Hi Tonya and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Honor Avenged!
Hi! Thanks for having me!
Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:
Leah lost her husband. Marcus lost his best friend. Now they only have each other. There’s angst and hot sex and some very bad guys chasing them.
Please share the opening lines of this book:
Who killed Danny Giancarelli?
That’s all Marcus Deangelo wanted to know—the name of the sniper who murdered his best friend two months ago.
Two simple words. A location, if he could get it, but he’d be happy with just a name.
But the woman wasn’t talking.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- This book made me cry more than any other book I’ve written. (And I don’t usually cry while writing!)
- It was written mostly to a soundtrack of brain.fm and early 2000’s pop.
- Honor Avenged is the longest HORNET book to date, beating out the previous longest, Broken Honor, by 2000 words.
- My favorite character is Marcus’s mother, Regina. Maybe she deserves to find love now too? Hmm.
- Marcus is a movie fanatic and often peppers his dialogue with quotes. Only it’s surprisingly hard to find appropriate movie quotes to fit into scenes! I turned this book in to my editor with *insert movie quote here* in a scene because I couldn’t find one that worked.
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
Marcus and Leah have a long history together. They met in high school, but since she was his best friend’s girl, he tried not to think of her as anything but a friend. After her husband’s death, he realizes he’s always been attracted to her and it causes him a lot of guilt. The same goes for Leah. Marcus was always just a friend, but when her husband died he suddenly became more.
Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?
Angsty, sexy, sweet, sad, lovely.
The First Kiss…
The first kiss actually happens before the book starts and is the cause of all kinds of conflict between Marcus and Leah. You’ll have to read the book for the second kiss!
Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?
Marcus is a movie buff and often quotes his favorites. Toward the end of the book, he’s upset and his teammate Ian (the antisocial one) tries to comfort him but ends up misquoting a movie.
Ian circled the house, shoved through the gate to the pool. Marcus was still bent over, his hands on his thighs as he drew in gasping gulps of air. Guy looked like he’d been dragged through hell. There was a sharpness to him that had never been there before. He’d always been like Jean-Luc—kind of annoying, quick with a joke and a smile. And he had a truly astounding knowledge of movie quotes.
What did you even say to a guy when he was like this?
“Uh…” Ian drew a blank. “‘My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my brother. Now you die.’”
Okay, so he wasn’t winning awards for therapist of the year anytime soon.
Marcus straightened and blinked at him. “What?”
Now he felt like an idiot. “It’s a quote. From a movie.” Though he had no clue what movie. He’d only heard people say it.
“Right.” Marcus scrubbed at his face with both hands and made a sound that had Ian backing up a step.
Was he sobbing?
Nope. Uh-uh. That right there was where this whole family thing stopped. Ian didn’t do tears.
But then Marcus snorted, which set him off into a fit of laughter again. Not tears. He was laughing. At Ian. He’d ended men’s lives for that and less. But, now, instead of contemplating murder, he found his lips twitching.
“Jesus, Ian,” Marcus finally gasped. “It’s ‘you killed my father. Prepare to die.’ The Princess Bride.”
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?
Marcus telling Leah how her husband died.
Once she reached the pool and garden, she staggered to a halt. She didn’t know where to go. She was trapped inside this villa because someone wanted to hurt her. Just like how someone had hurt Danny. Pulverized his heart. The same heart she had listened to every night for thirteen years.
She jolted when Marcus touched her shoulder. She felt like she’d jump out of her skin if the wind blew in the wrong direction.
“I’m sorry,” Marcus said and turned her toward him, dragging her into his arms. He held her tight and pressed his face against the top of her head. “I shouldn’t have— I’m so sorry.”
She wrapped her arms around his waist and held on until the tremors passed. He felt safe, and she savored it even though she knew it was a false safety. The crash of emotions she felt toward him were anything but safe.
He eased away and gazed down, worry creasing his forehead. “Are you okay?”
She nodded, but when she tried to speak no words came out. She cleared her throat and tried again. “I thought I was ready to know how he died.”
He cradled her face in his hands, and she’d never seen his eyes so kind, so tender. “Danny’s last thought was for you and the kids. He loved you so much, Leah. That’s all you need to know about what happened that day. That’s all you need to hang on to. Let me carry the burden of remembering the hard parts, the ugly parts, for you.”
She brought her hands up to his wrists. “That’s not fair to you.”
“He’s dead and I’m alive. I’d say that’s plenty fair.”
Readers should read this book …
If they like slow-burn romances, hot sex, and edge of your seat suspense where the best of the good guys go up against the worst of bad guys.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
I’m currently working on Edge of Honor, HORNET book 7.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: $25 Amazon gift card
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Excerpt from Honor Avenged:
“Leah, why are you here?”
She waited a beat too long before answering. “Because everyone’s worried about you.”
