Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Amy Lane for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Title: Fish Out of Water
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Genre: Crime Fiction
Release Date: 07/29/2016
PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.
Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.
Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.
We are here today to talk about Fish Out of Water. What can you tell us about it?
Well, about two years ago, I was serving on jury duty, and whether we were picked or not came down to one question: Would you or would you not convict a defendant on eyewitness testimony, when the eyewitness was a policeman.
My husband gets picked for juries all the time—and one of his biggest cases was the conviction of a crooked policeman who took drugs and sexual favors from people he was supposed to be either arresting or protecting.
So I said no—I wouldn’t believe the eyewitness testimony of only one police officer, and I wasn’t picked for the jury.
But when I wanted to write a murder mystery, and my two characters were a defense attorney and a PI for the law firm, I knew I wanted to write a mystery that challenged what people are supposed to assume when they see a policeman on the stand. And given how many of my friends who have been harassed by policemen, well, that had to play into it too.
Please tell us more about our main characters.
Jackson Rivers grew up in the crappy part of town, and the only reason he didn’t grow up to become a criminal was that his best friend, Kaden Cameron, had a mother who took him in. Jackson, Kaden, Kaden’s sister Jade, and his wife Rhonda, have been the center of Jackson’s world since their mother passed. When Kaden is falsely accused of a crime, Jackson will do anything to keep him and his family safe—even if it means digging into a past that nearly killed him.
Ellery is sort of a silver spoon lawyer—but he’s always believed in social justice, it’s just how he was raised. He originally takes the case because he’s fascinated by Jackson, but by the time he’s done talking to Kaden, he’s working his absolute hardest to do the right thing.
What do you want to tell those who may be new to the series?
This is the first story in the series, and I loved these guys. They’re gritty and snarky and independent—and watching Ellery get under Jackson’s skin and take care of a guy who refuses to be taken care of has been a great deal of fun.
What about Fish Out of Water makes you the proudest?
This book is frighteningly topical. It deals with racial bias and with believing what’s right even when there’s evidence to the contrary and with questioning authority to protect the people you love. These things have been in my subtext since I first started writing, but I think they came together here in a way I’ve never tried before. I love reading murder mystery—I really loved writing one!
What is next for these characters? Is there more to this series? If so who will we hear from next?
There is very much more to the series. Jackson and Ellery need to work as a team to do a bunch of stuff, really. There’s an adversary left at the end of the first book, and several ends to tie up and places to go with it—and Jackson is still not comfortable in a relationship. We hope he will be, eventually, but he’s like a feral cat. He needs to be sort of seduced inside and then treated real nice before he settles into what’s good for him.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
To keep trying. Criticism, reviews, social media—it’s all hard, but it’s worth it.
What is the nicest thing a reader has said to you in a review, email, in person, or on social media?
That after a series of personal losses, this reader had read my books and was going to meet an old lover and see if maybe her heart could work again. I’ve never believed so much in the transformative power of fiction as in that moment.
What part of a new story comes to you first? Characters? Plot? A scene? A theme? Or does it vary from book to book?
It varies from book to book. Sometimes it’s a moment, or a feeling, sometimes it’s a theme. In this case I wanted a relationship with a lot of friction and passion, and a chance to work out a mystery.
Do you have a character in your head that you have yet to write a story for? Oh my God YES.
How do you choose names? If you decide to change a name, do you feel that it alters your perception of the character?
Sometimes I just know who this person is. Sometimes though, I need to leaf through a naming bible and try to find one who is just right. And yes. If I have to change a name, I need to find one that gives me the same feeling as the original name.
What book do you keep by your bed? My Kindle.
If the world were going to end tomorrow, how would you spend your last night on earth?
In bed, with my husband and the dogs at my feet, and my children nearby, knowing I’d loved to the best of my ability.
If you could breed a character who was a love child of three different media icons, who would you choose?
Justin Theroux, Dwayne T. Johnson, Anthony Mackey
If you could have a threesome with any two people in the world, with the stipulation that their names had to rhyme, who would you choose?
Evans and Hemsworth, Chris and Chris!
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
Reading Karen Rose’s Chicago series and Melinda Leigh’s Seconds to Live. Next thing on the TBR is Eric Shaw Quinn’s The Prince’s Psalm.
Rapid Fire Time
- Batman or Superman? Batman
- Neville or Ron? Ron
- Pickup Truck or Sedan? Sedan
- Hawaii or Colorado? Colorado
- Top or Bottom? Bottom
- Ice Skating or Ice Hockey? Ice Skating
- Underwear and socks: folded in the drawer or tossed? Wadded
- Long or Short? Long
- Tropical island or snow covered mountain cabin? Mountain Cabin
- West Wing or Friday Night Lights? West Wing
- Larry or Sterek? Sterek
- Mr. Bean or Leslie Nielsen? Mr. Bean
- Peanuts or Cashews? Fox Trot
- Favorite Color? All
- Light saber or a Sonic screwdriver? Light Saber
- Favorite meal? Steak
- Winter or Summer Olympics? Winter
- Spring or Fall? Fall
- Sushi or pasta? Pasta
- Alone or At a Party? Alone
- Windows or Mac? Mac
- Santa Claus or Easter Bunny? Santa
- Rock or Country? Rock
- Music or TV/Movies? BOTH
- Call or text? Text
- Cat in the Hat or Horton Hears a Who? Horton
- Read or writing? There is no difference
- Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings? Who can make that choice?
- Trees or Flowers? Trees
- first pet and name? Squinter the Cat
- Waxed or Furry? Furry
- Shifters or Vampires? Elves
- Red Heads or Blondes? Red Heads
- Multiple choice questions or essay questions? Essay questions!
- Tattoos or piercings? Tattoos
- Pasta or potatoes? Po-tay-toes
- Mini Van or SUV? Minivan
- Harry or Draco? Harry
- Favorite flower? Roses
What are you working on? What is next?
I am working on a very genderfluid urban fantasy at the moment—and enjoying the hell out of it!
Next up from me is Tart & Sweet, which is the final Candy Man book, and then Summer Lessons, which is the second book in the Winter Ball series.
About the Author
Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
July 22 – MM Good Book Reviews
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July 29 – Long and Short Reviews
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August 1- Love Bytes
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