Interview: Susan Wiggs, NY Times Best-selling Author

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How long have you been writing?

All my life. Literally. There was never a time when I wasn’t writing. I even have a copy of a book I self-published at the age of eight. My first novel was published in 1987, so this marks my 31st year as a published author.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I write mostly fiction, straying to write the occasional article or blog post. I love the novel form, because I seem to “think” in big, tightly-structured stories that have a lot of twists and turns, that the writer has to build like a complicated house.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Raw, honest emotion, according to my readers. I like to think there’s a lot of humor in my books, but that seems to be overshadowed by the emotional impact of the story.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  

Trying not to manipulate the characters. I could see them struggling and making bad choices, and I had to restrain myself from “mothering” them too much.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Rushing to get to the page each day. This is one of those stories that held me hostage because it was unpredictable. I would dream up a storyline, but once it took on a life of its own, it led me to places, light and dark, I didn’t plan for.

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them.

Oh boy, in BETWEEN YOU & ME, it would have to be the Amish. There is a lot of Amish fiction being published, but its niche seems to be in the Christian inspirational market. This novel definitely doesn’t fit in that mold. It’s not an “Amish” novel in that sense, but a novel with Amish characters—if that makes any sense.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

When I was a teacher,  would write each night from nine to midnight, on weekends and holidays. The only other thing I did was raise my daughter and dogs. I missed the 80s entirely because I was focused on teaching, mothering, and writing.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

Teen tour guide at the Palace of Versailles (I lived down the street), failed waitress, personal assistant to a famous Texas oil baron (until he sexually harassed me), classroom teacher. Each job has affected my writing in some way or other. The teaching had the greatest impact, because a classroom of kids is a microcosm of life itself.

What do you like to read in your free time?

New, wonderful, buzzy bestsellers and mind-blowing nonfiction. Currently on my nightstand—THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF SAM HELL by Robert Dugoni, and a sad, nostalgic re-read of my old battered copy of KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL by Anthony Bourdain.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m revising THE OYSTERVILLE SEWING CLUB for publication in 2019.

What do your plans for future projects include?

While on a writing retreat aboard a cruise ship, I wrote two proposals for future books—A BRIEF HISTORY OF HAPPINESS and AMERICAN PRINCESS.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

“Susan, can I please buy a large gondola filled with hardcover copies of Between You & Me? I want to give them out to everyone I pass in the street.”

Answer: Yes, of course.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I told the fountain pen story in the other questionnaire but here’s something else. When I’m plotting a book, I do it on endless hikes with my husband. Check the dedication of MAP OF THE HEART and you’ll get what I mean. My husband is a unicorn. I kid you not.

What book do you wish you could have written?

My NEXT book, THE OYSTERVILLE SEWING CIRCLE. If I had written it, I could go out and play right now!

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

The writers in my various critique groups and classes through the years—Barbara Dawson Smith (writes as Olivia Drake), the late Alice Borchardt and Arnette Lamb, Lois Faye Dyer, Kate Breslin, Anjali Banerjee, Sheila Roberts, Elsa Watson, Robin Gainey, Debbie Macomber and a few others I’m probably leaving out. I’m inspired by writers who teach so well—Donald Maass, Christopher Vogler, Bob Mayer, Elizabeth George, Terry Brooks, and Michael Hauge to name a few.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Let’s cast the blond Hemsworth brother (Chris, I think) as Caleb, so gorgeous and troubled and uncomfortably Amish. That would be just fine with me. Reese, our sharp, ambitious doctor should be played by a sharp, ambitious actress—Emma Watson or Shailene Woodley or Emma Stone.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Super important. The name on the page is the reader’s first introduction to the character. You get a different picture of a Dennis or a Trevor. A Bertha or a Brooke. You want the reader to form a certain impression right from the start, and the name is a big part of that.

I love naming characters and I approach it as a life-or-death matter. The names can’t sound too made-up (“Flair MacKenzie” eg.) They have to look right on the page and not demand too much interpretation from the reader. For example, “Siobhan” is lovely, but few US readers will “hear” it properly in their heads. I like names to be typical of the character’s birth year. So I wouldn’t name a Regency heroine “Wendy” since that was coined in Peter Pan. I get inspiration from research I do for the book (all the Amish names in BETWEEN YOU & ME), from my Facebook fan page, movie credits, the spines of books on my shelf, songs, you name it.

I keep an alphabetical running list of names in the book I’m working on in order to avoid too many similar-sounding names in the same story (Harry/Henry, Mary/Marilyn, etc.).

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Probably graphic violence against children or animals. I killed off a dog in an early book, and a child in another, and 30 years later have never gotten over it. I can handle dark matter (evidenced in BETWEEN YOU & ME) but not that dark.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Skipping this one! Too grim!

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

To know the outcome of every decision I make.

If you were a superhero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

My name would be “She Who Must Be Obeyed” and I would wear a fair trade cashmere bathrobe and a set of high-quality Bluetooth headphones.

What literary character is most like you?

Harriet the Spy. Or maybe Jo March in Little Women. Strivers who are smart and a bit weird.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Only one? I have a list as long as my arm. Right now, the top item is Landudno in South Africa.

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?

A mountain goat. Nothing seems to bother them much, and they never close their eyes.

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

I want to learn a new language (already know English and French), sing in a choir again, re-learn the cello, learn to play more than 3 chords on the guitar, see my children and grandchildren living happy, fulfilled lives, write a screenplay, see the end of illiteracy, gun violence, and intolerance, and read all the books on my TBR, and introduce my husband to Jamie Oliver. To name a few.

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

I’ve always loved Audrey Hepburn’s accent—a fusion of Belgian, Dutch, and Brit. She sounded so classy and smart.

 

Aboutthebook

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Caleb Stoltz is bound by a deathbed promise to raise his orphaned niece and nephew in the Amish community Middle Grove, where life revolves around family, farm, faith—and long-held suspicions about outsiders. Although he has always harbored doubts about their insular culture, he’s committed to staying for his family.

But when an unimaginable tragedy strikes, Caleb seeks help from outside his community, thrusting him into an urban environment of high-tech medicine, a decision that will force him to reconsider what family, love, and community truly mean.

Reese Powell is poised to join the medical dynasty of her wealthy, successful parents. Bold, assertive, and fast-thinking, she lives for the addictive rush of saving lives. When a devastating accident brings Caleb Stoltz into her life, Reese is led on an emotionally charged journey into a society veiled in strict customs, compelling her to confront everything she thinks she knows, and emboldening her to question her most powerful beliefs. 

