Shadow of Perception
by Kristine Mason
What happens when negligent plastic surgeons receive a taste of their own medicine…?
Chicago investigative reporter, Eden Risk, receives an unmarked envelope containing a postcard ordering her to watch the enclosed DVD…or someone else dies. No Police. After Eden watches the DVD, a gruesome, horrifying surgery, she turns to the private criminal investigation agency, CORE, for help. Only she hadn’t expected that help to come with a catch. Her former lover, Hudson Patterson, has been assigned to the case.
Hudson would rather have another CORE agent handle the investigation. Two years ago, he’d screwed things up with Eden…bad. And as more DVDs arrive, Eden and Hudson find themselves not only knee-deep in a twisted investigation, but forced to deal with their past, and the love they’d tried to deny.
“Hey, Eden,” Hudson Patterson said as he shrugged out of his leather coat and pierced her with his steely blue gaze. “I see you got yourself into another mess.”
The room shrank and her sole focus remained on the one man who had stirred more emotions in her than all the other men before and after him combined. Two years ago, he’d lit a fire inside her, and within months, he’d smothered the flames with his arrogance and bullheaded attitude.
Based on the condescending remark he’d just made, she doubted his opinion of her had changed. His appearance had, though. Harder, darker, more dangerous. His brown, wavy hair now reached his shoulders and he needed a shave. Even without the worn, black leather jacket, which now hung on the coat rack, he looked thuggish in a tattered charcoal gray thermal shirt, low-riding jeans and black Doc Marten boots. The whole badass biker look shouldn’t have appealed to her, but Hudson owned it and wore it well.
She glanced at his mouth, then immediately regretted it. Lust slammed into her belly as wicked memories of what his firm lips had done to her surfaced. Those unwanted memories collided into a kaleidoscope of naked skin, harsh moans and multiple orgasms. Even now, she swore she could still feel his rough hands urging her hips, spreading her legs, gripping her bottom. Could imagine his mouth on hers, or better yet, between her thighs.
Hudson smiled. A smug, satisfying smile that snapped her out of her sexual spell and reminded her exactly why breaking things off with him had been the right decision. Her body might not have thought so at the time, and those urges to have him in her bed right now might still be strong, but her head knew better. Hudson was an arrogant jerk who exuded less emotion than she did.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good had come from writing it. I realized my passion, and had found a career that I love.
When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.
FACE BOOK: http://www.facebook.com/kristine.mason.1029
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*What is your writing environment?
Utter chaos! I have four kids (11, 10, 7 and 2) and two dogs. There’s never a dull moment in my house and I always have extra kids here. I wish I were a morning person and could get up early and write. But, I’m not. So, I squeeze in my writing time when the two-year-old naps—which gives me a good two to three hours to work—and I also try to catch an hour in the evening after whatever sporting event my boys are involved in has finished and the youngest is in bed. I wish there were more hours in the day to accomplish my writing goals. But I also don’t want to regret not spending time with my kids. Writing is my passion, so is my family. That being said, just because I don’t have the time to write doesn’t mean I’m not considering the next scene in a book as I’m taking the kids to the park or the pool or wherever. My stories are always on my mind. If only the other moms at the park or the pool or wherever knew what I was thinking about…love scenes, how to dispose of a body. Yeah, I’m thinking they might steer their kids away from mine!
*Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I always have a solid idea of who my hero and heroine are and what makes them tick. I give them life goals, as well as story goals, and of course what motivates them to achieve those goals. But, just because I have them outlined doesn’t mean things can’t change as the story progresses. I used to think it was odd when I’d overhear authors saying that they couldn’t believe that their hero or heroine did XYZ and how much it surprised them. I get it now. It’s amazing how characters truly take on a life of their own. I might be writing them, but as their personalities shine through, THEY tend to dictate how things will go.
*One of your favorite quotes.
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
Are you kidding me? This quote is awesome! This is me. This is what I do. Think, think, think. About my characters, how I can motivate them, develop them, make them come to life. Next to writing them, brainstorming stories/characters is one of my favorite things to do. I love taking an idea, adding twists and turns that end up taking that same idea to a whole new level. With Shadow of Perception, I knew I wanted to do a plastic surgery angle. I had my bad guy motivated, had my setting, had his victims in place. But as the story developed, the more I thought about this guy, thought like him and about the tragedy that drove him to perform his dastardly deeds, I realized I needed to up the ante. I needed to make him different and unforgettable. In the end, he’s probably become one of my favorite characters I’ve written. Considering he’s a bad guy, I’m not sure what that says about me!
