March Madness

I’m over at Rebecca Belliston’s blog today for her March Madness series for writers and readers. My article is on the importance of reviews (sound familiar?). I did it earlier this year, but feel it’s a super important topic…so I threw it out again. If you read…please write reviews about the books you read. Go HERE to read why (if you haven’t already). You help writers out…and you help other readers who are skimming reviews trying to figure out what books to choose.

And Happy St. Paddy’s Day to you as well. I ran into work this morning and realized when I got there that I had not a speck of green on. It terrified me…so I ran back home and changed. I now have my green going on…so no pinching! Have a great week!

char2a

Cozy Mystery Writer–Linda Clarke

Today I have Linda Clarke here to tell us more about herself and her newest cozy mystery, The Mysterious Doll.

Welcome, Linda. It’s nice to have you on my blog again. I read your first book in this series, Bali Mystery, and notice that a lot of your books are set in exotic locations. Have you visited the places you write about in your stories?

I do a lot of research about the places I haven’t been. So much so that I feel I have actually been there and I can’t wait to visit it in person. In The Mysterious Doll, I have been to Estes Park and stayed in the famed Stanley Hotel. It is not only noted for being an elegant hotel but also for being haunted, especially the grand piano in the music room. My husband, my daughter Serena, and I stayed there over night and it was a delightful place. We really enjoyed it, but we never heard any ghosts playing in the halls or heard the piano play on its own accord. Although, I definitely heard the piano play! Serena sat down and played some beautiful pieces on that piano for a small audience. She can now boast that she played on the same piano as John Phillip Sousa.

Do you have places in mind for future books?

Yes, I always pick a place that I’m interested in or know about. My next book, which is called Her Lost Love, is set in southern Utah in St. George and Zion National Park where I live. This area is referred to as Color Country because of all the red mountains and soil.

Zion is one of my most favorite places on the earth. I’ll definitely want to read that one. Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Sometimes I’ll get an idea that comes to me such as: What if an elderly woman realizes that her brother has been missing? His home has been deserted for at least one month, so where did he go? This ended up as The Bali Mystery. Another idea came to me as I wondered: What if a young girl finds out she is adopted and wants to know about her heritage? She is told that her parents past away soon after her birth, but she wonders who her grandparents are. What if it is a mystery why her parents left Ireland so suddenly? What if there is more to this adoption than meets the eye? This ended up as The Shamrock Case.

How many mysteries do you envision for Amelia Moore and Rick Bonito?

It’s hard to say. I never know how many books are going to be in my series. My historical romance series, A Family Saga in Bear Lake Idaho, ended up with five books. My mystery/adventure series, The Adventures of John and Julia Evans, ended up with four books. My cozy mystery series, Amelia Moore Detective Series, may have many mysteries for Amelia and Rick to solve. This new series isn’t a “who-done-it” mystery. Amelia specializes in missing persons. Her Lost Love is in the editing stage right now and is book number five in this series. I’m really enjoying my two main characters. They are so fun. Rick loves to tease Amelia and his attraction to her is adorable. Amelia is a strong woman character and will not be threatened by anyone who tries to stop her research.

Is sweet romance your favorite genre to read as well as write?

Oh yes. I love reading about a happily-ever-after story. But to set a mystery to a cute romance is even more intriguing.

How did you get into writing?

It all started with writing my family history. After writing the stories of my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, I couldn’t stop writing. Right now I teach “A Family Legacy Workshop” at libraries and help people to write their family’s and ancestors’ stories. I have been to 17 states and taught over 450 workshops. I believe it’s very important to teach our children their heritage.

What piece of advice would you give to writers?

The most important part of writing is having a good editor. It makes a world of difference with the outcome of your story. The editor can see mistakes that you may not. If a sentence sounds awkward, an editor can help you with sentence structure. Many times their advice can spark another idea in your mind and you end up adding more to your story.

What’s your favorite indulgence?

I love drinking hazelnut hot chocolate. Raspberry hot chocolate is also delicious. I’ve even added caramel flavoring to my hot chocolate. There are several flavors that are fun.

Tell me about how you picture your most happy moment.

My happy moment is when I’m with my husband sitting on the swing and watching the stars together or watching a thunderstorm from our porch. Sometimes it’s enjoying a movie and laughing with him. I guess my happy moment is just being together.

Sounds perfect! Thanks again for letting us get to know you better, Linda. Good luck on your future books!

You can find out more about Linda and her books from her website and Amazon author page. Now, have a great week and make your own special happy moments!

char2a

 

Winners & A New Story Idea

smiling-kids-facesThe Tour de Hands is officially over, and winners have been chosen by a Random Number Picker-do-bob. Thanks to all my blog hosts who made my books and I feel so welcome, and special thanks to all of you who cheered and supported us along the way. Now for the thrilling moment when I announce the prize winners.

  • $20 Amazon Gift Card – Taylor Dean
  • $15 Amazon Gift Card – Sherry Fundin
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card – Carrie Rubin
  • Ebooks – Michelle, Linda, Kim, Sheila, Sherry, Linda, Christy, Karen, Melissa and Kate

I will email everyone now to tell them the good news. If you didn’t win, stay tuned. I’ll try to have a giveaway again later in the year.

