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Blog Tour: Shadow of Deceit by Mal Olson - Promo + Author Interview

Hey guys!

Welcome to today's stop of Shadow of Deceit. Shadow of Deceit is written by Mal Olson and it's a romantic suspense! It looks really good, doesn't it? I'm sorry this is up so late, but I was out at school the whole day and couldn't find the time to post this!

Shadow of Deceit by Mal Olson

Can an FBI agent obsessed with redemption and a grieving widow desperate to clear her husband’s name learn to believe in love again?

Shannon Riedel faces down danger when a gunman breaks into her office claiming her dead husband swindled him. When FBI agent Tony Crazaniak arrives to investigate, sexual heat sizzles. The ex-Delta Force operative’s massive presence and dark eyes trigger an attraction the young widow finds unnerving.

When Crazaniak convinces Shannon she needs his protection, they partner to unearth secrets her husband left behind—secrets involving a Tanzanian mine that yields perfect blue diamonds coveted by dealers around the world—secrets connected to a terrorist leader Crazanaik has vowed to take down.

Mal Olson

Mal Olson writes adrenaline-kicked romantic suspense. When her consuming passion for writing allows time, she enjoys reading, flower gardening, jamming with friends on the mountain dulcimer, and hiking in a nearby state forest (or in the mountains somewhere). She has three grown children and one granddaughter and resides with her own special hero in southeast Wisconsin where she juggles writing time with her freelance landscape design business.

Check out her Website

Excerpt time!

Excerpt 1:

Shannon sat, stalled, her heart pummeling like prey snagged in an icy hunter’s trap.
Someone knocked on her window.

Heart in her throat, every muscle in her body tensed as she jerked her head toward the passenger side and looked through frosted glass into the face of Special Agent Tony Crazaniak.

Relief uncoiled the knot in her stomach. She’d never been so happy to see anyone in her life. She unlocked the door, and he opened it.

“Jesus, what the hell was that all about?” He dipped his head and plunked a snow-clogged foot onto the floor mat as he grabbed her bags and tossed them over the seat.
“I don’t know, and I wasn’t sticking around to find out.”

Cramming six-foot-plus inches of man into her Porsche was like stuffing two hundred pounds of prime beef into a picnic cooler. But he managed not only to squeeze in and make himself comfortable, he took charge.
“Traffic’s moving, go!”

She eased the accelerator, launching forward into an ice-jammed gridlock of traffic crawling west.
“You want to tell me what’s going on?” His shoulder brushed against hers when he shifted in the seat.
“I would if I had the slightest clue.”

His heat made her nerve endings prickle. And as far as telling him what was going on? The “would if I could” may not have been the entire truth, but it was close enough. Besides, she didn’t want to tell him anything. Yet.
What did she actually know?

Snow bunched on the windshield as the wiper blades plowed through thick gruel, as her brain churned, as she tried to come up with an answer the FBI operative would buy. “Obviously someone’s after me.”

“Obviously. But, who?”

“I don’t know.”

“Jilted lover?”

Snapping her head around, she glared at him. The full effect of his intense eyes sent heat waves rippling down her spine.
“No.” Cheeks blooming hot, she tugged her glance away and added, “No lovers.”

She felt his scrutiny slow-slide over her. The bloom that heated her cheeks spread down her neck.
“You ought to fix that,” said Tall-Dark-and-Scrumptious.

And the fact that she noticed that he was scrumptious flustered her. She wasn’t looking for…anything. Although, she could use his broad-shouldered, don’t-mess-with-me attitude and his FBI badge riding shotgun until she ditched the Lexus.
“Listen, I’m not…I mean…” What did she mean? “Not in the market…All I want is a guard dog until I lose the lunatic in the Lexus.”

He shrugged. “Can’t blame a guy for trying.” His smile slammed the scrumptious meter so high she heard bells ring, which made her reconsider her comfort level. She realized she would be safer, at least on an estrogen-to-testosterone level, without his massive presence and raw animal magnetism steaming up the Porsche’s windows.

Looking into the mirror, she couldn’t see the Lexus. She turned around and still couldn’t spot it. Even if it were there, it couldn’t pass four cars on Wisconsin Avenue on a good day, let alone in this snowy mess.

“On second thought, why don’t I pull over at the next light and you can hop out. If I want help, I’ll whistle.”

“I don’t think so.” He swiveled to look out the rear window, his mouth nearly brushing her cheek.

Too close. Too hot. Too dangerous.

She couldn’t pull over without getting stuck in the slushy excuse for a right lane, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t stop, and that he couldn’t let himself out.

When the line of traffic stalled again, she eased her foot on the brake and said with a prick of guilt over ditching him in calf-high muck, “End of the ride, Agent Crazaniak.”

He shook his head.

