Wednesday, April 3, 2013

About Face by Amy Lee Burgess: Character Interview and Excerpt: Buy the Book Tour Stop


Liam Murphy, thank you for agreeing to this interview.  Tell me a little bit about yourself? You’re a member of the Irish branch of Mac Tire. What’s your role and how do you see yourself as a pack member?

Well, you don’t waste much time shoving me off into the deep end, do you?  My role in Mac Tire?  You mean my job?  I haven’t really got a nine to five job so to speak which is good because I need a lot of time to myself. I play the stock market for myself and my pack.  Pretty good at it too, although I haven’t had much time for it lately. Not since coming back to Dublin. Right now I’m embroiled in something really difficult and dangerous and it’s taking all my time. I can’t really talk about it because I don’t know who I can trust and who I can’t.

I see myself as a damn loyal pack member. My real job is to protect my Alphas. That should be every pack member’s primary role. 

What is your earliest childhood memory?

My twin sister, Fee, and I are about two maybe and my best friend Paddy’s almost five and he’s bossing us around, telling us how we’re supposed to be building something with what I remember as a million blocks but, of course, it couldn’t possibly have been that many.  They were piled higher than our heads and Paddy’s telling us, no no, you two are such babies, why can’t you listen? And then Fee throws a block at him and it hits him in the eye and he starts bawling and Siobhan and Maureen, Paddy’s mother, come running, and Paddy’s howling and holding his eye dramatically, the little bastard, and I tell Siobhan I threw the block at him. Paddy nods his head tragically in agreement and I have to go sit in the corner and watch Paddy and Fee play.  Typical.  I think Paddy’s whole aim was to run me out of the picture.  He’s always loved Fee, even when we were little kids.

Everyone in Mac Tire is wondering about your new bond mate. How did you two meet? What was your first impression of her?

Ah, this is a great story. Stanzie won’t agree this is how it happened, because she thinks I’m full of blarney, but this is the truth. Or at least my side of it.  I’m sitting at a table full of stuffy, pompous idiots from the Lake District branch of Mac Tire from England.  We’re at the meet and greet dinner at the Great Gathering just outside Paris, France at the chateau safe house.  The chateau is a grand place, full of antiques and expensive French decorations and yet I’m thinking it can’t hold a candle to the castle safe house outside Dublin which Mac Tire runs.

The chateau is run by this really snooty French pack, Lune de Loup, and the guy sitting next to me is the Alpha’s brother and has been asking me all these damn stupid questions while the British Mac Tire idiots snigger under their breath because they know my life story.  I’m wishing like hell I was sitting at a table of Irish Mac Tire members. I’m worried too because the reason I’m not is that Fee got sick just before everyone was supposed to leave for France and so they stayed behind to wait for her to get better. So they ended up missing the first couple days of the Gathering. I would have skipped dinner only this damn French idiot came to my room and all but dragged me to the table.

So I’m sitting there resenting like hell the fact I’ve been forced into eating with a bunch of people I don’t really like and off in the distance there’s a flash of red.  I see this absolutely gorgeous woman on the arm of Councilor Jason Allerton moving in the direction of my table.  The closer they get, the more beautiful she becomes.  She’s tall and her blond hair is twisted up and, my God, the red dress she’s wearing hugs her like a lover.  She’s got these fabulous dark blue eyes and I can tell she’s nervous as hell and not used to being squired about on the arm of a Great Councilor, but she’s so damn gorgeous I can’t stop staring.  There was something about her that drew me, you know? And not just because she was beautiful. It scared me actually. I’d gotten so used to feeling nothing since Sorcha died.

That’s when I realized Allerton was leading her directly to my table and he gave the French guy a look. He slid out of his chair and disappeared. That’s when I knew it was all a setup, that Allerton had manipulated me into coming to the dinner just so he could introduce me to this gorgeous woman.

I admit I got resentful because for two and a half damn years everybody had been trying to set me up with a new bond mate and I only wanted Sorcha.  Yeah, I knew she was dead and never coming back, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to be part of the Great Pack anymore or open myself up to grief again.

Stanzie said hello to me and I wanted to smile back at her, but I wasn’t sure what kind of a game Allerton was playing.  He’s got history with the Irish branch of Mac Tire and I didn’t trust his motives.

So I wasn’t very nice to Stanzie, I’ll admit it. I would have stuck out the dinner though except that the Alpha of the British branch of Mac Tire started in on me with her damned insinuations about Sorcha’s death and I wasn’t about to put up with that, so I stranded poor Stanzie at the table of piranhas and went back to my room.  

Of course, Allerton was always two or three steps ahead of me, and I had no doubt that it may have been the first time I met Stanzie, but it wouldn’t be the last and I was right.

What do you like best about Stanzie?

She’s a fighter. When she’s knocked down, she gets up swinging. I admire that. She sees the best in everybody and, what’s more, brings it out in them.  I like the man I am when I’m with her.

