Describe yourself in one word:
Tell us about Lethal in Love:
Lethal in Love is my first foray into romantic suspense and it’s also the first story to be released in Penguin Random House’s new serial line.
In Lethal in Love, Seth is a reporter hunting the Night Terror serial killer for a story he believes will be his ticket into hard-nosed reporting. He’ll do pretty much anything to get the info he needs. That includes sweet-talking a sassy homicide detective, even stealing a few hot kisses, and more. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s attracted like crazy to her.
Jayda is determined to make the streets of her city safe again. Much as she needs Seth’s insight into the Night Terror case, Jayda fights him every step of the way. She doesn’t lean – ever. Her past has taught her to be resilient and self-reliant. And she won’t relinquish her power to anyone. Least of all a man. And if he’s a reporter? Well, her inherent distrust and dislike of reporters is based on experience. Experience doesn’t lie.
Seth has an uphill battle to prove he’s not like the rest.
Then the Night Terror makes a move, things get personal and Jayda must discover who she can trust, and who wishes to destroy her. No spoilers here. I’ll leave the rest for you to discover as you read each episode.
What inspired this novel?
I’ve always wanted to explore the conflict between a reporter and homicide detective. It fascinates me – the fine balance between those who uphold our rights to freedom of information and those who require secrecy in order to protect the integrity of ongoing investigations and the people involved. A reporter believes it’s their job to keep the police honest. The police are there to solve cases and keep us safe.
And when those two countering forces cosy up, all close and personal? Oh, the challenge! How to maintain a professional distance when the emotional boundaries fall away and the clothes come off.
Conflict and tension by the bucket.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Toni Anderson’s A Cold Dark Place. It’s gritty, sexy, full of lies and betrayal, heat and suspense. A CIA assassin crosses paths with an FBI special agent. Conflict galore. I’m loving it!
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
It was to be a guest on Oprah and have my book listed in her book club. But now Oprah’s show no longer exists, I’ll have to change that to being a guest on Ellen, lol!
Number two would be a movie deal for Lethal in Love.
Best thing about being an Aussie?
Freedom – all those basic human rights that, growing up in Australia, are so easy to take for granted.
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
When you take away all the frills and sparkles, all the fluff and feathers that make a story paranormal or sci-fi or even just a little far-fetched, the basic elements of the romance genre are more realistic than what many of ‘the cynics’ may think.
I believe in romance and I live my ‘happy ever after’ every day with the man I love.
I also believe there’s more than a little truth in the old adage ‘love makes the world go round’.
Love – romance – is an all-encompassing emotion that fills us up and makes us whole. There’s nothing more enthralling than a story about two of the most unlikely people in the world, thrown together amidst turmoil. A couple who through conflict, through angst and pain, fulfil their every fantasy, their every desire, only to be delivered into their happy ever after. The conflict is as critical to the story as the satisfaction. After all, it’s only human to wholeheartedly appreciate that which is difficult to come by.
When I lose myself in a good romance, I invariably discover more than I bargained for. And I always fall in love. I hope the readers out there find themselves falling in love too.
What have you got in store for your readers in 2016?
A sequel to Lethal in Love, working title Murder Most Unusual. Here’s a brief rundown of what to expect from this story.
Author Stacey Holland lives in a fictitious world where the mortality of her characters is governed by a tap on her keyboard. Homicide detective Chase Durant’s cases are real and gritty, and one wrong move can be your last. When their two worlds collide, and fiction melds with fact, can they fight the attraction raging between them, all-the-while fighting the killer determined to destroy them both?
And when this story is done, I have a totally new series that I can’t wait to share with you all. A kind of Stephanie Plum meets James Bond scenario set in the US. It’s full of suspense and tension, and some weird, wacky and wonderful characters. It’s going to be a blast!
What were your big achievements of 2015?
So many! But my writing highlights by far include fulfilling my lifetime dream of finishing a book and winning a publishing contract. Attending the 2015 RWA conference in Melbourne and being presented with my First Sale ribbon by Graeme Simsion is up there too. And then there are those moments when other amazing and talented writers approached me and told me how much they enjoyed Lethal in Love. I think hearing how much readers enjoy my book is by far the biggest highlight of all.
Lethal in Love
Jayda Thomasz is a sassy homicide detective who never lets her emotions get in the way of a case. So when a serial killer re-emerges after 25 years, the last thing she expects is to catch herself fantasising over the hot, smooth-talking stranger who crosses the path of her investigation.
Seth Friedin is a reporter chasing the story that’ll make his career. When he enters the world of swinging for research, he never imagines he’ll be distracted by a hard-talking female detective whose kiss plagues his mind long after she’s gone.
Past experience has shown Jayda that reporters are ruthless and unscrupulous. But when the murders get personal, will she make a deal with the devil to catch the killer? How far will she and Seth have to go? And do you ever really know who you can trust?