Sunday, June 26, 2011

Spotlight Interview with Gayle Carline



Bio:

Gayle Carline was a software engineer for over twenty years before she chewed her way out of the cubicle to become a writer. When she's not entertaining her community with her weekly humor columns, she's plotting murder and mayhem in her mysteries. In the meantime, she tries to keep her husband and teenaged son fed and relatively content, and spend time with her two quarter horses, Frostie and Snoopy.




This week I am so pleased to welcome Gayle Carline as my guest for my Author Spotlight Feature. So without further delay let's go to the interview.


What hobbies do you actively pursue?
I have two horses and show one in AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) events. Horses are my muse. My first horse, Frostie, is responsible for my writing career. There's nothing that relaxes me as much as being with my ponies.

What do you think makes a good story?
Surprise me, with either character or plot. Make me think you are taking me down a familiar road, then yank me sideways. Or take me into well-known territory with someone who doesn't belong there. Who has that slogan "escape the ordinary"? That's what I want. Of course, it's a plus if the writing's good, too.


What can you tell us about your current release.
Freezer BurnHit or Missus is the second in my Peri Minneopa Mystery series (Freezer Burn is the first). It's a fun little romp, set in southern California. My main character is a 50-year old housecleaner-turned-detective. In this story, she is hired to investigate a wealthy, possibly cheating, wife. The wife's girlfriends have other ideas, however. As they say, a friend will help you move. A good friend will help you move a body.


(Snort! har har...good friend, indeed! ) I read Freezer Burn some months ago and enjoyed the humor, snappy dialogue, and the quirky characters. Would you share an excerpt from Hit or Missus?

Sure! Here you go.  
(excerpt from Hit or Missus) 


"Peri, you see my other sock?"

"In the kitchen, under a chair."

"And my tie-"

"On the printer in my office." She rolled over on her side and pushed herself from the bed. "Okay. I'm up."

Skip walked over and kissed her forehead. "Stay in bed, Doll. It's only six."

She stretched her long legs out before putting her feet on the cool wood floor. "And yet, we've already had such a lovely chat." Yawning, she shuffled toward the bathroom. "I should run before my meeting, anyway."

Hit or Missus (A Peri Minneopa Mystery)Ten minutes later, Peri followed the smell of coffee to the kitchen and found Skip sitting at the table, reading the paper. He looked handsome in his creamy button-down shirt and chocolate slacks. A Placentia Police Department detective badge lay on the table, along with his gun.

"I thought you had to leave early." She dug around in the refrigerator, moving last night's takeout boxes to get to the cranberry juice.

"I've got enough time to read the sports page. What's on your agenda for the day?"

"New client at ten. Don Keller."

"Don Keller? The developer?"

Peri closed the refrigerator, a small bottle of juice in her hand. "That's him."

"Why does he want to see you?"

"Oh, I don't know, because I'm a private investigator and he has something to investigate?" She frowned. "What's wrong with him coming to see me?"

Skip put the paper down. "Nothing. It's just that, he's kind of high-end."

"So was Mrs. Cheavers, but she came slumming to my part of town." She swallowed a handful of vitamins with her juice. "Of course, her husband shot me, which only proves you can never judge people."

Skip rose and picked up his badge and gun. "Well, if this is another cheating spouse case, maybe you should ask Keller if his wife is packing before you take it." He pulled Peri to him for a kiss, then took a step back to look at her.

"Shouldn't you get some new running clothes?"

Peri looked down at her gray tee-shirt and black spandex shorts. She grabbed the shirt and held it out toward Skip. "Property of the PPD. Don't you like it?"

"It's just looking kinda old and sad."

She laughed. "Since when do I care how I look when I'm running? As a matter of fact, why do you care?"

"You got a great body, Doll-"

She patted his cheek. "For a fifty-year old."

"Well you don't look more than thirty-five. But those shorts are all stretched out, and I'm pretty sure that's my shirt."

"Again, who cares? I'm running a couple of miles, after which I'll be a sweaty mess anyway."

"I just think you could look a little nicer-"

Skip's cell phone interrupted them. Peri wrapped a scrunchy around her thick, blonde ponytail and stuck it through an Angels baseball cap.

"That was Dispatch," Skip said. "They got a call from your neighbors. It's Mrs. Peters."

