Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Author: Elaine Cantrell

Please help me welcome, Elaine Cantrell to the spotlight today. Be sure to get her book, Never Trust A Pretty Wolf for only 99 cents through the end of July! 
Liesel Wolf has a secret, a dangerous secret she’ll go to any lengths to conceal. When she’s paired in a charity game with sexy marshal Andy Bryce, a man with secrets of his own, her carefully constructed world comes crashing down, and Liesel’s on a collision course with her past.
Never Trust a Pretty Wolf is on sale at Barnes and Noble and Amazon for .99.
I thought we'd do a different kind of interview today, so Elaine, please answer in as few words as possible. 
1. Chocolate or vanilla?  Gotta have chocolate.
2. Night owl or early bird? Night owl
3. Outline or fly by the seat of your pants? What's an outline?  :)
4. Traditional or self publish? traditional, but thinking about the other
5. Hand write or type? type
6. Milky way or Snickers?  Snickers
7. Chinese food or Mexican? Chinese
8. Wine or coffee? Please give me coffee.
9. Dogs or cats? I can't pick.
10. Amazon or In-store purchases?  Amazon 
11. Cook in or out to dinner? I don't cook. 
12. Starbucks or Tim Hortons? Starbucks
13. Twilight or Hunger Games? Twilight 
14. Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert 
15. Indoors or outdoors? Indoors 
16. Music or silence? I need silence to think. 
17. Sedan or Minivan? Sedan 
18. Endless edits and revisions or One time through...perfection? Endless edits.
19. Camping or Hotel?  Hotel 
20. Organized or disorganized? Hmm, depends.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guest post-- Author, Joselyn Vaughn

Welcome all. Today we're taking a break from our usual author interview. Instead, I have author, Joselyn Vaughn with us to tell us a bit about her writing space. I'm always curious where and how authors write the stories they do. So here's Joselyn to tell us:

My writing space tends to be wherever I can grab a notebook and a pen and get some words down on a paper. The dining room, the picnic table, a bench in the park. What inevitably happens is that as soon as I have been writing long enough to get an idea flowing, the kids start needing help. They need to go potty or they need a snack or they don’t like having sand thrown in their face despite the fact that they were whipping it around the sandbox by the shovelful.

The most writing gets done when I’m curled up in a corner of the couch well after they have gone to bed.

I do have a desk, but am rarely productive there. I most often work there when the kids are having rest time in the afternoon. Technically, they are supposed to sit and watch a movie for an hour or so, but what usually happens is that my daughter decides she needs to use the potty every ten minutes and has completely forgotten how to dress herself while my other daughter pees on the couch. So I mostly do a lot of running and cleaning. Nor are the delightful sounds of children’s programming conducive to concentration.

My desk is an old spindle leg thing that used to be my mom’s sewing table. It was also mine before I started writing. Above it, I have a print of ‘A Rainy Day in Paris’ which I love to stare at. I also have another picture that perplexes me. It is an image of a young woman reading. She is wearing a golden yellow dress and holding her book at her chest. This is not what I find strange. The picture has been clearly and not skillfully cut out from a book and framed professionally. On the back is a tape with the name of an art gallery printed on it. This tape has been placed over the edge of the frame so it wasn’t tampered with to put this picture in it. It’s all very curious. Why was a page of a book framed in such a way? So while I have a lovely desk, most of my writing gets done elsewhere.

Thanks for being with us, Joselyn. Be sure to check out Joselyn via the contact links below, and buy her book on the links farther down.

Contact Links:

Email: joselynvaughn@gmail.com
Webpage: http://joselynvaughn.com/
Blog: http://joselynvaughn.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/joselynvaughn
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/joselynvaughn
Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/joselynvaughn

Friday, July 13, 2012

Interview with Lindsay Downs

Please help me welcome Lindsay Downs, author of Emily Dahill, a young adult mystery/detective series. She’s currently promoting her second in the series. Let’s spend some time together, shall we? 

1.  What is your favorite snack?
Since I consider coffee, in particular from Starbucks, a food source that's my favorite snack. During the cold weather it's usually a venti cappuccino with cinnamon powder on top. During the hot weather I change over to a venti Iced Americano. 

AH! Another SB lover. This makes me happy. 

2.  What genre do you write?
The Emily Dahill Series is adult/YA mystery but I’m also writing a regency romance for a change.

3.  What is your favorite genre to read?
Given a choice I’ll take regency romance book but I have been known to read contemporary romance and suspense.

