Thursday, February 21, 2013

Goddess Fish: "The Seven Year Itch" by S.D. Skye Virtual Book Tour (Ends 3/8) U.S./CAN


The Seven Year Itch
 (A J.J. McCall Novel – the FBI Series)
by S. D. Skye

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BLURB:

Her Family Was Vexed With a Generational Curse. Now for Lie Detecting FBI Spy Catcher J.J. McCall, the Truth is in The Seven Year Itch.

FBI Special Agent J.J. McCall is a born lie detector who recruits foreign spies to catch American traitors. She and co-case agent Tony Donato have lost two of their most critical Russian sources in the past two years, and they may lose another in just a few short days if they don’t catch him, The ICE PHANTOM, a rumored insider spy more insidious and elusive than Ames and Hanssen combined. They suspect he might be burrowed deep inside FBI counterintelligence—and his body count is going up.

Drawn into an unsanctioned mole hunt, they have a week to catch him, save a key source’s life—and their own. While J.J.’s lie detecting ability helps them narrow down the list of suspects, the lie she tells to herself may help the ICE PHANTOM defect to Moscow and get away with the murder of the man she loves.

Skye's debut FBI Series, filled with mystery, espionage, romance, and suspense, will keep you burning through the pages until J.J. catches the very last spy.
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Excerpt
J.J searched for serenity in bottom of a Belvedere bottle. The wait for his sugar-coated lies had dragged on for too long, and she’d lost patience. After glancing around the small reception area to ensure no one was watching, she removed from her purse a silver flask and smiled. It was filled to the brim with relief. One small gulp and the soothing burn slipped down her throat, calming her prickly nerves. Inside she felt on the brink of dissolution. The 10 am swallow was just a necessary evil. It would get her through the meeting, until time for her next dose of repose.

Another dead source. She couldn’t stomach the thought of his demise. Two had been more than her fair share. The unceasing cycle of loss had worn her resolve thin. She’d refused to let another family suffer that pain if she could in any way prevent it. J.J. wanted to tell the FBI where to stick her badge and gun, but she had promises to keep. Promises to Viktor. Promises to herself. No matter what Cartwright said, she’d see her case through until the end. And the end was as near as nightfall because the op was simple and would go off without a hitch.

J.J. stiffened her back and squared her shoulders as the elixir took effect. Her posture mirrored that of the powerful yet graceful eagle perched atop her FBI badge. She’d eyed it, waiting for the carefully choreographed denial and deception ritual to begin.

Guest Post (by the author)
I always draw on my life and career experiences when developing new characters for my novels. The main character from my upcoming FBI Thriller series, FBI Agent J.J. McCall, is no different. She's actually very loosely based on an FBI Agent I worked with during my 12 year tenure at the Bureau. Of all the agents I worked with, and I worked with quite a few, she always stood out in my mind for many reasons.

One reason she clings to my memory is that she was, at least at the time, the only African-American female agent assigned to catch Russian spies. The only one I'd ever seen. She was maybe 5'2 or 5'3--completely unimposing. She was like a doll who you wanted to sit next to a fluffed pillow and comb her hair--but ALWAYS wearing a really sharp pantsuit. And she looked like she was about 12 years old. Okay, not 12, but not much older. Certainly she looked as young as I was at the time and I was in my late 20s. I would see her walking in and out of the Russian operational units and wondered why she was there. She seemed completely out of place.
Understand, Russian counterintelligence at the FBI has generally been dominated by white men and a few white women. African-Americans usually served in clerical support positions. That's not an indictment on racism, just a statement of fact within this particular program. So, to see this petite 12 year old African American female FBI agent wandering around the halls of the Hoover Building was in and of itself an anomaly. Imagine my shock and surprise when I found out that not only was she an agent, she was a Supervisory Special Agent assigned to work Espionage cases.

What?

Had I been dropped into some alternate universe? From that point on, I wondered what must she have endured to rise to that position. How many jerks (and the FBI had more than its share) did she have to tolerate? How many slots had she been passed up on before she got this one? How many snide remarks did people squawk behind her back? How many people told her (or at least thought) she'd have problems recruiting sources because of the color of her skin? How did she persevere?

Then one day I found out. As an analyst, I had been assigned to work on a joint intelligence community task force which was formed to find the source of some intelligence compromises. And the agent assigned to the case was the 12 year old. Only she wasn't. I remember, we stepped into the State Department lobby for the meeting and she tried to whisper her birth date--which was in the 1950s!

I caught myself saying out loud, "Are you freaking kidding me?!" Okay, I didn’t say freaking but you get the idea.