"Uh-oh. Is she?"

He nodded. "It's gonna be pretty gruesome over there. I guess no one noticed they hadn't seen her in awhile."

She winced. "Eew. Poor Dottie. Bob died of a heart attack just a few weeks ago, and now she goes."

"Sometimes it happens like that."

"Can I come with you to Dottie's?"

"I thought you were going running."

Peri leaned into Skip, tilting her face to meet his. "I was, but I'd rather visit the scene."

"You have that meeting at ten."

"It's not even seven. I just want to peek in, Skipper."

He grimaced. "Dressed like that?"

"Oh, dear God, what is it with you and my clothes this morning? Did you get up on the fashionista side of the bed?"

"Now, Peri-"

She threw the juice bottle into the recycle bin, causing the other plastic bottles to spring up and scatter on the floor. "Never mind. I'm going running."

"We on for dinner tonight?"

Peri turned to face her boyfriend. "I don't know - I gotta get my tiara out of the dry cleaners." Her final word hit at the same time as the slamming door. "Later."


How funny!! They really sound like an old married couple...How did you start your writing career?
What Would Erma Do? Confessions of a First-Time Humor ColumnistI've always enjoyed writing, but around 1996 I told my husband I'd like to write books. He got me a laptop for Christmas. I wrote nothing of consequence, unless you count Christmas letters (they were damned good ones, too). Then in 1998, Dear Hubby bought me horseback riding lessons for my birthday. Within the year, I bought my first horse and began writing articles for Riding Magazine. That led to a gig writing humor columns for my local paper, the Placentia News-Times in 2005, and I finally wrote my first mystery novel in 2008. Freezer Burn was published by Echelon Press in 2009. In late 2010, I published a book of my humor columns, What Would Erma Do, and I've recently published my second mystery, Hit or Missus. I also have a short story, Clean Sweep, in e-format on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords.

What are you passionate about these days?
Libraries. I'm seeing a growing disparity between people who can afford all the new electronic gadgetry and the ones who are fighting to keep a roof over their heads. I've heard business leaders in our own community say that libraries are on their way out, and I think, well, how are the have-nots going to get access to information? Information and education to help dig them out of their situation - if they can't afford an internet connection, how can they afford a computer?

Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.
It wasn't a fan letter, but my sister-in-law's mother bought my first book and told me repeatedly that she doesn't read mysteries. She likes historical fiction. I assumed she'd put it on her stack of books and get to it, eventually. We met the next morning for breakfast and she said, "I stayed up until after one this morning reading your book. I couldn't put it down, it was so good. The only problem was, I had to go find something boring to read afterwards to help me go to sleep." High praise, let me tell you!

Do you have a Website or Blog?
Yes, I have both. My website (http://gaylecarline.com) covers my books, my humor columns, and a little flotsam & jetsam of everything I do. I actually have two blogs. My writing and everyday life blog is "On the Edge of the Chair of Literature," (http://gaylecarline.blogspot.com) which is a quote from James Thurber. My horse, Snoopy, also has his own blog, http://thatsmysnoopy.blogspot.com. He's quite the character!

Thanks so much, Gayle, for spending this time with me and our readers. It's been so nice finding out a little more about you and your books.
 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spotlight Interview with Lisa Kumar


                                                           Bio: 
Lisa Kumar is a wife, mother, and romance writer who grew up in small-town Indiana. She now resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and son, who are used to sharing her attention with her not-so-trusty computer. When not spinning tales of romance and fantasy, she can be found with her nose buried in a book, or more accurately, her e-reader. Her scholastic background is in psychology, which enabled her to get low-paying jobs in the human services sector. Needless to say, she's now writing full-time.

I am so pleased to have Lisa Kumar as my guest spotlight author. Lisa writes fantasy and currently has two published works to her credit. Captive, is a short story, and her most recent is a novella called Through the Rabbit Hole. It's been my pleasure to read both stories. I enjoyed both, and was impressed with the quality of Lisa's writing. I also feel Through the Rabbit Hole has an additional structural depth and I loved the way in which the mystery and the truth was revealed slowly. Playing with time is always tricky, and Lisa handled that aspect with finese. Below is a short excerpt from Through the Rabbit Hole.

