The Nun & the Narc
Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicable attracted to him he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them, because he is making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.
Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.
Another row of pottery shattered, sending fragments into the car like tiny projectile rockets. Sending up a quick prayer, she covered her head.
Slamming the door shut as he passed, the man leapt over the trunk. He jerked open the driver’s door then jumped behind the wheel. Jamming the car into gear, he roared out into the market street. Shoppers and vendors screamed, leaping out of the car’s path.
Margaret scrambled into the passenger seat. “Stop this car immediately!”
“Keep down,” he ordered, “unless you want to get shot.”
The rear window glass erupted into the car’s interior, punctuating his words. The man fired at the attackers through the shattered back window.
“Shot?” Her voice rose an octave. “Oh, dear Lord in Heaven, what have I gotten into?”
“Trouble, Lady.” He fired off another round. “Big trouble.”
Margaret slid deeper into the front passenger seat, grabbing the door handle as the car careened around a corner.
I’m going to die. In a car crash. With a strange man. Heart pumping madly, she let go of the door handle just long enough to cross herself then grabbed it again as the car swerved. A guardian angel would be good here, Lord. And make it Dale Earnhardt! They swerved around another corner and she held on for dear life.
Oh, Mother Superior, maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m not good nun material after all. Who else in the convent could get themselves into a mess like this?
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m a Midwest gal, who currently lives in Southern Ohio. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, which is why I believe in true love and soul mates. We’ve been married longer than we’ve been single. I’ll let you think about that for a minute. I like to garden and have actually won an award for my hillside garden from the local gardening club. I was a journalist for about 10 years before giving it up to pursue fiction writing full time.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
The Nun and the Narc is an 2014 EPIC finalist that Amazon readers have described as “… an inspirational tale with a definite twist.” “Something a little different in the romance genre.” “Romance, intrigue, danger, and inspiration all rolled into a neat package…”
The heroine, Sister Margaret Mary, is a bit stubborn, and perhaps not the best nun material, according to Mother Superior, but she’s determined to follow her commitment to take her final vows. Then while on a house building mission to Mexico, she gets captured by drug lords and imprisoned with undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Sparks fly between the two and destinies are changed.
The book was started as a contest entry. I had wanted to try writing an inspirational romance, but I wanted something different than books I had read. The heroine was originally a missionary, but the book wasn’t working. Then one of my critique partners suggested I make her a nun. I love nun stories. Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies, as is A Change of Habit, and I loved the television series The Flying Nun. So, I changed my character’s vocation and the story took off.
How do you create your characters?
I think I start out with an idea of who the characters are: what they look like, basic personality traits, goals motivations and conflicts and such. But I don’t know everything thing about them or hold them too strictly to what I’ve decided. I let them reveal themselves as we go along. For Sister Margaret Mary, in The Nun and the Narc, I knew she was going to be spunky and not quite cut out for life in the convent. I also knew she was going to cause Jed problems because of her beliefs, but I had no idea what lengths she would go to in order to keep herself and those she cared about safe. She surprised me, and the readers. I think it’s that unknown element that keeps the characters fresh.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
Since I write in different spheres (poetry, compose music, blogs, devotions, and books) different things inspire each area. Music comes to me most often when I’m writing poetry. Poetry is often inspired by an emotion I’m feeling. Blogs are a bit harder as I hunt for ideas that can translate into something useful or informative. Devotions can be inspired by emotions, a phrase I hear, something I see, or something that impacts me. Book inspirations come from all these areas.
As for what got me started writing … I guess I’d have to blame my English and history teachers and those essay term papers we always had to write. While most students dreaded them, I loved the challenge of writing—from the research to the compilation to the rewording of what I’d learned (to avoid plagiarism), to the final grade, which was usually an A or B. After that, I have to credit my years as a journalist where I learned to see ideas everywhere. I was always saying, “There’s a story in that.”
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I have a book filled, cluttered office where I write. I’m a clean office wannabe and envy those writers with neat, decorated spaces. The only décor in my office is my daughter’s original drawings and my contest awards. I have thought a lot about writing out in the garden, but I’m too afraid it would become a distraction. The one thing I need to be able to write is quiet. As a teenager I used to do my homework with music blaring, but it breaks my concentration now.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
I find ideas everywhere. In the newspaper. In something someone says. Sometimes they just pop into my head. Other times I’ve dreamed books. I often come up with an interesting title and the book develops from there.
What do you like to read?
Romance is my favorite genre. I also like historicals, paranormal, time travel, suspense, fantasy and sci-fi, in romance or without romance. I like non-fiction, too.
What would your advice be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Don’t give up. Everything takes time. The sold-my-book-the-first-time-out stories are rare. Most writers work for years trying to get that first book sold. While you’re waiting, learn everything you can about writing and make your book stronger and better.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Don’t be afraid to write the book of your heart, even if it’s outside the box for the market. You won’t regret a word you put on the paper.
Castle creates a fast paced, page turning inspiration romance with The Nun and the Narc. My favorite character in this book is the nun, Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor. She is such an amazing nun, she can outwit the bad guys with a fork and a frying pan. I really enjoyed her pure faith and willingness to help Bond. With references to James Bond and humor with Marget O’Connor as they’re in danger and she is confessing and praying. We can easily see the opposites to attract after all and these two are no exception. Those of you who like Inspirational romance will find no shortage of things not to love.