Character Interview –
1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, thanks for having me on your blog today. My name is Karina Cardinal. I’m in my early thirties and about 5’9.” I have naturally wavy chestnut hair and green eyes. I work in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia for the National Health Advocacy Alliance lobbying for health care rights. I drive a beat-up Honda, which I should really get around to replacing, but considering how high the DC metro area fender bender rate is, I just can’t see investing in a new car when the one I’ve got works just fine. I’m a little frugal that way. Something you might not know, I call the car Old Bessie, and I can always recognize her because the of the baseball sized dent in the rear bumper. Oh, here’s another one, in high school, I was a captain of the debate team. Yup, I was a bit of a nerd. Don’t feel bad for me, that debate experience won me $8,000 in scholarships. Our debate team went to nationals. It’s probably also the reason I went to law school.
What? Meet my writer? I don’t understand what you mean by that. I know quite a few writers, after all, you can’t spit without hitting one here in the D.C. area. Are you talking about the Wall Street Journal reporter who lives on the third floor? I met him at the condo complex’s annual picnic two summers ago. We were both going for the potato salad. I accidently got some on his hand, and we had a bit of a laugh about it. His name is Paul. He seems like a nice guy, but I don’t really socialize with him. Is that the writer you’re referring to?
3.) Want to dish about him?
Like I said, Paul and I are friendly, but not really good friends. I don’t know much about him. I’ve read some of his articles. He seems to be an excellent writer. Besides, I’m not one to gossip.
What? My life in a book? You must have me confused with someone else. No one has written my life story. Frankly, it would be a bit of a snooze fest. I don’t think anyone wants to read my memoirs. Wait a minute … are you with the FBI? NSA? Homeland Security? Are you talking about my FBI file? Listen, I can totally explain. The Senator who died at my feet, was not my fault. You see there was this conspiracy with some drug companies, and a rogue Mossad agent, and they hacked his pacemaker. It was awful. You look confused. Were you talking about that thing in May? With my sister and the MS-13 gang kidnapping? No? Then you must be referring to the latest shenanigans with the Egyptian death mask in Mexico. Well, to be clear, I didn’t ask to become a part of that mess. My neighbor, Mrs. Thundermuffin, she dragged me into it. And that thing with Interpol, I seriously had no idea that there was a Red Notice out on that Italian forger, Adolfo. And as for Craig … well… You know, I’m not sure I should be talking about these things with you. It might be classified, and I haven’t seen proper identification. You never did say what agency you were from. DIA? DEA? No? Nothing? Then, I think we’d better move to the next question.
5.) Who's your favorite character? Why?
My favorite character? You sure do ask some strange questions. Who is my favorite friend, you mean? Well, I do love my boyfriend Mike Finnegan, but lately our relationship has become a struggle, and I don’t really want to air our dirty laundry in an interview. Let me think … when I need a hug and an upbeat personality, I can’t go wrong with Joshua. He’s like a big teddy bear. Well, a muscly, hard teddy bear. I mean Josh is tough. He could mop me up in about ten seconds, which he’s been known to do during my self-defense training. And, I certainly appreciated having him come down to Mexico to help out with that death mask mess. But he always picks up my phone calls, and even though he likes to rib me sometimes … or all the time, he looks out for me and has patched me up more than once. However, if I want solid advice, I’d have to go to Jin for that. He’s one of Joshua’s colleagues at Silverthorne Security. He’s Vietnamese American, first- or second-generation, I believe. Anyway, Jin is a little, mercurial. He just … knows things. I think he’s very good at reading body language. However, he doesn’t have much of a sense of humor. He’s a serious sort, but I’m well-known for making him laugh.
6.) Who's your least favorite character? Why?
There’s that word again, character. Do you mean bad guy? I’ve certainly had my fair share of bad guys run through my life. Hmm. Well, that rogue Mossad agent certainly scared the devil out of me, and he was probably the deadliest bad guy to come after me. Recently, I would say Craig the weasel is the most annoying character I’ve come across. A conman from top to bottom. Craig was given an innate gift, which he twisted and squandered for his own means. You want to talk a manipulator. Sheesh. Don’t get me started on what he did to Mrs. Thundermuffin. Seriously, who does that to their ageing aunt? Yeah, if I ever come across Craig Mettler again it will be too soon.
7.) What's next for you?
You know, just the ho-hum life of a D.C. lobbyist. We’ve got some interesting legislative initiatives the NHAA is putting together for the fall Congressional session. I imagine you want me to talk about those. No? I see, you’re more interested in my escapades. I can tell you, I’m sure that all of these adventures, or “scrapes,” as Mike would put it, are completely over. I can’t imagine getting caught up in any more trouble. My FBI file must be a foot thick by now, after all, you called it a book. Ha, ha. I should probably stay off their radar for the rest of the year. Don’t you think? Although, I suppose you never know what next year could bring. There could be another conspiracy waiting around the corner to fall into my lap. Or maybe it’ll be Mike who gets in trouble next time. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Is that all? No more questions. Well, thanks for having me. It was an … interesting interview. Not exactly what my company’s PR Director led me to believe it would be. Perhaps it would be best if you removed our discussion about my FBI file. I wouldn’t want your blog readers to get the wrong impression about me. I do try to be a law-abiding citizen. As Mike says, trouble just seems to find me.
About Pharaoh's Forgery
Margaritas, mayhem, and murder. Too bad her only defense is a cocktail umbrella.
After some of Karina Cardinal’s recent adventures—her lover Mike Finnegan would call them scrapes, jams, or pickles—she’s more than ready to blow this D.C. pop stand for a short girls’ trip to Mexico. Until Jillian’s roller skate wreck blows their plan out of the water. With Jilly injured and Mike working, her fellow lobbyist Rodrigo volunteers to share some sun, sand, and margaritas in Cancun. It’s tough to relax, though, knowing what’s in her suitcase. A package she promised to hand off to Mrs. Thundermuffin in Mexico.
Mrs. T’s evasive maneuvers around Karina’s questions wave more red flags than a bullfighter, leaving Karina no choice but to take a peek. Okay, so it’s not a kilo of something illegal. It’s an Egyptian death mask that turns out to be a magnet for crooks, conmen, kidnappers, and outright killers.
When the situation explodes into chaos, Karina and Rodrigo are lucky to have friends in the right place—at their backs. But they’re in one hell of a jam. And they could be going home in something tackier than a souvenir t-shirt—more like a body bag.
About Ellen Butler
Ellen Butler is the international bestselling author of the Karina Cardinal mystery series and award-winning historical suspense, The Brass Compass. Fans who enjoy the suspense of Melinda Leigh and the humor of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum will fall in love with Butler’s Karina Cardinal. Her experiences working on Capitol Hill and at a medical association in Washington, D.C. inspired the mystery-action series. The Brass Compass has won multiple awards for historical fiction and is compared to such bestselling novels as Kristen Hannah’s The Nightingale. Butler is a member of Sister’s in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Office of Strategic Services Society. She is an admitted chocoholic and confesses to a penchant for shoe shopping. Ellen lives with her family in the suburbs of Washington, DC.
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host? Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!