Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Tainted Mind by Tamsen Schultz: Author and Character Interview and Excerpt: RABT Tour Stop


Tell us about your current release.
“A Tainted Mind” is my current release and I’m very excited about this book. I love the two main characters, Vivi and Ian. Vivi is a medical examiner and consultant with the FBI, but she’s on a leave of absence when she wanders into Windsor, NY. Ian is an ex-Army Ranger recovering from an IED attack that affected him both mentally and physically. They aren’t superhuman heroes, but smart, good people who make a difference by going about their lives.


There’s also a darkness to the story I like – a serial killer with ties to Windsor, NY, a small, rural town leaves a lot of places for the imagination to go.


Tell us about your next release.

“These Sorrows We See” will be coming out next – it’s with my editor now! As the second book set in Windsor, it picks up a few months after “A Tainted Mind” ends but with Dash, a local veterinarian you will meet in “A Tainted Mind,” and Matty Brooks, a writer, as the two main characters. Dash and Matty meet when she travels to Windsor to take care of her half brother’s animals while he is out of town. But unfortunately “out of town” may not be as benign as it sounds. And as Matty and Dash get to know each other, they also find themselves embroiled a scheme of financial fraud, organized crime, and murder.    

Where do you research for your books?
I do a lot of online research, but with “A Tainted Mind” I had a friend of mine who is a detective read it to make sure I didn’t totally screw up the police procedure. She read “These Sorrows We See,” too and is going to find me an arson investigator for Windsor book 3. Yep, there’s a little preview, book 3 will have its very own little fire bug.


What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
It’s funny because my husband doesn’t read fiction. Ever. At least not until I actually had my first book published. Now he does read mine and even markets to his friends and colleagues. As for the rest of my family, my dad is a mystery reader, my mom not as much, but both are as supportive of me as a kid could ask for. They always have been. I also have lots of cousins and aunts and uncles who champion me via social media – it’s really an amazing experience to have them all rallying behind me and this new adventure.

Where are your fans most likely to find you hanging out?

Somewhere mellow – we’ve been hitting our local brewery, The Berryessa Brewery most recently these days. We like the owners, the beer is great, and the it’s a great place to just hang out, listen to live music and let the kids run around (it’s super family friendly, especially as most of the seating is outside).


Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes! First off, thank you. Second, please have fun while reading my books. My books are meant to give you a little escape, take you away a little bit. Yes, they are mysteries and yes, people die, but the characters also fall in love, laugh, and develop relationships. I’m the kind of person who reads books and is convinced the characters actually have a life outside of the story – those are the kind of characters I write, ones I’d like to have for dinner outside of the story. Maybe it’s crazy, but then again, maybe you’d like to have them over, too?
Tamsen Schultz is the author of The Puppeteer and “American Kin” (a short story published in Line Zero Magazine) and is a three-time finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association annual competition. She worked in the field of international conflict resolution and co-founded a non-profit prior to attending law school. Since graduating, she has worked as a corporate attorney and, like most real lawyers, she spends a disproportionate amount of time thinking about what it might be like to do something else. She lives in Northern California in a house full of males including her husband, two sons, a cat, a dog, and a gender-neutral, but well-stocked, wine rack. A Tainted Mind is her second novel and her third, These Sorrows We See, is tentatively scheduled for release in late 2013.


Romantic Suspense

OBSESSED with her job as a medical examiner and lead consultant with the FBI, Dr. Vivienne 'Vivi’ DeMarco is a woman running from her own demons. And finding the remains of a body on the side of a road in rural upstate New York wasn’t part of her plan.
FRUSTRATED that the ghosts from his past won’t leave him alone, Ian MacAllister makes for a reluctant Deputy Chief of Police of Windsor, New York. But as more victims are discovered, all women that bear a shocking resemblance to Dr. DeMarco, he knows he’ll need to call on all the skills he learned as an Army Ranger if he wants to keep her safe.
DENIED over and over again of the one thing he desires most, a killer may have finally reached his breaking point. The only question that remains is, will he take Vivi and Ian with him?


