Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Tour, Interview and Giveaway - Son of a Itch by S. D. Skye

Son of a Itch
by S. D. Skye 



On the lam from the FBI, the ICE PHANTOM continues with plans to defect to Moscow but not before seeking revenge on J.J. McCall. Meanwhile, the FBI commences Task Force PHANTOM HUNTER, a team ordered by Director Russell Freeman to track down suspected Russian illegals within the U.S. Intelligence Community—and not a moment too soon. An agent of the Russian Intelligence Services is targeting the nerve center of U.S. national security, taking the lie-detecting FBI Agent and her cohorts’ next mole hunt to the highest echelons of the U.S. government. 

J.J. and her co-case agent lead the motley crew of spy catchers while she struggles to deal with sobriety, conflicting feelings for Tony and Six, and an egotistical Secret Service agent whose jurisdictional stonewalling complicates her every effort to identify the culprit before he gets away—with murder. 



Exactly three moments defined the entire course of J.J.’s being —the day she got “the itch,” the generational curse that sparked random irritating tingles through her body anytime she heard a lie; the day her mother died; and this one, the day in which she grasped the fragility of life and how it could slip away in an instant.

The ambulance siren blared down Pennsylvania Avenue through the remnants of rush hour traffic as she stared down at his tearful eyes, his face shredded with pain, his body curled with anguish. Slowly, his lids opened to expose a bloodshot blank stare. She saw her mother’s eyes in his, and his last breath whispered in the distance, drawing ever near. 

“I’m here. You’re going to be okay. We’re almost there,” she said as her voice shook. 

George Washington University Hospital was just a few minutes away and had one of the best trauma centers in the D.C. area.  

He placed his trembling hand on hers and struggled to speak. “There…something…you should…kn—”  

“Shhhh. Save your strength,” J.J. shook her head to dissuade him from speaking. She stroked his fingers and tried to maintain a steady front. “You’re gonna be okay. You can tell me everything when you’re better.” 

Her mind whirred as the ambulance zipped into the circular driveway beneath the overhang and masked emergency personnel in blue and green scrubs swarmed the doors. They pulled the gurney out and wheeling him inside, beyond her view. She’d never felt so alone in her life. She had calls to make, people to notify, but her mind was still foggy from the shock. 

She searched her purse for the flask, the reminder of just how far she’d come and how much further she had to go.

Let's Learn a Little About S.D. Skye:
What is your writing environment? 
I usually write in one of three places: my bed, my office, or my dining room. While I’m lucky enough to have a home office with doors, my office faces the back of the house and gets very little sunlight. I’m one of those people who cannot function without a lot of natural light. No windows in my house have heavy curtains, and I’ve got a lot of windows. It gives me energy and puts me in the mindset to write for some reason. For that reason, most of my writing is done in the dining room.

Who is your perfect hero and why?
Without question, the hero in the J.J. McCall novels, Antonio Donato, is my favorite. Whatever his failings, he exhibits a level of honesty and honorability not found in most men. He’s honest, almost to a fault, which makes him the perfect companion for J.J. who mentally and physically needs an honest man. She itches when people lie so she needs a man like Tony if she’s going to have a long-term relationship. He is a very comforting character for the heroine. As always, there’s drawbacks to being with someone who is almost always honest though. Sometimes, the truth hurts. J.J. finds that out the hard way on more than one occasion.

What authors have caught your interest lately and why?
I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction lately. My favorite non-fiction book is hands down Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so inspired by a story. Whatever you want to say about Steve Jobs and how he treated his employees, the man was a misfit visionary who left his imprint on the entire world—in the best way. I think of myself as a bit of a misfit that thinks out of the box—I mean, I created a main character who is a lie detector that itches when she hears a lie—who does that? So, as an out-of-the-box thinker, I very much related to his story in that way.

What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I’m writing it – this J.J. McCall series. I always wanted to write a spy thriller…with a lot of humor in it. And that’s what I’ve done. Back when I was working for the FBI and I met the agent that the J.J. McCall character is based on, even then I thought somebody should write a book about this woman. I didn’t know who should write it because I didn’t have an inkling of becoming a novelist at that time. I mean, I knew that I loved to write…but me a published author? Naaaaaah. Only took about 15 years for me to get the nerve to do it. At the same time, I didn’t want to write like other spy novelists. A lot of times those books are  so convoluted and bogged down with jargon that it was pretty tough to stay engaged. What sets my story apart is that my stories are very accessible and easy-to-follow. I didn’t want to write a novel with a bunch of lingo, buzzwords, and acronyms that nobody would understand except people in the intelligence world. I think many times authors resort to that in order to sound authentic. One benefit of my career experience is that, I have authentic experience and have no need to try to sound authentic. I can really focus in on the plot and ensuring that the reader can follow.   

Top 3 things on your bucket list?
  1. I want to get a flat in Paris and write a book there. I’d like to have the money to stay however long it took and I’d want to write in various cafes and take in the scenery. I’d also love to take a writer’s tour if they were available. I’m sure they must be.
  2. I want to eat my way through Italy. Pasta. Pasta. And more Pasta. And Pizza.
  3. I’d like to visit London and be a guest on the Graham Norton show. Honestly, one of the funniest talk shows ever. I love British humor. 
How did you get the idea for this particular novel? 
The seed of Son of a Itch is actually based on a true crime. In 1999, the FBI’s Special Surveillance Group (also called the “Gs”) happened upon a situation that helped the FBI find one of the most surprising breaches in U.S. intelligence history. The Russian Intelligence Service had installed a listening device in the U.S. State Department in a conference room down the hall from the Secretary’s office. I used that case to develop a “What if…” scenario and it leads J.J. and the Task Force on to a pretty massive case. So, this is one instance in which real events are very much mashed up with fictional events to blur the lines between what really happened and what we’ll never know. For that reason, this was a very fun piece to write. 

What is your favorite scene in your new release?
I have a lot of favorite scenes in this one. But there is a really tense boat scene in this book where the main character, J.J. McCall, appears to mentally snap when she confronts a suspect. Her actions in this scene really reveal her character and the turn it takes makes it—whoa. To me, it’s one of the most exciting scenes I’ve ever written. But there are plenty of those tense scenes in this book. The pacing is definitely stepped up a notch or two from Book 1.

What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?
I’m working on the third book in the series called A No Good Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel). It takes off where Son of a Itch leaves off and is what I would consider the mid-point of the story arc in this planned 5-book series. Each of these books is carefully wound together but can also stand on their own. But a lot of issues come to a head in Book 3, including the organized crime conflict. I feel like I get to write my own “Godfather”-type story so I’m hugely excited. It promises to be more fast-paced than the first two—and the ending is a doozie! Yes, I already know how it will end. I’m expecting to release it in late 2014.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I watch a lot of television. I’m a bit of a nerd girl in that I love shows and movies like Star Trek, Star Trek (The Next Generation), Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Big Bang Theory, etc. I’ve even given my main character nerd girl characteristics. I love taking walks and listening to music. Hanging out with my friends—and boyfriend (when I have one). Spending time with my son is very important. But mostly, I love writing. I mean, I would write even if I was writing for no one but me.  

What would you consider a perfect date?
For me, the perfect date really involves connecting with someone mentally, being understood, and laughing together at everything and nothing. If he bought me dinner and took me to a beach where I could listen to the ebb and flow of the ocean and scarf Italian food then all the better. 
What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know? 
Most people did not know I worked in counterintelligence for all these years. That was a shocker to most people who recently found out when I published the first J.J. McCall novel. The fact that I spent the first two years working cases involving La Cosa Nostra was an equally big surprise. Most people probably don’t know that years ago, I appeared on the show 60 Minutes in my 15 seconds of fame. I got to meet and take a picture with Morely Safer, which was pretty cool. If that doesn’t impress you, I also played the tuba in high school.  


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

S.D. Skye is a former FBI Russian Counterintelligence Program Intelligence Analyst and supported two major programs during her 12-year tenure at the Bureau. She has personally witnessed the blowback the Intelligence Community suffered due to the most significant compromises in U.S. history, including the arrests of former CIA Case Officer Aldrich Ames and Robert  Hanssen. She spent 20+ years supporting military and intelligence missions in the U.S. Intelligence Community. 

Skye, an award winning author, is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She’s addicted to writing and chocolate—not necessarily in that order—and currently lives in the Washington D.C. area with her son. Skye is hard at work on several projects, including the next installment of this exciting series. 


Buy Links: 

S.D. Skye Novels on Amazon:   Kindle    Paperback

S.D. Skye Novels on Kindle – Worldwide


The author will be awarding a Kindle Fire HD and a $25 Kindle Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (US ONLY)  The more you comment, the better your chances of winning!!  Follow the tour HERE
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great interview today S.D.. You've led such an interesting life you could probably write a book about your own personal expereinces and have it sell! I wonder, did you paint yourself as a minor character anywhere in the Itch series?

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

  2. Good morning, everyone!! Thank you, Sue, for hosting me today. I hope all the visitors today enter to win the Kindle Fire HD!

    Thanks, Elise! If there was a character close to me in the series it would be the intelligence analyst, Sunnie. She and did the same work but are very much opposites personality wise. Anyone who's ever worked with me would tell you that I'm very quiet (except around close friends or coworkers with whom I feel ULTRA comfortable). I'm a very conservative dresser. And I can be a wisecracker but I wouldn't dare do some things that Sunnie does. But the kinds of support that she provides to J.J.--that's what I did for a living for almost a decade. So, I had to include a character like her. It's also why I included the "G's" in the story. Too often, I think FBI agents are portrayed as figuring everything out on their own when there are TEAMS of people that help make them successful. I shed light on the entire team.

  3. This looks like a great read. What advice would you give a person reading your books for the first time?

    1. Hi Kim! I would just say grab a copy and dive in. I know spy novels can sometimes be intimidating reads--these really are not. They are great stories, simply told with a really kick-butt character. They are written to be read in order but they can be read independently too. I put enough background information in them to catch readers up to the general story--and there's a new case in every book. So no reader will have a real advantage from reading previous books. The main case is new to every one.

  4. Enjoyed reading your interview today.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    1. Thank you, Karen! Glad you enjoyed it. I try to reveal something new in each one. Hopefully, I succeed. lol

  5. I'm like you I like a lot of natural light in my house. I like all the curtains and windows open.


    1. I love light. I'm one of those people who get depressed and lose energy in the winter because the days are so short. Just about all the curtains on my house are sheer. I put plastic up in the winter to keep the drafts out and the sun in. :)

  6. Thanks for an awesome giveaway and for sharing this sounds like it'll be a great read!

    1. Thank you! I think the stories are pretty darn good. And as I learn and improve my technique, they really are getting better and better with each book. So, I hope you'll check them out and stick with them. It's gonna be a fun series to read.

  7. I have windows open today. Love to let the fresh air in. Great interview, I love the cover of your book and it sounds really good. I am entering under the name of Virginia and thanks for the great giveaway!

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Virginia! I do this giveaway every year so I'm excited to see who wins! :)

  8. Oh wow this book sounds amazing. What an awesome giveaway. Thank you so much.