Originally from Kentucky, romantic suspense author Lena Diaz also lived in California and Louisiana before settling in Northeast Florida with her husband, two children, and a Shetland Sheepdog named Sparky. A Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, she's won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and has been a finalist for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She loves to watch action movies, garden, and hike in the beautiful Tennessee Smoky Mountains.
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I was able to interrogate Lena.
The following is what she shared:
If you weren’t an author, what would you expend your passion on? Home Improvements. Seriously. It’s what I did before I wrote. There isn’t a series on HGTV that I haven’t seen. And I’ve done tons of projects involving woodwork or paint. Gardening is another passion of mine, or, it was. Writing takes most of my time these days. I’d probably catch up on my reading too, if I didn’t write so much. I’m way behind on my to-be- read pile! ;-) Who isn't?
Which of your characters are your favorite to write? the easiest? the hardest? the most fun? Heroes are my favorite to write. And I love writing brothers or best male friends. I just think it’s so sexy and cool exploring how they interact with each other. And writing the hero point of view is awesome because I can make him act the way I want. And isn’t that fun? Women are the hardest for me to write, probably because I’d rather focus on the hero. Villains are fun to write too. Not sure what that says about me.
What or who inspires you? Readers inspire me. Sounds corny, I know. But getting an email or a Facebook message from a reader who loves one of my books is the best feeling ever. It makes all the hard work worth it.
What book would you like to see made into a movie? All of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter books! Oooh Great choice. I would too!
What is a trait, characteristic, feature, quality, attribute, idiosyncrasy, mannerism, peculiarity, or quirk that is unique to you? I can’t watch a movie or show without spotting the foreshadowing and figuring out the big plot twist or end long before it gets to the end. My family hates watching movies with me because of it.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Anything but chocolate. More chocolate for me! :P
Where are we most likely to find you this summer when you are not working: swimming, sunbathing while reading a book, playing sports, or indoors with the AC on full blast? If on vacation, I’m in the mountains. Otherwise, I choose indoors with a good book, or a good movie, with the A/C set to arctic.
What is your favorite day of the week? Saturday! Start my weekend!
What food can't you live without? Does Diet Dr. Pepper count as a food?
What is your favorite fairy tale? Dracula. Anything by the Brother’s Grimm.
What type of music do you listen to? Country. Period. There is no other music.
Night or Day? Night.
Homebody or social butterfly? Homebody. Extreme introvert!
What is your favorite favorite splurge? Office Supplies! Pretty colored legal pads, quirky pens, odd-shaped paper clips.
How do you prefer to communicate ( in person, texting, email, or phone)? Email. HATE talking on the phone. Texting is too tedious. In person, well, did I mention I’m an introvert?
Fresh air or air conditioning? During the winter, fresh. Summer, A/C.
Favorite beverage? Oh, well, I already said Diet Dr. Pepper earlier for my food question. Hm. Cherry 7-Up’s pretty good too.
Thank you for sharing your answers with us!
EXIT Inc. # 1
EXIT Inc. # 1
By: Lena Diaz
Releasing June 30, 2015
Lena Diaz launches her thrilling new series featuring the undercover vigilantes of EXIT Inc. with a skilled operative putting his life—and his heart—on the line for a woman in trouble...
When Sabrina Hightower awakens to the sound of an intruder, she figures he's there to rob her, murder her— or worse. She doesn't expect to be carried off by a muscle-bound stud with male-model good looks... or that he came to rescue her.
Mason Hunt became an enforcer with EXIT Inc. to eliminate the bad guys—terrorists, militia groups, all those who would do America harm. But his latest target is innocent. If EXIT could lie about sultry, strong-willed Sabrina, what darker truths might they be concealing?
Going rogue in the rugged North Carolina Mountains, Mason risks everything to keep Sabrina close, especially now that EXIT's lethal assassins are chasing them down. The heat is on... but it's nothing compared to the slow burn of seduction.
Mason shook his head as Sabrina Hightower tore off through the trees to escape him. Obviously, telling her that he was supposed to kill her wasn’t the wisest thing he could have said. But not killing someone he’d been sent to terminate was a new experience and he was a bit out of his element.
He’d expected a tiny woman like Sabrina to be docile and scared, easily subdued, especially barefoot, in a nightshirt, and without the glasses that he’d pocketed when he found them on her bedroom floor. Most people in her position would have cowered before him instead of acting like a little warrior, trying to bite through his shirt even though he was twice her size. He’d had to work at not laughing when she’d threatened to kick his balls up to his throat. She definitely had spunk and courage, which—unfortunately—only added to her appeal.
When he’d carried her through her backyard, her sexy, round bottom bouncing so temptingly next to his face, a fog of lust had slammed into him until all he could think about was the feel of her soft thighs beneath his hand. He hadn’t planned on stopping in the clearing. It had been an act of desperation, to put some space between them so he could re-engage his brain. And then she’d ruined that plan by pelting him with questions while her nipples formed mouth-watering, tight peaks against her shirt. Add to that her arrow-straight, no-nonsense black hair that swished half-way down her back, and sassy bangs that framed her defiant blue eyes, and he’d been lost.
He swore viciously. He was a fool to have let her rattle him. The only reason she had was because of the questions his friend from his Army days, Ramsey, had raised about Sabrina’s guilt. Or, more accurately, the concerns of Ramsey’s friends—a former enforcer and his wife who both believed Sabrina’s EXIT order had been faked, even though they were still trying to prove it.
Mason had always been honored to work as an enforcer for EXIT, to bridge the security gap left by the traditional alphabet agencies. Killing, when called upon to do so, wasn’t something he relished or enjoyed. But sacrificing one evil life in exchange for dozens, hundreds, or even one innocent life, was a trade he was compelled, and duty bound, to make. He couldn’t stomach the idea of waiting for a heinous crime to be committed if he could stop it ahead of time. Inaction, allowing people to die when he could have saved them, was inexcusable.
But only if the target, the mark, was truly guilty of the charges listed in the EXIT order.
Mason was betting—hoping—that Ramsey’s friends were frauds and they couldn’t prove their claims. Because, if Sabrina was innocent, if her EXIT order was wrong, then other orders could have been wrong. Which meant that people he’d terminated in the past could have been innocent too. That prospect was too horrible to contemplate.
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