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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Five Secrets from Author Kathleen Kaska


Holey moley (you'll get it when you read on.) These secrets are fun and I'm dying to know the answer to #5.  Welcome back, Kathleen Kaska. 

She'll also be a guest on our Cozy Mystery week, April 3-8. Don't miss it.

Hi Kathleen) please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about you, but will after today!


1. I have a personal editor whom I’ll call Evelyn. She resides in my subconscious and analyzes what I’ve written while I sleep. Sometimes she wakes me up in the middle of the night to let me know I misused a word. For example: “Are you sure you want to use the word cockatoo? You can’t drink a cockatoo, but you can drink a cocktail. I’m just saying.” Or she’ll suggest a way to fix a writing problem. “You should consider shortening the first chapter by leaving out the bird-watching story. You can use that later.” Sometimes the message I receive is a reminder. “Did you send the new cover-image for your guest blog post to Leslie?” Evelyn is never wrong. I often wonder why she doesn’t tell me about all my errors and make even more suggestions; then I realize that if she did, I’d never get any sleep.

2. Since I began running marathons four years ago, I’ve secretly wanted qualify for the Boston Marathon. It seems a pie-in-the-sky goal. I’d have to shave off a minute per mile. So I’ll make my secret wish public—and maybe it will come true.

3. While I was good Catholic schoolgirl, I went to confession once a month—as if I had any choice. The nuns marched us from the school to the church and lined us up in front of the confessional. I made my first confession at the age of seven. I couldn’t think of any sins I’d committed so I made some up. If I’d told the priest I hadn’t committed any sins, he might have told Sister Leonardo and she would’ve made my life hell. I left church terrified because I’d broken The Eighth Commandment—in confession! Later I realized the irony of the situation. The absolution I received included being forgiven for lying about lying.

4. My new release, Run Dog Run, was the very first mystery I wrote. I finished the first draft fifteen years ago. It came close to being published several times, but no cigar. I finally put it on the back burner and let it simmer for a few years. The manuscript has been revised and updated so many times I almost have the thing memorized. Two years ago, I updated it again (for technology changes faster than automobile designs) and sent it out. Black Opal Books sent me a contract, and there you have it.

5. Okay, here’s my deepest, darkest secret: I always wanted to be as smart as Hedy Lamarr, as gorgeous as Marilyn Monroe, and as sultry as Lauren Bacall. One out of three ain’t bad. Which one will always remain a secret.

A peek at Run Dog Run:
After five years in Africa researching the decline of elephant populations, Kate Caraway’s project comes to a screeching halt when she shoots a poacher and is forced to leave the country. Kate and her husband, Jack Ryder, travel to Wimberley, Texas for a much-needed rest. But before Kate even has a chance to unpack, her friend’s daughter pleads for Kate’s assistance. The young woman has become entangled in the ugly world of greyhound abuse and believes Kate is the only one with the experience and tenacity to expose the crime and find out who is responsible. On the case for only a few hours, Kate discovers a body, complicating the investigation by adding murder to the puzzle. Now she is in a race against time to find the killer before she becomes the next victim . . .

Buy:
Amazon


Bio:
Kathleen Kaska writes the award-winning Sydney Lockhart mysteries set in the 1950s and the award-winning Classic Triviography Mystery Series, which includes The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz Book.  Her nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story (University Press of Florida) was published in 2012.

When she is not writing, Kathleen, a native Texan, spends much of her time traveling the backroads and byways with her husband, looking for new venues for her mysteries and bird watching along the Texas coast and beyond. It was her passion for birds that led to the publication The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane.

Find Kathleen:
Website | Twitter |  Facebook





Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Five Secrets From Multi-Published Author Amanda Cabot


It truly is a joy to welcome Amanda Cabot to the blog once again. She is an incredibly prolific writer with 34 titles to her credit. 

Here is a review of her new book from Publisher's Weekly; "Readers will enjoy the surprising ending as well as the romance always found in Cabot's books...a promising start to the series."

