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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Take Five and Meet Author Jacqueline Diamond



Today it's my pleasure to introduce you to Jacqueline Diamond. 
This woman is prolific. Read on, then lift your jaw from the floor :)

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Jacqueline. Tell us, what inspired you to write The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet?

Since this is my 101st novel, you might think I’d be running out of ideas, but that’s not the case at all. Plus, after years of focusing on romance, I’ve been eager to return to mysteries. I love the puzzle aspect of plotting and the chance to take characters in unexpected directions.

But how could I create a series with an angle that hadn’t been done a zillion times?
It’s hard for me as a reader to find contemporary mysteries featuring a doctor who isn’t a medical examiner and doesn’t stumble across frighteningly evil conspiracies. I prefer lighter mysteries such as cozies, as long as they’re well-researched and the investigation is credible.

Once I chose a doctor as my main character, the twists and turns flowed from there!

How do you use setting to further your story?

Great question! In developing my ideas, I saw that I’d need not only my hero and his family, friends and close associates, but also an entire community, including the town’s police and the staff of the medical center where he practices.

For the past half-dozen years, I’ve written medical romances set in my fictional town of Safe Harbor, California. In the course of creating 17 books, I’ve developed the multiple layers and locations you’d find in a real town. How rewarding to be able to revisit this familiar place from an entirely new perspective.

Although Harlequin published the Safe Harbor Medical® romance series, I own the copyright to the setting and characters and have legally registered the trademark for the series name. That’s what the circled R stands for, as you probably know. So I was free to use these for mysteries.

Readers familiar with Safe Harbor from my romances will feel at home, while new readers can enjoy the sense that this place and these people are real. I’m careful to involve only those aspects that are needed, avoiding what my kids call TMI (too much information).
I chose to self-publish the Safe Harbor Medical mysteries for the freedom to write exactly as I please. Of course, this means I’m also responsible for ensuring accuracy, good editing and on-target plotting, but that’s true for any indie novelist.

How do you construct your characters?

I start with a few specific characteristics and some general ideas about him or her, then work back and forth as I plot and as I develop other characters. Ages, personal histories, goals and eccentricities have to resonate and feel natural. They also have to fit in with the overall story.

I ask a lot of questions. For instance: Why would he or she do this? How would he react to a certain situation and why? What does she think of a certain other character?
My character file for the Safe Harbor Medical series (including individuals who don’t show up in Questionable Quadruplet) runs to nearly 100 pages.

How is your main character completely different than you?

Obstetrician Eric Darcy is a doctor; I’m not. He’s a man in his mid-thirties; I’m a woman several decades older. As a surgeon, he has skills and natural abilities I lack, such as great depth perception and a steady hand.

There are many more differences, from marital status to how he relates to the world. For example, he doesn’t notice that many people defer to him instinctively, both because he’s a tall, handsome guy and because he’s a doctor. Of course, it’s fun when his best friend, a homicide detective, and his sharp-tongued sister-in-law, a private investigator, cut him down to size.

Why did I pick a man as my central character? Simply because he’s the one who showed up in my brain and demanded to be written about.

Tell us something about yourself we might not expect!

I’m a breast cancer survivor (five years so far). Because I was already interested in medical topics, I researched many aspects of my illness and treatment on-line. This was helpful in making choices along the way.

For anyone interested in a fascinating history of cancer and the pursuit of cancer treatments, I highly recommend the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It fascinated me from start to finish.


Give us a brief summary of The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet:
Young, widowed obstetrician Eric Darcy is stunned when the mother of triplets claims to have borne a fourth baby, a quad, that was stolen from her years ago. When someone murders his patient, Eric believes the police are dismissing a vital clue, and teams up with his PI sister-in-law to investigate, never imagining his own life might be in danger.

