the Characters of Paula Graves


As a child, Paula Graves's favorite books were Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries and Harlequin Romances. When she realized there were books that featured both romance and mystery, she knew she'd found her calling. Now Paula writes for Harlequin Intrigue, where she gets to play both matchmaker and murderer and has a blast doing it. She loves to hear from her readers, who can reach her by clicking the contact button on her website.

When Angi asked me to do a character interview this month for my May Harlequin Intrigue release, The Man from Gossamer Ridge, I decided to employ a game the characters in my Cooper Justice series play occasionally. Rather than try to explain it, I think I'll let me characters do it instead...

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Oh no, guys, Gabe's going for the cards.

Gabe: They asked for a Q & A. They didn't specify how they we were going to do it.

Alicia: Well, at least explain the game for the reading audience so they're not confused.

Gabe: The game is called Popsmack.

Alicia: Cooper family legend has it that the name was derived from the fights the game usually sparked.

Gabe: Not legend. That's the truth. I think it was Sam who named it that. Said that's all he could hear from our room whenever we played it.

Alicia: Popsmack can be played for good or for evil. You guys usually played it for evil.

Gabe: Have y'all noticed how she says "you guys"? Bless her little yankee heart.

Alicia: Yeah, bite me, Bo Duke. You going to get around to dealing or not?

Gabe: Okay--here's how the game works. Only two people can play at a time.

Alicia: Because three or more could cause a riot--

Gabe: Split the deck evenly between you and then you each lay out a card at the same time. Person holding the high card gets to ask the person holding the low card any question he wants, and she has to answer honestly.

Alicia: Note that he's already assuming it's the male who'll win. Maybe I should deal the deck.

Gabe: Have at it.

Alicia: Okay, ready. Deal the first card: Well, darn-- three of hearts.

Gabe: Hah, ten of spades. Let's see...what shall I ask?

Alicia: I'm not answering some questions in front of an audience.

Gabe: But the rules, baby--

Alicia: Don't push me.

Gabe: Okay, okay. Why did you pick Mill Valley University for your doctoral studies?

Alicia: I loved the town--small, very southern. So different from where I grew up in San Francisco, but not at all in a bad way. Plus, the criminal psychology program at Mill Valley is one of the hidden jewels of higher education. The head of the department is this brilliant, brilliant man who did pioneering studies on the criminal brain. Dr. Fanning was one of the primary draws for me.

Gabe: Is he hot or something?

Alicia: Oh, for Pete's sake. Deal the next card. Hah! Queen of Diamonds.

Gabe: Eight of clubs. Okay, I can take it. Hit me with it, baby.

Alicia: I know how much you love fishing. What's your best fishing memory ever?

Gabe: I bet you think it's the time Jake and I won that pairs tournament on Falcon Lake. Which was totally sweet and made us enough money to start our guiding service. But that's not it. There was this time when I was a teenager--

Alicia: If this involves a Chickasaw County High School cheerleader, I don't want to hear it.

Gabe: Chickasaw County Pee Wee Football League cheerleader, actually. I was the one who took my niece Cissy fishing the time she caught her first bluegill. I think she was maybe four years old. Never seen a kid more excited. She's still a heck of a fisherman.

Alicia: She keeps threatening to take me out crappie fishing at night. I guess if I'm going to call myself a Cooper, I need to get into the whole fishing experience.

Gabe: Don't worry, sugar, I'll bait your hook for you any time. Unless I have a bite or something.

Alicia: My hero.

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Find out more about Cooper Justice and this THREE book COLD CASE series in Angi's April 13th interview with RITA FINALIST Paula Graves.

The Man from Gossamer Ridge
Harlequin Intrigue - May 2011

Gabe Cooper missed the chance to stop his sister-in-law's brutal murder by thirty inexcusable minutes. And even though the man responsible for Brenda Cooper's murder is dead, Gabe can't forgive himself for his mistake. So when his motherless niece Cissy leaves him an urgent message to visit her at college, Gabe drops everything to go. But he's not prepared for what his niece tells him. Cissy believes her mother's murder isn't solved at all. Worse, she's basing her beliefs solely on the theories of a pretty psychology instructor who looks more like a co-ed herself than any one he should take seriously. Alicia Solano believes the dead man had been only one of a pair of serial killers responsible for not only Brenda's death but dozens of murders across three southern states. And now there have been two new murders that fit the profile. There's still a killer out there, and he's found a new partner.

Hitched and Hunted
Harlequin Intrigue - April 2011

Cooper Vengeance

Harlequin Intrigue - June 2011

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So, Gabe and Alicia, folks! They may be feeling a little lighthearted today, but their story has plenty of chills and thrills, and their investigation breaks a decade old cold case wide open. Visit my website to find out more about The Man From Gossamer Ridge and where you can purchase a copy of your own.

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for your Romance Writers of America 2011 RITA FINALIST.

Do you have any questions for Gabe and Alicia? Ask it here and I'll draw a name from among the commenters to win a $25 eGiftcard from the online book store of your choice!

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an electronic Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

You can find Paula at her website: http://www.paulagraves.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paula-Graves/115479116348
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Paula_Graves

LIKE us on Facebook or FOLLOW us on Twitter to keep track of who's next to "Get Lost". Come back Friday when Heather hosts Kris Kennedy & tomorrow with Sarah MacLean. Til next week when I host Intrigue Author BJ Daniels. ~~Angi

GOT A QUESTION FOR PAULA? Next month we're hosting a READERS' Q&A. Just send me your question and Paula will answer it here on the blog to celebrate the third book of her series: COOPER VENGEANCE. You can post your question directly to me, Paula, leave it on Facebook, tweet it. However you'd like to get it to us. We'll be drawing for free books and a Barnes & Nobel giftcard from those asking questions.

