Wednesday, October 9, 2013

MJ Flournoy Chats About A Matter of Trust #PNR

Today we have author MJ Flournoy with a peek into her latest paranormal romance release, A Matter of Trust. Have a seat as MJ chats about her love of photography and the characters from her book! I think you'll like Jolie and Maniac's excerpt. It's very insightful, as is the rest of her interview.


An Interview with MJ Flournoy! 

Quick Round of Questions!

Coffee, tea or…what’s your vice? 
Coffee, but I’m particular, at home I love Columbian made in a Bunn coffee maker with Crème Brulee. I often enjoyed a cup while sitting on my deck working on my book, A Matter of Trust. When revisions were intense, I’d pack my computer and go to my favorite coffee shop to work on those revisions.

Favorite Movie: Casa Blanca, I’ve been in love with Boggie for years

Favorite Color: Green, I love almost all shade of it!

Favorite book/author: Shanna/KathleenWoodiwiss, when I read this book, I cried at the end because I didn’t want to leave the characters. I closed the book, took a deep breath and said, “I want to do this.”

How do you feel about bacon?
It goes well with so many things, what’s not to love?

And now the read questions... 

Tell us a little about yourself!
A little about snippet about MJ Flournoy, I love photography. I once took fifty rolls of 35mm film to Europe and shot every roll over the 10 day trip. I nearly had to take out a second mortgage on my house to pay for having them developed. What a relief when digital photos made my obsession more affordable! When writing I often build a collage of my photographs for inspiration. Often those pictures inspire scenes in my work. In my latest release, A Matter of Trust, I used pictures I’d made of Bell Rock in Sedona, Arizona to keep me focused while writing the scene where the sniper tries to kill the heroine, Jolie. Also, the rabbit in the book sprang from one of my photographs from our trip to the Red Rock Country.

What’s under your bed?
I just bought a new bed complete with adjustable frame to raise head or foot. So there are all sorts of little mechanical thingies under the bed. No dust bunnies yet. They moved upstairs when the new bed was delivered. I’m sure they’ll start creeping back downstairs any day now.

What comes first, plot or characters?
Characters always come first for me. Usually, the character makes himself/herself known and begins to tell me what kind of problem they are up against. They usually have a pretty good handle on that first conflict, then I take over and throw a lot of other obstacles in their path. Sometimes my characters show up in a dream. Usually one complete scene will play out and then I have to figure out the rest on my own. Jolie Wyngate, the heroine from A Matter of Trust sprang from a news story into my mind full blown and with the Maniac screaming in the background. The Maniac, a very strong secondary character in A Matter of Trust, is such a strong character that she is getting her own book as a sequel to A Matter of Trust.

Pantser, plotter, or hybrid? Tell us about your writing process.
I’ve always considered myself a pantser. I still am for the most part. I will sit down and make lists, even outline, but when I do that I am mostly just avoiding writing the story. If you see MJ Flournoy at the coffee shop working on her plot outline, you know she is in full blown procrastination mode. An intervention might be required at that point.

Oddest thing on your desk? 
My soap box, I’ve had it for about 30 years. It was a gift from a dear friend and came from England filled with small round cakes of soap. The box is lovely, so I use it as a pencil holder. Still, it is a strange thing to have on my desk!

What’s your most interesting writing quirk?
My characters talk to me and sometimes argue with me. Once I had a character who refused to cooperate at all. When I complained that he wasn’t helping me to write his story, he folded his arms across his chest and informed me “You don’t even know my name!” Once I asked his name, used search and replace to rename him, he was happy and told me his story. While writing A Matter of Trust it was the character, the Maniac, screaming loudest in my mind. When you read A Matter of Trust, you’ll understand how that could happen.

What is the hardest thing about being an author? 
Rejection. I don’t do well with it. It ticks me off, I don’t like it, and allow my dislike of rejection to keep me from submitting or putting my work out there. If it’s not out there it can’t be rejected. Sometimes I just have to put on my big girl panties and send it out anyway.

