- The Wild Rose Press
- Release Date
- November 2018
- Book 3 of Hotel LaBelle Series, Book 3
Anomaly Defense Director and shapeshifter Bert Blackfeather doesn't need a boss with no experience. So what if she's beautiful or gives him a jolt when she shakes his hand? He never plans to get seriously involved with another woman—not in this lifetime.
Phoebe Wagner, an empath with psychometric abilities and an advocate for the deaf, gets more than she bargained for with Bert. One touch and she relives his IED injuries. So what if he's handsome and hot? She doesn't need to add his secrets to her own. Phoebe's are bad enough.
When his niece goes missing from Hotel LaBelle, Bert goes to Montana to help—and Phoebe insists on going with him. Can these two hard-headed people share their darkest secrets in order to work together? It may be the only way to save an endangered child—and their own hearts when Bert's past rears its ugly head.
Nov 15, 2018 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
106 people found the following review helpful
I fell in love with this series after reading book 2, LEGACY of EVIL, and right when you think that Sharon Buchbinder couldn't do any better, she does. EYE OF THE EAGLE is an amazing continuation to this phenomenal family and I was so happy that Bert Blackfeather not only met his match with Phoebe Wagner but got his long overdue happily ever after.
As the Anomaly Defense Director and a shapeshifter, Bert Blackfeather has his work cut out for him. Not only is he the head of a government division that's strictly need to know, his niece has gone missing. Rushing to Montana to help with the search, his new boss insists on taking personal time to go with him under the guise that the kidnapping might have something to do with him. His boss, Phoebe Wagner, an empath with psychometric abilities and an advocate for the deaf, has her own secrets to hide. Let the games begin.
Loves/Likes: I love the locale for this series and the Hotel LaBelle (read the first two books to get a better feel for the place). The characters are fantabulous and I'm not sure I can put together a sufficient amount of adjectives and still make sense. The secondary characters are such an integral part of the story that not to have them would mean an entirely different story. The cousins are as quirky as they are loveable, each with their own set of problems and unique means to solutions. This tightly constructed story is a great read with the right amount of suspense building that doesn't lag anywhere within the plot. And yes, there is romance; although it's a slow burn partly due to the constant interruptions from the other characters and well, a kidnapping to resolve.
Dislikes: Not a thing.
I cannot recommend this book enough. This is a terrific series that while it doesn't require reading the other stories (each is a standalone), it will greatly enhance the world-building and your positively enjoyable reading experience.
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BOOK INTERVIEW on November 2018
Interview by Laura
Welcome, Sharon, to The Romance Reviews!
Q: Where did you get your inspiration for the Hotel LaBelle series? How are the books tied together?
My husband and I travel a lot for business and pleasure. Over the forty plus years of our marriage, we have stayed at everything from stunning boutique hotels to fabulous bed and breakfasts to corporate chains. We even stayed at a Motel 6 in a blizzard in Davenport, Iowa in the late 1970s. It was so cold, my husband had to keep going out and starting the car every two hours so it wouldn't freeze and we had to put towels at the door to keep snow from blowing in. After sharing numerous travel horror stories with a writing friend, she said, "You should write a book about this!" Ta-dah!! I drew from these experiences to create Tallulah Thompson, Hotel Inspector and her partner and pug, Franny.
When I wrote the first book in the Hotel LaBelle Series (The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle), I knew I wanted to tie it in to my Kiss of the Jinni Hunter Series. Like Charlie, in Charlie's Angels, Bert Blackfeather serves as the character who ties the books together. The dashing director of the Anomaly Defense Division in Homeland Security is Native American, specifically Crow. The fictional Hotel LaBelle is located in Billings, Montana on the shores of the Yellowstone River, about one hour away from the Crow Reservation. On the one hand, Bert has a high, potentially dangerous job in a top secret agency. On the other hand, the Crow Reservation and the Hotel LaBelle provide Bert and his family with safety, comfort, love, and support. In Eye of the Eagle, this balance of danger and security is violated when Bert's niece disappears from the Hotel LaBelle, making the act all the more horrific.
Q: EYE OF THE EAGLE is the 3rd book in the series and features Anomaly Defense Director and shapeshifter Bert Blackfeather and his boss Phoebe Wagner, an empath with psychometric abilities. What is it about paranormal romance that draws you?