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Amanda. Congrats on a great review from PW.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book A Stolen Heart?
I’ve always been intrigued by the secrets we hold and the effect they can have not only on ourselves but also – depending on their magnitude – on future generations.  Add to that the conflict inherent in a Northerner coming to a small town in Texas in the aftermath of the War Between the States and Reconstruction, and I had both the overarching theme of the entire Cimarron Creek trilogy and the primary conflict in A Stolen Heart
If you were not a writer, what vocation would you pursue?
A skydiver, a rock climber, a race car driver?  No!  I’m definitely not that brave.  But, if I couldn’t be a writer, I’d love to be a concert pianist.  Why?  Music touches me in many of the same ways that a well-written book does.  Unfortunately, my musical skills do not qualify me for Carnegie Hall.

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

I’m a fairly eclectic reader and read in a number of different genres.  No horror and limited sci fi, but I enjoy mysteries, the occasional thriller, mainstream and women’s fiction in addition to romance.  Within the romance genre, I read many but not all subgenres. 

How is your main character completely different than you?

Lydia is a successful candy maker, whereas I …  Let’s just say that no one’s lining up to buy (or even eat) my homemade candies.

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

Even before Downton Abbey captivated the world, I thought it would be wonderful to live in early twentieth century England, provided – of course – that I was among the wealthy.  That way I’d have servants, so the absence of modern conveniences like microwave ovens and food processors wouldn’t be my problem, but I’d have what appears, at least on the surface, to be an elegant and enjoyable lifestyle.

Give us a brief summary of A Stolen Heart:

From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners—like her. Lydia won’t let that get her down, though. All will be well when she’s reunited with her fiancĂ©.

But when she discovers he has disappeared—and that he left behind a pregnant wife—Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?

Buy Links: 

Bio:
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, the Texas Crossroad trilogy, and Christmas Roses

A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages.  Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming. 

Find Amanda:











Friday, March 10, 2017

Five Secrets From Author Lynn Crain


Today we meet Lynn Crain, one of six authors in this anthology that spans the decades...but hey, I'll let Lynn tell you about it, and her part in it.

Award-winning author Lynn Crain has done it all in her life. From nursing to geology, her life experiences have added to her detail-rich stories. She loves writing full time, weaving contemporary, fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales, tame to erotic, for various publishers. Her home is in the desert southwest, and she’s just returned from her latest adventure of living in Vienna, Austria while her husband worked his dream job. She loves hearing from her readers.

Hi, Lynn, please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about Decades of Love or you, but will after today!

1) Every story is set in Las Vegas, Nevada. We each got a decade where you could prove love was alive and well in Las Vegas!

2) Since I grew up in the Las Vegas area and graduated high school in the mid-1970s, I was really jazzed that my decade turned out to be 1970. I was sweating it for a while there…LOL!

3) One of the things that really made an impact on me while I was growing up was the Vietnam War. Many of the boys just a little older than me, were sent away and never came back. It’s one of the main reasons my heroine became a nurse in that war.

4) The place where I have the heroine living in my story, Hooked on a Feeling, in the Decades of Love anthology is someplace I drove by frequently while I was in college in Las Vegas. We all thought it exotic since it was protected by a large wall and we knew many entertainers lived there. It wasn’t until I was researching this story, that I really understood just how unique an area it was.

5) It was quite commonplace in the 1970s and before for people to carry guns around. It took a long time to clean up the wild west town that Vegas originally was, so it’s easy to imagine why the mob could come in so easily. Still, being a product of that time, I have said the town was cleaner and nicer when the mob was in control. It was only in the later years when mob management lost control that it became the wild west again. Yes, many of the things in Casino are true.

Blurb:
Love hits the jackpot in these six seductive tales, each set in a different decade in the hottest, wildest, most sinful of cities - Las Vegas.  

In Elizabeth Spaur’s Miss Atomic Bomb, a beauty pageant brings a cowboy and city girl together.  

A desperate singer finds new hope with a not-so-jaded casino owner in B.A. McIntosh’s Home at Last.  

