17 January 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW, EXCERPTS, GIVEAWAY: Spend this weekend with D.I.R.E. Agency author Joni Hahn!


All this weekend, Fab Fantasy Fiction is hosting D.I.R.E. Agency author Joni Hahn. This is an incredible new series that is grabbing and holding the attention of all who read it. Joni discusses some of the background about how she decided on the storyline, her writing and research process, as well as some other FUN things. In addition, she'll be sharing excerpts from all three books (one per day) and there are GIVEAWAYS! Really great giveaways. Right now, I'm so pleased to welcome Joni Hahn to join me at FFF!
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Joni, thank you so much for joining us this weekend! I know you're incredibly busy promoting your books right now and working full-time, so we do really appreciate your hanging out with us a bit.

Now, let's sit down and chat. As it's rather late in the day, would you prefer coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or a glass of wine? It is Friday afternoon after all!

Actually, a frozen margarita is the drink of choice for a Friday but, since I have to drive this conversation, I’ll take an iced tea - half sweet, half un-sweet. With lemon.

Are you sure? I could make a pitcher of margaritas up for us to split. No, you're right. 
I'll get your tea now ☺

(EVW) Joni, I think I told you that you kept me up all night once I started reading the first book in your D.I.R.E. Agency series - and then I just couldn't stop. I read them one after another and was quite bleary-eyed the next day as a result! Have you been hearing a lot from readers about what I'm calling "DIRE syndrom-itis"? (Read my review of the series here.)
(JH) LOL! As a matter of fact, I have! I’ve heard it a lot, actually. I even had a reader call herself a “DIREhard.” When I wrote these books, I had hoped readers would be driven to read the next one right away. I’m thrilled they’ve been so well-received.

(EVW) Your heroes leap off the page, not only because they've been enhanced with what can only be considered extra-ordinary powers, but as they're what I'd like to say are idyllic heroes. Each of them is quite strong and powerful, yet still gentle, kind, and extremely protective with those they love - be they siblings or love interests. Who was your inspiration for this group of three very HOT and desirable men?
(JH) There is a lot of my husband in these characters. He’s a very strong alpha and has always been very protective of his family and loved ones. My son is in heroes characters too, especially his sense of humor. He actually collaborated with me on the details of their powers.

(EVW) Each of your heroines is struggling with a major life issue - and each faces what only can be described as the worst kind of treachery from those that they love. (I'm not going to give away any spoilers here, don't worry.) But you've made them into strong, independent, and highly intelligent characters that we'd be honored to think of as friends. A friend of mine had mentioned the other day that she was finding it hard to find mainstream romances that had heroes that were heroes and heroines who weren't pushovers or looking to be dominated. (I told her she was reading the wrong authors and suggested your books.) Do you feel your books beckon to fans who might only have read (or preferred) contemporary romances as much as the paranormal audience?
(JH) Thanks for the recommendation! I think these books would appeal to any romance reader, regardless of their preferred subgenre. My idea of a great romance is when a strong alpha male meets his match. When he makes her stronger, and she brings out a soft side he’s always been afraid to show. Personally, I think a true hero would get bored with a woman that could be dominated. I also think if the heroine is too strong herself, what does she need a hero for? Men need to feel needed. Just sayin…

You know, I really struggled with how to categorize these books. If you read them, you see that they really aren’t sci fi as much as action adventure or romantic suspense. Yet, the general public sees superheroes as sci fi so I filed them under that category.

(EVW) If this were a film, who would you cast in the roles of your protagonists?
(JH) This is so hard because I picture my heroes as the men on my Pinterest page, and only one of them is an actor. BTW, I highly recommend readers check out that page before reading the books. But, for fun, here goes:

Tristan – Taylor Kitsch
Rachel – Rachel McAdams
Aidan – William Levy
Cass – Brooklyn Decker
D’Artagnan – Channing Tatum
Jocelyn – Nina Dobrev

(EVW) Another thing I found fun about this story is that nothing is quite beyond our belief. Some part of my brain was saying …. hmm, I wonder. I think that means you're incredibly successful in conveying your story, Joni! Out of curiosity, how did you decide what enhancements to give each of them?
(JH) This is where my son, aka Bill Nye the Science Guy, came in. I liked the idea of a hero turning invisible. I had envisioned him going to the heroine after a fight and making love to her while invisible - heightened senses and all of that. But, as my story evolved, it worked its way out of the story.