Buy Links: 


Bio:
For her 101st novel, USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond launches the Safe Harbor Medical® mystery series with The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet. A former Associated Press reporter and TV columnist, Jackie has sold mysteries, medical romances, Regency romances and romantic comedies to a range of publishers. The parents of two grown sons, Jackie and her husband live in Southern California.

Find Jacqueline:





Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Five Secrets From Author Karen McCullough & Her Latest Book ~ Wired For Murder


Today we learn five secrets from writer Karen McCullough and her mystery book, Wired for Murder! Heather sounds like a fascinating character :) Can't wait to read this book and the series.


Hi L.A. Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog.

I was born and raised in suburban New York City (Queens) but spent my most important teenage years in New England (Acton, Mass.). That’s where I had my first crush, first date, first kiss, first breakup, and formed permanent attachments to the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots. I came to North Carolina to go to Duke University and met my future husband there. (And formed a permanent attachment to the Blue Devils basketball and football teams.) After we graduated we settled in Greensboro, NC, a small city big enough to make this city-bred girl comfortable, but not so huge that it overwhelms my husband, who grew up on a farm thirty miles from the nearest bookstore.  I started writing about thirty years ago, beginning with short stories, but those gradually lengthened into novellas and then novels. I wrote six complete novels before I sold the first one to Avalon Books in 1989. Since then I’ve probably written two dozen novels, seen a fair number published, but quite a few of them are still sitting on my hard drive waiting for me to give them the rewriting they need.

Find Karen:

Hi Karen, please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about Wired for Murder or you, but will after today!

1) Heather McNeil, the heroine of my Market Center Mysteries series, collects pens. Since she works at an exhibition center, she has plenty of opportunities to find interesting giveaway pens. (And that’s an interest I share with her!)

2) Heather is a coffee snob. She loves really good coffee, and usually stops at a coffee shop on her way to work to get the good stuff. She hates having to drink the office coffee and will do so only in a dire caffeine emergency.

3) Her current boyfriend, Scott Brandon, is former D.C. police officer who now works as a security officer at the market center. But there’s a lot more going on with Scott than Heather knows about.

The next two are about me:
4) I’m a mail junkie. The minute I hear the postman rattle the box, I make a beeline for it.

5) I’m an introvert, but I’m not shy. However, I am a bit of hermit. Both of my jobs, writing and website design, mean that I spend most of my day alone in my office, working.  I do get out for lunch with friends and family fairly often and spend quite a bit of time traveling to visit family.

Blurb : Most of the time, Heather McNeil loves her job as assistant to the director of the Washington DC Market Show Center. Because she’s a good listener and even better at solving problems, her boss assigns her to handle a lot of the day to day issues that arise during the shows, exhibits, and conferences being held there.

The Business Technology Exposition at the Market Center is set to open with a major new product announcement from one of the biggest companies in the computer electronics business. Before that event, though, the president of industry-leader MegaComp has a very public argument with a man who accuses the company of stealing the concept for a technical process from him.

Heather witnesses the argument, along with security officer Scott Brandon, an ex-cop and her romantic interest. Because it appears the disagreement will end peacefully, they don’t intervene, and in fact, the new product announcement goes off without a hitch. But when the accuser returns a phone call from Heather, she becomes an unwilling audience to his murder and later finds his body in a private section of an exhibitor’s booth.

Heather is more than happy to leave the investigation to the police, but she’s the person everyone talks to and she soon learns more than she wanted to know about the victim and all the people who really didn’t like him very much.

Buy Links: 






Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Take Five With Author Kelley Heckart

 


Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Kelley Heckart. And be still my heart, she follows a passion of mine...read the first answer.  

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Kelley.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book The Wolf Queen?

Thank you for having me as a guest on An Indie Adventure. The Wolf Queen is part of a series based on Greek myths and set in the wild mountains and forests of Artemis, a place called Arcadia that is filled with supernatural creatures like nymphs, satyrs, centaurs, werewolves, shapeshifters, and vampires. I have loved Greek myths since high school English. I still have the lesson book—Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. The Wolf Queen is the story of Lycaon, the Arcadian king Zeus cursed to be a werewolf. My retelling of this myth also has a Beauty and the Beast theme.

