Love Under Fire

Please join me in welcoming, Denise Agnew, multi-published and award winning author of an eclectic mixture of romances; contemporary, paranormal, suspense, and historical.

Denise joins me for a quick chat and we will be introducing you to Denise’s latest Trilogy, LOVE UNDER FIRE.

The Interview:

Selena: I know how much you enjoy Halloween, so thinking back what was your most memorable costume?

Denise: I always wanted to wear a witch costume. Always. BUT, I’d have to say when I was a kid I remember wearing a tiger costume one year. As an adult my most memorable costume was a French maid.

Selena: French maid, huh? I bet that launched a great time in the Agnew household, but I won’t ask you to expand since this is not a reality TV show where all private matters are exposed for the world to see. Speaking of reality TV, what’s your take on its popularity?

Denise: I think there are a few reality TV shows that aren’t bad if they are actual documentaries. When reality includes cruelty, snark, humiliation, and manufactured drama (which is what most of it is), then I don’t touch it with a ten foot poll. I don’t believe in censoring what’s on TV, but I also think if people are going to watch this stuff with their kids they ought to make it clear to the children that this is NOT the way to treat people and that cruelty and never-ending snark isn’t a good thing. I’ve seen a lot of that snarky attitude translate into social media/blogs and I have to admit I personally don’t care for it. It’s hard to say if it’s a chicken or the egg thing. Did people start becoming extraordinarily snarky and cruel because reality TV teaches children (and adults) that it is “okay” to be mean, or were people mean and the reality TV grew out of that. Obviously there are a lot of screwed up individuals out there both in reality TV and social media, and we’ve given them a bigger platform.

Selena: I agree with the mean-spirited type of reality shows and how that SHOWS impressionable children and teens that it’s cool and can even garner some kind of fame by being a bully and nasty. I wrote a blog about my disdain for shows like Toddlers and Tiara’s and Dance Moms. I think social media gives the bullies a larger platform, and it may have created some snark, from people who wouldn’t ordinarily be snarky, but find it easier to do since they can’t be seen. I think it’s more fun to play with fictional characters and give them a snarky attitude. 

Which brings me to my next question. If you could bring any of your characters to life and hang out with this character for the whole day, which one would you choose? What activity would you suggest you do with this character?

onelondonnight_200Denise: That’s a good question. Uh…um…uh….I have a lot of characters to remember. Probably the heroine in my novel One London Night. She’s from my parent’s era (WW2), and I feel her and I would have a lot in common, even though we’re from different time periods. We would tour London all day, I think.

Selena: When I asked you this question, my mind went to one of your hot military hero’s. *S* What draws you to write military heroes?

Denise: I’ve been surrounded by military people off and on through my whole life, so that’s part of it. Probably because of the patriotism, and the fact that these heroes can be both tough, tender, and protective at the same time. The mental toughness it can take to survive a military career, especially if you’ve been deployed to war zones, is a fascinating subject for me. Hey, my fascination goes on every day. My hubby was in the army for twenty years.

Selena: Speaking from personal experience and I know your husband is the same, a writer’s spouse is that extra lifeline we have and our best cheerleader, and with your husband having been in the military, I’m sure he provides invaluable research information. It’s evident in your military romances, they are authentic.

Choosing the heroine in One London Night is a good choice and touring London would be a great adventure, especially if you could travel back in time. If could put you in a time machine and get you back to your teen years, what advice would you give to an 18 year old Denise?

Denise:  That things will get better and that all that stuff that felt so important when we were teens isn’t important at all when you’re fifty. Well, it isn’t if you’ve matured and found some good balance and understanding in your life.

 Selena: Great advice and now for authors who would like to take on a trilogy, what do you think is the biggest challenge a writer faces when writing a trilogy?

Denise: Making sure each book is fresh, the plot is different in each story, and that the characters don’t sound too much alike. That being said, in this trilogy there were so many close ties that weaving all the bits and pieces together and keeping them straight was a huge challenge. Write a series and the same thing applies only ten fold. One of the reasons I don’t write a ton of series books is because it is twice as hard for me to engender enthusiasm in my own creativity when you’re dealing with some of the same characters and similar situations.

Selena: I would imagine it is difficult to have all the different couples maintain a different voice and even personalities. If one hero is comedic, then the writer needs to ensure the other hero doesn’t emulate the same type of humor. Quite a challenge. I love humor in books, movies, life in general and there are so many funny quotes out there in social media-land. Do you have a favorite quote that made you laugh out loud?

Denise: Oh my God. *LOL* That’s tough! I love Groucho Marx. Since we’re talking books, I’ll quote one of his:

“From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.” 

Selena: *LOL* I like that one! Denise, thanks for joining me on the blog today. Sudden Heat and Under Fire are both available. Can you let the readers know what to expect in the final installment of the trilogy?

Denise: As a therapist Lena Williams has worked with damaged vets and never wants a relationship with one. So her lust at first sight with sexy Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Rick Frasier is off the menu. Rick has never shied from danger or risk taking, but the overwhelming attraction he feels for Lena sends him into a tailspin. As they battle their feelings and escape a gunman intent on mayhem, they’ll find there’s a firestorm of desire inside them as furious and intense as any threat.

