When Keeping Secrets is Deadly


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Is this the smoking hot sex scene you submitted to a contest and won?

Ha, what a way to start! I was going to thank you for hosting me today, but…

Just kidding. 😉 Yes, the first big love scene between Mick and Jenna is the one I submitted to the Between the Sheets contest back in 2011. I received perfect scores from two of three editors/agents, but the competition must have been fierce because I took 2nd place.

2nd Place?! I find that hard to believe.  😦

Oh, hello K&T readers. Sorry to start the interview without formally introducing you to today’s author. You see, she’s one of our own and we are SO PROUD OF HER! Scroll down a couple of inches and Gwen Hernandez’s picture is on the left…there she is! Today is her debut of BLIND FURY. I had the honor (i.e., beat out everyone else pictured on the left) to read it in advance and host her today. I can assure you BLIND FURY is a fast-paced, can’t-put-down read. Ask my husband…his dinner was burned; a sure sign that this is an author headed for the best-seller lists.

So let’s get back to the interview: Tell us how you were able to make Mick so authentic? Specifically: suppressing the daily horror he faced fighting terrorists, the ‘itch’ to return to that life-or-death existence once he came home and the genuine brotherhood camaraderie/lingo?

I’m so glad you found Mick authentic. I read a lot of books, blogs, and articles about military and private security contractors (PSCs), but the book that really brought Mick to life for me was Big Boy Rules by Steve Fainaru. It’s about PSCs in Iraq and what motivates them to work in that environment. The Long Walk by Brian Castner, about a former EOD officer trying to leave the war behind, is another good one.

I also remember watching The Hurt Locker, and the opening quote is: “War is addictive.” For me, that summed up Mick’s struggle.GwenSigSauer

Some of my sense for how men interact comes from my reading, but it also comes from years of working in male-dominated fields or workplaces. Oh, and I’m an Army/Navy brat who spent time in Air Force training, and married an Air Force officer, so that helps too. 😉

One major mystery in BLIND FURY is a dark secret Mick promised to keep from the sister of his dying best friend. (And he keeps it from us, readers, it’ll drive you crazy!) This secret ultimately puts their lives in danger, but he promised. Did you know in advance what the (mind-blowing) secret would be, or did you hope to come up with something as you wrote the story?

I had a pretty good idea of what the secret would be when I started, though some of the specifics changed over time.

When did you conceptualize this plot and what triggered it?

I started this book back in 2010, and the initial spark came from reading Blackwater by Jeremy Scahill. He was writing about the scandal surrounding Blackwater (private security company) and its contractors, and I wanted to explore what it would be like to be a good guy working in that type of environment.

Any current actor/actress in mind for Mick and Jenna, when Hollywood calls (and they will!)

I would love it if Hollywood called (thank you!), but I’m awful at finding actors to match the vision in my head. Bodies are easier though. I think Blind Fury’s cover captures Mick’s physique quite nicely. 😉

You’re so very polite! I would have said: “I think BLIND FURY’S cover captures Mick’s smokin’ hot bod just fine!” 😉 

The cover mentions A Men of Steele Novel. What is Steele and how many novels are planned for this series?

Steele refers to Steele Security, which admittedly is a pretty loose connection in Blind Fury. Mick’s friend, Kurt Steele, has a company that provides personal security and security assessments. In this book, Kurt and some of his guys help out Mick and Jenna, but they’ll be the heroes in the later books. I have a least four stories in mind so far.

Any tentative publishing dates and titles we can look forward to?

Right now I’m working on a short novel starring Jenna’s friend, Tara, who will get her happily ever after with a new guy at Steele. 😉 Her book, Blind Justice, should be out by May of this year.

Beyond that, I’m hoping to get Blind Ambition (Dan’s book) done before fall, and one more as-yet-untitled book (Kurt’s story) out early next year.

Saying goodbye as he deploys to Greece.

Saying goodbye as he deploys to Greece.

(Readers: get to work thinking up a Blind __ title.)

Because of your husband’s work your family has moved many times. Where have you lived and which place was your favorite? Why?

If you go back to my childhood, the list gets really long—if I had a theme song, it would be “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash—but my husband’s Air Force career has taken us to Oklahoma, Ohio, California, Virginia/DC, and Alabama. We’re back in Virginia now, but hoping to get to California again (or Europe). I’m a west coast, beach girl at heart.

Meeee tooo! Fingers crossed you’re transferred to Orange County and I can live in your garage apt. (Hey, a girl can dream!)

