Book Review Friday – Type and Cross by Staci Troilo

Type & Cross E-Book CoverStaci Troilo’s new novel, Type and Cross, starts with a tragedy beyond comprehension. At first, the family impacted the most appears detached from the emotional aspects of losing one of their one. However, that facade is soon fractured into a million pieces as the family learns they’ve never been put together with much more than scotch tape.

Staci Troilo visited this blog a few weeks ago to talk about how she came up with the idea. She mentioned that the initial concept came from real life. However, I’m glad she specified the family in the novel does not resemble her own.

Vanessa and Royce Keller should have a charmed life, but the reader soon discovers that life certainly isn’t green in their garden. It’s a shade of brown, ugly and wilted, maybe even beyond repair. Ms. Troilo creates a type of dysfunctional family in this portrait, and the emotions and actions played out by the grief-stricken parents come across as real and riveting. Once I stepped into the lives of the Kellers and Cathedral Lake where they live, I didn’t want to leave, despite the horrors facing the family.

Using the death of their daughter, Hope, as the catalyst from which all change occurs, a family in mourning emerges to reveal the lack of both communication and understanding between them all.

Type and Cross allows the reader a voyeuristic look at life with the Kellers at the most crucial point in their lives, and from that intrusion, the reader learns that even the most damaged and destroyed of relationships can be salvaged with love.

By the end, when I’d completely fallen in love with this family, the grass turned green and light flowed into the home. Hope returned in the guise of the newly landscaped yard and the purchase of a nursery where Vanessa and Royce will work together to create a new type of family and life.

I didn’t want the story to end, but was heartened to read that Ms. Troilo plans to release a sequel that follows the son Jensen as he copes with the aftermath of his sister’s death.

If you love family dramas, believable characters, and realistic dialogue, then you’ll fall in love with Type and Cross, just as I did.

NOTE: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Click here to read my review of Staci’s first book, Mystery, Ink – Mystery Heir.

mystery heir cover better copy

Author Wednesday – John Holt

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgIt’s Wednesday, and time for another installment of Author Wednesday where today John Holt stops by for a chat. John joins us from England where he writes detectives, mysteries, and historical fiction. His novel The Thackery Journal explores a “what if” concept regarding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.DCP_5221 Most of his novels feature Tom Kendall, a private detective.

John, I’m so glad you could join me today. I know that you had another career before starting to write fiction, so tell me, when did you first discover your voice as a writer?

I guess, like a lot of people, I had always wanted to write a novel, or certainly as far as I can remember, I did. I could never think of a decent original plot. Then in 2005, we went on holiday to the Austrian lake district. We stayed at Lake Grundlsee. The next lake was Toplitzsee, which had been used by the German Navy to test torpedoes and rockets during World War II. I had the basis of a plot. The Kammersee Affair was published in December 2006. It was when the five-star reviews started to come in that I began to think that just maybe I was a writer.

You are definitely a writer. Do you set timetables or deadlines for yourself as a writer?

I don’t have any set routine, no particular targets, no particular times for writing. Sometimes I might write nothing for days on end, then I might scribble down just a few hundred words. I don’t see the need to have some arbitrary target of  x-thousand words a day. What’s the point? If the words aren’t quality, and are merely a forced quantity, then they are of no value. Why set yourself a set time for writing if you’ve nothing to write. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night, with a whole scene in mind. I quickly make notes and go back to sleep.

That’s a great way to do it. I tend to agree, except for that little devil sitting on my shoulder telling me I need to be productive to be successful. I like your way better! Do you have any messages you try to insert in your books?

There are no messages, no hidden agendas. No profound meanings to be unraveled. No deep meaningful content that needs to be analysed every which way. I write for pure enjoyment, nothing else. I just want people to read my works, and say that was good. I enjoyed that.

Perfect. What are you working on these days? 

I currently have four projects that I’m working on, at various stages. Firstly, there is the sixth novel featuring Tom Kendall, my private detective. It is currently about fifty percent complete, and I am hoping for a release in June or July. I have also made a tentative start on an adventure story, but it is only about ten percent, so a long way to go. Finally, I have a basic idea for another Kendall novel, and for a second American Civil War story. I’ve also recently published a novella, The Candy Man, which I hope to be the first of several novellas.Book[1]

You’ll be busy. You must love the character of Tom Kendall. Is he your favorite character? 

