STARLA KAYE welcomes Katie Harper

Katie Harper, a new author with Decadent Publishing, is my special guest today. Her new book, NEVER SAY JUST, will soon be released. As a fellow writer with Decadent Publishing, I am delighted to have you here today.

Do you have cheerleaders supporting you as a writer?

I have the best cheerleader in the world. My Aunt Megan. She’s only nine months older than I am and we have a similar sense of humor. She reads the first draft of everything I write and tells me it’s wonderful. She’s lying, but that’s kind of her job.

 

Give us two random thoughts about yourself, something that might surprise your readers.

I play the flute, piano, and bassoon.

I have been to Disneyland more than 250 times.

(Starla) Wow! And I thought that I was a big Disney fan.

 

What do you want your readers to take from your books?

I have this rule, I don’t read books or watch movies that might make me grow as a person. I want my readers to lose themselves in my books. I want them to step out of their lives and into a much more exciting one. I don’t want them to send me an email telling me about how they understand the metaphor that, blah, blah, blah. I want them to send me an email telling me how they thought my characters were awesome, the story was exciting, and they finished reading it in one sitting.

 

How do you get beyond writer’s block?

OK, I know a lot of writers are going to call bull shit on this, but I’ve never actually had writer’s block. I create characters and those characters tell me their stories. I sit down at my computer and I write. An imaginary person is telling their story through me. How can I get writer’s block when I’m not really writing?

 

What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?

Characters, characters, characters. In fact, the main characters in Never Say Just were never supposed to fall in love. They first appeared to me as two spies. I wrote a horrifically bad novel about them. Some of my readers were upset that they didn’t fall in love. I couldn’t see them falling in love so I took them out of that situation and put them in another where I could see them falling in love. That’s how Never Say Just was born.

 

How do you deal with rejection?

I’ve never had a hard time dealing with rejection. I’ve always had the attitude that just because I think it’s perfect and flawless does not mean someone else will feel the same way. I received a hate letter from some random person a few days ago telling me to burn my computer so the world wouldn’t have to suffer from my writing. I sent her a gracious response and told her she would be placed on the email list for all future Katie Harper updates. 😉

(Starla) There are a lot of crazies in this world with far too much time on their hands. I’m a complete believer that such people will get exactly the kind of “warm” comfort they deserve some day.

 

Now let’s talk specifics about your upcoming release Never Say JUST…

Title: Never Say JUST

Genre: Military Romance

Length: 96,000 words

Publisher: Decadent Publishing

Buy Link: Decadent Publishing, coming soon

 

Describe, in summary, the uniqueness to this particular book.

My heroine is an ex-mercenary/assassin/contract interrogator who leaves that life behind to marry an oil billionaire. Her past makes her one of the most unique, neurotic women in history.

 

Did you have a favorite scene?

My favorite scene to write was the Jefferson Ball scene. You get to meet several members of the debauched New Orleanian society. Hell Kat and Shooter put a few people in their places and it is also where they acknowledge their feelings for one another.

 

Will there be any sequels to this book?

Yes! This is the first book in the Rat Bastards series. I have the series planned for seven books total, but there might be more.

 

BLURB

Never Say Just is a glimpse into the life of a modern woman who has more neurotic meltdowns than Martha Stewart trapped in a trailer park. Kat Boudreaux is a woman whose resume may look like this. Work Experience: Bar Tender, Waitress, Boxing Coach, Markswoman, Mercenary, Contract Interrogator. When she married a Southern oil Barron Kat convinced herself the secret, ruthless, cutthroat part of her life was dead, buried, and working its way through a worm’s digestive tract. Kat didn’t think she’d be widowed at the age of thirty and left to raise a daughter by herself. When Kat picks her brother, Tyler, up at the airport after a deployment to Iraq she is introduced to his fellow Rat Bastards: Shooter, Horndog, Switch, Martinez, and Doc. Her darling brother has invited his fellow Marines to stay with her for the summer. Tyler knows these unexpected guests will send Kat into a panic induced tailspin, but did he even stop to think about Kat before he appeared in the Louis Armstrong Airport with Private Gump and his band of Bubbas? No, no he did not.

Shooter, the unit’s Gunnery Sergeant, is on a mission. He and his fellow Rat Bastards are determined to keep Kat alive. Kat’s past has risen from the grave and an old enemy wants her dead. Kat doesn’t think she needs anyone’s help. After all, what can a Marine Force Recon unit do that she can’t? True they may have killer instincts, specialized training, and experience with insurgents and terrorists, but as long as she has a .45 in each hand and a K-Bar between her teeth, she’s good to go. Since they won’t leave, Kat is determined to make her Marines feel as unwanted as humanly possible. She never has been very good at the whole Southern hospitality thing any way. But, when she’s wounded saving Shooter’s life she becomes one of the Bastards and accepts their help. Her new brothers rename her Hell Kat. During her recovery Hell Kat falls for Shooter and the sparks that fly between them could make Beijing during Chinese New Year look like a cheap airport souvenir snow globe. Shooter accepts Kat and her past as a merchant of death but, when she employs her skills as a contract interrogator (read: torture) on a man who has abducted her daughter, Shooter must decide if he will accept all Kat has to offer.

 

EXCERPT

I am a cow. Just paint block spots on me and teach me to moo because it’s official, I’m a Holstein. There I was crammed into a pen decorated with vomit-colored industrial carpet and covered in Tag Heuer and Kay Jewelers advertisements. Just as I’m about to let out a long, melodious, forlorn moo, the screen above the cattle yard changes from “On Time” to “Arrived”. Hallelujah! His plane had landed and I would soon be extricated from barnyard hell.