In Lynn Crain’s, Hooked on a Feeling,  two Vietnam vets get a second chance at love while facing enemies at home.  

A rodeo star falls hard for a showgirl in Diane Deeds' Total Eclipse of the Heart.  

In Kay Phoenix’s An Unexpected Knight, a hero on a mighty steed captures the heroine’s heart. 

A good girl learns that being bad can be very, very good in Tami Cowden’s It Happened One Vegas Night.   

Mobsters and G-men, cowboys and showgirls, singers and dancers, and even a knight in shining armor all find that Sin City is not just a place to have fun – but also a great place to fall in love.
  
Buy:

Social Media For The Anthology: 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Guest Post by Paty Jager: How I Plot A Murder



I bet that title (How I Plot A Murder) got your attention. It's my pleasure to bring you Paty Jager, who will also be on my blog in April during Cozy Mystery Week.  
Welcome, Paty.

Hi, L.A., thanks for having me here. There are lots of people who sit around and contemplate murder. Some because they actually want to do away with someone, and others, like me, because we want to write an entertaining twist of events that keeps the reader guessing until the end when the real murderer is revealed.

The first mystery I wrote came about from years of reading mysteries by Agatha Christie, Dick Francis, Tony Hillerman, Dorothy Gillman, Sue Grafton, and many other mystery authors.  The second catalyst to my writing that first mystery was wishing someone, who had wronged my family, dead.
 
I murdered that person in a book- twice. It was a wonderful feeling to have her strangled by her own, long hair. Then I ventured away from mystery, knowing I didn’t know enough about the genre to write a story that took the reader on the type of journey I enjoyed as a reader.

Years later, I decided I was now ready to write a mystery and had learned the necessary skills needed to do so. I came up with a character who not only kept me true to my branding of Cowboys and Indians, she had a unique occupation for an amateur sleuth. Shandra Higheagle is a potter. She digs clay on the mountain where she lives, purifies the clay, and uses it in her original art pieces. She lives in a small tourist community which gives her close friends and brings in unknown people for victims to my murdering thoughts. ;)


When I start plotting out a mystery, I come up with the person I want murdered, the reason why, and why my amateur sleuth would get involved in finding the real killer. Once I’ve established these three things, I make a chart with suspects. On this chart, I give the suspect a name, what they do, and how they are connected to the murdered person. Then I make up a motive and red herrings that I can use to draw the attention of the readers and the characters away from the real killer.

I would have to say, this process in writing a book is my favorite. I love coming up with the ‘what if’s’ and ‘maybe this person did it because.’ The only problem is, while at this stage, I circle one of the suspects as the one who murdered the victim. In most cases, as the story progresses, the killer ends up being someone else.

The coolest part about writing a mystery book is when I write a scene and add something in that seems out of place after I finish the scene, then several chapters later, that little clue my mind slipped into the story is the piece that connects who the killer really is.

My Shandra Higheagle mysteries have a bit of paranormal in them. In the first book, the reader discovers Shandra is returning from her Nez Perce grandmother’s funeral and seven drums ceremony. Then as she and her friend are thought to be suspects in an art gallery owner’s murder, her grandmother comes to her in dreams, giving her clues that she must decipher to realize who the murderer could be.

This twist not only gives a bit of paranormal/spirituality to the books, but it gives me another way to have readers guessing about the real murderer. There are the concrete clues that Shandra and Detective Ryan Greer dig up, and then there are the cryptic dreams Shandra has that also point to the real killer.

There are currently seven books in the series. Each one shows a progression of the relationship between the main characters. With some silly relief from Shandra’s pony-sized, timid dog, Sheba. 

You can download the first book, Double Duplicity as an ebook for free at all ebook
vendors, or you can purchase it as a print or audio book.

Book one of the Shandra Higheagle Native American Mystery Series

Dreams…Visions…Murder

On the eve of the biggest art event at Huckleberry Mountain Resort, potter Shandra Higheagle finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. She’s ruled out as a suspect, but now it’s up to her to prove the friend she witnessed fleeing the scene was just as innocent. With help from her recently deceased Nez Perce grandmother, Shandra becomes more confused than ever but just as determined to discover the truth. While Shandra is hesitant to trust her dreams, Detective Ryan Greer believes in them and believes in her.

