by Kathleen Rowland
Blurb—Unholy Alliance (2nd book in the Irish American Donahue Cousins series)
A decade ago, Tori Rourke, and her cousin, Vivienne, ran from the Irish mob after witnessing a brutal murder. Tori was framed by the mob, and while she served time in prison, she worried that the killer, Seamus McGinn, had kidnapped her missing cousin.
Attorney Grady D. Fletcher, defender of the wrongly condemned, appeals Tori’s case and wins her release. Now, going by Victoria Morningstar, she runs a food truck from a seedy waterfront neighborhood, hoping to find her cousin’s kidnapper.
When Grady agrees to defend a new client, Samuel Peterson, who’s been accused of beating to death the wife of a noted professor, the evidence mounts. The professor is missing, as well as his laptop that contains data dangerous to national security.
And Seamus McGinn is back, and rumors of a massive annihilation is about to begin. As they race to assist the FBI, the bonds between Grady and Tori are about to be tested. It becomes clear Grady and Tori are falling fast for each other, but what to do about it is a different story. He’s a divorced dad who wants more time with his kid. She brings danger to his front door.
Grady has questions of his own; Is Vivienne at the center of the mob’s operation? How much will it cost Tori before she learns the truth? All Grady knows is the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.
“Don’t let the anxiety of freedom consume you.” Attorney Grady Donahue Fletcher clenched his teeth and rehearsed what he’d say to his client, Victoria Morningstar. He’d won her appeal and drove to pick her up at Gladstone Penitentiary. “At least you won’t be placed in solitary.” That was worse.
Six months earlier Grady had phoned a reporter at the Los Angeles Globe. “Drew Barker. Grady Fletcher here.”
“Ah, the lawyer. Calling about a tip?”
“I am. Here’s something you can investigate. Tori Morningstar, did she murder Irene Brennan?”
“I wrote that story many years back,” the journalist had said. “I assume you have new discoveries.”
“Fraud, illegal testimony. Do you want the story first?” A second passed. “Otherwise, I’ll call the Orange County Guardian.”
“Okay, okay. We want it.”
Three days later Grady had a hand in writing the first article in Drew Barker’s column. “The public labeled Tori Morningstar as an undesirable. Not black and poor, but disfavored, accused, incarcerated, and wrongly condemned. Her cellphone has been recovered. Her call to 911 identified her voice and substantiated screams of the victim in the background. Could she have beaten someone while speaking to dispatch at the same time?”
The reporter had written the second article. “People who get their ideas about criminal lawyers from TV probably would be disappointed in Grady Fletcher. He lacks flash but stands up straight, his posture neither ramrod nor slouched. He doesn’t smoke, doesn’t wear thousand dollar suits. His voice is soft and low, one of his assets. He speaks truth with a voice inviting confidences.”
As nice as that was, Grady’s stomach cramped over pressure and strain from Drew Barker’s final article with the headline, Tori Morningstar, Released Today. Picked up by the online service, Newser, KTLA, and CBS Los Angeles, they planned to broadcast his arrival to escort his client from Gladstone.
Tori’s decade-long prison sentence ended today but with a sobering fear over tomorrow.
When was a July morning this hot? Grady balanced her release papers on his lap as he rolled up one sleeve then the other while gripping the damp steering wheel. Sweat blossomed on his throbbing forehead, wrapped like a python’s grip. He adjusted the dial for the AC and embraced the challenge of helping another client get back on track. Embrace and conquer. Or at least sound like it.
You will find all buy book links for Unholy Alliance here:
Interview, Kathleen Rowland
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
True colors, virtue and character, are revealed in crisis. In their own ways, heroine Tori and hero Grady undergo personal drama but exhibit calm and rationality when their loves are rocked by a murderer. She stops beating herself up for her mob family’s mistakes. He becomes more empathetic.
How do you come up with your characters?
Protagonists need four solid characteristics and one flaw. Antagonists need one good quality. Otherwise characters would be lifeless. After determining qualities (which involves their horoscopes) how they react is set in stone.
Do you have any writing rituals that you do while writing?
Prior to writing a book, I write the intended blurb for the book, followed by a synopsis. I place chapter headings in Scrivener. This avoids a saggy middle and forces forward writing with goal, motivation, and conflict. Often another twist takes over, but I don’t stray far from the intended plot points. I write tight and steamy romantic suspense.
What types of books do you enjoy reading in your free time or what do you like to do with your free time?
I bring my Kindle everywhere. The types of books I enjoy most are sexy contemporaries and romantic thrillers. I often select books from Tirgearr Publishing. My husband and family are in the center my life, but I love travel to Hawaii, Europe, and favorite places in the U.S. We rent some type of small boat if possible on vacations.
Does your family read your books?
Yes, particularly my husband who also loves hearing what I’m writing now. For my teenage grandchildren I wrote a sweet futuristic Intervenus series. The first book of the series, A Brand New Address, finaled in the Book Buyers Best contest in 2015. The hero in the series is Black, and the series is dedicated to our grandson D’mitri who is Black.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening. Morning coffee is a strong latte.
Jeans or sweats?
Fitted jeans with a midriff top—good for doing yoga stretches.
Beer or Wine?
Now and then, a glass of wine is nice. In addition to wine I like Asti Spumanti champagne.
Chocolate or Chips?
Dark chocolate kisses. I like chips, too. Oh my, temptations! Kathleen1 wants to be strong and thin. To be in the light she has to push impulsive Kathleen2 back into the shadows and not write-while-munching either of these appetizing items. It’s a challenge to eat fruit instead.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I write every day but set aside time in mid-morning to swim laps. After lunch I do floor stretches and gardening. Although I’m active on social media, I get out face-to-face. Conversation is stimulating at my weekly local book club. At the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America. I will chair The Orange Rose Contest for unpublished writers.
I teach a writing class entitled: Spin reverberating scenes that resonate with your readers.”
A little more about Kathleen Rowland—
Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts. Writing a romantic suspense Irish American series for Tirgearr Publishing, Deadly Alliance is followed by Unholy Alliance. Bittersweet Alliance is in the works. Keep an icy drink handy while reading these hot stories.
Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels. She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji. Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.
Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors. While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write. If you’d enjoy news, sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter at http://www.kathleenrowland.com/