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Bio: I am the youngest of four girls, beating out my twin sister for that title by a scant two minutes. A self-proclaimed introvert growing up, I spent my youth making dollhouses for my cardboard figurines to act out the drama I’d created for them. I met my husband on a blind date, and this past June we celebrated our 25th anniversary. After having spent nearly fifteen years working in export/transportation, I am now a stay at home mom to two boys (one who loves me unconditionally, and one who loves me only when we’re not in public). We have a menagerie of animals which includes one hamster, one persnickety cat, and one dog who thinks he’s a person.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Kentucky? Born and raised in the bluegrass state, I find Kentucky to be a wonderful place to raise my family. Where I live, the views alone can conjure up fantastic settings, as well as set the tone for specific moods my characters are experiencing.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I would not be where—or who—I am to today if not for my husband. He’s the only one I trust to read my novels while they are still in their infancy stages, and he listens to me babble on and on about my characters as if they were an extended part of our family without rolling his eyes. He’s my support system, best friend, and cheerleader all rolled into one.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? When I was around eight or nine, I would have to go every day after school to the hospital emergency room where my mom worked. I’d sit in one of those plastic chairs—hearing and seeing everything—until my dad came and picked me up. I probably saw a lot of things I shouldn’t have and some of those images are still embedded in my mind to this day. That experience, however, gave me an appreciation, as well as a fascination for doctors; an affinity that I put to use when I wrote After All Is Said And Done.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? As a child, I was a big daydreamer and lover of drama, and as I matured, those daydreams began to consume me. Writing became a huge outlet for those stories. For years, I had this idea rattling around in my mind about two couples who had an affair and how it affects their relationship when a child comes of it. I began writing it when I was in my twenties, and for two years, worked on it non-stop. When I was at work, and a certain passage came to mind, I’d jot it down on a sticky note, and when I came home, I’d empty my pockets of those notes and plop myself down in front of the computer. Once After All Is Said And Done was finished, I put the manuscript in a drawer and forgot about it because…well…life happened. Then, when my youngest son started kindergarten, I pulled it out, dusted it off, and fell right back into step with my first love.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? When someone writes to me and tells me how much they loved one of my books. It absolutely makes my day and encourages me to continue on with the next one.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Having gone the self-published route, I can honestly say that I’m glad I went that way. Why? Because going rogue allows me the freedom to publish on my own terms, and my own time. My royalties are mine (I don’t have to give a cut to the middleman), and the rewards are instantaneous. I take great pleasure in putting it out there for the world to see knowing that each breath my characters draw, each subtle movement of their hands, and every inflection in their voices…is there because I want them to be.
How many published books do you have? I have published four books to date.
Please list the titles of all your books.
After All Is Said And Done: A Novel of Infidelity, Healing, & Forgiveness
The Monster of Silver Creek
Seasons of Darkness
Tragedy at Silver Creek
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? The title for me is usually the premise for the story and happens 99.9 of the time; the exception being my first novel, After All Is Said And Done. I was halfway into writing it and had every intention of publishing it as Unforgiven Sins, but one day I was on my way home and “Look What You’ve Done to Me” by Boz Skaggs came on the radio. There’s one line that goes, “…and after all is said and done…after all, you are the one…” I knew right then and there—on a four-lane highway during rush hour—that this was going to be the title. It was a perfect fit for the events that took place in the story.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write edgy women’s Fiction, as well as mystery/suspense. Both of these genres gives me the freedom to write my characters with flaws because even heroes have a chink in their armor. It’s what makes them human—and I find that fascinating.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? The Monster of Silver Creek
What was your inspiration, spark, or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? A few years ago, my husband and I, along with our two sons, went to Mammoth Cave. When we got there, we were excited to learn that a new entrance to the cave had been discovered and was now open for tours, but to get there, you had to take a bus. So after paying for our tickets, we boarded the bus and were soon underway. As we headed down a narrow, desolate road—with a dense forest on either side—I casually shifted my attention to the driver. The man looked to me as though operating the bus was his day job and at night he went back to his prison cell. (I kid you not!) With my imagination being what it is, I began carving out a story involving a serial killer of women set in a small town. Seven weeks later, The Monster of Silver Creek was born.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write your story the way you want and not the way you think others would want you to.
Who is your favorite author and why? I like a good mystery, as well as books that contain a lot of drama, however, I don’t limit myself to those genres. If I like a book’s synopsis and cover, I’ll give it a try. If I had to choose an author, it would have to be Danielle Steel because the characters in her books are so endearing that I find myself wanting to take them home for dinner.
This small town in Prairie County, Montana has been rocked to its very core with the brutal murders of four women. A serial killer, whose calling card is as unusual as it is twisted, is on the loose – and Police Chief Nathan Sommers is bent on stopping him at all costs.
