-December. (I’m still waiting to hear from Bookbub on the starting day.)
Thank you for chatting with our readers and for having Room With Books on your book tour!
Thank you! Karyn Lawrence
Karyn Lawrence is an author, graphic designer, and screenwriter. She published a nonfiction book about color guard after an editor discovered her blog, way back in the infancy of the Internet and long before blogging was really a thing.
She has been a screenwriter for more than fifteen years, with rather mild success, and grew tired of her stories only reaching a handful of readers. The decision was made to try fiction in early 2013 and once she figured out how to write internal dialogue again, the prose came fast and furious. She most enjoys writing smexy (smart-sexy) books featuring a lovable SOB hero and a tough-as-nails heroine.
Karyn is a Chicago native who lives in Kentucky with her epic husband and two adorable sons.
Karyn will be awarding a $25 gift card to Amazon, a signed paperback copy of both “Keep” and the first book in the stand-alone series, “Stay”, bookmarks from “Stay” and a can kozie with the logo from the fictional beer company that the hero owns in “Keep” (Swag and print book are US only) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.