Lisa will be giving away a FREE digital copy of Through the Rabbit Hole to a commenter. All you need to do for your chance to win is to leave a comment and include your email address. Entries will be open all week through Saturday, June 25th at 11:45 PM CDT.  The winner will be selected from all eligible entries using Random.org and notified via email on June 26th.  I will also announce the winner here.

WINNER HAS BEEN SELECTED VIA RANDOM.ORG AND It IS {DRUMROLL, PLEASE}
          
Spades High



Short Excerpt:
Shifting, Natalie suddenly became aware she was sprawled across his lap—a lap she didn’t know and couldn’t quite reconcile as being real. And never mind the lightly tanned hand that touched one of her ears as if it were a novelty. Her thoughts finally sank in and propelled her into motion, causing her to roll rather ungracefully off his person. Thankfully, he didn’t move to either help or restrain her.

Once she was a more comfortable foot or two away from him, a bewildered fright ran riot through her veins. She couldn’t have moved any more than she already had. Her numb body refused any commands demanding movement.

Before she fully realized it, he stood above her and extended a hand. “Come.”

“Come?” she echoed. Something didn’t add up, but she couldn’t quite place a finger on it. She glanced from his hand to his face, back to his hand. Then clarity struck. This moment seemed familiar, as if she’d lived it before. Without Natalie consciously deciding, her hand sought out his.

“To my home, to my city. You have three weeks, after all.”

Her reaching hand halted. “Three weeks?”

Grasping her hand, he pulled her up, not answering. She trailed behind him, and when she had all but given up on him responding, he spoke. “Three weeks to decide where your dreams rest. If they don’t lie here with me, you will go back to your world with no remembrance of this one or the people in it.”


Interview Questions:

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
In my current WIP, Mists of Eria, Talion, the hero’s father, is a character that I delight in writing, maybe a little too much.  Even though he’s older than dirt, he’s a fascinating character.  He’s charismatic, handsome, has a few mysteries up his sleeve, and he’s king of the Erian Elves.  What’s not to love?

Tell us about your current release.



Though I don’t want to give too much away, I think Through the Rabbit Hole has a unique storyline.  The hero, Lorh, is a fey male who has gone to great trouble to secure the presence of Natalie, the heroine, in his land.  Natalie’s a human woman who’s lived a normal life until she meets Lorh and his family.
 
Do you have critique partners or beta readers? 
Yes.  You don’t want to write without a critique partner--or two or three.  Writers are too close to their own work to catch a lot of errors--both small scale issues like grammar and far larger ones like plot, structure, and characterization.  Beta readers are important for the final draft of your manuscript.  Since they often read through the work in a couple of sittings, they can catch continuity issues your critique partners might not notice.  That’s the only downside of critiquing--it’s usually done chapter-by-chapter, so it’s hard to remember every detail when you’ve been reading the story for months.  

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
That writing isn’t easy.  Too many people sit down thinking they’re going to write the book.  More than likely, they never finish their first manuscript.  I believe writing is hard, even bad writing, because there are so many distractions to tempt us.  But even if a writer can finish their first manuscript, that’s only the beginning of the work.  Revision, revision, revision needs to become a part of every author’s life. 
 
What do you think makes a good story?
Believable characters I can identify with.  Now that doesn’t mean I can’t suspend disbelief, but the characters have to make me believe whatever it is they’re selling. They have to have authentic characterization appropriate to his/her appointed role.  If you deviate from that, you’d better give them the proper motivation, or I won’t believe it.  A good character, whether human or supernatural, acts within their goals and motivations. 

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

Study the craft and write--keep doing these two things until you’re successful.  Persistence is key.

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?

Night person.  Sometimes I think I’m not fully awake until early evening.  I tend to have the most energy then, so writing comes to me the easiest at that time.

What would we find under your bed? 
Books, dust balls, books, dust balls…and the odd spare box or two.  Do I see a pattern here?  I think I need to clean under my bed!
Tell us where to find you:



Thank you so much Lisa for taking this time today to chat and letting us find out a little more about you and your books. It's been great talking with you!



