How did you come to be interested in the Lei Crime Kindle World?
I was asked by Toby Neal to be an advanced reader for her first Lei Crime book, Blood Orchids. I fell in love with the setting and the characters and continued to read the following books as they came out.
When Toby first announced the Lei Crime Kindle World, she asked me if I could write something for it. I was overloaded with my own work and life in Ecuador at that time and had to say no. A year later, Toby asked again and I was thrilled to accept the challenge.
Tell us how your story links to the Lei Crime Series. Characters, setting, specific event?
Paradise Down takes place on the island of Kaua`i where Jared Stevens, younger brother of Michael Stevens, is vacationing. The time setting falls into place shortly after Toby’s book Fire Beach. Jared overhears a phone conversation between a the main character, Lucia Santerez, and her best friend back on the mainland. Always a gentleman, he had to offer to help a lady in distress. And thus the story begins….
I also was fortunate to be able to include a character introduced in another Lei Crime Kindle World novella written by Scott Bury. I pulled the character Special Agent Vanessa Storm from his story, Torn Roots.
The Lei Crime Series are police procedural mysteries with a twist of romance. What genres do you explore in your story?
Paradise Down is definitely a mystery with a bit of adventure. While I’d have loved to link Jared and Lucia, it wasn’t in the cards. Maybe Polo will find his love in my next novella. Who’s Polo? You’ll have to read Paradise Down to find out.
Tell us a little about your main character. Why do you think readers will like her?
Lucia Santerez left Hawaii to attend college on the mainland. Her mother died while she was gone and with an irresponsible brother her only living relative, she refused to return, opting to stay on the mainland and work.
After her acceptance to the University of Hawaii, she decided to spend the summer helping her brother in his newly purchased dive shop. When she arrives, her brother is missing and her life is put in danger. New friends help her through the trying times and bring her a new awareness of family and friendships as well as the realization of how much she missed Hawaii.
Share some of your story about becoming a writer.
I think I was destined to be a writer – in the 4th grade, I took my toy typewriter and painstakingly typed out the neighborhood news, one copy at a time, and sold it to the neighbors for ten cents each copy.
I became an IT professional, so non-fiction writing was the norm for me until retirement. In the late 1990’s, I became involved in writing web content, being one of the very first guides at The Mining Company (now About.com). I also wrote for BellaOnline.com and Suite101.com. I soon added a couple of regular print columns for an Rving magazine and a local seniors newspaper.
Fast forward to 2012 and my involvement with the Facebook writing communities. I decided to try my hand at writing flash fiction. Some pieces won prizes and some were published in anthologies, the die was cast. After participating in the 2012 April A to Z Blog Challenge, I took the twenty-six flash fiction stories I had written for the challenge, and put them in an ebook on Amazon. Now I was truly hooked.
Other writers told me about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I was intrigued. I’d been concentrating on writing ultra short fiction. Could I write a novel? I participated in the August Camp NaNoWriMo and produced the first 50k words for Not a Whisper. In November, I joined again and produced my first, and currently only, romance novel, Home Again.
Do you have a background related to your writing? What makes you interesting outside of your books? Authors are often some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met!
Let’s see – I hoard pens, notebooks and stationary. I learned to ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle at age 55 and at age 58, alone and widowed, I toured the country on my Softail Deluxe, riding over 27k miles through 42 states. Two years later I sold everything and hit the road in a 29′ Class C motorhome, pulling a small trailer with for my motorcycle. In fact, this is how I met my husband. We were at an RV rally in Gillette, WY, both widowed, full-time Rvers and motorcyclists. Fate!
We continued traveling the country in his RV until December 2013 when we moved to Ecuador for two years. Anyone interested can read our old blog, “Retired in Cuenca” for more information. We moved back to the US in January of this year and are doing a lot of cruising. My husband scuba dives and I write!
What are you working on next, aside from the novella in the Lei Crime Series Kindle World?
I am working on book three in my Klondike Mystery series, Almost a Touch. These are police procedural “whodunit” style books, set in the small town of Klondike, Pennsylvania. Growing up and living in several small towns, I love writing about them. Quirky characters, romances, families and friends make for good tales.
I also plan two more novellas in the Lei Crime Kindle world, Paradise Drift and Paradise Dead, making a complete trilogy.
In my spare time [snicker], I have a new series I hope to start. Lia Rules (born Aurelia Ruhles) is a street smart, twenty-something private investigator in Kingman, Arizona. She’s a bit quirky, a bit dark and a bit intriguing. There will be a broad range of quirky friends to keep things interesting. The first book will be Rules of Engagement. My hope is to get three of this series written and published in 2017.
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