I have now written seven novels, five of them feature my private detective Tom Kendall. Without a doubt, he is my favorite character, and I’m glad to say that he seems to be quite popular with my readers. There’s a lot of me in Kendall. He is stubborn, dogged, and determined. Once he gets an idea, he sticks with it. Just like me. He’s not the fittest guy in the world, and doesn’t exercise as much as he should. Also, just like me. He has a wicked sense of humour. Again, just like me.

That’s funny. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

Taken from a five-star review of The Kammersee Affair – “I loved this book. John Holt is clearly a born story-teller. He has the knack of dangling together just the right mix of interesting characters and impossible situations and then takes you on a journey full of twists and turns and surprises and amazing endings. The Kammersee Affair is a perfect example of this clever list of ingredients. Highly recommended.”

How lovely! I’m sure you appreciated those words. Tell me a little bit more about The Thackery Journal. What’s your one sentence pitch for your book?

Civil War – the worst kind of war that any nation could face. Fighting against itself there could be no winners in such a war, a war that divides communities, splits families, and makes enemies of long-time friends.

How did you choose the title? 

Generally I prefer short titles – three or four words maximum. I had imagined this story to be told in the form of a diary, a journal, kept by a particular person – hence The Thackery Journal. That title has remained unchanged since it was first chosen some five years ago.

How long do you estimate it took you to take the book from an idea to a finished, published?

I have always been fascinated by the American Civil War. A civil war is the worst kind of war that there could be. A war that divided the country and split communities, a war that put brother against brother and father against son.  A war where in reality there were no winners and the effects would be felt long after the war ended.  But that in itself is hardly a reason for writing the book. I started to write The Thackery Journal about five or six years ago. I had finished my first novel The Kammersee Affair in December 2006, and the first of the Tom Kendall stories, The Mackenzie Dossier, had been published (as The Mackenzie File in August 2008). I began outlining my next novel, The Marinski Affair. Somewhere along the line I got sidetracked. During my research into The Kammersee Affair (a story of hidden gold bullion), I found an item on the internet about a consignment of Confederate gold that had gone missing as the Civil War was coming to an end. The gold had apparently never been found. I thought perhaps I could make up some kind of a story. The gold had obviously been stolen by someone, and I got to thinking how that person would feel as his pursuers caught up with him. Very quickly, I had the makings of a fairly well developed final chapter. That chapter is now the last chapter of The Thackery Journal, and largely unchanged from when it was first written.  That last chapter gave me the basis for the opening chapter. After some months, I had a good couple of chapters at the beginning, and a couple at the end, together with about 100 pages of research. I then came to a complete stop. I wrote two more novels featuring Kendall, adding little snippets to Thackery as I went along, but still basically stuck. Then suddenly the whole outline of the book came into my mind. It was all there. I knew exactly what to do. The book was completed three months later and self-published in August 2013.

I love it when that happens. Sometimes the best thing we can do is leave the story for a bit. Why did you choose to self-publish?

I had long realized that the chances of being published by a mainstream publisher was remote. My first novels were originally published by a vanity publisher in New York, between 2006 and 2010. In March 2012, I decided to go down the self-publisher route. I now have seven novels under my ‘Phoenix’ banner.

What is the best thing someone could say about The Thackery Journal?

This is a beautifully written book, which grips you from the first page to the last, with very believable characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the American Civil War. I will be looking for more books by this author.

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

There are so many scenes that I like, but I would say that, now wouldn’t I? But certainly, I enjoyed writing the scene where Miles Drew, a southerner, meets up with the Union soldiers he will be joining to fight the war. However, my favorite scene is probably the one set up in the final chapter of the book, where the two friends, fighting on opposite sides, meet up once again.

If you could invite two other authors over to your house for dinner, who would you choose?

If I could choose any two authors, alive or dead, then I would pick Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime, so that I could learn her secrets of how to create a plot; and Charles Dickens, to my mind one of the greatest authors of all times.

Great choices. I’d like to be invited, too. Is there one book or author with whom you identify or hold up as your standard-bearer?

