Congratulations on your debut novel! Let me start with asking you to tell us a little about yourself. Also, enlighten the readers on a few things you enjoy when you're not writing.
My husband, Don, and I are co-authors of Stranded: A Novel. We’ve been married forty-nine years and started writing together ten years ago. After a long day at our keyboards, we pretty much relax by watching a movie or episodes of a TV series on Netflix. We love analyzing them for what makes them successful. Aside from that for recreation, we love our church and participate in many of its activities.
Please tell the readers about Stranded.
Sure. Here’s the back cover blurb:
All Marine Corps reservist Jake Chalmers wants is to give his dying wife a last, romantic cruise to the Philippines. Unable to save her in a mass murder aboard ship, he washes ashore a jungle island, where he discovers three other survivors. Heartbroken that he failed to save his wife, he is determined not to fail these helpless castaways.
Federal prosecutor Eve Eriksson rescues a young girl and her elderly great-aunt from the same ship. They badly need Jake's survival skills, but why is he so maddeningly careful? She needs to hurry home to nail a significant career trial. And, please, before Jake learns her secret that she's responsible for his wife's death.
When did you first discover that you loved writing? How did you become co-authors?
The interesting thing here is that I always loved reading and writing, whereas Don rarely touched a book and preferred movies—yet it was he who initially wrote the book! In 1999, a storyline began occupying his mind as he drove to and from work until finally he started writing it down. Five months later he suffered a stroke and lost all ability to read. Happily, writing Stranded became his therapy and he taught himself to read again. After a few years he asked me to help him with the story. At first I thought I’d just correct the grammar and spelling, but I fell in love with the story and we started our “career” as co-authors.
What about the story attracted you to join him?
I was captured by the fast-paced adventure with all its twists and turns. My husband is a Marine Corps reservist, so he has all kinds of fascinating details in the story that help it come alive. He also wanted the protagonist to be a Christ-figure, so I got to have fun adding the dimensions of faith and symbolism to the story.
What was your writing process?
For the most part we had a division of labor. He scripted the original draft and I rewrote it after we discussed and reshaped the story. We overhauled it at least three times over the years as we kept “learning how to write” from attending writers conferences, taking online classes, and being part of a critique group.
Where can readers find you and your novels?
Our novel is available for $2.99 on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OQGJBUY.
Thank you for the interview, Mary!
It was fun having you on my blog Steph. I wish you much success.
Don’t forget, until Dec.4th you can comment for a chance to win an eBook copy of “Stranded.”
It's my pleasure to have talented writer, Carole Brown on my blog. Let's begin by getting to know a little about her.
Brown not only has her award winning (RWA International Digital Awards Contest 2nd place in Inspirational, Laurel Award finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel.
November, 2013, the first book in her mystery series, Hog Insane, released. It’s a fun, lighthearted novel introducing the characters, Denton and Alex Davies. Look for the second book, Bat Crazy, late winter.
Released November 1, 2014, is the first book in a new WWII romantic suspense series: With Music In Their Hearts. Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.
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?
Connect with her here:
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
Tell me first what the story is about, if you would.
I’d love to!
Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.
He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.
While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.
As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?
Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?
Can you describe the two main characters? What makes them tick?
Tyrell Walker: He inherited money, is handsome, talented and loyal to his country. He tried to get a head start on enlisting in the service but was circumvented by the “higher ups.” On the downside, he’s one who doesn’t trust easily because of his parents marital problems and sometimes thinks (although reluctant to admit it!) that God is a little slow in coming to the rescue.
Emma Jaine: Having a mother who passed away when she was an older child and a father who was away a lot with business work, she’s felt tremendous responsibility for her two younger sisters and even for her father. Although by nature an easy going person, she has a quick temper (blame her red hair!) and can be quite insistent on forcing her opinions of what’s right for her sisters on them. She does have a loving and caring heart and works hard with her boarding house to make it a success.
Do you have a favorite secondary character?
Oh, yes. Ben Hardy is one of them. He’s a cousin and best friend to Tyrell. He’s also in the FBI, quite a cut up, and extremely loyal to Tyrell, his family and his country. With a curly red mop for hair, and a spontaneous, infectious nature, everyone loves him.
He adds a bit of fun and sparkle to the story, and for a tidbit of suspense for the future: he may very well have his own story, if all things work out that way!
Why a boarding house atmosphere?
Because it’s fun and homey with a seemingly quiet, relaxed and innocent setting, yet the undercurrents are disturbing. Who is at the base of the subterfuge? Who can be trusted and who not? Is no one who they seem? A subtle innocuous setting that adds to the current of suspicion.
Tell us a little about your title for this book.
With Music in Their Hearts. I love music and knew when I began this novel, I wanted music to play a big part in the story. Some may think it too mild of a title for a suspense book, but it’s not.
WWII was a romantic period in our history: Gallant men off serving in the military branches. Women stepping up to take their men’s places in the factories. Women headed overseas to do what they could in various ways.
Emma Jaine’s talent with the piano was a start to providing a touch of sweetness to the novel, but I added other things too: Claire’s unusual voice, evening gatherings with some of the nicest songs of the time, Tyrell’s spectacular voice which he doesn’t seem to value as he does his ministry.
Too, I kept thinking as I wrote that even though espionage was the main trigger, music and love and God kept things from exploding out of control. It was a perfect balance of evil versus good.
Can you tell us about the second book in the series? Does it have a release date yet?
We’re hoping for a late 2015 or early 2016 date. There are still a lot of details to finish up first though, so I need to get back to getting those resolved!