I told my son what I wanted and he steered me in the direction of Einstein and his Philadelphia Experiment. After I read up on it and his Theory of Relativity, I could see the other enhancements in my mind. After that, my son and I brainstormed on my ideas and this is what we came up with. The idea was to make the super powers appear… possible. Wait until you see the powers in Books 4 and 5!!

(EVW) I'm looking forward to reading more about the D.I.R.E. Agency and it's agents, what future books are on the horizon that we should be looking for?
(JH) Book 4 features Riordan St. James and Book 5 features Jaydan Rose, both of whom were first mentioned in Book 2. They’ll both be given believable powers but I don’t want to tell you what they are yet.

(EVW) As I mentioned earlier, you work full-time. How do you manage to write, take care of a family, and work too, in what can only be described as a very demanding position?
(JH) During the week, I make a point of getting my work done at the office so I can leave on time every day – no overtime! Since it’s only my husband and I at home now, I pick up dinner every evening – I don’t cook unless it’s something simple. We always eat dinner together then I sit down at my computer and he goes to the man cave. I spend about a half hour on social media before I shut down the internet. I strive for three hours of writing time an evening but I don’t always get that. I set daily goals and meet them about 80% of the time. I usually make up for my shortcomings on the weekends. I have been known to write fourteen + hours straight, with small breaks.

(EVW) This month during the January Book Blitz here, we're celebrating writers we admire - whether they're publishing independently or are signed with a major publishing house. You are the ones whose books are overloading our eReaders. What challenges have you faced as an independent author? What benefits have you seen? I imagine it's both scary and incredibly exciting. Please, share some of your experiences with us.
(JH) I never shopped these books with publishers or agents. I liked the idea of having control over my schedule, subject matter, editor, covers, etc. I purposely chose a tough editor because I wanted to make these books not only good, but memorable.

The biggest challenge has been finding readers and gaining reviews. Of course, my books have only been out a month so I’ve got a long way to go. When I experienced my first online bullying incident, I figured I’d hit a milestone. ;)

There are a lot of promotional avenues that are exclusively indie-author focused, which is a plus. I’ve tried to take advantage of those I can afford.

(EVW) What writers do you admire most? Who were your favorite authors growing up and what's on your bookshelf now?
(JH) I have so many books on my IPad it’s ridiculous. It’s an eclectic collection, to say the least. But, they’re all romances. I have always admired the work of Suzanne Brockmann, Karen Marie Moning, and Julie Garwood, among others. And, I’m always open to suggestions!

(EVW) Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring writers?
(JH) Join RWA and learn the writing craft. You only get one chance at a first impression. Make it the best it can be.

(EVW) It seems that all authors now need not only to be present in the social media world, but to be masters of it. What has been your experience? How can your fans help out? Do you have a Street Team that they can sign up for?
(JH) If I joined every social media outlet out there, I’d have to quit the day job. (Hey, I wonder if my dh would go for that?) There’s no way I could ever keep up with all of them. I’ve chosen Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and of course, my website to connect with readers. I’m lucky to keep up with those.

Opportunities like this are loads of fun. I love talking and engaging with readers online. I purposely chose a Facebook profile and not a fan page because I hate one-sided conversations. I want to be able to comment on reader’s posts, share links, etc.

I need to put together an official street team! I wanted to see how readers reacted to my books first. Now that it’s been a month since my release and response has been incredible, I need to research how to assemble one. If anyone is interested in joining my street team, please ask them to comment here. I’ll get back to them with details.