4.  Do you have any pets?
No I don’t. I have a border collie (BC) mix and cat that own me. They’re the best. Rescued. When I was adopted by the BC he came with prisoner number 207 so I named him Dakota, after the hero in my Emily Dahill Series. The cat, aka. little brat, came with the name Sparkie not that he comes when called. Typical cat.

5.  Are you a plotter or a panster?
I’m proud to say that I’m a panster. That doesn’t mean that I might not plan a future scene in whatever story I’m writing. I just don’t sit down, then outline or make notes on the book.

6.  Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
Interestingly, the mystery genre with characters in the Army and a collie hero chose me. It’s my style of writing that gets the books listed as YA even though adults do read and enjoy them.

7.  Do you think that mystery will ever surpass regency as the genre to read?
I don’t know but if I was to hazard a guess I don’t think so. At one point, not long ago, I would have hoped so but now that I’ve venturing into writing regency I’m torn between the two. Each has a lot to offer readers.

8.  What's your favorite color?
Army green of course.

Emily Dahill, CID Part 2
Tears- Bullied at school, Mary Todd is just about to give up when Dakota and Emily come to her rescue.
Friends and Family- Dakota helps a she-wolf and her cubs while he continues to cause mischief with hilarious results.
Guardian- Against all odds Dakota works to protect Emily, from her boyfriend and herself.
The Loser- Emily and Dakota step into intrigue when a soldier can’t hit the target with any degree of consistency.

Here’s where you can find me-
Twitter- Ldowns2966
LinkedIn- Lindsay Downs
Facebook/Author Page- Dakota-Hero
Goodreads- Lindsay Downs

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book giveaway and Facebook Party

Welcome to Read Between the Lines, everyone! Hopefully, you're here because you heard about my Facebook launch party for At What Cost. You can purchase it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Astraea Press.  Or, you can try to win it!

Here's what you do to win:

First of all, the story follows Maggie Reynolds, who, at 16, finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy. This event will be ingrained in her memory and will define her high school career. So, in order to keep with the theme, I thought we'd rehash some high school memories by way of the comments below. No, they don't have to be negative, though if you feel the need, go ahead. You can write about your most embarrassing high school moment or just tell me about your favorite memory from high school. At the end of the day, I'll sift through the comments and pick one to win a free copy of At What Cost. It'll be a PDF, unless the winner request another format. 

Let's see, I guess I have to go first. There are so many memories I have to choose from. I loved high school. I had great times on the swimming and track teams, performed with wonderful casts in both musical, and drama club and had influential teachers such as Mr. Johnson (Aka. Coach), Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Schmitt, Miss Benson, Mr. Carlson, Mrs. Schmidt, and Mr. McFarland. But the moment that's sticking out in my memory at this very moment was during my senior musical. I was Reno Sweeny in Anything Goes. We were to the song "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" and I forgot the words. I can remember trying to go to the chorus when I needed to sing the verse. I remember looking at my feet and pushing my hair behind my ears with both hands as I stumbled through my memory for the words. My friend, Alicia Hooven, tried to sing them to me, but I was too far away to hear her. Finally, I figured out where I was and went on, but that moment of terror will live in my brain forever. It was my SENIOR musical. I was the lead. This was my moment and I totally screwed it up.

So, what's it for you? Leave your memories in the comments. And remember, I'll pick one at the end of the day to win, so be sure to check back or leave your email addresses so I can contact you. Oh, and one more thing. I'm also giving away another copy over at my personal blog: www.therabidwriter.blogspot.com, so you have two chances to win.

NOTE: I must have at least 12 comments to be able to give away a book, so tell your friends!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer-- Lisa Orchard

Help me welcome Lisa Orchard, fellow YA writer and all around nice gal. She's here to tell us a little about herself and her recent release, The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer.

1)      Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing?

I started reading mysteries like The Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew at a young age. By fifth grade I was writing my own stories, and I knew then that I wanted to be a writer. But it wasn’t until I decided to stay home with my kids that I was able to pursue this dream.

2)      What inspired you to write the story, “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer”?

When I was younger I wanted to be a detective like Nancy Drew. Yep, I even formed my own detective squad, and although we never solved our mystery. The summer I became a detective is one of my best memories. So when I started thinking about writing my story I remembered that summer and all the fun I had with my friends. I decided that I wanted to write a story that reflected those times. That’s how my story evolved. J

3)      What do you hope readers get out of your story?

