Leading a scientific excursion into the Borneo rain forest is a life long dream for entomologist, Garrett Cole. But when her guide turns up dead and headless, her abilities are tested. As the dense foliage pushes her team further from the river, they are lost. Every shimmer of sound is a threat, and when a blonde haired, half-naked giant emerges from nowhere, she wants to run. But there are no options – she needs help.
Raised in the lush cradle of the Borneo jungle, Aidan is as unconventional as the fact that he has no last name. While the city is home, he returns to the jungle for peace and solitude. As a PI, how can he ignore the mystery this group and their dead guide poses? Leading them in a convoluted trek in a bid for answers he soon finds himself in a clash of wills with their alluring leader and answers that slide dangerously close to the tribe he loves.
In the jungle’s torrid heat they find unexpected solace in each others arms. But faced with death and betrayal, in a battle of wits that puts lives on the edge, can anyone be trusted?
Aidan moved vines back, exposing his face. They only had to look in his direction.
He was so close he could have reached out and touched her. She was delicate, out of place here in the midst of this wilderness. Her skin, even beneath the sweat and exertion-stained flush, was fair. She wasn’t built to be here, she was too slight to survive, too weak, too . . .
She glanced up. A frown immediately seared her face.
“Who the hell are you?” she snarled.
He bit back a smile. She should have screamed. She hadn’t. All tiny limbs and fragile beauty, and yet she attacked first.
He let his gaze rove over the group, refusing to be corralled by her attack.
One of the men looked panicked, the others seriously stressed. He shifted his spear to his other hand and waited, taking the warrior advantage of time and observation. The silent often learned much about their enemy.
“Put that down.” She gestured to his spear.
His fingers loosened for a millisecond before gripping the spear tighter. Was she out of her mind? Green, innocent, and totally forest-illiterate, but she was feisty.
Feisty? She was seething, hot, absolutely pissed—about what, he wasn’t sure. Her anger didn’t make much sense. Nothing about this afternoon made much sense.
1) Where did you get the idea for the novel?
The idea for the novel came while I was in Borneo. In the heart of Borneo with a raging river mere feet away I stood on the beaten wooden verandah of an Iban longhouse facing a human skull that was swinging from the rafters in a gentle back and forth motion in the light breeze. And our guide, well he took great pleasure in telling us that was the skull of the last man hunted well over a hundred years ago. Okay – he had me, fact or fiction, this was a story! After that, well I had a long way to go for a novel but it was there that the idea of it began. What if…?
2) Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
This story has had three titles. Its original working title was Last Man Standing. However, there are just too many books and movies by that name for that title to survive the final cut so I changed the title. But the new title didn’t make the cut either. My publisher wanted something with more oomph. We bounced a few titles back and forth – I came up with Fatal Intent which everyone was happy with and now I think that it fits the story better than the two that preceded it.
3) Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
Romantic suspense wasn’t something I consciously picked. When I began writing my first story that became a romantic suspense, I thought about what had brought my cast of characters together and the antagonist’s character seemed to be front and center in my mind. And as his story emerged it was evident that it couldn’t be anything but a suspense. While I rather fell into the genre, it was a natural fit as I’ve always loved mystery and horror. I like the fact that with romantic suspense you can dabble on the edges of other genres – a bit of mystery, a swipe of horror and lace romance through it all.
4) Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
The most exciting thing that happened to me in my writing career was winning my city’s writing award. That was totally unexpected and actually I was the first romance writer to win.
5) What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I’m reading Ken Follett’s, “Winter of the World. I love his meaty forays into history and his sweeping casts of characters.
6) What is your writing process?
I write every morning. I’m up early before the rest of the house is up so I can get some quiet time. Later I’ll do some of the things that can tolerate more distraction like promotion and blog posts and things like that.
7) At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
With my first book I wrote a line for each book I signed. Honestly, it’s not easy coming up with a something that is generic enough to please everyone but yet has some value and thought behind it. If it’s a book for someone I know, I will write a line or two and put a personal slant to it that usually fits their personality and/or pertains to the book. Otherwise, more recently, I tend to sign books without a personalization.
8) What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
That despite being an amateur swimmer with more endurance than skill, I’m a certified scuba diver.
9) How do you react to a bad review?
I’ve been lucky in that the majority of my reviews have been four or five stars which is fantastic. But even the good reviews can have an ouch or two. There’s often value in those ouch inducing comments, an element I didn’t identify that might make my next book stronger. My motto is read those ouches and even the bad reviews once, file what you can use and move on.
10) How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I got the call by e-mail and celebrated prior to the phone call that came later in the week and confirmed it all. The e-mail made it rather surreal. I opened that message up expecting the usual e-mail rejection. Instead, I got to do my “happy” jig and celebrate with cocktails.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Ryshia Kennie is the author of two published romances. From the Dust, is a romance set during the Great Depression. Her second book, Ring of Desire, was set against a backdrop of magic and mystery, in medieval England. An award winning author, her recent novels now focus on suspense and women’s fiction – always with a hint or even a dollop, of romance. The Canadian prairies are home where she lives with her husband and one opinionated Irish Terrier.
Visit her website at http://www.ryshiakennie.com.
Author blog: ryshia.blogspot.com
Author on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ryshia.kennie
Author on Twitter: twitter.com/ryshia
Author at Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/1400598.Ryshia_Kennie