Have you been a lifelong reader of fantasy and paranormal stories?  What are some the first books you remember reading?

I am an eclectic reader and like everything from horror to historical fiction, non-fiction (history), mythology, and fantasy/paranormal romances. I’ve been reading since I was four so I don’t remember my first book, but my mom told me I liked fairy tales, which makes sense to me now. Lol I also had a fascination with vampires from an early age. A couple of my favorite books are Dracula and Interview with the Vampire. Some of my favorite authors are Ann Rice, Morgan Llywelyn, Lynn Kurland, Mary Stewart, and Jack Whyte.

 I also read a lot of Indie authors. I just can’t think of all their names right now. I’m really enjoying the book series that inspired the HBO series Game of Thrones. I love the HBO series, but the books have deeper descriptions of the fictional world.

What do you do to rev your creative juices?

I listen to music. Music has a way of evoking creativity in me. My favorite bands are Evanescence, Nightwish, Sirenia, Apocalyptica, Queensryche, Iron Maiden, Wardruna, music from Game of Thrones, and Adele (lol). I would never admit it to my rocker friends, but I like Adele’s voice.

What would be your advice to people who are considering a writing career?  And/or what would you do differently in your career?

I would advise aspiring writers to make sure they love writing because trying to make a living as a writer is really hard. Also, learn the craft before publishing that first book. Don’t rush it. Having a good grasp of grammar doesn’t cut it. You have to know so many other aspects of writing like POV, show vs. tell, passive voice, setting the scene, transitions, character development, plotting, flow, etc. And always work with a good editor.

One thing I wish I could go back and do differently is to understand marketing my books better. I also should have learned more about the book publishing business when I started writing. I kind of went in blind.

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

Ha ha. Good question. I’m going to say Maia, the fire nymph in The Wolf Queen. The reason why I wouldn’t want her at my dinner party is because she is a beautiful nymph and all the men would flock to her. I can’t compete with that. lol

Give us a brief summary of The Wolf Queen:

A new twist on Beauty and the Beast and the Greek myth of Lycaon the werewolf. A Bronze Age fantasy, adventure, and romance set in Arcadia, the wild forests of the goddess Artemis… Game of Thrones meets The Iliad

A tormented wolf man… A mysterious girl with a terrible secret…

Alara, a princess from a foreign land, is forced to wed the sorcerer-king Aramon, a power-hungry warlord, who discovers her dark secret and wants to use her to create an invincible army. When she meets Lycaon, she must decide if she should trust the cursed, tormented half-man half-wolf who might be her enemy or her true mate.

Lycaon, once a great king until he was cursed by Zeus to be a werewolf, is drawn to the mysterious princess. He is torn between helping Alara escape and using her to gain power over those who despise him.

Secrets abound and old enemies are reunited to battle Aramon before his terrible plan is unleashed. Time is running out as the dark moon approaches. Soon, Arcadia will be overrun with an unstoppable, vicious army unless Aramon can be defeated. To prevent his victory, the cost is high. As Lycaon’s affection for Alara grows, it becomes more difficult for him to decide which to save: Arcadia or her.

To Buy: 

Bio:
Multi-published author Kelley Heckart lives in Arizona with her musician husband and Chihuahua. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her stories are steeped in myth and magic, filled with fierce warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, and romance. When not writing, she works as a freelance editor and practices target archery. 

Find Kelley:
Website | Blog | TwitterFacebook | 




Friday, June 10, 2016

Take Five and Meet Author Caroline Clemmons


It's my pleasure to introduce you to bestselling author Caroline Clemmons. You'll learn a bit about her and her writing as well as her Texas Bride Series.  

Welcome to An Indie Adventure,Caroline.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book CASSANDRA?

