Today I'd like to welcome Carole Brown. Please tell us how you developed a love of story, Carole.
I think it began way back when my mother read to me and my two brothers. I remember that after reading over and over a story she would “skip” a page and we children never let her get away with that! Listening to my mother read and bringing those stories to life, created a desire to pen on paper my own imaginative ideas, from that journal of a caveman’s life to today in pursuing my mystery and suspense novels--all with touches of whimsy and romance.
I honestly believe that “love of story” was a God-given thing he instilled within me from before birth, and it grew. I didn’t realize totally that I would someday accept and become the author I am today, but I’m so glad I am.
I definitely can relate. :) What do you want readers to come away with after reading your books?
I love to provide an entertaining read for readers, but more than that, I love including hints of problems and situations that protagonists overcome, that readers can apply to their lives and encourage them that they can triumph over whatever they’re facing.
That's wonderful. What is your 'how I got published' story?
Once I got serious about fiction writing, I hit the writing runway fast and hard. I realized early on that I desperately needed a refresher course on what authors were putting out so I began attending classes, conferences and workshops, I joined writing groups, gained critique partners, an agent, and wrote! After the sixth novel, I began looking for a publisher that fit my criteria. Fortunately, with God’s help, and confidence that I was approaching the “right” publishing company, I received a “yes” to my novel proposal. They have been wonderful in working with my ideas and in doing what they can to promote my debut novel.
Sounds like your career has really taken off. Congratulations. Tell us about your new book.
Knight in Shining Apron is the second book in my Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery series. Here’s the blurb:
Starli Cameron gave up her career plans to be a concert pianist to marry the man of her dreams. He turned out to be a nightmare. When he dies in a car accident, Starli takes the insurance money and builds a successful and upscale restaurant: Apple Blossoms in rural West Virginia. Threats from someone determined to ruin her life and the suspicious romantic advances from her new chef force Starli to search her heart and finally turn to God for real healing.
Sir Joel Peterman-Blair, top notch chef from England, is roped by his uncle, into filling in as head Chef at Apple Blossoms. Joel, with his sanguine-personality, has always laughed and flirted his way through life. But now, confronted with and attracted to the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, Joel has to prove his sincerity and depth of character to his icy-cold employer. Can his love for God and for this woman reach out far enough to rescue her from her own mistrust and bitterness? Will he learn that life is not all play?
And can they both work together to find the source of threats that seem to be coming from Starli’s past?
That has my interest perked. :) How does faith play a part in your writing?
I like to go with the story plot line and sometimes the protagonists. Let me give you some examples. In my debut book, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, the setting was within a false cult. Caralynne, growing up within the cult, had never known anything but the falseness and ugliness of the cult. I wanted to show the depths that she could have--almost--went, and that the minister (the co-protagonist) showed her a better way. This novel had a level of faith that was a little deeper.
In my Denton and Alex Denton series, the couple are happily married and Christians, so I go with a lighter faith evidence: prayers, actions that bring out the good in others.
So, although faith always plays a part in my novels, it has and will continue to depend on the story itself.
They all sound great, Carole. What are you working on now?
Finishing up the second book in my WWII Spies series, called: A Flute in the Willows. It features Josie Rayner Patterson, the second red headed sister of the Rayner family, the rebellious one who eloped with Jerry Patterson in the first book. Here’s the blurb:
Serving as a spy in the middle of Germany, Jerry’s prepared for the risks involved until the sister of a high ranking official falls in love with him. That would be fine except he has a lovely young wife back home that he adores. Besides all he really wants is to find the list of names he came for and if using Vanda to get it is what’s required then he’s willing to pay the price.
Until she’s killed helping him escape and he’s shot and almost dies from the infection. Faced with the life as a cripple, Jerry’s bitter and angry at the world and God, and guilt ridden to have enjoyed Vanda’s attention so much. He shouldn’t have encouraged her, should have been honest with her, but he wasn’t. He didn’t betray his country, but the harm from betraying his own morals and even more so, Josie’s trust—if she knew—is more than he can endure.
Watching Josie, his wife’s desire to succeed as the world’s greatest female ice skater, Jerry shoves away Josie’s concern and love determined to give her a chance to leave him, a damaged husband. But when her life is threatened by Vanda’s brother who enters the United States with the goal of making him pay both for his spying theft and the death of his sister, Jerry realizes he can’t stand by and do nothing. Once again, Jerry has to risk all—only this time it’s for the very soul and life of himself—Josie.
Josie Rayner Patterson has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she’s scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Was he tortured? Has she lost his love? She knows he was injured—the crippled leg proves it, but he refuses to sleep with her, to talk with her, to share with her. He’s a stranger in their home.
Only her skating helps her keep her sanity even though she has her own demons to fight. Always rebellious at the restricted life she’d grown up in, she develops a greater taste for the liquor that dulls her troubled soul and climbs higher and higher to the peak of success she craves.
Until the night she makes a fatal mistake in the skating competition all because of too many drinks beforehand. She suffers a broken ankle, so damaged it will never heal strong enough for the tough practicing she has to do to become professional. Josie is wild with grief and angry at life itself. How could the God her family serves do this to her? She’s lost her two loves and has nothing left to live for.
Until her brother-in-law, Tyrell Walker, minister and husband to her sister, Emma Jaine, invites her to play her long-forgotten flute in a morning service. Shocked and touched by the heartfelt responses her rendition produces, Josie turns to her flute for solace and little realizes that her music is not only healing her own heart, but touching Jerry’s deep buried feelings too.
And when she joins her husband in finding and bringing down the person trying to wreck what little they have of life, she’s determined to do all she can. If flirting with Winifried Rhoderick is what it takes, she’ll do it.
These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their own selves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.
Wow! Sounds like lots of things happening in that one. :) How can readers learn more about you?
To buy the book, go here:
Amazon Author Page:
Your turn. What questions do you have for Carole? Don't forget this month I'm giving away a copy of: