Mystery Thriller Week Author Spotlight: Cheryl Lane

Today I welcome author Cheryl Lane to my blog. Her novel, Starlight Wishes, is sure to appeal to anyone who prefers a hefty dash of romance with their mystery and suspense! And to make things even more exciting, Starlight Wishes is FREE on Kindle today so there’s never been a better time to read it!

While interviewing Cheryl, I discovered that both of our families accuse of us cheating whenever we play the board game, Clue. Maybe mystery writers are just really good at playing Clue…Did our families ever consider that? In any event, here’s more about Cheryl:

cheryl-lane-headshotAuthor Bio:  Cheryl R. Lane was born and raised in Tennessee and went to college at East Tennessee State University before marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Virginia Beach, Virginia. She started writing as a hobby when she was in college after purchasing a couple of Southern Heritage cookbooks, which were filled with pages of beautiful old plantation homes. She used to sit outside in her backyard and type on a manual typewriter at a picnic table under the trees.  She continued writing after moving to Virginia Beach and visiting beautifully restored homes in Williamsburg as well as plantations on the James River. She has worked as a medical transcriptionist for over 20 years while writing on the side, and finally decided to self-publish “Wellington Cross” on Amazon in December 2012. Since then, she has published more in the series to include Wellington Grove, A Wellington Christmas (a novella), Wellington Rose, and recently Wellington Belle. She has also started writing a modern-day paranormal romance Angel Series, set in Virginia Beach, which includes Starlight Wishes and Sunrise Kisses. She is still married to her sweetheart after 28 years, and they have one son and a Havanese bichon. Her website is www.cheryllaneauthor.com, and you can also connect with her as Cheryl R. Lane on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Pinterest, YouTube, and StoryFinds.

starlight_wishes_cover_for_kindlejpg2135Starlight Wishes Back Cover Blurb:  What would you do if you fell in love with your guardian angel?  Only you didn’t know he was your guardian angel.  You just knew he was a handsome, mysterious guy who helps you get your life in order and who has incredible blue eyes.  That’s just what happens to Cassie Callaway who, at sixteen, gets herself into some trouble in her hometown of Virginia Beach.  A guy named Skyler saves her from drowning in the ocean and she ends up falling in love with him.  He has many secrets, however, including the shocking revelation that he is actually her guardian angel, and that their love is forbidden…

See more of Starlight Wishes on Amazon.

 

Interview with Cheryl Lane:

Hi Cheryl! Thanks for taking part in my Mystery Thriller Week Author Spotlight series. If your book was made into a movie, who do you envision playing the leading roles?

I envision Britt Robertson as Cassie, Stephen Colletti as Skyler, Jennifer Aniston as Jen, and Keith Urban as Luke.

When did you first know that you wanted to become a writer?

I think when I first saw The Waltons as a kid.  I loved John-Boy.  He was my favorite character, and I loved how he wrote (typed) by the window.

What attracts you to writing in the mystery/thriller genre?

I have always loved reading mysteries since I was a child reading Nancy Drew Mysteries, Sherlock Holmes stories, and Agatha Christie.  I love trying to solve a mystery, trying to figure out who did what and when.  One of my favorite board games was Clue.  I’m pretty good at it, too.  My husband and son say I cheat – I don’t!  I just take lots of notes!

What time of day do you prefer to write?

I try to write from 3:00 to 5:00 in the afternoons and/or from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.  I would write more if I had the time – see next question.

Is writing your full-time job? If not, what else do you do?

No, not yet.  Right now, I am also a medical transcriptionist and work from home.  I hope to quit this job someday and write full-time.

What are your hobbies outside of writing?

I do some kind of exercise every day, in the form of run/walking, yoga, Zumba or Cize dance classes, strength training, P90X and Boot Camp classes, bike riding in the neighborhood, or kickboxing.  I have participated in 10 half-marathons and countless other shorter races like 5Ks, 8Ks, 10Ks, and a 14K.  Other than that, I read every day, and on occasion, I do a little knitting.

Thank you for joining us Cheryl. It has been a pleasure! Post your comments to Cheryl here or email her at:  Cheryllaneauthor@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for my next interview with mystery author Judy Sheluk on Feb 1st!

 

 

Mystery Thriller Week Author Spotlight: Catherine Dilts

Today I’m pleased to welcome mystery author, Catherine Dilts to my blog. Apart from writing mysteries, it seems Catherine and I have a lot in common, including a love for the outdoors and a soft spot for our four-legged, equine friends:) Her Rock Shop Mystery series looks fantastic and I can’t wait to add it to my 2017 reading list! Now here’s more about Catherine:

catherine-dilts-author-photo2549Catherine Dilts is the author of the Rock Shop Mystery series, set in the Colorado mountains, while her short stories appear in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Catherine’s day job deals with environmental regulatory issues, and for fun she fishes, hikes, and runs. You can learn more about Catherine at www.CatherineDilts.com.

Stone Cold Blooded – A Rock Shop Mystery, published by Encircle Publications LLC, is available in paperback, and in e-book for Kindle and Nook.

 

stonecoldbloodedfront-52550Back cover blurb:  In the third Rock Shop Mystery, Morgan Iverson’s reclusive survivalist neighbor is blown to bits. The police believe he stumbled into his own booby trap, but his granddaughter asks Morgan and newspaperman Kurt Willard to prove it was murder. After the explosion, unidentified creatures make elusive appearances near the rock shop, drawing a summertime invasion of true believers hoping to prove the existence of aliens. Meanwhile, Morgan learns that there may be more to her Triceratops than just the brow horn. Finding the rest of the dinosaur’s remains could solve both her financial problems, and the mystery of her neighbor’s demise.

 

 

Interview with Catherine Dilts:

Hi Catherine! What attracts you to writing in the mystery genre?

In fictional mysteries, justice is always served. The bad guys and gals receive their just desserts in an improbably swift fashion. This is fiction, after all, and we writers can make sure crime doesn’t pay. I believe readers enjoy mysteries because they crave the resolution often lacking in real life. Crimes can go weeks, months, years, even forever, without solution. Of course, I’m speaking about the sort of mystery I write. I want happy endings, even if I have to invent them myself.

Is writing your full-time job? If not, what else do you do?

I have a full-time day job as an environmental regulatory specialist. My duties involve cobbling together the paperwork to show my company’s products meet global requirements for heavy metals and hazardous substances restrictions. Have you ever noticed on your electronic devices a little trash can with a line through it? Part of my job is determining whether a product needs that symbol or not. I hope to write fiction full-time someday, but I’m afraid that will have to wait for retirement, which is still several years away.

What time of day do you prefer to write?

Early morning is my most creative time. That may be a function of having a day job. I get up at 5 am to write before heading to work. I write any time of day I can get, but morning is when the ideas really flow.

What are you working on now?

I have set ambitious goals for 2017. Two short stories are in development, while a third is running past my Beta readers. I am toying with ideas for a fourth Rock Shop Mystery, and outlining a stand-alone.

What has been the highlight of your writing career so far?

My first fiction sale was to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. I am still kind of in a daze that they bought my story, and better yet have published four more. That is definitely the peak experience of my short fiction career. I also had a blast attending Bouchercon in 2014 and 2015. Finding inclusion and acceptance in the reading and writing community has been wonderful.

Those sound like amazing accomplishments! Thank you for joining us, Catherine! It has been a pleasure!

Please check back soon for my next MTW Author Spotlight with romantic suspense author, Cheryl Lane.

 

 

 

Mystery Thriller Week Author Spotlight: JB Richards

I’m excited to start my new Author Spotlight Blog Series in anticipation of Mystery Thriller Week (Feb. 12th-22nd.) Every few days through February 22nd, I’ll be interviewing an author in the mystery/thriller genre in a quest to help fans of mystery/thrillers/suspense discover great new books and learn more about the authors who wrote them.