As Supreme Goddess of Scrivener (software for authors), you’ve been famous in the writing world long before this debut release. Which was easier—writing fiction or a detailed, humorous Dummies book?

Ha, I could get used to Supreme Goddess. 😉 Not sure about famous, but maybe known in certain circles. (See Readers? She’s so very polite! She’s crazy-famous to us writers.) Writing Scrivener For Dummies was definitely easier. My sense of humor is a good match for the Dummies line, and I wrote a lot of technical documentation in the years before I turned to writing for fun. Plus, I can outline like a champ for nonfiction, but I’m a complete seat-of-the-pants writer with my fiction. That was quite a shock to this left-brained gal, but I’ve learned to go with it.

Found it!

Found it!

On to the nosy, mind-your-own-business type of questions our readers have been waiting for! Novel you are presently reading?

I’m between books, but I just finished Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare. Loved it.

Food you make a pig of yourself eating?

Corn tortilla chips. And Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Sometimes together.

(Tiny gagging sound.) How…uh…unusual. Favorite movie or TV show?

I have such a hard time picking favorites, but my current TV obsession is BBC’s Sherlock.

Meeee tooo! Benedict Cumberbatch (sigh.) I even like saying his name…

Well, I know you’re a private person, so I’ll stop being nosy (perhaps Carey can throw in her famous ‘lightning round’ in the comments section…snort!) On a serious note: We are SO thrilled for your romantic suspense debut, Gwen, and I personally cannot recommend this riveting story enough!

And now you’ve officially finished your very first K&T romantic suspense interview! 🙂

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Sarah!

Gwen is giving a free copy of BLIND FURY to one lucky commenter. Answer both of these questions (if you dare!): “Have you ever had an important or huge secret to keep? Did you keep your promise or spill the beans?”

Check back on Friday to see if you won!



Gwen Hernandez

Gwen Hernandez

Please join us February 27th, when Sharon interviews Heather Ashby. Heather will tell us everything about her newest release, Forget Me Not, and her sexy hero, Sky Crawford.

Heather Ashby 2013 03 07 - 0042-2-5        FORGET-ME-NOT-book-list1

About Sarah Andre

Romantic Suspense That Keeps You Up All Night! I live in sunny FL, love daydreaming, reading and chocolate. I write in the wee hours of the morning before my helpless hubby and 2 male Pomeranian pups awaken with their demands. :) My debut LOCKED, LOADED and LYING is available now.

Posted on February 25, 2014, in Author Interview, Gwen Hernandez, Sarah Andre and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 114 Comments.

  1. Congrats on your fiction debut, Gwen! It is truly a thrill watching all my Kiss and Thrill sisters stepping out with their debuts, one by one. I hope this is the first of many and am so looking forward to reading it.

  2. Congratulations, Gwen! What an awesome cover! Sounds like a great read! 🙂 Wishing you all the best and tons of sales, girl!

  3. CONGRATULATIONS GWEN!! I’m so proud of you. The book is fantastic. I know it will be a great success. ::: off to promote:::


  4. Oh I’d like a copy of Blind Fury. As to your quiz: 1. Yes. 2. Still silent.

  5. Happy release week, Gwen! I’m halfway through BLIND FURY and love it! My favorite line so far is: Only a madman would need to go a hundred miles per hour to relax. I think Sarah started the interview at 100 mph which is perfect for this thrill ride of a book 🙂

    I’m pretty good at keeping big, important secrets. It’s the little ones that always trip me up.

  6. Congratulations, Gwen! I took your Scrivener class and feel like you’re a friend. I’m so happy for you!

    Fritos and chocolate, I love both but never combined them.

    I’ve had more than one huge secret to keep, and I always keep my word. Some people expect me to share with my husband, but if they don’t want him to know I even keep it from him.

    Gwen, I hope you have great success with Blind Fury!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jackie! I keep meaning to sign up for Gwen’s class…it’s just so ORGANIZED. Nothing about my writing style fits into that model… 🙂

    • Hi, Jackie! Thanks so much for stopping by. And I LOVE Fritos. But when I said I eat chips and chocolate together, I didn’t mean like a sandwich. Like snack, then dessert. Sheesh. 😉

      I admire you for being able to keep big secrets even from your husband. I hate keeping anything from mine, though I guess I would if there were a good reason. Thanks!

  7. YAY Gwen! I am stealing Krista’s cheerleaders here:
    *I* *I* *I* *I*
    And Krista, I loved the line too. That’s the exact moment I fell for Mick. Nothing like showing a character’s inner demons than with sentences like that.

