Today, I have award-winning and bestselling author Sandra Owens in the interview chair. We’re discussing her latest release Operation K-9 Brothers, a military romance. Be sure to check out my review. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
1 Can you share something about yourself and how you became an author?
Sandra: For years, I’d write stories and would then stick them in a file. When I retired from my job as the general manager of a Harley-Davidson dealership, I decided to get serious about my writing. Traditional publishing is a difficult business to break into these days. Not only do you need a good story, but tons of luck definitely helps.
I got really lucky when I was a finalist in a big romance writing contest. Because of that contest, I got an agent and a contract with a big publisher. That early book went to auction, with several publishers bidding on it. I never dared to dream something like that would happen. The beginning of my writing career was so freaking amazing.
I’m now hybrid, which means I publish both traditionally with a publisher and I’m also an indie author with eight self-published romance books.
2. What is something unique/quirky about you?
Sandra: I’m a thrill seeker. I’ll ride any rollercoaster, jump out of a plane (did that and it was awesome), flew in a stunt plane doing crazy stunts, and rode a motorcycle for years. I do miss my bike. I also flew in an air combat game where you go up in a fighter plane (it was a WWII training plane) and laser shoot at the other guy. That was a blast.
3. Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
Sandra: I love airplanes and have always said that in my next life I’m going to be a Blue Angles pilot. For Christmas one year, my husband gave me an awesome present. He signed me up for air combat, where two WWII fighter planes dogfight with lasers. The company that did this was in L.A., and they fly you out over the desert to play. I arrived a little early and was sitting in the lobby when this guy wearing a flight jacket with all kinds of patches on it comes in. He was my opponent. He asked who he was going up against, and when they pointed at me, he scowled. “You scheduled me against a girl?”
I didn’t say anything, but I was thinking what a jerk. So, we go through an hour of preflight instructions, and he was just rude the whole time because I was female. After putting on our flight suits, he takes off with his pilot and then my pilot and I take off. We get out over the desert and start dogfighting, trying to shoot each other with the lasers. The two pilots are doing all kinds of maneuvers, and after about ten minutes of playing, his pilot radios that they’re going to fly off for a while. My pilot laughs and says, “He’s sick. Guess you showed him that girls rock.”
“You want to have some fun?” my pilot asked. “You bet,” I said. We spent the rest of my allotted time doing all kinds of crazy stunts. It was a blast.
When my pilot and I landed, I went inside to take my flight suit off. The jerk guy was already there, and his face was still green. I couldn’t resist saying, “Boy, that sure was fun, wasn’t it?” He muttered something under his breath that didn’t sound very nice, then stormed out. Guess he couldn’t take a joke, but I thought the whole thing was hilarious.
4. What are some of your pet peeves?
Sandra: I’m a very easy-going person and not much bothers me, but… people who leave their grocery carts in the middle of the aisle—not leaving you room to get around them with your cart—and walk away drives me bonkers! LOL
5. Where were you born/grew up at?
Sandra: Born and raised in Florida. I now live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I don’t at all miss Florida.
6. What do you do to unwind and relax?
Sandra: Writing, reading, and wine!
7. Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Sandra: I think OPERATION K-9 Brothers would make a great movie! You have a hot romance, a SEAL hero with a soft heart, and puppies. Who doesn’t love puppies?
8. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Sandra: A kitten. Definitely a kitty.
Title: Operation K-9 Brothers
Series: Book 1
Author: Sandra Owens
Genre: Military Romance
Blurb: Navy SEAL Jack Daniels (save the jokes, he’s heard them all) and his trusty Belgian Malinois sidekick, Dakota, are back home in Asheville, North Carolina, after a bomb left them scarred. Unable to accept that he’ll never be able to return to his team, Jack is looking for a miracle. What he isn’t looking for is a permanent relationship, though he’s open to a no-strings distraction at the magic hands of gorgeous local potter Nichole Masters.
