Character Interview of A J Harwood from Sweet Affliction – Sweet Awakenings 4 by Nicole Morgan
I am pleased to welcome A J Harwood and her author, Nicole Morgan, to my blog today. Thank you both for stopping to chat a little about your book. Nicole, you can sit back for a few minutes and let me visit with AJ first.
AJ, can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
As you said, my name is AJ Harwood. I took time off of school to spend time with my father, who is dying of cancer. He’s been my whole life since my mother died years earlier. I don’t know what I’ll do without him in my life.
I’m sorry for what you and your father are going through. I know this is a tough time for you.
Can you give us a couple of random thoughts about yourself, something that will surprise your readers?
While men seem to find me attractive, I am usually my worst critic and don’t always see what they see. I also am a bit of a wallflower. Somewhat shy and reserved.
A lot of us are our own worst critics.
Can you share something about your ordinary world before the upheaval to your life in this story?
I’ve been going to college at UC San Diego for the past three years.
Tell us what upset your life and brought you into contact with Nick Slater.
On an early evening walk with my father we came across Nick in a less than desirable situation. My father is a former Marine and insisted on helping the Navy SEAL, spouting something about never leaving a man behind. He gave little thought to his poor health or the danger involved with assisting Nick.
Your father sounds like an extraordinary man.
What was your immediate reaction to Nick?
Truthfully, I didn’t like him. He brought trouble into our lives. Granted it wasn’t his fault, but with the condition of my father’s health I couldn’t help but wish that our paths had never crossed. My father’s time is limited, we shouldn’t be wasting it on helping a stranger.
An understandable reaction.
Were you annoyed that Nick was getting in the way of reaching your goal of spending time with your father?
Yes! All I wanted to do was enjoy what little time I had with my father. Instead I was busy nursing Nick back to health, tending to his bullet wound and feeding and even bathing him. He was more work than a newborn.
I’m sure it was a really frustrating situation.
What were some of the headaches/trials you faced in dealing with Nick? Besides what you just mentioned.
He’s almost obnoxiously charming. And handsome! Oh my God, he’s so good looking. It was hard to stay focused and not let my mind or desires wander with him so near, and so naked, lying in that bed.
Hmmm, I see problems ahead.
Did other people interfere in reaching your goal? Other than Nick, of course.
Yeah, I guess you could say that! Actually I would say that is a huge understatement. Between the men trying to kill Nick, my father and I helping him fake his death and keep him hidden away, it was a giant mess of circumstances.
Seriously complicated stuff.
Did you feel an immediate attraction to Nick? Or an immediate resistance to him?
The honest answer is BOTH! Yes, I was intensely attracted to him, but it was that attraction that made me try to keep my distance. I mean he’s an active duty United States Navy SEAL. It hardly seemed like a good idea to get all starry eyed over him. I assumed it could only end in heartache, for me!
I can see where that would have been a problem.
Who made the first attempt at compromise in your relationship?
Nick did, of course. He always did. No matter what the situation or how intense it became, he almost always made the first move and more than met me in the middle. It’s part of his irresistible charm.
He sounds like a great guy, even though life around him would be complicated.
When did the heat between you and Nick first start firing up? Did that complicate reaching your goal of being alone with your father even more?
After he became more lucid and the medication and affects of the gunshot wound were no longer troubling him, we started to talk and that was when I felt the first real sense of awareness to just how powerful he was to me.
What led to the moment when you thought everything was lost between you two?
When I was locked away in the apartment, when I had no idea if he was dead or alive, I thought for sure that after finally finding him – that one person who made everything else make sense – I had just as quickly lost him.
Talk about a frustrating time…
Still, you managed to make things work between you after some ups and downs. Would you go through all of that again?
Oh wow, that’s a hard question. There was a lot of pain and uncertainty in our journey together, but…I would have to say yes. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. He’s a part of who I am now. I can’t imagine what life would be like without him.
I’m so glad it worked out for you both.
AJ, you can relax now and let me talk with Nicole. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
Nicole, what drives you to be a writer?
It’s always been a dream of mine. After years of jobs in the management field I finally decided to stop dreaming and start trying.
It can be a scary thing to go after your dream, especially of being a writer. But rewarding, too.
What do you do to get away from the stress of writing?
As silly as it seems, I distress by reading. You think I would want to get away from books, but I’ve found it helps me relax.
I totally agree. I love to read and do so every spare chance I get.
Do you use a pen name? If so, why?
Yes I do. I think pen names are more common place now days and it just makes sense.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
My inspiration comes from a variety of areas in my life. An image, a dream, any number of things can invoke an idea and make me want to spin it into a story.
So true…inspiration is everywhere.
Do you have a regular writing process?
I have never been one to adhere to guidelines when it comes to my writing, but I have learned that setting personal deadlines for myself helps me accomplish more. It’s too easy to let life get in the way and sometimes you just have to force yourself to sit down and type.
Again, so true.
Do you have some “words of wisdom” for other writers, especially new writers?
Absolutely I do. Write. Plain and simple just write it. If it’s in your mind, write it. It may not be a masterpiece, it may be rough and need tons of polishing, but you will never know the lengths of what you can accomplish if you do not first try.
Thank you, Nicole, for sharing some of your thoughts on being a writer. Now let’s talk some specifics about your book, Sweet Affliction – Sweet Awakenings 4.
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Length: 76,232 words
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand, Inc.
Buy Link: Bookstrand
Nicole, did you have a scene that was particularly hard to write? Why?
There is a scene which is similar to a stand-off. There are two groups of people fighting with one another. The good and the bad. Getting all of the technical information right, such as weaponry and how the guns worked in certain aspects proved to me a bit more time consuming than just writing a good old fashion sex scene!
Will there be any sequels to this book?
Wow, that is the proverbial $20,000 question. This is my 4th book in my Navy SEALs series and I thought that after book 3 I was done with this series. Now, I don’t know if I’d ever truly be done with these guys. The characters flow from book to book and mesh together so well. It would seem a shame to let it die now, but only time will tell I suppose. Stay tuned!
Weeks away from his retirement, Commander Nick Slater is ambushed by Mercenaries hired to kill him. A chance encounter brings AJ Harwood into Nick’s life and heart. As precious time ticks away Nick and AJ are faced with the possibility that they may lose everything in an instant.
“Why do you always look at me like that? Do I scare you that much?”
Oh, if he only knew. She wasn’t fearful of him in the sense that he would hurt her, quite the opposite, in fact. Her reaction to his kiss earlier just confirmed the attraction she’d felt for days. The fear she felt was of herself. She couldn’t trust herself around him. Even when she had bathed him it took all of her energy to not think about how sexy he was. The man was pure muscle from head to toe. She didn’t remember seeing one flaw on his body. Even the scars he bore looked like they belonged there. As if God himself had placed each scar strategically in the perfect spot to make him look even more desirable than he already was.
“You don’t scare me. I scare me.”
He looked at her confused. “What scares you?”
She wished he wasn’t stroking her wrist with his thumb. It was making it way too hard to concentrate on what she needed to say.
“What happened in the kitchen earlier, that shouldn’t have happened. I should have…”
Any chance she had of speaking was quickly put to an end by Nick pulling her down to him and crushing his mouth against hers. He didn’t wait to coax her as he did earlier. Instead he held her body close to his and slid his tongue inside her mouth, instantly stroking it against hers and making her whole body scream yes in agreement.
AUTHOR CONTACT INFO
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