Then one impulsive act brings about a clash of cultures in a tug-of-war that plays out in a courtroom, challenging the very nature of justice and reverberating through generations, straining the fragile threads of family and faith.

 

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abouttheauthor

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Susan Wiggs’s life is all about family, friends…and fiction. She lives at the water’s edge on an island in Puget Sound, and in good weather, she commutes to her writers’ group in a 21-foot motorboat. She’s been featured in the national media, including NPR, PRI, and USA Today, has given programs for the US Embassies in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and is a popular speaker locally, nationally, internationally, and on the high seas.

From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature. Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries and languages. According to Publishers Weekly, Wiggs writes with “refreshingly honest emotion,” and the Salem Statesman Journal adds that she is “one of our best observers of stories of the heart [who] knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book.” Booklist characterizes her books as “real and true and unforgettable.”

Her novels have appeared in the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and have captured readers’ hearts around the globe with translations into more than 20 languages and 30 countries. She is a three-time winner of the RITA Award,. Her recent novel, The Apple Orchard, is currently being made into a film.

The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book. She lives on an island in Puget Sound, where she divides her time between sleeping and waking.

Visit Susan Wiggs’s Web site at www.susanwiggs.com

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Interview: LaVerne Thompson

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Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I’m one of those people who live in my head. I love to create worlds within worlds and stories that transcend modern day living.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I’ve always been a reader. I guess it started from as early as I can remember my grandmother and mom reading to me and then me trying to create my own stories.

How long have you been writing?

Since I could hold a crayon in my hand.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I write under 2 names so multiple genres. Under LaVerne
Thompson I write contemporary, fantasay, sci/fi romance and under Ursula Sinclair I write romantic suspense and new adult

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

Most of my work to date is IR, interracial romances where the main characters are of different races. But race as we understand it is not an issue in my stories, specially my fantasy ones where I’m dealing with mythical beings. I hope to show that love adventure and excitement can be found in a story where the heroine doesn’t always look like you. Yet can still be a good story.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

In my fantasy work my world building is complex. But in all of my work my heroines tend to be able to stand toe to toe with their heroes and most have non-traditional jobs. Such as in one story my heroine was a physicist in another she was an aeronautical engineer.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  

The hardest part of writing any book for me is time. Even though I write full-time I work on 2 or 3 stories at a time in different stages of the storylines. I always need more time in the day to finish everything I need to do. lol

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

Julie Garwood for showing me how to write a true alpha hero and the kind of woman that could walk by his side. J. R.R. Tolkien and Robert Jordan for helping understand world building and the complexity of creating a world. Stobie Piel for introducing me to romantic fantasy, Octavia Butler for helping to understand there are no limits other than what we set ourselves. Jane Austin for teaching me romance. There are others but that’s a good start.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I write full-time and still don’t seem to have enough time. lol

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

In another life I used to be an attorney. I’ve used some of my legal background in some of my writing and plan on doing even more. I started a series that launched Young Gunns.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I love fantasy and sci/fi and tend to read or listen to audio books in those genres most of all then historical then contemporary.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m in a few boxed sets, Wings of the Wicked my contribution is Soul Collectors and I’m also working on another boxed CrossRoads. I’m also working on some single projects. I’m finishing the 4th book in my Ballerina Series, Choose Me, The Ice Man Cometh the second book in my Elemental Series.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I’m starting 2 new series next year. One is a cat shifter series the other is a fantasy YA project I’ve been kicking around.

Do you have any strangeiting habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I get great ideas in the shower but I don’t put pen to paper in there.

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?

The kind that would burn the zoo down probably. A dragon.

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

LOL I actually should have an accent. But I out grew it. I was born in Trinidad. There are some words I kinda mispronounce if I’m very emotional it’s the accent coming out.

 

Aboutthebook

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A romantic fantasy.
Can you hear my dragon roar?

After losing her mother at a very young age, Arianna’s world changed when her father came to get her. He took her across the Atlantic Ocean, away from everything she’d ever known and loved. But once again she’s forced to cross the Atlantic, this time leaving everything she’d grown to love behind. Running from the thing that had killed her remaining parent, running for her life. And fleeing from the being she’d dreamt of for half her life. Nothing could save her, she didn’t believe in myths and fairytales. Didn’t believe in the man with the eyes that flashed gold. She could trust no one. Not even the voice whispering inside her head she recognized as her own.

Talon had come to Earth searching for his truemate. Knowing she was near but still so very far away. Only able to reach her when they both closed their eyes, but waking up to find it had all been nothing but a dream. Until one day he heard her cry of pain and felt the crippling pang of fear that invaded her mind. She needed him, but he couldn’t find her. Not until she released her block against him. He just hoped it would not be too late. Because an ancient enemy roamed Earth once more and hunted his truemate. It was a race as to which one of them would find her first. Talon would not lose.

This is not an erotic romance but it does contain sexual content and violence suitable for 18+

 

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abouttheauthor

 

LaVerne_Thompson

My name is LaVerne Thompson. 

I am a USA Today Bestselling award-winning author. I write paranormal, fantasy and sci/fi romances with story lines that focus on romance and happily ever afters. Sometimes there’s a touch of intrigue or suspense and maybe–maybe a dash of violence. I also write romantic suspense and new adult romance under the pseudonym Ursula Sinclair. I have written stories for as long as I can remember, and I hope you enjoy them.

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Character Interview: Marley Rose McClain from Linda Broday’s TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR {giveaway}

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TO CATCH 

A TEXAS STAR

Texas Heroes, Book 3

by

LINDA BRODAY

  Genre: Western / Historical / Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

 

Date of Publication: July 3, 2018

Number of Pages: 352

Scroll down for Giveaway!

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On her way to town early one morning, Marley Rose McClain finds a man unconscious and bleeding at the side of the road. She loads him in the wagon and takes him to her family ranch.

Drifter Roan Penny fights for his life, his one goal eating at him—to find the ones who murdered his best friend. As he recovers, he finds himself falling in love with Marley. She’s everything he wants and dreams of making her his wife even as he knows it’s impossible.

A terrifying stranger appears and a long-kept secret shakes Marley to the core. Roan helps her through very frightening times and they pledge their love for each other.

As Roan hunts down the hooded men who killed his friend and grows closer to learning the truth of the stranger’s identity, he finds both himself and Marley being stalked. Shocking events unfold, secrets come to light, and a love refuses to be denied in this cat and mouse game where danger lurks around every corner. Will Roan and Marley survive to see the future they plan?

