Tour Stop: Illegal by K.J. Gillenwater - Guest Post - Giveaway!


by K.J. Gillenwater
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Alone, desperate, and beautiful. When bullets fly, she must rely on a handsome stranger or face death. Together, they will risk it all for love.

Her whole life was a lie…

After discovering she was brought to the United States illegally as a young child, Selena Hernandez decides to do the responsible thing and return to Mexico, her country of origin. Selena vows to become a legal immigrant.

When she asks for help with a visa at the US Embassy, she meets attractive Wyatt Demko, a helpful embassy employee. But they are surprised to discover shocking details about her past and connections to a notorious drug cartel.

Wyatt escaped a painful upbringing in a Wisconsin trailer park for a stable career with the State Department. A chance meeting with Selena reveals an instinctual desire to help. But falling for a beautiful girl with dangerous enemies on her trail complicates his meticulous plans.

Wyatt knows he can't afford to trust Selena. Still, he'll do whatever it takes to keep her safe and win her heart before time runs out.

But Wyatt and Selena only have a few days to accomplish the impossible: hide from the brutal drug cartels and corrupt law enforcement to make a daring getaway that will take them from the streets of Mexico City to the sandy beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula.

What is something unique/quirky about you?

I am multi-lingual. I studied Spanish all through high school, made it one of my majors in college, I studied abroad in Mexico my sophomore year and then got a master’s degree in Latin American Studies. Then, I joined the Navy and went to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California where they taught me Russian.

Then, I got an assignment to the National Security Agency at Fort Meade in Maryland where I held a top secret security clearance and did things of which I cannot speak!

It sounds more exciting than it actually some of my fellow sailors ended up on submarines or on recon flights picking up signals and translating, while I was just sitting behind a desk in a room with no windows for three years. LOL.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for almost 20 years now. Since my children were very little. I’ve always wanted to be an author, but didn’t think I had a full-length book in me. When NaNoWriMo was barely anything, I read about it in the newspaper of all things, and I thought I’d give it a try. I had never written a full book, only short stories, and wanted to give it a go. I had no plot in mind, I just sat down at my computer and made myself write whatever I wanted to.

I ended up with almost 40,000 crappy words written that November, which turned into a book I finished. But it will stay on my hard drive never to see the light of day. Really, that’s the best place for it. Trust me!

From there, I followed my muse and eventually ended up with a publishing contract with Samhain Publishing for my paranormal suspense book, The Ninth Curse

I took a break from writing for about eight years after a divorce to focus on my children as a single mother. But dove back into writing a few years ago with a passion and haven’t looked back since. 

K. J. Gillenwater has a B.A. in English and Spanish from Valparaiso University and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara. She worked as a Russian linguist in the U.S. Navy, spending time at the National Security Agency doing secret things. After six years of service, she ended up as a technical writer in the software industry.
She has lived all over the U.S. and currently resides in Wyoming with her family where she runs her own business writing government proposals and squeezes in fiction writing when she can.
In the winter she likes to ski and snowshoe; in the summer she likes to garden with her husband, take walks with her dogs, and take trips into the Big Horn Mountains nearby. She has written multiple books, including several short story collections.

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