Good morning everyone!

One small note of business real quick, before we get to meet the fabulous author who's visiting today.  The Lie To Me tour continues today at Novel Reflections.

Today I'm very pleased to bring you Mal Olsen, another author who shares one of my publishing houses, The Wild Rose Press.  Mal is on tour with her new release, Shadow of Deceit.

Shadow of Deceit

Can an FBI agent obsessed with redemption and a grieving widow desperate to clear her husband's name learn to believe in love again?

Shannon Riedel faces down danger when a gunman breaks into her office claiming her dead husband swindled him. When FBI agent Tony Crazaniak arrives to investigate, sexual heat sizzles. The ex-Delta Force operative's massive presence and dark eyes trigger an attraction the young widow finds unnerving.

When Crazaniak convinces Shannon she needs his protection, they partner to unearth secrets her husband left behind--secrets involving a Tanzanian mine that yields perfect blue diamonds coveted by dealers around the world--secrets connected to a terrorist leader Crazaniak has vowed to take down.

With danger surrounding them, two emotionally wounded souls bond, but can they put their demons to rest and trust in love? Can they survive long enough to find out?

I got the chance to sit down and talk with Mal for a little bit, about the book, about herself.  Here's what she had to say!

M.O. Let me say before we get to the questions, that is wonderful to be here today, Claire. So nice of you to invite me. And, readers, be sure to join in with any questions or comments you may have. One lucky commenter will win a $20.00 Amazon gift certificate at the end of my Sizzling Hot Blog Tour.

You're most welcome -- it's great to have you here!
So briefly take us on the journey with you -- when did you start writing?

M.O. I've written since grade school, but didn't think to try writing a full-length novel until I was an empty nester.

Shadow of Deceit is obviously a romantic suspense.  Do you write in any other genres?

M.O. Romantic suspense has always been my genre of choice. The only thing better than reading an RS novel is writing one. It's been a long time coming—the accomplishment of actually having a publisher take me on, which only goes to prove, as with anything you really want, never give up

Totally agreed!  Is that the only genre you read, Mal?

M.O. As I said above, romantic suspense is where it's at for me—most of the time. But I do enjoy reading contemporary romance, thrillers, action adventure, any kind of suspense, especially anything written by Gregg Hurwitz, Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard (and many more. Contrarily, one of my favorite books is The Prince of Val Feyridge by Helen Johannes (listed as a fantasy because of the time period in which it takes place) I love this book because of the very fresh and beautiful way it's written.

So real quick, where can readers pick up Shadow of Deceit.  This is your first novel, correct? 
M.O. Shadow of Deceit is my debut novel. It is available in paperback and ebook at The Wild Rose Press and Amazon, as well as at most ebook retailers.

Could you give us a hint at what might be coming down the pipe next?
M.O. I'm offering two free short stories. Danger Zone featuring one of the characters from Shadow of Deceit, which is available on my website, at and most ebook retailers. And a contemporary romantic short story with a canine twist, Me and Brad, is also available at all of the above places.

Coming soon, look for another RS novel: Too Sexy for His Stetson. A rookie deputy and her training officer try to stay focused on business--the white supremacist gang that's threatening their Idaho mountain community--while fighting the forbidden attraction that sparks between them

Oooh that sounds very interesting! 

Let's talk about Shadow of Deceit for a bit.  Where did the idea stem from--could you tell us a little about your plot development?
M.O. I have rewritten Shadow of Deceit so many times, I'm not sure what sparked the original plot, but a snowy Wisconsin winterscape, along with the idea of a terrorist threat, and two emotionally wounded souls—Shannon Riedel and Tony Crazaniak—who must stop the threat while facing their personal demons was always the skeleton for my plot.

My most unique research project was the County Sheriff's Citizen's Academy coarse, where I tried my hand at target shooting with a Glock 22, participated in scenario training, visited the country jail, the morgue, the court house and judge's chambers, and watched demonstrations from the SWAT team, the Dive Team, the K-9 unit. Sessions were also presented by the drug enforcement division, the patrol division, and the detective bureau. The entire course was filled with invaluable, hands-on, in your face, adrenaline pumping experiences that helped this writer breathe authenticity into the lungs of the law enforcers who live between the covers of my books.

I'm so jealous you got to do all that!  How fun.  Tell your county to talk to mine, please.
Okie dokie, Mr. Tony -- does he have any secrets that he hasn't shared with us yet?
M.O. Tony Crazaniak hasn't revealed any secrets to me that I have not relayed to my readers.