 

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Praise for To Catch a Texas Star:

“Fans of the previous books will enjoy returning to the McClain clan, and new readers will appreciate the story’s layered mysteries, emotional depth, and believable scenes of attraction.” — Publisher’s Weekly

“I loved the twists and turns that this story takes. It is pretty interesting seeing this romance blossom and how much their relationship strengthens as they face danger and the truth together.” — Addicted to Romance

“Marley Rose has one of the most gentle and winsome souls; her affection and compassion for others and delightful creativity pour off the pages and you can’t help but adore her.” — Michelle (Goodreads)

 

characterinterview
————  —— ———–

 

Today I’m with Marley Rose McClain from To Catch a Texas Star.

She’s a fascinating woman and I’m going to see if she will tell us a few things about the book. She strides into the room with confidence, a striking woman with dark hair and eyes. I see strength and pride in the way she carries herself and can’t wait to hear what she has to say.

Me: What did you think when you found Roan Penny lying half-dead beside the road?

Marley: I thought he was dead at first. Scared me when he moved. So I got him in the back of the wagon and drove back to the ranch. I think if he’d lain there much longer he would’ve died.

Me: I hear Roan stole your heart, and frankly he stole mine too.

Marley’s eyes sparkle: I tell you, that man makes me swoon. He’s sure handsome with dark brown hair and twinkling gray eyes. He’s quite the kisser too. When his lips meet mine, I get all hot and fluttery inside. He’s tall and lean too. I just love a man who makes me feel so protected and cherished and when he calls me his Texas star, I just melt.

Me: What was he like when he was dealing with that mob that murdered his friend?

Marley: Those gray eyes can sure turn to ice to match his voice when he’s angry. I found out Roan Penny can strike the fear of God in a man, but you know that’s what it took in the old west. More often than not, justice was only what men found for themselves. Criminals and bad men far outnumbered lawmen back then.

Me: Let’s talk about the secret Duel and Jessie kept from you. How did you feel?

Marley: I was deeply hurt, confused, and angry that they let me believe I was their child all these years. I couldn’t fathom being won in a poker game. Did I mean so little? But then I came to see that I meant so much. Duel saved me. If not for him, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. Even as hurt as I was, I couldn’t hate him. But for a while there, I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Me: Tell me about little Matthew and him calling you Mama Rose.

Marley grins big: That sweet, little boy has stolen my heart. He’s so sensitive and worries about everyone. The smallest things make him happy and the best part of my day is reading to him at bedtime.

Me: Speaking of that, I hear you write children’s stories and you read your own work to Matthew.

Marley: That’s correct. Writing stories that bring the children such enjoyment brings me great satisfaction and joy. The reward is seeing their faces light up.

Well, that’s all the time we had. I thanked Marley and left. She has an incredible story to tell in To Catch a Texas Star. It’s out now so grab a copy. I think you’ll like it.

Linda is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of full length historical western romance novels and novellas. She’s published over twenty books and short stories and resides in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed. On a quiet day, she can often hear their voices whispering in the wind. 

The love of this state and its people runs bone deep and she instills that into each book she writes. She sets all her stories in Texas because of the rich history and interesting people.

A mother, grandmother, and soon to be a great grandmother, Linda finds research fascinating and always looks for little known tidbits to add realism to her stories. When she’s not writing, she collects old coins and confesses to being a rock hound in addition to making herself a nuisance at museums, libraries, and historical places which inspire her.

WEBSITE   FACEBOOK     PINTEREST

 ————————————— 

Grand Prize: Signed Copies of Full Texas Heroes Series

Five Runners-Up: Signed Copies of To Catch a Texas Star

 

(US ONLY)

  July 3-12, 2018

 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

7/3/18

Excerpt

7/3/18

Bonus Series Spotlight

7/4/18

Review

7/5/18

Guest Post

7/6/18

Review

7/7/18

Character Interview

7/8/18

Review

7/9/18

Playlist

7/10/18

Review

7/11/18

Author Interview

7/12/18

Review

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Interview: Mary Hogan, author of LEFT: A LOVE STORY

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Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I was a nerdy, chubby, lonely kid who felt like the only nerdy, chubby, lonely kid in the world. My middle school librarian took pity on me and introduced me to books about girls like me. I devoured them! Back then, there were so few young adult novels I felt bereft when I’d read them all. So, I started writing stories about girls like me. And women like me. And families like mine.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I like to think my work is a nice blend of humor and heartbreak. Like life.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

I’m obsessed with the “Anns”: Ann Patchett, Anne Tyler, Annie Proulx. I read my first Anne Tyler novel, “Searching for Caleb” one night in my college dorm room. I found it in the lounge. Wow. How could a person write so well? That night I decided to aim for the pinnacle: to be an Ann. Still working in it.

FUN STUFF

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

I walk my dog in the park with my ear buds in and the other end tucked into my pocket so people will think I’m talking to someone when I’m actually plotting the next chapter aloud.

How many donuts are you capable of eating in one sitting?

Capable or willing? Capable: Numerous, especially if hot. Not pretty.

Willing: None.

Say there’s like a whole box of your favorite snack in a room all by themselves. Say I left them there and told you not to eat any until I got back. How long would it take you to disobey my wishes?

I would never disobey you. My parents taught me that bad girls go to hell.

If I gave you a pencil and piece of paper and told you to draw something funny, what would you draw?

This sentence: Ifs, ands, and butts. Then, I’d draw a bottom. See, you’re smiling, aren’t you? 

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

I LOVE anything with the word, “butter” in it. So, I’d have to say Butter Cookies.

How many times does it take for you to listen to a song that you love before you actually hate it instead?

My favorite song is still, “Call Me Maybe.” Nuf said.

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?

No idea. I have a dog. But I DO know that dogs dream about running because their feet wiggle in their sleep.

This or That?

Tea or Coffee? Strong, black coffee

Winter or Summer? Winter

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla (with chocolate chips)

Vintage or New? Vintage

Fried or Scrambled? Fried, over medium

 

Aboutthebook

Left_PB

It started as a dream vacation in Spain, with Fay and Paul Agarra enjoying all the delights of a European holiday. A respected New York City judge, Paul has always been the man Fay can rely on, no matter what. When he inexplicably disappears from a Barcelona street corner, Fay knows something is terribly wrong. Once reunited, Paul shrugs off the episode as a simple misunderstanding—but Fay suspects her almost perfect life has taken a dark and sudden turn. Soon there are more signs that Paul is beginning to change. Bouts of forgetfulness lead to mistakes in the courtroom. Simple tasks cause unexplainable outbursts of anger. Fay’s worst suspicions are realized when she learns her husband—her rock, her love, her everything—is succumbing to the ravages of dementia. As her husband transforms before her very eyes, Fay copes with her fears by retreating into a fantasy life filled with promise instead of pain. In Fay’s invented world, she imagines herself living a glamorous life free from heartache, with a handsome neighbor she barely knows rescuing her from a future she can’t accept. Poignant and beautifully crafted, Left is an unforgettable tale about life’s aching uncertainties—and a woman who discovers that somewhere between hope and reality, an unexpected future will find its way forward.