“I can make it home from here. Thanks for your concern.” Too bad he hadn’t worn boots.
He settled his broad shoulders against the seat.
“I no longer need your assistance.” She glanced over her shoulder again. “The Lexus is gone.”

“Not my style to leave a woman in distress.”

“Distress?” At the moment, he was the cause of her distress. All she wanted was to get rid of FBI Agent Tony Crazaniak.
Her attention snagged on the Tahoe in front of them, which attempted a jackrabbit start, fishtailed, and landed in a snow bank.
“Maybe when you get out, you could give the guy in the Tahoe a hand.”

“You need protection.”

She reached into the glove box and whipped out a gold lipstick tube. “I’ve got it.” Pepper spray. She waggled bouquet de Red Hot Chili Pepper at him.

“You need my protection.”

“How do I know you’re really an FBI agent?” She flipped off the top.

He eyed her small but effective weapon.

“Come on, Shannon, don’t mess around.” Raising his hands in surrender, he leaned away and grasped the door handle. “I don’t think you want to do that.”

“All I want is to go home. Alone…please.”

A nanosecond later, she found herself watching him stuff her pepper spray into his pocket. She didn’t know how the exchange had happened. Other than fast.

“Protective custody.” He patted his pocket. “I’ll get you home safely, and you won’t even have to whistle.”

Dear God, she was trapped in her car with a man who oozed so much male charisma she felt like she was drowning in testosterone.

“Seriously, how do I know your ID is legit? You could be an ax murderer for all I know.”

“You want to call the Bureau?” He offered his cell phone. “You can get the number from information. You wouldn’t want to trust a suspected mass murderer for the correct number.”

She rolled her eyes.

“It’s listed under Federal Bureau of Investigation. They’ll vouch that I’m a really nice guy.”

When she took the phone, his body heat clung to it and warmed her palm, irritatingly so. “Are you, really?”

“What, hiding an ax under my jacket?”

“No.” She scowled and thumbed in 411. It didn’t hurt to check him out. “Are you really a nice guy?”
“What do you think?”

She thought he wanted to interrogate her. And none of the nice guys she knew were pumped like Hercules. Rather than answering him, she spoke into the phone, “I’d like the number for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
The car behind them honked, and she turned her attention to driving and squeezed past the stranded Tahoe. While edging into the intersection, she concentrated on the snow squall, the taillights of the car ahead of them, and on memorizing the numbers the automated voice was reciting in her ear.

“Look out!” Crazaniak yelled as the Lexus materialized from the right, racing toward them. “The bastard must have turned off somewhere and circled around.”

“Jeez, he’s going to ram us!” Shannon dropped the phone and stomped the gas pedal. The tires whined and spun and finally dug beneath the slush. But when rubber found traction, the car catapulted forward too fast.
Streetlights whirled.

Her 944 swapped ends twice on the glazed surface and came to a dead stop in the middle of the intersection.

The Lexus revved its engine, its wheels pelting ice. Then rocketed toward them for a second attack.

Paralyzed, Shannon froze in terror. Every muscle in her body locked up. Static electricity lifted the hair at her nape. An image of the accident two years ago flashed through her mind.

“Hit the gas! Hit the gas!”

Excerpt 2:

The gun Shannon came across at the bottom of a neatly folded stack of masculine attire on her bed shouldn’t have surprised her. She’d seen the agent’s Glock earlier.

Intrigued, she reached for the pistol, an object that seemed so out of place in her bedroom. As though she were familiar with handling firearms when she wasn’t, she wrapped her hand around the grip then jerked her head toward the bathroom door, conjuring up thriller fantasies.

But she didn’t have to conjure anything when she noticed a letter poking out of Crazaniak’s inside jacket pocket. Nor did she have to imagine the fact that the closet door stood slightly ajar. Her stomach clenched, a mix of anger and unease. Had the FBI agent been nosing through Tyler’s belongings?

Tit for tat—the urge to sneak a peak overwhelmed her. Her heartbeat ratcheted up as she shifted the gun to her left hand and reached for the letter.

At that instant, she sensed a presence behind her. Even as the sound of water pounded the walls of the tub enclosure, Shannon knew in her heart of hearts that six foot-plus of dripping wet, naked man stood not relaxing under the water jets, but hovering five heart-palpitating feet away.

“Want to toss me my clothes?” he asked.

Unwilling to face him, she remained quick-frozen like a pillar of ice.

“Tell me you weren’t snooping in my things,” he rumbled.

“Tell me you weren’t snooping in my closet.”

“ I wasn’t snooping.”

She eyed the edge of the letter. “I thought I’d treat your duds to some suds. You want to hang out in my robe for a few?”

“Not enough material there to cover my manly attributes. I’ll settle for day-old Jockeys, and what the hell were you doing with my pistol?”