I hope they get that same feeling of joy and anticipation that I got on those long summer days long ago when everything was possible. I also want them to learn something from my book.

4)      Who is your favorite character in the story?

Oh, this one’s tough because I have two favorites.  I would have to say my favorites are Sarah and Jackie. I love how strong and brave Sarah is, and I love Jackie’s loyalty and spontaneity. Their friendship is easy and they compliment each other. I love how they interact with each other.

5)      Tell us something that no one knows about you.

Hmmm…well there is one person who knows this, and that’s my hubby. He claims that I snore. I, of course, deny this emphatically. J I will never admit this to him…but I have on occasion woken myself up with my snoring. LOL! My poor hubby! 

6)      What is your favorite time of day?

I would have to say the first thing in the morning. I usually wake up before everyone else, and we sleep with the windows open. I’ll walk through the house and it’s so peaceful to hear the birds singing and see the day beginning. Then my kids wake up and it’s run…run…run for the rest of the day. But that early morning peacefulness is something I really enjoy.
7)      If you had the power to change anything you wanted in the world what would it be?

I would find a way to stop child abuse.

8)      Who is one person you admire?

I really admire Oprah Winfrey. She has overcome so much and achieved so much, she is truly an inspiration.

9)      What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Som-mores! I love campfires and roasting marshmallow, and my kids love it too. It’s a great way to spend an evening.
 Awesome! Us too. My son doesn't like marshmallows, so we just give him graham crackers and chocolate and call it a Sm. :) Then, the ones my hubby makes only using one marshmallow are called Smos.

10)  What is one of your favorite hobbies?

Hiking. I love to hike in the woods, especially in the fall when the leaves are turning color. It’s really beautiful and it’s a great way to relieve stress. J

Here's a little more about The Super Spies: 

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…

Thanks, Lisa, for being here today. Readers, before you go, be sure to leave Lisa a comment. We authors love to chat with our readers. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wind Over Marshdale by Tracy Krauss

Today we're with Tracy Krauss who just released Wind over Marshdale in June 2012. I met Tracy through our common publisher, Astraea Press. Thanks for being here today, Tracy. 

Jessie:  How did you choose adult fiction as your preferred genre?

Tracy: I write what I feel inspired to write, so I guess it chose me. My work has been called ‘edgy’ in that it does sometimes contain content that is not always typical in Christian fiction. I like my characters to be flawed human beings, even if they are Christians, and I don’t mind tackling topics that some might shy away from. This is not to say that my work is graphic, so as not to scare anyone away. It just leans a bit more on the ‘spicy’ side. J

Jessie: Do you work with an outline, or just write?

Tracy: I start with a rough outline once I’ve got an idea for a book. I also create detailed character sketches, which I find helps me to understand their motivation for doing things and also helps drive the story line. Then I usually go one step further and write a brief summary for each chapter.  However, once I actually get to the writing, much of this changes. The characters often have minds of their own, or new inspiration comes my way.

Jessie: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Tracy: Oh dear. I was a total Sci/fi /fantasy nerd growing up. (Still am, if truth be told) I read all of Edgar Rice Burroughs ‘Tarzan’ books, a smattering of Isaac Asimov, and any Star Trek I could get my hands on. As an adult, Frank Peretti is still my favorite current author, hands down. To me he is a cutting edge genius. Interestingly enough, I don’t write in this genre, so go figure…

Jessie: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting Wind Over Marshdale published?

Tracy: I’m not sure if it was a challenge, exactly. This is my fourth published novel and although I did submit it to several agents and have some rejection, I am used to this by now. Before my first book, And the Beat Goes On, found a home, I learned the hard way that rejection is a fact of life for the fledgling author. I feel very blessed to have found Steve Hutson for an agent. He’s the one who found the contract for Wind Over Marshdale, and I hope to have the opportunity to pitch many more books his way.

Jessie: Is anything in WOM based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Tracy: The setting is based on my hometown of Mossbank, Saskatchewan. There are many features that people from that area will recognize. Other than that, it is a compilation of ‘characters’ that may or may not have been inspired by interesting people I’ve been exposed to as my husband and I moved around a lot. Also, the main female character is a Kindergarten teacher, and my first teaching job was in Kindergarten – even though I am trained as a secondary school teacher. Some of the more humorous scenes at school are taken from this experience. Over all, it is a work of fiction, though.

Jessie: What project are you working on now?

