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Monday, April 29, 2013

"Shadow of the Greed" by Nancy C. Weeks (Interview/Review)


1.  Tell us three things about yourself that readers may not know about you.

-I have a degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland, but dreamed of being a music teacher.

-I spent almost five years in Europe right after I was married, and loved every minute of it.

-I’m the worst speller and typist alive. When I write, I love to close my eyes, visualize the scene in my head, and then just start typing what I see. When I open by eyes, there are so many misspelled words and typos, I can’t even read it.

2.  What does a typical writing day look for you?

I’m a semi-early riser. If the weather is nice, I take my laptop and coffee out on either the deck or the front porch. During the winter months, I write at the kitchen table next to a large bay window. While I write every day, I don’t have amazing word counts of 5000 words a day like a lot of my writing buddies. Instead, I write slow, revising what I have written the day before until the scene is just right. Some chapters can take over a week to write. I can’t move on to the next chapter until all the previous chapters flow well; hit the right cord of suspense and romance.

3.  Tell us a little bit about "In the Shadow of Greed" and why readers should check it out.

In the Shadow of Greed is a romantic suspense set in the ambiguous world of cybercrime - where a seemingly friendly email message invites you to visit a website that warms your heart with lovely images and soothing music, while some obscure script is busy scrubbing your hard drive, collecting information about you, your family, your habits, hobbies, and possibly user identification and passwords. With our growing dependency on computers, mobile devices, and the Internet, cybercrime is on everyone’s mind. My heroine, Dr. Sarah Tu epitomizes the dedicated effort we all want and need from those committed to the field of cyber security, protecting information and systems from the growing threat of terrorism and espionage. My hero, FBI special agent, Jason McNeil deals daily with worst that mankind has to offer. He, struggles with how to keep the evil he sees from touching the people he loves. Combining Sarah and Jason’s lives was a real challenge, but the contrast made for some great conflict.

4.  What kind of research did you have to do for "In the Shadow of Greed"?

I first heard about botnets from my son who is in a master program for cyber security at the University of Maryland. I was unfamiliar with the term and began an extensive search. As I devoured one IT science publication after another, a real cyber crime called Conficker caught my attention. The Conficker worm was first detected in 2008 and has infected millions of computers worldwide. This wasn’t fiction, but a dangerous threat to personal identities, data integrity, and national security.

5.  What was the easiest and hardest scene to write in the book?

This is a hard question to answer without spoiling something vital in the story, but I’ll give it a try. I find the hardest scenes for me to write are when my stories demand that a beloved character die. I spend a lot of time living inside my character’s head and heart. They are very real to me. One chapter tore my heart in two, and I had to write it that way because nothing else made sense. I knew what was going to happen, and that it was going to blindside my hero and heroine, tearing them apart. After I finished the scene, I sat at my kitchen table and bawled just like Kathleen Turner’s character, Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone. But unlike Joan Wilder, I was alone and didn’t have a loveable cat to hug when it was all over. The easiest scene to write was the Epilogue. My hero and heroine were finally together, and even though they still had a lot of grief to deal with, they were no longer alone. They had each other to hold onto. That is what I wish for all my readers; to have someone wonderful in their lives to hold onto when times are wonderful… and when they aren’t.

6.  What inspired you to write "In the Shadow of Greed"?

I don’t have a technical bone in my body, but I have a great respect for those who do. There are brilliant computer scientists, cyber security and intelligence analysts, and engineers who dedicate their lives to minding our virtual fences, shielding us from potential threats to our identities, to our data integrity, and to our national security. I want to honor them, remind us that we have a few more unsung heroes.

7.  Fun Question: If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you must have to survive?

Oh man, only three. If I was stranded on an island, I would have to have my husband and family. Assuming there is sufficient water to drink, I can do a lot of things with a couple cases of good wine. Last, but not least, I would still be in my happy place as long as there is chocolate. I can always write in the sand.

8.  Fun Question: Describe yourself in three words.

Positive –Happy – Driven

9.  What is up next for Nancy Weeks?

The second book in my Shadow Series, In the Shadow of Evil is complete. The story focuses on Jason’s oldest brother, Jared, and the love of his life, Jennie. I’m also working on the third book. My wonderful, hunky McNeil brothers are about to the have their lives turned upside down In the Shadow of Malice.