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PRAISE FOR LEFT

“A touching novel. The book poignantly portrays Faye’s struggle to come to terms with…uncomfortable yet necessary questions about the conditions of love.”—Publishers Weekly

“Hogan (The Woman in the Photo, 2016) does a good job of mixing humor and heartbreak in this sharply observed novel, drawn from her own experience.”Booklist

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abouttheauthor

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MARY HOGAN is the bestselling author of Two Sisters and the historical novel, The Woman in the Photo. Previous novels include the young adult titles, The Serious Kiss, Perfect Girl and Pretty Face (HarperCollins).

Mary lives in New York City with her husband, actor Robert Hogan, and their Catahoula Leopard rescue dog, Lucy. Find out more at MaryHogan.com 

Interview: Dr. Stuart Lemming, Colonel, U.S. Army Medical Corps, from HARMON GENERAL by Kimberly Fish

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HARMON GENERAL

Misfits and Millionaires #2 

by

KIMBERLY FISH

Genre: Historical Fiction / WWII / Spies

Publisher: Fish Tales, LLC 

Date of Publication: June 16, 2018

Number of Pages: 330

Scroll down for giveaway! 

In 1943, Lane Mercer and Emmie Tesco had nothing in common. Well, nothing stronger than a town neither of them chose and careers they couldn’t advertise as agents within the Office of Strategic Services. During the days of Longview, Texas’s Friendly Trek Homecoming Parade, Lane was gearing up for the grand opening of a bookshop that also disguised an espionage safe house, and Emmie was chasing a criminal with evil intent through the US Army’s new medical facility, Harmon General Hospital, treating diseased and amputated soldiers. Emmie ropes Lane into international threats at Harmon General, making it increasingly hard for the two spies to navigate the Junior Service League, church life, or anything else that might be considered normal for a town sizzling with oil boom wealth. A friend from Lane’s past arrives and pushes against the fiction she’s created to distance her spy history from the wedding bells ringing her future. Emmie flirts with the idea of finding a life outside of the OSS but justifies the danger as a way to make amends for those she’s betrayed. Connecting the two women, to their surprise, is a rogue agent who targets them for crimes he believes they created. For better, or worse, they have to put aside their differences to share responsibility for stopping “The Grasshopper” before he blows apart the Big Inch Pipeline project and Harmon General Hospital. The hope of malaria treatments for US soldiers depends on it, and justice of the heart demands it.

 

PRAISE FOR HARMON GENERAL:

 

“The war that changed the world brought the world to East Texas through Harmon General, a significant US Army hospital that treated thousands of wounded soldiers in Longview.  In Harmon General, we meet again Lane Mercer, a World War II heroine, and we enjoy again how the drama of her secret service to the nation and her complicated personal relationships pull us into the vast impact of the world war.” — Dale Lunsford, Ph.D., President, LeTourneau University

“Harmon General is a brilliant story for historical fiction readers! Set in World War II, the female spies, Army hospital setting, and drama amongst the Longview townsfolk kept me riveted and engaged until the very end.” – Jody T. Morse

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SPECIAL PROMOTION: FREE BOOK!

 

For the first five days of the Lone Star Book Blog Tours promotion of Harmon General, the Kindle  e-book of The Big Inch is FREE!!  That’s right, from June 22-27, the e-book that started the whole Misfits and Millionaires adventure costs nada!

Click to download your copy!

 

 

 

characterinterview

 

Harmon General Character Interview:

Dr. Stuart Lemming, Colonel, U.S. Army Medical Corps

 

Setting: the lobby of the KFRO Radio Station in Longview, Texas. May, 1943

Dr. Lemming is sitting in a straight back chair, flipping through the pages of the Longview Morning News—not reading the headlines, just looking for something to do while he waits for the production assistant to take him back for his radio interview. The receptionist brings him a cup of coffee.

“I hope I got it right. Just a splash of milk?” the woman in a pink blouse asks as she wipes her hands on her brown skirt.

Stuart holds the cup close, letting the steam warm his cheeks. “You have a good memory.”

“It comes from having to remember all the yahoos who roll through the station week-after-week.” She smiled as if to imply a man in uniform didn’t qualify for the same treatment as those giving the farm reports and sports broadcasts. “You’re not from around here?”

“I’m stationed at Harmon General these days, but I call North Carolina home.” He sipped the dark roast. “Boone, actually. In the mountains.”

She smiled wistfully. “I’ve only ever seen mountains in the movies.”

“Where I’m from, they’re a little more tamed than the ones you see in the westerns.” He stood because the receptionist hadn’t moved on and his mother had taught him to stand when speaking to ladies.

“Well, what must you think of Longview then after being in the military and travelling all over the world?”

“I haven’t been allowed off our shores yet, but I’ve done most of my schooling and training on the east coast. Spent a lot of time in Washington, D. C. That’s a bit different from here.”

“We’re just country bumpkins compared to all the folks you’d meet in Washington.”

Stuart’s expression softened as if he was enjoying replaying the faces of people he’d met during his medical training and Army career. “I met Clark Gable once.”

She gasped. “I adore Clark Gable.”

“He was learning medical procedures for a movie role, and I actually explained to him how to read slides under a microscope.”

She fanned her face. “Did you get his autograph?”

Stuart didn’t have the heart to tell her the actor was rather grumpy and had bad breath. “I forgot to ask.”

The woman let her gaze take new inventory of Stuart’s beige uniform and military brass. “I know you’re here to do one of those “Heroes of Harmon” radio interviews that everyone is raving about, but if you’re not busy after—would you like to grab a sandwich together? We could walk down the street to Deb’s?”

He smiled. It had been a long while since someone—outside Harmon—had shown much interest in him, and now with Lane Mercer out of the picture it was time to get back out in the mix. “Sure. If the interview doesn’t go too long.”

The receptionist gestured to the thick door leading back to the production studios. “They’ve been whipping those soldiers in and out of here all week. It shouldn’t take more than half an hour for them to ask you about your work, how you got here, who you want to say hi to back home, and what’s your big heroic moment from the war.”

Stuart froze. He didn’t have a big heroic moment, short of what happened in the chapel—and that was more of a reflection on Lane than it was him. “I’m a pathologist, not a hero.”

