I am excited to welcome author Seleste Delaney, who’s celebrating the release of her new novel, Conning For Keeps.
Secret Agent Marissa Jones has a gift. A con artist to the core, after deep hypnosis she can turn into someone else entirely. Marisa’s gift has gotten her into hot water over the years, but now more so than ever. With her smoking hot partner by her side, she needs to convince him that not only is she her true self, but also that she can be trusted—even in spite of her past.
…or traitors to the cause?
Trevor Harris has his own issues with the mission, he’s got revenge to seek, a cursed painting to secure, and Marissa’s sugary-sweet alter-ego to ignore. But when he releases Marisa from her mental cage and things get a little too hot, he ends up finding out what falling for a con artist really means—bigger trouble than ever before.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away 20 eBooks of Gaming for Keeps (International).
The Agents of TRAIT
When I wrote the first book in the series, Gaming for Keeps, the “agency” was an intentionally vague and nebulous thing. My editor loved the book but said that wouldn’t work. Which doesn’t seem like a big deal…until I looked at the hero’s quirks. We’re not talking Fox Mulder weirdness here. He can’t just be shuffled off into the basement and appeased. The hero was dangerous.
Which got me to thinking, what happened to all the rejects from the intelligence officer training programs? Did they just wash out and disappear? What if there were brilliant minds in there who just didn’t fit the standard “agent” requirements?
This is how super-villains are born, people.
From there, it was a matter of figuring out what made these people unqualified to be normal agents and/or what made them too valuable to lose? What I found as I started playing with things was that they each had characteristics that made them both unfit and too good. Cal had his anger-management issues (we’ll just call it that to be nice) and his mad computer/code-breaking skills. Trevor is a genius at languages but hates people. Marissa is a former con artist, but can literally become anyone they need her to be because of the skills she was taught as a child.
So, those TRAITs that made them special came to be what the agency was known for. They’re the people who do the jobs no one else can—or will. They have the best of the best, and the most unstable of the best. Which means as far as the government is concerned, they’re ghosts. They are nothing more than a line of checks and balances in a ledger.
This gives the agency an odd sort of accountability as well as an odd sort of independence. Unlike others, there aren’t many people watching over their shoulders. But, that means if they piss of the wrong people, they’re done.
As far as interaction between agents, one of the key things for me was that only the big boss knows how big TRAIT is. Is it just the one office? Or is it a web of field offices all over? Within a field office though, everyone knows everyone. In a way, it’s kind of an ensemble series, but each “episode” focuses on one or two agents with only “guest” visits from the others. Special-agent-in-charge Marron is the exception. He’s in all the books :P
None of my characters in these books are modeled off people I know in real life. (I have done that other places, just not here.) I do, however, “cast” all my characters. I tend to see books playing out as films in my mind, so I always have images of who’s in my cast. For Conning For Keeps, Marissa is the ever gorgeous and chameleon-like Olivia Wilde and Trevor is the sexy-voiced, brooding Idris Elba. If I ever get stuck trying to “cast” a character, I have a couple friends who are very good at finding the right people for me when I give them a description. In book 3 (still to be titled) the main character models are Geoff Stults (in fairness, I had someone else in mind, but he was too old to play the character and Stults looks enough like him to work for description purposes LOL) and Felicia Day.
And…that’s all the teaser I’m giving for that. If you want more, you’ll just have to wait until it comes out this summer.
Meet Seleste Delaney!
Seleste started on her career path as a young child. Stories of talking animals soon gave way to a love of superheroes and science fiction. Her first foray into the world of romance came at age twelve when she envisioned a sweeping epic love story of two people thrust together and torn apart again and again by fate. As she recalls, the plan was for them to admit their love on his deathbed. But, as is often the case with pre-teen girls, a story of that depth gave way to other pursuits, and sadly it is completely lost other than vague memories.
After that, she occupied herself with short stories for a while, and then poetry until after she had earned a degree in chemistry, spent time as a high school teacher, and became a mother of two. Then she delved into writing fiction once more.
She never lost her love of the fantastic, and her stories now always reach into other realms. The worlds and people she creates occupy as much of her time as the real world, and she is most fortunate to have a family that understands her idiosyncrasies and loves her anyway.
Thank you Seleste for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!
Seleste is giving away 20 eBooks of Gaming for Keeps (International). To enter, simply tell us what TRAIT you would have that would get you a position with the Agency. Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.