7/30/2015 0 Comments
Character interview—Blake Morgan
CF: Thanks for sitting down with me for an interview today, Blake.
Blake: It’s my pleasure to be here. *Grins* Maybe we could have a drink later. You know, after the interview. See where the evening takes us.
CF: Thanks for the offer, but I’m married. Then again, I’ve heard that doesn’t stop you.
Blake: Ouch. Have you been talking to Lizzie Hart?
CF: She and I are tight. I interviewed her a while back. She’s a bit of a firecracker.
Blake: She’s certainly infuriating at times.
CF: Wow. Maybe we’d better stay on topic. What do you do at the Liberty Chronicle?
Blake: *Puffs out chest* I’m the lead investigative reporter. I write hard-hitting stories and exposés, giving our readers the information they need to know.
CF: Is there really that much to report about in Liberty? Aren’t there better news stories elsewhere?
Blake: You’d think that, but there is definitely an undercurrent of danger here. With all of the craziness that’s happened lately, the stories are just as juicy as those I reported in Chicago.
CF: So you’re not a local? Why move to Liberty of all places from Chicago?
Blake: No, I’m not a local, but my father grew up here. I moved to Liberty to handle my ailing grandfather’s estate. I could probably move back now that I have everything in order, but there’s something about this town that makes me want to stick around for a while.
CF: Does that something rhyme with Lizzie?
Blake: Maybe we should stay on topic here.
CF: Right. Sorry. So how do you go about investigating a story?
Blake: I employ several different tactics to gather my information. Of course, there’s always simply interviewing people close to the situation. I have an in with the Liberty Police Department, so sometimes I can get access to semi-classified information. If all else fails, I have some rather sophisticated surveillance equipment at my disposal.
CF: That last part sounds marginally legal at best.
Blake: You say potato, I say you can’t sit around and wait for the story to come to you.
CF: Okay, then. Maybe we’ll quit talking about your work for a while. What do you like to do for fun?
Blake: Well, I was going to show you later after we get that drink…
CF: I think we’re done here.
BAD MEDICINE is the third book in THE LIZZIE HART MYSTERIES series.
What do a smokin’ hot detective, an evil chiropractor, and a couple of blind dates from hell have in common?
Lizzie has to wrangle them all in the third book of THE LIZZIE HART MYSTERIES series!
Lizzie Hart is overjoyed that six whole months have passed without a single murder in the sleepy town of Liberty. It’s also been six months since Blake Morgan heartlessly dumped her, but she’s determined to get over him. She’s slimmed down, ready to party, and injury-free, except for a little nagging pain in her ankle. She’s also very single, but her friends are doing everything in their power to fix that—including setting her up on one disastrous blind date after another.
Lizzie’s reprieve is short-lived when an old friend of hers is found dead from an apparent drug overdose. She wants to write it off as bad behavior after having seen the guy cheating on his wife with the new chiropractor in town. However, when she sees that same chiropractor playing doctor with another man who ends up dead, she worries there could be murder afoot.
Doing her best to stay on the right side of the law this time, Lizzie decides to go straight to the police with her suspicions. Unfortunately, the only cop available to speak with her is the stern yet hot new detective who has already given her a traffic ticket and a reprimand for public intoxication. Not surprisingly, he brushes her off, leaving her no choice but to begin snooping on her own. Lizzie soon learns she’s going to need help to get to the bottom of this mystery, but her best partner in crime solving, Blake, has turned into her worst enemy.
Can Lizzie and Blake find a way to work together to catch the killer…or will they kill each other first?
About the Author:
CAROLINE FARDIG is the author of the LIZZIE HART MYSTERIES series and the forthcoming DEATH BEFORE DECAF, available November 2015 through Random House. Her eclectic working career included occupations of schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom before she realized that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Born and raised in a small town in Indiana, Fardig still lives in that same town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.
Guest Post by author T.A Willaims - Why I’ve come to love my secondary characters as much as the main ones.
Most books have got a hero or a heroine, or both. Most books, unless they’re set on a desert island, have got other characters in there, who interact with the main ones. As an author, I get a lot of fun out of creating a host of secondary characters who add to the plot, but, above all, provide a bit of humour.
It may sound weird, but my favourites, who feature in all my books, are the dogs. There’s always a big black dog who offers support, sympathy and a discreet shoulder to cry on. Like most dogs, they are always obsessed with food and ever ready to put on the old canine, “They don’t feed me,” expression when meeting strangers carrying food. Some have obedience problems, some flatulence, but they all share one thing; they provide the main characters with uncomplicated love. We all need a bit of that from time to time (that’s the love thing, not the flatulence).