What’s the easiest thing about being an author?
Easy? Is there something easier about it? If so, I haven’t found it. Being an author is hard work.

Tell us about your latest release!

A Matter of Trust is a romantic suspense with paranormal elements. I enjoyed writing this book because as they say, “it was ripped from the headlines.” The idea came after seeing a report of a woman who intervened and called the police when she saw a child she thought had been kidnapped. The woman literally saved a child’s life.

My character, Jolie is a teacher with psychic abilities. Using those abilities cost her dearly, but when a child is kidnapped, she has to team up with hot, sexy hero Mac Carlson to rescue the child. Mac is an ex-Navy SEAL and a loner. Can they learn to trust each other and work together to save the little girl?


Excerpt from A Matter of Trust...

(Note-Maniac speaks in Italics)

This is so not good, wake up, Mary Poppins, come on, we’re in deep birdie do-do here.

Jolie’s entire body seared with fire from the inside out. Every muscle, every tendon screamed in pain. She tried to move. She could barely breathe. Her throat refused to cooperate with her order to scream. For a moment she thought herself blind as well as immobile, but the soft texture of cloth against her cheek told her that whatever had been put over her head remained. Slowly her wits returned, if not control of her body. She remembered opening the door and stepping into darkness. Then? Nothing.

No, that’s not right. They drugged us. Didn’t you feel that needle? Hurt like hell. Probably still does, but we can’t feel it with the effect of whatever the hell he gave us. 

Jolie managed a groan deep in her throat.

Or maybe just in her mind. My arm, my pain, not yours, she admonished the Maniac.

Not the time to quibble. I suppose I could go and leave you alone.

Don’t you dare. It would be just like you to leave me at a time like this. Why didn’t you warn me? You can feel when a child is in danger, but can’t tell when I’m about to be abducted? What kind of guardian angel are you anyway?

Never claimed to be an angel. Besides, you know it doesn’t work that way. We can’t help ourselves. Only others.

Well, if you ask me, it’s a stupid rule.

Not my rule.

Where are we? Jolie tried to move and found her limbs unresponsive.

Haven’t got the foggiest. Can’t see a damn thing with this bag over your head. The Maniac snickered at her little joke.

Now is so not the time to be funny.

Do something.

I can’t move, I’ve tried.

Crap, whatever he used still hasn’t worn off.

Jolie’s attention caught on that one word. He? She willed her body to move but nothing happened.

Why don’t you do something? Jolie couldn’t feel her arms, much less move them. Why do I have to do it all?

Quiet, someone’s coming. Don’t let him know we’re awake.

Like I could. Panic surged within her when someone or something moved nearby. A subtle shift here, a sound there. Chills tingled down her spine. How many were there? What did they want with her? What were they going to do with her, do to her?

Fear choked her. Perspiration pooled in certain areas of her body. Armpits, upper lip, valley between her breasts, all damp. The scent of fear filled her nostrils. Her fear. Thick tangible, choking, debilitating fear. It ran through her veins like poison. Somewhere deep in her chest a small child-like whimper began, built pressure and forced its way between her clenched lips.

She would not be a wimp. She would not.

We’re not in any immediate danger, I would sense if evil were lurking.

Now you’re a freaking evil barometer. Jolie drew strength from the calmness of the Maniac’s voice.

Well, duh? How else do you think I know these things?

Well, why didn’t you… Jolie stilled her thoughts. Never mind, listen they’re coming closer.

Slowly the paralysis relaxed. Jolie tried and found she could move her fingers. Maybe even her arms. She held her body tense, waiting, hoping for a chance. A chance to do what? She was a teacher, not a pugilist. Teachers weren’t even allowed to paddle kids these days.

I am so screwed. Jolie realized she could move, but had no idea what to do with that new ability. Should have taken some sort of self-defense class instead of doubling up on reading instructions, Jolie grumbled. Slowly she moved her foot, testing for bindings. She could move her feet, her hands, and even lift her head, if she moved slowly. Apparently her abductors were so confident in the drug used to render her helpless they felt no need to bind her. Their mistake, she hoped.

