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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Take Five with Author Kim Cox





Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Kim Cox.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book Haunted Hearts?

Haunted Hearts is the first book in the Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series. I’ve always loved mysteries and since I started writing in the mid 1990’s, I’ve always wanted to write a private investigator series with a woman sleuth as the main character. I’ve been fascinated by the spirit world and those who are able to see ghosts and communicate with them. So my main character Lana Malloy was born and the stories took off from there. The second book in the series, Get Out or Die, will be released July 1, 2015.

How do you use setting to further your story?

The setting gives the story feeling by showing what the characters are experiencing and how they are experiencing it in the way of smell, sight, touch, taste, etc. Without these things, the story would be kind of bland or without feeling. The first two books in the series are set on the beach in Charleston, South Carolina. In the third book the setting moves to the Tennessee Mountains, and the fourth book will take place on a cruise ship. Each of these will be completely different.
  
How do you construct your characters?

After a general idea of the story and its characters, I start writing and things just sort of come to life for me as I write. I’m not saying I write without any preparation, but I always start with a general idea, write two to three chapters and then sit down and start characterization and planning. But I have to get started with the writing of a story first in order to get a start.

I begin with the main characters. If it’s going to have romance, I begin with the hero and heroine and then with any other main characters. I picture what they look like in my head and then I try to find images of people who could be them. I’m a visual person and it helps to have an image to go by and refer to during the process. I do character profiles of what they look like (hair, eyes, etc.), their habits, what they want to accomplish, etc. Some of the minor characters are just developed as I write the story. I will add a sentence or two to the character profile about their general description and maybe about what part they play in the book.
  
How is your main character completely different than you?

Well, the fact that she can see and communicate with ghosts is a huge difference. She looks pretty different too, with long slim legs. Hair color and length and eye color may be the only similarities that we do have. Her eyes are shaped better and are much larger than mine though.

Tell us something about yourself we might not expect!

Hmmm, not sure. Okay, I do have something. Just about every author you read an interview about, when asked about writing, they will say they started writing or telling stories from an early age, such as from the womb or kindergarten. I didn’t. I didn’t even like to read growing up. Well, with one exception, and that was my mother’s True Story magazines. I only found one book in the school library I liked around about junior high. Maybe it was because I was stubborn and didn’t like being told what to do. I don’t know because I love to read now and have since I was in my late teens and early twenties.

In high school, we were to read a story from our book every week or every night (can’t remember now) and we always had a pop quiz on the story the next day first thing. I would ask my classmates what the story was about the next morning just before class started. They would actually tell me and I would always pass the quiz. Not with a great grade, but a passing grade. I starting loving books when I found Historical Romances. My favorites were those with pirates. I still love a good Historical Romance to this day, and then when I found mysteries, I was definitely in love with reading forever. Now I have a well-rounded interest in just about every genre, including paranormal, futuristic, fantasy and science fiction.

Give us a brief summary of Haunted Hearts:
Lana is starting a private investigation business and she needs cash to keep the business going. Her Aunt Lucy is her resident ghost and offers to be Lana’s first client, but she is a cold case being dead for nearly twenty years. Her aunt believes her fiancé, Davide Calabria, killed her since his home is the last place she remembers being before they found her in her own home dead. But Lana’s not so sure since she seems to remember her parents saying that he died the same night, either before or after her aunt.

They later find out that the fiancé had died the same night, only an hour or two before the aunt, and that everyone including Davide and his family thought Lucy had killed him, gone home and due to her guilt, killed herself. Lana finds herself forced to work with Tony Calabria, Davide’s grandson who also believes her aunt is the murderer. Lana has to prove them all wrong in the course of her investigation. Throw in a terrified nosy neighbor and some crazy Calabria family members to give you a strange mix of some pretty lively and quirky characters.

Blurb:
Will Lana Malloy solve the twenty-year-old double murder of her great aunt and her great aunt’s fiancé by Memorial Day? If she can, they’ll spend eternity together; if she can’t, they’ll be stuck as Haunted Hearts for another year.

Buy Links:
Kindle | Nook | iTunes | Kobo | Page Foundry | Scribd

Bio:
Kim Cox lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chain saw artist husband Lee and their three dogs, Scooter, Harley and Candi. She has two sons and two grandsons. Besides writing Kim works a full-time job as an MIS Specialist for a local workforce development agency and has a Web design business. She also designs her own book covers. Learn more about Kim at her Web site www.kimcoxauthor.com and her blog. Kim’s Musings at kimcox.blogspot.com.

Find Kim at:


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Take Five and Meet Author Sandra McGregor




Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Sandra McGregor.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book, WATCH FOR THE DAWN?

Thank you for inviting me today! My last few books have been located in small southern towns and I wanted this series about three professional sisters to be a little bit different. Although still “family friendly,” I set the stories in Denver, Colorado and added a bit of suspense to each of the sister's lives. In Watch For The Dawn I also chose to have a Golden Retriever stealing several scenes instead of a precocious child.

Have you been a lifelong reader of family-friendly romance?  What are some the first books you remember reading?

I've read ever since I can remember. I was in third grade when I first picked up one of my mother's romance books.  fter devouring her extensive stash, which also included books like Gone With The Wind and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, I branched out to find other sources. I borrowed Harlequin paperbacks from a neighbor and later from several of the ladies who hired me to babysit their children. I owe all those ladies a huge thanks for sharing their books with me...books that inspired my love of creating my own happily-ever-after stories to share.

