Posted by Lena Diaz
LENA: Happy Book Release Day, Mary! ENERGIZED is your third full length novel in the paranormal romantic suspense TIDEWATER series. I, for one, will be sad to see this unique series end. Which begs a question…IS it ending? Is ENERGIZED the last of this fun series?
MARY: Hi Kiss and Thrill Folks! Thanks for having me back. Ooh, good question! While Energized is the end of the Scott sisters’ trilogy, it may not be the end of the series itself. Right now, I’m working on a spinoff that will focus on the McKinnon cousins. And for those readers asking, yes! Ryan and Ian will get their own stories if this series is picked up.
LENA: For our readers, here’s the back cover copy about ENERGIZED.
In the new Tidewater novel by the author of Guarded, a kiss between strangers draws both into unexpected danger and unforgettable desire . . .
She’s searching for a sign . . .
Hannah Halloran has always believed in her gift. The things she sees through her psychic touch have never led her wrong before. Not when they led her to an unforgettable night with a sexy marine at a bar. Not when she felt a need to leave her home and find the sisters she barely knows. And not now, when she is an unwilling witness to a brutal murder . . .
He’s ready to show her . . .
All Niall Graham wants is some peace. He’s recovering from the horrors of war, struggling to save his family’s restaurant, and desperate to forget Hannah, the beautiful woman who left him with memories of a mind-blowing night together and a bogus phone number. But a quiet life is hard to manage—especially when Hannah strides back into his restaurant with the news that a serial killer is on the loose and lurking closer than anyone could have guessed . . .
LENA: In the first book of this series, you introduced the term “CRIFT”. Can you explain that to our readers? Does Hannah think her abilities are a CRIFT?
MARY: Hahaha! Crift! I love that word. It means a cursed gift. When someone in Tidewater has a psychic power, there’s always a catch that goes along with it, kind of yin and yang thing.
Until the psychic finds the balance, the ability can seem more like a curse than a gift.
Hannah is unusual in that she never thought of her ability as anything other than a fun ability, until she comes to Tidewater and stumbles into the path of a serial killer.
LENA: What inspired you to do this series? Is Tidewater a real place and have you lived there?
MARY: The Tidewater series was inspired by the real cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Suffolk. Those cities are sometimes referred to as Tidewater but you won’t find that name on a map.
I lived in the Tidewater area for many years and still refer to it as home. Sadly, I moved away in 2006 but when I started writing this series, I could visit there anytime I wanted, with a few modifications. See, in my books, Tidewater is its very own city nestled right in the middle of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
LENA: What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done as an author?
MARY: Attending the Writers Police Academy has been the coolest thing I’ve done so far as an author. It was before I was published and it was the first time I put myself out there and really asked the questions I’d wanted to ask forever. I got to use fake guns to clear a room, participate in a simulated shootout with a suspect, disarm a knife-wielding attacker, and even won a rat signed by the legendary Ann Rice!
LENA: By the way, readers…Mary recently won the National Readers Choice Award! CONGRATULATIONS, MARY!
Now, back to the questions. What’s the most challenging thing about being an author?
MARY: THANKS! The most challenging thing about being an author is writing through grief. I lace humor in all my books but I had to write the second novel in this series right after my sister died of breast cancer.
It about ripped me apart to write Guarded, especially the funny scenes with the attack ferret, when I was grieving. But I did it and learned that as hard as it was, it helped me grow as a writer and work through the pain. And as Tom Hanks pointed out in Sleepless in Seattle, “work is good.”
LENA: Mary, I’m so sorry to hear about your sister. Hugs. But so glad you were able to write an incredible book using that emotion. Hopefully it was cathartic. Now, what are some of your favorite books?
MARY: Besides Exit Strategy and Judgment? Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, It by Stephen King, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Vampire Interrupted by Lynsay Sands, and Visions in Death by J.D. Robb are all books I’ve read at least three times.
LENA: Ahhhh. Thanks for the shout out for EXIT Strategy (and I’m sure that Carey Baldwin appreciates the JUDGMENT shout out.) Favorite movies?
Mary: Ah, this one’s easier for me. There are only three: It’s A Wonderful Life by Phillip Van Doren Stern and directed by Frank Capra; Elf by David Berenbaum and directed by Jon Favreau, and The Princess Bride by William Goldman and directed by Rob Reiner.
LENA: Favorite pasttime (other than reading and writing)?
MARY: I love to take daily walks, especially early in the morning. I love being out in nature. While I’d prefer to do walks on sandy beaches by the Atlantic, I’m content to do them in my neighborhood.
LENA: Something readers would be surprised to learn about you?
MARY: I’m quite shy. I often volunteer at events to have something to do otherwise, I’m likely to duck out of soirees early because I have no idea how to strike up a conversation. J So if you want to chat, introduce yourself. I’m friendly once you get me talking.
LENA: Do you have any pet peeves about romance novels to share with us?
MARY: My biggest pet peeve is when people come up to me and tell me that they love reading my “trashy books.” It’s not a compliment to be called trashy, so I never quite know how to reply.
LENA: Can you share anything about your next project?
MARY: I’ve got two projects I’m working on. The one, I mentioned above is set in Tidewater and centers around the McKinnon cousins of Tidewater Security Specialists. More murder, romance, and psychic mayhem awaits the residents of the coastal city.
The other project is set in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Can’t say much more about it, but there are ghosts, romance, and a quirky heroine definitely in over her head with all the psychic antics.
Thank you Kiss and Thrill for having back today! I love hanging out with these very talented women!
LENA: And now a question from Mary to the KaT readers…
What is the biggest pet peeve a romance reader has when reading a romance novel?