Friday, April 3, 2015
There’s never been a better fit for this blog than Kellie Coates Gilbert. Her novels are founded in truth and proof that fiction can be a realistic as life itself.
Kellie, welcome to “Truth in Fiction.” I’m thoroughly enjoying your TEXAS GOLD series. Woman of Fortune and Where Rivers Part, both legal dramas with tons of action and feeling, kept me reading into the night. Before that, Mother of Pearl gripped my heart and never let go. It’s a must-read for every mother of a teenage girl.
In Where Rivers Part, you set the scene so beautifully. The city of San Antonio, Texas, functions like a supporting character. I can see the need for several “research” trips along its waterway. How did you learn about the city, and why did you choose San Antonio?
I’m glad you mentioned the setting, Lee. When my publisher (Baker/Revell) signed me on a four-book contract, they asked if I could set the stories I’d pitched in Texas. I said, “Sure!” So, the Texas Gold collection was born—with four stand alone novels set in each of the metropolitan cities of Texas.
As you mention, Where Rivers Part is in San Antonio. I took a research trip and spent days exploring, finding places for the scenes I’d planned. I also did a lot of “armchair travelling” via Google! So tickled to be receiving emails from readers telling me they felt like they were in that beautiful city.
On a side note, I learned about the Edwards Aquifer underneath San Antonio and knew that would work beautifully in a water themed story!
Your years as a legal investigator and trial paralegal provide excellent footing for your novels. You’ve developed skill in keeping the balance between accuracy and overpowering the reader. Do you ever write a passage and then delete it? Or your editor deletes it?
I’m fortunate in that my editor modifies my stories only lightly, and almost never touches my legal scenes. That said, in my debut novel MOTHER OF PEARL, the editor urged me to remove paragraphs that were wonderful, but she felt the pacing needed to move really fast in those scenes. The advice was spot on!
What motivated you to tell the story of contaminated water?
Years back, I worked on a legal case involving an outbreak of foodborne illness resulting from undercooked hamburger. The outbreak sickened many and nearly toppled a multi-million dollar corporation.
During a key deposition of the executive who was in charge of quality control, the plaintiff’s attorney posed questions meant to vilify him and suggest his lack of oversight caused the death of four children. As you might expect, several hours of this took its toll. But, none of us in that room that day anticipated the moment the man buried his head in his hands and fell to tears.
I knew there was a story behind those tears and I wanted to tell it . . . even if only in my imagination.
You’ve been very active on the pages of Pinterest, and have come up with several good ideas for how to use Pinterest to stimulate interest in your books. Would you care to share?
I love Pinterest! Such a fun way to connect with readers. In addition to boards for each of my books, I have one I think your readers will especially love: a board that features promotions and contests where readers can enter to win free books and prizes. I have a board that features all my blog posts, one with the monthly contests I run from my website, I have boards that feature new Inspirational Fiction. And I have a lot of just pure fun boards where I pin things that I love!
Did you leave the legal work to become a writer, or did you become a writer after leaving that occupation?
I’m a former legal investigator and trial paralegal who spent more than a little time juggling the roles of wife and mother while working outside the home. During those years I wrote magazine articles here and there. In 2008, my husband made a career move that brought us to Dallas allowing me the freedom to transition to full-time novelist. I still own a contract paralegal business and a legal marketing business too, so my waking hours are pretty full!
When I went to Amazon.com to check the exact titles of your books, I saw that you have yet another novel ready for pre-order. Tell us about A Reason to Stay.
Oh, Lee! I can’t wait for October to get here so I can get A Reason to Stay in the hands of readers. This one tells the story of a young Houston power couple on the brink of divorce. Here’s the back cover copy:
As the host of her own television news show, Faith Marin works to expose the truth for her viewers. But in her personal life, she’s anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she’d like to forget. Her pro bass fisherman husband Geary’s life is an open book, and unfortunately his busybody family doesn’t know the meaning of boundaries. Deception and crippling differences soon derail their tender relationship, leading Faith to believe her only option is to end the marriage. But while divorce papers sit on her desk waiting to be signed, tragedy strikes and her heartrending decision is interrupted. With her life in the balance, Faith finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.
What are you working on now?
I’m smack-dab in the middle of writing the final book in this collection. This one has not yet been named, but is set in Austin. I can’t say much yet, but the story will have a political backdrop and has the heaviest romantic thread I’ve ever written. I’m loving how it’s shaping up!
You have excellent contact with your readers, and you’re known for openness to your fan base. How can people reach you?
Readers, I hope you’ll come tell me hello! All my social media links are on my website: www.kelliecoatesgilbert.com That’s also where you can sign up for Kellie’s Readers Club and get news of all my coming releases!