My first guest author, JB Richards, writes YA novels that delve into the mystery surrounding Jesus’ “missing years”–the years during his teens and twenties when little was written about him in the Bible and elsewhere. Her books are sure to appeal to history buffs, mystery enthusiasts, and romance readers alike. Personally, I’m most impressed with the number of awards her book has won! Here’s more about JB Richards…

jeanne-rich-headshot

JB Richards is an historian and international award-winning Amazon, Goodreads, and Xlibris author. Richards was a nominee for Author of the Year in the Indie Author Books 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards. Her debut novel, Miriamne the Magdala —The First Chapter in the Yeshua and Miri Novel Series, was voted a Top 10 Best Historical Fiction Novel, Top 20 Best New Adult Novel, and Top 50 Best Young Adult Novel, and was a nominee for Best Romance Novel of the 2016 Summer Indie Book Awards (SIBA’s). Miriamne the Magdala has been awarded a Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Seal and has continued to be nominated in multiple book award venues. In December of 2016, Miriamne the Magdala ranked in the TOP 3 on Goodreads/Listopia’s Best Indie Books 2016-2017 and TOP 10 on Goodreads/Listopia’s Self-Pub & Indie Books Worth Reading lists. Her upcoming second chapter in The Yeshua and Miri Novel Series, Yeshua the Christ:  The Silk Road, is due for publication in 2017.

miriamne-cover

Back Cover Blurb:  Miriamne the Magdala tells the richly detailed story of an ancient Jewish family in crisis. When twelve-year-old Miriamne and her thirteen-year-old long-lost cousin, Yeshua, are unexpectedly reunited, sparks fly. But the grave illness of a parent causes turmoil and anxiety within the two related Houses, especially for Yeshua who recognizes that his earthly mission is fast upon him and his miraculous powers are growing out of control. As the life-and-death situation escalates, he begins to question his allegiance to his Divine Father while Miriamne finds herself torn between her newfound love for Yeshua and her premonitions about his unimaginable fate. Fall in love with the boy destined to be King of kings and the girl who captured his heart forever in Miriamne and Magdala, the provocative and compelling introductory chapter to The Yeshua and Miri Novel Series, the greatest love story never told!

INTERVIEW with JB Richards:

Hi, JB. I know your characters lived long ago, but if you could spend a day with one character from your book, who would it be? Why?

Wow, that’s a tough question! I mean, the obvious choice would be Yeshua … But since I hang out with him all day long, with him buzzing in my ear about what to write, I’d have to choose The Commander—Micah bar Abram—Miriamne’s father. The Commander is a study in contrasts. He’s a solid family man and dedicated husband who just can’t wait to join his cousins and laborers in the odd afternoon spent getting drunk, placing wagers, and winning wrestling matches. He is a good and loyal Jew, but he isn’t afraid to bend the rules when the laws simply don’t make sense. He’s a brave and decorated soldier at heart—the retired Hekatontarchus of the Hyperatai … the Captain of the Jerusalem Temple Guard—tough, embattled, and unyielding with those who portend to be his enemies, yet his children have him wrapped around their little fingers. Although Micah can act like a bit of a rake at times, charming his way through life and flirting with other women at social gatherings, he’s always careful to make certain his beloved Salome has her eye on him and is within hearing distance at all times. His romance with his wife is as passionate as it was when it was new, but The Commander equally enjoys cavorting with his men. In the past, it was his soldiers who meant everything to him. In the present, it’s his bonded cousins, Reuben and Joshua, and his day-laborers he loves to be with the most.

If your book was made into a movie, who do you envision playing the leading roles?

actor-headshotI used to think a young Tyler Posey would have made a great actress-headshotYeshua—with his raggedy mane of jet black curls and his whimsical nature. Trying to come up with someone who might currently fill the role, the ladies in my group—the Indie Fab Five: Aliya DalRae – Author of “Sweet Vengeance”, Renee Gauthier – Author of “Control”, Eva Pasco – Author of “An Enlightening Quiche”, and Lyra Shanti – Author of the “Shiva XIV” Novel Series—nominated Cole Sprouse for Yeshua and Chloe Grace Moretz for Miriamne. I believe they did a very good job!

How do you deal with rejections and/or negative reviews?

I welcome them! Don’t get me wrong … It’s not that I want to get negative reviews or expect to get many of them, but I welcome the feedback they provide in order to improve my writing.