There’s a female vicar in When Alice Met Danny that I enjoyed writing. She tells Alice apologetically,
‘I’m afraid it really does say, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s ass”. I regret to disappoint you, but that’s what it says, however nice the man may look.’.
There’s more than a touch of Dawn French in The Vicar of Dibley in her character, but she’s massively supportive to Alice when she’s going through some difficult times. Similarly, the character of Becky in my latest book, What Happens in Cornwall…, serves a similarly supporting role. I had great fun with Becky. She’s a woman on a mission; to find herself a handsome man as soon as possible. She and Sam are archaeologists, and one of Becky’s recurring gripes is that there are precious few hunky men in that field. ‘Where’s an Indiana Jones when you want one?’ is one of her regularly repeated moans.
I was maybe a bit surprised to find that one of the supporting characters who is most popular with my readers is Marco from What Happens in Tuscany… . He is a former male model, stunningly handsome and he knows it. He describes himself modestly as ‘the most beautiful man in Tuscany,’ and when he invites Katie out for a drink, he doesn’t mince his words.
‘A glass of champagne with a man as handsome as I am has to be every girl’s dream.’
Marco is as gay as Elton John’s tailor, but this seems to make him all the more appealing to the readers. But, underneath his outrageous exterior, he is another very supportive character.
And, finally, there are the two Italian paparazzi. I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t read What Happens in Cornwall… yet, but Giancarlo, the serial philanderer, still manages to raise a smile. Like when he tells Beppe his latest conquest thinks of him as a Latin lover.
‘Latin, eh? So I suppose it’s, veni, vidi, vici?’
Giancarlo had done Latin at school. He grinned at the fat man. ‘Well, the first of the three anyway. Several times.’
Excerpts from What Happens in Cornwall…
At nine-thirty on the Sunday evening, fortified by a large glass of Chardonnay each and bearing a bottle of Rioja as an offering, they turned up at the party. It wasn’t in a scruffy terraced house in the heart of student town, but in a fine Georgian villa, high on the hill above the university, with a terrific view across the historic city. Even more surprising was the fact that the music was provided, not by a tattooed DJ with an earring and a couple of battered loudspeakers, but by a string quartet set up under a pergola of exquisite white roses. As they rounded the side of the house and took in the scene, both of them stopped dead in astonishment. They glanced at each other, the same thought on both their minds.
‘Bugger! We should have dressed up.’ Sam looked down at her shorts and regretted her decision not to go with a dress. Beside her, Becky was doing her best to tug her very short skirt down to her knees without baring her bottom.
‘There’s something about Bach, isn’t there?’
They turned towards the voice. It emanated from a tall man, probably in his early forties, with a patrician accent and immaculately styled long brown hair. He was wearing jeans and a plain white shirt. Samantha began to feel a bit less conspicuous about her choice of clothes. He smiled down at them. ‘Miles Vernon, Professor Miles Vernon. And you are?’ He held out his hand.
He was very good-looking and he knew it. Sam read the interest in his eyes, but she took a surreptitious step backwards, definitely not attracted to him and keen to avoid his getting the wrong idea. At the same time, she didn’t want to appear rude to a professor, even if his was a new name to her. But she needn’t have worried. Before she had time to extend her own hand, Becky had grasped his with both hands and was pumping it up and down. She beamed up at him. ‘Hello, Professor Vernon. I’m Becky and this is Samantha. We’re PhD students in the Archaeology department.’ She paused, then added for clarification, ‘At the university.’
Sam had a hard job restraining herself from giggling. Miles Vernon probably didn’t realise just how close he was to having his clothes ripped off him, Viking-style. You didn’t need a PhD to see the ‘target acquired’ look in Becky’s eyes. Sam waited until Becky had reluctantly released him and then shook hands with him in her turn. ‘Good evening. Is this your lovely house? Is this your party?’
He smiled at her, exposing a set of immaculate white teeth as he did so. ‘Good evening, Samantha.’ He pronounced it ‘Sementha’ and she repressed a shudder. ‘The answers are yes and yes. The house is indeed mine, and I thought I should do something for all my new friends at the university.’
For a very British summer holiday…
When archaeologist Sam realises her relationship is as dead as the skeletons she’s exhuming, she knows it’s time to make a change. But with bills to pay her options are limited…until a discovery on Rock Island in Cornwall gives her a reason to escape…
Head to the Cornish coast!