Kellie Coates Gilbert spent nearly twenty-five years working in courtrooms and behind the scenes of some of the largest and most well-known cases in America. Kellie was one of the lead paralegals in the Jack-in-the-Box litigation, where uncooked hamburger resulted in the deaths of several toddlers and made many more critically ill, which is now the subplot of her recently released WHERE RIVERS PART from Baker Publishing/Revell. Her books not only explore the heart issues that matter most to women, but often allow readers an inside peek into her former legal world.
Kellie is offering one free print book to someone who leaves a comment with your email address on this blog. You may disguise your email address from the evil bots by writing it in this form: LeeCarver2(at)aol(dot)com. Thank you for visiting us today. Happy Easter. Christ is risen!
Friday, March 6, 2015
Architect Aimee Hart, determined to locate her father, infiltrates Miles Stratton’s engineering firm as a secretary. Her presence wrenches the shaggy, wounded man from his penthouse, and the quest begins.
He’s been betrayed by his best friend. Miles would rather hide than help, especially Hart’s daughter. But it isn’t over. Someone’s trying to destroy Stratton Industrial. A war veteran, he knows how to defend his own. The Beast of Stratton can do it again.
Renee is offering a digital copy or signed paperback copy of Beast of Stratton to one person who leaves a comment with your e-mail address. I suggest, in order to avoid having your address copied by a roving bot in cyberland, you follow the form of my address here: LeeCarver2(at)aol(dot)com This is a brand new novel coming out on March 11, 2015. If you really enjoy the novel, you're so welcome to share a review on Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, your own FaceBook, Twitter, and any other avenue of advertisement. Purchase the book in print or Kindle at Amazon .
Welcome to "Truth in Fiction," Renee. I found your book to be filled with high emotion, dark mystery, and dramatic fluctuation of moods. Industrial intrigue leads to romance. Please tell us in what genre this new novel fits. When I began writing Beast of Stratton, I would’ve called it a contemporary suspense. As I wrote it, the plot evolved. It changed. A puzzle began to form within the story. It was literally like following a trail of breadcrumbs to the end. How would I classify it now? Romantic Suspense with a very strong mystery component.
Does Beast of Stratton have an inspirational thread? Yes. All of my books have an inspirational message. It may not be glaring or pounded from a pulpit, but it’s there.
That's definitely the best way to share a message. We don't need pulpit-pounding in our pleasure reading. How would you condense your theme? That God’s with you no matter what. Even when you don’t hear Him or possibly don’t want to. His love and strength can overcome any battles or obstacles you may face.
You’ve written with powerful verbs, every action dramatic and forceful. This isn’t the trait of a beginning novelist. How did you learn this skill? Believe it or not, I haven’t had many writing courses except for college and a creative writing course I took online. What you see is from years and years of reading. I also absorb everything I hear from fellow writers and put it into practice. I liken myself to a sponge. LOL I decided a long time ago I would never stop learning.
You’re a pharmacist. Do you involve pharmacy in your plots? Now that you mention it, yes, I do. In To Soar on Eagle’s Wings (my next novel due out in July), one of the characters is a pharmacist. The pharmacy isn’t prominent in that particular story but is used in a scene or two.
What are you working on now? I’m actually working on a novella for Prism Book Group called Racing Hearts. It’s a wonderful story of trust and faith in God and love.
Here’s a little bit about it…
Full of hope for the future, a young couple sets off on a new adventure. They welcome their home with open arms. The mountains glisten, the lakes sparkle, and a new life grows. But challenges soon arise and their fresh love faces a trial of almost insurmountable odds.
For the two Christians, placing the fate of their unborn child in the hands of God seems rather easy, but trusting each other? That may prove to be the challenge of a lifetime…as hearts race in the Rocky Mountains.
That sounds like another good one. You're part of a beautiful cooperative blog, “The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction.” Please tell us about it. The Diamond Mine’s a group blog that my critique group, Rough Diamond Writers started. We wanted to provide a place to highlight Christian Fiction. To dig among the many gems of Christian authors, put them out there for the world to see, and let them shine. We interview authors about what makes them tick, their works (new and old), display their latest work for a month, and host giveaways. It’s a lot of fun.
When you’re not writing, what do you do for pleasure and relaxation? I still love to read. In fact, when I go fishing with my husband, most of the time I laze on the shore and read a book. LOL Now that my shoulder’s fixed, I can pull my bow back, although I won’t be able to hunt with it for a while. I’m still pretty weak. Someday, I may be able to do that again. Yes, I like to hunt deer…whitetail to be exact. I do live in Wyoming. But give me a beach and blue water and I’m in heaven.
What type of book do you most like to read for your own enjoyment? I’m a sucker for a good Scottish romance. Toss in a romantic suspense or even a historical…say, medieval or renaissance? Hey, I’ve got a good two or three days of relaxation. I read really fast. Like I said before, I’ve been reading forever.