*What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I’ve always wanted to write a horror story. Something so scary it would have me leaving the lights on at night even after I’ve turned off my laptop. I have several ideas for a few books, but my first love is romance and that’s my main focus. Besides, I have some serious plans for my CORE agents. There’s bad guys to catch and love stories to be told!
Who are your dream dinner party guests?
*What’s the last movie you watched and loved?
The last movie I watched and loved was The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Absolutely hilarious!
*How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
The idea for Shadow of Perception came to me as I was flipping through TV channels one night. I happened to catch an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras. I think I lasted about ten minutes before I turned it off—the show just wasn’t for me. But it did spark an idea, which sparked another, and then another. What’s beautiful? What’s our perception of beauty? What lengths will women go through to achieve what they perceive as beautiful? This led to my thoughts on plastic surgery. I’ve entertained the notion of Botox and liposuction. Whether I’ll do it or not is another (expensive) question. I know women who have had both and more, and I’m all for doing what’s necessary to make ourselves feel good. Because I love writing dark, edgy suspense, I took these thoughts/ideas and twisted them. How can I use the plastic surgery angle to make for a killer suspense? That’s when I came up with my bad guy. A distraught father who would go to any length to seek revenge. And as I began the book, other ideas came to me. What’s funny is that I hadn’t planned for a theme to run throughout this book, but one had emerged as I wrote and wrote. My characters have one huge thing in common—skewed perception. About themselves, the fine line of what’s right and wrong, and between the hero and heroine…trust.
Which actor or book character do you have a crush on?
My actor crush…I joke about having a couple of Hollywood husbands. The two at the top of my list are Hugh Jackman—as Wolverine (there’s just something about those blades…) and Gerard Butler as anything.
What’s your favorite body part of the opposite sex?
Just one?! Smile, chest and biceps.
What does love feel like?
Being wrapped in a warm blanket.
Hey, baby! What’s your sign?
Cancer, and my rising sign is Aries.
When was your last kiss?
Two seconds ago. My baby girl just came up to me with her Barney doll. I had to kiss Barney, then her. No hardship there!
What’s an absolute no-no in a relationship?
Cheating. Without trust, there is no relationship.
How did you meet your significant other?
I met husband when I was working as a bartender. His fraternity brother worked with me, and he introduced us. Honestly, he didn’t like me and I didn’t like him. I thought he was arrogant and he thought I was…not very nice. Our perception and opinions of each other changed a couple of years later. Mutual friends were getting married and we were both in the wedding party. We ended up getting to know each other and within weeks, I’d fallen for him. Our fourteenth wedding anniversary is this October, but we’ve known each other for twenty-one years. He’s a wonderful father and husband. He’s also my best friend.
What’s your idea of a perfect date?
At this point in my life my idea of a perfect date would be to have ALL my kids spend the night with their grandparents, giving my husband and I the opportunity to be ALONE in the house. After that, I wouldn’t care what we did. I know, kind of pathetic and hardly romantic, but when you’re constantly on the go, running kids everywhere, doing laundry, cleaning, etc. it’s nice to just kick back, have a cocktail, sit outside by the fire and chill.
If you could take a romantic trip, where would it be?
Our dream vacation is Tahiti. I’d love to stay in one of those overwater bungalows on stilts, lounge by the beach with my husband and at night, find the Southern Cross constellation.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Honestly, no. I believe in lust at first sight.
*Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs
*White wine or red? White, but I’m truly a vodka girl.
*Coffee or tea? Coffee—decaf please! Otherwise I’ll be bouncing off the walls.
*Vanilla or chocolate? Vanilla
*Sweet or salty? Salty
*Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in, but with four kids I have no choice but to get up early
*Laptop or desktop? Laptop (love my new Mac!)
*Beach or mountains? Beach
*Winter or summer? Summer
*Cat or dog? Dog
*Spotlight or In the Shadows? Shadows
*City or Country? I was born and raised in the suburbs. Country, if I had to choose.
*Backpacking or luxury hotel? Luxury hotel, thank you!
*Morning or night person? Night person
*Christmas or Halloween? Christmas
*Optimist or pessimist? Realistically optimistic
Kristine will be awarding $5 Amazon gift cards to six randomly drawn commenters during the tour as well as print books to ten other randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Five will be of Pick Me, a contemporary romance; and a gnome will come with the five copies of Shadowof Danger, book one of the suspense series. [US ONLY on the books]. LEAVE A COMMENT below & follow the tour for more chances to win!