I was brought up on Enid Blyton, possibly the greatest author of children’s stories ever, sadly no longer in fashion. I subsequently progressed on to Nevil Shute, Alastair Maclean, and Hammond Innes. But I do not consider any of them as a standard bearer. I have developed my own style, and do not attempt to copy anyone.

That’s a healthy perspective, John. Thank you for stopping by today. It’s been a pleasure to learn about you and your works. You are unique and passionate–all things that will bring you great success in your writing career.

John 2-AAbout John Holt: Born in 1943 in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. I live in Essex with my wife, Margaret, and my daughter, Elizabeth. For many years, I was a Senior Project Manager with the Greater London Council. Then in 1986, I started my own practice as a Chartered Surveyor, working until I retired in 2008.

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Florida Fiction Series – New Review

ffs_boxset_final I’d like to share with you a recent review from my Florida Fiction Series. I love it when others call me a storyteller. That’s my job, but it’s always nice to be recognized as such by someone else. It’s been a discouraging year where my book sales are concerned, but for some reason, I continue to write. And I continue to tell stories. I don’t know if my friends and family tire of it, but if they do they’re too polite to tell me. So for now, I’ll let someone else tell the story for me. From author Uvi Poznansky, here’s a review for three novels all created with the intention of telling the reader a great story.

PC Zick is a unique storyteller. Her female protagonists are energetic fighters, tackling conflicts within their families and society. Their thoughts reflect what’s in her heart: a caring for a place (hence the name of the series, Florida fiction), a sense of awe when history is unraveled, and a deep passion for a cause, all of which propel them through the twists and turns of the plot, seeking a way to arrive at resolution. Writing in bursts of dialogue, and in short chapters that often alternate in time, she takes it upon herself to weave together political and social strands with familial ones, to create a rich, complex tapestry as the backdrop for her stories. That is why they ring true in the deepest sense of the word. Her dedication on the opening page of Tortoise Stew says it all: “For all the underdogs who fight for justice because it’s the right thing to do.”

In the first novel, Native Lands, the story alternates between two time frames: 1760, where we meet Locka—son of a native tribe in Florida, who suffers the loss of his wife and finds himself attracted to the beautiful Mali—and the present, where we meet Emily Booth, the mother of a difficult teen and the wife of a political candidate Daniel, and the columnist Barbara Evans, who writes about environmental issues. In both time frames, the author bases her writing on in-depth research to create detailed, convincing realities in a manner that highlights the contrasts between past and present.

3-D1Set on Florida’s panhandle and the east coast near St. Augustine, the second novel, Trails in the Sand, presents Caroline, a woman faced with challenges on two levels: her family and her environment. On the family level, she uncovers family secrets–murder, incest, and pregnancies—secrets that went unspoken for as long as three generations back. Going forward, these secrets threaten to unsettle the shaky balance between her, her husband, and his daughter, as they struggle to reach for each other and find forgiveness. On the environment level, they must pull their efforts together, to rescue sea turtles that are threatened by extinction due to environmental hazards brought on by society. In Zick’s writing, the family and environment issue are interconnected: the night scene on a beach near Cape Canaveral, when the sea turtle hatchlings make their way to the sea, is moving on both levels at once. It left trails in the sand, in a direction which for me, evoked hope for a future founded on understanding and acceptance.

TORTISE_webThe third novel, Tortoise Stew, explores further this notion of trying to reach understanding and acceptance even in the face of differences. “If we’re all shouting, who’s listening?” It presents Kelly Sands, a reporter investigating politically explosive environmental issues in the town of Calloway. The story opens with her staring at a bomb meant to scare her away from her investigation. Armadillos and gopher tortoise fall victim to an all out warfare surrounding the development of Florida, while a commissioner is murdered and his wife commits suicide. In this atmosphere of ruthlessness, how can cooler minds prevail, to form a sane solution?

Taken together, these three novels showcase Zick’s gift as a master weaver. They are smartly constructed, rich with detail, and offer both enlightenment and delight.

Click here to grab your copy.

I hope you’re staying safe and warm on this treacherous weekend here in Pennsylvania. It’s a good chance to stay inside and read. Here’s two other box sets that might interest you. Heroes to Swoon For is available for $.99 cents and At Odds with Destiny is available to pre-order also for $.99 cents. Release date set for March 3.

