Please give a warm welcome to Hailey Langley from Finding Euphoria by C. Becker today as we sit down and see what makes her tick.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not saving (the world, clients, your mate)? I love spending family time with my husband Mark and two adorable children, Anna who’s six years old, and Ethan who’s eight.
What is it about your love interest Mark that makes you crazy in a good way? Since Mark works long hours at the DTA (Drug Trafficking Agency) in Washington D.C., I’m the parent who takes care of the kids and the house. But when Anna and Ethan go to sleep, Mark and I hang out and snuggle on the sofa. He humors me with his odd idiosyncrasies. Mark works hard and is under a lot of stress at work so I usually give him a break. When he missed my anniversary though, I was angry. I didn’t talk to him for days and he tried everything—even sent me a dozen roses every day, which are my favorite flower. When he does something wrong that drives me crazy, he tries whatever he can to show he’s sorry.
Do you sometimes want to strangle your writer? Thrash her/him to within an inch of their life? Make them do the stupid crap they makes you do? LOL. Definitely! When C. Becker brought Tom Parker, my former partner back into my life, she put me in a tailspin. I had to go back to my secret agent work at the Special Crimes Agency to fight for my son’s life—the son whom I put up for adoption when I was a teenager and then wasn’t allowed to go near. My author made me face my demons, but on her credit, she let me conquer them. The worst was when I had to sneak around without my husband knowing about my past. Then C. Becker put Tom Parker and me into precarious situations together and didn’t care I was a married woman. Very hot and steamy times!
Favorite food? I’m a health nut. Love my banana yogurt smoothies after my morning run.
Tell me a little bit about your world. What are your greatest challenges in that world? I hide my past from Mark and my family. They would never understand the difficult choices I made when I was younger. My way of dealing with anxiety is scratching. It keeps me from being depressed about my teenage years.
Describe yourself in four words. Mediator, courageous, loving, adventurous
What do you do for a living? I worked a few years as a secret agent. After college, I was employed at a government research facility. Now I’m a stay at home mom and grad student.
What do you fear the most? I’m terrified that Mark and his family will learn about my past. Putting my baby up for adoption almost destroyed me. After I got married and had more children, I had a difficult time coping with that hole in my heart. Now my biggest fear is not being able to save my first born son. I owe it to Parker, especially after our last case together....
Length: 416 Pages
Heat Level: PG-13
Blurb: Hailey Langley refuses to be a victim and has moved on from her traumatic past. But her marriage problems worsen when a deadly illicit drug threatens to draw her into the life she left behind.
Mark Langley has allowed his job to interfere with his marriage, but he never suspected the secrets in Hailey's past might hold the key to solving both of his current investigations.
Together, they must unravel the mystery of the drug called Euphoria and find a way to save not only their marriage, but countless lives, before it's too late.
Her hands squeezed into tight fists. The urge was unbearable. “I wouldn’t tell her.”
Parker ran a hand through his hair. “Argh! Don’t you understand? She’d take one look at your face and know the truth. Don’t forget, you’re the one who wanted us to protect him.”
She stood. “Well, you did a hell of a fine job, didn’t you? You divorced Grace and deserted him. Parenting takes sacrifice, Parker. You were too busy changing careers, and now he’s messed up with drugs. How did that protect him?”
Standing, he reached for her.
“No. You stay away from me.” She extended her hands and backed up a step. “Justin’s dying! Dying, Parker! And I don’t know him…You won’t let me see my own son.”
He wrapped his arms around her.
She pushed him, pummeling her fists against his chest with all her strength.
He silently took his beating.
“Why did I do it? Why did I ever give him up?” She searched his face. Finding no answers, she rested her head against him and let him hold her. A dozen daggers stabbed her core. “Oh, Parker. It hurts so much. I missed his whole life. What if I lose him forever?” With as much force as she could muster, she scraped her nails deep across her hands.
“I know. I’m scared, too, but you need to stay strong.” Parker rocked her against him, smoothing her hair. He stiffened beneath her. “My God. You still don’t cry, do you?”
She froze, and her heart thumped against her rib cage.
He stared into her eyes. “You haven’t shed one tear since I’ve seen you.” He pulled away. “After all this time, you haven’t cried?”
Hailey shook her head. “Not since you told me about my parents.”
His face paled. “Oh, Hailey, the therapists told you to cry. You can’t bottle your emotions. It’s not healthy.”
She turned away. “It’s not your problem anymore.”
Sighing, he picked up her hands. “Look at these marks. You’ve got to stop hiding your feelings. What does Mark say?”
Her cheeks warmed. “He doesn’t know.”
“What do you mean, he doesn’t know?”
She lowered her head. “I put up walls to protect myself.”
“So you don’t let him in?”
She didn’t answer. He wouldn’t understand the loneliness and despair weighing on her soul.
Parker exhaled and lifted her chin. “My God. How many walls are surrounding you?”