Catching Fire with Ann Gimpel and Giveaway

Please join me in welcoming author Ann Gimpel today. Ann is stopping by as part of her virtual book tour celebrating the release of her latest book, Winning Glory. Winning Glory was published on April 21 by Dream Shadow Press and is the first book in Ann’s GenTech Rebellion series.

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel. Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist. In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family. You can learn more about Ann by visiting her website, her blog, on Facebook and by following her on Twitter.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00063]ABOUT WINNING GLORY: Series Backstory: Sometime between the interminable wars in the Middle East and 9/11, the United States moved forward breeding a race of super humans. Clandestine labs formed, armed with eager scientists who’d always yearned to manipulate human DNA. At first the clones looked promising, growing to fighting size in as little as a dozen years, but V1 had design flaws. Seven years ago, a rogue group turned on their creators, blew up the lab, and hit all the other breeding farms, freeing whomever they could find. In the intervening time, they’ve retreated to hidden compounds and created a society run by men. Women are kept on a tight leash because the men fear if they discover their innate power, they’d launch their own rebellion. Book Description: Winning Glory Being a genetically altered human without a name grew old, so Glory named herself. Surrounded by a maze of unpleasant alternatives, she makes a bold choice and ends up a fugitive in the midst of a Minnesota winter. Once she’s on the run, she discovers how unprepared she is for life outside her protected compound. CIA agent, Roy Kincaid, devoted his career to hunting super humans who staged a rebellion seven years before. He’s not making much headway, so he goes deep undercover. One blustery night, a striking woman staggers into the café where he’s catching a late meal. Part waif, part runway model, the half-frozen woman arrows straight into his heart. Glory’s flat out of alternatives, but death in the storm might be preferable to telling the tall stranger looming over her anything. Sensing Roy is dangerous, she pushes into his head seeking clues and discovers he hunts those like her. Maybe she can fool him, just for tonight. Get a hot meal and dry motel room out of the deal. If she’s lucky, he’ll never find out she’s on the run from the same group he’s targeted for death. The thing she didn’t count on was falling in love.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Winning Glory, click on one of the following links:
Barnes & Noble

And now, let’s hear from Ann…

Catching Fire
By Ann Gimpel

Thank so much for inviting me back to your blog, Suzanne. It’s always a pleasure to be here.

Apologies to Suzanne Collins, but that’s the most potent rationale I’ve found for the Annhard-bodied romantic suspense alpha men who keep popping up in my books. And their female counterparts. They make the pages catch fire with their strength, passion for life, and red hot bodies. There’s something wonderfully larger-than-life about black-ops characters as they face down danger. It’s fun to borrow from their balls-out natures and imagine how to blend who they are in the field with warmth and compassion. In many ways, my romantic suspense books are a lot like my paranormal romances with shifters because the characters have two defined sides: warrior and human.

It’s a highly individual choice, but I find some authors’ depictions resonate better for me than others. For example, I recently finished reading Written in Red by Anne Bishop. It’s an alternate history where the basic premise is there are Earth Natives who were here first and who have the ability to totally annihilate the planet. The détente between humans and the Terra Indigene is tenuous, and all of them have animal forms: crows, hawks, wolves, bears, etc. It was a great book and I really enjoyed it, but I cringed every time Simon, the male lead, whined. Whining is such an un-herolike thing to do. I needed him to be strong—all the time.

By contrast, Curran in Illona Andrews’ Kate Daniels’ series is alpha to the core. He roars and dithers and people pay attention. I’ve inhaled all those books, and he’s never whined, not even once.

I’m wandering here a bit, but how authors deal with character emotions is key to holding an audience. Since not all of us experience emotion the same way, we’ll tend to be drawn to books that touch our own particular makeup. I’m always thrilled to hear from a fan who tells me something I wrote made them cry because I know they understood my characters. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I cry sometimes rereading something I’ve written during one of the million-and-a-half edit cycles all books go through. I feel like an idiot, but I can’t help myself.

Strong, heroic characters provide a bridge where we can rise above our human weaknesses and be that secret champion who lives inside us. Ancient people took on animal totems for much the same reason. While we may not sit around a fire wrapped in skins anymore, we find the same link to wisdom and strength in the fiction we read.

What about all of you? Do you love reading about kickass characters? Who are some of your favorites? I’d love to know.

Winning Glory Banner 851 x 315Thanks for stopping by, Ann. Congrats on the release of Winning Glory.

Great question. I think you will find fans of kickass characters here. Looking forward to the responses. If you would like to be entered for your chance to win a couple of random books from my TBR pile, leave a comment with your answer to Ann’s question and perhaps good ol’ will smile on you.  Good luck!

19 thoughts on “Catching Fire with Ann Gimpel and Giveaway

  1. Love Curran and Roarke and Mikhail Dubrinsky from the Carpathian series.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Why of course I love kickass characters in books! The whole damsel in distress just hasn’t got the same appeal to me and only results in eye-rolling with every turning of a page. One of my favorite kickass gals, naturally, has to be Katniss Everdeen! 🙂

  3. My favorite kickass characters are Mercy and Adam from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.

  4. i do prefer kickass character, i do love curran but i was not indeferrent to Simon either^^ my favourite heroines are Mercy thompson, kate daniels and DJ^^
    i don’t like when the heroine is just crying and waiting to be saved i just want to punch her to make her move^^;;

  5.  I love kickass characters in books! My favorites are Elena and Raphael from Ghild Hunters series by Nalini Singh and Cat and Bones from Jeaniene Frost series.

  6. Kate Daniels!!! I have reread that series so many times I’ve lost count 🙂 thanks for the awesome giveaway and congrats to Ann on her newest release!

  7. I enjoy reading about kickass characters. Some of my favorites include DJ and Alex from the Sentinels of New Orleans, Mirren from the Penton Legacy, Rachel Morgan from the Hollows series, Acheron from the Dark Hunter series, and the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood.

  8. I wanted to thank you very much for inviting me back to your blog and for featuring Winning Glory! I’m traveling and my Internet’s not great, but I’ll try to respond to the comments. It was very generous of you to offer up some of your books for gifts. Hugs and thanks.

  9. I just read through the comments. I know most of the characters, but thanks for some new ideas for reading material!

  10. I’m re-reading THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy, so I have to say Katniss.

  11. I especially adore kick ass women. Some of my favorites are Jennifer Estep’s Gin Blanco, Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock, Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson, Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels, Jeaniene Frost’s Cat Crawfield, Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax and Dresdemona “Dred” Devos, and of course, Suzanne Johnson’s DJ.

  12. My favorite is charley davidson and reyes farrow from darynda jones’s book

  13. I love kick ass characters and have many favorites – DJ Jaco, Riley Jensen, Anita Blake, Meredith Gentry to name a few oh and I just added a new one Kirsten O’Shea. This sounds like a really good series, thanks for sharing it