Nichole is on a losing streak with men. Her ex-boyfriend won’t stay gone, a competitor is out to ruin her business and even her rescue pup, Rambo, is refusing to get in line. A chance run-in with a navy SEAL turned canine companion trainer might solve the dog problem. The fact Jack is easy on the eyes doesn’t hurt, either.
But when Nichole feels like she’s being watched, Jack is the only person she can turn to. He’s a protector and problem solver by nature and training. Accepting his protection is one thing—Nichole didn’t count on falling in love.
When Nichole found Ghost, she held it up. “Ready?” At Jack’s nod, she slid the disk into the slot. “This is a great movie, so pay attention.”
“My eyes are glued to the screen.”
“Ouch. That must hurt.” She laughed when he rolled his eyes.
When she sat on the sofa, he pointedly looked at the foot of space between them, then lifted his gaze to hers and raised his eyebrows. Without a word, he had her moving to him until their bodies were aligned from arms down to legs. It was where she wanted to be.
“Better,” he said, then put his arm around her and pulled her closer, until her shoulder rested against his chest. “Even better. What’s this movie about?”
“Demi Moore is in love with Patrick Swayze, and he’s murdered. He comes back as a ghost. That’s all I’m going to say.”
“Really, Nichole, we’re going to watch a ghost movie?”
“Yes, Jack, really. Now shut up and watch.”
He glanced at her and smirked. “You’re bossy, you know that?”
“So I’ve been told.”
“Are you this bossy in bed? Because if you are, you should know I’m good with that.” He waggled his eyebrows.
“Maybe you’ll find out someday. Or maybe not.” He totally would.
He leaned over, putting his mouth next to her ear. “Oh, I will, I promise you.”
A delicious shiver raced through her, and he chuckled, letting her know he’d felt it. The opening credits finished, and as the movie began, she blinked. She’d watched this movie many times, and knowing what was coming, tears stung her eyes.
First off, it was the dogs that made me want to read and review this novel. I’m a sucker for dogs. LOL. As for the characters, I really liked Jack and Nichole. The two possessed great chemistry. When not together, they were interesting enough to keep me engaged.
I also like the secondary character Mark, Nichole’s younger brother. This character was not only given an arc, but used in an excellent manner to highlight Jack’s attributes and aid Jack in finding himself, that he understood he was more than a SEAL. I won’t say any more lest I spoil the novel for other readers. All I will say is well done, author.
The writing is top-notch. Same with the POVs of the characters. Jack and Nichole’s voices came through strong and clear. And the narrative was very much Jack and Nichole. I especially loved the dialogue. The author really excels here. There was enough description to introduce me to North Carolina, but also force me to use my imagination. I love when authors do this.
As for the plot, I will say I did find there were too many “devices.” Jack and Nichole had enough going on, so throwing in the ex-stalker boyfriend was a bit much, because an abusive ex like this should’ve resulted in higher angst for Nichole, even a darker aura to the novel. Instead, the story remained on the lighthearted side that didn’t quite fit with a crazy ex on the prowl.
I did like the competitor plot device, though. I found this very appropriate for the story and ramped up the stakes.
The dog training, the time Nichole and Jack spent together was wonderfully done. I will say the “ghost” part didn’t do much for me, probably because I was never a fan of that movie.
Jack has a great character arc. I wish Nichole’s would’ve been deeper because of the ex, though. All in all, it’s a wonderful read, something I believe readers will enjoy. So I recommend you get yourself a copy. Operation K-9 Brothers is a great first book to kick off the series.
A best selling, award winning author, Sandra Owens lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her family and friends often question her sanity, but have ceased being surprised by what she might get up to next. She’s jumped out of a plane, flown in an aerobatic plane while the pilot performed death-defying stunts, has flown Air Combat (two fighter planes dogfighting, pretending to shoot at each other with laser guns), and rode a Harley motorcycle for years. She regrets nothing. Sandra is a member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll, and a 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist for her contemporary romance, CRAZY FOR HER. In addition to her contemporary romantic suspense novels, she writes Regency stories.
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