While tracking the murderer, Nathan must battle his own demons as he tries in vain to cope with the death of his wife. He feels her dying was a direct result of his actions and is consumed with guilt. Nathan’s personal life becomes even more complicated when he meets Katie, the pretty new owner of the bakery. He slowly builds a relationship with her, but still struggles with Jenny’s death.
As Nathan draws closer to the killer, everything in his life suddenly comes undone. He is forced to deal with his feelings for Katie as well as his love for his dead wife.
Book Review for The Monster of Silver Creek: Chief of Police Nathan Sommers is a man weighed down with an excessive amount of professional and personal baggage. He lost his wife and unborn child by making poor decisions that he has sworn never to repeat. Yet Nathan refuses to allow himself any forgiveness for his sins or move forward with a new relationship. He is taking care of the residents of Silver Creek, Montana to the best of his ability and worries for the residents and vacationers safety. This is especially true now that there is a murderer walking among them preying on young women. Nathan has made it his personal mission to find the person responsible for the brutal murders pay for what they have done.
Katie Winstead is new in town and giving herself a fresh start with her bakery business. Life may have given her some lemons but she has her grandma's recipe to make lemonade so watch out. Meeting Nathan has been a fabulous but frustrating experience as he will not share his problems and keeps running from her questions as fast as he arrives. Katie is sure she can win him over but getting past the wall around his heart is proving to be a daunting task.
With the body count rising and the mystery creating havoc in this small town Nathan has to dig deep into every resource and stop these crimes. No clue makes sense, the women have no connection, and the pattern is not something the FBI can even help with.
Nathan treats every crime with the same respect and is beginning to see that he is a better person than he thought. His friendships run deep and the possibility of a relationship with Katie is within reach. Solving the murders and then working on his personal life are the order of priority but Nathan can feel himself among the living again after so much grief.
This book will scare you, entertain you, and make you think twice before opening the door to a stranger. The content is one to give you reason to question those that walk around us but it also shows that you can move past your own mistakes and forgiveness is possible.
What would you do if you found out the son you loved wasn't yours? Ethan Harrington's world has just been shattered...Nobody wakes up one morning and decides that today is the day they are going to cheat on their spouse, but when the opportunity presents itself - it ultimately becomes a choice, and that choice, whether good or bad, can have irrevocable consequences.
At thirty-two years of age, Ethan is a brilliant doctor, devoted husband, father to be - and borderline alcoholic. He has spent the better part of a year trying to forgive his wife, Jessica, for her infidelity, but her betrayal with a colleague of his has left him hurt beyond words.
That hurt slowly begins to heal with the birth of his son, but it isn't long before he finds out what Jessica has been so desperately trying to keep from him. Ethan's life steadily begins to crumble - and his drinking, fueled by this discovery, slowly engulfs him. With his marriage now in pieces and his sanity questionable, Ethan struggles to come to terms with his alcoholism and face a past that he has spent a lifetime trying to forget.
Guilt is a powerful thing, and former deputy Jack Collins is mired in it. Unable to forget the events that have taken place in the town he was sworn to protect, he feels as if he is slowly drowning as he tries to cope with the aftermath of a serial killer’s reign of terror, as well as his new—and unwanted—job as chief of police.
When the body of a young woman, having the same puncture wounds as the serial killer’s previous victims, is discovered, Jack must determine if this is a copycat crime or the work of a possible accomplice—either of which—could put the killer’s only surviving victim in grave danger.
As Jack delves deeper into the murder, his vow to keep the victim safe, combined with the secret he’s been harboring, begins to take its toll. His sudden inability to confide in his wife, Cheryl, causes their home, which was once a haven for him, to become just another source of tension.
An overzealous news team, a threat from his not so distant past, and a mayor who wants the murder swept under the rug, only add to the pressure surrounding Jack as he struggles to do what’s right on all levels in this riveting, stand-alone sequel to The Monster of Silver Creek.
Ethan Harrington's innocence was lost seven years ago when his mother took her own life. Forced to grow up in a hurry, he quickly learned to build a wall around his heart, vowing never to let it be hurt again. Left alone with his controlling and abusive father in an isolated farmhouse, he struggles to live among the shattered remains of a family that was never functional to begin with.
A kindhearted doctor, a beautiful girl, and a caring nanny all love him in different ways, but Ethan, now sixteen and still ravaged by his mother's suicide, turns to what he has seen his father take comfort in time and time again - thus giving rise to an inner demon that will not turn him loose.
A story of hope - even in the darkest of times, this is a coming-of-age novel that depicts the sometimes difficult, and oftentimes complex, relationship experienced between fathers and sons when tragedy strikes.