Click cover to pre-order

47a53-heroes2bto2bswoon2bfor_3d_medium

Author Wednesday – Annamaria Bazzi

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgWelcome Author Wednesday. Today Annamaria Bazzi visits to discuss her latest release White Swans: A Regency World (Volume 1)The book is a mixture of fantasy, science fiction, with a dash of romance. She says, “I love combining genres.”White-Swans-FINAL-Amzn-1

How did you choose the title?

Because of the white swans Kendíka sees from the window of her bedroom and the small mystery surrounding them, White Swans was always part of the title; it’s become the title of the series. A Regency World used to be A Regency Era when I published the first five chapters as a short story. When I realized the short story series didn’t sell well, I completed the novel and changed the title slightly to differentiate it from the short story.

How long do you estimate it took you to take the book from an idea to a finished, published?

I believe the first draft took about four months to write. That number climbed to probably seven months when I started the edits with my editor. When done, I didn’t publish the book because I entered Kindle Scout where it sat trying to accumulate enough votes to be accepted for publication by Amazon. Since I don’t have a big enough fan base yet, I couldn’t collect enough votes. The next thing was to self-publish.

I think you made a good start for Amazon’s new program. What is the message conveyed in this new book?

Greed only builds resentment and hatred and usually ends up losing the battle. Goodness of heart is the one that is rewarded with happiness. Happiness doesn’t mean riches, but the ability to accept all you can do for yourself through honesty.

Excellent message. It’s a long road to finding that reward, so you’re helping others through your work. Explain how this book was conceived in your imagination.

It all started with a little voice screaming to be heard. The image of a beautiful blond and blue-eyed girl accompanied the voice screaming from the window of an old English-looking estate. I tried to ignore her and continue working on the current project, but she just wouldn’t be quiet. When I stopped to listen, all these bizarre ideas flowed through my head, and I had to sit down and write Kendíka’s story.

That’s truly a gift–to be able to quiet yourself enough to listen. What type of research did you do in the writing of White Swans?

Because the book takes place in a world mimicking the Regency Period, I had to do extensive research to create a realistic environment. The part I found most interesting was learning how to address royalty and other noblemen and ladies. Did you know that addressing a Duke as My Lord is very offensive? I didn’t.

No, I didn’t know that, but I’ll remember the next time I meet a Duke! Who is the antagonist in your book? 

Harry, the Count of Paddington, and his owner Brodrik, are the antagonists in book 1. Brodrik is an alien with magical powers, and Harry is his pet. Both these characters were fun to develop, but what made it more interesting to me was the fact that Harry didn’t understand all the capabilities of his alien owner.

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in White Swans.

This is a hard question to answer because a have a few scenes that are my favorites, but if I have to pick one of them, it would have to be the day Saphora takes on a shape Kendíka can see and the two of them walk side by side on the beach.

What else do you want readers to know about your book?

Since White Swans is a combination of fantasy, science fiction, with a dash of romance, I think it will entertain many young adults and some adults.

annamaria authorAbout Annamaria Bazzi:  Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the States, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.

Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond, Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

Links 

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Email: annamariascorner@yahoo.com

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Author Wednesday – Staci Troilo

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgIt’s Author Wednesday time, and with great pleasure I welcome back Staci Troilo to talk about her latest release Type and Cross, women’s mainstream fiction. Type & Cross E-Book Cover

Staci, it’s great to have you back. Your last book, Mystery, Ink: Mystery Heir was obviously a mystery, and now you’ve written a book in a different genre. Tell us about the new book.
Type and Cross is a mainstream novel about a dysfunctional family and the trials they undergo when a tragedy reveals secrets and unleashes turmoil that threatens to destroy a career, a marriage, and a family.

That’s my favorite type of book to both read and write. The title is unique. I can’t wait to find out how it relates to the story. How did you choose the title? 

For a while, the working title for the novel was Blood Ties. Blood is an important theme in the book, and “Ties” worked in the family relationships nicely. But a little research revealed that title had already been used. And while I know titles aren’t copyrighted, I didn’t want to take an already existing title. After thinking for a long time and running ideas by friends, I chose Type and Cross. It still worked with the blood theme, and if people really want to read into things, “type” can refer to the type of people involved and “cross” can refer to people crossing each other. Those symbols aren’t really important, weren’t even intentional, but they’re a happy accident. Now that the book is out, I’m really happy with the title.

