Please welcome A.J. Norris here today! She’s telling us a few things about her novel, Tattoo Killer!
Thank you, Mary, for allowing me to talk about my five favorite things about my romantic suspense, Tattoo Killer.
- My most favorite thing about Tattoo Killer is the characters themselves. I know, I know, authors should like their characters, right? But of all the books I’ve written, I love the detective in this book, Harry, more than any other character. He’s a grumpy and lovable character and a two fisted coffee drinker for a reason. I don’t want to tell you too much about him, because it would spoil the story. 😉
- I love that Harry thinks he’s the main character and acts like one. LOL
- My favorite scene is when Grace and her father are driving in her car and Harry back seat drives, making her nuts. The excerpt is below. 😉
- I like that the main characters all have some issue they are dealing with. The hero has a crazy ex-wife but still is able to maintain a good relationship with his son; the heroine worries about her dad (who’s a detective) more than the average daughter, because her mother had died and she doesn’t want to lose him too; the detective, Harry, feels guilt for having put his best friend in prison many years ago.
- The best thing I liked about writing this book is it allowed me to write about a darker subject matter and still inject some humor into it.
Mikey Hardin is a murderer. At least that’s what his ex-wife wants the police to believe…
A tattoo artist and single father, Mikey becomes a suspect in a series of homicides thanks to an anonymous tip from his ex. The case against him seems straightforward, especially since Mikey is connected to the victims, but police detective Harry Hunter knows finding the psychopath isn’t that simple. The physical evidence doesn’t add up. After Mikey is released and amid the turmoil of his life, he meets Grace Bell, a beautiful divorcee, in a chance encounter.
Mikey is everything that straight-laced Grace isn’t…
Grace is tired of living a rigid existence and wants to break free from the routine of her mundane life. The tattoo artist’s free spirit and charm quickly draw her into his world. From the back of his Harley, he teaches her how to let go and have fun, leading to a sizzling passion she never knew existed.
Another woman is found dead, and the killer isn’t finished yet…
Grace is unaware of Mikey’s part in the investigation of the local homicides, but when her estranged father, detective Harry Hunter, finds out who she’s dating, he’s quick to fill her in. Even though he thinks Mikey is innocent, there is a killer in Webster and he’s not stopping until he gets what he wants. Every victim is connected to Mikey, and her father fears Grace will be next.
After Detective Hunter receives a threatening phone call from the killer, he rushes to protect his daughter, but is Grace really the next target of the…
Grace’s father pointed out the front windshield of her car. “Eyes on the road, honey.”
“Oh my God, how old am I? I know how to drive.”
She worked her jaw, her father’s passenger-seat driving only adding to her irritation. Harry had shamed her, not only into celebrating her deceased mother’s birthday again, but now they were on their way to pick up the damn cake.
“Dad?” Grace had meant to ask him to promise her again that this would be the last time they marked this day, but lost the energy.
“Did you have a question? Because it sounded like you had a question.”
“No. Never mind.” Grace glanced over at her father. He contorted and twisted his body at the flow of traffic as if he were bracing for impact, his feet pushing imaginary pedals into the floor. Rolling her eyes, she continued gripping the wheel with one hand on the bottom to annoy him. “Please stop doing that.”
“What?” he asked, pressing his foot down on his invisible brake. The light up ahead turned red.
“That.” Grace gestured in the direction of his feet. “My foot is on the brake. You’re making me crazy. Gawd. This is the absolute last time I’m driving with you anywhere. And this is the last time I’m celebrating Mom’s birthday with you. I’m so sick of this.” The words flew out of her mouth. She couldn’t even stop them. Pacifying him all these years not only kept him in the past, but her too. She was done.
A car horn drowned him out. The beep wasn’t for her but the noise got her eyes back on the road. A bright red sports car whipped in between her and the car ahead of them. Grace laid on the horn while she slammed on her brakes, the vibration and grinding sound of the anti-locks kicked in. Harry’s coffee went flying.
“Aw, dammit!” Harry brushed at his pants.
“Oh, what are you so upset about? Your bad habit is going to stain the carpet,” she breathed.
“No it’s not…it’s black.” He set his Styrofoam cup into the center console holder.
“It’s going to stink up my Lincoln.”
“It’s not going to…well, maybe.”
“Dad,” she groaned.
“It’s not my fault. You should pay attention.”
“I was. I can’t help it if someone pulls out in front of me. Don’t you have some napkins or something to mop this up with?”
Her father reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad. Using the sole of his loafer he pressed the napkins into the carpet and soaked up the spill the best he could. However, what they needed was a wet vac.
Grace turned into the strip mall parking lot where the bakery was located. When her dad started to get out of the car, she stopped him, consumed with guilt. “I’ll get the cake, Dad.”
Harry looked at her like he was about to protest, but kept his mouth shut and closed his door.
After paying for the cake, she placed it on the floor of the back seat. The buttercream frosting aroma filled the car. It smelled delicious. The confection was the only thing she enjoyed about this day. Her mouth watered as she started the engine.
Silence hung like smog in the car. Grace knew her father would eventually choke on the silence between them. She was right. He ran a finger along the inside of his collar and buzzed the window down even though the A/C blasted cold air.
One. Two. Three…
“So, are you getting out much?”
I knew it.
“Yeah, you know? Dating anyone?”
Grace grinned. “Really? Do you really want to hear about my sex lif—?”
“Grace.” Harry grimaced and sliced a hand through the space between them. “Ehhh.”
She stifled a giggle.
“I don’t want to know about that. I’m only curious how you spend your time away from work. That’s all.”
“Hmmm…well, since you brought it up, actually, I have met someone. He seems pretty cool and kind of the opposite of me. Which isn’t bad. I like it, I guess.”
Her father exhaled loudly. “He isn’t a weirdo is he?”
“What? What do ya mean, weirdo?”
“I mean is he normal?”
“Harry, I told you he’s not. I mean, he is normal.” She sighed. “He’s free-spirited.”
“Okay fine. I’ll trust your judgment, and don’t call me Harry.”
Grace thought the investigation was over. She relaxed into her seat for a few minutes. When they turned into her father’s subdivision he spoke again.
“Did you run a background check on—?”
“You know what. This subject is closed. Discussion over.”
A.J. Norris is a romantic suspense and dark paranormal romance author. She enjoys being able to get inside someone else’s head, even a fictional one, and see what they see. Watching how her characters deal with difficult situations or squirm with the uncomfortable ones makes the hard work of writing all worth it. However, writing and reading weren’t always in her foremost thoughts. In fact, her love affair with writing came as a shock to everyone she knows, including herself. At a young age, she rarely opened a book, unless forced to read something for school. But that’s all behind her now. She wrote her first book several years ago, which turned out to be a surprisingly cathartic process, and she hasn’t been able to stop writing since.
A.J. is a movie buff, loves watching her son play baseball, and communing with other writers. She’s a member of two writer’s groups and RWA. She lives in southeastern Michigan with her family, who are extremely tolerant (at least most of the time) of all her late nights behind the computer. Along with contributing to Magical Pages Book Blog & Reviews, she’s currently working on book two of her Tattoo Crimes Series, and hopes to have it published sometime in 2017.