In Cornwall, questions are thrown up at every turn: who is the glamorous owner of Rock Island that the paparazzi are so interested in? How has the irresistible, but impossibly arrogant, history professor James Courtney managed to get so far under Sam’s skin? And will it ever stop raining so Sam can lose the cagoule and sip a cool drink in the sun? One thing’s for sure: there’s never been a holiday quite like this one!
Enjoy a summer of surprises and romance with What Happens in Cornwall…, the perfect retreat for fans of Fern Britton.
Amazon US: http://amzn.com/B00YUTHNNY
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YUTHNNY
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-happens-in-cornwall-t-a-williams/1122082544?ean=9781474036580
Firstly, my name isn't T A. It's Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, "Dirty Minds" one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn't possibly comment. Ask my wife...
I've written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I'm enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I've been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she's right.
Social Networking Links
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/T-A-Williams/e/B00FDVNVMA/
It probably seems weird to have a picture of the beach beside a post on goal-setting. Beaches and goals are not exactly natural friends. Or are they?
The truth is writing is a lonely pursuit. You sit with your bum in the chair trying to block the world out and be creative. It's not a group pursuit. when it comes down to it you just have to do the work all by yourself. Yes you pay editors and proof-readers but you still have to create something for them to work with.
I love setting goals. I know this makes me a weirdo. I'm not a competitive person except with myself. The truth is deep down I'm a pretty lazy human being. I need goals or nothing gets done.
This year I set myself the goal of writing #1000wordsaday and I'm actually ahead of schedule. so far this year I've written 240,000 words. That's more than 1000 words a day. In order to do that I have had to create a system for success. I run a small business, I have a family, I have friends and I like people so to get everything done I need a system.
Not only is writing solitary but I work from home, alone. That's a bucket-load of alone time. I probably spend more time alone than just about any person I know around my age. The truth is I'm a very social creature, which brings us to the beach.
My Facebook posts and Twitter and Instagram feed make it look like all I do is go to the beach and drink coffee. "When do you write?" people ask me.
Well let's break it down. I don't have a commute and I eat at my desk so that's maybe two hours I have that a lot of people don't. I work alone so there's no gossiping at the water-cooler and I know from experience most people spend at least half an hour a day doing that.
So if I spend and hour at the beach having coffee with a friend it's time that someone else might spend doing those things. Not only that by choosing to go somewhere beautiful and inspiring I return to my desk energised.
I'm not a morning person. I get up and do all my tedious admin first up. If I am meeting someone at the beach I'm back at my desk by lunchtime...and then I write. That's my most creative time. I've had my treat now it's time for business.
That keeps my on track for my goals. If I'm too punitive with myself or too isolated I feel my creativity wane. I become dull and so do my characters. We all need balance in our lives or we lose momentum.
When I set goals now I ask myself:
- Is that realistic? (Do you have time? Do have the resources?)
- Can you sustain that? (I can do 50,000 words on month but not every month).
- Do you want it badly enough? (If I'm half-hearted to begin with I always fail).
- What do you need to reach this goal? (Coffee? Company? Solitude? New software? You have to set yourself up to succeed).
That's how I set my goals and maintain my momentum - and get to go to the beach. What about you?
I seem to have been a bit lax in the blogging area of late.
One of the things about having a #1000wordsaday challenge going is that I spend a lot of time thinking about what to write next in my novels, I think some of that time I used to spend thinking about what to blog next.
I don't think we have a finite amount of creativity but I do think we have a finite amount of time to be creative and so we have to pick and choose how we spend it.
I'm not a huge believer in muses or waiting for the creative impulse to strike. That's not true either. I happen to think that is a wonderful thing. If I don't feel like baking a cake or redecorating then I might wait for inspiration. If I was writing purely for pleasure I might do the same.
However if you have a schedule and deadlines and an agenda just like in any job sometimes you just have to show up and get to work. I had an editing disaster earlier this year. (Actually I had two and neither were my fault and editing is already the least pleasant part of this process for me so frankly, I'm still a little bitter about it.) Anyway, I made a decision when I was an hour away from sending my book to the editor and I lost 10,000 plus words and ten days work. I decided that if this was a job for a PR client I would have sat my bum down in the seat and started again. So that's exactly what I did. I'm not sure the muse would ever show up and make me feel inspired to do that task. I still feel kind of ill at the memory.
I guess my point is that sometimes you have to push through even when you feel uninspired but there's a limit to how many areas in life you can do that in. Apparently, for me blogging has gone by the wayside.