Joni, thanks again for taking the time to join us. You are incredibly gracious and it is an honor to host you here today. I'm looking forward to having you return with more D.I.R.E. stories, but until then best wishes for this great series. Now, could you tell us a little about what you're offering for the giveaway? One of the entry requirements is that they post a comment on the blog. Do you have a question they should answer?

The honor is mine, Emsy! Thanks so much for invitation. I’ve enjoyed it!

I have two giveaways. One is a D.I.R.E. t-shirt with a book cover of the winner’s choice, and the other is a signed, print copy of Agent I1: Tristan. International entrants are ok.

The question is… (drumroll please): If you could teleport into any romance novel you’ve read, which book would it be and what would you do when you got there?

In addition, I just want to let everyone know that each day this weekend on the blog we will be sharing an excerpt from different book. On Friday we'll share book one, on Saturday we'll share book two and a Saturday-only giveaway for a digital copy of book two and the same on Sunday with book three!

Thank you again so much for your kindness and generosity in joining us, Joni!


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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
TWO WINNERS
TWO GREAT PRIZES!


GIVEAWAY IS OPEN THROUGH MIDNIGHT 2 FEBRUARY 2014
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Being invisible had definite advantages - slipping in and out of rebel compounds, stealing enemy technology and weapons, and listening in on private conversations, to name a few. But none, not one, was more beneficial, more gratifying, more freaking hot, than watching Rachel Monroe dress in this church, undetected.
Tristan Jacobs ducked around the full-length mirror to get a better angle. His conscience told him he should be shot for standing there ogling Aidan’s sister. His former BUD/S teammate and swim buddy, Aidan Monroe, had saved his life once upon a time, and Tristan owed him.

Or, had owed him - until last night.

Living with the ability to see himself but not be seen by others had made Tristan’s job so much easier. He could honestly say this was the first time he had used his ability for personal, unscrupulous gain. The ability to teleport from one place to another with the scan of a thumbprint on his armband, had given him a whole new spin on time management.

His lower body hummed as he stared at the bare flesh highlighted in the sunrays shining through the skylight. Rachel was a goddess. Not in the supermodel, movie starlet sense. Those women did nothing for him. She came off more as the small town, girl next door, they-know-how-to-grow-‘em-down-on-the-farm-type goddess. And damn, was she blessed.

The push-up bra she wore urged him to text his broker and buy stock in women’s lingerie. If Rachel walked into the Stock Exchange wearing that thing, she could single-handedly revive Wall Street and the nation’s economy.

Tristan stifled a groan as she slowly rolled up an ivory silk stocking and hooked it to her garter. The woman’s legs were all kinds of long, her stomach flat and smooth. Her skin held the hint of a tan – even the cheeks peeking out of her ivory lace panties were tanned.

He took a steadying breath. Don’t go there, Jacobs.

Aidan had known calling in that favor was the only way Tristan would have left his long-awaited staycation in Trunk Bay. The hothead all but ordered Tristan to help save his older sister, the saint.

Tristan whistled mentally as Rachel shimmied into her fitted wedding gown. He had never seen a saint with curves like that.
Aidan could only blame himself for Tristan standing in the bride’s room of an old, Victorian church in Podunk, Texas, watching his sister don a wedding dress she wouldn’t use. He’d told Tristan to meet him there.

Aidan was late.

“You’re doing the right thing,” Rachel told her reflection as she smoothed the lace skirt over her hips. “This will fix everything for Mom.”

Tristan frowned. No, you’re not doing the right thing. I did the right thing for you.

He’d crashed Cody Brewster’s bachelor party last night. Of course, no one had seen him there but Aidan. Tristan had seen first-hand what an arrogant ass Rachel’s fiancĂ© could be. 

Chapter 1 

In order to be a true super-agent, a man needed a pair of breasts and a push up bra.