    This is SUCH an exceptionally written suspense, I can hardly WAIT for all the feedback from fans!!

    Question of the Day: I mean to keep secrets, really I do, but often end up telling my husband, who holds them ’til death. (He’d be a great Mick. “Someone’s shooting at us? Well, I’m still not telling.”) Surprise parties are REAL hard not to slip up on.

    Let’s go shout this debut from the rooftops, readers!

  8. Congrats, Gwen, on your new release. Wishing you a TON of sales. 🙂

  9. So damn excited about this, Gwen!!! I will be all obnoxiousy extroverty for you today. I know. That makes you want to smack me. 🙂

  10. So happy for you, Gwen! Can’t wait to read it.

    Yes, huge secret to keep. Nope, spilled the beans. The secret was hurting someone else. I couldn’t live with myself not saying something. A very difficult decision since both people involved were good friends.

    • Oh, that would be hard, Callie. Kind of like Mick’s dilemma in the book. Is the secret doing more harm than good and can you live with keeping it. There are definitely times when it’s not fair for someone to ask that of you.

      Thanks so much for your support!

    • Wow, Callie, that must have been a rock-and-a-hard-place moment for you. 😦
      Thanks for visiting today and cheering on BLIND FURY!

  11. Gwen! I am thrilled for your launch and am scampering off now to purchase the book. CONGRATULATIONS on your success!! And you are SO TOO famous for Scrivener. 🙂

  12. Congratulations on your debut Gwen! Yes I’m keeping a secret now and I hate it. I wish I never knew the secret. It breaks my heart.

  13. Yes, yes, yes, I’ve had secrets. And no, no, no I haven’t spilled them – though I’m sure my sister would wish I would have! LOL! We love playing harmless pranks on her – She’s an easy target! Can’t wait to dig into that book!

  14. Congrats on your book release, Gwen. It sounds intriguing. Yes, I’ve kept secrets. I am thinking of one in particular, and the truth came out with no help from me. Which is what usually happens….

  15. Congratulations, Gwen!!! I can’t wait to read Blind Fury! As to your questions–Yes I promised to keep a secret but no I didn’t reveal it or maybe I did…I can’t remember what the secret was.

  16. I’m so excited for you, Gwen! And I LOVE your cover! Looking so forward to reading the book.

  17. Happy debut release day, Gwen!!! BLIND FURY rocks and now the whole world will know it!

  18. Reblogged this on Rachel Grant and commented:

    Today at http://www.KissandThrill.com we’re celebrating Gwen Hernandez’s debut release!

  19. Hi, Gwen and Sarah, two of the best romantic suspense writers I know. Gwen, congratulations on your debut novel. I am so happy for you and darn proud to know you. Can’t wait to read “Blind Fury.” Hope to see you in San Antonio.

    Barbara Barrett

  20. Ohhhh Gwen! Blind Fury sounds like an awesome book. I’m lusting after Mick all ready. And Sarah, what a fun interview.

    To answer the questions, yes I have, and had, important secrets. One is over twenty years old and I still haven’t told anyone. It’s not that I am a great secret keeper. I’m just really forgetful. 🙂

    • Forgot to add a Blind title. How about Blind Luck or Blind Justice or..

      I’ll keep coming up with titles if you’ll keep writing. Deal?

      • Ooo I like Blind Luck, Julie! She already has BLIND JUSTICE coming out next.

        • Dangit, I even went back to see what the next title was going to be. See why I’m a good secret keeper? I can’t even remember something the two seconds it takes to scroll the page. Sigh…

    • Thank you, Julie O! LOL on the secrets. Maybe not being able to remember is a good thing. 😉 Funny, I thought of Blind Luck on the way home from the store this afternoon. Not sure yet. I need a better handle on the story first. Maybe Blindsided, Flying Blind… Thanks!

  21. Mick and Blind Fury sound AMAZING, but I already want to meet every member of Steele Security! 🙂 Much luck on its promotion!

    P.S. I read Romancing the Duke just recently and freaking loved it!!! 😉

    I have secrets and will keep them buried until necessary. I don’t know exactly when that will be, lol, but if those secrets come out, those in the “know” will know it was me who revealed them. You know what I mean? Loose lips sink ships. 😀

    • Ha, ha! How nice to ‘see’ you again Carmen! You light up our blog with your humor. Yes, Romancing the Duke was one hot novel, such talented K&T ladies.