Although I love to read and write mail-order bride stories, I wanted something a little different. I came up with the idea of a small Texas town where there are lots of bachelors and no young women plus a young widow who wishes there were more young women in town. She goes back to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia to find suitable young women she will bring back to stay with her until they choose the man they wish to marry. So far, Josephine (book one) and Angeline (book two) have wed. Now it’s Cassandra’s turn. The folks in the town of Tarnation call the young women the Bride Brigade, and that’s the name of the series.

What were your experiences as a child or adult that contributed to you becoming a writer?

My dad is probably responsible for my love of telling stories. He used to talk about how his family came to Texas and told things that happened that were funny and/or interesting. In addition, I was a voracious reader and loved imagining my own stories. I remember writing and illustrating a few when I was in first and second grade. Then in school, English was always my favorite subject until I was old enough to take journalism. That really hooked me on writing but I didn’t try to write a novel for publication until much later.

What is most difficult for you to write?  Characters, conflict or emotions?  Why?

Yes. LOL I believe emotions are the most difficult. I know in my head what my characters are feeling, but don’t always get the emotion down. I write fast and most of the first draft is dialogue. I have to go back and layer in the emotion and body action, etc.

What is the first thing you do when you begin a new book?

I start a bible with all the characters. Usually, I write series, so I don’t want to lose track of eye and hair color or occupation. This is after I’ve plotted the book and written a two or three-page story synopsis to use as an outline as I write the book, a sort of map from the beginning to the destination. Then I’m all set to write the book. I take detours from the outline, but I always come back to the map. I have plotting partners who help me map the book. Then I go home and dive in, fleshing out the story as I write. Writing novels is a wonderful job!

If you were a TV, film or book character, apart from one you've created, who would you be?  And why?

I suppose Taylor Stapleton from Julie Garwood’s PRINCE CHARMING, one of my all-time favorite books. Taylor looks frail, cool, and ladylike but she is strong and determined and capable. She fulfills her promise to her grandmother and along the way discovers love and adventure and defeats her corrupt uncle. That’s a historical, as most of my favorite books are.

If you prefer a contemporary, then I think perhaps Flynn MacGregor in Lori Wilde’s THE SWEETHEARTS’ KNITTING CLUB. Flynn struggles to carry on as the matriarch of her family since her mother’s death. She’s dealt with an alcoholic father (now in AA), a wild sister (now reformed) and twin brothers. She’s taken her mother’s place in the Sweethearts Knitting Club—even though she can’t knit. She depends on her sister to knit for her. I can’t say why, but I empathized with Flynn and was rewarded when she found true love. 

Give us a brief summary of CASSANDRA, Book 3 of the Bride Brigade:
A desperate plan…
A masquerade to achieve a goal…
Lies that create a web…

Cassandra Bradford has the cast off wardrobe to pose as a lady. Her goal is to marry a wealthy man who can provide her young brother with a sound future. Drat the luck! The first man she sees in Tarnation is a dusty cowboy who sends her heart pounding. Not for her. She has a better life in mind.

Samuel Drummond is one of the wealthiest ranchers in that part of the state, but he wants that kept quiet. His first wife married him for his money then left when she became bored with ranch life. He won’t let that happen if he remarries. He intends to find a woman who wants him no matter how poor she thinks he is.

When both Cassandra and Sam learn omissions the other has made, there are fireworks between them. They must work through their anger and hurt to achieve happiness.
  
Buy Links: 
Amazon 

Bio:
Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award-winning author of historical and contemporary western romances. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she has taught workshops on characterization, point of view, and layering a novel.

Caroline and her husband live in the heart of Texas cowboy country with their menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not indulging her passion for writing, Caroline enjoys family time, reading, travel, antiquing, genealogy, and getting together with friends.

Find Caroline:
On her blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, WattPad, Shelfari, and Pinterest. Click on her Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her books.