That’s interesting how it evolved. I agree that I want my titles to be unique–to stand out. I think Type and Cross certainly does that. Everyone always wants to know about the writer’s process. How long do you estimate it took you to take the book from an idea to a finished, published novel? 

That’s kind of a trick question. This idea came to me more than ten years ago, but I never worked on it. About one year ago, my (then) agent asked me if I wrote in any genre other than romance. I thought of this one and got to work. The first chapter came slowly (I later cut it entirely—it was basically all backstory), but then the words flowed. The rest of the book only took a few months to write. Editing, however, took at least that long. At first, I wondered if my editor was just being picky, but when I read my final draft, I knew she had been spot-on with her advice to me.

It’s sometimes hard to see the progress and the process when you’re in the middle of it. It sounds as if you have a fantastic editor. Is the book traditionally or self-published? Why did you choose one over the other?

Type and Cross is published by Foyle Press, an imprint of Oghma Creative Media. Oghma offers strong editing (see above), fabulous design, and marketing support. It was a no-brainer for me. Had I done the work myself, my cover wouldn’t be this good, the layout inside would be dull, the writing wouldn’t be quite as polished, and I wouldn’t have marketing help. I mean, I could have paid a premium for all these things, but that would defeat the purpose of self-publishing. And, because I went with a traditional publisher, my book is available to a broader spectrum of purchasers. I’m in the publisher’s catalogue, so my novel is shown to prospective booksellers across the country.

That’s wonderful, Staci. You’ve found a good way to do it. Editing, design, and marketing are difficult for many Indie Authors. Tell us about the message you want to convey through this novel.

Type and Cross delves into what makes a family—blood or bonds. It’s the classic “nature versus nurture” debate, just explored in a different way.

What is the best thing someone could say about Type and Cross?

That it will stick with them for a while.

How did you come up with the idea for the book?

My husband once got results from a blood test that we didn’t expect. It turned out that the lab sent him erroneous information, but by then I had already started researching blood. The idea was born. And then it took on a life of its own.

The research started for completely different reasons, but then your curiosity took over! That’s great. Besides that initial research, what else did you need to learn about the subject matter? 

I had to understand blood types, how they combined, how transfusions worked. I looked into medical oddities. And, most importantly, I had some people in the medical field review the details, one of whom is a doctor (thank you, Dr. Aaron Lane), who gave me invaluable information about procedures and dialogue.

Who or what is the antagonist? Did you enjoy creating this character?

The protagonists don’t even realize there’s an antagonist until near the end. This character is fully developed in my mind, and I’ll explore more facets of this person’s personality in book two. Instead, the protagonists spend most of the novel battling their situations, and sometimes even each other. This interplay between the two was so much fun to write. These people were so dysfunctional, and my relationship with my husband couldn’t be more different from theirs.

That’s good. Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

It made me cry when I wrote it. It still makes me cry when I read it. And my editor told me she needed many tissues when she got to that point. It’s already a moving scene, and its power is compounded by the implications for the family. Sorry to be so cryptic, but I can’t say much without giving it away.

I understand. I’ll let you know when I come to that part! What else do you want readers to know about your book?

I just hope every reader comes away from reading this thinking about their own relationships—and what they can do to improve them. These people start out in what they’d both define as a comfortable marriage. It’s anything but, and the issues that crop up expose their lie. They have monumental problems to overcome. Most of us will never go through similar experiences, so we have far less work to do to make our relationships stronger. Put I hope we’re all willing to put in the work. We all deserve to be happy.

Thanks for stopping by today, Staci. Type and Cross is next up in my reading queue, and my review will follow shortly. It sounds just like the type of book I love to read.

gmpubAbout Staci: Staci Troilo grew up knowing family is paramount. She spent time with extended family daily, not just on holidays or weekends. Because of those close knit familial bonds, every day was full of love and laughter, food and fun. Life has taken her one thousand miles away from that extended family, but those ties remain. And so do the traditions, which she now shares with her husband, son, and daughter… even her two dogs. And through her fiction, she shares the importance of relationships with you. Mystery or suspense, romance or mainstream—in her stories, family is paramount.

