The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Welcome romantic suspense author, Gwenan Haines...

1.)          What is your favourite thing about yourself?

Yikes. I tend to be very self-critical. My dad was a football coach so I’m always pushing myself to produce more, improve this or that about who I am. It’s maddening at times but I suppose the impulse to improve one’s skills is also a good quality (in moderation!). I’m as clutzy and geeky as they come and I grew up in this family of stellar athletes, which sounds a little strange. Both my brothers were three-sport captains who went on to play college football, which took a lot of drive and discipline and dedication. I guess I try to apply some of what I learned in that environment to my own interests. I’ve also rebelled against it in many ways but that’s the answer to another question. 

2.)          What do you wish you’d known before you started writing?

How much work it can be. Or that it will take a while before I can make a living at writing—if I ever do. Of course, I know many authors who’ve made some very serious money writing but that hasn’t happened yet for me. But I’m glad I didn’t fully understand the amount of work or the financial challenges involved. Otherwise I might not have started. Well, let me revise that. I don’t think I’ll ever give up writing so that’s not really the issue. I suppose I may have hesitated to start publishing and I’m glad I didn’t do that.

3.)          Share a romantic moment in your life.

A former boyfriend once gave me a flying lesson for my birthday. That was pretty cool. And I’ve had my share of romantic candlelit dinners. But for me a romantic moment can be simple, even un-romantic. I love just sitting on the couch with my significant other sharing a bowl of popcorn while binging on Netflix.

4.)          Is there one subject you’d never write about as an author? What is it?

Violence toward women that’s portrayed in a positive way. I’m just not capable of doing that. I know some authors have tackled that subject and succeeded, but I don’t think I’m the sort of person who could manage it. I also don’t think I could enjoy writing it, no matter how troubled the hero’s childhood was or how many reasons justified the violence. I also can’t get into the whole stepbrother thing, which seems to be trending lately.

5.)          Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

I really wish I had something original to say here but it’s sort of like advice about losing weight. You can try this fad diet or that exercise routine but in the end it’s a pretty basic thing: you’ve got to take the long, hard, slow road. Maybe some people have had more to say on this (God, I hope so) but I feel like you’ve just got to keep writing, keep reading and keep sending out or indie publishing your work. The one thing I wish I’d done more is network with other writers and get into a critique group. I think the feedback I got from others about my writing did help me make more of a “jump” in certain areas. So if you’re starting out, maybe try to find a few other writers to share your work with.

6.)          If you could be the original author for any book, what would it be? Why?

Wuthering Heights. It’s a brutal, frightening book in so many ways (I’m thinking back here to what I said for question 4 and feeling a little contradictory). I go through times when I actually hate it but it’s brilliant and I think part of me still hasn’t given up on my Emily Bronte genius fantasy. Supposedly she roamed the English moors in a purple dress embroidered with a lightning emblem. She’d disappear for hours with a shotgun, a bag lunch, and her dog Keeper then she’d come home and write stories for the fantasy kingdom chronicles she created with her brother and sisters. She kept a pet Hawk named Nero too and wrote both poems and fiction. So I guess it’s not so much that I want to have written Wuthering Heights but that I want to travel through time and jump into the romanticized skin of Emily Bronte. 

I’d also love to be one of those authors whose books span an entire world and intersect in many places. Sherrilyn Kenyon or Anne Rice or J.R.R.Tolkien or George R.R. Martin. To do that is impressive and I’d love to have the perseverance to create something along those lines someday.

7.)          What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

I was awful at paying attention. I got good grades but my mind would always drift off and I’d get marked down in the behaviour sections of my report card. I also never brought any school work home and in second grade I remember the class gathered around my desk as I counted out the number of papers stuffed into my desk. And my writing was barely legible. It’s still pretty unreadable.

8.)          If I came to your house for dinner what would you prepare for me? Why?

Honestly? I’d probably end up ordering Chinese take-out. Or I’d stop for a gourmet pizza and a bottle of soccer-mom red wine. I don’t know why life seems to speed up exponentially as I get older but that’s what’s happened. I’m always strapped for time. But, I suppose, if you were a hot guy I might try to get a little more domestic….I’ve made Julia Child’s beef bourningon recipe before and I also have her recipe for real chocolate cake that’s amazing.
Collateral Damage
by Gwenan Haines


GENRE: Romantic suspense



For three years Laura Drake has watched Senator Pete Worthington promote a series of gorgeous women while she sits in a forgotten corner answering constituent letters on an outdated computer. When Worthington asks her to find an elusive file one Friday night he sets off a series of events that brands her as a killer and puts her life in jeopardy. The path she sets out on forces her to confront not only the nature of evil but the ghosts from her past that have never been set to rest.FBI Agent Dalton Ross transferred from Chicago to Washington to escape his own ghosts. When his investigation leads him to Laura he's torn between his desire to keep her safe and the need to protect his own heart. As the mystery that surrounds them deepens, Laura and Dalton race to save themselves and the nation from someone willing to sacrifice anything to protect a secret.



He slid onto the barstool next to hers. From the way the man who had been sitting there had gotten up she wondered if he’d slipped him some cash. Though, to be fair, she hadn’t actually seen him do it…

His eyes locked onto hers. “You don’t sound too sure about that.” What was it about him that made her pulse quicken? Was it “sexual chemistry,” a phrase Zoe always used when explaining her latest one-night stand? Or fear, an emotion even more basic—and more dangerous. “I am meeting someone,” she said quickly. “Or I was.”

“Now you’re not?”

Before she could answer the bartender appeared and set down two pints of beer in front of them. Her companion paid, sliding the lighter pint toward her. “I’m Dalton Ross, by the way. And you would be—”


“Well, Laura,” he said after a slight pause, “I hope you don’t mind Pilsner. Didn’t figure you for a Guinness girl.” He raised a glass of dark liquid to her and took a swig. “To new friends.”

Laura raised her own glass and took a tentative sip. “And to old ones, too.” Was it her imagination or did his eyes visibly darken? Before she could decide, he was again the charming redhead hitting on her in a crowded bar.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I live in an old Cape house with my daughter, too many books, and a red-and-white Siberian husky born on Halloween. After working in Washington, D.C. for several years and traveling to Russia, Europe and Pakistan, I moved back to New England. I’m the author of the romantic suspense novel Vertigo, which is available as an E-book from Amazon Encore and in paperback from Wild Rose Press. Collateral Risk, the follow-up novel to Collateral Damage (which features Dalton’s boss Nick Doyle and scientist Mia Lindgren), is forthcoming from Wild Rose Press. When I’m not working on fiction, I write poetry, teach literature and am still trying to learn how to cook.

Author Page


Gwenan Haines will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.



  1. Sounds like a fantastic book, I'm looking forward to checking it out :). Thanks for sharing!

  2. This book sounds very interesting!