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Take Five: Gwen Hernandez and Blind Justice

Our resident Scrivener aficionado Gwen Hernandez recently released her novel, Blind Justice [1].  We’re so pleased she’s taken the time to join us here today and tell you more about it.

Growing up, Gwen Hernandez wasn’t brave enough to share the stories in her head with other kids, but they usually involved intrigue and romance. She was raised in the Army and Navy, and married an Air Force engineer, so it’s natural that her Men of Steele series features military heroes and heroines who must overcome danger to find true love.

The former programmer and manufacturing engineer also helps authors all over the world find the joy in Scrivener through Scrivener For Dummies, online courses, in-person workshops, and private training.

Now living in SoCal, she likes to travel, read, jog, flail on a yoga mat, and explore with her husband and a lazy golden retriever.

Q1: What’s the premise of your new book?

When Tara Fujimoto’s quest to avenge her sister’s death makes her a target, a sexy security specialist steps in to watch her back, but his quiet appeal threatens her carefully guarded heart. Can she resist their lightning-hot attraction, and stay alive long enough to expose her enemy?

Former special operator Jeff Patarava has good reasons to keep his distance from his impossibly perfect coworker, but when her life is threatened, his resolve is shot to hell. Forced into close proximity, sparks fly as he learns she’s far more than her flawless appearance suggests. Now, he’ll put everything on the line to keep her alive.

Q2: What would you like people to know about the story itself?

Blind Justice touches on several heavy topics, including suicide, sexual exploitation, and parental kidnapping. But somehow, there’s still room for joy and hope. Honestly, that’s what I love about romantic suspense. It’s a complex weaving of thriller and romance, where, if I’ve done it right, neither thread could be removed without ruining the story.

Q3: What do your characters have to overcome in this story? What challenge do you set before them?

Obviously, they’re trying to stay alive and stop the threat, but the real challenges for them are internal.

Tara’s had extremely bad luck with men over the years, culminating in an experience that makes her pull back from dating completely. Jeff is the first man who’s tempted her in years, and she’s scared to let down her guard.

Jeff’s son is missing, and he feels guilt over his attraction to Tara, like he doesn’t deserve joy right now. And he doesn’t plan to stick around once he finds his son, so the spark between him and Tara is inconvenient for him too.

Jeff also has to overcome his preconceived notions about what kind of woman Tara is. He initially only sees the high-maintenance, city girl and not the complex woman beneath the perfect makeup and high heels.

Q4: What unique challenges did this book pose for you, if any?

The subplot with Jeff’s son became a much larger part of the story than I intended. It’s tough to have kids on the page when there’s so much danger. I spent weeks (maybe months) trying to figure out how to balance Jeff’s competing priorities: his commitment to his son and his need to protect Tara.

I’m not a plotter, so it was a haphazard process.

Q5: What has been the most rewarding aspect of having written this book?

Finishing! LOL. I’m not even kidding. In the world of romance I’m considered a slow writer, so every time I finish a book it’s worth celebrating.

But also—and this will probably sound weird—I’ve been trying to write a match for Tara since the second book (Blind Justice is book five). Being able to finally watch her overcome her history and fall in love has been great.

Actually, even better has been having my early readers fall in love with her story too.

Thank you so much, Gwen!

Readers, order your copy here [2], or at Amazon [1].

About [3]

Writer Unboxed began as a collaboration between Therese Walsh [4] and Kathleen Bolton [5] in 2006. Since then the site has grown to include ~50 regular contributors--including bestselling authors and industry leaders--and frequent guests. In 2014, the first Writer Unboxed UnConference (part UNtraditional conference, part intensive craft event, part networking affair) [6] was held in Salem, MA. Learn more about our 2019 event, ESCAPE TO WuNDERLAND, on Eventbrite. [7] In 2016, the Writer Unboxed team published a book with Writer's Digest. AUTHOR IN PROGRESS: A No-Holds-Barred Guide to What It Really Takes to Get Published [8] has been well-received by readers who seek help in overcoming the hurdles faced at every step of the novel-writing process--from setting goals, researching, and drafting to giving and receiving critiques, polishing prose, and seeking publication. James Scott Bell has said of the guide, "Nourishment for the writer's soul and motivation for the writer's heart." You can follow Writer Unboxed on Twitter [9], and join our thriving Facebook community [10].