Monday, January 13, 2014

The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman by Carole Brown: Character Interview, Author Interview, Excerpt


Interview with Caralynne, Heroine of the book

Who is your favorite author?

Why, Carole Brown, of course! She doesn’t know I know, but readers of her book, well, my story, have likened her writing to Dean Koontz (because of the way she builds suspense), Steven James and James Patterson. Readers say it’s almost as if she’s experienced my story. Have YOU read my book yet? 

Tell us about your family.

I won’t talk about my husband--I hate him, and besides he died. But my girls are the loves of my life. I adore them, and the only good thing that came out of my marriage. Lori, my oldest: responsible and most like me, determined and smart. Leila, my second child, is a bit of a worry-wart but an obedient child, quiet and helpful, and Lacey, my youngest is beautiful, sweet and quite spoiled.  

What was the scariest moment of your life?

I don’t want to think about it. It was so horrible I thought I would die. When I came home from sharing some of my homemade soup with a sick friend, Lori, was not there. She was eleven and plenty old enough to play in our nearby woods which she knew as well as I do. Yet when dark came and she’d not returned home and I finally found her, it was too late. My wonderful Lori was gone from me and the horror was too much. I thought I’d lose my mind. When I didn’t, I planned my revenge, but that’s in the book and you’ll have to read what Carole wrote. I can’t tell anymore. 

What book are you reading now?

I’ve always loved poetry books while I was still married to Donald, I suppose because many of them are fanciful and took me out of my life. Now I enjoy reading about adventure and love books that have strong settings in places I’ve never been--which is pretty much everywhere. 

What are you passionate about these days?

These days? Now that Dayne and I are married? He encouraged me to go back to school which I’m doing; not sure yet what I’m majoring in but I’ve got time to decide. I’ve also taken flight lessons and love it! Dayne and I tried skydiving. Whoa! He’s not sure he’ll go again, but I can’t wait. So many things to do. I’m in love with life! 

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

Even though Professor Moore and Dayne have told me over and over, it wasn’t my fault, I still feel guilty over my mother’s death. I know I wasn’t the who killed her, yet I still wish I could have saved her. At six years old, against a man four times my age, what could I have done? 

Who should play you in a film? 

I know Carole favors Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock, so that’s who I’ll go with though they are both a little older than I am in The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. They are both fantastic actors so I’m sure they could create my image well.

Tell us about your favorite restaurant.

No special name. Dayne’s taken me to several nice ones, and one time he and I got away for a weekend when he had a conference to attend. We visited a restaurant with candlelight, a pianist playing soft music, beautiful flowers and fine china. The maitre de was so prim and proper, but he must have known I was inexperienced because after Dayne ordered for us, he gave me a sly wink. Dayne and I talked and laughed so much! It was the most romantic time I’d ever had. 

What makes you happy?
Dayne and my daughters, and now . . . Our baby son.

Title: The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman  
Author:  Carole Brown
Published:  October 21st, 2013
Publisher:  Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Word Count:  90,000
Genre:  Women’s Fiction – Christian Suspense, Romance
Content Warning:  Contains adult subject matter such as abuse within cults
Recommended Age:  16+
Synopsis: How far would YOU go to avenge the murder of a daughter?
Caralynne Hayman is angry and bitter over the abuse and death of her eleven-year-old daughter from the hands of her religious group, The Children of Righteous Cain. When her husband suffers a sudden heart attack, she does nothing to help him. In her eyes someone needs to pay, and if that means all of the men in the group, then so be it.

Dayne MacFarland is sent away to college by the senior elder of the group to learn ministry. When he returns after finding salvation, determined to bring the truth to the people he’s known all his life, he rediscovers Cara and realizes the love he once felt for her is still deeply embedded within his heart.

Dayne faces men unwilling to turn their backs on the cult training he despises. Cara faces men who follow their leader in abuse toward their wives and the young girls of the group. Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings.

Can Cara overcome the feelings that have governed her most of her life? Can she learn to trust Dayne, and most of all a God whom she sees as uncaring—if he’s really there at all? Only Dayne’s prayers and love can reach Cara and show her the way to redemption, and Cara must recognize and accept God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far.

