Monday, June 6, 2011

Cynthia Hickey's Candy-Coated Secrets



Title: Candy-Coated Secrets
Publisher: Barbour Publishing

Cover blurb: When a carnival train crashes in front of Summer Meadows’s house, she does what comes naturally—she acts without thinking and volunteers to lead an elephant to the fairground. The animal’s trainer follows close behind but disappears when they reach their destination. When Summer goes looking for the trainer, she finds something altogether different—a woman hanging dead in the shower of one of the trailers. A carnival slew of mishap and misadventure ensue when Summer and her fiancĂ©, Ethan, set out to solve the murder.

1) How did this story come to you?
After my first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, I wanted another idea just as fun for the sequel. During one of my many daydreaming episodes, I thought, “What if somebody asked me to walk an elephant a mile down the road?” Ta-da! Book number two.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I wrote my first cozy on a dare when Barbour asked for submissions. A friend dared me to write a cozy. I didn’t even know what one was. I had to look it up on the internet! Then, I figured it would be fun to try. I wrote it, submitted it in a contest, won first place, acquired an agent, and at the 2007 ACFW conference, Barbour presented me with the contract at the Friday luncheon. It was definitely a whirlwind.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’m actually very shy.
I’ve been on television twice.
Beneath my fat suit, I’m really a size three

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’ve recently contracted a contemporary novella with Barbour that is releasing Fall of 2012. I’m working on a historical right now that I hope to find a home for.

5) Parting comments?
NEVER NEVER NEVER give up on your dreams!

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.cynthiahickey.com/ and Facebook



Margaret Brownley's A Vision of Lucy

Title: A Vision of Lucy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Cover blurb:Anything can happen when posing for Lucy—and usually does.
Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. If she can earn money making photographs, then maybe her father will see that what she does is worthy, more than just a distraction. And her deepest hope is that he’ll see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, whose paintings still hung on their walls.
But trouble follows Lucy on every photo shoot: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.
When Lucy meets David Wolf—a quiet, rustic man who lives on the outskirts of town—she thinks she can catch the attention of the editor with his photograph.
But instead of landing her a job, Lucy’s photograph starts a chain of events that uncovers the truth about David’s past that left him deeply scarred. For David the truth turns out to be more painful than the lies—especially when it keeps him from the woman he loves.

1) How did this story come to you?
Oddly enough it was an advertisement in an old newspaper that sparked the inspiration for my heroine Lucy Fairbanks. Julia Shannon of San Francisco took the family portrait to new heights when she shockingly advertised herself as a daguerreotypist and midwife.
Lucy doesn’t deliver babies but she does take herself to new heights—literarily—in search of the perfect photo.

2) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I was chased by outlaws, started a stampede and burned down a church. Oh, wait, that wasn’t me—that was Lucy!

3) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
My story “Snow Angel” will appear in the Log Cabin Christmas collection in September. The first book in my Last Chance Ranch series is scheduled for publication March 2012. I am currently working on book 2 in the series.

4) Parting comments?
Thank you so much for letting me visit with you today—it’s been a pleasure.

5) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I’d love you to visit me at the old homestead at http://www.margaretbrownley.com/. You might want to check out my reader contest.

Marybeth Whalen's She Makes It Look Easy


Title: She Makes It Look Easy
Publisher: David C Cook

Cover blurb: Ariel Baxter has just moved into the neighborhood of her dreams. The chaos of domestic life and the loneliness of motherhood, however, moved with her. Then she meets her neighbor, Justine Miller. Justine ushers Ariel into a world of clutter-free houses, fresh-baked bread, homemade crafts, neighborhood playdates, and organization techniques designed to make marriage better and parenting manageable.
Soon Ariel realizes there is hope for peace, friendship, and clean kitchen counters. But when rumors start to circulate about Justine’s real home life, Ariel must choose whether to believe the best about the friend she admires or consider the possibility that “perfection” isn’t always what it seems to be.
A novel for every woman who has looked at another woman’s life and said, “I want what she has,” She Makes It Look Easy reminds us of the danger of pedestals and the beauty of authentic friendship.

1) How did this story come to you?
I was sorting out a situation I saw unfold in my own community. I kept wondering if things could’ve turned out differently than they did, really questioning not only the people directly involved, but those of us who saw what was going on and did nothing. Because I process things best through writing—through telling stories—I began to play with this idea, involving other things that I had on my mind—issues of comparison and contentment with women, things like that. Out of all of that, She Makes It Look Easy came to be!

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published:
It was my second novel so it was much different than the first. I think my main challenge this time was not having the kind of time to write it that I had with my first novel, The Mailbox. When you’re writing that first novel, you don’t realize what a luxury it is to just write when you feel like it. 

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers:
1. I have never been overseas. The only “international” travel I’ve done is to Mexico and Canada.
2. My husband is the son of one of my dad’s friends. They never imagined we’d grow up and get married.
3. I actually like to cook. And read cookbooks, cooking magazines, etc. This is reflected in the book as the two characters seem to do quite a bit of cooking or talking about cooking.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I will have a new novel hopefully coming out in fall of 12. This one is a follow up (not a sequel!) to The Mailbox. I’m writing it right now.

5) Parting comments?
This book was a hard one to write. It delves into things that many women have struggled with or are struggling with. I hope you’ll grab some friends, read the book and sit down and talk about it. Some good—and necessary—conversations will come from it.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
http://www.marybethwhalen.com/