Don't forget to ask Gabe and Alicia a question today! Commentators are eligible for a B&N gift card.


  1. Welcome back to GLIAS Paula. My apologies for the late post. But what an exciting interview!

    I love finding out more about my favorite characters.


  2. Thanks, Angi! Thrilled to be here. I love playing Q & A with my characters, because what comes out is usually humorous, and I don't get to play with the humorous aspects of my characters as much in the middle of the action and danger.

  3. Gabe... Do you look anything like the cover of THE MAN FROM GOSSAMER RIDGE? ~~Angi

  4. Hello Cooper, Alicia & Paula!

    I just received my Harlequin order on Monday and guess whose story is sitting on my TBR shelf at this very minute? Yep that would be The Man from Gossamer Ridge. After that awesome Q&A I'll have to move it up to the top of the list.

    I guess my question is for Alicia. The Cooper family seems pretty rowdy based on your Q&A. How did you react to them when you were first introduced? Were feathers ruffled? ;)

  5. Sorry about that I meant to say Gabe, not Cooper. LOL

  6. Hi Paula, welcome to GLIAS. Love the interview. Congrats on the 2011 Rita final. I can't wait to cheer you on at Nationals!

  7. Congrats on the new book! I love books in a series and cannot wait to add these books to my wish list!

  8. Loved the character interview, Paula! And congratulations on the RITA nom!

  9. Is this man available to baiting hooks in Georgia? He sounds wonderful!

  10. I love him! Can I borrow him to catch me some fish...

  11. Cute interview, y'all! :-)
    So, if one of your books was made into a movie, which one would you love it to be and who would be your dream cast?
    Nice chatting with ya!

  12. Angi asked: Gabe... Do you look anything like the cover of THE MAN FROM GOSSAMER RIDGE?

    Gabe: I like to think I'm not nearly that scowly. And I'm better-looking, of course.

    Alicia: So humble, so self-deprecating.

    Gabe: I try.

  13. Stacie asks: The Cooper family seems pretty rowdy based on your Q&A. How did you react to them when you were first introduced? Were feathers ruffled?

    Alicia: Well, the first Cooper I met was Gabe's niece Cissy, who was a student of mine at the time. So I had a sort of long-distance introduction to the family through her long before any others of them came to town.

    Gabe: Lies, all lies.

    Alicia: No, they weren't all lies. She told me that she had a handsome uncle I should meet--

    Gabe: ...she got that right--

    Alicia: --if only he weren't already engaged to be married. Alas, Aaron was already taken.

    Gabe: You're making stuff up now.

    Alicia: I'm from a small, comfortably affluent family from San Francisco--both of my parents are professors at Berkeley. They were radicals in the 60s--all the rage in academia these days. I'm not ashamed of them, exactly--I respect their passion, even if my passions lie in different directions. All that to say, the Cooper are practically the opposites of my parents--open and warm and salt-of-the-earth. I feel more at home among them than I did at home.

  14. Hi, Cat! And thanks. You'll have to cheer in my place--I can't make it to nationals this year. I'm hoping through my disappointment that it means I'll probably win, since that would be my luck!

  15. Thank you, Sherie! I hope you enjoy them!

  16. Thanks, Maureen! It was very exciting to get that call about the Rita final! I think I grinned the whole day at work, and nobody else knew why!

  17. Mary and Nas, you both wanted to fish with Gabe. Here's his answer:

    Gabe: I'm for hire, ladies. Just call the Cooper Cove Marina and Fishing camp, make an appointment (half days or full day available) and my sister Hannah will put you on the schedule.

    Uh, that is what you were asking about, right? There wasn't some sort of sexy double entendre in asking if I'd bait your hook--?

    Alicia: You are such a guy.

    Gabe: And aren't you glad?

  18. Chelsea, I would love all of my stories to be made into movies! I wish Lifetime movie and Harlequin Intrigue would make a deal to make some of our stories--I think they'd make fantastic suspense movies with a strong female appeal.

    Of my own book, I think the one I'd love to see made into a movie is One Tough Marine. I'd cast Timothy Olyphant as Luke Cooper, but I can't think of the right actress for Abby Chandler.

  19. Paula, I'm so late, forgive me. But I loved Gabe and Alicia's Q&A. Congratulations on your RITA final. You didn't ask them how they felt about that! I can guess their creators very excited. Well done! Can we still download The Man from Gosammer Ridge. Fantastic blurb!

  20. Paula, I love when characters talk to each other, completely bypassing the author. Great interview. Your stories sound so intriguing.

  21. Hi Paula...and another late welcome to GLIAS! I'd like to add my congrats on your RITA final, as well.

    Thank you for the enjoyable interview and best of luck in NYC in June!

  22. Thanks Donnell! You should be able to download The Man from Gossamer Ridge from most places right now. You can definitely download it from eHarlequin. (And the June book, Cooper Vengeance, too).

  23. Abigail, I love to do these character interviews, especially when there are two of them talking. I love writing dialogue in my books, so these Q & As are just extensions of that.

    Thanks Heather! I'm thrilled about the RITA final, and thanks for the good wishes for the awards ceremony!

  24. Congrats on the RITA nomination, Paula. I do want to know if Dr. Fanning is hot. I want to ask Alicia what Gabe's biggest flaw is.

  25. Forgot to post the winner: Mary Marvella you've won the $25 eCard. Send your email address to: GetLostInAStory@gmail.com and I'll make certain Paula gets it ASAP.

    Thanks for participating !