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The midnight air cooled, and Dayne pressed the button to roll up both windows in his car. Cara shivered and snuggled deeper into the plush seat.
“Are you asleep?”
Dayne’s soft whisper rolled over her like a silk blanket. “No. Thinking.”
“A penny for them.”
The urge to share almost overwhelmed her. How wonderful to place some of this depressing burden on Dayne’s wide, strong shoulders. She let the wish—the weakness—drift away.
“Worrying about Abby. Wondering if she’ll be okay.”
“You’re a friend anyone would be glad to have, Cara. I see the caring, loyal, and responsible person you are, the one you show everyone.” Dayne steered around a slower-moving car. “But sometimes I’d like a glimpse of the part you keep hidden.”
The heaviness in her heart lifted, and for a moment, she envisioned herself as a carefree young person experiencing life to the full.
“I don’t know what that would be.” She closed her eyes. “I’m a foolish romantic.”
“A romantic is foolish?”
“Dreaming impossible dreams, wishing for fables, is unrealistic and foolish. I’ve always had a tendency to imagine what could be, what could happen. I suppose because I like beautiful things.” She chuckled. “See the moon and the star-studded sky? Instead of ignoring its beauty, I get the shivers. I wonder if a different world lives in another universe. A colony of people who know only goodness and peace and happiness.”
“I think this side of you is beautiful, and I love it.”
“You don’t love all sides of me?”
“I love—now you’re fishing.” He cleared his throat and his hand slid across the space between them and touched hers. “You’re beautiful.”
Cara pulled her hand from his. Too much danger for her. “Tell me about some of the things you experienced while you were gone. Were your studies hard? Did you like living in the city?”
“In some ways, but I missed the country. When I arrived home, I think I took the first deep breath I’d had in six years.”
“Did you meet many girls?”
She felt his quick glance. Felt the question hover in the air between them. What have I done? He’s not under obligation to answer my nosy questions. And what difference does it make anyhow?
“Do you mean did I date while away?”
At his words, the tension lessened. “You don’t have to answer the question. It’s none of my business.”
But I want to know.
Dayne pulled into her driveway and shut off the car. He slipped his arm on the back of the seat. “When is your meeting?”
Cara blinked but answered, “Tomorrow afternoon.”
“Want me to pick you up?”
“Thanks, but I’ll walk. It’ll give me time to reflect on how to behave while in the presence of such an august figure.” A hand flew up to cover her mouth. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to be so flip.”
“No problem. The fact is I came home carrying a bunch of my own questions.”
“Me. More questions than answers.”
“How do we find the answers, Dayne? You graduated with honors in ministry, so if you don’t know the answers, how is someone like me who’s uneducated supposed to get answers?”
He gripped her hand again as if he would never let go. She heard his long drawn intake of breath.
“What would you have done if you’d had the chance to choose something else?”
“Are you serious? I’ve never taken time to think about could-be’s and would-be’s. As I said, there’s not much sense in wishing for what will never happen.”
“But if you could have …”
“I don’t know. I’d mountain climb. Probably fly. Own my own private plane. Do rescue work.”
“What else?” His interest spurred her on. How long had it been since she’d had someone to share nonsense with?
“I’d learn to parachute and hang glide for fun and anything else to get me off the ground and into the air.”
“You crazy girl. Mind if I join you?”
Cara rested her head against the back of the seat.
His hand stirred beside her.
“I am crazy, aren’t I?”
He slipped his arm around her and tugged lightly until she gave in and rested her head on his shoulder.
“You know it’s not too late to experience your dreams.”
“What do you mean? Elder Simmons would never allow me to do that.”
A pause. Dayne stroked her hand with one finger. “Do it anyway.”
“Don’t encourage me, Dayne. Please. You don’t know—” With a sob, she straightened and flung open the door.
Dayne ran from his side of the car and grabbed her shoulders. “Cara. Cara, don’t cry. I’m doing my best to work on the elders. Trust me.” He cupped her chin, tilted it, and stared into her eyes.
She gave a shaky nod. “I do.”
With a thumb he wiped away the tears from her cheeks. “I wish—”
For me?
“What do you wish?” Cara held her breath.
He took her shoulders for a moment, his grip tight, and then let his hands drop. “Nothing. Go on.”
She moved as if in a daze toward the lighted porch. She’d barely reached the steps when Dayne’s voice stopped her again.
She stopped moving, her back still toward him.
“You asked me if I met any girls while away. I did. Several. But every time I tried to get romantic or think about girlfriends, all I could see were the beautiful blue-green eyes of someone back home. A very effective deterrent for romance.”
Was she hearing him correctly? Interpreting his words the way he meant them? Her body warmed, the frozenness melting as surely as if the sun was ridding the earth of a winter avalanche. Slowly she turned.
He lifted a hand and returned to his car.
She stared after him, depression gone.