Selena: I really enjoyed all three and recommend the books to readers who love some suspense, heat, great sex scenes and hero’s who are trained to protect and serve.

Here are the book covers and blurbs and links for the first two books in the trilogy. Available at Amazon, Ellora’s Cave and other outlets where e-books are sold.

suddenheat_200Where do you yearn to be in the face of danger? In the arms of a man bound to serve, to protect and to love…

Librarian Melanie Falconer knows too well the horrors of war. Military men, as far as she’s concerned, are off the marriage menu. As maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding, she makes a mall run and lands straight into the arms of seriously hot marine Matt Frasier, the best man. Matt has seen too much violence, and his heavy attraction to Melanie promises to soothe his soul and set his body on fire. Gunfire erupts, the game is on, and Melanie and Matt fight for their lives and the heat exploding between them.

Inside Scoop: The couples in the Love Under Fire series find love through the crucible of a mall shooting event.


underfire_200When the stakes are high, there’s only one man she’ll trust when danger rips her world apart.

Kathleen McSwain truly understands the saying “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”. Was she nuts the day she agreed to be a bridesmaid for the eighth time? Especially when it means she’ll be in close proximity to rugged Army Major Jake Frasier-the man she fell in love with when they were in high school.

Being out of control is the last thing Kathleen wants, and Jake tempts her to be the wild woman she used to be. Jake is too hot, too disturbing, too stirring for her blood. But when gunfire strikes close, the fight for survival will forge a bond deeper than they ever imagined.




10 responses to “Love Under Fire”

  1. So, I just checked out the titles above and Denise’s previous books on Amazon – Wow! How have I not read one of her books yet? I love paranormal and military romance and Denise’s sound terrific.

    I’ve read my share of historical romances, too, but they aren’t what I’m in to at the moment.

    On snark: I’m not sure I’ve ever linked hate with it. I’m not sure why, but it may be that I haven’t watched TV consistently in years. I guess I’m hopeful not to become snarky myself, if that’s the case. I guess my humor would be more in the category of quirky or twisted, maybe. Drama is draining, but my mind does come up with a lot of it from time to time…and I just blurt it out. Friends and my family who put up with this deserve a medal or something. Lol.

    I have a question for Denise, if she doesn’t mind giving me a tip or two – I’d be ever so grateful:

    You mentioned in the interview: …”That being said, in this trilogy there were so many close ties that weaving all the bits and pieces together and keeping them straight was a huge challenge.”

    I have 3 books going in a trilogy at this very moment and am finding the same thing VERY challenging! By what means DO you keep the close ties and details straight as you go along? Flashcards? Maps? Character bios? Notes in your word processor? Stick – It notes? Family trees? All of the above?

    Thanks for your thoughts. Apologies for writing a novel here. Maybe we could sell it for free. Lol.


    1. Hi, Laurie, thanks for dropping by. Yes, Denise is an eclectic writer, and I do encourage you to check out her books. 🙂


  2. Great interview, I don’t watch any reality TV and quite frankly cannot see the attraction to them. I want my fiction whether it’s TV or books to be as far away from reality as it can get. Denise your books sound intriguing and are on my TBR 🙂


    1. Thank you Heidi! Hope you get a chance to read them and enjoy. 🙂


    2. I agree, Heidi. I don’t mind reading about drama or crazy ass families in a fiction novel, but not interesting in watching real families on TV being totally crazy.


  3. Hi Laurie, thanks so much for commenting! 🙂 And I’m pleased you’ve discovered my stories. 🙂 Hope you get a chance to read some of them or all of them. To answer your question about keeping the bits and pieces together for a trilogy, a few years back I started using Scrivener software to write my stories and I can keep character charts, research, everything right in the Scrivener document for that book. That being said, I’m a real pantser, so there are a lot of things I don’t keep straight in a first draft and when I go back and revise that’s when I fix things. Also, my critique partner might catch something and my beta reader might catch another thing. I don’t use a lot of the features in the Scrivener software or the pantser side of me would lose my mind I think. 🙂 Character sheets with the details on their personalities and anything I want to remember about them works well for me.


    1. Thanks, Denise! A fellow romantic suspense author from a writer’s meeting recently mentioned she used Scrivener, too. She recently won So You Think You Can Write, a contest through Harlequin. If it helps the both of you, it may could help me, too. I will check it out.

      I also have a group of beta readers and am a pantser, myself. Glad I’m not the only one who writes like a hot mess trying to get through to the end of a rough draft! Lol. Thanks! Looking forward to reading your books 🙂

      Enjoyed reading the interview, Selena. Looking forward to Once Upon A Kiss, too 😉


      1. Hey there Laurie! Sounds like you’ve got it handled girl! A hot mess is what makes a good book. Creativity and the joy of creating can become a drudge if it’s always constructed, controlled and manipulated in the first round. At least that is what happens to ME if I try to control too much on the first draft. Scrivener isn’t for every pantser because all of the details can boggle the mind. That’s why I just use the bits I like and don’t use the rest. 🙂


        1. I love outlining and being detailed, but Scrivener sounds a bit too much even for someone like me. Laurie, Denise gave you great advice. I think every author will find her own groove on how to forge ahead or organize her thoughts, whether plotter or panster. Good luck!


  4. Best of luck with this trilogy, Denise. Love the covers — and the titiles!


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