Buy Links:


Lisa's Books

 
CaptiveThrough the Rabbit Hole

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spotlight Interview & Giveaway with T. Lynne Tolles

about this author


Born and raised in Silicon Valley, T. Lynne Tolles is a stay-at-home mom, part-time bookkeeper and writer. In the summer of 2009 she claims she got a 'wild hair' and sat down in front of her computer and wrote "Blood of a Werewolf'" in three weeks. She started "Blood Moon" and "Blood Lust" back to back, the following week. "It was never my intention to become a writer, but the more I wrote, the more addicted I became."  The Blood Series books is now complete and includes five titles.

T. Lynne will be giving away a great swag package to a commenter.
                   Find the details below in the yellow box.
WINNER ANNOUNCED!! Night Owl in IL

~~~~Here's the Interview~~~~ 

Hello T., Thanks so much for being here today.  I look forward to finding out more about you and your books.  To start, how about telling us about your current release.

Hi Laurie.  I'm happy to be here.  Deadman's Blood is releasing this month and it is the final book in the Blood Series.  So far the feeback from the Beta Readers is good. I went all out and have all kinds of supernatural beings in this book. Readers will be introduced to faeries, a mermaid, even a dragon.  All the lose ends are tied up nicely in a basic Happily Ever After way.

That is great T.!  It must feel good to have the series accomplished but also sad to say goodbye. Speaking of goodbyes, does travel play in the writing of your books?

Most definitely.  Last summer the family went to Scotland, London and Rotterdam. The back drop in Somber Island came mostly from that trip. This year we are going on a cruise to Alaska and I'm wondering how I will implement that experience in some future book.

Cool.  I’ve been aching to go on an Alaskan cruise, so I can’t wait to hear all about yours! Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?

I do use a pen name. However, it's just my maiden name.  I have two sisters and we are all named T. Tolles, funny thing is I'm the only one that got married (at least so far). So if I ever become famous, stalkers will find my little sisters first... Muuuhahhaaaa (that's my evil sister laugh).

Haha!! You have it all figured out. LOL. Where do you research for your books?

All over. Google is great for quickie answers, but I would say on average I buy research - 4-5 books for each book I write. I must say that researching is one of the things I most enjoy about writing a new book. I also try to throw things in my books - tiny bits of knowledge.  For example I did a lot of that in Bloodstone Heart in Lanie's travels.

I like it when I can walk away from a book - any kind of book (fiction or non-fiction) with some new piece of knowledge and so I try to do that for my readers too. Plus I will admit, I'm always looking for some bit of knowledge that can stump my engineer husband. It's funny he can't remember what I told him five minutes ago, but he can tell me off the top of his head what a group of crows are called (a jury) or some other obscure thing that most people don't know.  I'd say about 85-90% of the time he can answer the questions on a Snapple bottle cap. I find this AMAZING! and extremely annoying!

Sounds as though he is a fantastic encyclopedic resource for you, too, then. Who are your books published with?

Actually I am self published, but if you notice in my books they say Troll Publishing, and with that comes a comical story. Growing up with a name like Tolles, kids would mutate it to Troll or Tollhouse Cookie.  My dad always told us girls that we were trolls and that we used to live under a bridge with goats until we dropped the 'R' from our name. He claims that is why we are a short lot and he also claims that is why he is so hairy. When I had to come up with a name for a publisher, I thought Troll Publishing was appropriate. Easy to remember and a good funny story too.

That’s funny!! My maiden name is Bright, so, of course, I was renamed not-so. I am just so thankful my grandmother did not have her way; she wanted my parents to name me Starla! Yuck!! Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

No. However, music is a huge influence, but more for the memories it brings, the emotions it brings forth and the mental image I see when lost in it. I actually need it to be rather quiet when writing because I am easily distracted. Of course when I was a teenager, I couldn't do homework without music, so I guess my brain has to work harder now that I am older. (giggles)

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?
I'm neither...Definitely not a morning person...ask anyone who knows me. Perky people in the morning are a bit annoying to me.  My sister and I went to AZ to visit my cousin and her new baby last summer and when the first thing she did in the morning was turn on "I Like To Move It, Move It" from Madagascar and started bouncing around the room singing along, I thought, "Oh God, I need some coffee and my own room".

