I am excited to welcome author Jami Gray, who is celebrating the release of her first PSY-IV Teams novel, Hunted by the Past.
Sometimes death is the only way to out run the past…
A reluctant psychic who can relive the past, a man well versed in keeping secrets, and a psychopathic killer enter a deadly game where the past determines the future.
Changing the past is an impossibility ex-Marine, Cynthia “Cyn” Arden, understands all too well. Struggling in the aftermath of a botched mission, which cost her two teammates, her military career, and a fledging relationship, she’s brought home by a panicked phone call. The psychic killer behind her nightmares has escaped military custody to hunt down the remaining teammates, one by one. Next on his murderous list–Cyn. Her only chance at survival is to master the psychic ability she’s spent years denying.
The killer’s game brings her face to face with the one person guaranteed to throw her off kilter—the unsettling and distracting man she left behind, Kayden Shaw. Once she believed he’d stand by her side, until he chose his job and his secrets over her. A choice that’s left the scars of the past etched deep on her mind and heart.
To survive this twisted game, Cyn must risk trusting her heart and accepting who and what she is, or lose not only her life, but the man she loves.
Don’t Forget The Other Players…
Every reader tends to fall in love with the main characters, because, come on, that’s who the story belongs to, right? But every once in awhile the spotlight gets tugged away by the hero’s best friend, or the heroine’s sibling, and for a moment a reader will ask ‘Wonder what their story is?’. Guess what, you’re not the only one asking, so is the mad, creative mind behind the story that’s got you in its greedy little fists.
I’m a series reader and writer. When I find a new world that drags me under, call me bait, because I’m hooked. One of the most exciting parts about writing a series is the ability to explore those unexpected character stories. If you’re a reader, you know what I’m talking about—that quirky blonde that showed up just before things when on a downhill slide for your heroine, but her quick thinking snagged her back from utter failure, or the broody, prankster who’s there when the hero calls for back-up. As a writer, these are the characters who wend their way into your heart despite every hurdle you throw at them and they always demand their own screen time.
I have two series, my Urban Fantasy-The Kyn Kronicles, and now my brand-new Paranormal Romantic Suspense-The PSY-IV Teams. Since Literary Escapsim was nice enough to let me bring Hunted by the Past along, the topic of secondary characters seemed apt. Now I could go on about my heroine, ex-marine Cynthia “Cyn” Arden, her unwanted ability to see past events, the fact she’s being hunted by her worst nightmare, or my hero, Kayden Shaw, with his own unique abilities, who’s given her space but not now, when danger stalks her and their remaining team. But I’ll let you pick up the book and find out their story all on your own.
Instead, I thought you might want a peek into how those secondary characters, those individuals who add depth to the world around our leads, take on lives of their own. In Hunted by the Past’s case we’re talking about Tag Gunderson, Cyn’s best bud and touch empath with his own demons, or Risia, barely mentioned but what’s said is enough to leave a mark. What about the telepath, Wolf? Or the caffeine addicted Bishop? Then there’s that whole unspoken “something” between composed Jinx and devilish Rabbit. Even Ricochet and Doc are standing, so far patiently, on the sidelines. Perhaps even our esteemed leader, Col. Charlene Delacourt might take center stage at some point. (No promises!)
As Cyn and Kayden’s journey ran across the pages, the bits and pieces that make up the team around them began to form. And because secondary characters do more than assist the main protagonists, their personalities came along with them. As a writer, it’s my job to make sure I learn what makes each individual player in my stories unique. If they’re on the page, it’s because the part they play has an impact. As the pieces come together, a backstory is created, one that generates how they handle what’s coming down the pike. Because your main hero or heroine can only take so much before they need a break, or more stories would end with “and the men in white jackets came and took them away”.
I’m currently working on the second book of the PSY-IV Teams, and I knew it would focus on Tag and Risia as soon as Cyn asked Tag, “What’s wrong, Tag? Did you finally meet a woman wise to the ways of your charm?” And yes, yes he did, in more ways than one. Because here’s where the back-story makes things interesting.
(WARNING: we’re now entering THE MIND OF A WRITER, so mind the turns.)
Tag is a touch empath. Risia is a seer. Tag’s nickname is Hayseed—and yep, he’s blond, tall, and would look great in a cowboy hat. Risia is the epitome of elegance and enjoys all of life’s pleasures, because when you know your mind will snap at any given moment, might as well enjoy what you have while you have it.
Opposing characters make for some serious conflicts all by itself, but as a writer, I’m not done. Oh no, not by a long shot. To keep it interesting, what happens when a touch empath survives a brutal military service, his BFF bails for six months, his mentor comes home in a body bag, and his former teammates are being picked off one by one? How does he deal with being sent off to track down the “civilian” consultant that revs his engine even as his brain’s telling him to put on the brakes? Even more fun, what if she’s one of the few people he can’t read by touch? And when he’s sent to find her, what if she’s gone? Poof! Just when the realization they may have an inside traitor lurking about? Bad timing or something more?
Then there’s Risia Lacoste, a woman who can see the future and all its mind boggling possibilities. Unless, of course, it’s centered around her. A beauty of mixed race heritage who knows insanity is the only thing she can count on. What happens if she’s offered something she’s worked years to uncover? Will it change her loyalty? Will a woman who’s learned to never trust anyone but herself be daring enough to reach out? Especially, to the man she thinks will be her death?
And that’s just from that one sentence. So sixty pages into book 1, I have the leads for book 2. Fortunately it doesn’t stop there. As we move through the story and people come and go (much like they do in our lives) as a writer I discover there are more intriguing stories waiting for me to pull into the light.
My hope is, if I do my job right, you’ll not only fall in love with my main characters, but get drawn into the lives of those around them. And when you finally lift your head from the book and look around, you’ll be looking at your own world a little differently.
And since I love discovering new reads, feel free to share who’s managed to suck you into their worlds recently…(Currently, my nightstand has tickets for the following three worlds—Kevin Hearne, Iron Druid Chronicles, Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin, and C.E. Murphy’s Walker Papers.)
Meet Jami Gray!
Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. Her latest release, Shadow’s Moon (5/14) was a Golden Claddaugh Finalist, and the first in her newest series, Hunted by the Past, hits shelves in August 2014. She is surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and a male lab, who masquerades as a floor rug as she plays with the voices in her head.
Want to purchase Jami’s novels?