Cassandra Naylor zipped up her black jacket as she stepped over the unconscious D.I.R.E. agent lying in the hospital’s fourth floor corridor. Men were such predictable animals. Flash them some perky cleavage and they were distracted like an ADD child at an amusement park.

Slipping off her high heel pumps, Cassandra shoved them into her tote and jogged down the hall barefoot. It hadn’t taken much to hack into the hospital’s computer network and find her father’s name on the patient roster. What had scared the manure out of her was his location: Fourth Floor ICU.

According to the hospital’s map, ICU was on the second floor.

Finding a door marked ICU, Cassandra pushed it open and peeked around the corner. She gasped. Big, rugged Robert Naylor lay pale and unconscious, a myriad of tubes and wires connecting him to an intimidating group of machines. An oxygen mask covered his face, a ventilator at his bedside. 



 CONGRATULATIONS TO SATURDAY'S GIVEAWAY WINNER - JENNIFER HECKER!
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“I thought I’d seen the last of this damned hospital.”

Dar walked beside Tristan in the third floor corridor of Creekmore General. Mitchell had stopped at the nurse’s station to ask of Brentwood’s whereabouts while they went to find Jocelyn Chalmers.

“If Rachel and I have kids down the road, we’ll expect you to be here for the deliveries. Get used to the place.”

“Kids? You mean we’ll have mini-teleporters running around? Babysitting could get interesting if the kids turn invisible at will.”

Laughing, they came up on Jocelyn’s room. Kids. Damn. He couldn’t imagine having children. He’d never met a woman-

Someone blindsided him in the doorway, knocking him into Tristan.

“Help me, please. They’re coming.”

A tiny, petite woman shook him. Her dark, nearly black eyes were wide with fright, her hands shaking where they clutched his biceps. Dark bruises covered the left side of her face and circled her eye, with a mishmash of scratches marring her forehead and nose. She had a split upper lip and a chin scraped and dotted with blood.

TO CONTINUE READING THE REST OF THIS EXCERPT FROM BOOK THREE, AGENT T3: D'ARTAGNAN AND ENTER SUNDAY'S SPECIAL GIVEAWAY FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN YOUR OWN DIGITAL COPY OF THE BOOK, CLICK HERE!
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THE D.I.R.E. AGENCY SERIES
BOOKS 1 - 3 
BY JONI HAHN
(Read Emsy's review)


D.I.R.E Agency Book 1
Indie Inked
Pub Date Dec 14 2013
ISBN 5269875691309
Price $0.00 (FREE)

Agent I1: Tristan Jacobs

Credentials:
• Second generation Former Navy SEAL
• DIRE’s top agent
Enhancements:
• Teleportation
• Invisibility

Raised in the art of warfare, Former Navy SEAL, Tristan Jacobs, has always been a force to reckon with. Now that D.I.R.E. has successfully implemented his scientific enhancements, he’s a walking weapon. Unstoppable, as long as he stays focused. No relationships.

When ex-BUD/S teammate, Aidan Monroe, interrupts his long-awaited sabbatical to call in a favor, Tristan reluctantly fills the simple request: take out his sister’s fiancĂ©.

One problem: Rachel Monroe - smokin’ hot, kind-hearted, and in desperate need of a protector. After the best sex of his life, Tristan’s afraid unstoppable is just a memory. Knowing Aidan’s temper, Tristan could be, too.

Rachel Monroe had a plan to help her mother. Her brother ruined everything when his gorgeous, super-agent friend teleported her to some forsaken island - and his bed. She’s drawn to him despite the fact he’s a professional agent, much like the people suspected of killing her father.

Now, his enemies have come to her small town, looking for vengeance. Have they found more than they bargained for? Or, does the past have its own retribution in mind?

