Blog readers will have seen this cover already, but it's pretty enough to show again:
*sigh* I love that cover.
Today, I'm pleased to share an exclusive interview I was able to obtain with Jori Virtanen, one of the hunky side-characters in A Change of Plans (hunky enough for his own book, as it turns out...). As you'll be able to tell, getting this interview wasn't easy, but I hope you'll be pleased with the results:
Me (quietly): I'm sneaking into Jori Virtanen's hospital room, where he's been recuperating from the pirate attack that has shocked the world. Rumor has it he was friends with the four young people still missing, so we'll see if he can tell us anything about them.
Jori? I'm sorry to bother you...
Jori (eying Robin suspiciously): What do you want? Haven't you taken enough blood?
Me: No, no... I mean, yes, I'm sure they have. I mean... I just wanted to check to see if you're okay.
Jori (with a you-can't-be-serious glare through his one exposed eye, before turning to stare at the wall): Do I look like I'm okay?
Me (sighing, sitting on chair by bed): I can't imagine what you've been through. Who would have thought pirates would attack a cruise? I think you're so brave.
Jori's face turns even blotchier, the pale sections turning whiter and the bruises, showing under the huge bandage covering half his face, darken. His mouth works but nothing comes out.After an awkward moment, he grimaces.
Jori: I wish people would quit calling me a hero. I'm not hero material.
Me: Well, you have to admit that there's a lot of evidence for the hero theory, right? You did what you did, put yourself in danger, and all because you cared about your friends. That seems really heroic to me.
Jori: I was the only one stupid enough to get plowed in the face.
Me: (laughing): I thought stupidity was a prerequisite for heroism. I can't think of a single fabled hero who carefully planned his exploits.
Jori: (tries not to smile): All right. Point taken. Are you from the psych unit?
Me: (smiles): Why? Are you crazy?
Jori: I'm not talking to any shrink.
Me: (grins) Then it's a good thing I'm not a shrink.
Jori: If you're not a shrink, who are you?
Me: I'm sorry, I know you're probably resting. I just wondered if you wanted some company. Sorry. I'll leave if you want.
Jori: Are you really assigned to keep me company? What, am I on a death watch or something? Afraid of what I'll do if the Coast Guard calls off the search?
Me (with a sympathetic sigh): You must be frantic. Did you know the ones who are missing well?
Jori: Yeah. I did. That Jimmy is really going places. (Jori's eyes widen) I do know them.
Me (winces): Sorry. I'm sure they're okay. Jimmy is a musician, right?
Jori: Actually, he's supposed to be a rancher. Just graduated and is expected to go help with the family business. But you have to see that guy on stage. He's wasted in Texas.
Me: What about the others? Maria? What is she like?
Jori: She's Jimmy's fiancée.
Me: His fiancée? When were they going to get married?
Jori: They haven't set a date yet. He still has to break it to his mother. (Jori rolls his eyes.)
Me: (laughing) And Braedon and Lyn? Are they engaged, too?
Jori: Engaged? Are you kidding me? They're barely talking. Well, Lyn's barely talking. But Braedon and me, we got a plan.
Me (leans in, intrigued): Do tell.
Jori: I don't know a lot of the details, but Lyn got burned bad a while back. And she's afraid of fire, if you get my meaning. And she saw Braedon as fire.
Me: Well, I've seen pictures, and that man is sort of hot. And he's a surgeon, right?
Jori: I don't know about hot. I'm hot. Or I was. But Braedon is so approachable. He must have an amazing bedside manner. It was something else to watch the two of them before she got scared off, like something special was happening right in front of me. Man, that sounds sappy.
Me: No, it sounds sweet. Did they meet on the cruise or come together?
Jori: They met on the cruise. And hit it off almost from the beginning I think, from what Elle says.
Me: Elle’s Lynn’s best friend, right? So you were friends with both of them?
Jori: Will you quit talking about them in the past tense? Yes, I was friends with both of them. All of them. I AM friends. Now you're making me do it.
Me: Sorry, I'm so sorry. I just meant, you know, before they went missing.
Jori: Yes, they're my friends. The first real friends I've ever had.
Nurse: Jori, time to change your dressing! (Stops, stares at Robin.) Who are you? You can’t be in here.
Jori: I thought you were with the hospital. Who are you?
Me: I’m just… a fan. I’ll be going. (Runs away before Jori can throw his water mug at her.)
Le sigh. Men with scars are sexy. Doncha think?
As if that's not enough, behold the Rafflecopter!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Make sure you also order your own copy of this awesome book:
In closing, let me leave with the blurb about the actual main characters in A Change of Plans. Jori is awesome, but this ain't his book.
When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old, Colorado high school teacher wants to do is forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. Lyn plans a vacation diversion; fate provides Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship’s make-believe world and temporary friendships, her emotions come alive.
However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he's navigating, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship--on the very anniversary Lyn is on the cruise to forget. Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs from Braedon and what he has to offer.
Their confusing relationship is bad enough, but when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise's snorkeling excursions in American Samoa things get worse. Paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped and Lyn's fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck.
Have you read it yet?