“Nothing.” She almost turned around.

Her chest thumped. The thought of Crazaniak au natural not only spiked her pulse, it titillated her imagination. She waited for a chord of guilt to strum across her heart. It didn’t happen. Instead, discord fluttered low in her abdomen, and she sensed him moving closer.

And now, let's welcome Mal to the blog for a short interview! :D

Hi Mal,  it’s lovely to have you on the blog today!

For starters, why not tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
MO: First of all, thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on your blog.

Very few people know that I played the accordion all the way through school, and that my first job (during high school) was teaching accordion lessons at a music studio.  (Maybe people don't know that because I haven't played the instrument in years.).   

What made you want to become a writer?

MO:  Writing is in my blood. It seems I can't not write.  For so many years, it's been my dream  to be able to share my stories with others.  Finally, with my debut--Shadow of Deceit--I will be seeing that dream come true.

Did you have other aspirations/dreams in the past, or have you always wanted to be a writer?
MO: I always loved to write, and during my senior year in high school I was editor of the school newspaper. For many years, writing was simply a pass time, dabbling here and there, participating in writing groups and taking classes in creative writing. Then one day my oldest daughter and I decided to write a romance novel together.  As a matter of fact, we co-authored two romantic suspense novels. Then we branched into working on individual projects.  We still critique each other's work. (I'd be lost without her input.) From the minute we started those projects, I've been totally focused on becoming a published novelist.  It's been a long time coming, but now I am one.  :)

When coming up with your characters, who or what is your biggest inspiration?
MO: I suppose I'm subconsciously inspired by real life people, as well as favorite characters in movies, books, and TV.  From that inspiration, my adaptations and reincarnations seem to brew in my thoughts until a character just shows up on my page.

How do you get your ideas for your story?
MO: A newspaper article will sometimes  get my creative juices flowing, as well as lyrics in a song, or a unique setting while traveling.  The ideas come from everywhere.

Could you tell us a bit about your book and why it is a must-read?
MO: FBI agent, ex-Delta force operative, Tony Crazaniak risks his career when he collaborates with a young widow.  Shannon Riedel is desperate to prove herself and her husband innocent of diamond trafficking with the terrorists who  killed Crazaniak's Delta Force team three year before.

 A must read?  I like the way one of my reviewers put it: "Non-stop action, sexual tension, and an adventure that kept me on the edge of my seat . . . A fantastic book that had me from page one. A must read, and a book you just have to have!!" This was a five star review from someone who reviews 150 plus books a year and gives very few five stars.   

What do you love most about the writing process?
MO: It's exciting to work out a completely new plot and story.

And of course, do you have a particular favorite character? I know an author will love most if not all of the characters he/she creates, but I’m sure there must be a favorite of yours! So who is it, and why?
MO: I love Tony Crazaniak for the same reasons Shannon grows to love him, because he's hard-as-granite tough, yet human enough to be afraid of exposing his demons.

Will you tell us a little about your plans for the future?
MO: Finishing more of my favorite kind of story—adrenaline-kicked romantic suspense—that's my goal for the future.  My WIP is another stand alone RS centered around a female rookie sheriff, her field-training officer and a police dog  named Rambo.

I've also got the adrenaline series in the works--stories about men and women who are members of a CIA counterterrorism team, the risks they face, and the romances that spark on the brink of danger.  Edge of the seat suspense, edge of the heart romance.

And of course, are there any other books that are in the works? (Ideas thought out, perhaps even a rough draft?)
MO:  Guess I jumped the gun on that last question, so I'll tell you about two freebies I'd love to share with my readers. Me and Brad brings together a cop, a lonely young woman, and a forlorn canine. It's a feel-good short story that you'll find on, and on my website—, another action-packed romantic suspense, a  short story, where a female Air Force pilot and an ex-Delta Force operative (one of the supporting characters from Shadow of Deceit) survive a rock 'n roll landing on an icy runway and chase a could-be terrorist into the Danger Zone.  This is also free on my website, at, and I'm waiting for to "price match" it so it'll be free there also.

And now, just some little random questions!

Favorite colour?  Lavender

Favorite place? Everywhere in Norway

Favorite book? everything by Suzanne Brockmann. If I had to pick one, Breaking Point

Favorite thing? You got me there.

What you do when you’re free:   read, hike in the nearby natural areas, play the mountain dulcimer, watch Packer football.

Favorite day? Sunday

Favorite Sport? football  (as a spectator, of course)

Hmm, I think that should be about it for today! It was a pleasure to have you on the blog today, Mal! Wishing you all the best in your career! :D

MO: Thank you! It was a pleasure to be here.

So yep, that's about it for today! Go here to check out the other tour stops! You'll find loads of awesome stuff on the other tour sites too! :D


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