Tell us about your current release.

How far would YOU go to avenge a daughter’s cruel death? Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings. Can his prayers and love reach Cara and show her the way to redemption? Will Cara realize God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far?

Does your significant other read your stuff and is he and other family members supportive

Of course! My hubby comes up with many of the plot lines and brainstorms with me when I get stuck with the writing. I enjoy talking over plot lines with my two sons. They even give me suggestions for other books. J 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

That I love dealing with strong values. Abuse is a tough topic but pertinent in today’s world and one we all need to be aware of.

How do you describe your writing style?

I don’t. I write and don’t think about that stuff. I do the best I can imaging myself in the scenes and try to create situations that are scary or touching or emotional and satisfying, and people who I either hate or love. I want them to be likeable but real with troubles and problems and faults.  

But my readers have opinions and some have suggested I build suspense like Dean Koontz or James Patterson, or even Steven James. I have no qualms with comparisons like that.  

Tell us about your family.

Ÿ  I have a husband who is my hero, my love, my best friend and the model of many of my book heroes. He’s a far better person than I am but don‘t tell him I said so!
Ÿ  Two sons who are both grown. The oldest isn’t married but the youngest is and he and his wife have three sons.
Ÿ  And that brings me to my grandsons. I’m passionate about them and being the best grandmother I can. I always tell the boys they may have more than one grandmother, but I’m the most fun! They are the light of our eyes and we adore these little rascals! The youngest--not yet two has just started calling us Grandma and Gramps and it’s the sweetest words in the world! Breathe, my heart, I’m in love! 

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

Love many different types from Blues and old-time rock and roll, to gospel to country and even opera, at times, and instrumental. Which means, depending on where I am with my writing what type of music I listen to. A character is making a serious life-changing choice? Gospel or strong instrumental. An older character having a wild time on the town: rock and roll. A country character strumming his own guitar? Country music will do the trick. 

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

No set formula. Depends on the premise. From there I decide who should be in the story and what should happen. I research a lot, so will go with names fitting for the personalities chosen, settings depending on what the story is about, and same with events happening. Research is vital to me.

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

Study hard, learn the craft, and never, never quit. You’ll never know what you can do until you try.  

What would we find under your bed?

Besides dust? Tax papers. I’m either an extremely organized person (making lists, cleaning, whatever) or extremely unorganized with things I hate like taxes (which is why I leave it up to others!) and anything to do with Math. Ugh.  

Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.

Can’t. I’ve been fortunate enough to receive several wonderful comments from one person who called me the Beethoven of writing, another from a very knowledgeable counselor who said I was right on target with The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman and the way I approached abuse. Of course, anytime someone says they can’t wait to read the next book is music.

Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.

Satisfying. Exciting. Rewarding.

Entice us, what future projects are you considering?

Ÿ  I have a WWII series (I’m working on the second book now). Three red-headed sisters. Three Spies. Three stories. Each sister has an interesting personality and story and deals with her own personal spy in her own unique way.

Ÿ  A historical, light suspenseful novel with the most fun, spoiled and hard to handle heroine I’ve created yet.

Ÿ  A mystery series introducing an older couple who travel around the country solving crimes with the help of their Jack Russell. The first book is already released.

Ÿ  A contemporary suspense set in Montana with a psychopath, an inexperienced detective, an assistant who also happens to be a mouse, and a guide who can’t commit to love.

And of course, I have ideas for a returned soldier who has a guardian angel, the sequel to The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, and an assassin story with a strange twist.
There’s never an end of ideas.
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?
Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • If the winner is in the US, they will receive the following: Copy of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, Copy of West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, $15 Amazon Gift Card, Handmade Table Runner, Handmade Apron, and Hand decorated recipe box.
  • If the winner is INT, they will receive the following: eBook copy of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, eBook copy of West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, an eBook copy of Hog Insane, and a $15 Amazon Gift Card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


kathy p said...

thanks for the giveaway!

Valerie R said...

Thanks for the amazing chance.. best of luck in all you do!