Subscribe to Caroline’s newsletter here to receive a FREE novella of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a humorous historical wedding disaster that ends happily—but you knew it would, didn’t you?

She loves to hear from readers at caroline@carolineclemmons.com




Monday, June 6, 2016

Five Secrets With Author Rolynn Anderson


Today we learn five secrets from author Rolynn Anderson.  I always love reading these because you never know what an author will reveal.  Even in her first paragraph, you'll learn an interesting tid-bit. One teaser, you won't see this one coming....but there is more, much more to follow, so don't stop reading now :)

Rolynn, tell us a bit about you!

I write contemporary suspense novels, spiked with romance. My name, Rolynn is pronounced the opposite of ‘roll-out’ :)  In my previous life I was a high school English teacher and principal in Washington State.  Since 2001, with Central Coast California as my main hub, I write/market, golf, garden, read and travel.  Wild Rose Press is my publisher for two novels, LAST RESORT and LIE CATCHERS.  Self-pubbed are my boutique funeral planner series: (LA: I told you wouldn't see this comingFADEOUT, SWOON, and FAINT, and my stand-alone, FEAR LAND.  I delight in creating imperfect characters faced with extraordinary, transforming challenges.  My biggest hope: That you'll devour my ‘makeover’ suspense novels in the wee hours of the morning, because my stories, settings and characters, capture your imagination and your heart. 

Find Rolynn:

Please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about FEAR LAND or you, but will after today!

1) Thanks for inviting me to tell secrets today.  We’re always challenging our characters to let go of their secrets…make sense we should do so ourselves!  FEAR LAND is a suspense novel about children and adults who suffer from anxiety.  Some are born fearful and easily traumatized; others go through tragedies that cause stress syndromes.  Most of us have suffered a trauma or two.  I wanted to learn about the how’s and why’s of it for myself as well as for my characters.  So my first secret is I used the story and heroes of FEAR LAND to understand my own issues.

2) I am an Army brat.  My father, an officer, retired from the Army the year before I started college.  Germany, Japan, Korea; Maryland, Wisconsin, Georgia, Minnesota were our homes.  Let us not count the number of houses and schools we occupied.  The secret about Army brats is that we might be adaptable and easy to get to know, but we have issues about developing deep relationships.  We seem to be hard-wired to manage leaving one set of friends and moving on to the next, without suffering sadness and guilt.  This is a blessing/burden dichotomy we all have to work out.

3) I work out grief by writing about it.  My three-book boutique funeral planner suspense series (FADEOUT, SWOON, and FAINT), helped me not only work through the deaths of both of my parents, but the concepts and the tone of the small-town sleuthing stories taught me how to design fabulous memorials for my father and mother.  It’s no secret we write what we know, but my secret is that I worked on my grief by writing about it.

4) We writers don’t see what our themes are until we step back and look at our novels objectively.  Not easy to do, right?  Sometimes a particularly observant friend will see our reoccurring topics and mention them, but that’s rare.  Normally it’s left to us to pull out our issues.  My funeral planner series highlighted father-daughter estrangement, which got me to thinking about my own relationship with my father.  This question led to going through a legacy questionnaire that my sister and I took separately, then compared answers afterwards.  Absolutely stunning comparisons of our visions of growing up, freeing both of us from thinking we were alone in our views of our family.

5) My biggest secret is I relish the power I have as a writer, to move my characters, settings and plots at will.  My art allows me the strength and status of a puppeteer, raising and lowering tension in the action as well as between characters, as I wish.  I rub my hands together every morning, excited about my task, working my people and plot lines for two or three glorious hours.  After that, it’s on to my life…over which control is minimal and cause/effect hardly discernible. 

Blurb :
Tally Rosella, an acclaimed psychiatrist who helps children fraught with anxiety, avoids adults because their brains rant at her.  But the chance to start a second child study and connect her findings to PTSD, sets her squarely among devious colleagues at a big California university.