What's one thing about Tony that makes your heart melt?

M.O. Tony Craziank makes my heart go pitter-pat because he's hard as granite tough, yet human enough to be afraid of exposing his demons. Strong yet vulnerable.

If he doesn't have a pet in Shadow of Deceit, what sort of pet would best suit Tony?

M.O. Tony puts up with Shannon's cat, but his choice of a pet would be a dog.

Speaking of Shannon--all people have faults.  Some are endearing, some not so much.  What is Shannon's greatest fault?
M.O. Shannon's greatest fault is also her greatest weakness. She's loyal to a fault. She never gives up on believing the best about her friends and those she loves. Sometimes it proves to be an admirable quality, and sometimes it leads her astray.

What is one thing that Shannon provides to Tony?

M.O. Because she learns to forgive herself, she's able to show Crazaniak how to do the same.

If Shannon were your daughter, what advice would you give her upon meeting Tony?
M.O. If Shannon Riedel were my daughter, when she first's meet Tony Crazaniak, I'd tell her to trust him.

Without spoiling anything, what would we see if we peeked in on Shannon and Tony in ten years?
M.O. Ten years from now, I predict you will find Shannon and Tony still very much in love, very happy, living in Wisconsin, and enjoying the roles of dotting parents to their eight-year-old son and six-year-old daughter.

Well, let's take a peek at them now!


Traffic came to a standstill.

She sat, stalled, her heart pummeling like prey snagged in an icy hunter’s trap.

Someone knocked on her window. Heart in her throat, every muscle in her body tensed as she jerked her head toward the passenger side and looked through frosted glass into the face of Special Agent Tony Crazaniak.

Relief uncoiled the knot in her stomach. She’d never been so happy to see anyone in her life. She unlocked the door, and he opened it.

“Jesus, what the hell was that all about?” He dipped his head and plunked a snow-clogged foot onto the floor mat as he grabbed her bags and tossed them over the seat.

“I don’t know, and I wasn’t sticking around to find out.”

Cramming six-foot-plus of man into her Porsche was like stuffing two hundred pounds of prime beef into a picnic cooler. But he managed not only to squeeze in and make himself comfortable, he took charge. “Traffic’s moving, go!”

She eased the accelerator, launching forward into an ice-jammed gridlock of traffic crawling west.

“You want to tell me what’s going on?” His shoulder brushed against hers when he shifted in the seat.

“I would if I had the slightest clue.”

His heat made her nerve endings prickle. And as far as telling him what was going on? The “would if I could” may not have been the entire truth, but it was close enough. Besides, she didn’t want to tell him anything. Yet. What did she actually know?

Snow bunched on the windshield as the wiper blades plowed through thick gruel, as her brain churned, as she tried to come up with an answer the FBI operative would buy. “Obviously someone’s after me.”

Available at THE WILD ROSE PRESS, AMAZON.COM, and Most E-Book Retailers

Mal, I have a few more questions for you before you run off. 

Do you have goals yet to meet?
M.O.  My goal is to speed up my writing process so I can complete at least one book a year, so I guess I'll never run out of goals.

What is the most difficult part of being an author?
M.O. I'm finding the most difficult part of being an author, is that once you're published, there's so much to do with promotion that eats into writing time.

Laugh, tell me about it!  With a release coming every month for the last 5 and the next 5... I am struggling to find time to write.

So what's the hardest part of writing a book for you?M.O. Writing a book is a lot of work. It's balancing a hundred balls at once. If I had to pick the single hardest part of writing a novel for me, I'd say plotting, that is plotting cleverly to come up with a suspense story without any holes.

I can relate to that too.

Thank you so much for coming by today, Mal, and I wish you the best of luck with Shadow of Deceit!
More About Mal Olson

Mal Olson writes adrenaline-kicked romantic suspense. When her consuming passion for writing allows time, she enjoys reading, flower gardening, jamming with friends on her mountain dulcimer, and hiking in the Kettle Moraine Forest. She has three grown children and one grand-daughter and resides with her own special hero in southeast Wisconsin where she juggles writing time with her free-lance landscape design business.

Connect with her at her Website.


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2 Responses so far.

  1. Claire, your interview questions were so much fun! Thanks again. And best of luck to you with all of your releases! I don't know how you do it all.

  2. Thank you. Sometimes I don't know how I do either.

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