However, I'm not a Night Owl either.  By six o'clock I've got my jammie pants on and a beer in hand.  Needless to say I got teased by the other moms whenever some volunteer group for the school wanted to do something at 7:30 or 8:00.  They all knew my response.  "Sorry! Unless you are serving beer and everyone is wearing jammies, I will not be there."

If you believe in reincarnation, then I believe I might have been a cat in a past life, or many many past lives. I LOVE naps. I can nap anytime as long as I have a blankie and a pillow, I'm good. In fact I would say that I do most of my great writing during nap time.  If I have trouble writing a scene or just can't seem to figure out how I am going to do something, then it is nap time. I almost always solve my writing problems with a nap.

OK…..so we can safely describe you as a cat person.  I like it! I love my afternoon naps, too.  Well, T., Thanks so much for taking this time out to chat with us today. I have loved having the opportunity to get to you know you just a little bit better.  Have a wonderful time on your cruise!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's a recap of that Super Prize package:

Signed, print copy of Deadman's Blood
Set of full-color, beautiful bookmarks
Full set of Romance Trading Cards (shown below)


Leave a comment, including your email address for your chance to win. 


New Giveaway
T. Lynne says -
One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Deadman's Blood along with 1 each of my new trading cards and 1 each of all the book marks. This giveaway is open to US and Canada "ship to addresses".  The giveaway closes June 18th at 11:59 PM CDT.
Laurie says -
You do not have to follow my blog to enter but, as a reward, my awesome followers who enter will get an extra chance to win (both new and long-time friends). The winner will be randomly selected on June 19th and notified via email. 

Please be aware that the prize package will not be shipped until around the 25th because T. will be on vacation.
WINNER ANNOUNCED!! Night Owl in IL



Links:
Tweets: @tlynnetolles
Books:
Deadman's Blood - don't have one at present but will send as soon as I get one.


Books by T. Lynne Tolles
(Book Blurbs courtesy of GoodReads)


Darby O'Rielly is not your typical girl next door. She and her sister are ancestral witches, but have never been taught the art of their craft in an attempt to have the girls 'fit in' to their tiny community. When a dark stranger and his brother enter her life, love blooms and havoc ensues. For these two handsome brothers aren't just good looking, they are 'born vampires' of royal blood and they have hunters hot on their trail. When a Van Helsing wanna-be arrives and threatens Devon and Blake's immortal lives, Darby unleashes a deadly magic in order to save them. As vengeance for killing his hunter, our villain kidnaps, Rowan, Darby's sister and injects her with werewolf blood. Darby, Devon and Blake take a redeye to Maine to try and save her. A search then ensues to find a werewolf named Dean who isn't exceptionally friendly or eager to help friends of vampires. Will Rowan survive her transformation or will the werewolf blood wreak havoc on her body and kill her. You'll find out when you read this action packed urban fantasy romance novel yourself.





Blake Bloomington is on the outs with his girlfriend Rowan O'Rielly and decides to spend some quality time with Dean Wolfe, the werewolf who helped Rowan through her first transformation as a werewolf in 'Blood of a Werewolf'. Blake hopes to learn all he can about werewolves and at the same time win Rowan back.

In the interim, a slough of young women in neighboring towns all up and down the coast are mysteriously disappearing. Coincidentally, two stranger's are in town, who are somehow related to Rowan and Darby O'Rielly's family's witchy past.

Are they trying to get a hold of the ancient spell that is hidden in the O'Rielly's





Book of Shadows or is there a vendetta to be paid? Mysteries are unravelled and old stories are told while wounds are healed and friends are made.
A surprise visit from Blake and Devon's uncle, Dominic, demanding both vampires, come home immediately to find what is ailing his son Anton, puts everyone on edge. Can vampires get sick? Devon doesn't appreciate Dominic's demands, but agrees to fly back to Connecticut with Darby, since Blake has a job to finish up in California.

Excited to meet more of Devon's family, Darby is confused by Devon's distance and coldness since Dominic's visit. In Connecticut, this only gets worse when a gorgeous Libby, Anton's estranged wife, shows up unexpectedly and seems to have her sights set on Devon. To top it all off, there's seems to be some pent up animosity, Anton and Devon have towards each other.

What is this strange power Libby has over the men in this family? And what's wrong with poor Anton? Why does it seem that Anton and Devon hate each other? These are all questions Darby sets out to answer in this third volume of the Blood Series.




