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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?
Welcome Catherine Castle! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Thanks for having me. I live in Ohio with my husband, who is also my high school sweetheart, so I’m living my own happily ever after story. I’m a gardener who likes to travel, two things that don’t go together too well since the garden always needs attention. I also like to go to movies with the hubby and we have standing dates nights that started after our daughter left home to be on her own. I think all couples should have standing date nights to keep the romance alive.
Is The Nun & the Narc a single title, or part of a series?
The Nun and the Narc is a single title, inspirational romantic suspense. It’s outside-the-box for the traditional inspirational romances, which are usually geared more toward the evangelical. Having a nun as a heroine makes this book quite different.
What were your inspirations for your characters’ names?
In some ways I feel like my characters told me who they were going to be. Sister Margaret Mary was originally Mary Margaret O’Connor. When I changed her from a missionary to a novice, I added the sister to her name. But when Jed came on the scene he kept calling her Maggie, so I obliged and changed her name to Margaret Mary. I thought it would less confusing for the reader. Jed’s name was a bit of a surprise, too. He’s introduced to the reader as Jed Barringer, but when he gave Margaret his undercover name, he threw me a curve, calling himself, “Bond. Jed Bond.” I just went with it and I’m glad I did.
Please share your setting for The Nun & the Narc. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
The first part of the book is set in Mexico. The closest I’ve been to Mexico is the Mexican pavilion in Epcot at Disney World. The Mexico pavilion is, however, one of my favorite countries to visit at Epcot. The rest of the book is set in El Paso, Texas, New Mexico and Kentucky, states that I have visited.
When did the writing bug first bite?
I’ve written ever since I was a teenager, but the professional writing bug hit when I started writing for a local newspaper in the 90s. Something about seeing my name in the byline sparked a desire to keep writing for pay and recognition.
Do you still read the same genres as you did when you were younger?
Pretty much, which is most any genre. I did have to stop reading horror, which I read as a teen. I still love romance, historical, fantasy and sci-fi, suspense, but not gory. I also like non-fiction.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Ooh, how many can I have? Stephen King, because I want to pick his brain about how he writes on multiple books at the same time. C.S. Lewis, because he was a master at subtly incorporating faith into his books. Mary Stewart, because I loved her Merlin series and romantic suspenses. She was a master at combining suspense and romance. Robert Heinlein, author of Stranger in a Strange Land, because that book was one of my favorites as a teenager. J. K Rowling because she has been a roaring success in the YA market.
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I like to quilt. Every year the quilting group at our church has a quilting event called Mystery Night. I always try to go and see what I can create without knowing where I’m going with the materials. It’s a bit like being a pantser writer to watch the quilt form from the squares and triangles of material. They only reveal one step at a time, so you have no idea what your finished product will look like. The process makes me a bit nervous, which is why I probably am more a plotter than a punster.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
One day in my garden I saw a red and black ant-like insect, about an inch long. I found out it was a red velvet ant, which is not an ant, but a solitary female wasp, also called a cow killer, because of its powerful sting. (We have those in East Texas. Yuck)
You know that you aren’t supposed to laugh during a romantic suspense book, right? And its a different kind of Inspirational Romance, too. There were times in this book that I was rolling with laughter. We needed the laughter considering that Maggie and Jed were dealing the Mexican drug cartel, trying not to get killed in the process and coming to terms with their faith and each other. Oh and falling in love…
I swear there were times that I kept thinking, Maggie is going to die but somehow Jed manages to protect her. I loved Maggie. Who doesn’t question major life decisions? Her discussions with the Mother Superior were relatable and I could understand where Maggie was coming from in her thoughts. I thought Ms. Castle wrote Maggie in a way that anyway could “get” her and feel for her. Trying to do the right thing when you see a wrong being done but then somehow it backfires…this is that story. One thing was she didn’t expect Jed. And let’s not forget about the frying pan. I just kept thinking of the movie Tangled. 😉
Jed is a dream. He’s as tough as nails when it comes to his job as an undercover DEA agent but his heart was lonely. Watching him fall in love with Maggie was sweet and realistic. He knew that in the end that it would be her decision; he was just hoping that he would be the winner.
Ms. Castle wrote some the most dramatic scenes that I’ve read in a while. She could write an action/thriller movie with no problem. I really felt like I was the fly on the wall and actually cringed, ducked and held my breath. I will also say the James Bond references were spot on. Jed Bond! LOL! Priceless and needed when you are dealing with the cartel. Also, the humor that she writes helps with the tension and action sequences, too.
Don’t worry about the book being “preachy” or heavy handed. Ms. Castle wrote a book that everyone can relate to in one way or another. Everyone faces a life altering decision in their life, don’t they? I just hope that the Mexican drug cartel isn’t nipping at your heels.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.
Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist and is a 2013 EPIC finalist.
Catherine’s website: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com
Catherine’s blog: http://catherinecastle1.wordpress.com/blog/
Catherine’s Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/author/catherinecastle
Catherine’s Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085414.Catherine_Castle