Can the pair uncover enough clues for Ryan to make an arrest before one of them becomes the next victim?
 
Buy:
Amazon | Apple  | Website

If you sign up for my mystery newsletter you can also get book two, Tarnished Remains, for free and learn how to join my review team. Click here to join Paty’s Posse!

Book two of the Shandra Higheagle Native American Mystery Series

Murder… Deceit… Greed…

Shandra Higheagle is digging up clay for her renowned pottery when she scoops up a boot attached to a skeleton. She calls in Weippe County detective Ryan Greer.  The body is decades old and discovered to be Shandra’s employee’s old flame.
Ryan immediately pegs Shandra’s employee for the murderer, but Shandra knows in her heart that the woman everyone calls Crazy Lil couldn’t have killed anyone, let alone a man she loved.

Digging up the woman’s past takes them down a road of greed, miscommunication, and deceit.  Will they be able to prove Crazy Lil innocent before the true murderer strikes again?

Bio:
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 30+ novels, novellas, and short stories of murder mystery, western romance, and action-adventure. She has garnered a RomCon Reader’s Choice Award, the EPPIE Award, the Lorie, and the RONE Mystery Award. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”

Find Paty:
Blog | Website | Facebook | Paty's Posse | Goodreads |Twitter | Pinterest




Friday, March 3, 2017

Take Five With Author Dena Garson

 
It's a joy to meet new authors & learn about what makes/helps/inspires them to write.

Please welcome Dena Garson and her latest release (yesterday!) When Ash Remains. Sounds fascinating.

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Dena Garson.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book When Ash Remains?

Two things come to mind – the first thing was a dear friend of mine who suggested (nagged) me to write a story with Native American characters. He just couldn’t understand why I hadn’t drawn on my family roots and done it yet. When I came across the myths about the Skinwalker a light went on in my head. I knew what I had to write about.

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

I have been a lifelong reader but didn’t discover the romance genre until high school. One of the early books I remember reading was Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass. If you can believe it, I still have those books because they are beautiful hardbacks and my mother made sure they weren’t abused.

My addiction to the romance genre started with the Zebra Historical Romances that were passed to me from my grandmother (courtesy of her sister’s monthly subscription service). I remember devouring the books like candy.

What do you do to rev your creative juices?

Reading does more to stir my author creative juices than anything else. Although – if I’m needing inspiration for a craft project, Pinterest is hard to beat!

To you what makes a great romance hero or heroine (you choose or answer both)?

There is nothing better in a romance than a hero who is capable of taking on any villain or death-defying task and coming out on top, yet when he is at his most vulnerable there is only one person in the world he will let near him or show his true nature to – his heroine.
And at the same time, that heroine would die to protect his vulnerability.

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

The villain because, well… I can’t say why because it gives too much away. I’ll just leave say the villain has some issues they never worked through and their choices to resolve them aren’t good for everyone else.

Give us a brief summary of When Ash Remains:
It’s a story about a warrior who is tracking the person who slaughtered his cousin. During his search, he meets an unusual woman from another tribe who can supposedly talk with spirits. It’s an unlikely pairing since he doesn’t believe in anything he can’t see or touch, and therefore hunt. They end up working together to find the killer and fall in love in along the way.

Buy Links: (limit 3 please. Imbedded if possible)
Amazon | B&N | iBooks 

Bio:
Dena Garson is an award-winning author of contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance. She holds a BBA and a MBA in Business and works in the wacky world of quality and process improvement. Making up her own reality on paper is what keeps her sane.

She is the mother of two rowdy boys, two rambunctious cats (AKA the fuzzy jerks), and a loving Labrador. When she isn't writing you can find her at her at the sewing machine or stringing beads. She is also a devoted Whovian and Dallas Cowboys fan.

Find Dena: 




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