This week I’m hosting Lisa Carter with Carolina Reckoning, Steve Rzasa with Crosswind and Sandstorm (The Sark Brothers Tales–US and Canada only) and Carla Olson Gade with Pattern for Romance (US only). If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at email@example.com. The drawings end Sunday (Aug 18th) evening.
1. Mike Barefoot, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
Uh . . . As a police detective, I’m usually the one asking the questions. But okay, Mrs. Daley, I’ll play along for now. Call you Margaret? Sure. Whatever you say. Most interesting thing about me? I’m one-quarter Cherokee.
2. What do you do for fun?
I hang out with the guys from the station. We shoot pool. I like to work with my hands—woodcarving, renovation, that sort of thing. I’ve always wanted to restore an old house and live in it.
3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?
I hate going to the grocery store. Actually, I hate eating alone even worse. So why bother with either? I’m more into fast and convenient. In and then out. Some less than stellar individuals have pointed out that pretty much sums up my relationships thus far. They are entitled to their inaccurate opinions. Let’s just say for the record, I prefer to eat out.
4. What are you afraid of most in life?
A long, studied pause.
Margaret, don’t you think this is getting kind of personal?
Margaret repeats the question.
He mutters something under his breath. Margaret, the former schoolteacher, skewers him with The Look. He sighs.
Alright, you asked for it. How about this whole God thing my grandmother tried to shove down my throat when I was a boy? In my line of work, I see a lot. A lot of things not God nor Granny-rated. I won’t even get into the stuff that went down when I was in the army over in Fallujah. I’ve got my doubts about God; about what He’s doing or not doing; and I remember enough from hard pews on my boyish backside that He’s an all or nothing proposition. Total surrender. Total control. I’m not there yet. I feel a lot better with my hand on the wheel of my life.
Sure, it gets lonely now that my grandparents have passed and my niece, Brooke, is away at school. The nights are the worst—the nightmares from the oil wells burning like the fires of hell. The Ranger that stepped on the—oh, you’re good, Margaret. You’re real good. You almost had me spilling my guts. You ever think about becoming a prosecutor?
His lips tighten.
Or a Nazi interrogator?
5. What do you want out of life?
Mike inserts a finger between his collar and his neck.
I’m not getting out of here till I answer your questions, am I?
Margaret taps her pen against her notepad, waiting. And like most suspects in the hot seat, Mike can’t take the silence.
He takes a deep breath.
Fine. This will sound hokey. But I want to protect and serve. I dropped out of college due to finances, but I was gung-ho to serve my country. And now that I’m stateside, I’ve made it my personal mission to keep Raleigh’s citizens safe and to put murderers behind bars where they belong.
He purses his lips.
And I’m not adverse to a little romance in my life, either. Although marriage? Don’t get me started. Who do you think commits most murders? I’ll tell you who. The spouse. The one that was supposed to love you the most and forever.
Like that ever happens in real life.
Or at least not to me.
6. What is the most important thing to you?
Doing my job well. Keeping the people I care about safe. Not letting my partner down. This is going to sound even hokier—honor, integrity and character.
7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?
I’m more of an action-oriented kind of guy. With the hours I keep, if I get still, I go to sleep. But I’ll scan woodworking magazines and back issues of This Old House if given a chance. Oh, and that crazy Monaghan case has me reading the Bible that I dug out of my army foot locker.
But if you mention that little factoid to Her, I’ll deny it.
8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’m not too trusting or optimistic about human nature—one of the hazards of the job, I guess. I’m also not anybody’s version of Prince Charming—smooth and eloquent not so much. I could use a little more finesse in the social graces department. Especially on this Monaghan case.
I knew when I got the call on the Monaghan murder and saw the address I’d be dealing with some uptight, high-maintenance, overprivileged types.
9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
With the hours I work, I’m not at the apartment enough to have a pet. Wouldn’t be fair to the animal. I like animals, though. Had a dog as a kid in the Blue Ridge Mountains where I grew up. Maybe one day . . . I’d like another dog . . . if I ever settled down and went domestic.
10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I’d travel back—say 400 years—to my homeland in the Blue Ridge. Back to when this country was still pristine wilderness. When it was just my people here.
He smirks at Margaret.
Back before you people came and goofed everything up.
His lips curve.
And maybe with my skills, this time we’d make sure you folks went back to where you came from.
He laughs. Margaret raises an eyebrow and closes the interview session.