Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Next Big Thing--CAPTIVE HERO

Thank you for taking the time to pop in and check out my contribution to “The Next Big Thing” blog hop. I was tagged by my fellow ‘rose’ and friend, Bess McBride. Thanks, Bess! Now I am tagging a few writing friends, Lisa Rayns, Rolynn Anderson, and Stacy Dawn. They will be posting their “Next Big Thing” on November 28th. My dad’s birthday. :-)

What exactly is The Next Big Thing? It’s a 10 question blog about…you guessed it, our next big thing, whether it’s a new release, something we’re in the middle of writing, or a recent release. For me, the next big thing is my just released very first self published novel—CAPTIVE HERO.

Question 1:  What is the working title of your book?

CAPTIVE HERO(Time-shift Heroes Series-Book One). It’s a full length novel about a female test pilot who accidentally flies back in time in the middle of a WWII dogfight where she inadvertently saves a VMF Black Sheep pilot. In order to keep the timeline safe, she abducts him and brings him back to the present. Then the fun begins. He thinks she’s a German spy. 


Question 2:  Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’ve always been drawn to the South Pacific and anything WWII. I even honeymooned on Oahu so I could visit Pearl Harbor. Yes, I’ve got it bad. Anyhow, writing a story involving a WWII pilot has been on my list, and I thought it would be interesting if a female Marine pilot from this time period met up with a Black Sheep pilot from WWII. The differences could be a lot of fun. I was right.

Question 3:  What genre does your book fall under?

CAPTIVE HERO is a romantic contemporary timeshift. 90% of the book takes place in present day. The heroine does visit the South Pacific, and gets a glimpse of the living conditions the Black Sheep had to endure during that time. But, then she’s forced to drug, abduct and drop the hero off at her secluded Colorado cabin until she can leave her base. That’s when the tables turn.

Question 4:  Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Nice question. I do get visuals in my head when I write, and sometimes I even stumble across a photo of a model/actor who looks the part. That’s the case with this photo. He’s definitely Mitch.

As far as actors and actresses, it’s tougher than you think. This is what I’ve come up with:

Mitch -- Jensen Ackles
Samantha – Mila Kunis
Maria – Emma Stone
Jensen – Joe Manganiello

Okay, now I want to see the movie! lol

Question 5:  What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When Marine Corp test pilot, Captain Samantha Sheppard, accidentally flies back in time and inadvertently saves the life of a WWII VMF Black Sheep Marine pilot, she changes history and makes a crack decision to abduct him back to the present, but history has a way of catching up.

Question 6:  Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Several years ago, I pitched this story to Kate Duffy from Kensington Brava. She requested the full, but before she gave me the ‘yay or nay’, she unexpectedly passed away. I didn’t have the heart to send it elsewhere, so I let the MS sit on my hard drive for four years. But I love this story and wanted to share with others. Self-publishing was the perfect answer. This book is my first crack at it. In October, I paid an editor to go through CAPTIVE HERO, and by the end of the month I put the book up on Kindle Select and then through their Createspace print program. It is now available on Amazon in both eBook and print.

Question 7:  How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About four months, including my brush up before I sent the book off to the editor.


Question 8:  What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

None that I know of. CAPTIVE HERO isn’t quite your traditional romance. I’d like to think it’s one of a kind. 

Question 9:  Who or what inspired you to write this book?

VMF -214 Black Sheep Squadron. Like I said earlier, I’ve always been pulled to the history of the South Pacific during WWII--specifically pilots--and knew I wanted to write a romance involving one somehow. But I also wanted to make the story a bit different, and that’s where the timeshifting came in. 

Question 10:  What else about this book might pique the reader's interest?

When Mitch wakes up in present day, he thinks Samantha is a German spy. There's instant heat. Instant denial, and instant insanity. lol Mitch goes on a journey of discovery. The Japanese are friendly tourists. Aircrafts are stealth, fully electronic…and some secret ones are even invisible. He has a lot to catch up on, too. Presidents, wars, fast food, cars, planes, the internet…technology in general. The way women dress, talk, walk. It was fun to write, and I hope it’s equally fun to read.