She ferrets out secrets and not because she’s a nosy person, but because she cares. She’ll put herself in danger to get a festering secret out in the open where it can’t hurt anybody anymore. 

I love the way she thinks. She’s always trying to make sure she knows where the other person’s coming from and sometimes I think she bends over backwards too much to accommodate, but she won’t agree.

And her laugh. Oh my God, I love it when she laughs.  It starts from her belly and works up to her mouth and her whole body gets involved and starts to shake and her eyes dance and you can’t help but love her. 

She astonishes me on a daily basis.  I like that.

What is it that you want out of life?

To keep everyone I love safe.  I want to be happy. Sometimes I don’t think I do a good job at either one.

Has life handed you any major disappointments?

Yeah, it has.  Sorcha’s death was a huge blow.  And I had to leave Stanzie a few months ago and it killed me to do it. But I wanted her safe and right now I’m not a safe person to be around.

Tell us more about your best friend.

That would be Paddy O’Reilly. He’s been my best friend since childhood.   He’s a couple years older than I am, so he’s been there for as long as I can remember. Brothers couldn’t be closer than we are.  I’d give my life for him.

He’s the kind of guy who wants the best for everyone. He loves a good joke and he’s irresistible to women.  They throw themselves at him and he takes them up on it, but he’ll never love any of them like he loves Fiona. 

He takes chances and he’s the kind of happy-go-lucky guy that gets himself into scrapes because he doesn’t think things through.  I’m always there to fix things though. 

I can’t imagine life without him. Even when I was living in Belfast and trying to shut out the world, I’d talk to him when he called.  Let him in when he dropped by unexpectedly.  He and Fee gave me something to hold onto after Sorcha’s death. 

In my blackest moments, I know I have only to reach out and he’d be there for me, the same as I would for him.               

Thank you for stopping by, Liam.

                My pleasure.

                Now it’s Stanzie’s turn. Hello, Stanzie.  Welcome to Ireland. Can you tell me about yourself?  Strengths?  Weaknesses?  Fears?

My name is Constance Newcastle, but everyone calls me Stanzie. Right now I’m an Advisor to Councilor Jason Allerton.  He’s on the Great Council and is very influential and sometimes I wonder why he wants me for his Advisor when he could have anybody in the Great Pack.

He sends me on investigations when things go wrong in packs and they ask for help from the Councils. I pretty much always get into trouble during these investigations because I don’t follow directions very well. I get these ideas and run with them and the next thing I know everything’s blowing up in my face. But the mysteries do get solved even though I think practically anybody else in the world wouldn’t solve things the way I do.

I’m loyal. I think that’s a strength. I’d do anything for my pack, for my people, for the ones I love. I want to keep the Great Pack safe, although I know I can’t do it alone.  I hope that my work as an Advisor helps keep the Great Pack strong and safe. 

I don’t give up easily. Not when it’s about somebody else.  Sometimes I think I’m too afraid to say what I want because it might conflict with what somebody else does.

I’m scared of driving. My bond mates, Grey and Elena, were killed in a car crash on my birthday three years ago.  I was driving.

I’m scared to be in Dublin.  I want Murphy back, but I don’t know if he wants me.  Why would he have left me in the first place if he wanted to be with me?  I want to trust my Alpha, Paddy, but he left me behind too and never even called to see if I was okay.

I try to see the best in everybody, but sometimes all I can find is the worst.

You grew up in a small pack, didn’t you?  What was that like?  Tell us about your family.

Family. That’s a loaded question. I don’t speak to my father, Paul, anymore.  He was a very demanding father who never seemed to like the person I was and wanted me to be different.  More compliant, I guess.  I always felt like I was Paul Benedict’s representative on earth when he was around.  Not like a whole person with my own set of likes and dislikes.

My mother, Lauren. Wow, that’s tough.  I love her very much, but sometimes I feel more like she’s the child and I am the parent. 

It’s like when I became a teen, the tables turned and I was the one who had to take care of her.  I guess because of that, I tend to nurture people and try to be patient.  I want to be there for people when they need me.

Lauren’s recent actions have really thrown me for a loop and I’m still recovering from the shock. I don’t want to discuss it here because I’m still processing everything and I might say something I’ll regret.  I know she had her reasons and I wish I didn’t think she was manipulated into making such a big decision, but I just don’t know. 

Growing up in a small pack like Mayflower was isolating, I suppose. But I forged some very strong connections with people like my cousin Faith. Mayflower will always be home somehow even though I haven’t been a part of that pact for almost fifteen years.

Tell us about Liam Murphy.  What was your first impression of him and did it change over time?

