Monday, July 15, 2013

Ashes Ashes by Julie Coulter Bellon: Character Interview and excerpt

This is an interview with the main character Colby Black from Ashes Ashes.  He’s a detective and a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team.

What book are you reading now?
I just bought a new truck so I’m reading the owner’s manual.  (laughs)  Does that count?

What songs are most played on your Ipod?  
I like a wide range of music from AC/DC, Def Leppard, and Van Halen to Imagine Dragons.  I like a song that fits my mood at the time.

What is your favorite meal? 
I eat out a lot.  I have some takeout places that know me by name, but I think Italian food is my favorite right now.

Do you play any sports?  
I play pick up games of basketball when I can.  We have a Hartford PD baseball team that plays at a charity event every year and I’m usually on third base. 

What do you do to unwind and relax?   
I clean.  It gets all my stress out and I can look at a clean room/house when I’m done so it’s a win/win.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?   
The people I couldn’t save no matter how hard I tried to do my job right.

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?   
Since I’m a detective and a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team, my schedule is pretty crazy.  I think I’m pretty even-tempered whether it’s morning or night, but I have to say I like nighttime.  I like the peace and stillness of it, if that makes sense, the feeling of when everyone’s asleep and for just a moment, everything is okay.  Then I get a call where someone’s hurt, dead, or a hostage and I know that’s not reality.  But it’s still a very nice dream.

What would we find under your bed?  
Nothing, I hope.  I just cleaned it.  Although I did have a box of family pictures under there before that I’m working on putting in an album or something. Maybe writing on the back of the pictures, at least.

Tell us about your favorite restaurant.  
That’s a funny story actually.  I was at this Italian restaurant with my partner, (my current favorite that I mentioned above) questioning a witness, when all of the sudden everyone started screaming and running out into the street.  I went to see what was going on and there was a bat flying around.  It took a bit, but we finally captured it and took care of it.  The owner has given me special treatment ever since, including free dinners for a month.  Maybe that’s why I’m partial to Italian food right now. (laughs)

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?  
I bake and my specialty is cinnamon rolls.  I use my mom’s secret recipe and I guarantee that if you’ve had one you’ll want another. 

ashes ashesAshes Ashes
Are you ever really innocent until proven guilty?
Sophia Naziri is wanted for questioning in the murder of a U.S. senator. She’s worried the police will show up on her doorstep any moment, but when Detective Colby Black appears, it’s to help her put out a kitchen fire, not take her in. Yet. His easy smile and persistence in getting to know her pushes all her troubles to the back of her mind, until a hit man tracks her down. Getting arrested becomes the least of her worries and the handsome detective could be her only way out---if she tells him the truth.
Colby Black’s sniper skills have been a blessing and a curse to him. As a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team, he can use them to save people, but sometimes he can’t protect the innocent despite his best efforts. When a hostage situation goes bad, he tries to put it behind him by helping out his mysterious next-door neighbor, Sophia Naziri. But she pulls Colby into a web of lies and conspiracy that will force him to use every skill he has in order to survive. Faced with the moment of truth, can he trust anyone around him---including the woman at the center of it all?

Colby grabbed Rafe’s backpack and pulled out two flash bang grenades. Rafe was calling in reinforcements, but Colby knew they might not make it in time to help.

“You guys head for the garage, I’ll meet you there,” Rafe said, ending his call.

Colby took Sophia’s hand. The fire seemed to be coming at them from every angle. “Keep down,” he told her. She just nodded and he was glad she was agreeing, since she looked more than panicked. He opened the side door leading to the garage and peeked around the corner.

“We can’t leave Rafe behind, but the motorcycle won’t take three of us.” She was talking so low Colby could hardly hear her.

“We’re not leaving Rafe. He’s going to take care of the three in the back and we’re going to open the garage and take care of the ones out front.” He pulled her toward the corner behind a large barrier in the garage. Colby was always amazed with what the safe houses were equipped with. Who else would need a concrete barrier in a garage?

“Stay here, and keep this safe.” He handed her the backpack with the laptop and flash drive in it. She did as she was told, clutching the bag to her. Colby didn’t linger, but got ready to throw out the flash bang. He pulled open the side garage door, just far enough so he could see two of the men standing guard, waiting for them to be smoked out. He threw the grenade and shut the door, but as soon as he heard the explosion, he pushed it open and darted out.

Author Julie Coulter Bellon
Julie is the author of seven international suspense novels: Through Love's Trials, On the Edge,Time Will Tell, All's Fair, Dangerous Connections,Ribbon of Darkness and All Fall Down. She loves her work partly because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism at BYU for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news---which is where she gets her story ideas.
She also has one non-fiction title: Be Prepared: A Parent's Guide to the Duty to God and Eagle Scout Awards---What You Should Know and is part of two compilations, How Will Christmas Find Us and Life Lessons From Mothers of Faith.
She is the mother of eight children and when she's not busy being a mom or a writer, you will find her browsing through bookstores to add to her book collection, at the library borrowing books, or reading the treasures she's found.

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