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Monday, February 25, 2013

Guest Author, P.J. O'Dwyer

Hi everyone,

Today at TRRC Reading, we have author, P.J. O'Dwyer discussing her latest novel DEFIANT.

When love turns deadly, the beloved play dead.

Western Maryland farm girl Kate Fallon wanted more than horse pastures. Now a trial lawyer in the affluent Annapolis law arena and married to multi-millionaire Jack Reynolds, also the U. S. Attorney of Maryland, she’s got it all—at least everyone thinks so.

Behind closed doors, Jack is as cruel as he is intelligent, as controlling as he is handsome. When his tirades turn physical, Kate must fight for her life. But her efforts to leave him will take her down a rabbit hole to secrets she doesn’t fully understand, and that Jack will kill to suppress.

Two years later, Kate’s keeping secrets of her own. Living as Charlie Robertson, a take-no-crap general contractor, she’s secure most days knowing her nightmare is right where she left him—two thousand miles due east under FBI scrutiny. Wielding a nail gun instead of a briefcase suits her, as does the small mining town of Creede, Colorado. With its scenic views and open spaces, life is simple and so are her rules: Lock all doors, check for signs she’s been followed, and don’t get involved romantically ever again. 

Unfortunately, retired Navy SEAL and tourist Nick Foster didn’t get the memo. Mysterious, sexy, and powerfully attracted to Charlie, Nick typically likes things easy. Only “easy” isn’t in Charlie’s vocabulary, and neither is trust. Worst part is, she’s right not to trust him, and yet he can’t help falling for her. But love won’t save either one of them if she discovers his true identity or doesn’t give him what he came for. His boss won’t tolerate failure.


Seconds, Kate had seconds. She took down the hall, her options limited, and then her eyes locked onto her purse. Davey’s manila envelope had emerged from the bottom of her handbag, its corner now visible and catching her eye when she rounded the banister of the steps.

She needed to get to it.

“Kate, get your ass back here,” he bellowed down the hall, his chair clattering to the floor.

Her detour took five seconds—precious time if she wanted to escape him. The teeth on the zipper of her handbag bit into her palm. The throw rug at the bottom of the steps slid, and she fell to her knees. On all fours, she climbed the steps and froze when his hand snagged her foot. She kicked hard, and his hand fell away. She pushed up off the tread and continued the climb to the second level. If he caught her, he’d go straight for her purse. The fact she snagged it right in front of him made it a bull’s-eye. The envelope had sunk back into her purse, but once he dumped it, the envelope and its
contents would be his focal point. And then she would be his next target.

She slammed the thick pine door of the master bedroom, hit the switch to the overhead light, and then reached up with quivering fingers to turn the antique-style key sitting in the lock. Her heart fluttered like wings taking flight, except there was nowhere to fly, nowhere to hide. The room seemed to twirl, and all she could do was stare.

The pounding of his fists brought her out of her stupor. “Open the goddamn door, or I’ll level it. Do you hear me, Kate?”

She had to stall. “Not until you calm down. You’re scaring me. I didn’t mean to spill the bottle.”

He laughed derisively. “Like hell, you were aiming for my head.”

Kate winced. Damn.

She scanned the dresser. No good. The mattress . . . he’d look there. Closet—forget it. She eyed the frame. It sat neglected against the back wall under the window sill, the watercolor of Thomas Point lighthouse. She had picked it up in the art gallery on Main the other day and had every intention of hanging it. But she hadn’t gotten around to it. She laid it down on the bed and sighed with relief. The back hadn’t been enclosed in brown paper.

She tried to clear her mind. Ignoring his verbal tirade and the blows against the door, she reached inside her purse, searching for her nail file. Her fingers became agitated—there was so much crap in her purse. Heart pounding, she grabbed the envelope and tossed the bag across the room. She dug her fingernail under the first tong and gritted her teeth when the metal slipped under her nail. A drop of dark blood appeared in the underside curve of her French manicure. She sucked her finger and ignored the bitter taste. If she left a fresh trail of blood on the frame, he’d become suspicious. She continued to struggle with every stubborn piece of metal until she could clear the cardboard back. She positioned the envelope in one corner, replaced the cardboard, and pressed flat the tongs.

How long had he been in the house? An hour, possibly? Enough time to thoroughly search it. She turned the frame around, moved past her bed, and placed the picture back in its exact location beneath the window. A loud crack brought her attention around. The entire doorframe tore from the
wall. The door itself hung like a piece of split skin, still attached, but barely.

She swallowed hard as he charged her.