The irony of her situation did not escape her. Whatever was compelling her to stay and find answers on the side of this country road was the same thing that had gotten her here in the first place. She didn’t like to let things go, and because she couldn’t let things go, she had almost destroyed herself with her last case. She’d taken to the road to escape, to maybe find some balance. If she were to hazard a guess, though, she’d say that whatever balance she’d found in the past few weeks was about to be tipped.
And, as if to give weight to the direction of her thoughts, about fifteen feet away from her position and about halfway down the embankment, her light landed on a small collection of rocks. No, not rocks, pieces of road that had broken away from the winter-weakened, rain-pummeled lane and tumbled down to rest a few feet away.
Vivi kept her beam trained on the pile as she walked closer. Tracing a line up the embankment, she could see an approximately two-foot by one-foot section of the road cracked and starting to cave in, the edge beginning to break away.
As she contemplated the small sinkhole illuminated by her flashlight, a gust of wind picked up. Her wet jeans pressed against her legs, her ponytail lifted, and her skin broke out in bumps from the sudden chill. Another piece of the road cracked and tumbled down the slope.
And there, at that crumbling edge, barely visible in the dark and shadows, was the
unmistakable form of a human hand.


Character Interview – Dr. Vivi DeMarco


Tell us about your family.

My family is your typical Boston Italian family. In other words, big and nosy. My dad is one of four brothers and my mom has her fair share of siblings, too. Most of the family still lives in Boston, though a few have strayed. I have a lot of cousins around my age and we’re pretty close. Brian and Naomi (cousins on my dad’s side) occasionally work with me on cases. They’re twins and you’d never guess by looking at them just how smart they are. And though we could all do with a little less of people nose-ing in our business, I’m really grateful for my family – for someone who started college at the age of sixteen, I have no doubt I would have NO social skills if it weren’t for all of them.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

I would say the day my parents and brother died, but honestly, that wasn’t so much as scary as earth shattering. It was so sudden I didn’t have a chance to be scared. They were there and then they weren’t. So while that day is etched in my mind, I think the scariest moment of my life was when I realized how much danger Ian was in from the serial killer we were tracking. I’d seen the pictures and read the reports of what the killer had done to people and I knew the extent of his obsession. It wasn’t hard to imagine all the things he might do to Ian if he had the chance.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A doctor. Or a cop. I really couldn’t decide. Thankfully, I didn’t have to choose. I’m naturally inclined to the sciences and love being a medical examiner. But most of the people in my family are law enforcement of some sort - or work with law enforcement. I wasn’t raised to think that was the only job for the people in the family, but when you see your family happy, successful, and loving, it’s hard not to want to emulate that. And in my mind, being part of law enforcement was a way to do that. So now I do both. I’m an ME but I’m also an investigator. I’ve been very lucky to live out both of my childhood dreams.

What is your favorite meal?

Italian, of course! I should probably say some sort of pasta but my favorite is really Chicken Piccata with a nice glass of wine.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

Hike. A lot – or well, as much as I can. Between my work as an ME and consulting with the FBI, I don’t get a ton of time to relax. And because I travel so much, when I’m not working I like to try to be at least a little active. I also find that my mind clears a lot when I hike. And there’s nothing like fresh air to clean the scent of death from my nostrils, too.

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

Morning, definitely. I’m an introvert by nature and love the quiet of the mornings, even in the busiest of cities.


What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I sing. Being part of a big Italian family, we’re catholic and all the kids were expected to sing in the church choir. I don’t sing much anymore, but I can actually carry a tune.

May 20 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
May 21 - Bunny's Reviews - Interview/PROMO
May 22 - The Canon - Review
May 23 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Interview/PROMO
May 24 -A Life Through Books - Review
May 25 - Mythical Books - Interview/PROMO
May 26 - Faerie Tale Books - Review
May 27 - Up All Night Reviews - PROMO
May 28 - Books and Tales - Interview/PROMO
May 29 - Mom With a Kindle - Interview/PROMO
May 30 - My Cozie Corner - Review
May 31 -RABT Reviews - Review

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