How to find Staci Troilo

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Book Review Friday – Apart from Love by Uvi Poznansky

ApartfromLoveLitFicI’m behind on writing reviews, but I hope the lapse will be forgiven with my review of an astounding book from Uvi Poznansky and her work of literary fiction, Apart from Love. Ms. Poznansky is a multi-talented author and artist, and with this novel, she creates a multi-faceted and multi-layered work of art.

The story is told through the first person narrations of Anita, the new wife of Lenny and step-mother to the other narrator, Ben. The point of view is unique because the story is more about the love between Ben’s parents, Lenny and Natasha, than the other two, who form another sort of love story. Ben’s separation from his home for ten years only shows the level of dysfunction in this family. I use the word “dysfunction” with disdain sometimes because it is overused to the point where it sometimes means very little. But if any family is dysfunctional, it is this one.

During Ben’s absence, the lack of communication with his mother and father is evident when he comes home. For a decade, he assumed his talented pianist mother is out on tour, when in fact, his father is hiding something quite important from his son about Natasha.

In the meantime, Lenny has remarried Anita who is one year younger than Ben. She’s a beauty–a younger version of Natasha. It’s complicated and completely dysfunctional in the true meaning of that word.

Literary techniques abound in Apart from Love. The author skillfully creates symbols and metaphors with the white piano in the living room, the antique mirror in the bedroom, and the tape recorder on the balcony. The point of view represents the author’s skill in writing dialogue that characterizes both Ben and Anita. It’s obvious when switching between chapters who is the narrator, even though Ms. Poznansky tells the reader if it’s Ben or Anita in each chapter title. That’s helpful, but with her paintbrush, she paints prose that is distinct for each one.

Alzheimers rears its horrifying head in parts of the story, as does the family’s inability to know how to deal with it. Insanity hovers at the edges of all the characters as well, presenting the reader with that fine line between genius and the alternative.

If that’s not enough, Lenny is a writer who uses the words of others to create his stories. The blurred lines between reality and fiction are explored in this intimate look at how authors sometimes steal identities from others to draw portraits of real life. It’s haunting in its honesty of how an author works. The “record, rewind, record” element of the story reminds me that all reality is really the fiction of our imaginations.

Uvi Poznansky is a talented author who says in her bio, “I paint with my pen, and write with my paintbrush.” The cover of Apart from Love and the content in between are assurances that this is true.

Click to preorder - $.99

Click cover to preorder – only $.99

After reading this novel, I’m even more honored that Ms. Poznansky asked me to be a part of her latest endeavor, the box set At Odds with Destiny, a collection of ten novels by ten unique authors. The full-length novels are brimming with myth, fantasy, mystery, history, romance, drama, originality, heroism, and suspense. Finding themselves at odds with destiny, the characters in these stories fight to shape their future and define who they are. My offering Native Lands examines how cultural boundaries established centuries ago are erased as love and nature seek the balance lost in the battle for power and control of the last of the Florida frontier.

Author Wednesday – Cate Beauman

typewriterIt’s Wednesday, so it must be time for another author visit. Today I welcome back Cate Beauman, who’s just released the eighth installment in her bestselling romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County.  05 FB - BannerReagan’s Redemption is on sale now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and more.03 Reagan's Redemption - 3D Buy it now!

Blurb: Doctor Reagan Rosner loves her fast-paced life of practicing medicine in New York City’s busiest trauma center. Kind and confident, she’s taking her profession by storm—until a young girl’s accidental death leaves her shaken to her core. With her life a mess and her future uncertain, Reagan accepts a position as Head Physician for The Appalachia Project, an outreach program working with some of America’s poorest citizens.

Shane Harper, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest team member, has been assigned a three-month stint deep in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, and he’s not too happy about it. Guarding a pill safe in the middle of nowhere is boring as hell, but when he gets a look at his new roommate, the gorgeous Doctor Rosner, things start looking up.

Shane and Reagan encounter more than a few mishaps as they struggle to gain the trust of a reluctant community. They’re just starting to make headway when a man’s routine checkup exposes troubling secrets the town will do anything to keep hidden—even if that means murder.