And now to chat about my new story idea. It’s a stand-alone book set on a Montana ranch. Like the Bending Willow Trilogy, it has 3 characters who take turns telling the story. Liz is a Vegas girl, but she’s running away from her life there due to a tragedy that’s left her with too many painful memories. Benny is the 14 year old son of a Montana rancher who is handicapped from a car accident five years previously. He worships his older brother and longs to be accepted by his peers. Rawson is Benny’s brother, but whereas Benny is kind and humble, he’s pretty much the opposite. I’ve dabbled with this plot for over a year, and am now trying to get it set in stone. There are a few plot twists and tension spots I can’t decide between, so hopefully I can get those worked out and start writing good scenes and get this baby going.

It’s weird to move away from my Bending Willow Trilogy characters. They have been a part of my life for almost five years, so setting them aside is hard for me. My husband has banned me from going back to them, because every time I do, I make edits and polish up scenes. A story is NEVER perfect to the author.

So I grimace and force myself not to touch those files anymore…and I’m concentrating on these new characters. They still need a lot of work, but I really like them so far. Hopefully, you will too once they’re fleshed out on the page. Hope you’re having a good week! I feel spring in the air.

char2a

Contest Giveaway

Bending Willow Trilogy_borderThe Tour de Hands is finished, but there’s still time to get in on the giveaway through tomorrow night. On Monday I will pick winners to receive…

  • $20 Amazon Gift card
  • $15 Amazon Gift card
  • $10 Amazon Gift card
  • 10 eBook winners (your choice in the Bending Willow Trilogy)

All you have to do to enter is sign up for my Author email newsletter and leave a comment below telling me something pertinent (like what your favorite candybar is…or book…or something important like that). Have a good weekend…and good luck!

char2a

 

The Wife Maker

I’m so excited to tell you about my latest read…The Wife Maker, which is the final story in the Husband maker series.

SYNOPSIS

Charlotte has spent years as the husband maker, sending every guy she dates off to enjoy marital bliss with the next girl he dates. But things have now changed, and she’s determined to use her husband-maker abilities one last time–on herself. And she finally knows exactly who she wants.

Angus has loved Charlotte since they were teenagers, but he’s tired of waiting for her to realize how good they could be. She’s broken his heart one too many times, and it’s time to move on with his life. Maybe a position halfway across the country will be just what he needs to get over her. But when Charlotte won’t let him go without a fight, Angus has to decide if he’s willing to let her in again or if she’s too late.

My Review

I seriously gobbled this story up in a little over a day since I’ve been waiting on pins and needles to find out what poor Charlotte (Chuckers) would do after the last book ended. My bum’s a little numb from those sharp objects, but the conclusion to the series was definitely worth the wait and sore heiny. What I love most about this author is her crisp, witty writing and dialogue. The characters are real and funny and I fell in love with them reading the very first book.

Charlotte finally realizes what (or who, rather) she wants at the end of Book 2, and now in this one, she proves she will do anything (even give up her good job and leave family and friends to move to a new city) in hopes of winning the man of her dreams. But he doesn’t make it easy, since she’s left him dangling for years. He doesn’t want to be the rebound guy. Who does?

I loved the tension and heartache, the laughter and happy ending. This series has been one of my all-time favorites. I highly recommend it, especially since you won’t need a cushion to buffer you from the pins and needles since the whole set is available now.

***I was given this book for free from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review, and it was a pleasure to read!!!

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Karey WhiteAuthor Karey White

Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

Here are the other books in the series with an Amazon link if you’d like to read them. They’re good! Click HERE to enter to win $25 Amazon cash too! I hope you win!


 

Tour de Hands – Day 9

P1010290It’s a race to the finish as we meander into Michigan for the final stretch of the 1st annual Tour de Hands where Rebecca Belliston is waiting to congratulate the winners at the finish line. Rebecca has written several awesome books that I’ve enjoyed (Sadie and Life among others)

This event has been grueling in that it has covered long distances over the course of an entire month. Are you as tired as my books are? I hope not. If you are, I’ll share my chocolate chip stash with you (they’re even frozen…my favorite way to eat them).

To recap all the stops along this tour, the Bending Willow Trilogy team started out in Texas where Taylor Dean focused on each book in the series.

Then the tour took them all the way across the country to Cape Cod, where Sheila Hurst hosted and helped them lug their bikes out of the snowy blizzard.

From there the team nestled in Nebraska for a rest stop with Gina Barlean

…before traveling on to Kansas to be interviewed by Michelle Terry.

On the second to last leg of the race, my books took the stage in Utah…

Bending Willow Trilogy_borderBut now we’ve made it to the end of the strenuous Tour de Hands. I hope you’ll go cheer and pat my books on the back at the finish line with Rebecca Belliston. And if you’ve read any of  my books, I’d be tickled pink (it’s the only color I turn besides red) if you’d leave a review about them on Amazon and Goodreads. Thanks a bunch! Now it’s time for lunch!

Char Signature

 

 

 

Tour de Hands – Day 8

bikerBlackIsolatedMy books are into the last week of the Tour de Hands. They’ve been all over the continental U.S., and are enjoying some warmer weather down in southern Utah for the next few days before they head north. Linda Clarke is interviewing me and the team down in St. George right now, so I hope you’ll stop in to show your support (and throw us some chocolate. Thanks in advance!).

The print versions of Eyes of Light and Secret Keepers are now available for purchase. There was a printer mess up on Hands of Mercy, so it’s still unavailable in paperback. Sorry for the delay, but I’m waiting for the printer to fix their mistake (they sent me only the first 20 pages, and that makes for a very tiny book. I’d laugh if I didn’t want to cry). Wish me luck with the next proof they send me.