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Book Cover

Today we welcome Maya Banks to The Pond to celebrate the first book in her new Slow Burn trilogy.

We meet the Devereaux family in Keep Me Safe – Caleb, Beau, Quinn, and Tori. Caleb is frantic to find Ramie St. Claire, who formerly assisted police find kidnap victims with her psychic gift. In hiding after her last case which nearly did her in, Ramie’s life is about to change even more, running from a stalker who has a special connection to her. It’s Caleb she turns to, to help keep her safe.

Ms. Banks has combined the paranormal and romantic suspense to give readers a fast-paced read that keeps the pages turning late into the night. And wait until you meet the villain in this story. One scary piece of work. I’m only a few days past finishing this book and already I want the next in hand.

When Caleb Devereaux’s younger sister is kidnapped, this scion of a powerful and wealthy family turns to an unlikely source for help: a beautiful and sensitive woman with a gift for finding answers others cannot. While Ramie can connect to victims and locate them by feeling their pain, her ability comes with a price. Every time she uses it, it costs her a piece of herself. Helping the infuriatingly attractive and impatient Caleb successfully find his sister nearly destroys her. Even though his sexual intensity draws her like a magnet, she needs to get as far away from him as she can.

Deeply remorseful for the pain he’s caused, Caleb is determined to make things right. But just when he thinks Ramie’s vanished forever, she reappears. She’s in trouble and she needs his help. Now, Caleb will do risk everything to protect her— including his heart. . .

DUCK CHAT: Do you ever argue with your characters while you’re writing? Who usually wins?

MAYA BANKS: Hmm no, I pretty much allow my characters to rule. I don’t try to force my characters into situations unaturally or make them do things that aren’t true to their characters just to insert a certain plot point or contrivance.

DC: What is sure to distract you from sitting down and working/writing?

MB: It’s not distractions BEFORE I sit down to work. It’s distractions WHILE I’m trying to work that drive me insane. And really there are too many to list. Phone ringing, texts pinging, realizing I’ve forgotten all about something that was due THAT day. The list goes on and on…

DC: How do you feel your male or female characters have evolved over your career? Do you think you write them differently now than you did when you started?

MB: I don’t feel as though they’ve changed or that *I* have changed, however, I’m too close to the writing, obviously. So I wouldn’t be the right person to ask about changes over the course of my career. I often find most authors don’t notice changes in their own work but can recognize changes in other authors’ work. I know I can certainly look at some of my favorite authors and see a dramatic change in their writing from when they first started to what they’re currently publishing. But as for recognizing changes in my OWN work, I’m afraid I have no perspective.

DC: Your new Slow Burn series sounds intriguing. What was the impetus for it, and is it evolving like you’d originally envisioned?

MB: I’ve had the ideas for books 1 and 3 for bloody EVER and it’s SO frustrating to have a story that literally burns a HOLE in your brain, one you love SO much and are DYING to write and not be able to. I’m so happy and excited and all sorts of other !!! adjectives to finally be able to write these stories. And yes, the series is absolutely unfolding exactly how I imagined it all those years ago but perhaps BETTER now that it’s “real” and not just living in the back of my mind WAITING for the light of day.

DC: What book would you like to read again for the first time?

MB: It’s too close of a tie between Dark Prince by Christine Feehan, A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole, and the entire Guild Hunter’s Series by Nalini Singh. Oddly enough they’re all paranormal romances and I don’t actually read many paranormals at all!

DC: Keep Me Safe is the first book of the series and is on shelves this week. Can you give us a look into Caleb’s and Ramie’s story?

MB: Keep Me Safe is a LONG awaited story for me. I’ve wanted to write this story and book 3 for SO long. I’ve had those two stories in my head for YEARS. But a concise peek (and I’m not very concise!) is that Ramie has psychic abilities, unique abilities, that enable her to track kidnapping victims by touching an object belonging to the victim. She makes a connection to them, but the downside is that she experiences every thing the victim does once she makes that connection. Everything. So it’s rather horrifying. She’s an empath who is only able to feel or detect the evil in people. Never the good. So her “gift” is more of a curse since she’s never able to feel the GOOD.

Caleb hunts her down when his sister is abducted and they’ve exhausted all leads. He knows he’s racing against the clock and when Ramie refuses because she’s at her breaking point, he “forces” her compliance by shoving his sister’s scarf into her hands and holding her hands around it. And promptly sends her to hell.

Horrified by what he’s done, he’s determined to make it up to her. But she disappears and no amount of searching on his part is able to unearth her. Until she contacts him a year later because she’s in terrible danger and doesn’t know who else to turn to.

And well, thus begins their journey 🙂

DC: If you had never become an author, what do you think you would be doing right now?

MB: I don’t even know! I shudder to think of having a 9-to-5 job because I have authority issues lol. I’m too much of a free spirit to have to stick to a regular schedule and I LOVE working for myself, being able to put to pages all the stories that live in my head. I can’t IMAGINE doing anything else.

DC: Next January In His Keeping will release. May we get a sneak peek into Beau’s and Arial’s book?

MB: You meet Beau Devereaux in the first book. He’s Caleb’s brother and is a rather intense character in his own right. Arial (Ari) is also pyschic but her power is telekinesis, or so she always thought. She discovers she’s much more powerful than she or her parents imagined as the story goes on because, out of fear of exposure, she was told never to use her powers. Never to tell. Basically to be as normal as possible.

That all falls to the wayside when she’s forced to use her powers to defend herself, and then a video from an unseen bystander goes viral and Ari’s life is upended. Her parents suddenly disappear and she seeks Beau out because her father always told her if she was ever in trouble to go to Caleb or Beau Devereaux. It just so happens that Beau is the one who’s “in” when Ari, frantic and terrified, does what her father had instructed.

DC: What’s your favorite genre to read? Have a favorite book to share from that genre?

MB: I don’t have a favorite genre. Really! I just love a good ROMANCE. If you give me that then I don’t care what genre it is. I read all over the board and often buy books based on eavesdropping on reader’s twitter conversations heh

DC: We hear about authors having one or two books collecting dust in a drawer somewhere, for one reason or another. Do you have one of those? Any chance it might see the light of day in the future?

MB: There is a reason most books are collecting dust. Because that’s ALL they’re good for! I only have a few completed books that haven’t been published, and no, I’ll never publish them because they absolutely suck!

Most of my stories collecting “dust” are in my head. And yes, those DO get pulled out often years down the road, such as is the case with Keep Me Safe! And Safe at Last (book 3)

DC: Thank you so much, Maya, for being with us today!