Today’s #TalkTuesday interview is also our #TeaserTuesday and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, all of which feature Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin. A joint effort by Elise and I! Enjoy!
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Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin is a captivating novel, combining a suspenseful murder mystery, police procedural, with a touch of romance. She has the unique ability to write compelling plots that highlight caring and realistic characters.
Former prosecutor Brynn Holloran has turned to the dark side, becoming a defense attorney. Everyone knows she is a superstar in the courtroom, although a failure in her personal life. She now must contend with a vicious murderer, James Corby, she once helped prosecute. His escape from jail has put her life in jeopardy. He seeks revenge against all those who helped put him away. Corby has already brutally killed the former lead prosecutor Jen Ballard, and the lead detective who worked the case. To protect her, Byrnn’s boss hires a private security firm that will also guard Ross, her co-counsel, who also worked for the District Attorney’s office. Erik Morgan, a marine and former secret service Agent is put in charge of her detail. Unfortunately, he soon realizes his client has trouble following orders and refuses to be dictated to. Sparks fly not only when they butt heads, each an alpha with their share of strengths and vulnerabilities, but also as it becomes clear there is an obvious attraction. A sub-plot allows readers to get behind the scenes of an intriguing court case. Both the search for the escapee and the court room scenes make for a riveting read.
Anyone picking up a Laura Griffin book will not be disappointed as she brings together action, romance, mystery and suspense. This first of a new series builds a tension that ends with an intriguing twist, leaving readers spellbound.
Elise Cooper: You give those in the military a shout out?
Laura Griffin: Many at the Wolfe Security firm are ex-Marines. They have traits of being loyal, believing in a brotherhood, and have integrity. I wanted to show the commitment and discipline they can bring to any non-military job. I have the upmost respect for the men and women who are serving and have served.
EC: You pulled off making a defense attorney likeable?
LG: Thank you. My dad is an attorney and I tease him about the stereotype. Also, a good friend of mine from childhood has a similar background to Brynn. She started as an Assistant District Attorney, working for the prosecution’s side, and switched over to criminal defense work. I thought she has a fascinating career path, starting on one side and then moving to the ‘dark side.’ I interviewed her as a resource because I wanted the insights of someone who worked on both sides of the aisle. No matter what the profession, I try to weave the details of the job and the jargon into the story to bring it to life. Hopefully, it makes the plot and characters more realistic.
EC: Did your friend explain why she went to the “dark side?’
LG: She saw some inequities in the system. There is a need for good lawyers on both sides to have a fair system. In the book, there is a snippet of dialogue, “even when someone has all the evidence against them they still need fair representation. Due process is in the Constitution for a reason, so people don’t have their rights trampled on.” I hope I brought this out through Brynn’s character. She is the checks and balance within the system.
EC: Although Jen was only on the pages for a short while you wrote her as a very sympathetic character?
LG: She wanted people to focus on her brain, not her boobs; yet, faced a dilemma. Now that she is a judge she acts conservatively at work. But as she prepares to go on a date she is willing to let her hair down. A lot of women I know juggle the dichotomy of the professional persona versus their personal life. They want to express themselves as women.
EC: Was Jen based on anyone?
LG: Her name was. I usually don’t put the names of close family members in my book because I have emotional ties with them. But my sister Jennifer was reading this novel and said, ‘ooh you finally put me in a book. I am so excited.’ A few minutes later she gets this look on her face and tells me, ‘I am not sure I will be in this book that long.’ I hated to burst her bubble.
EC: How would you describe Brynn?
LG: Very assertive, flashy, extroverted, smart, on top of her life professionally. She is immersed in her job and has let her personal life slide. She is very resourceful so she uses everything in her tool box, including the way she dresses, to gain an advantage in court. She is a survivor in the face of adversity, a theme running throughout all my books. There is a vulnerable side to her because of what happened to her as a child.
EC: How would you describe Eric?
LG: I wanted to write two very strong personalities. He is intensely focused. The strong, silent type that has a hard exterior but inside has vulnerabilities that he eventually shows to Brynn. He started out in the protective detail for dignitaries, while in the Marines, and moved over to the Secret Service. I interviewed someone on then Vice-President Biden’s detail and tried to weave the details he told me into the story, including the long hours and travel.
EC: How would you describe the relationship?
LG: At first, they appeared as opposites. Eric is very stoic, someone who does not wear his emotions on his sleeve, while Brynn is the flashy type. The more they get to know each other, the more they realize they have a lot in common. A scene where she opens up to Eric about her case shows how both have high stakes jobs that involve life/death situations and put a lot of pressure on them. They both refuse to back down from a challenge. Brynn starts to realize that this is the first time in her life where she has this emotional connection, willing to make sacrifices to make it work. The intimate scenes between them follow these emotions. Both are very comfortable with each other and end up willing to speak their minds about their feelings.
EC: Please explain this book quote, “I throw myself, immerse myself in work, black-out everyone and everything.”
LG: I am a lot like that, since I get tunnel vision when I am in the middle of something. I grew up in a family of intense people. We are A type personalities that have relentless drive.
EC: You have Eric and Brynn relieve stress by running. Do you run?
LG: I do. Austin has these wonderful hills and a beautiful setting for any outdoor exercise. I run for about two miles like Brynn. It is my pet peeve when I read a story to see these characters like Eric that are in perfect shape, with a six pack and strong arms, and do not appear to have any physical exercise.
EC: What do you want the readers to get out of the story?
LG: I like to write what I like to read. I do not want to have all action/action/action and no emotion. I think any romantic relationship draws out the characters. But the plot needs to start out with a bang. I got my start in journalism and realized I have to hook the reader in quickly. I want to grab someone with the opening. As a reader, I do not want to wait until chapter three to find out what is going on.
EC: Your upcoming books?
LG: In February a Tracer book comes out, Stone Cold Heart. The focus of that series is on a forensic lab. In the new book the heroine is a forensic anthropologist. She is asked to travel to the Texas gorge where she analyzes these human bones found by some hikers. She then gets pulled into this murder investigation and gets involved with the lead detective. Although the characters overlap, each book of the series has its own story. The next book in this series will be out next summer and will highlight Eric’s buddy Jeremy.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Desperate Girls(Wolfe Security #1)
When a vicious murderer she once helped prosecute resurfaces and starts a killing spree to wipeout those who put him behind bars, one thing becomes clear: Brynn needs to run for her life.
With no help from the police, Brynn is forced to take matters into her own hands, turning to a private security firm for protection. But when Brynn defies advice and gets involved in the investigation, even the former Secret Service agent assigned to protect her may not be able to keep her safe. With every new clue she discovers, Brynn is pulled back into the vortex of a disturbing case from her past.
As the clock ticks down on a manhunt, Brynn’s desperate search for the truth unearths long-buried secrets and reignites a killer’s fury.
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros
I’m also taking part in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros
Every Tuesday Vicki @ I’d Rather Be at the Beach now hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where readers share the first paragraph of a book that they are reading or plan to read soon.
Looking forward to visiting your blogs and seeing what your Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, are this week!
Luv Sassy x