Here’s an excerpt from CAPTIVE HERO when Samantha finally gets back from base and meets the now conscious, disgruntled pilot:

The door suddenly jerked in and to the right with such force Sam stumbled forward into the cabin.
Before she could regain her equilibrium, something big hit the back of her calves and knocked her to the floor—hard.
Intruder? So help me, if he hurt the captain…
Instinct kicked in. Knee thrust upward, she made contact with a solid object and heard a muffled oath before she rolled in the opposite direction. Large hands gripped her waist, and despite her clumsy attempt to hold on to the threshold, he yanked her back.
Yeah, coming here without a weapon had been a real good idea.
Fast and precise, she drove her elbow into the vicinity of her assailant’s jaw and sent a sharp jolt up her arm. She swallowed a cry of pain and rejoiced in his second muffled oath. Two for me. With a quick roll, she scrambled to her knees and began to rise when a heavy weight hit from behind, dropped down and pinned her face-first to the cold, wooden floor.
“Not so fast. Sam is it?”
That familiar, deep voice split the silence, while hot, panting breathes stirred more than the hair on her neck. Uncontrollable shivers covered her skin as recognition stole the fight out of her. This wasn’t an intruder. It was Captain Mitchell. Thank God. He was safe.
But she wasn’t.
The instant she stopped struggling, her body became deliciously aware of every hard, solid inch of the six-foot-two-inch frame completely covering her from head to toe.
Holy Black Sheep.
The urge to wiggle just so he’d press tantalizingly closer was almost more than she could bear. If only I was on my back… The errant thought sent a wicked quiver straight to her core.
You’re a Marine. You don’t give in.
Sam tamped down her burgeoning desire and willed her voice to convey calm. “Let me up, Captain. I can explain.”
“No, and damn right you can.” He lifted up slightly, easing some of his weight.
Thank goodness…I think.
Instead of knocking him off balance and regaining the upper hand, she drew in a few breaths and refrained from retaliating. She’d abducted the man. He was out of his element.  She needed to keep things civil.
Mistake number one.
A swift motion had her arms yanked behind her back, while he wrapped her crossed wrists with something strong and thin. Fishing line? Oh, hell no!
“What in the world do you think you’re doing?”
No answer.
“Damn it, Captain. You let me go, now.” She thrashed from side to side, trying her best to free her legs from his shifting weight.
“No,” he said, and granting her earlier wish, pressed closer.
Funny, she wasn’t as happy about the pinning as she’d originally imagined.
Unable to move, and barely able to breath, she stilled. Best to see what he wanted, and bide her time until he let his guard down. And he would let it down, of that she had no doubt. Men always did.
Cold from the floorboards cooled her heated skin as she twisted her face to the side. What little breath his weight would allow funneled into her lungs. “You can get off me now.”
No answer.
“Captain.” She tried to draw in another breath but only coughed. “I c-c-can’t brea…”
He lifted a mere fraction, but the extra space was enough to fill her lungs with a proper amount of air. “Thanks.” She coughed again.
In the next instant, he hauled her up off the floor and pulled her to the center of the sprawling living room. Alarm raced down her spine. He’d moved the furniture to the side. Damn man must’ve had this planned for days. Could she blame him? Of course not. He was a Marine. She would’ve done the same.
Plopped onto a wooden chair, arms hooked around the back, she clenched her teeth against the pain ripping her muscles. Dammit. If he wasn’t a Black Sheep, she’d kick his ass. Turning the tables on him would not be a problem. But she refrained. Barely.
He doesn’t understand, her mind reminded. You plucked him from the middle of war and dropped him in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, you will not give him a permanent limp.
Discipline once again kicking in, she relaxed her shoulders and the stiffness from her arms, and soon the sting of her restraints lessened.
“Now, Captain,” she said as calm as possible. “Kindly tell me what the hell you think you’re doing?”
“Why, I should think that was obvious…Sam.”
The Marine’s unfriendly tone sent shivers of the wrong kind down her spine. Her blood froze. This can’t be good. She lifted her chin, refusing to be intimidated. She also refused to look him in the eye. The last time had completely disoriented; not at all what she needed right now.
With her gaze fixed on his regulation tan shirt, she stared at the uniform, hoping to find the view safer.
Broad shoulders forced the material to hug his lean frame. Damn. He sure had wonderful muscle definition for someone born before the fitness craze. Her mouth dried. And the waxing craze. Ah hell. He had hair, too. A light sprinkling peaked out from his collar, teasing her with thoughts of what else his uniform concealed. She gave herself a mental shake and concentrated on the situation at hand. 
“What’s obvious, Captain, is that you’re being a jerk. So you’d better spell it out for me. What are you doing?”
He stepped closer without a reply.
More intimidation tactics. Instinct cried out he wasn’t going to speak until she looked up. Damn, stubborn… 
“I’m not interested in playing ‘who’s the baddest Marine’ with you. It’s been one hell of a long week. I’m tired, hungry, and thanks to you, I’m sore, so let’s call our tussle a draw.” Composed, her voice belayed the turmoil swirling in her gut. Fine, he wanted her to look up, she’d look up.
With fingernails biting into her palms, she tipped her head and stared into a pair of unmerciful, cold, blue-green eyes. Beset with an overwhelming urge to swallow—okay, gulp; his unfriendly gaze demanded she gulp—Sam’s cowardly side did an about-face and her chin lifted higher.
“Well? Do you always treat women this way? Does man-handling make you feel big and strapping?”
Frosting further, eyes now more blue than green narrowed as his clenching jaw cracked out an ‘I’m losing my control’ tune.
Way to go, Sam. She pushed him into pouncing tiger mode and was the only flesh around. At least she possessed the good sense to back down. Usually. Too bad she left good with common back on the base.
“Okay.” Keep your mouth shut. Zip it. “Can I take your silence to mean there’s a reason you attacked me and tied me up?”
Muscled arms folded across a broad chest, while a humorless grin crossed his face. “Oh, there’s a reason all right, Sam. A very good one.”
“And your reason is?”
His grin disappeared, along with her breathing.
“To capture the captor.”