Tracy: I have two finished manuscripts which I hope to polish up this summer and pitch to my agent, Steve Hutson. Both are romantic suspense, as usual. I also have three new stage plays coming out sometime this year. As a playwright and drama director, I am always working on new plays for my theater group, and once we’ve tested them on stage at least once, I submit, submit, submit! Finally, I’ve been working on an illustrated children’s book for a few years now, and I hope to find a publishing home for that very soon. It is more of a personal project, based on a song my mother sang to us as children.

Jessie: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

Tracy: When I first started submitting work back in the early 2000’s, I had not done my due diligence in terms of learning my craft. When I look back, it’s no wonder I received so many rejections. My work was full of POV head hopping, lots of ‘telling’, passive voice, too many adverbs … the list goes on. Among the form letter rejections was a letter from an agent that laid it all out. I was hurt, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Of course, I’m still learning and I wish I could go back and redo parts of my already published work, but I’m just moving forward now, hoping to make each new book better than the last. I’ve had many ‘best’ compliments – among them five star reviews from various people and a fan who wrote to me personally to say I was her new favorite author.  I especially appreciated the endorsements I received from other contemporary Christian authors like Michelle Sutton, Lisa Lickel, and Joyce Godwin Grubbs, all whom I hold in high regard.

Jessie: Do your characters try to create convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?
Tracy: My plots are definitely convoluted, partly as a result of characters who have minds of their own, but also by my own design. I love a twist and I love complex, multi-faceted plot lines, so I try to do both when I write.
 Jessie: Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself or your book?
Tracy: I feel overwhelmingly blessed to be where I’m at today. Five years ago I was still dreaming about the day I would be a published author. I’d set a goal for myself to have a book published in five years time without having to self publish. (Not necessarily saying that is a bad option – I just wanted to try other avenues first.) This was after more than twenty years of ‘closet’ writing with intermittent and unsuccessful submissions. In 2008 I made the decision to do a submission blitz - 120 submissions of the four novels I had completed at that time. Out of that came many form letter rejections, a few others that actually gave feedback, and lots that just didn’t respond. Fortunately, there were three – yes, I said THREE – requests for more. That should tell you something. If you are an unknown writer just starting out, you have to be tenacious and you have to keep submitting, taking into account any feedback, of course. Out of those, I signed my first contract in October of that year. Now, five years later, I have four novels, and five stage plays published or contracted. 
Wind Over Marshdale Book Blurb:
Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens.  A perfect place to start over… or get lost. There is definitely more to this prairie town than meets the eye. Once the meeting place of aboriginal tribes for miles around, some say the land itself was cursed because of the people’s sin. But its history goes farther back than even indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition?
Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty - prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.

Tracy Krauss is an author, artist, playwright, director, worship leader, and teacher. Originally from a small prairie town, she received her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Saskatchewan.  She has lived in many places in northern Canada with her husband, a pastor, and their children. They currently live in Tumbler Ridge, BC.

Published works include four romantic suspense novels: AND THE BEAT GOES ON, where archeological evidence for creation comes at a heavy cost; MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER, the story of a ‘cougar’ who takes on more than she bargained for; PLAY IT AGAIN, about an unlikely match during the 1980s rock n’ roll scene; and WIND OVER MARSHDALE, where strong spiritual forces rock a seemingly peaceful prairie town. She also has several stage plays in print. Visit her website for more details. http://www.tracykrauss.com

Tracy Krauss has a deep talent. Her novel PLAY IT AGAIN was an extremely well written edgy story. The characters were well described and quickly took up residence in my mind and heart. I am looking forward to more from her.
-          Tom Blubaugh, Author of Night of the Cossack

Tracy Krauss typifies all that is good in modern Christian authorship. She is consistently there for her readers and elevates her every effort.

-          Joyce Godwin Grubbs, Author From the Grassroots

Tracy’s characters are raw and real; her plots edgy and electric.

-          Lisa Lickel, award winning author of Meander Scar,  A Summer in Oakville, The Map Quilt and other inspirational novels.

An engaging storyteller, Tracy Krauss isn't afraid to tell it like it is. I've been inspired by her realistic take on a number of scenarios she has written about.
-          Michelle Sutton, author of more than a dozen inspirational novels

Tracy Krauss paints vivid pictures of real-life scenery and situations while upholding a very real, redemptive theme.
-          Teric Darken, author of several suspense thrillers

Wind Over Marshdale purchase links: