Monday, March 16, 2015

A No Good Itch Blog Tour! (+Kindle Giveaway!)

Title: A No Good Itch
Author: SD Skye
Series: J.J. McCall #3
Pages: 275
Date Published: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Frankie V Books
Format: Paperback
Genre: FBI Mystery/Thriller
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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Synopsis:
The FBI and Italian Mafia make strange bedfellows when a vicious Russian Organized crime figure, operating at the behest of Russian Intelligence, lands in The Big Apple. General Anatoliy Golikov’s henchman, infamously known as Mashkov, avenges the death of slain Russian Intelligence Officer Svetlana Mikhaylova by attempting to murder Tony’s brother, an associate of the Bonnano family, sending J.J. and Task Force Phantom Hunter to the streets of New York. This time they must stop a bloody crime war between Russian and Italian Organized Crime and take down the financial hub of the most insidious Russian illegals network in U.S. History.

To compound matters, an FBI Executive with a grudge against the McCall family threatens the very existence of the Task Force, while a conniving Gia Campioni tries to seduce Tony and put a wedge between he and J.J. With only two weeks to shut down the network and restore peace, the Task Force must solve the case before the murderous Mashkov strikes at the very heart of the team. And if J.J. and Tony survive …will they emerge from the turmoil together? Or will Gia’s duplicity prove too much for J.J. to bear?
~Interview with S.D. Skye~
1. Can you describe what your book is about?

A No Good Itch (A J.J. McCall Novel) is Book 3 in my FBI Espionage Series.  The storyline centers around two subjects very near and dear to my heart – Mafia and Spies—Oh my! It’s kind like Covert Affairs and Scandal meet The Sopranos.

It picks up where Book 2 left off — FBI J.J. McCall and her co-case agent, Tony Donato, are headed to the Big Apple to take down the financial network that is supporting moles inside the U.S.
government. But they have an even bigger problem on their hands. A Russian Mafiya henchman,
infamously known as Mashkov, avenges the death of slain a Russian sleeper agent and accidentally
hits the son of an Italian crime boss—Tony’s brother. So they are not only have to take down the
financial network, they are stepping into a possible war between Russian and Italian organized crime.

Meanwhile, CIA Case Officer Grayson “Six” Chance is in Moscow trying to capture a runaway
American who has stolen intelligence from the White House and is planning to pass it to the
Russians—putting Six in a moral dilemma he may not be prepared to handle.

Also—readers will FINALLY find out how J.J.’s mother, a former FBI Agent, died in the line of duty.

And I’ll just say that, the ending might get me killed, but it’s all for a good cause.

A No Good Itch is available right now for pre-order on Kindle. It will be available in all ebook forms in March.

2. What did you enjoy most about writing A No Good Itch?

The mafia angle, no question. It was a HUGE challenge for me because I’ve never been in the mafia. I wrote this from the outside looking in. It was a true test of my talent, one I won’t be quick to attempt again. But the fact that I pulled it off is pretty exciting. How well I pulled it off? I’ll let the readers decide.

3. What was the inspiration behind this book?

I worked at the FBI for 12 years, spending 10 years in counterintelligence. Most fans of the series
know by now that the J.J. McCall character is very loosely based on an FBI agent I worked with during my tenure there. This particular book in the series melds together the many areas in which I worked.

When I first started out at the Bureau, I worked in the Interstate Theft Unit which, among other
violations, handled the tractor trailer thefts perpetrated by La Cosa Nostra around the country. So,
my first experience was in working Italian Organized Crime organizations. When I moved over to
counterintelligence, I started working Russian Organized Crime before I was assigned to Russian
intelligence. So, the three plot lines are no coincidence and a lot of the connections, while they may
seem far -etched, are actually quite based in reality.

4. Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes them special? 

My three main characters are FBI Special Agents J.J. McCall and Tony Donato—and CIA Case Officer named Grayson Six Chance.

J.J. McCall is an African American, female FBI Special Agent. She’s great at her job but is fighting some demons with an alcohol addiction and a mystery surrounding her mother’s death which has been dogging her since Book 1. What’s great about J.J. is that she’s a human lie detector – when people lie to her she feels a sensation akin to an itch, hence the word “Itch” in all of the series’ titles.

Tony Donato is also based on an agent that I worked with briefly in New York. He was Italian and the nicest guy, but a good agent. The complexity in his character comes from his background. His father is a mob boss who was convicted and serving time. He broke away from the family and decided to become an FBI agent despite their protests...and of course that has caused major tension in the family, but it also shows how strong minded Tony is. He is J.J. McCall’s primary love interest.

Grayson “Six” Chance is the bad boy of the story. He’s J.J.’s ex and a bit of a cowboy, which no doubt comes from the fact that he’s a CIA Case Officer who specializes in Counterintelligence. He has decided he can’t live without J.J. since their break (his fault) so he’s come back with a vengeance to reclaim her heart—of course, causing friction between J.J. and Tony whenever possible.

I LOVE these characters. Six is quickly becoming a strong favorite.

This book was cathartic for me in some respects. I have very strong views about U.S. National
security, and given the NSA disclosures, I needed a way to vent my frustration and anger about that in a productive way without ranting on my blog constantly. So this book and Six’s hunt for the fugitive American in Moscow helped me do just that.

6. What are A No Good Itch's central topics and themes?

I set out to write a book that entertained readers so well they couldn’t put it down, but I think some
key themes center around trust in relationships, crime doesn’t pay, and when you’re faced with a
moral dilemma, you have to follow your best instinct. Sometimes, it’s easier to do the wrong thing
but you will have to live with it--both professional and in life.