She brushed away his humility. “Anyone who suits up for this war is a hero to me. Come on, I’ll take you back and show you the green room. Babe Ruth once ate a hot dog in there—he was here as a guest of our old baseball team, The Cannibals.”

Stuart followed the woman and worried about the notion of naming a local baseball team after a people-eating subset of humanity—but that’s how his brain worked. Where most folks took things at face value, he was always consumed by the details beneath.

 

 

A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR:

Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won The Writer’s League of Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting.

She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats and in January 2017, released the first novel in the Misfits and Millionaires series set during the World War II years in Longview, Texas—The Big Inch. Her second book, Comfort Plans, was published later that same year.

She lives with her family in East Texas.

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Misfits & Millionaires, Book 1

 

Interview: Ann Mah, author of THE LOST VINTAGE

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A Conversation with Ann Mah, author of The Lost Vintage

You were inspired to write The Lost Vintage after volunteering for the wine harvest in France, which you documented in a travel piece for the New York Times. When did you know you wanted to write this novel?

I first visited Burgundy in 2010 to research an article on Thomas Jefferson’s favorite vineyards in France. The minute I set foot in the region, I was captivated by the vine-covered slopes and charming villages. And if I sensed ghosts there, hovering amid the beauty, they only added to my fascination. I think the seed for this novel was planted then. A few years later, I volunteered to pick grapes at the harvest in Champagne. Harvest volunteers are often given free room and board, and I was put up in an empty attic apartment at the vineyard house. The rooms hadn’t been touched since the 1960s: they were sparsely decorated with mid-century hospital furniture; the floors creaked; the wallpaper was peeling; and at night the rural silence was deafening – and bone-chilling. Even though I was exhausted from long days of physical labor, whenever I lay down to sleep, my imagination would cartwheel. And so, I slept with the lights on, and when I woke, I wrote in my journal. This story was born from those wild scribblings.

Kate, the protagonist in The Lost Vintage, is a wine expert and is studying for the prestigious Master of Wine exam. What is your own history with wine? Do you consider yourself an expert?

It was important to me to be able to write accurately about the wine world, so as part of the research for this book, I took classes through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, which is the same organization that administers the Master of Wine program. I learned just enough to know I’m definitely not an expert! As part of the class we did blind tastings, in which we smelled and tasted different wines and identified flavors from the wine aroma wheel. People would call out things like “dill,” “petrol,” or “green peppers,” and everyone would argue until the teacher came down with the final verdict. My fellow classmates were really competitive. I used to joke that it was like a blood sport.   

As a food and travel writer, of course, you’re always weaving narrative into evocative sensory descriptions of what you’re tasting or seeing, and that skill is apparent in The Lost Vintage, as well. How did you find writing about food and wine different in fiction, if at all?

When I’m writing an article, I’m trying to accurately relate an experience. But for fiction, I can’t imagine two better metaphors than food and wine – they speak to our deepest desires (or disgusts), our most visceral memories. You can communicate so much through a character’s favorite foods. As well, the dinner table remains my absolute favorite setting to write a scene of family conflict – everyone is tidily in one place, but each person has their own motivations and distractions.  

Much of your book deals with history, in particular that of World War II in Europe, and how people reconcile their family legacy with their own values. What prompted you to challenge your characters in this way?

As I mentioned, I was captivated by the beauty of Burgundy – but I felt something ominous there, too. I didn’t really understand it until I started researching World War II and learned more about the “épuration sauvage,” the spontaneous “wild purge” that punished thousands of women throughout France in the days and weeks following the Liberation. Accused of “horizontal collaboration,” or sleeping with the enemy, these women were targeted by vigilante justice and publicly humiliated. Their heads were shaved, they were stripped, paraded through town, smeared with tar, stoned, kicked, beaten, and sometimes killed. Yes, some of them had slept with Germans. Some of them were prostitutes. But some had been raped. Some were women who merely worked for German soldiers, as was the case with one cleaning lady. Some were framed and falsely accused out of jealousy. Many were mothers desperate to feed their starving children. In almost every case, their punishment was far worse than their male counterparts. These women – over 20,000 of them! – were the most vulnerable members of society, and they became scapegoats for a humiliated nation. I felt it was important for their story to finally be told.  

The Lost Vintage shows that though there were many French résistants acting during the war, there were also many French people who essentially supported the Nazis through complicity, often for survival’s sake. As Rose says at one point, “It’s much safer to do nothing.” Do you think these actions are wartime phenomena, or are there ways in which we can show courage or remain complicit in a similar way in day to day life?

I think World War II is ultimately a morality tale and so many years after it, we’d all like to believe we’d have fought for the right side. Of course, the reality is always more complicated – and wartime complicates things even further. I think a lot of regret and shame about the war still lingers in France. If I learned anything while researching this book, it’s that small actions can have unforeseen and lingering consequences.

Aboutthebook

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About THE LOST VINTAGE

Kate has spent years building her career as a sommelier in San Francisco, despite a weakness for identifying Burgundian vintages. While she’s carefully managed to avoid them thus far, she can no longer do so as she faces her final attempt at passing the notoriously difficult Master of Wine Examination. With the test only a few months away, she travels to her family’s vineyard in Burgundy—a place she has purposefully avoided for nearly a decade—to help with les vendanges, the annual grape harvest. While there, she does everything she can to bolster her shaky knowledge of Burgundian wine, while also ignoring both the bittersweet memories of her childhood and Jean-Luc, her first love.

While Kate helps her cousin, Nico, and his wife clear the enormous basement of the vineyard house, she discovers a hidden room containing a cot, dozens of Resistance pamphlets, and an enormous cache of valuable wine. As Kate digs into her family’s history, her search takes her back to the dark days of WWII and introduces her to a relative she never knew existed: a great–half aunt who was a teenager during the Nazi occupation. As she learns more about her family, the line between resistance and collaboration blurs, driving Kate to question who, exactly, her family aided during the difficult years of the war and the fate of six valuable bottles of wine that seem to be missing from the cellar’s collection.

 

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abouttheauthor

The Lost Vintage Ann Mah authorphoto_credit Katia Grimmer-Laversanne

Ann Mah is a food and travel writer based in Paris and Washington, DC. She is the author of the food memoir Mastering the Art of French Eating and Kitchen Chinese, a novel. She regularly contributes to the New York Times’ Travel section, and has written for Condé Nast Traveler, Vogue.com, BonAppetit.com, Food52, and others.

You can learn more at www.annmah.net.