Army Major Cole Messer, Tally’s new neighbor, won’t admit that trauma from combat tours in Afghanistan, destroyed his marriage and hampered his ability to lead.  As a teacher of college ROTC and single parent, he’s focused on enrolling his highly anxious son in Tally’s study and getting back to active duty.

Someone is dead set against Tally’s presence at the university, and blowback from her battles with co-workers put Cole and his son in jeopardy.  Watch what happens when people struggling with shades of anxiety collide with corrupt, revengeful foes.

Buy Links:




Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Take Five and Meet Author Mickie Sherwood



Today we meet author Mickie Sherwood.  It's always fun to find a new author, that's why I bring you this column.  Mickie's book sounds awesome.  
And she has squirrels, too.  Got to love her. 


Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Mickie .  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book Templet's Tasty Tails?
LA, thank you for letting me share "An Indie Adventure".
Good deeds inspired me to write Templet's Tasty Tails. There's not one of us who isn't proud of our good deeds. But, what if those good deeds backfired? Templet's Tasty Tails explores a good deed gone awry—in a romantic way.
If you were not a writer, what vocation would you pursue?
Creating romance stories is one of my favorite pastimes. If I didn't spend time writing, I believe I would be a nature photographer. Take a peek here. Now, enjoy The Senior and the Wild Turkeys.

Do you prefer to read in the same genre you write in, or do you avoid reading that genre?  Why?

I read books from different genres. However, I make a point to occasionally read stories in the romance genre.  Love is always the key. Yet, no two authors tell a love story in the exact same fashion. It's fun to "feel" the differences.

How do you create internal and external conflict in your characters?  I find conflict often the hardest to create when I start planning a book.

You're right, LA. Creating conflict can be a difficult thing.

Fate determined the internal conflict in Templet's Tasty Tails. Erika has second thoughts about her decision to be a donor surrogate. Meanwhile, Booker is faced with his own dilemma. How does he break the news to Erika? He's the other donor of the baby she carries.

The external conflict is the obstacle that threatens to keep them apart. Conflict is challenging but getting to a resolution is the fun part of this small town, #BayouCountry adventure.

If you could live during any era of history, which one would you choose?

Without a doubt, present day is for me. I won't waltz back to the past because I'm furiously dancing in the present. And I love every minute of it. I plan to happily twirl into a brighter future, bringing my readers "boogying" along with me. OOPS! Did I just go back to the past?

Give us a brief summary of Templet's Tasty Tails:
It's my pleasure to introduce to your readers my newest mainstream romance, Templet's Tasty Tails.

Will the Bayou Cowboy lasso the Skeptical Surrogate's affections?
Web Designer Erika Washington's contract with her childhood best friend covers all possibilities about her pregnancy. But one unpredictable event redirects her future. As a donor-surrogate, what does one do when fate changes the plan and claims the lives of the intended parents? If you're the selfless, strong-willed Erika Washington, you mount a defense to keep your baby.

Entrepreneur Booker Templet, owner of Templet's Tasty Tails, secretly agrees to help his first cousin by being a donor for his baby. However, unfortunate circumstances change the course of Booker’s life. After he learns the identity of the other donor, Booker plans to be a part of his child's life. No matter what.

Will Erika and Booker battle over custody of the baby? Will their horrible loss help them find consolation in each other's arms? Or will fate intervene yet again?

Buy Links: 


Bio:
Mickie Sherwood is an author and a novice photographer. Using her backyard as the backdrop for her inspiration, she loves taking pictures of nature. Her love of photography incites her creativity for writing. Spending time with her family and cruise vacations, also stokes her imagination.

With all of her interest combined, fascinating characters and intriguing circumstances can develop.

Mickie also enjoys a good laugh. Revel in the humorous stories she shares about life, at her blog—Mickie's Mutterings.

Find Mickie: 



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