Janie Crouch loves to read – almost exclusively romance – and has been doing so since middle school. She cut her teeth on Harlequin (Mills & Boon) Romances when she lived in Wales, UK as a preteen, then moved on to a passion for romantic suspense as an adult. Her favorite authors include: Linda Howard, Nora Roberts, and Elizabeth Lowell.
Janie recently relocated with her husband and four children to Germany (due to her husband's job as support for the U.S. Military), after living in Virginia for nearly 20 years. When she’s not listening to the voices in her head (and even when she is), she enjoys traveling, long-distance running, movie-watching, knitting and adventure (obstacle) racing. Janie completed an Ironman Triathlon in 2014.
Most of all, she loves to laugh and smile and count her blessings. And her blessings are many.
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue
The Texas heat did nothing to stop an elusive criminal
Omega Sector: Critical Response agent Jon Hatton is running out of options. If he doesn't get a decent lead soon, a serial rapist will strike again. His best chances lie with the intuitive skills of forensic artist Sherry Mitchell, a beautiful woman struggling with PTSD.
In exchange for her help, Jon teaches Sherry to manage her symptoms, and soon they are unable to resist their Texas-hot attraction. With Jon as her lifeline, Sherry uncovers clues that prompt a frightening message from the attacker. Jon knows Sherry's determined to help catch this criminal, but keeping her safe is his top priority. Followed by making her his bride.
Check out an excerpt!
And now for the interview!
Lara: How often to you get lost in a story?
Janie: Usually only when I’m drunk. Or when I’ve forgotten my directions. :-)
Lara: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?
Janie: I write romantic suspense, so definitely Action Adventure. Some of my favorite movies are action, with a strong romantic element. Films such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Saint, Knight and Day — love them all! (Lara: great picks!)
Lara: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
Janie: Not really a playlist, but definitely a single song. Jon and Sherry's love song? Ed Sheeran's Teneferie Sea. (seriously, if you haven't heard it, go listen right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fktjAlczv8)
"And should this be the last thing I see
I want you to know it's enough for me
'Cause all that you are is all that I'll ever need"
I loved this song so much, and played it so often while writing FULLY COMMITTED, it got listed as part of the dedication. :-)
Lara: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Janie: Well, the Omega Sector: Critical Response group is a six book series, which has meant a lot of back-to-back writing. So for the last few months, almost as soon as I finished one book, I’ve been starting the next. But I don’t mind. That keeps them fresh in my head!
Our family loves to travel (and we live in Europe, so that works out great), so I usually save up my “hey, I finished another book!” moments to celebrate on our holidays.
Lara: How is it working with hot guys and sexy women all day?
Janie: Well, I’m pretty sure that social services frowns on me calling my four children hot and sexy. :-) I have learned how to write romance around the constant noise my family makes, thankfully, or I’d never get anything written. (Lara: I feel you on that one!)
As for my characters, I’m usually deep inside their own point of view when I’m writing, so they are rarely thinking of themselves as hot or sexy. But my Pinterest boards where I keep my visual musings of all my characters says something a little different.
Lara: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
Janie: I can definitely say which character in FULLY COMMITTED I’d least like to invite to dinner: the serial rapist. You know, because of the serial raping. And he might try to rape my cereal. (Lara: Groan ;)
Lara: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Janie: Coffee, always. With lots of cream and sugar. Light and sweet. I drink it throughout my entire day, probably 5-6 mugs a day.
Lara: When you sat down to start this book, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
Janie: I write romantic suspense, so the blend and balance of romance and suspense/action is always important. For every other book I've ever written, I come from the attraction/romance angle (I see in my mind two characters who are destined to fall in love with each other) then build a mystery or danger around them.
For FULLY COMMITTED I came from the other direction. I had the idea of a serial rapist and how he's eventually caught based on some research I had done, including attendance at the WRITER'S POLICE ACADEMY in 2014 (you can read about that here). Once I had the mystery element, I had to develop characters that fit into that scenario. Although I think it worked great for FULLY COMMITTED, I have gone back to creating the romantic relationship first in my other books. The attraction is always the most important part of my books to me.
Lara: How did you come up with the title of your book?
Janie: Because of scheduling, my editor and I had to come up with the title of this book before it was completely written. I very much wanted the title to be DRAWING FIRE, since the heroine is a forensic artist and I thought it was a clever play on words (she both draws and ends up drawing the attention and fury of a serial rapist). Unfortunately, there was a book releasing with a similar title too close to mine so we had to come up with something else.
TEXAS HEAT was also a finalist as a title, because, well, every book set in Texas tends to sell, and heat was a theme used throughout the book. But she and I both agreed that might be misleading to readers, because although my book is set in Corpus Christi, TX (and the heroine is a Texan, born and bred) the book is not really about Texas.
My editor ended up choosing FULLY COMMITTED because we were both concerned that this book would end up having more mystery/adventure elements than romance. She thought FULLY COMMITTED added a nice romance edge. But then this ended up being one of my hottest books romantically, so FULLY COMMITTED was the perfect title choice! (Lara: Very cool!)
Lara: How close did the cover come to the character’s you envisioned?
Janie: Well, I’ll let you see for yourself. Here are the pictures I sent the Harlequin Art Team [attached files: Jon Hatton Board and Sherry Mitchell Board], and then you can see the cover. I think the Art Team did a fabulous job! I love, love, love this cover!
Lara’s GOTTA ASK: What are the next five books on your ‘to be read’ pile?
Janie’s GOTTA ANSWER: Believe it or not, I can not publicly answer that because the next five books on my list are all books I’m judging for the preliminary round of the RITA contest (the Romance Writers of America’s annual contest. Sort of the Oscars of romance novels). I am not allowed to publicly discuss those.
Beyond that, Elizabeth Heiter’s VANISHED is at the top of my TBR pile, as well as all eight segments of the TOUGH JUSTICE series (by Carla Cassidy, Tyler Anne Snell, et al). So excited to get to both of those!
Here's where you can find Janie on the web!
FULLY COMMITTED is book two of the 6-book Omega Sector: Critical Response series. Book 1 SPECIAL FORCES SAVIOR is available now. Books 3 (ARMORED ATTRACTION) and 4 (MAN OF ACTION) will be available in May and June respectively. Books 5 & 6 (titles TBD) will be available in October and November.
Also, beginning January 25, I have a free DAILY ONLINE READ on Harlequin.com entitled PROTECTOR’S PROMISE. It’s a mini-chapter each day taking place between Book 1-2 of the Omega Critical Response series. You won’t want to miss it! Available each day here, starting January 25.
Janie's question for you: What are some jobs you’d like to see a romantic suspense hero or heroine work as?
Be sure to enter the giveaway!a Rafflecopter giveaway Or on my website: http://bit.ly/CrouchContest
Thanks again for stopping by, Janie! :)