Okay, we can use this to our advantage. Try moving an arm, see if you can push the damn cloth away from our eyes.

Biting back a retort at the Maniac’s order, Jolie slowly moved her arm, her fingers feeling for the edge of the cloth covering her face. By cautious inches, she pushed the material away from her face.


Total darkness greeted her. Jolie groaned. So much for that.

She moved her hand back to her side, letting her fingers slide over the surface where she lay. It felt like silk, no, satin. Her hand fanned out, moving over the smooth, cool surface. When the fog gradually cleared from her befuddled brain, she took in more details. Softness beneath her. Satin smoothness, soft like a mattress. Jolie’s breath caught in her throat when she and the Maniac reached the same conclusion at the same time.

Not good. We’re in someone’s bed.

Total darkness surrounded her and yet she could feel someone watching her. Her senses were in hyper drive. Warning tingles ran along her spine. Someone was definitely nearby, watching her.

He’s here.


A Matter of Trust is available at:


More about MJ Flournoy...
MJ Flournoy writes romantic suspense with paranormal elements for Sizzler Intoxication Line. Her first novel, A Matter of Trust, released in September. It has garnered several 5 star reviews and has a smoking hot cover. MJ lives in Georgia with her husband and one neurotic cat, teaches middle school, and enjoys reading and traveling when not writing.

Some links to connect with MJ on the web... 


authormjflournoy said...

Good morning Mia, thanks so much for having me visit! I'm off to school in a few, but wanted to let you know I'll drop back by asap! If anyone has questions I'll do my best. Have a great day.

Beth Trissel said...

Awesome interview. I loved it and identify with much of your writing style, such as the way your characters and stories evolve. I used to have a desk... somewhere under a lot of stuff. And totally agree, with rare exceptions, there is nothing easy about writing. A Matter of Trust sounds great.

Barbara Monajem said...

Wow. Talk about a cliffhanger excerpt. Go, MJ!

Funny -- when you mentioned a soap box, at first I thought you meant the kind you get up on to give a speech!

Mona Risk said...

Great post. Like you I take pictures all the time and live with my characters wherever I go. I enjoyed your excerpt and your voice.

Mary Ricksen said...

Great interview! I think my dust bunnies are alive. They are gone when the vacuum comes through and reappear as soon as it's gone!

Sascha Illyvich said...

It was a very damn fine book and we were proud to publish it and I enjoyed working with her on her first, wish her many more years of successful releases!

Mary Marvella said...

MJ is a BFF and Bestie and a fabulous writer. This story rocks! Read it. 'Nuff said.

authormjflournoy said...

Beth, I am glad you like the blog, I hope you enjoy A Matter of Trust. I find most things writing related difficult, but rewarding. I find letting the characters lead me on a merry chase the best way to go when writing.

authormjflournoy said...

Barbara, LOL you know I couldn't possible throw away a lovely box that came all the way from England! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you'll read the book to find out what happens!

authormjflournoy said...

Mona, I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt and liked my voice. I worry about that! Since this is my first novel, I appreciate your kind words.

authormjflournoy said...

Mary R, you are so right about the dust bunnies, I saw one creeping down the stairs just this afternoon!

authormjflournoy said...

Mary R, you are so right about the dust bunnies, I saw one creeping down the stairs just this afternoon!

authormjflournoy said...

Sascha, high praise indeed, coming from my editor! Thank you so much for liking my story and publishing it. I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with you and Sizzler!

authormjflournoy said...

Mary Marvella, you are always encouraging and willing to help everyone, I appreciate your confidence in my talent and your input in my stories. Thanks BFF!

Margie Church said...

If I had had a daughter, I'd have named her Shanna. Kathleen lived not far from me and I never knew it until after she died and my husband appraised her house. Such a regret! Love that name Rourke too.

Great excerpt and cool concept for a romance. I wish you the best.

authormjflournoy said...

Margie, thanks for the visit. Rourke Deverell Beauchamp. See, I still remember the characters name. Woodiwiss was my favorite author of historical romance.

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