10.  Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers? 

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. I would love to hear from you if you want to drop me a line on my blog or website.
In the Shadow of Greed
by: Nancy C. Weeks
Publishing Date: 4/29/13
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Provided by Author
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Crimson Romance | iTunes

Description:
Brilliant cryptologist Dr. Sarah Tu races against time to block the most dangerous Internet malware ever created, a botnet called QUALNTO. While Sarah is closed off in her computer lab, her sister, Hanna, is brutally attacked and left in a coma. As Sarah reels with guilt over not being there for her sister, a web of deception closes in, threatening her and everyone she loves. 
Hanna’s condition is misleading. In her coma state, she is able to build a psychic bridge with FBI Special Agent Jason McNeil. Her cryptic messages plague Jason to keep Sarah safe. 
Tough and street-smart Jason McNeil doesn’t believe in visions or telepathic messages, and he fights the voice inside his head. His first impression of Dr. Sarah Tu is another stiletto wearing ice-dragon on the war path―until he witnesses her façade crumble after seeing her sister’s bloody, tortured body. Jason’s protective instinct kicks in. He falls for Sarah―hard. 
When an extremenly dangerous arms dealer and cybercriminal discovers that Sarah blocked his botnet, he kidnps Sarah. Placed in an impossible position, will she destroy the botnet to protect national security or release it to save the man she loves?
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My Review:
This book definitely has my favorite kind of storyline in it due to being a computer geek and former information systems technician in the Navy, where I worked for a few years in the Network Security field. Now I am actually pursing a degree in the field now.  =)
The minute I read the synopsis of the book I knew I had to read it.
This book not only brings you romantic suspense, but a look into what the biggest threat is to today's world...cyber crime.  People tend to forget how dangerous their computer is and what it could do and what people can actually make it do.  This book makes people wake up about the concerns on what people out there can do to steal your identity and your information without you even knowing it.
I will not go into detail on the story because I feel I will give too much away. Instead I will go over every thing I liked about this book.

 -Nancy C. Weeks definitely did amazing research in the field Dr. Sarah Tu does in the book.  In fact, I liked how if anyone who has not worked in the field is able to understand the terms that someone may not know.  For example...botnet, zombie computers, viruses, etc.
-I absolutely adored Dr. Sarah Tu and Jason McNeil.  They both were definitely met to meet each other and come together.  It definitely broke my heart though on how they actually met each other, but in the end, it all came down to the one person who helped link them together, Hanna (Sarah's sister).
-The plot of the story is definitely interesting and will suck you in from the beginning and you will want to know why Sarah is being targeted.  You will also want to know the real why Hanna was targeted as well in the beginning of the book.
-The saddest part of the book, made it even the best part of the book.  Poor Sarah went through a lot in this book, but no matter what she had her sister with her, it just took someone else to help her realize it.
-The villains in the story...do not think it is one person because it will end up being another person in the end.  You will be shocked to find out what Sarah finds out what is going on in Noran, the company she works at.
-Did I say already that I loved Jason McNeil...he stole my heart the minute he was in the hospital with Sarah and Hannah.  He is a FBI agent and Nancy C. Weeks did another fabulous job of his job detail and what his job was in the book.  He tried everything to be patient with Sarah and it was hard for him. (I definitely think Sarah should of taken it easy on him)

I was literally sucked into the book and wanting to find out who was behind everything.  Nancy C. Weeks did an amazing job on her debut book and I look forward to what she has in store next.
Be warned from the first page to the last page you will have a hard time putting down this book.
It's full of action, suspense, romance, and a lot of tension between the characters (Jason & Sarah...because they both are not able to open up until later).

I give this book 5 full moons and highly recommend it to romantic suspense fans out there.  You will enjoy every minute of this cyber crime thriller by Nancy C. Weeks.
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Nancy C. Weeks lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. She has two children in college and spends her days out on her deck writing as the local bird population keeps her company. She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached through her website at nancycweeks.com, her blog at nancycweeksauthor.blogspot.com, and her fan page on Facebook.

1 comments:

Wonderful interview, ladies! Nancy, I can't wait to read your novel. It sounds like movie material to me! Wonderful premise and book blurb. Oh, and don't all writers just love Romancing the Stone and that scene with Joan? :)

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