7. How long did this one take you to write? 

It took me a little over a year. I started this one immediately after I finished the second book, but I
struggled with it. I’d lost my mojo after my mother passed away and this book helped me fight to get
it back. So, the struggle was a worthy one. I really fought for this book. Thankfully, it was so much fun to write; the excitement is what kept me going.

8.When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your free time? 

The dynamic of my life has completely changed since I began to write books. I used to love doing
stuff, although I can’t quite remember what that stuff is now. Ah, yes. Movies. I went to movies. I
loved dancing. I used to breathe clean air at tree-dense parks while walking the trails. Now, I write.
And when I’m done writing, I write some more. But the thing is, I love it. It’s like I opened up a new

section of my brain and now I can’t shut it off...but in a good way.

9. What's next for J.J. and the gang?

Book 4—The Crazy Itch—involves a mole in the Pentagon. And the final book in the FBI Espionage
series is Book 5—The Ultimate Itch—which takes us to Langley and the CIA.

Will there be more J.J. books after Book 5? Yes. What she’ll be doing in those books, I don’t

know, but I kind of feel like Book 5 can’t be the end of these characters altogether. I can’t shake them. 
~Try an Excerpt!~
“THE SUPREME ART OF WAR IS TO SUBDUE THE ENEMY WITHOUT FIGHTING.” ~ SUN TZU

Fear, failure, and the fear of failure turned enemies into friends like nothing else in the convoluted world of intelligence and spying. No doubt the reason FBI representatives had been summoned to the Russian Embassy in Washington.

"We'll need a dump truck for the BS about to be heaped on us today," J.J. whispered to her co-case agent, Tony Donato. As the lead case agent behind the ruckus, she'd been ordered to attend the meeting, listen, and respond to nothing.

"Shhh," Tony whispered in reply. "The walls have ears."

Resident Andrei Komarov, the Russian equivalent to the CIA Station Chief in Moscow, led J.J., Tony, and Assistant Director of Counterintelligence John Nixon through the hallowed embassy halls until they reached a well-appointed conference room. It contained mahogany-paneled walls, large open armchairs, and an oversized table large enough to seat Komarov's ego and attitude, both massive in her past experience.

Komarov settled in at the head of the table, his face reddened and contorted. It was as if every word he was about to speak, no doubt carefully selected by the Foreign Minister, would sear his throat and exit his lips like sharpened razors carving him from the inside.

"We've all met before and are quite familiar with one another," Komarov began, shooting a slicing glare through J.J. "So, I'll feel free to dispense with the introductions and pleasantries since we all understand why we are here today." Her aggressive targeting of SVR officers for recruitment was legendary...or infamous, depending on which side of the table you sat. She suppressed the awe she felt. He was the personification of the Russian James Bond in looks, dress, and devoid of any semblance of accent.

J.J., Tony, and Nixon exchanged strained glances before she took a deep breath to brace herself. Komarov was about to progress through the four steps of surviving a massive operational failure.


Step 1: Admit nothing.
~Meet SD. Skye!~ 
S.D. Skye is a former FBI Counterintelligence Analyst in the Russia program and supported cases 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 two of the Bureau's own—FBI Agents Earl Pitts and Robert Hansen. She has spent 20 years in the U.S. Intelligence Community.


Skye is a member of the Maryland Writer’s Association, Romance Writers of America, 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 the series. Find Skye at her BLOG! 
The author will be awarding a Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 + $25 Kindle GC (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during this tour and the Review Tour, Here, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host, also between this tour and the Review Tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

16 comments:

  1. any of your characters in this book based on people in your life currently?

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    1. Nope. I'm out of the spy biz. Been a few years now. This is all made-up stuff combined with things I remember from my career and what I read in the news. I keep up with what's happening around the world and often get inspired through current events.

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  2. A great interview thank you. I like the sound of the series.

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    1. Thank you, Mary!! If you like fast paced action, a little romance, and a lot of twists, you might like this series. :)

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  3. Good morning!! Thank you, Andra, for hosting...and to everyone else for stopping by. Don't forget to sign up to win the Kindle and GC! I'll be answering questions throughout the day so ask anything you'd like.

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  4. This sounds like an exciting, complex and awesome mystery. Loved the excerpt.

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  5. I enjoyed reading your interview today. Lots of good information in there. I got to thinking about your writing process in a series of books such as these. Have you ever had an idea about a direction your current book should take, but decided it wouldn't work for the current WIP, but you cataloged it for a future work?

    And just because I want to know....have you watched the TV program The Americans that airs on FX? If so, what do you think of it? And if not, I highly recommend it.

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    1. To your first question, as to whether I reused an idea that I couldn't use in one book for another--YES! Absolutely. As a matter of fact, there is an entire storyline that I'd planned to use near the end of book 2, but it would've caused me to cram in too much information at the end. It was already a big book. So, I made it a part of the Moscow operations in Book 3. I never toss anything.

      Yes, I have seen the Americans. For me, it is difficult to watch/read stories/shows that veer too far from reality given the knowledge I have gained from my work in counterintelligence. I won't tell anyone else not to watch it, but my stories are more reality based than the show--and the first J.J. book was out before the Americans aired. :)

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks. And appreciate you stopping by!!

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  7. Intriguing interview and excerpt!

    Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(dot)com

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  8. Great interview. Any idea how many books in the series you will write?

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    1. Thanks, Glenda! Well...the plan WAS five. But the way the story is going right now, I think it may extend beyond five. How many? I don't know. But the characters seem to want to stick with me.

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