Raised in Louisiana and Wyoming, Renee started writing poetry in junior high school and that, as they say, was that. After having her son, a desire to attend pharmacy school sent her small family to Laramie and she’s been counting pills ever since. While writing’s her first love, well, after the Lord and her husband, she also likes to fish and hunt as well as pick away on her classical guitar.
Nestled against the Black Hills with her husband, crazy old dog and ornery cat, she serves the community of northeastern Wyoming as a pharmacist and pens her Christian stories, keeping them interesting with action and intrigue, of course. She loves to interact with readers and invites you check out her website, blog, and social media.
Blogs: Renee’s Inspirational Moments
The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction
Social Media: Twitter.com/ReneeBlare, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr: The Journey
And now a sample of Beast of Stratton to whet the appetites of our readers:
Copyright 2015 © Renee Blare
She’d called his friends, the family. She’d even tried her stepmother who’d hung up on her. Well, okay, maybe that wasn’t the brightest idea.
A red rose rolled across her father’s tattered note, caught in the breeze from the open window. Sliding the pane down, she picked up the flower. The words on the page blurred as she buried her nose in the soft petals.
Instead of saying goodbye to his wife in his last letter, he’d simply left explicit instructions not to follow him. Aimee snorted. Like the woman would care. He’d sent it with the rose and an antique necklace. She held the thick chain aloft and peered at the golden key spinning in the light. The jewelry had probably cost a fortune.
And her stepmother was nowhere to be found. Scratch that. According to her, she wanted to be left alone. It didn’t make a difference to Aimee what the letter said and to whom, she’d follow. A small smile worked its way to her lips as she fastened the necklace around her neck.
The zipper stuck on the edge of the suitcase and she gave it a hard jerk. Dragging the bulging bag off the bed, it hit the floor with a thunk. She slid her arms into her jacket and looped her purse over the handle. She dropped the rose, and it landed beside her plane ticket next to her wallet. Before latching her fingers around her bag, she tucked the key under her shirt out of sight. “Stratton Industrial, here I come.”
Friday, January 2, 2015
Shannon Vannatter is offering a free print book to one person who leaves a comment on this blog between now and Jan. 17th, 2015.
TORI EATON IS READY TO START OVER
Brant is drawn to Tori. And as their friendship grows, so do his feelings for her. But Tori is still hounded by her past, and the walls she's built around her heart are high. Can he convince the wounded beauty that he's exactly the kind of man she needs—and deserves?
Preference for the free copy of Rodeo Family will be given to a commenter who promises to write a 25-word or more comment on www.Amazon.com. Does it matter? YES! Amazon treats novels with a good number of reader posts in various preferential ways which affect the visibility (and therefore the sales) of the books. Serious readers should also visit www.Goodreads.com, grab a free membership, and leave posts there of novels they read. Support the authors you enjoy reading.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
by Lee Carver
Published by Prism Book Group
What escape exists for a German aristocrat with American and Jewish blood?
How did I come to write a World War II novel?
Friday, April 26, 2013
Emily Downey has found the perfect groom. If only she loved the man... Chelsea Downey is wild about her boyfriend. Trouble is, he’s two-timing her and everyone sees it but her.
Their thorny situation gets even stickier when the church ladies come up with a plan.
Can Pastor Ian MacCraig weed out the thistles and get to the heart of the matter in time to save the day?
The novella, Thistle Down, the intro to Wildflowers of Scotland novels, and the first scene of the upcoming release, Wild Rose, are now FREE at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/310079. Amazon to follow soon. Download away! The author thanks you.
About the author:
Twenty years ago, Sherrie Hansen bought a dilapidated Victorian house in northern Iowa so she could move home and be nearer her family. She rescued an amazing but very run-down old house from the bulldozer's grips and turned it into a bed and breakfast and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn. Welcoming guests, running the business and cooking wonderful food has consumed the largest chunk of her life ever since.
Before that, Sherrie lived in Colorado Springs, CO, and before that, Augsburg, Germany. She attended Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL and spent one life-changing summer in Bar Harbor, Maine. Sherrie grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota.
After 12 years of writing romance novels late at night when she couldn't sleep (mostly because she was so keyed up from working 12 hour days at her B&B), Sherrie met and married her real-life, romantic hero, Mark Decker, a pastor. She enjoys playing the piano with the worship team at church, needlepointing, photography, renovating and decorating historic houses, traveling, and going on weekly adventures with her nieces and nephews.
Sherrie lives in 2 different houses, 85 miles apart, and writes on the run, whenever she has a spare minute. “Wild Rose” is her sixth book to be published by Second Wind Publishing, a mid-sized, independent press out of Kernersville, NC.