After eighteen months I was about to see my brother. Any moment he would ride down the escalator and I’d be able to hug him and make sure he’d returned home, healthy, and in one piece. Bouncing on the balls of my feet, I tried to see over the head of the Andre the Giant wannabe in front of me. I threw an elbow when a man with questionable fashion sense and way too much aftershave got too close. When I felt the unmistakable piercing of a cheap kitten-heel pump on the top of my foot, I very nearly spit cud at a woman who’d clearly eaten New Orleans’s share of fried Twinkies while waiting for her internet love match to arrive.

This form of bestial torture could be worse I suppose. Remember when you could practically walk right up to the plane, shake the pilot’s hand, and ask the flight attendants for a rum and Coke? When people crowded in front of the arrivals terminal as if they were the oldest group of single bridesmaids on the planet and the bride’s about to throw the bouquet? Now the family members, friends, and would-be terrorists have to stand in the baggage area waiting for their passengers like civilized people.

I waited, in the cattle chute from hell, for my older brother, Tyler Wallace. Tyler is my hero. When the call to war resonated throughout our country he left behind a full ride scholarship to Stanford to join the Marine Corps. Everyone thought he had gone nuts. I had him pegged somewhere between a macadamia and a pecan, but he didn’t care. He wanted to serve his country as our father and grandfather and great grandfather and great great…well, you get the idea. Tyler is probably the smartest person I’ve ever known. If he ever went on Who Wants to be a Millionaire he could answer all the questions correctly using no life lines before the first commercial break. Middle Eastern languages had been a hobby of his since the first Gulf War. He speaks fluent Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, and Dari. He takes his hobbies seriously. Tyler could have been an officer stationed in a nice, safe office with a view of a golf course or yacht club. To no one’s astonishment he turned a life of leisure down, demanding his constitutional right to make stupid decisions and became a grunt.

He wanted to be in the trenches, or dunes, or whatever they’re called in this war. And that is why I saw him rolling toward me in a wheel chair instead of on two healthy legs. Wait! A wheel chair? What is he doing in a wheel chair? I knew he’d been injured in an explosion, but I had no idea he wasn’t ambulatory. I shouldered my way past the Jerseys, Guernseys, and Holsteins to get to him. Just as I’m about to be rugby-tackled by a TSA officer and hauled off to some secret underground prison in the Louis Armstrong Airport, Tyler stands up, as if he’d been faith-healed, and walks toward me. As you can imagine, I was extremely relieved. I expressed how happy I was to see him whole and healthy by throwing a punch aimed at his jaw, which he expertly blocked. After that nothing-but-love-hey-how-are-ya, I gripped Tyler in a fierce hug.

“What the hell?” I asked pointing to the empty wheel chair.

He pulled away from me and said, “What kind of big brother would I be if I didn’t tease my little sister?” Son of a bitch. He pressed a light kiss to my forehead, “How’ve you been Kitten?”

Now, I’m not an emotional person. I don’t consider tears a sign of weakness or anything. They’re just a waste of the Earth’s finite water resources. But hearing the one and only person left on the planet who could call me Kitten, without getting five fisted digits to the solar plexus, whisper in my ear almost made me tear up. As the storms cleared I saw five intimidating Marines standing behind my brother. They just stood there, obviously uncomfortable, waiting for something. I wanted to find the inconsiderate jerks who’d leave their countries warriors to fend for themselves when my brother released me and turned to face his brothers in khaki. He kept an arm around my shoulders and said, “Martinez, Switch, Doc, Horndog, Shooter, this is my little sister, Kat Boudreaux.” They all nodded their heads slightly and said, “Ma’am” in unison. I looked at my brother, rather perplexed. “We were all in the same unit. I told them they could stay with us.” He paused clearing his throat, “For the summer.”

Tyler tightened his grip on my shoulder, keeping me firmly rooted to the vomit-colored industrial carpet. I don’t know what I had written on my face, but I know it didn’t say, “I’m so glad! Please come and stay in my home. You’re always welcome.” In fact, I’m almost positive my face said, “WTF!”

 

AUTHOR CONTACT INFO

Author Website:  Katie Harper Writes

Facebook: Katie Harper

Twitter: Katie Harper

Email: [email protected]

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “STARLA KAYE welcomes Katie Harper

  1. kate richards

    Someone told you to burn your computer? That’s so cool! I am always amazed to elicit any kind of response for my stories, so one that emotional is a real compliment. Although I’m sure she’d hate tht we take it that way lol. It’s really nice to learn more about another author and can’t wait to read your story when it’s released!

    Reply
  2. Valerie Mann

    You know I wrote that horrible email, don’t you? I think I actually said, “Nuke your computer and dump the radioactive waste in the Las Vegas desert.” But you can paraphrase if you feel the need. *snort*

    Katie Harper has the most unique voice and I love it and her. I read this story and critiqued the first chapter or so and fell in love with it. Her Rat Bastards are the quintessential alpha males. And OMG, they’re human! This is not a paranormal story with larger-than-life laboratory-manufactured military creatures who look like human men. Yay for reality! Sort of. LOL I want a Rat Bastard T-shirt, Katie.

    Reply
  3. Stephanie Williams

    Katie, your voice is unique. I LOVE IT! After reading this excerpt, I’m an instant fan. And I LOVE how you handled the hate letter. That’s classic! OMG! would have loved to have been the fly on the wall when she got that response from you. HEHEHEHE.

    Writers. You gotta love our twisted sense of humor. 🙂

    Reply

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