Savage Bytes (Hacked Investigations, Book 2)
Genre: Futuristic Romance
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Date of Publication: January 21, 2015
If they don’t work together, they may be torn apart…
Private investigator Hannah Franklin has a new partner, her lover and technomage, Ian Bradley. But they may be in over their heads when brought in by their friend from the hospital to quietly solve a case that baffles even the police. The victims are being murdered in a ritualistic fashion with their blood drained and organs removed.
When Ian’s attention narrows solely to their work, he’ll need to keep their relationship strong, or he could find himself repeating a painful past.
Chapter One from Savage Bytes:
Hannah Franklin frome in the doorway of Ian Bradley’s weight room. Ian lay shirtless on the bench as he pressed the bar into the air over his muscular chest. With each rep he did, the muscles in his chest rippled deliciously. She licked her suddenly dry lips and cleared her throat.
His gaze caught hers, and he smiled. He rested the weight on the stand. “Hey, is everything okay?” He sat up and wiped his palms on his khaki cargo shorts.
“Yeah, we just received a call about a new case.” She still found it hard to believe how many people had wanted to hire them after going against MAX Home Security. Sometimes, they actually had to turn people away. What a feeling.
Ian raised an eyebrow at her. “Tell me more. What is it about?”
“It’s Leon. He wants to meet with us at St. Gregory’s hospital in a little over an hour. He seemed pretty stressed.” She leaned her shoulder against the doorframe, and a frown tugged at the corners of her lips.
Ian stood and then crossed the room to her. His hands cradled her neck, and he pulled her in for a warm kiss. His lips brushed hers, and she opened her mouth to him, allowing his tongue to stroke hers and fan the burning flames within her body.
Hannah gently pushed away after a moment. “I said we would be on our way.” She raked her gaze over his firm, sweat-slick torso. “Besides, I think you need a break from working out.”
Ian grinned and reached for his white towel. “I’ll go hop in the shower real quick.” He wiped off his face and hung the towel around his shoulders as he sauntered away.
Hannah’s life had been a roller coaster after reuniting with Ian, her once ex-boyfriend. Now he was her partner in their private investigation company, Hacked Investigations, which specialized in technology-related crimes. The clientele so far had kept them busy, with common requests that involved backtracking various network intrusions to their point of origin and leaving the rest to the customers. Others required mundane tasks such as verifying the authenticity of gray-market implants and other upgrades not sold in broad daylight.
Up until recently, they’d been financially stable. The last two weeks had been slower, and their bills this month were a lot higher than expected. It didn’t help that the silly gnome was as ravenous as ever.
She sighed and returned to Ian’s small home office to retrieve her jacket. The weather outside was fine, but it could change so quickly, especially this time of year.
“Hey, if you’re going out anyway, bring me back a bag of those chocolates I like! We can’t all live on coffee, pasta, and CONDOMS, you know?” An obnoxious voice came from the kitchen before she had an opportunity to see the loud-mouthed gnome it belonged to.
“Nice to see you too, Bernard. Finished with the garden so soon?” Hannah forced a smile. “We’re heading out to interview a client. Leon called, and we’re going to see if we can help him,” she said.
Bernard wore classic lederhosen and had a maniacal grin on his face. “Well, the garden can take care of itself for a while. So, why are you heading out to see that flamboyant rainbow-licking nurse? Unless, of course, he wants to trade make-up tips,” Bernard said. A devious glint lit his eyes.
Hannah sighed. She could only take so much from the gnome today. Ignoring the other foul comments, she shrugged into her jacket and walked by him. Water sounded from the shower behind the bathroom door. She’d love to join Ian, but they’d be going nowhere fast if she did.
Instead, she sat in Ian’s favorite recliner. A quick glance proved the gnome had vanished, giving her a moment’s peace.
During their struggle against MAX Home Security, Leon had played a crucial role in getting past security guards and helping them talk with Senator Kendall, who cleared their names after the police had suspected them of attacking the senator. Leon lost his boyfriend, Rich Granger, due to MAX’s overeager employee termination program, and he’d been more than willing to help them take MAX Home Security down.
The lack of background noise alerted her to the fact Ian was done in the shower and would be ready to go soon. She glanced in the mirror to reassure herself that she looked professional enough, and then she crossed the room to her safety box for her gun and a clip of ammo. The streets were more dangerous than ever now that MAX Home Security had restrictions placed on them by the legal system. Despite their corruption, MAX held low-level criminals under better control than what the police were capable of.
Ian entered the doorway, dressed in jeans and a polo shirt that revealed enough of his build to make her gaze linger over his toned body.
“Shall we?” He retrieved his keys from a basket near the door.
NYT & USA Today bestselling author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy…even a sweet contemporary romance!
A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.
Where are you from? Does the area you live in influence you writing?
I currently live in North Carolina, but I’ve lived all over the country. I wouldn’t say where I live influences my writing a lot, but it has given me ideas for settings. For instance, the Cry Wolf series is located in a fictional version of North Carolina (as well as Scotland, yay!).
Tell us your latest news??
My newest release, Savage Bytes, came out! It was previously published with Changeling Press, but I’m so happy it’s back and hopefully reaching many more new readers!
When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
It’s a long story, but I read a collection of my mother’s poetry as a young child. It inspired me to start reading and I dabbled in writing too. When I was in seventh grade, I won an Excellence in Writing award after my teacher encouraged me to enter the school’s contest. That spurred my enthusiasm in writing even more. My love of romance novels (primarily historical romance at the time) was also sparked shortly afterward. Before then, I’d been all about horror/paranormal books like RL Stine’s Goosebumps. When I started reading Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, my writing changed and I knew then what I longed to write.
That said, the first novel I completed was a sweet contemporary (rock star) romance. Go figure. Lol It was inspired by my love of music.
What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series influenced my life and writing. Before then, I’d primarily read historical romance with an occasional paranormal romance. What I really enjoyed about the series was the dark, gritty paranormal world and the ability to follow along with characters I admired and loved on their journeys. I didn’t need to get to know a character only to say ‘goodbye’ at the end.
Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
Ian and Hannah have been in my head for a few years now. Granted, I’ve moved them toward the back, at least for now, since their story has been told. They came to be when I found a call for submission on a cyberpunk romance anthology. I started with Hannah and figured out what I wanted a strong, capable private investigator, then I paired her up with Ian her ex-boyfriend, mysterious hacker and technomage.
What motivates you to write?
I’m motivated to write because I love going on adventures with my characters and losing myself in their worlds. It’s one of the most exciting parts for me.
What is the hardest part of writing?
Making myself sit down and write when I need to juggle the business/marketing side or when I’m not feeling well.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
With the Hacked Investigations series, I learned that it’s fun to drift away from my comfort zone once in a while. Before then, I’d only written contemporary books, so the idea of visiting a futuristic world and all the world building that goes with it intimidated me.
Where do you get your ideas?
I usually get my ideas from music. Occasionally I’ll get an idea from browsing the web or watching a TV show/movie. However, if I need to come up with something for a submission call or next book, I let my thoughts drift something sparks my enthusiasm.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is supportive of my writing.
What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
Keep writing above all else! Don’t let anything get in between you and the keyboard. Produce the words that will connect you with your readers.
What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading The Hadley Werewolves by Shawntelle Madison.
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