“That’s not why you left your children and flew across the world.”
“No,” she admitted. “It’s not. I need your help.”
“You could’ve called.”
“Would you have answered?” When he didn’t respond, she continued. “No, you wouldn’t have. You haven’t answered any of Regina’s calls. When was the last time you spoke to your mother?”
“She left a voicemail yesterday.” And she could’ve given him a heads-up that he’d soon have company. Leah must have already been on her way here when his mom left that message.
“Uh-huh, a voicemail. Did you call her back?”
He said nothing in response. He didn’t need to. They both knew the answer.
Jesus, why was she here, prodding him to go back to a place and a life he wasn’t sure he wanted anymore? His temper sparked at the thought. “I’ll pay for whatever repair you need or school fee or—fuck, whatever you need help with. If you’ll just…leave me alone. That’s all I ask.”
“What, you’re going to throw money at us?”
“It’s all I have to give.” He turned away and scooped up his surfboard from the sand.
She huffed out a breath in disbelief. “Typical Marcus. The going gets tough, so you get going.”
What could he say to that? She was spot-on. It had always been his reaction to heavy emotional stress, and it had worked for him for thirty-four years. Why change it up now?
“I can’t believe you,” she said with disgust. “You won’t even deny it.”
“There’s nothing to deny. You have me nailed down, Leah. I’m a coward. What else do you want me to say? I’m sorry? I’m not. I’m a drunk with enough baggage to fill a 747 and the sense of humor of a fifteen-year-old. I’m a fucking mess. You and your kids are better off without me around.”
“No.” She stormed after him and caught his arm. “Marcus Deangelo, you don’t get to do this again. You don’t get to walk away, to disappear and start over again. You broke Danny’s heart the last time you vanished on us.”
She aims, she scores.
Direct hit, straight through the heart. He flinched at the pain of it but jerked his arm free and kept walking.
Nearly six years ago, he’d made a bad call during a hostage negotiation that ended a young girl’s life. After that clusterfuck, he hadn’t been able to live with the guilt. He’d left the FBI and disappeared—came here, to his little slice of surf heaven. His mother hadn’t known where he was for a solid six months, and he’d told her then only because she’d threatened to set the world on fire looking for him. Regina Deangelo didn’t make empty threats.
But Danny, his best friend and partner, hadn’t known where he was for two long years until sheer boredom eventually drove him to return to the States and join HORNET. And wasn’t it just his luck that HORNET’s first mission intersected with one of Danny’s cases? After that, Danny hadn’t given him a choice and dragged him back into the family fold.
But Leah wasn’t like Danny. She was fire and temper and wasn’t going to let him slink away to lick his wounds this time. In that moment, he hated her for it.
She dogged his heels. “You told me that Danny, with his dying breath, made you promise to take care of me and the kids.”
“By staying away, I am. You ever need anything all you have to do is call, but you don’t want me hanging around fucking things up for you.”
“Is that what you think Danny meant?”
“No, but it’s the best I can do.” He shoved his board into the sand by his front porch and spun to face her. “Because I know he sure as hell didn’t mean I should fuck you, and that was exactly where things were headed when I left.”
She flinched and took a step backward. Her arms folded tightly around her middle, pushing her breasts up under her flowing tank top. And he hated himself for noticing. What kind of man looked at his best friend’s widow like that?
After a moment, she released a long, slow breath. “That night, we were both drunk and crazy with grief. I was drowning and needed someone to hold on to. You were there. Convenient. We came to our senses before…”
“Doesn’t matter. We went too far, and I refuse to dishonor Danny like that. I won’t hurt him like that.”
Tears filled her eyes and spilled over. “Oh, Marcus. You can’t do anything to hurt him,” she said softly. “He’s dead.”
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Leah Giancarelli makes balancing her new role as a single mom look easy, but she’d have crumbled if not for her late husband’s best friend, Marcus. She has her issues with HORNET, an elite hostage rescue team—after all, Danny would still be alive if he’d never accompanied them on their last mission—but Marcus has always been by her side, a strong shoulder to lean on…
Until, after one impulsive kiss, he’s so much more.
Eaten alive by guilt, Marcus takes off, leaving both HORNET and Leah behind. Alone is easier. Safer. Because his feelings for Leah are all kinds of wrong, the worst kind of betrayal, and he can’t trust himself not to act on them.
Meet the Author:
Tonya Burrows wrote her first romance at age 13 and hasn’t put down her pen since. Originally from a small town in Western New York, she suffers from a bad case of wanderlust and usually ends up moving someplace new every few years. As of now, she lives in the Pacific Northwest with The Boyfriend, a diva schnoodle, a plucky pug-mix, and #writercat.
When she’s not writing about hunky military heroes, Tonya can usually be found kayaking, hiking, or road tripping across the country. She also enjoys painting and B grade disaster movies.
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