Laurie Shelton is the only person alive who can identify Hawaii’s most notorious mob boss… After stumbling into a deadly kidnapping, Laurie’s life is in grave danger, and it falls to US Marshal Dante Stark to keep her safe until she testifies against Kaimi Quamboa—assuming he can be captured. Dante knows he’ll lose his job if he becomes romantically involved with a witness… But when he has to comfort her through constant nightmares, he finds it nearly impossible to fight his attraction to the beautiful, strong young woman he is sworn to protect. Laurie feels it too, but aware she’s in a high-stress situation and that when the danger is past she’ll never see Dante again, she tries to ignore his easygoing smile and the security he offers. Laurie and Dante are forced to flee again… When Kaimi’s men descend on their hideaway, they escape to a second safe house, only to be tracked down there as well. Dante now knows there’s a mole inside the US Marshal Service, and the only thing left to do is disappear. Kaimi will never stop looking for Laurie, and if he’s caught, showing up to testify could be the last thing she ever does. With each choice as dangerous as the next, Dante and Laurie must confront the boundaries of what they’re willing to sacrifice, and which is more important… Love or Justice.
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Character Interview with Laurie
By: Rachel Mannino
Laurie is ripped away from her life and her friends when she accidentally stumbles across Hawaii’s most notorious mob boss and his kidnapping victims. Under protective custody, Laurie is still the target of hit men, while U.S. Marshal, Dante Stark tries desperately to save her. Deep in hiding, Laurie found time to sit down with her author to talk about her traumatic ordeal.
RM: Laurie, you’ve been through so much already. How do you keep going?
LS: Well, I have to, you know. I can’t go backwards. I can never go back to Hawaii. I can’t see any of my friends there. You just have to keep moving forward with your life. Dante helps me with that. Being with him, finding him in the midst of this terrible ordeal, has been the best thing that ever happened.
RM: And what first attracted you to him?
LS: Well, when we first met, he was so straight-laced. He called me ma’am. He played by the rules. Little by little, he relaxed. He let go. He let me into his life and his heart. I guess I was attracted to the fact that he took life seriously, but not so seriously that he couldn’t have fun and bend the rules a little.
RM: Do you like bending the rules?
LS: What rules? No, I’m kidding. Dante thinks that I never listen to him and that I do the exact opposite of what he tells me on purpose. I don’t. Not really. I guess I just act from gut instinct sometimes, and it’s not always in line with “the rules.”
RM: I imagine that running for your life makes you rely on your instincts. You must constantly be on edge. Can you talk about that?
LS: Ugh! We can hardly go out to get groceries without me looking over my shoulder every minute. I’ve been attacked so many times in Hawaii, I’ve lost count. We were running from one safe house to the next. We could barely catch our breaths. When Dante told me there was a mole in the Marshal Service, I thought he had lost his mind. I thought the pressure had gotten to him. I was nearly on the verge of a meltdown myself. But he had a plan and what he said made sense. It’s quiet here, where we’ve escaped to. It’s nice. We can finally breathe a little, but I know we can’t stay in hiding forever.
About the author:Rachel Mannino is a passionate writer who creates characters and settings that allow readers to explore power dynamics in relationships, the empowerment of women, and the ethical and moral dilemmas love can create in our lives. Rachel also uses her writing skills to raise thousands of dollars for entities that enrich our lives and create community change around the world. She has worked for the Peace Corps; the Humanities Council of Washington, DC; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; and the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events in Boston, MA. Her first novel, Love or Justice, was published by Limitless Press in November 2016. Her second novel, Fractal, will be published by eTreasures publishing in the spring of 2016. Rachel has a BA in theatre studies and writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College, and she has used it every day since graduation. She lives with her husband, author Christopher Mannino (http://www.christophermannino.com/), and their adorable dog and cat in College Park, Maryland.
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