Add Agent I1: Tristan (The D.I.R.E. Agency #1) to your Goodreads shelf



D.I.R.E Agency Book 2
Indie Inked
Pub Date Dec 10 2013
ASIN B00H9XI6FC
Price $3.99

Agent E2: Aidan Monroe

Credentials:
• Second generation Former Navy SEAL
• DIRE’s latest SEAL acquisition
Enhancements:
• Electrical Conductor

Former Navy SEAL, Aidan Monroe, embraces risk. Show him a hint of danger – or a beautiful woman - and he’s all over it. The only commitments in his life: his new D.I.R.E. enhancements and finding his father’s killers.

Cassandra Naylor, daughter of D.I.R.E.’s greatest foe, has one goal in mind: save her father and twin brother. However, she didn’t bank on D.I.R.E.’s superpowers, or Aidan Monroe’s irresistible appeal.

Cassandra can’t ignore the scorching electricity between her and Aidan. When their passion is unleashed after a night of dangerous, life-changing events, Cassandra knows there’s no going back. Yet, giving in to her feelings guarantees her father’s vengeful wrath.

While they fight their attraction for one another, traitors from the past, and death-defying circumstances force shocking revelations to the surface.

Can their love overcome history and betrayal? Or, will the past rob them of any future they have together?

Add Agent E2: Aidan (The D.I.R.E. Agency #2) to your Goodreads shelf

Purchase Agent E2: Aidan from Amazon

D.I.R.E Agency Book 3
Indie Inked
Pub Date Dec 9 2013
ASIN B00H9XIVX4
Price $3.99

Agent T3: d-Artagnan Naylor

Credentials:
• Rebel son of Former Navy SEAL
• Trained under his father
Enhancements:
• Time Travel

d’Artagnan (Dar) Naylor: trained by the best, disciplined by the toughest, and raised by the vilest - his father. He bought into Robert Naylor’s life of crime, until he learned the reasons behind it.

Now, he possesses enhancements installed by The D.I.R.E. Agency – an organization he once called enemy. He has to stop the traitors from the past before they destroy the future. And, despite what they say, his decision has nothing whatsoever to do with retro beauty, Jocelyn Chalmers.

Jocelyn wakes up in the future without a memory. All she’s certain of is the fear in her gut and her blinding attraction to gorgeous, protective D.I.R.E. agent, d’Artagnan Naylor.

When close quarters prove too much for their passionate hunger, Dar knows his future is destined for hard decisions. Once Jocelyn’s memory returns, she begs Dar to return to the year nineteen forty-four and save the world.

Yet, to change the past, changed the future. How can they be certain of the consequences of his actions? How can he return her to the past where she belongs after all they’ve shared?

Turbulent times come to a head when the past sends its own version of destruction to the future in the midst of long-awaited retribution.

Can Dar escape his past to save the future? Or, does fate have its own reckoning in mind?

Add Agent T3: d'Artagnan (The D.I.R.E. Agency #3) to your Goodreads shelf
Purchase Agent T3: d'Artagnan from Amazon

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About Joni

By day, Joni Hahn keeps her secret decoder ring hidden while she works as a mild-mannered HR manager and accounting generalist. She believes the world can never have too many superheroes, and anxiously waits for the call when one will need help saving the world… or getting into his costume. Joni was born with a hopelessly tender heart and believes there is nothing on earth more exhilarating than falling in love (Other than the rear shot of Chris Evans in The Avengers - that was pretty darn exhilarating). A native Texan, she thinks cowboys are the epitome of masculinity, and that country music is the other soul music. 

Joni's three-book sci fi romance series, The D.I.R.E. Agency, is available now. Flirting for Dimwits, Book 1 in her contemporary romantic comedy series, The Royal Texans, will be released in 2014.

Keep in touch with Joni on Social Media
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EXTRAS



What was the Philadelphia Experiment???
according to: 


REMEMBER to add your comment below to enter the GIVEAWAY
Two great prizes - Two chances to win
Entry open till 2 February 2014!
 GIVEAWAY QUESTION FROM JONI: 
If you could teleport into any romance novel you’ve read, 
which book would it be and what would you do when you got there?