 

Interview: Terri-Lynne DeFino, author of THE BAR HARBOR RETIREMENT HOME FOR FAMOUS WRITERS

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Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I write in several genres–literary/contemporary fiction, fantasy fiction, romance, and women’s fiction. I even wrote an original fairy tale. I write in the genres that interest me. As far as I’m concerned, there are no lines that can’t be crossed. All my romance/women’s fiction have “ghosts” in them. My fantasy has a literary bend. My contemporary has a bit of whimsy in it. Anything goes.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive? The most useful thing for me was honesty. Complete, brutal, ultimately kind honesty. No matter how innate your knowledge, how lovely your natural voice, no one comes into this writing thing an expert. And no one learns anything about this craft by having one’s ego stroked. Back in the beginning, I had plenty of friends, family, and critique partners telling me what a good writer I was. Nice? Yes and no. I was blind to my own shortcomings–until a pro who’d gotten one cringe-worthy manuscript too many opened my eyes to all I was doing wrong. He shredded the fifty pages I sent, pointed out every single mistake, and explained why it was oh-so-wrong. He didn’t have to do that. A form rejection would have sufficed. Whether he’d finally snapped or saw something worth his time, he was brutal. It hurt like hell. I’m grateful to him to this day. The least helpful for me, as you might guess, was the praise. It got in the way of learning. There was no room for my ego in this process. I let it go, and whew! Was it liberating. My motto in life is “Modesty is for suckers,” largely because of that literary ass-kicking. I know what I’m good at–show me what I’m doing wrong.

What do you like to read in your free time?
Mostly Women’s Fiction, Literary/Contemporary Fiction. I do love dystopia, and fantasy of all kinds. I’ll read anything by Sarah Addison Allen, Fredrik Backman, and Patricia McKillip. Anything.

What projects are you working on at the present?
Currently, I’m working on Thirty Days Dancing on the Edge of the World. It has a dual timeline, 2009 and 1947 (and continues through the 1990s.) After the financial crisis of 2008, Mallory, a fifty-two year old Financial Advisor, has lost everything. After two suicide attempts, she winds up at Seaside, a mental rehabilitation facility (a once-upon-a-time beach resort) in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Seaside is nothing like the psychiatric ward; it’s a place to land, and to launch. There, Mallory meets others in need of a safe place to regain their balance, including Vonnie, the old woman who owns the place. Her past is the 1947-1990 part of the novel, showing the then and now differences between how mental health–and women–was viewed and treated.

What do your plans for future projects include? Since finishing The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (and Their Muses) I’ve completed three novels. I’m hoping one (or more!) of these will be on my publishing horizon. I write nine to four, every day, five days a week, and have no plans to change that. Once Thirty Days is finished, there are several more sitting in files waiting for their turns. I’m leaning towards one about dragons in New York City–real or imagined? That’s what the reader gets to decide.

FUN STUFF

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?
Sugar on the tip of my tongue. Works every time.

If I gave you a pencil and piece of paper and told you to draw something funny, what would you draw?
There’s a little character I’ve drawn on restaurant placemats since my kids were little–a hillbilly guy with a big nose, looking over a fence. You only see his eyes, nose and straw hat. He’s always saying, “yo-ho!” like a pirate. I have no idea why I do that, who the hillbilly is, or why he’s my go-to doodle. Maybe a past life experience trying to express itself.

How many friendships have you ruined because you refused to play a game of Monopoly mercifully?
0. I’m the least competitive person of all time. I’d rather you win than upset you. Unless it’s Scrabble. Then, I will annihilate you if I can.

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie? Tagalongs!

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?
World domination. At least, household domination. They whisper in our ears as we sleep. No, really! I’ve caught them doing it. They pretend they were innocently cuddling close, but I’m savvy to their wily ways.

This or That? 

Dogs or Cats? Cats (my furry overlords are not making me say that. Send help. Please!)

Marvel or DC Comics? Marvel!

Winter or Summer? Winter

TexMex or Italian? Italian! As if there is any other rational answer.

Vintage or New? Vintage

 

Aboutthebook

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Alfonse Carducci was a literary giant who lived his life to excess—lovers, alcohol, parties, and literary rivalries. But now he’s come to the Bar Harbor Home for the Elderly to spend the remainder of his days among kindred spirits: the publishing industry’s nearly gone but never forgotten greats. Only now, at the end of his life, does he comprehend the price of appeasing every desire, and the consequences of forsaking love to pursue greatness. For Alfonse has an unshakeable case of writer’s block that distresses him much more than his precarious health.

Set on the water in one of New England’s most beautiful locales, the Bar Harbor Home was established specifically for elderly writers needing a place to live out their golden years—or final days—in understated luxury and surrounded by congenial literary company. A faithful staff of nurses and orderlies surround the writers, and are drawn into their orbit, as they are forced to reckon with their own life stories. Among them are Cecibel Bringer, a young woman who knows first-hand the cost of chasing excess. A terrible accident destroyed her face and her sister in a split-second decision that Cecibel can never forgive, though she has tried to forget. Living quietly as an orderly, refusing to risk again the cost of love, Cecibel never anticipated the impact of meeting her favorite writer, Alfonse Carducci—or the effect he would have on her existence. In Cecibel, Alfonse finds a muse who returns him to the passion he thought he lost. As the words flow from him, weaving a tale taken up by the other residents of the Pen, Cecibel is reawakened to the idea of love and forgiveness.

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abouttheauthor

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Terri-Lynne DeFino was born and raised in New Jersey, but escaped to the wilds of Connecticut where she still lives with her husband, and her cats. If you knock on her door, she’ll invite you in and feed you. That’s what Jersey Italian women do, because you can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey out of the girl. She is the author of the Bitterly Suite romance series published by Kensington Lyrical.

 

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Interview: Vivienne Lorret, author of HOW TO FORGET A DUKE {giveaway}

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Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I come from a long line of storytellers, all gathered around a huge harvest table at my grandparents’ house. On Sundays (when I was a child), my dad and uncles would tell story after story of all the mischief they got into when they were younger. As a young spy in training (my chosen profession at the time), I was a stealthy eavesdropper and found myself enthralled (and sometimes horrified) by their tales. Even so, I was hooked. A child story-addict. I guess I never outgrew it.  

What do you like to read in your free time?

Romantic comedies, mysteries, poetry, nutrition labels (I always have a good laugh over those), and the Starbucks menu.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m currently writing my 2019 release (book #3 in the Misadventures in Matchmaking series), tentatively titled THE ROGUE TO RUIN.