Here’s what Cate has to say about the inspiration for Reagan’s Redemption:

I’ve wanted to tell Reagan and Shane’s story for quite a while now, but I kept putting it off, knowing where the weeks of research would take me. Reagan Rosner is a doctor, which is great for her but not so much for me as the writer. Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a hypochondriac who is afflicted with White Coat Syndrome. Typically, I stay as far away from anything “medical” as possible, but for Reagan’s Redemption I had to dig deep and conquer a personal demon or two. There were many days where I cringed, watching how-to videos on IV insertions and blood draws and hyperventilated my way through more than one resuscitation tutorial, but I did it, making Reagan’s character all the more stronger for it.

After the days of dreadful research, I really knuckled down and got to work. I had so much fun with this story. Reagan is kind and dedicated and Shane extremely funny. This couple complements each other well, which is perfect because they’ll face more than their fair share of trouble in Black Bear Gap, Kentucky.

I hope you enjoy Reagan and Shane as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Read an excerpt from Reagan’s Redemption:

The front door opened and closed. “Shane?”

“Down here.”

Reagan hurried in, her eyes full of excitement. “How are things going?”

“Good. Faith is clean, eating, and will hopefully be sleeping in the next couple of minutes.”

“I can take a turn. I know I’ve been gone for awhile.”

He shook his head. “We’re fine. Looks like you’ve had a run today.”

She smiled. “Two patients—one ear infection and a strep throat.”

“Good stuff.”

She nodded, sitting on the edge of the mattress. “That’s not the best part. I was talking with Jodi, Josiah’s mother, about her gardens—trying to break the ice a little. She was telling me how she grows some of the best corn around but constantly has trouble with her beans. Apparently, Sue Anne’s family seems to have the opposite issue.” She swiped her hair behind her ear. “Anyway, while Jodi was talking, I got this idea. I was thinking we could organize an evening where families can get together here at the clinic and swap fruits and vegetables for a bigger variety of healthful foods—kind of like a farmer’s market. We can offer some simple snacks and drinks, and I’m hoping I might be able to throw in a few nutrition facts while we’re at it. There are so many kiddos with bad teeth. They’re drinking too much soda.”

“Sounds like you’ve got a plan. Go get ‘em, tiger.” He liked seeing her like this—her eyes bright, her hands punctuating certain words as they spilled from her mouth, caught up in her own enthusiasm.

“I will.” Her smile dimmed as she touched Faith’s toes peeking out from the blanket. “But I don’t know how many people will come.”

“So you won’t have standing-room only on your first try.”

She licked her lips. “They’re afraid.”

He frowned. “Who?”

“The people here. They’re frightened by either me or the clinic.”

“Why do you say that?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. That was the sense I got when I spoke with Jenny’s mother and then again with Jodi.”

He remembered Mrs. Hendley’s weird spewings about heeding warnings and staying away, but she also seemed like a bit of a whack job. “I don’t know, Doc. When I look at you ‘intimidating’ isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind.”

“Maybe not to you, but they were certainly uneasy. Maybe I’m trying to make sense of an unusual situation, but I don’t think so. Both women kept looking toward the trees, like they were being watched or something.” She shuddered. “It gave me the willies.”

“We’ll keep an eye on the situation, but things have been pretty low key so far.”

She nodded. “I just really want this to work. I can help this town if they’ll let me.”

The Unofficial Reagan’s Redemption Soundtrack

Here are a few of the songs that I had on “repeat” while I created Reagan and Shane’s story!  You can listen to them on my website www.catebeauman.com.

The soundtrack, of sorts, for Reagan’s Redemption:

  • Devil Town by Tony Lucca
  • So Easy by Phillip Phillips
  • Not A Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake
  • Science and Faith by The Script
  • Daylight by Maroon Five
  • Hazy by Rosi Golan ft. William Fitzimmons
  • Get Out by Casey Abrams
  • First Flight Home by Jake Miller
  • Human by Jon McLaughlin
  • Have A Little Faith In Me by Jewel
  • Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
  • Parachute by Train

 

04 Cate profile pic copy 2About Cate Beauman:  Cate currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, their two boys, and St. Bernard’s, Bear and Jack. Before her career as an author, Cate worked in special education for 12 years.

“I’m a pretty lucky girl; one day I woke up and my entire life changed. I saw the light, so to speak, and decided I was going to be a writer. Now, five years later, I’m working on my ninth novel, Answers For Julie, which I plan to release during the summer of 2015.  I’m remain so very grateful for the support and success that I have had.  Thank you!”  – Cate

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