I hope you enjoyed the little snippet of Samantha’s and Mitch’s story. These characters were fun, sexy, hard headed, and a complete joy to write.

CAPTIVE HERO (Time-shift Heroes Series-Book One) is available now in eBook and Print at Amazon:

Thank you for stopping by. You can find me on several social networks. The links are up on the sidebar. I’d love to hear from you. Don’t forget to check out Lisa Rayns, Rolynn Anderson, and Stacy Dawn next week on Wednesday, November 28th for their part in “The Next Big Thing”.


Susan Macatee said...

This does sound like a one-of-a kind romance, Donna! And a fun read, I'll bet!

Best of luck with it!

Donna Michaels said...

Thank you, Susan.

Time-shifts of any kind are always interesting! Best of luck with yours, too!


LisaRayns said...

Sounds great!

Donna Michaels said...

Thanks, Lisa!

Unknown said...

I'm so late posting on your "The Next Big Thing" blog, Donna. Self-published on Amazon! Great idea! The book, and the concept of the series, sound great!


Donna Michaels said...

Thanks, Bess!

I'm excited to share Mitch's and Samantha's story. I'm looking forward to feedback, yet...a little worried. lol

Thanks for stopping by!


Rolynn Anderson said...

Great storyline, Donna. Excellent answers to each question...good guidance for me when I write my next big thing blog. I may have told you that SWOON is my first self-pub, too. What a journey to forge after two novels pubbed by Wild Rose. But the control! So fun. See you next week on my blog! Rolynn

Donna Michaels said...

Thanks, Rolynn!

Oh, best of luck with SWOON! I didn't know it was your first self-pub, too!

Yes, it was fun to have the freedom in writing. Hoping the readers will enjoy it as well!