In addition, I’m putting together a proposal for a sub character in a previous book. I’ve received a slew of emails from readers, asking for Lord Holt’s book (he appeared in the novella, Just Another Viscount in Love). It’s such a wonderful blessing!

What do your plans for future projects include?

This December, TEN KISSES TO SCANDAL (book #2 of the Misadventures in Matchmaking series) will be available. And in October, I’ll be hosting a table at the Buns & Roses Tea for Literacy at the Hyatt in Richardson, Texas. So exciting! http://www.bunsandroses.org/

Fun Stuff…

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

Well, I don’t think it’s strange, but I typically wear a black sweater (my son calls it my “writing cloak”), and I start off my day with two big mugs of chai tea. I’ve also been known to partake in the sacrificial ritual of the scone, on occasion.

What is your go-to method for getting rid of hiccups?

Holding my breath while drinking water in a bent over position, from the opposite side of the glass. Works every time.

If I gave you a pencil and piece of paper and told you to draw something funny, what would you draw?

I’d probably write the words “something funny” next to a smiley face. : )

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout Cookie?

Thin mints, fresh or frozen.

Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention What do you think cats dream about?

World domination.

This or That?

Tea or Coffee?  Tea, always.

Winter or Summer? Fall

TexMex or Italian? Italian

Chocolate or Vanilla?  There is only chocolate. What is this “vanilla” you mentioned?

Bond or Bourne? Bourne

Aboutthebook (1)

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All Jacinda Bourne wants is to find a bride for a handsome, enigmatic duke. There’s only one problem: she’s certain he’s hiding something. Determined to discover what it is, she travels to his crumbling cliffside estate. Yet, by the time she washes up on his beach, she can no longer remember who she is, or why the duke is so familiar to her. All she knows is that his kisses are unforgettable—and she intends to use every skill she can to discover what’s in his heart . . .

When Miss Bourne can’t remember what brought her to his ancestral home, The Duke of Rydstrom intends to keep it that way. Yet as the days pass, his true challenge will be safeguarding his secret while resisting this woman who—confound it all—may well be his perfect match.

Praise for HOW TO FORGET A DUKE

“Lorret’s Misadventures in Matchmaking series starter and print debut sparkles with wit and passion. … A smart, fun charmer!” —RT Book Reviews

“…captivating, passionate, well-crafted … Simply divine!” — Romance Junkies

“This book is absolutely going on my top 10 of the year list.” — Book Besties

“Full of laughter, passion and some characters that fairly leap off the page in their need to be understood and cheered on – this new series from Lorret is sure to please many this summer.” — I Am, Indeed


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USA TODAY bestselling author Vivienne Lorret transforms copious amounts of tea into words. She is an Avon author of The Wallflower Wedding series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall series, The Season’s Original series, and the Misadventures in Matchmaking series. 

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Interview: Jan Reid, author of SINS OF THE YOUNGER SONS

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SINS OF THE

YOUNGER SONS

by

JAN REID

Genre: Literary Fiction / Romance / Spy / Thriller

Publisher: Texas Christian University Press 

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Publication Date: February 28, 2018

Number of Pages: 296 pages

Sins of the Younger Sons has received the Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters! Luke Burgoa is an ex-Marine on a solitary covert mission to infiltrate the Basque separatist organization ETA in Spain and help bring down its military commander, Peru Madariaga. Luke hails from a Basque ancestry that came with the Spanish empire to Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, and, seventy-five years ago, to a Texas ranch. Neighbors consider the Burgoas Mexican immigrants and exiles of that nation’s revolution, but the matriarch of the family speaks the ancient language Euskera and honors traditions of the old country. Luke’s orders are to sell guns to the ETA and lure Peru into a trap. Instead he falls in love with Peru’s estranged wife, Ysolina, who lives in Paris and pursues a doctorate about an Inquisition-driven witchcraft frenzy in her native land. From the day they cross the border into the Basque Pyrenees, their love affair on the run conveys the beauty, sensuality, exoticism, and violence of an ancient homeland cut in two by Spain and France. Their trajectory puts Luke, Ysolina, and Peru on a collision course with each other and the famed American architect Frank Gehry, whose construction of a Guggenheim art museum seeks to transform the Basque city of Bilbao, a decrepit industrial backwater haunted by the Spanish Civil War—and a hotbed of ETA extremism. Ranging from the Amazon rain forest to a deadly prison in Madrid, Sins of the Younger Sons is a love story exposed to dire risk at every turn.

 

PRAISE FOR SINS OF THE YOUNGER SONS:

“Reid’s story is a fascinating blend of page-turning thriller and vivid tableau of Basque culture and the movement that battled the Spanish establishment for many decades. A reader can’t ask for more—a book that’s engaging, entertaining, educative, and unique.”  —Thomas Zigal, author of Many Rivers to Cross and The White League

“What a fine book Jan Reid has written!  At once history—both cultural and political—and sensual love story, it reaches beyond genre to make for a magical and profound reading experience.  Don’t start reading it at night unless you want to stay up until dawn and then some.” —Beverly Lowry, author of Who Killed These Girls? and Harriet Tubman: Imagining a Life

“Page by page, Sins of the Younger Sons invites the reader to dwell for a while within its unique world, to suffer and celebrate with its unforgettable characters. It’s a trip that, if taken, is well worth the effort.” —Ed Conroy, San Antonio Express-News

“Sins of the Younger Sons vividly takes us into a world few of us have seen and into a bitter conflict most of us have never considered nor understood.” —Si Dunn, Dallas Morning News

 

 

AuthorInterview

What kinds of writing do you do?

The first decades of my career were defined largely by wide-ranging magazine non-fiction, most of it for Texas Monthly. I’ve now written or collaborated on twelve nonfiction books and three novels. First with The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, three of my nonfictions concern music and the lifestyle and craft of musicians. I’ve written much about football and boxing. I believe my best nonfiction books are Let the People In, a biography of Texas governor Ann Richards, and a memoir of friendship, love, personal crisis and challenge, and Mexico, The Bullet Meant for Me. I’m proudest of my novels Comanche Sundown, about their last war chief and a freed slave cowboy, and Sins of the Younger Sons, a love story and thriller set among the Basque separatist conflict in Spain.

What was the hardest part of writing Sins of the Younger Sons, and what did you most enjoy about it?

The hardest part was shelving a false start for twenty years. I loved the settings and the three major characters—a Basque separatist leader named Peru, his wife Ysolina, and Luke, a covert American intelligence agent who falls in love with her. But I didn’t have enough story to make the novel work, at least to my satisfaction. My greatest enjoyment on returning to the novel was a plot breakthrough that led me to fictionalize as supportive characters the celebrated American architect Frank Gehry and Spanish king Juan Carlos, who led his nation out of the darkness of their civil war and the long fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

Which character from your book is most like you?

