Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cara Putnam's "Stars in the Night"

We're happy to have Cara Putnam with us today talking about her book, Stars in the Night. To learn more about Cara and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
I was working on the last book for my second World War II series for Heartsong Presents and beginning to think about where I might want to set a future series. My husband, who is as big a World War II fan as I am if not more, and I were brainstorming one night. Since I’d done two series set in the Midwest, I kind of wanted to branch out, and I’ve long had a love of classic movies. As Eric and I were talking, we hit on the idea of Hollywood during World War II.
There were so many different roles that the stars played during the war. Canteens. USO tours. Active service. 4-Fed. The plot options and historical details seemed endless. Then as I researched I stumbled on the original Hollywood Victory Caravan. My imagination kicked into overdrive. What if I created a second Victory Caravan? What if a killer followed someone on to the train? What if people died and you were trapped on the train with a killer? And what if romance blossomed in the midst of the suspense? I got pretty pumped very quickly.
Then I got a call from the woman who became my editor at Summerside. She wondered if I might be interested in writing historical romantic suspense for them. And as God works, one of the settings they were interested in was Hollywood. It was perfect timing and a great fit.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Once Susan and I had decided the book was a good idea, I got the signed contract in October 2009. The due date for the book was February 2010, and it released July 1, so it was a very quick turn around. But everyone at Summerside was a delight to work with, and I absolutely adore the cover they gave the book. It’s awesome!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. I love cats – but love my husband more since he’s allergic which means no more cats.
2. I am a dyed in the wool Cornhusker. Go Big Red! And I’m nervous about the Huskers joining the Big Ten in 2011 since that means they’ll be in the same conference as my husband’s alma mater.
3. Not only do I homeschool my kids, but I was homeschooled from fifth through tenth grades, when I started college.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Currently I am writing book ten in Guideposts’ new contemporary mystery series. I have also written book four which releases in September. It’s a series that centers around a 62 year old protagonist that loves quilts and stumbles into lots of mysteries in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.

5) Parting comments?
It is an honor and privilege to be able to write books. My heart’s cry is to write books that honor God and the vision that He gives me while providing entertainment and escape for women as they read. I hope they are swept away into a romance and suspense as they read Stars in the Night.
Could the man Audra loves be her sister’s Murderer?
During WWII, attorney Audra Shaeffer travels with the second Hollywood Victory Caravan – but she’s more interested in solving her sisters murder than selling war bonds. When two people on the train are found dead, including the ex-wife of handsome star Robert Garfield, Audra starts to wonder if Robert’s affectionate overtures are setting her up to be his next victim…

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I can be found at my website (http://www.caraputman.com/), facebook, twitter, and shoutlife. Thanks so much for having me, Dawn!

J. Mark Bertrand's "Back on Murder"


We're happy to have J. Mark Bertrand with us today talking about his book, Back on Murder. To learn more about Mark and his book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
It started with the “suicide cop,” Roland March. When a fellow officer commits suicide, the thankless task of investigating gets dumped on March. How did he end up in this position? What kind of mindset would he have? The deeper I dug into those questions, the more Back on Murder came into focus. It’s the story of a once-promising detective’s restoration to grace.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Dave Long, now my editor at Bethany House, asked whether I’d ever considered writing a detective novel. If I was interested, he told me, he’d be happy to take a look at the result. Since I’ve always loved crime fiction, and had published some short stories in the genre, I didn’t need much convincing.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
First, I write a blog called BibleDesignBlog.com, dedicated to “the physical form of the Good Book.” The number of people interested in Bible design and production continues to amaze me. Second, I was the runner up in a child modeling contest back in 1972. If only I could have held onto my good looks! Third, I have a shoe fetish that would put Imelda Marcos to shame.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Right now I’m working on revisions to Pattern of Wounds, the second novel in the March series. If you thought things were bad for March in Back on Murder, just wait. His next case threatens to undo everything he’s achieved. It’s a nail-biter.

5) Parting comments?
Writing Back on Murder has been a game-changer for me, and I hope that comes through in the story. If you love crime fiction, I think you’re going to love Roland March.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Check out www.BackonMurder.com for more info about the book, and visit my blog at http://www.crimegenre.com/ . And for information on everything I’m doing, bookmark http://www.jmarkbertrand.com/ .