Many authors are devastated when they discover a low review rating has come in on their book. Of course, it’s upsetting. Who wants to hear that a reader hated their novel? But before you have that knee-jerk reaction to defend your work with a written response to that reader, take a deep breath and examine the situation. Most authors can easily tell the difference between a review that’s giving an honest critique of one’s work and one that’s a load of bunk. Any reviewer who’s given your book a 1 or 2-Star rating with no reason indicated should be considered invalid. It’s meaningless. It’s like reader graffiti: tag the author with your mark and run away! There’s absolutely no purpose to a rating that does not include a commentary other than to diminish the author’s work. My best advice is to walk away from this type of situation. Any rebuttal or comment will only make you sound defensive and unprofessional.

I completely agree. So, what are you working on now?

As a historian, I’m constantly gathering research for the development of The Yeshua and Miri Novel Series, which includes this current installment—“Miriamne the Magdala”, “Yeshua the Christ: The Silk Road”, “Thomas the Twin: The Sefer Revealed”, “Mark the Scribe: The Angel’s Gospel”, and “Princess Sarah: The Daughter of the King”—as well a 5 chapter prequel on the generation before Yeshua and Miriamne, and a 5 chapter sequel on the subsequent generations of Yeshua’s family, concluding with the rise of the Merovingian dynasty.

Currently, I’m writing “Yeshua the Christ: The Silk Road” to be published and released later this year (2017).

Which well-known authors have inspired your writing?

Many authors inspired me to write, but there are two women authors who impressed upon me some important views about women in ancient times; Anita Diamant, Author of “The Red Tent”, and Anne Rice, Author of the “Christ the Lord” novel series (includes “Out of Egypt” & “The Road to Cana”). Diamant’s powerful and introspective look into the lives of women in biblical times instilled in me a deep appreciation for what women had to go through—and put up with—in simply going about and living their day to day lives during biblical times. Rice, on the other hand, impressed upon me the important concept of having Yeshua and Miriamne be the first-person protagonist in each of their self-titled novels.

 Up until the time I read Rice’s novel, “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt”, I had never before considered the impact one would feel by having Yeshua tell his own story from his own perspective. I’m not certain whether it was due to respect or reverence to a religious figure held so sacred by his followers, but the idea of getting into Jesus/Yeshua’s head and having him act the protagonist in any form of traditional media, whether it be through biographies, movies, miniseries, etc., was something that, as far as I knew, had never before been done. After reading Ms. Rice’s series, I was more determined than ever to portray Yeshua as an actual historical figure, both human and divine, and to allow him to tell his own story from his own point of view. I did the same with “Miriamne the Magdala”, and once my protagonist’s viewpoint became personal, it made all the difference in the world!  

What subjects do you enjoy writing about and why?

As an historian, I’m perfectly comfortable writing within with my own genres—Historical Fiction, Gnostic Fiction, Religious Fiction, Christian Fiction—since I’ve concentrated on that particular field of study and done extensive research on the lives of Jesus, Mary the Magdala, and the early Christian community for nearly a quarter of a century. That research extends to everything and anything that impacted and shaped the lives of the Jewish people and the early Christian community in and around Jesus’ time. My research portfolio includes, but is not limited to: the history of the region; Jewish culture, tradition, and law; neighboring cultures and their own religious traditions; the relationships between political powerhouses involved in Middle Eastern affairs—including the Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian, and Persian Empires; international and domestic trade and economic influences; and even the fashions and style trends of that time! Through my research, I’ve become somewhat of an expert on these subjects, and I think it’s safe to say The Yeshua and Miri Novel Series will keep me quite busy and content in my career as an historian and author for the remainder of my days!

Wow! Your books sound fascinating. Thank you for participating! Please learn more about JB Richards on her website and blog: YeshuaAndMiriNovelSeries.com  or leave a comment for her below.

In the meantime, stay tuned for the next MTW Author Spotlight with mystery author, Catherine Dilts!

 

Mystery Thriller Week

mystery-thriller-week-logoI’m so excited to be a part of Mystery Thriller Week this year–both as an author and a blogger! Not familiar with Mystery Thriller Week? It’s a ten-day online event featuring book reviews, giveaways, interviews, and articles on all topics related to the mystery/thriller genre. Hopefully, it will also allow readers to meet their new favorite spine-tingling books and the authors who wrote them! To this end, I’ll be spotlighting TEN Mystery Thriller Week authors on my blog between January 22nd and February 22nd. So, prepare to read some amazing author interviews, get to know the people behind the pages, and find your next suspenseful read…