You are asking hard questions, aren’t you? When I first saw Liam Murphy, he was sitting at a table the first night of the Great Gathering in France. He looked bored like he didn’t have anybody he was interested in talking to. Jason Allerton brought me over to introduce me to him and I knew it was because Jason cared about me.  He was one of the Councilors at my tribunal after my first bond mates were killed and he always believed it was just an accident and I wasn’t to blame for the car crash. The last time I saw him before I went into self-imposed exile after my pack, Riverglow, kicked me out, he said he’d see me at a Great Gathering and I’d be ready to live again. I didn’t believe him, but he was right.  I came to the Gathering to find a new bond mate and start over, so when Allerton brought me over to Murphy’s table, I knew he was helping me meet people.  I thought at least Murphy would be friendly, but he barely even acknowledged me. I remember being crushed to think he wouldn’t even talk to me. He tells everyone now he was smitten with me, but he sure didn’t act like it. And then when one of the women at the table brought up the car accident and asked me if I was the one who killed my own bond mates, he stopped ignoring me long enough to look disgusted.  Then he left the table!  So I didn’t much like Liam Murphy at first.

When I ran into him at the Great Hunt a few nights later, I was surprised at how much he irked me, but we were both with other people and we ignored each other.  Then Rudi died right there in the middle of the hunt from drinking poisoned water and everybody thought I was the one who’d poisoned him. Except for Murphy. For a guy who seemed disgusted by me, he sure stuck by me and helped me.

We ended up bonding together so I wouldn’t have to stay in France under the supervision of one of the Great Councilors who didn’t believe I had nothing to do with Rudi’s death.  Murphy believed in me and together we proved I didn’t do it.

We made a good team.  I really started to like him and after a few months together I fell really hard for him. Like I can’t believe how much I love him hard. And then he left me. Made me glad I never had the guts to tell him how I felt.  He never got over losing his first bond mate. I guess he just decided I was too much trouble to deal with. I’m always getting in trouble and I think he got tired of bailing me out.

But I want him back. I wasn’t going to try, but Faith’s dream and Jason’s idea that Murphy’s in danger convinced me I had to try.  We’ll see how it goes. I’m so nervous, but when he left me, I just sat there in disbelief.  Maybe if he knows how much I want to be with him, he’ll change his mind.  Wish me luck? 

Is there anything about Liam that you would consider a flaw?

Besides the fact he’s still in love with a dead woman?  Well, there’s his utter conviction that he has to be the strong one who has to save the world and fight everyone’s battles for them, but never letting anyone help him fight his.  There’s that.

What is it that you want out of life?

To be with Murphy and for us both to be happy. To help Jason keep the Great Pack safe in my role as his Advisor. And to always have new shoes.  Shoes are my passion.  Sorry.

If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it?

Go shoe shopping with Murphy.  Seriously. He’s great fun to shop with. Or he used to be. If we get back together, the first thing I’m doing is dragging him to the mall.  Well, okay, maybe not the first thing.  But it’s on the top ten list!

Thanks, Stanzie. I’ll let you go make up with Liam now. Or go shoe shopping!

I’ll probably shoe shop first.  I always shop when I’m nervous. Cross your fingers for me. I really want Murphy back.
Stanzie’s job as Advisor to the Great Council is discovering other people’s secrets. When those secrets are being kept by the ones she loves most, can she find the courage to expose them?

Under orders from a Councilor, Stanzie journeys to Dublin and the MacTire pack. Her mission: warn her estranged bond mate, Liam Murphy, to abandon his overzealous search for the man responsible for the death of his first bond mate. Not only is he endangering himself, but also disrupting the delicate balance between opposing factions in the conspiracy threatening to tear the Great Pack apart.

Liam needs Stanzie’s help to protect their Alpha, who has entangled himself in the conspiracy’s deadly web. But he also desperately wants her back. In a race against time, Stanzie and Liam discover enemies often wear the faces of friends.

CONTENT WARNING: Vulgar language, sexual situations, some violence
A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance

About Face by Amy Lee Burgess
Book #5 Wolf Within Series
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery

Publication Date: April 1, 2013


Our fingers were still linked when I opened my eyes hours later. The bedroom smelled of sex--of us--and while he wasn't snoring, Murphy’s breath was slow and heavy, the way I remembered from the nights we’d spent together in America.
For a moment I was filled with such aching happiness I almost expected to levitate off the bed. But then I remembered everything, and black despair bit into me so hard I wondered I didn't bleed.

He’d rolled off me at some point, but we were still on top of the covers. I let go of his hand and slid off the bed. I found his t-shirt and my panties, put them on and fled to the living room.

The remains of our dinner had congealed on our plates on the table. The lights were still on, and I got as far as the sofas before my legs went out from beneath me and I couldn't breathe.

Murphy appeared like a ghost in the bedroom doorway. His eyes were very dark.

“Can we talk about it, Stanzie?”

“What’s to talk about?” I drew one of the throw pillows defensively close to my stomach.