Still I have managed to complete all six books in the Upper Crust Series so you can expect four more releases from me in 2015. Don't you love the cover for Any Way You Fight It? (I'm sending the book to the editors in the next few days so expect an August release).
I'm also working on a Christmas novella and I've written a summer/Valentine novella as well so I guess the blogging has been lax for a reason. You can't do it all.
For Musical Monday here is one of my all time favourite songs by the Eurythmics - Right By Your Side - I actually saw this tour back in 1987 in Sydney. The song is a perfect fit for Zara and Kyle the characters in my Christmas novella.
What was the inspiration for your novel? I was inspired to write “The Right Design” when I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), for the first time. I had no outline or idea about what the book would be about, but when I started typing, I didn’t stop because I really wanted to write a book in thirty days. While it was a little scary, on day thirty, I was proud that I could say that I’d written a book in a month!
When did you take up writing? I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, but didn’t start taking it seriously until I signed up for an online writing course at Gotham Writers’ Workshop, in 2010. Since then, I haven’t looked back.
How important is setting/place in your writing? For some books, I think it’s very important (like in the Sci-Fi genre), but for my books (definitely not Sci-Fi), location isn’t as important as the timing of the events that take place.
Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel? In my upcoming release, “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop,” I would have to say Connie Albright. She meant to resemble the character, Amy, from The Big Bang Theory. She’s frumpy, odd, but is so lovable, and while she sends herself bouquets—oh, did I mention she’s a hopeless romantic—her character really comes to life when her dream man comes into her life. Connie’s character was so much fun to write, and I hope my readers really like her as much as I do.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given? “Just write the first draft.” Once I heard that, it really hit home, and that was my goal. I wasn’t focused on time, I was just focused on getting it completed. That particular book is currently in my slush pile, but maybe I’ll pick it up someday…who knows?!
Do you have a schedule for writing? I wish I did, but I don’t. However, when I’m on a deadline (ones that I give myself), I use the Pomodoro Technique. It’s amazing how productive I can be, and usually try to give myself six to eight sessions a day.
Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it? Both! I was a panster with “The Right Design,” but for “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop,” I was a planner. I have a feeling that for each book I write, my system will be different, and I’m okay with that.
Can you name three of your favourite books? 1. “Wideacre” by Philippa Gregory (thanks, Mom, for encouraging me to read Historical Fiction), 2. “Blogger Girl” by Meredith Schorr, 3. “Always Something There to Remind Me” by Beth Harbison.
Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now? I’m currently editing “Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop,” working on notes for my third book, and when I’m needing a break, I work on my Scentsy business (wickless candles and more)!
What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on
their journey? Participate in NaNoWriMo! Seriously, by doing this, it change my life. Not only did I learn about my writing skills, I learned about dedication, determination, and that I wanted to be an author more than anything else. If you don’t complete it in thirty days, don’t stop—just keep on until you have that first draft. Then, the following November, give it another shot, and this time, I bet you won’t be disappointed.
Excerpt from The Right Design
After a long pause, Carrie finally spoke. “Fine. Yes, I’m seeing someone.” And when she said those words, she smiled because sticking it to him felt good. Damn good!
Roger stood up, walked toward her and kneeled down in front of her.
Carrie held her hand up to stop him, closed her eyes and took a breath.
“Does he know you like I do? Does he know how you like your eggs in the morning? Does he know how you have to sleep with socks on every night? Does he know you read magazines from the back to the front?”
She turned her head so she wouldn’t have to face him. “Roger, please leave.” Carrie couldn’t take it anymore.
Roger reached for her, grasping her arms and bringing her attention back to him.
“Get the hell out of here. Now!” Anger shot through Carrie as she raised her voice.
“Does he know how you like to be kissed?” Roger stared at Carrie as he caressed her cheek with the back of his hand.
While his hand had once been a source of soothing touch for her, it now stung. “Leave! We’re over! Get the hell out of here,” she yelled, pointing to the exit.
Suddenly, Roger grabbed her shoulders and pulled her tightly to him, catching her by surprise.
“I can’t do this,” she said trying to wriggle out of his arms, but his grip didn’t loosen. When they made eye contact again, she began to speak, but before she knew it, Carrie felt Roger’s lips on hers. For a moment, Roger had her paralyzed, as their lips reacquainted with one another. Kissing him felt familiar and for a half a second, it was as if nothing had changed between them. Seconds later, when she heard her door open, she immediately pushed Roger away, this time with more force, and saw Brad staring wide-eyed at the two of them. “Brad!” She ran toward him, but he held his hands up to stop her.