Josh Brenner is a good looking guy with an extraordinary talent he thinks is a curse - He's telepathic and he can't find the mute button, so he lives in solitude only coming out at night. But Josh isn't the only supernatural out and about this cold March night, because when Josh returns from his midnight run to the store to avoid people, he runs smack into a hungry agitated vampire looking for something and Josh is in his way.?? Horrified by what he's seen and barely escaping with his life, he confides in a woman he barely knows, but has an instant connection with. When another vampire shows up looking for the first, Josh and his friend Lanie find themselves running for their lives and head to Oljone, California where a friend of Lanie's from college has helped her with a supernatural problem in the past. ?? But when they get to California with the vampire hot on their trail, they find Darby, Lanie's college pal, has moved to Massachusetts in search of her vampire boyfriend Devon. Luckily Darby's sister Rowan and Devon's vampire brother, Blake, step in and help Josh and Lanie as best they can.?? The four work together along with Dean (a werewolf) and his girlfriend Sally (a witch) to figure out this crazy mystery. What does this determined vampire want and why? And is he willing to kill for it? As this mystery unfolds, so do other darker mysteries. Will they figure things out in time before someone is killed? You'll just have to read it to see!




As the dust settles from the destruction of the Bloodstone Heart, a small scroll that had been hidden in the hearth of the altar room for hundreds of years, reveals a prophecy that seems to be about the Larsen family. While the group tries to unravel the riddles of the prophecy they also start to notice they've acquired some interesting new powers from the Bloodstone itself, some of which are going to take some getting use to.

Darby and Devon head to Ireland to set up house and get ready for their impending nuptials when Darby is asked to help cure the Summer Queen of the Everworld or the delicate balance of power between the Seelie and Unseelie courts will topple throwing the planet into a deadly ice age.

While at home, things take a turn for the worse when there's a tragic airplane crash, the Larsen vampires start dropping like flies, Bernard goes missing, and all the bad deeds dealt seem to point towards one person - the Dark Angel. What's so important about the altar room? Why are people dying in the name of this prophecy? Will the Larsen's survive these new tragedies? These questions and other deep seated secrets will be revealed in this final installment of the Blood Series.



Phoebe MacIntire, who is a servant to her father and sisters in her own house in Scotland in 1855, is an ordinary girl, with no big dreams for the future. She's perfectly happy in her humble life, with her cot in the basement and her little garden in the backyard. But when her father up and sends her to Newfoundland to be the lifelong servant to Lord Jacobs, she finds her life gets turned upside down.

Her journey across the Atlantic to her new home is long, scary and very unpleasant. When she arrives at the manor on a small island, she finds the beautiful place abandoned and only a note waits for her explaining her duties, the strange dietary requirements, and sleeping habits of her new master.

The very first night in her new home she's haunted in her dreams by a woman who clearly does not want her there and a strange blue-eyed man-wolf creature that follows the woman. Her dreams become more and more violent and mysteries start to be uncovered about a woman who was killed in a fire on the island, a creature that preys on anyone that comes to the island and a love story gone wrong that dates back over a hundred and twenty two years.

Join Phoebe as she explores the past, delving into witchcraft, and vampirism to help a brother save another from a life of sadness and misconception, making some amazing and surprising friends along the way.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Spotlight Interview & Giveaway with Kristie Cook


Bio:
Kristie Cook is a lifelong, award-winning writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle. She can be found at http://www.kristiecook.com/.

Kristie’s first two books, Promise and Purpose, kick off the Soul Savers Series and both are currently available from Ang’dora Productions, on sale at all major retailer websites in both print and digital format. Devotion, the third book, releases early 2012 and a prequel to the series comes out this Fall.

Promise won the 2010 First Place Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association and has been called “the paranormal Romeo & Juliet.” Midwest Book Review said, “an exciting and fascinating fantasy of demons and angels, highly recommended.” It currently ranks in the Top 10, often the Top 5, of three major categories on Amazon, while Purpose ranks in the Top 20.

Kristie will giveaway a digital copy of both Promise and Purpose to one lucky commenter. For your chance to win just leave a comment along with your email address unless your contact information is provided already on your profile page. Open Internationally. This Giveaway is now closed and the Winner has been announced in the comments section.  Thank you!



What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