Paranormal events have played a role in my life since childhood. I have always accepted this alternate reality that many others do not experience or recognize. Their disbelief doesn't dismiss my psychic experiences: dreams that come true, that I think of someone–and that person calls, and that I knew my sister was pregnant before she did. In the 1970's while a psychology major at the University of Connecticut, I participated in telepathy experiments using the now famous J.B. Rhine Zener cards and other images. My "hit rate" as a receiver was statistically greater than chance occurrence. I lived in a haunted duplex in college and could hear the ghost who lived there (my brother could see her). Curiosity and pragmatism took me down the paths of psychology (BA), neuroscience (MA in Psychology), Nursing (AAS) and finally, public health (PhD). When I returned to writing fiction from non-fiction, I began in Horror, Mystery, and Science Fiction--the books I loved to read. However, now that I was married, I added Romance to the mix—much to the consternation of those other genre readers. LOL! A dear friend suggested that I should consider joining RWA because it had many rooms for authors. I was thrilled to find I could combine all these fabulous genres in Paranormal Romance and have stayed with it because it enables me to explore bridges between these worlds.
Q: Please tell us more about heroine Phoebe Wagner. What exactly can she do with her psychometric abilities? And if she can rile up our hero, as can be seen from the blurb, she already sounds delightful.
The character of Phoebe Wagner is based on my grandmother, who was deaf and who raised m. My second language was American Sign Language and my grandmother gave me love and strength when my world collapsed at three years of age. My grandmother always knew when I was up to something--I swear she was psychic. I took this experience with my grandmother, added her resilience, hard-headiness, intellect and humor in a young beautiful woman who is also deaf—and ramped up her psychic powers.
As an Empath, when Phoebe makes direct physical contact with another person, she feels their most salient emotions and sees the memories attached to them. When she shakes hands with Bert, his IED injury emotions and memories nearly knock her off her feet. There are memories Bert has hidden from everyone, even himself, so she stirs things up with her powers. When using her psychometric abilities, she must focus on the residue of memories carried in objects. Phoebe's sharpest psychic images are less than forty-eight hours old. Past that time, her psychometric abilities faded, like a photo left in the sun, growing fainter with each passing day.
Q: What about Bert Blackfeather? What in his past made him resolve never to get seriously involved with another woman?
When he was in the VA hospital recovering from his IED injury, Bert met Susan Foxtail. She was the sun and the moon to Bert. Smart, kind, compassionate, patient with Bert and his eruptions of frustration and self-pity, she had aroused his passions—all of them—including anger. A rehabilitation nurse, Susan had taught him to live again—and to hope. They fell in love and were to marry—and then she was hit and killed by a drunk driver. Devastated, he vowed never to become involved with another woman—until he met Phoebe—and he resists the attraction. Besides, she his boss!
Q: What is their first meeting like?
Enjoy this excerpt:
She clasped his big hand with her smaller one— and an electromagnetic charge pulsed between them. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up—and downy feathers began to poke at his collar. Her gaze bore into him, her mouth opened in an o, and her large blue eyes widened. After holding his hand for a length of time most people considered polite, she jerked out of his grasp, stared at her palm and then back at him as if momentarily stunned. First time he'd ever had that kind of effect on a woman. And the first time a woman had ever had that kind of effect on him.
"Something wrong?" he signed. "You okay?"
The Under Secretary brushed her hair away from her face. "I'm fine." A slight tremble in her hand belied her assurance—but she continued, "One more question."
His cell phone blared. The song indicated someone was calling from Hotel LaBelle, either Lucius or Tallulah. That wasn't like them. They never called him during the day. He was busy and so were they. The country western music stopped after three rings, then started up with a second call, the song sounding more plaintive with each passing moment.
"I'm sorry. I have to take this."
"I'll wait." She clutched her bag with the bouncing Bisou, tilted her head, and fixed him with a thoughtful gaze.
He pressed the talk button and put the phone to his ear. "Bert Blackfeather."
On the other end of the line, someone sobbed, and Lucius spoke, his voice rough. "Bert—it's our baby girl, Miriam. She's gone. Out of her room. We were right upstairs. No idea what happened." He broke down. "We need your help. Someone grabbed her, Bert. Took her right out from under our noses."
Phoebe watched Bert's handsome face melt from an all business expression, into one of concern and almost palpable fear. Whatever the call was about, whoever it was from, it was bad news. And he didn't rattle easily, she could tell, and not just from her conversation with him. When they shook hands, the power and depth of the psychic link shook her. An empath, she experienced his most emotionally laden memories in a gut-wrenching burst. She'd almost doubled over in pain when they hit her…
Sucker punched, she marveled how this man was still alive, much less psychologically intact. Just as she began to jerk out of his firm grasp to escape the anguish of his memories, a sense of peace rolled over her. She glanced at his hand and instead of fingers, the tip of a wing appeared, and she trembled at the soft brush of feathers. The vision disappeared, leaving her shaken— and intrigued. Although she'd had many empathic experiences before and used her talent to do her own background checks on people, not once had she come away with such a sense of intimacy—and a bone-jarring attraction.