“Don’t bother,” he snapped and stormed out of her office.
Carrie quickly brushed past Roger and followed Brad down the hall calling his name, but he didn’t respond, and his pace quickened. “Brad, will you please just listen to me?” Carrie begged again as they quickly walked past Elaine’s desk and out the door. “Please let me explain.” When they made it outside to Brad’s car, he finally stopped and faced her. She tried to reach out to him, but he pulled away.
“What do you want, Carrie?”
Her eyes burned as tears ran down her face. She didn’t know where to start or what to say while memories of the last two days ran through her mind. “I’m so very sorry,” she said, wiping her tears away. “I didn’t know he was coming here.”
“He who? Who is he?” His voice was filled with dismay and spite.
“He’s my ex,” Carrie quietly confessed.
He gave a sarcastic laugh. “Of course he is.”
“We were together for six years, he cheated on me, and then I moved here to get away from him and start over. That’s when I met you.” She hoped that giving him the short version would satisfy him for now. Carrie just wanted things to get back to the way they were before Roger came to Florida.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Of all the many conversations, exes weren’t discussed on either of their parts. “He never came up in conversation. We never talked about our exes.”
“Fine, but how can you not mention someone you were with for that long? That’s kind of a big deal, don’t you think?”
“You and I have only known each other for a few weeks. Besides, at least I don’t zip in and out of women like you do,” she said. “Nor do I have flings with my assistant.”
“Danielle and I were together for only a short time, and that was years ago.”
“Well, geez, I’m sorry I didn’t follow proper Palm Beach etiquette and give you a history of my previous romances,” she fought back, but then realized that she was practically yelling. After taking a breath, she said, “I didn’t mean that, Brad. I’m sorry. I just want us back together.”
“You have a really funny way of showing that. Do you want to be with him?”
She shook her head. “No. I want you.”
He pointed toward the entrance to Ocean Designs. “That’s not the way it looked in your office.”
“I…” she began, but Carrie was at a loss for words. She buried her head in her hands. She’d been caught kissing her cheating ex and now was fighting to be with the man who she’d started to love. She looked up at Brad and began to cry harder.
“I guess I have my answer,” Brad said as he unlocked his door. “Oh, and don’t worry about finishing the project. I’ll have England take over.”
Blurb of “The Right Design”,
Do business and pleasure mix?
In the author's debut novel comes a story about picking up the pieces, letting go of the past, and finding love along the way--even if morals are tested!
Interior designer Carrie Newman could not have envisioned a more perfect life for herself. She had a great job doing what she loved, wonderful friends, and a close relationship with her sister and brother-in-law. Add in an amazing man who she’d hoped would soon become her husband, and her life was perfect. Until one devastating decision ruins her relationship and changes the course of her life.
Determined to make a new start, Carrie leaves Texas and heads to Palm Beach to pick up the pieces of her shattered and broken life. The last thing she expects is to find herself attracted to her first client at her new job--Brad Larson, who has proven himself time and time again to be caddish.
But there’s something beneath the surface of Brad’s arrogant exterior that keeps her craving more of him--something almost sweet that Carrie can’t seem to resist.
Is Carrie ready to take another chance on romance? And will this new design of her life prove to be the right one?
Purchase links - The Right Design is on sale for $0.99, until August 3rd 2015:
Amazon US (Kindle): http://amzn.to/TUmZNX
Amazon US (Paperback): http://amzn.to/1q3qxI9
Amazon - Canada: http://amzn.to/1o8nxYw
Amazon - UK: http://amzn.to/1vGLFFH
Barnes & Noble (Paperback and Nook): http://bit.ly/1AfWkcm
Author bio, (I have attached my bio pic.): Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on several blogs. While Isabella doesn't blog a lot, she focuses her time on featuring other writers, along with writing and editing. Isabella Louise Anderson created Chick Lit Goddess to share the love of the following genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Romance, and Romantic Comedies! She loves featuring authors and their books. She lives in Dallas with her husband and cat. She enjoys spicy Mexican food and drinking margaritas, and can be found spending time with family and friends, cheering on the Texas Rangers, and reading. Isabella's short story, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, was featured in Simon & Fig's Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright, in November 2013. The Right Design is her first novel.
Isabella Louise Anderson’s links:
Isabella Louise Anderson: http://bit.ly/1j5AyWF
Author Facebook “Like” page: http://on.fb.me/1t6PAzC
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