The protagonist Luke Burgoa.  He’s an ex-Marine, a onetime boxer, and a Texan. He knows the rain forest of the Amazon and its tributaries. He knows horses and mules. And he comes to love el País Vasco, the Spanish-ruled Basque Country and its showpiece coastal city, San Sebastián.

What projects are you working on now?

Both draw on my past experience and in different ways are sequels. A nearly completed novel, The Song Leader, is narrated by an Austin-based rock and roll singer who changes his name to Haid Pecos to hide from his past: an aggravated assault conviction in a Marine court martial and a year of brutal infantry combat in Vietnam. Haid’s marriage to a lawyer has its extreme highs and lows. In his youth he was a gospel song leader in a small church in his hometown Deerinwater (the setting and title of my first novel) and then a state Golden Gloves boxing champion.  First as a sparring partner in the Marines, Haid overcomes the obstacles of his origins and American racial barricades and forms a long friendship with the black heavyweight champion of the 1970s, Ken Norton—and through Norton’s perspective, Haid gains an entertaining sense of Kenny’s great rivals, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Beyond that, involving two characters in Sins of the Younger Sons, I plan to start a novel pitting the separatist rebellion in Catalonia against the Madrid government’s military-style assault on the Catalans and their great city Barcelona.  An infant and little girl in the earlier novel, the protagonist Enara is now a 22-year-old woman. Her father, the ex-spook Luke, is scared to death about what she’s getting herself into.  

What book do you wish you had written?

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy.

What is something funny about you that most people don’t know about you?

Even in my old age people still tell me I look like Jimmy Carter.  I consider it a compliment. When he was president I first heard it while traveling in Mexico. “Jeemy!” people would yell. “Jeemy Carter!”        

Author Reid

Jan Reid’s highly praised books include his novel Comanche Sundown, his biography of Texas governor Ann Richards, Let the People In, his memoir of Mexico, The Bullet Meant for Me, and The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock. Making his home in Austin, Reid has been a leading contributor to Texas Monthly for over forty years.

 

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Interview: Kat Martin, author of BEYOND CONTROL {giveaway}

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BEYOND CONTROL

The Texas Trilogy, Book 3

by

Kat Martin

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Zebra

Date of Publication: May 29, 2018

Number of Pages: 368

  

Scroll down for the giveaway!

 

Present Danger

When Victoria Bradford got engaged, she told herself to give love a chance. Six months later, she’s on the run from her angry, abusive ex-fiancé with her four-year-old daughter and nowhere to go.

Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere. That’s what its new owner, Josh Cain, wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.

One look tells Josh the pretty redhead with the adorable little girl will give him trouble of the most personal kind. But he’s seen trouble before, and he doesn’t scare easy. Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory’s best friend back in Phoenix is abducted and brutalized. Not even when it looks like their current problems are only the tip of the iceberg.

But if he gets too close to fierce, determined Tory, Josh knows his nights are going to be anything but quiet. And that’s one possibility no amount of training can prepare him for…

 

PRAISE FOR BEYOND CONTROL:

“As the excitement in Iron Springs continues, two strangers with tragic pasts form an unbreakable bond. Beyond Control is the last installment in the Texas Trilogy. It’s delightfully fast-paced, riveting, and amazingly compelling. Martin has outdone herself with unpredictable twists and suspense that will leave readers panting for more. Definitely a must-read for readers who enjoy mystery, thrills, and romance to spice up their life.” – RT Reviews Top Pick

“Bestseller Martin brings her Texas Trilogy … to a hair-raising finish with the gripping tale of a single mother on the run and the Marine veteran who offers her a second chance at happily-ever-after. Martin has a consummate skill for developing the most loveable and the most despicable characters; readers will cheer when sadistic Damon meets his well-deserved end. Martin’s finely described Texas is a delight.” – Publishers Weekly

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AuthorInterview

Interview with Author Kat Martin

Part Two

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I write full-time, two novels a year, and have almost from the start.  It’s a ton of work, but it’s helped me build my readership.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  Have any of them impacted your writing?

I had a lot of jobs before I started writing full-time.  Everything from a cleaning job in a convenience store, grocery checker, retail clerk at J.C. Penney’s (in the men’s department!), worked as a PR person in a real estate title company, then went into real estate in sales and finally as a broker.  I think every job I ever had helped me as a writer. Tons of material for stories!

How has your formal education influenced or impacted your writing?

I graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  Santa Barbara was a far different place from Bakersfield, California, the country town that was home to Buck Owens and Meryl Haggard.  Very sophisticated. I learned a lot about the lives of the wealthy, much of which pops up in my books. Beyond Reason, the first book in the Texas trilogy, centered around Lincoln Cain, a multi-millionaire from Dallas.  I’m comfortable writing people who live in those surroundings.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I’m known for fast-paced, high-action adventure novels with a deep and abiding love story.  I try to create a page-turner with lots of plot and romance.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  

As with all of my books, Beyond Control was difficult start-to-finish.  There are sections that come together effortlessly, but they are rare.  I spend a lot of sleepless hours working on the storyline, the characters, the romance; but it’s very rewarding when the puzzle pieces all come together.   

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I like writing the action scenes and the dialog.  I like the hero and heroine and writing romantic sex scenes that bring them together.  Work but fun.

How do you decide if your main character will be male or female?

In my books, the male and female characters have equal parts in the story.  They learn to work together to solve the mystery and, as they are forced into danger, learn the strength and value of each other and come to realize they are perfectly suited to be together.

What projects are you working on at the present?

I’m very excited about my next project–a series of hardcover novels set in Dallas around the Maximum Security detective agency.  In Until Midnight, Chase Garrett is the owner, a private investigator, former military, very wealthy family, a high-action adventure set around Colombian cocaine smuggling.  The heroine, Harper Winston, also comes from money–unfortunately, her father is a criminal. A definite problem for Chase. It’s out in January. I’m really hoping readers will enjoy the book and the ones about Chase’s brothers and other men and women in the office.    

  

Till then, all the best and happy reading!

 

fa66f-abouttheauthor 

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

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MAY 11-JUNE 17, 2018

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5/11/18

Promo

5/12/18

Review

5/13/18

Excerpt Part 1

5/14/18

Review

5/15/18

Excerpt Part 2

5/16/18

Author Interview

5/17/18

Review

5/18/18

Author Interview

5/19/18

Top Ten List

5/20/18

Review

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