What do you do to rev your creative juices?

I love this question! I have a consistent work/writing habit, so just sitting down at the computer is usually enough. However, when I need to “rev” up, I find that Zumba can get the juices flowing. When I concentrate on the moves, all thoughts of my hero and heroine are put on hold. Then, with the adrenalin pumping, I can return to the story and let my characters write their next scenes.

What would be your advice to people who are considering a writing career?

One of the first challenges I faced was learning that not everyone saw my work of art as the next New York Times bestseller. I can laugh about it now, but I remember the first time a close friend told me that I should start my story at chapter two...and eliminate the majority of the first chapter. What? My words were like children and I couldn't imagine eliminating any of them...but my friend was right.
 
My advice is to read the genre category you want to write and then write your best story.  Face the fact that it will need some revisions (okay, maybe a LOT of revisions) but never forget that all the work is worth it when someone buys your work and then when you get that first review saying they enjoyed the book.

You’re having a dinner party.  What character from your novel do you hope doesn’t show up?     Why?

Oh, this is an easy question to answer. In Watch For The Dawn, Kelly is being targeted by a serial killer, so I'd hate to see him show up for the party. 

Give us a brief summary of Watch For The Dawn :
Angry eyes stalk a student as she makes her way across the campus to class. The police are looking for a serial killer, but he knows there's more to the story. When a blond woman stops and talks with the girl, he changes his pattern, allows the student to go...for the moment...and follows the woman. After watching which room the woman enters, he adds Professor Kelly Cooper to his list. She should never have interfered in his plan.

Watch For The Dawn introduces Kelly Cooper, 29, single and a professor at Colorado State University in Denver. Kelly's trouble begins when her older sister, Dr. Madison Cooper, comes on campus to have lunch with her and stops to speak to a student she recently tended in the hospital emergency room. It's a case of mistaken identity, but since he doesn't know what the student might have revealed about him, there is now another potential “loose end” to be eliminated.

Police detective Steve Mitchell is leading the search for the serial killer, but after losing his temper with a journalist and shoving the man, his chief puts him on two-week administrative leave to cool off. A mountain cabin in the winter is a perfect place to get away from his work and just relax...or is it?

Buy Links:   Amazon  | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Bio:  Sandra McGregor was challenged by her husband in 2001 to stop talking about the story she wanted to write and just write it. She has since sold two under the name Sandra Elzie and also released thirteen as Sandra McGregor. Her current work in process is a series about three girls raised in Denver Orphan's Home in the 1940s and how WWII impacted their lives.  Sandra now lives in Georgia with her husband and resident feline, Jack.

Find Sandra at:


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Five Secrets from Author Rachael Slate



Five Secrets From Rachael Slate

 Rachael Slate resides on the West Coast of Canada with her husband and two children—or as she likes to call them, her own little blended world. One of the best parts about sharing in her husband’s Chinese-Malaysian culture is definitely the food—and the awesome celebrations!

Rachael writes stories that blend the lines between mythology, reality, and fantasy. In her worlds, you’ll encounter strong, sexy alpha males and the capable women who challenge them. And always, scorching hot romance.

Hi Rachael, please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about Trancing the Tiger or you, but will after today!

1)   Hi LA, Thanks for having me. I’m Canadian, so I use weird language (like the spelling of colour) and speak with a funny accent. Or so I’m told.

2)    I started running because I am horribly uncoordinated and it’s the only sport I’m good at. No, really. I’ve only fallen once. I’ve kept on running because I love to bake (and eat baked goods) and it offsets the calories!

3)    I recently spent a month in Southeast Asia researching for my series. And eating. Lots of eating. The food in Malaysia is so yummy! I think I should go for a run now…

   4)    Trancing the Tiger is the seventh book I’ve written. I’m planning to publish several more books in the near future!

   5)    One of the main locations in Trancing the Tiger is a temple known as Kek Lok Si. The first time I stepped foot inside, I fell in love with that gorgeous place. I knew I had to write about it someday, and so I did!





Blurb:
Delve into a world steeped in tradition and superstition…
After her parents become infected with the Red Death, Lucy Yeoh flees to Malaysia seeking answers. Everything in this closed-off section of the world is paradise—from the lush tropical climate to her sexy new neighbor, Sheng…who just might be delusional. He claims the Plague God unleashed the Red Death and only a circle of Chinese Zodiac spirit animals can cleanse the Earth. Even more, he insists she’s one of them: the Rabbit. Long furry ears and fluffy bunny tail included.

He’ll show her how to fight to save the world…
As the Chosen of the Tiger, the burden of restoring balance to the world has fallen onto Li Sheng’s shoulders. When he discovers that the ally he’s long awaited, the Dragon, is actually just the Rabbit, Sheng is quick to dismiss Lucy. If only she’d stay dismissed. Lucy’s Rabbit refuses to cooperate, undermining the authority of his Tiger at every turn…and seducing him to the limits of his darkest desires. He’s not supposed to want her. Not when he needs the spirit circle complete and she’s their weakest link.

She’ll show him a love worth fighting the world to save…
Sheng’s enemies draw closer, and not everyone wants Lucy alive. Together, they’ll have to navigate a treacherous world where a line between duty and their hearts has been drawn between them. They must either sacrifice one, or find a way to surrender to both.
Here is the booktrailer.

Buy Links:
Amazon | B&N

Find Rachael:





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