If you missed RELENTLESS is a blurb:

Headstrong horse rescue director Bren Ryan has been a red-headed streak of trouble for more than one man in Clear Spring. She’s grown up needling local “kill buyer” Wes Connelly, and since the sheriff ruled her husband’s sudden death an accident, Bren’s been investigating things herself. She’s certain Tom was murdered, and she’s hell-bent on cornering his killer the only way she knows how—by tempting him to do it again. And she’s the bait.

Rafe Langston came to Maryland looking for land and a fresh start. Or so he says. The sexy cowboy isn’t generous with details, but Bren couldn’t care less—until he buys half her farm at auction and moves into her childhood home. Suddenly, the last man she should befriend becomes her only ally in solving her husband’s murder.

Soon their cozy stakeouts sizzle with unexpected desire neither one can ignore, threatening his mysterious plans and her promise to never fall in love again—especially with a handsome stranger whose secrets could shatter what family she has left.

P. J. O’Dwyer is an award-winning author and an active member of Romance Writers of America. When asked where she gets her story ideas, she laughs ruefully and says, “It helps being married to a cop.” She lives in Maryland with her family. Visit her website at www.pjodwyer.com or www.blacksirenbooks.com.


Be a part of the discussion and be entered to win your choice of either an autographed hardcover or an “Authorgraphed” Kindle edition of Defiant or Relentless.

Facebook:      www.facebook.com/AuthorPJODwyer
Twitter:          www.twitter.com/#!/pj_odwyer


Moni said...

Hi P.J., welcome back to TRRC. Congratulations on the February 14 release of DEFIANT, Book 2 in the Fallon Sisters trilogy. I had the opportunity to review your debut, RELENTLESS last spring, and eagerly waited for DEFIANT’s release. Loved it!

P.J., tell our readers about DEFIANT.

P. J. said...

I'm so happy to be back!

Well...if you loved Nicholas Sparks' book and recently released movie SAFE HAVEN, you'll enjoy DEFIANT.

Think SAFE HAVEN but more western!

I hope you enjoy the excerpt.

Moni said...

As much as I read, Nicholas Sparks is not a part of my library. I am probably one of a few that have not read one of his books and not of a moviegoer unless its action packed and something I really want to see.

JenLovesHerTBandMule said...

P.J., the excerpts from both of your novels are gripping. I would love to know where you get your inspiration for the stories and characters!

P.J. said...

Dear JenLovesHerBandMule,

I'm thinking you go by Jen

I try to write stories that will inspire and also educate readers on a topic they may not be aware of or familiar with.

Take horse slaughter, I had no idea they slaughter perfectly healthy horses and in a most inhumane way. For Relentless, I wanted my readers to see this controversial subject matter through the eyes of a horse rescuer who give their lives to rescue, rehabilitation, and education.

And with Defiant, I wanted the reader to see domestic violence through the eyes of the victim and their daily struggles to survive and someday escape.

Moni said...

P.J., did you change or alter the either RELENTLESS OR DEFIANT after your research?

JenLovesHerTBandMule said...

Thanks for your response, P.J. You are correct, I do go by Jen.

I love the fact you write in order to educate readers. Many authors of fiction merely want to entertain the reader. I applaud you for giving a voice to victims be they animal or human.

You have a gift, for sure.

Did Relentless inspire you to get a horse?! :-)

P. J. said...


I respect the horse for sure, especially after my research. And I love animals, but I have my hands full with one sissy German Shepherd and one cat who don't get along. Keeping the peace and writing along with daily life keep me busy.

But I have a horse rescue across the street and have the pleasure of seeing them everyday.

Actually, in answer to your question from before. It was Days End Farm Horse Rescue that gave me my inspiration for RELENTLESS.

And this is important, which I may have forgotten to mention. Ten percent of all books sales go to help horse rescue!


PJ said...


With two editors and one copy editor you bet. They are worth their weight in gold. I find that after the first draft things change quite a bit.

Defiant was one of them. And all the changes made the book better in my opinion.

But I have to admit their is a lot of soul searching before major changes are made.


Moni said...

P.J., who was your favorite character to write? If you could re-write that particular character over would you change them?

JenLovesHerTBandMule said...


I'm happy to hear you have a horse rescue and a reputable one at that in such close proximity. I do hope you enjoy your time there.

As for the dog and cat, I can understand why you may have your hands full!

You are a gifted writer!


bn100 said...

Nice blurbs. The books sound intriguing.


Moni said...

P.J. thank you for joining us this week!

Readers, if you cannot resist a good romantic suspense with a strong heroine paired with an equally determined hero, then DEFIANT is a must read!