Tracy Krauss' "And the Beat Goes On"


We're happy to have Tracy Krauss with us today talking about her book, And the Beat Goes On. To learn more about Tracy and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
This book is actually the sequel to another novel called Play It Again. In this first book, Mark Graham is an eleven year old child who is interested in fossils and arrowheads and is the son of the main characters, one of whom is involved in the music industry. (In case you’re wondering, this first book is still under consideration with Steeple Hill and is not yet in print!) When I began writing And The Beat Goes On – which is essentially an archeological suspense – Mark seemed like the perfect character to use, only all grown up. It seemed logical to continue with the ‘musical theme’ for the title, since it is a continuation from the first story to some degree, although it definitely stands alone as well. Also, there are subtle references to tribal drumming, the rhythmic continuity of life as it connects to the past, etc. etc. which made the title make sense. (And, no, it has nothing to do with Sonny and Cher!)

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Wow. Actually, I have been writing for about twenty five years, now. About six or seven years ago I decided it was time I submitted something for publication, but having little time, few resources, no contacts, and absolutely no knowledge of the publishing industry, I pretty much blundered along for the first several years. (I naively thought it would be easy since my writing was so fabulous and my ideas so unique!) What a wake up call! Two years ago, after many gut wrenching critiques, revisions, research and plain hard work, I sent out a blitz of submissions. In October of 2008 I finally landed a contract. Little did I know that the real work of publicity was still ahead!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Hm. I’ve moved more than thirty times in my life, so I’m an expert packer! (I’ve been less than an inch from a real live polar bear with only the window in my car separating us – this was in the wild, not in a zoo!)
I have more than one piercing (not talking about ears here!), like to hang out with artsy theater types, and still manage to maintain my integrity as a Pastor’s wife and Christian. (It’s time we threw away our stereotypes, folks!)
I was an original Trekkie back in the day and was in love with Leonard Nimoy.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
My next novel called My Mother The Man Eater is currently in production and will hopefully be ready for release before Christmas. I’ve got two others under review with various publishers/agents. I am also in the process of seeking publication for the many plays I’ve written and directed over the years as a Drama teacher and director. I’m also working on an illustrated children’s book. (I’m a visual artist as well and also teach Secondary School Art) Finally, I’ve got three other manuscripts in various stages. That enough?

5) Parting comments?
Thanks for this opportunity. I’m glad to be a part of such a vibrant community of writers who support one another.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I currently maintain two blogs:
http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.blogspot.com/
http://www.krauss.aegauthorblogs.com/
I also frequent lots of social networking sites and authors groups, so hopefully we’ll connect somewhere along the way!

Grace Bridges' "Legendary Space Pilgrims"


We're happy to have Grace Bridges with us today talking about her book, Legendary Space Pilgrims. To learn more about Grace and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
One night I was reading Flashpoint, a great book by Frank Creed, and then when I went to sleep, I dreamed all the main elements of this story. Characters, settings, even a couple of major scenes. It was pretty freaky! And interrupted my plans to work on the sequel to my first book, which wasn’t even published at the time.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Well, it really was a journey in many, many ways. I began it in Germany, finished it in Ireland, edited it in the USA, and published it here at home in New Zealand. Interestingly enough it’s also about a journey itself, so I hope the grit and reality of my own travels comes through – even though one can’t really compare a Greyhound or a Learjet to a spaceship, I imagine there are certain similarities in the conditions of using one!

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I came up blank, so I asked my online friends. Apparently my age is surprising – doesn’t feel young to me...Anyways it seems incongruous for some people that at 31 I’m running a publishing company and several related websites. I suppose other interesting facts might include that I’m a rat fancier (currently without rats – but I still fancy them!) and I play the bodhran, a large Irish hand drum, that I picked up last year in Dublin.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
Ooh, lots of things. I write poetry reasonably regularly to flex my wordsmithing muscles. Also writing a monthly serial called Comet Born for the Digital Dragon Magazine, available free online at www.digitaldragonmagazine.net. Then I’m redrafting my completed third book CyberDublin, and progressing on Godspeed, which is the sequel to my first, Faith Awakened.

5) Parting comments?
Parting? Noooo, don’t go away! I’m not done yet! Haha. Let me tell you about the book, hey?
If Pilgrim’s Progress happened in space, this is what it might look like...
On a planet that has never seen the sun, a harvester hears a Voice from beyond. It's time to leave the oatfield. Mario and Caitlin escape the mind control of Planet Monday, following the Voice to unknown worlds where wonders and challenges await. Have you got what it takes...to be a legend?
Christina Berry, a Christy Award Finalist for 2010, said of Legendary Space Pilgrims: "A powerfully imaginative space epic. I couldn’t put it down!"

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My publishing site: http://www.splashdownbooks.com/
Personal blog: http://www.gracebridges.blogspot.com/
Personal author site: http://www.gracebridges.com/

Book page for Legendary Space Pilgrims: www.splashdownbooks.com/legendaryspacepilgrims.html