Jen: Today we welcome Carolyn LaRoche to Romancing the Book. Carolyn, will you share a short bio with us?
Carolyn: Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys, two finicky cats and one old dog. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Carolyn: Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos is the first book in my new series The Secret Lives of Police Wives. The series follows the lives of some ordinary women who happen to be married to cops, have some deep secrets and seem to find trouble around every corner. In this first book Cyndi Mills is tired of her overprotective husband trying to shelter her from the world so she secretly takes a job as an exotic dancer and finds herself mixed up in a crime ring that threatens her marriage and her life. The idea for the series came to me one night when I was talking with some of my police wife friends. We were sharing stories about the crazy things our husbands do and from that the series was born.
Jason leaned against the counter, arms folded across his chest. She recognized that look immediately. He was doing the cop thing, analyzing her, and she could tell he knew something didn’t add up. His left eyebrow rose just a tad higher than the right as he studied her. “Why do you have glitter in your hair?”
Cyndi shook her hair and a shower of glitter rained down on her sweatshirt. Damn. Somehow she had missed a boat load of sparkle. Damn, that stuff got everywhere. “Jody brought her daughter’s costume for a dance recital to work so I could help her fix a tear. It was all covered in sparkles. The damn stuff got on everything. Had to go back over the carpets with the sweeper twice and I’m still not sure we got it all.”
Jason continued to stare down at her from his full six feet of height. His stare was laser sharp, his presence imposing. It was no wonder he was so good at catching the bad guy. Hardened criminals squirmed under the intensity of that stare. Hopefully he couldn’t see through her despite the fact she felt as transparent as the shower curtain hanging in their bathroom.
“You think Harper is going to want to do that stuff?”
“Harper is four. It’s a little early to predict if she will be a dancer or a swimmer or…whatever.”
“Yeah, well, I just don’t want that glittery stuff all over the house. The guys won’t ever let me live it down, I show up to work all sparkly like that.” He shook his head.
Cyndi stepped closer to her husband and wrapped her arms around him. “I’m exhausted, honey. How about we go to bed?”
Jason hugged her close. “You gonna wear a little French maid’s outfit like you do when you clean those offices?”
“Can’t fault a guy for trying.” Jason’s grin was a sharp contrast to his earlier scrutiny. He pulled out the neckline of her top and peered down into it. “Come on. I know you gotta wear some kinda uniform!”
Thank God she had changed in to her old white bra from the discount store and left her bustier at work. Stepping back, Cyndi held her arms out and spun around slowly. “You’re looking at it, baby. Doesn’t my ratty old sweatshirt turn you on?”
“Not as much as a little maid’s outfit would. It’s nearly Halloween. Maybe I ought to pick one up for you to wear at work. You know, so you don’t mess up your own clothes.”
“Ohhh, Jason… you are such a guy!”
“You would rather I be such a girl?”
“Of course, not! Just don’t be so obvious about being a man all the time.” Cyndi filled a glass of water from the tap, drank it in one gulp, then placed her used cup in the sink before heading toward their bedroom. “Come on, cop man. You play your cards right I might let you frisk me before we go to sleep.”
Cyndi heard light switches flip, door chains sliding and the announcement that the house emergency alarm was being set. Jason rushed through his nightly round of safety checks as he yelled to her from various locations around the house.
“Do you have anything on you that might hurt me?” Snap went the deadbolt on the front door.
“Needles, knives, or guns?” Click went the security latch on the sliding door to the back yard.
“Do I need gloves or cuffs…?”
“Not sure you’re gonna need gloves but cuffs might be fun,” she called back as she climbed out of her clothes and dropped into the cool sheets.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Carolyn: Definitely a pantser. No matter how hard I try to make a plan, the story always changes. My characters get bossy and do what they want. Most of the time I am just along for the ride because they allow me to be.
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there one you’ll probably stay away from? Why?
Carolyn: I recently discovered historical romance when I volunteered to do a review for a fellow author. Being immersed in another time in history was amazing and I couldn’t put the book down. I wish I had the knowledge and skill to craft a historical story. As far as a genre I would likely stay away from, that would have to be science fiction. I just don’t have a clue on that one.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Carolyn: I’ve been a cop’s wife for nearly a decade. That was more than enough research for this story! Seriously, though, whenever I had a question of tactics or law I would just ask my personal expert.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
Carolyn: I enjoy Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series and Gena Showalter is one of my favorite paranormal romance authors. Lately, though, I have been devoting my reading time to new and debut authors. There is some fantastic talent out there.
Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
Carolyn: Johnny the bartender is probably my favorite character in this book. He is quite quirky and provides a lot of comic relief in the story. I had so much fun writing him. Johnny’s personality allows for him to say and do things that the ordinary man might not.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Carolyn: In the next several months I have two more releases- the second in the Secret Lives of Police Wives series and another one in my Defenders of Love series. In the meantime I will continue work on the third books in each of the series.