Trust me, if I looked her age and had a birth date in the 1950s I would print it on a T-shirt and proudly prance around with it on every moment I could. As it turned out, not only was she a lot older than I thought but she was also one of the sharpest agents I'd ever met--man or woman, black, white, or otherwise. She walked into the meeting and commanded it. Not in a "step out of my way I'm FBI" kind of way, but in a "this issue is too important to dilly dally with, let's get to business" kind of way. And she had an innate ability to drill through the sea of BS floating about the room to get to the point.

Somewhere, in the far recesses of my mind, I told myself that I would write a story about women like her someday. Even though I'm not sure I could conceive that I would be a published author just a few years after leaving the Bureau or writing a series for publication, she sowed a seed in me.

The character's name--J.J. McCall (Jasmine Jones McCall)--actually came to me in a dream. I woke up and yelled it out one morning a few years ago not long after I finished my first novel. And it stuck with me, even as I kept putting the idea for this novel on the back burner. I didn't immediately plan to give the FBI Agent character this name but when I would think about it, I thought it just sounded perfect for the person I'd planned to write. She's kind of Salt meets Alex Cross.

J.J.’s and my life have several similarities. J.J. followed in her mother’s footsteps when she joined the FBI; her mother was an agent during the J. Edgar Hoover era. I actually followed in my mother’s footsteps when I joined the FBI as she worked there during the Hoover era. Also, my father and brother are both former DC police officers. J.J.’s brother Malcolm is a DC police officer. Believe it or not, I truly had not actually planned these similarities and didn’t really notice them until I started writing blogs about the book and was like “Hmmm, if I didn’t know better I’d think I wrote this book.” In truth, these elements were added in order to help me move the plot forward and it just kind of happened. It just goes to show how your life can inspire storylines even subconsciously. 

So, that’s how the series was inspired. The FBI Espionage Series is a planned five-book series, including The Seven Year Itch, Son of a Itch, A No Good Itch, Life’s an Itch, and An Itch in Time. Each book will feature a different case so that it stands alone to some degree, but certain plot elements related to J.J.’s history and the romantic entanglements resulting from this love triangle won’t be resolved until the last book. 
I’m excited about this project. I’m sure it won’t appeal to everyone, as no book does, but I think those readers inclined to give it a chance won’t be disappointed. Twist and turn is my middle name.  

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Bio and any links you want to include (Website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, as well as buy links for your book, etc) in an attached .doc or .rtf file

S.D. Skye is a former FBI Russian Counterintelligence Program Intelligence Analyst and supported several key cases during her 12-year tenure at the Bureau. She has personally witnessed the blowback the Intelligence Community suffered due to the most significant compromises in U.S. history, including the arrests of former CIA Case Officer Aldrich Ames and two of the Bureau's own--FBI Agents Earl Pitts and Robert Hanssen. She has spent 20 years supporting counterintelligence, intelligence, and military missions in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

An award-winning author of romantic comedies in her other life, Skye is a member of the Maryland Writer's Association, Romance Writers of America, and International Thriller Writers. She's addicted to writing and chocolate--not necessarily in that order--and currently lives in the Washington D.C. area with her son. Skye is hard at work on the next installment of the series.




Buy Links

Ebook


Paperback



S.D. will be awarding a Kindle Fire to a randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour. (US/CANADA ONLY)

Be sure to follow the entire tour for more chances to win!








7 comments:

  1. This sounds really good. I am glad it will be a series.

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  2. How interesting that your mom also worked for the FBI! Wasn't it unusual for women to work at the Bureau in those years? It sounds like your family could sway a lot of awesome stories (and maybe scary ones too) at the dinner table!

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  3. Thank you so much for hosting this leg of the tour this morning!! So excited about this virtual blog tour and glad you're joining in. Don't forget to leave your comment on this and any tour stop for the chance to win a Kindle Fire and a $25 gift card. The more stops you visit, the better your chances to win.

    @Catherine--yes, my family is quite interesting! In addition to my mom, dad, and brother, most of my uncles served in the military all brances except Navy. And one of my uncles was a senior executive at the CIA for 30-something years. So, we're government folks from way back.

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  4. Thanks for the interesting post. I love to hear about women who you would NEVER think to be doing the jobs they are and doing them well :)

    Good luck on the rest of the tour

    carrie dot rogozinski at gmail.com

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  5. I totally loved this guest post! If you write in your books the way you do here I will LOVE the Seven Year Itch!

    andralynn7ATgmailDOTcom

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  6. The Seven Year Itch sounds wonderful and the excerpt was perfect, enough to intrigue me. Thank you for sharing it!
    uilani25(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

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