      Thanks for stopping by, I promise you’ll love BLIND FURY!

    • Thanks, Carmen! Isn’t Tessa Dare awesome? I know what you mean about the secrets. I think we don’t always realize what a burden we put on someone else by telling them ours. 🙂

  22. Congrats on the release of BLIND FURY. Sounds like a great read, and I think you’re smart to plan a series. Those seem to be flying off the cyber shelves. Enjoy this exciting time.

    • I agree, Marsha, I wish I could think long term like that. My secondary characters (so far) are not interesting enough to hold their own in a novel.

      Thanks for commenting, we love having you chime in!

    • Thanks, Marsha! I originally thought this was a standalone, but now that I know and love the other characters, I can’t imagine not giving them their HEA too. 😉

  23. Congrats on your release! As for secrets, probably the biggest ones were books I had contracted and had to keep hush hushed for a time. I did spill the beans to my family and two closest friends.

  24. Gwen, you have my heartfelt congratulations! Although I must say you’ve melted my heart with that photo of your husband and baby above so there’s not much left of it! I kept a very big secret. I was secretly married to my first husband! We didn’t tell anyone until a few months later I became pregnant. Then we told everyone and they said “Right. Sure, you’ve been married this whole time.” I don’t recommend secret elopements!

    • Oh Carey, you lead the most exciting life! I cannot fathom a secret marriage, although my poor dad would have LOVED it. I think he even threw in a promise of a dowry just to get me off his hands…a promise my husband brings up from time to time. 😉

    • Carey: What a great secret! I’m glad you like the photo. It’s one of my favorites and I freaked out when I couldn’t find it at first. Then I scanned and saved copies. 😉 When we got married toward the end of college a lot of people assumed it was a shotgun wedding, but it wasn’t. Just love and impending officer training for me. 😉

  25. Congratulations from one Army brat and military wife to another, Gwen! Loved this interview and getting to know you better. Secrets are so hard to keep and MIck’s secret sounds intriguing. Love military heroes! For me, secrets are double-edged swords, the easiest/hardest involve family.

    I’m so happy for you and wish you the greatest success with this series!!! ❤

  26. Gwen! I am so excited for you and so poured. I know Blind Fury is going to be huge success and I’m so happy I’m here to share it with you!!! Congratulations!

    And yes, I am the keeper of a few secrets for people I love. And I will never reveal them. 🙂

    • Thank you, Sharon! I’m so happy to have you and all the ladies of K&T to share this with. No way would this have happened without you guys. I’m proud to be a member of this team. 🙂

  27. Congrats on the new release Gwen! I wish you many sales! Your book sounds wonderful! 🙂

  28. Nice cover; not really

  29. mandacollinsauthor

    Yay! So thrilled for you, Gwen! I’m reading BF right now and Mick is *my* new book BF! I know this one is going to fly off the virtual shelves!

  30. Yes I have a secret & no I haven’t spilled the beans & never will.

  31. Happy BOOK BIRTHDAY, Gwen! I am so excited for you and your book looks FABULOUS – starting with the hot guy on the cover 🙂 And yes, I have kept that special secret and always will.

    Write On!

  32. Congratulations on your release, Gwen! Looking forward to finding out what Mick’s secret is…

  33. Ok. So on your blog I said I loved the cover and looked forward to checking it out. Now I have to HAVE it!

    To answer the questions, Yes. And yes, I kept the promise. Lips are still sealed. 🙂

    Thanks for a great interview.

  34. I don’t think I’ve ever had a secret that would have a huge impact on someones life. But I think I could keep the secret, maybe. I kind of suck at keeping things from my husband. We’ve been married twenty years and one of our promises to each other was no secrets…ever. It works for us, but keeping one from him, don’t know about it.
    Great interview. Thank you.

  35. Well, Gwen, what a marvelous day! We are all SO proud of you and wish you the best of luck in your debut sales. And personally, I can hardy wait for BLIND JUSTICE!

  36. Reblogged this on DIANA BELCHASE and commented:

    Gwen Hernandez did this interview with Sarah Andre at Kiss and Thrill to announce the release of Gwen’s new book, Blind Fury. Enjoy!

  37. Congratualtion on what I’m sure is on your “Dreams Come True” list!
    I have, in fact, kept many secrets that oddly enough are not mine! I’m well known for my ability to keep from spilling the beans and therefore have been given quite a few interesting stories and facts to keep “in the vault”. =)

  1. Pingback: Release day for Blind Fury! | Gwen Hernandez

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