For a long time, they thought I’d lost my mind and became a little overly obsessed with a “hobby.” But once I became serious about getting published, they’ve always stood behind me, encouraging me along the way. And now they celebrate all the sales with me and put up with my writer’s insanity…sometimes even encourage it. J

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?
Most readers want to know when the next book is coming out because they can’t wait for it. Then they ask if certain secondary characters they love will be in the next ones and/or if they’ll have bigger roles. I love hearing from readers. Sometimes—like when you’re trying to figure out the best place to put a plot twist or get a new idea that would be awesome but it means rewriting several scenes, which ends up changing an important part—you get frustrated with yourself and wonder what the heck you think you’re doing, trying to be an author and all. Crafting a good, complex story is hard and it’s so easy to second-guess what you’re doing and even yourself. Then you get an email or blog comment from a reader telling you how much they love your stories, your characters, even you, and all those doubts disappear. At least, until you get stuck again. Heh


Tell us about your next release.
We haven’t announced the title of the next release yet, but it’s a novella related to the Soul Savers Series. It goes back in time to over 2,000 years ago, when the Amadis, the secret society in the series, began. It tells the story of the three people involved in creating it and takes a deep dive into my mythology. I had a lot of fun writing it and now even editing it, which is usually my least favorite part of the writing process. I’m excited for it to come out in the Fall. The third book in the series, Devotion, comes out in early 2012, and carries on Alexis’s story.

What book are you reading now?
I just finished Firelight by Sophie Jordan last night. Good read. I’m looking forward to the next book, which comes out in September. I’m not sure what’s up next. I bought a ton of books when my local Borders closed, so I have plenty to choose from. Oh, I’m also starting Novel Shortcuts by Laura Whitcomb, a craft book. I’ve set a goal for myself to read at least one craft book a month. We can never stop learning and improving, right?


Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?
Definitely night person. When my kids were younger and I had to get them to school, I forced myself to become a morning person and did it for years. I do like the peace of the early morning hours, but I just don’t function well enough to enjoy it. As soon as I didn’t have to be up at an ungodly time, I automatically reverted to staying up late nights. If I try to go to bed before 1 a.m., I just lay there, my mind still going, until at least 1 anyway.


Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

I totally idolize J.K. Rowling. She’s amazing! There are lots of great story crafters. There are tons of excellent writers. There are many strong world-builders. But she is the crème de le crème of them all, weaving all of those together into not just a story, but an entire world that has captured the imagination of all ages, crossed cultural boundaries and swept us muggles off our feet. And she seems like such a classy lady, yet real. I’d love to meet her but am afraid I’d just be a blubbering idiot, unable to carry on an intelligent conversation.


Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Greece and Australia. They’re both in Devotion, book 3, so I’m trying very hard to get my publisher to send me to both for firsthand observation and research. J

It's been great finding out more about you and your books, Kristie. I am looking forward to reading your Soul Saver Series. Could you share an excerpt for us please??

Sure! Here is one I like. This excerpt is from Promise.

The sensation of being watched clung to me like a spider web, invisible threads bristling the back of my neck and down my spine. I brushed my fingers across my shoulders, as if I could drag the feeling off and flick it away.
It was ridiculous, of course. Not just ridiculous to think I could pull it off so easily, as if it really was strands of a web, but it was even more absurd to feel it in the first place. Nobody ever held that much interest in me. Sure, sometimes people stared with curiosity when they picked me up on their “weird radars,” but usually they just ignored me. No one ever watched so intensely.
Yet the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end at the feeling as I visited my favorite Washington, D.C., monument for likely the last time. I sat on the stone steps with the stately Thomas Jefferson behind me and gazed over the Potomac River tidal basin, enjoying the peace just before sunset. Well, trying to enjoy it anyway.
I blamed the feeling on my unruly imagination, with it being twilight and the sky looking so ominous. It was the perfect setting for one of my stories. The sun hung low—an eerie, orange ball glowing behind a shroud of clouds, a column of steel-blue rising around it, threatening to snuff it out. I envisioned something not-quite-human watching it from the shadows, waiting to begin its hunt under the cover of darkness.
That’s all it is, just my fascination with mythical creatures, I told myself. Uh-huh. Right.