I loved him but he didn't love me. I’d tried so hard not to let that overwhelm me and make peace with it. Of all the people in his life he protected, I was the last on the list and that’s not where I wanted to be. “You chose Paddy and Mac Tire over me, and I guess I get that, but it hurts.”

“I had no idea you loved me.” His tone was raw and desperate. “I thought I was doing the right thing. You didn't need to be put at risk in this, and I thought I could--”

“What? Don’t lie to me, Liam. You didn't want me involved because you’re going to do something stupid to save Paddy and your father. Why should you martyr yourself for them?”

“Paddy came to me for help,” Murphy shouted and the muscles in his face strained as he struggled to regain control. “He had nowhere else to turn, don’t you see? It’s not like I could tell him to go screw himself. He’s my best mate.”

“But it’s okay to tell me to go screw myself, I guess. I’m your bond mate. You wouldn't come to my tribunal. You threw me out like so much garbage when Paddy told you his problems. And you couldn't even tell me why. You’re so hell-bent on saving everybody, but it’s always on your terms and you have to be the one to give help--you never want it in return. I would have helped you. I would have done anything for Paddy--he’s my Alpha--but you decided what was best for me in your typical high-handed Liam Murphy fashion, and to hell with what I thought, what I wanted.

“And then tonight you take advantage of the fact I love you so you can, what? Have sex?

Haven’t you screwed anyone in four months, or have you just screwed people over?”

His face blanched of all color, and he stared at me, his dark eyes bottomless.

“That wasn't just sex. Did that feel like just sex to you?”

“No, not to me. I love you. But that’s what it was to you. Will you please leave me alone? I’m tired and I want to go to sleep.”

“Stanzie, I know you’re tired, but we've got to talk about this.”

“In the morning. Maybe.” I turned away from him because I couldn't stand to look at the entreaty in his eyes. In a heartbeat I’d be across the floor to him, and screw that.

He abruptly gave in. “Look, you take the bed, I’ll sleep out here.”

“No, I’ll stay out here.” I was ten seconds from tears, and I wanted him gone so he wouldn't see.

“Stanzie, take the bed.”

“No,” I shouted, and the damn tears poured down my cheeks. “It smells like us in there, don’t you get it? And us is a lie. Just let me do what I want, goddamn it.”

He opened his mouth to argue, but then, defeated, retreated and did as I asked.


Amy Lee Burgess is a transplanted New Englander living in Houston, Texas with two dogs and lots of DVDs. In an attempt to bond with the city after being forced out of New Orleans post-Katrina, she turned to her writing. Determined to finally finish that novel she'd been hacking away at since high school, Amy managed to come up with a wolf shifter character named Stanzie Newcastle. She and Stanzie have been BFFs ever since.

In addition to Stanzie, Amy has also forged a relationship with several vampires, a witch or two, and other assorted supernatural creatures she hopes will entertain her readers. But she will always have room for coffee and butterscotch squares with Stanzie.



Tour Schedule

April 1, 2013
M.J. Schiller, Romance Author (Guest Post)

April 2, 2013
Tana Rae Reads (Guest Post / Review)

April 3, 2013
Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews (Character Interview)

April 4, 2013
Secret Southern Couture (Guest Post / Review)

April 5, 2013
WordWranglers (Author Interview)

April 6, 2013
Coffee & A Book Anytime (Guest Post / Review)

April 8, 2013
Authors’ Cafe (Guest Post / Review)

April 9, 2013
Indie Paranormal Book Reviews (Guest Post)
Nancy's Novels Welcome to she said, he said... (Character Interview)

April 10, 2013
Words Without Limits (Guest Post)

April 11, 2013
The Wormhole (Author Interview / Review)
Melissa MacKinnon | Author (Guest Post)

April 12, 2013
Simply Ali (Guest Post)

April 13, 2013
SIK Book Reviews (Guest Post)

April 15, 2013
Romance Me (Guest Post / Review)

April 16, 2013
Janna Shay's Fair Play (Guest Post)

April 19, 2013
Open Book Society (Character Interview / Review)

April 24, 2013
Real World on Writing (Author Interview / Review)

April 26, 2013
Mama Knows Books (Guest Post)

April 27, 2013
You Gotta Read Reviews (Gues Post)

May 7, 2013
Romance Writer Sara Walter Ellwood (Guest Post)


$15 Giftcard
Copy of About Face


Amy Lee Burgess said...

Hi, Laurie. Thanks so much for letting Murphy and Stanzie take over your blog today. :)

Liza O'Connor said...

The rafflecopter has crashed.

I liked your interview.

Amy Lee Burgess said...

Rafflecopter is back up finally!

Jen D. said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Felicia said...

Thank you so much for sharing this - so cool!

HMitch76 said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Amber Daulton said...

Awesome giveaway! Thanks!

desitheblonde said...

great giveway