Q: What makes them perfect for each other?
Bert likes to tell himself they are from the opposite side of the tracks. He's Native American, raised on the Crow Reservation, worked his way out of poverty through education and the military. She's a blue-blood, raised in a suburb of Washington, D.C. in the lap of luxury and privilege as a Senator's daughter. However, both are in marginalized communities and both are resilient, survivors of ordeals no one should have to endure. Her father died when she was a child under mysterious circumstances. His father died in Viet Nam when he was in high school. She's deaf; he's in a wheelchair. She's an advocate for deaf children, he teaches deaf children on the reservation. Both are brilliant and passionate about their families, people, and work. And, they are both stubborn, hard-headed and obstinate. Did I mention stubborn?
Q: What for you is a romantic moment between them?
Enjoy this excerpt:
His heart stuttered and heat flushed his face. "You sure you're ready to see me—in the daylight?"
She frowned and pursed her lips. "Do I look like someone afraid of taking on a challenge?"
"No. You look like a kick ass heroine named Thunder Heart, and I would be honored and privileged to share your bed."
"You promised me flying lessons."
"And you shall have them. Now, where did we leave off?"
She stood, placed her hands on the sides of his chair and leaned in for a long passionate kiss. He closed his eyes and gave her a preview, taking her with him in his memories, soaring over the hotel, and then swirling and swooping down to the river to grab a fat flopping trout in his talons.
She pulled back, breaking the connection, blue eyes wide, her full red lips agape. "Amazing. I want more."
"Advanced flying lessons require both of us to be naked—and in bed, as close as two people can get."
Phoebe stood back. "What are you waiting for? Let's get going."
He chuckled. "Well, you are my boss. I don't want anyone to say you coerced me or I forced you. Do we need to put this in writing?" She tilted her head and gave him a puzzled look. "A legal document perhaps? I, Phoebe Wagner, hereby enter into consensual sex freely and without coercion with one Bert Blackfeather…"
She stomped her foot. "Give me your phone." He handed her his cell.
Q: Which character in the series is the hardest to write? Why?
Stephanie. She is Bert and Emma's cousin and she is a Two-Spirit, i.e., transgender character. I love her and many of my readers do, too. I am an LGBTQ ally and my friends in the LGBTQ community read her character for authenticity. I take my craft very seriously and I love Stephanie, so when she appears in my books, I want her to be larger than life—but not over the top. It's a delicate balance.
Q: What kind of research did you have to do to write this book? Please share an interesting fact or unique behind the scenes experience.
Three of my readers were sensitivity readers, i.e., writers and readers who read works of fiction or other writings with a view toward accurate representation of groups of people and for "bias, racism, or unintentional stereotypes" ("What the heck is sensitivity reading?" Marks, 2018). One reader is a graduate of Gallaudet University, the only university founded by an Act of Congress with a charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln "specifically designed to serve deaf and hard- of-hearing students" ("Fast facts," Gallaudet.edu ). The other two readers are disability experts, one of whom is also an advocate of accurate representation of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals. I deferred to my sensitivity readers on all matters of representation, tone, and language. Any errors or misinterpretations of their generous guidance are solely mine.
I also conducted extensive research on the Crow Nation, including traveling to Montana twice and visiting the Crow Fair—which was awesome and I highly recommend. Nothing beats firsthand experience when you are writing about a setting. I love Montana and I hope that shines through in my writing. My author's note at the front of the book gives more details and references for readers interested in the topics covered in the book, including missing children and police procedure, Native American culture, our country's history in MKULTRA and psychic warriors, the Iraq War and Russian transnational crimes. If you hadn't already guessed, I love research almost as much as I love writing.
Q: What's up next for you?
Hotel LaBelle Book 4, tentatively named Cry of the Wolf, will be the next in the series and a small character in Book 3, Jacob Graywolf will be the hero investigating the disappearances and murders of Native American Women. The heroine will be a tenacious red-haired FBI Agent named Zena Adalwolf and she will be a cross-over character from Kiss of the Virgin Queen. And, of course, there will be paranormal elements. No spoilers!
Sounds great! *grin* Thank you for your time, Sharon!
Bio of author, Sharon Buchbinder:
Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, and obtained a PhD in Public Health. She is the author of the Hotel LaBelle Series, the Jinni Hunter Series, and the Obsession Series. When not attempting to make students and colleagues laugh or writing, she can be found fishing, walking her dogs, herding cats, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends in Baltimore, MD and Punta Gorda, FL.
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