Surrendering hope for a peaceful moment, I hurried to the closest Metro station. The feeling of being followed stuck with me on the train ride home, but at my stop in Arlington, I forgot the spooky sensation. Some kids from school stood near the top of the escalator as I stepped off.
“Hey, there’s the weird girl who heals,” one of them said loudly to the others. “It’s s’posed to be really freaky to watch.”
“Hey, freak, got any tricks to show us?” another called.
I pretended not to hear and crossed the street to avoid them. My eyes stung, but no tears came. I wouldn’t allow them. It was my own fault—I’d been a klutz with the Bunsen burner in Chemistry and my lab partner saw my skin heal the burn almost instantly. Kids harassed me about it every day the last two months of school. If I didn’t let them get to me, they were usually just annoying. Usually.
Night had crept its way in during my ride home. I walked quickly through the bright commercial district and turned down the darker residential street for home, still four blocks away. Footsteps behind me echoed my own. I quickened my pace. Two more days. That’s all. Just two more days and we’re out of here.
“C’mon, dude, we just wanna know if it’s true,” a boy’s voice said.
“Yeah, just show us. It doesn’t hurt, right?”
I glanced over my shoulder. Three teens followed me and I caught the glint of a blade in one of their hands. I realized their plan to satisfy their curiosity—slice me open and watch the wound heal. What is wrong with people? Of course, it hurts! Bungalow-style homes lined the street, each with an empty front porch. Not a single person sat outside on this summer’s evening. No one to witness their fun and my agony. My heartbeat notched up with anxiety.
Pop! Crack! The streetlights along the entire block blacked out at the sounds. I inhaled sharply and halted mid-stride. The footsteps behind me ceased, too.
“What the hell?” Surprise and fear filled the boy’s question.
A couple appeared from nowhere, about twenty-five yards down the street. It was too dark to see their features. I could only tell their genders by their shapes. The woman’s high-heeled shoes clicked on the pavement as they walked toward me. The man, big and burly, pulled his shirt over his head and handed it to the woman. Without breaking stride, he took off one shoe and then the other, leaving him with only pants. What the…?
I considered my options. The woman and her half-naked companion blocked my way home, but I wouldn’t just raise my chin and walk brusquely by them, pretending they meant no harm. Because I just knew they did. I stood trapped between the boys with the knife and the odd couple. Somehow, I knew the knife was less threatening.
“Boo!” The woman cackled as the boys took off running. As she and the man closed in on me, the alarms screamed in my head.
Evil! Bad! Run! Go!
My sixth sense had never been so frightened. I couldn’t move, though. Fear paralyzed my body. My heart hammered painfully against my ribs.
The couple stopped several yards away. The woman studied me as if assessing a rare animal. The man lifted his face to the sky, his whole body trembling. I followed his gaze to see the thin, gauzy clouds sliding across a full moon. The woman cackled again. Panic sucked the air from my lungs.
“Alexis, at last,” the woman said, her voice raspy, like a long-time smoker’s. “We’ll get such a nice reward for you.”
My eyes widened and my voice trembled. “D-do I know you?”
She grinned, a wicked glint in her eyes. “Not yet.”
Or ever, if I can help it.
_____________end of excerpt_________________

Ohhhhhhh......And I've now added  Promise and  Purpose to my TBR. Thank you so much for taking time out to chat with me here. 

Thank you so much for having me here! This was a lot of fun!

Kristie can be found at:
Author website & blog: www.KristieCook.com
Series website: www.SoulSaversSeries.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristieCook
Twitter: @kristiecookauth
Promise book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3EpeJWA7DQ

Kristie will giveaway a digital copy of both Promise and Purpose to one lucky commenter. For your chance to win just leave a comment along with your email address unless your contact information is provided already on your profile page. Open Internationally.



Book Blurbs courtesy of GoodReads


Alexis Ames decides to learn who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their secrets closely. After meeting Tristan Knight and discovering that he s not normal either, the secrets begin to unravel. Their union brings promise to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy. Because they are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.


Lost in despair, Alexis teeters on the edge of insanity. With the help of her son and her writing, she’s been able to hold on. Until now. Facing a decision with inconceivable sacrifices, she runs to the place she thinks will provide answers, only to find herself at the center of another battle, not only with the Daemoni, not only within herself…but also against the worst opponent imaginable.





                                                  



EXTRA........EXTRA!!
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