Michelle Somers is one of the most lovely, caring, humble women I’ve ever met and her warmth just swept me up when we became friends. She hugs as hard as I do! I adore Michelle so felt compelled to read her work which she is well aware isn’t my usual fare.
And her Lethal in Love series was great! Yes I’m scared witless, yes I will probably never read another serial killer book as long as I live but Michelle’s writing is truly excellent - she gets right into your head in a big way and she writes scorching hot scenes to boot that will definitely have you fanning yourself when this detective and reporter get down and dirty with each other! It’s a chilling read and it’s highly addictive. I picked the killer and messaged Michelle to say who I thought it was and then I changed my mind twice during the series but my initial instinct proved right – so when you read it, let me know who you think the killer is before you get to the end and find out and we’ll see how good your killer catching instincts are!
Something quite wonderful is how this series came to be and how it was released. Michelle pitched her series in person in a quick face to face meeting with a publisher from Random House right in the middle of a Romance Writers of Australia conference and her idea was picked up and published! How cool is that? Then the book was split into six parts and each part was released digitally and separately with its own huge fanfare and the whole series will now be available in one book.
Jayda Thomasz is a 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 fantasizing 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?
Michelle lives in Melbourne, Australia with her real life hero and three little heroes in the making.
You can learn more about Michelle by following her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MichelleSomersAuthor/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
or Twitter https://twitter.com/msomerswriter
or checking out her website at www.michelle-somers.com
An interview with Michelle Somers:
Can you tell us briefly about your book?
Lethal in Love is a romantic suspense about love, loss and the power of trust. It’s about finding the strength within to drop emotional barriers and let the ones you love see the real, raw you.
My story begins when a reporter and homicide detective go undercover into a swinger’s club – Seth to catch a story, Jayda to catch a killer. Their meeting is electric, throwing Jayda so far out of her comfort zone she lets Seth kiss her, and more, she kisses him back.
Jayda is determined to walk away from this man who is too sexy, too bossy, too distracting for his own good but circumstances see the pair cross paths 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.
Which Hollywood stars would you like to see play the lead roles in the movie version of your book?
Ooh, I so want to see Lethal in Love as a movie! Or even a TV mini-series.
Scarlett Johansson would be perfect for Jayda. Not only does she resemble my image of her – with the red hair and stunning green eyes of her Black Widow character in Iron Man – but her character is a perfect match. Jayda has sass and attitude. A hard exterior, but once you break through that shell and gain her trust, she’ll walk barefoot over hot coals for you. Her loyalty will be as solid as diamond. And just as valuable.
As for Seth, Chris Hemsworth just fits. He’s sexy, brooding, and when he smiles, women swoon. He can be ruthless the way a hard-headed reporter must be, but underneath he has a charm and caring that is irresistible. Jayda won’t be able to resist him. I know I couldn’t.
What do you love the most about the main character in your book?
Jayda is her own woman and cares very little about what others think.
Independent, sassy, driven. A hero in her own right. She has the strength of character to be herself. To believe that she doesn’t need to pretend to be something or someone she’s not just so others will like her. And most of all, I love that when everything seems lost, she doesn’t wait for rescue. She sets about escaping and rescuing herself.
Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
I have so many, but most are spoilers, so I’ll choose one that won’t give too much away. A week after Seth and Jayda first meet, they accidentally meet in a bar, Jayda waiting for her sister to call and Seth looking to get intel on the Night Terror case. I adore the banter between these two – the air just sizzles with supressed tension.
Here’s a short excerpt:
He drank again, then dropped his glass onto the bar. ‘You must have thought about the case at least a little. Any theories?’
Thought about the case? She’d done nothing but eat, sleep and stress over the case since the killer’s return. Had theories until they poured out of her skin twenty-four seven and she couldn’t sleep at night. But none she was willing to share, least of all with a stranger who made her wary and horny and hot as all hell.
She was tired. Of death and divorce and disappointment, over and over and over again. And more than anything, she was sick of the games.
Staring at the man next to her, she couldn’t think of one solid reason not to follow where her dreams had led her after that first, soul-shattering kiss. He was a player. He had to be, considering their first meeting and its location. All that remained was to discover whether he wanted to play with her.