The second book is entitled, “A Flute in the Willows” and centers around rebellious Josephine (Josie) Rayner, the second sister. She’s considered wild by her family, and, in fact, rebelled enough in Emma Jaine’s story to run off and marry her short-term boyfriend, Jerry Patterson, another young resident of the boarding house.
Forgiveness is a major theme. Josie and Jerry both are sucked into temptations that almost refuses to let them go. They have to deal with some very real and personal issues, not only between themselves but also in their lives as individuals. Worse, because of Jerry’s actions as a spy overseas in Germany, they both are pushed into joining forces to find and defeat the man set out to destroy both of them.
When faced with the destruction of her dreams, Josie turns reluctantly to her neglected flute. Jerry, bitter over his permanent injuries and his unfaithfulness to Josie, finds solace only in silence and aloneness. But God has other plans.
Slowly Josie’s flute music, Tyrell Walker--the minister--and God bring these two damaged people to their senses and into his fold.
Can you give us the links to buy the book: With Music in Their Heart?
Kindle Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OVFWA5S?pldnSite=1
Print Link: http://www.amazon.com/Music-Their-Hearts-Spies-World/dp/1941622038/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415113865&sr=1-1&keywords=
Thanks so much for allowing me to visit, Mary! It’s a privilege.
I enjoyed having you Carole and look forward to reading "With Music In Their Hearts.
Readers can also find Carole at: Stitches in Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/
It's with great pleasure that I announce my friend and author Diane Dean White's newest novella.
I read Winter Wonderland and it is a great holiday story. I enjoyed sharing every page with the delightful characters.
Before Diane tells us about her novella here's her bio.
Diane started her writing at an early age, but it wasn’t until her husband’s work took them to a small southern town she wrote her first column, “Yankee Viewpoint’s” for a local newspaper. Returning to her home-state of Michigan while raising her family, she did stringer work, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations. Diane self-published two books in the early 2000’s, and she became a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories. Her book On a Summer Night was released in October 2013, her ebook, Stories from a Porch Swing in April, and Texting Mr. Right released September 1 of this year. Diane’s Christmas novella, Winter Wonderland was out November 1. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-two years, and the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals.
Welcome Diane Dean White, please share with readers about your new Christmas novella.
Winter Wonderland is what my home state of Michigan is called. I’ve wanted to capture a story about Detroit in the early years, when the well known J. L. Hudson Department Store was so popular. It was fun to research, as I wasn’t in Detroit in 1951, but in the sixties and early seventies, I’d go with my mother, and then Steve, and we made some trips to shop at the huge department store. The malls started up in the late 60’s and in 1998 the well known store was demolished. After WWII people came from all over to get factory jobs in Detroit, and my story follows one family from Florida with their twenty-year old daughter Ruth. She has had secretarial experience and secures a job in Hudson’s. A stranger she meets on her first day going for an interview becomes someone very special. Faith is a big part of my writing, and I share about a special outreach in this book, which is part of my husband’s grandparent’s ministry near Detroit.
Are you inspired from real life situations, how did this book come about?
This story is fiction, however the information and research is true about Detroit. Many of my short-stories are true, but my novellas and novels are mostly fiction. Many things about them may stem from something in the past. Not necessarily mine, but having lived in a certain area. For instance, On a Summer Night starts out in the mid 60’s with two girls who go to Florida for their graduation gift; I’d gone to college in Florida, and knew about my subject. The area and the characters are fiction. I stay away from real people and don’t pattern anyone after anybody I know. I use fictional towns, but mention larger cities in the state.
Did you do a lot of research?
A lot about J. L. Hudson’s…the time period, 1951 and what songs were popular; both in country music and top hits. Research about Ford Motor Company and when Borden’s changed from milk wagons to trucks! All kinds of little things had to be checked out to make sure information is accurate.
Please tell us about your favorite main character in this story, and what you love about him or her.
I used the name Ruth in memory of a sweet older woman who became very close to me. And is probably the model of what many of us wish our lives to be as Christian women.
I enjoyed creating Ruth in my book; her character is very kind and loving toward her family, and younger siblings. She works hard at her profession in 1951, as a secretary in a large city department store. Not being used to the ways of a city she enters J. L. Hudson’s using a revolving door and meets Mr. Green Eyes, who happens to share that section at the same time. Ruth is from a small town in Florida and her father comes to seek employment with Ford Motor Company.
Thanks Diane, for being on Behind Every Story. I’m sure anyone who likes Christmas novellas will want to read this one.
Here's the purchase link:
Hello, everyone. Notice I'm sporting a new do. LOL. Sometimes we feel as if life is bogged down, and need a change.
I hope things in your corner of the world are prospering. I don't just mean financially, but growing with encouragement and laughter and good thoughts for the coming holidays. I can't believe its November. Thanksgiving and Christmas will soon be upon us.
I've been a slacker with my blog, my apology. Life is very hectic now. I have a plate that is running over, but don't be discouraged with me. I plan to get back on track as soon as possible. I'm thankful for writing, it's the one thing (outside of faith) that keeps me focused.
I'm sure my writer friends can relate as they face challenging situations too. With the courage of the Lord, we forge ahead.
Outside of the obstacles that I hurdle each day, is the joy of two new works. A romance novella, Christmas at Angel Ranch. And an inspirational novel, Redemption in Big Fork Lake. Hopefully, these will be out this month.
As we all face daily issues, let's keep the Joy of the Lord in our hearts and continue to write.
What about you? Any exciting news about a novel or WIP?
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