‘What is it we’re doing here?’
That grabbed his attention. Even toppled him a little off balance.
‘What do you mean?’
‘The small talk. Idle chatter. Discussing stuff that doesn’t come close to what we’re really thinking.’
The languid slide of a smile over his lips almost saw her slither off her stool. She clenched her thighs, waiting for his response, hoping she could hold it together before she chickened out and fled like she had last Saturday.
Seth leaned in, lips caressing her ear as he whispered into it. ‘What is it we’re really thinking, Jayda?’
She swallowed, then turned in her seat. The heat from his breath warmed the air between them. She could taste his drink, him, on her tongue, their lips were so close.
‘Whether that first kiss was a fluke, or whether it’d be even better second time round.’
How did you go about researching the settings and scenarios in your book?
Lethal in Love is set in Melbourne, Australia, a setting that I’m deeply familiar with. It’s my hometown and I love it dearly. That made describing setting the easy part.
The rest was a mix of wonderful people and internet searches that probably raised every red flag there is!
I have a Melbourne detective who gave me an in-depth and sometimes humorous insight into Victoria Police. A paramedic, an ER doctor and a contact at the Department of Justice who answered my questions on Victoria’s prison system. I even visited Barwon Prison to get an idea of their procedures and layout. I have a gorgeous friend who helped me with Antonio and my Italian, and a taekwondo instructor who provided the blow that brought a killer to his knees. And then there’s the Night Terror – a serial killer who drives the story.
Thank goodness for Google.
I scoured the internet for real-life examples. Unfortunately, there are too many to count, and I oscillated between horror and morbid fascination. The psychology behind this terrifying bunch of individuals was gripping, and it wasn’t long until I found the perfect ‘role model’ for my fictional killer – Ted Bundy. Then all that remained was for me to delve inside the head of the most prolific serial killer in US history and write a character just as chilling.
Why do you write?
Because I love it and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Because I have stories and characters that refuse to give me peace until I give them a life.
What are you working on at the moment?
Lots. Chase’s story, Murder Most Unusual, is finished and will be out later this year – so stay tuned!
Here’s a little teaser of what to expect:
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, where one wrong move could 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?
After Murder Most Unusual, I have a totally new series that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into. A kind of Stephanie Plum meets James Bond scenario set in the US. It’s full of suspense and tension, some weird, wacky and wonderful characters, and more than a few surprises. I’ll be able to share a lot more once I get further into writing it. What I can tell you is it’s going to be a blast!
What is the best piece of writing advice you have received?
I’ve been blessed with so many writing angels in my journey to publication, each one inspiring, and so very special in their own way. The wonderful women of the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild form part of this group, and from the moment I joined I have received an abundance of love, support and advice.
If I was to pick one critical piece of writing advice, then it would in the tone of Dory ‘keep on writing, keep on writing’.
Writing is my passion – an obsession, almost. It has to be one of the most rewarding yet most nerve-wracking experiences there is. The highs are euphoric, but the lows can drag you under until you question everything you’ve ever believed and wonder why you’d choose to put yourself through such hell. And that’s just the writing. Don’t get me started on the rejections.
But, beyond all that bad is the wonder of finishing a story, the excitement of winning a contract and the thrill of readers loving your work almost as much as you do. None of which would have happened if you’d given up.
For any budding authors out there, just keep on writing. If it’s your love, if you can’t see yourself doing anything else, then keep at it. Learn your craft, find a group of like-minded writers and help each other. Keep on improving, keep the faith and believe in yourself. And over time, with everything you’ve poured into your craft, something wonderful will come out. Something that would never have come about if you didn’tkeep on writing.
What is it about the genre you write that appeals to you so much?
Bad guy psychology. Yes, that’s right, I’m fascinated with serial killers. Who are they? Why are they? What makes them do what they do?
I’m a big fan of TV shows like Wire in the Blood and Criminal Minds and find the ‘who did it?’ question far less riveting than the ‘why?’ Hence, my love for suspense.
Then of course there’s the romance. After all, who doesn’t want to fall in love? The fact that I get to do this every day is just the icing on the cake and one of the reasons I love what I do.