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Before we visit with today’s guest, I’d like to take a moment to share a quick encouragement with you. I think you’ll agree that one of the blessings we are offered regularly here at Fiction, Faith, and Fun is the opportunity to win free copies of books by the authors we have visiting. They are so sweet to share these copies of work they have spent SO many hours creating for our enjoyment. One of the best ways we as readers can say “thank you” to these authors is by writing a quick review of the book when we’ve finished reading it. These reviews mean so much to the authors, and it’s a great way for us to let them know we enjoyed it! May I encourage you (or challenge you?) to write a review for the book you’re reading once you’ve finished?
Are you ready for another fun Christmas mystery? 😉 Author Carole Brown is visiting us again today, sharing about her new romantic cozy mystery, Sabotaged Christmas. Before we begin, let’s take a look at the story.
Relations with Perrin Douglas who has a troubled history—but the first man in years who’s interested her–is building to a peak. Yet Perrin‘s own personal problems and his doubts about women and God, keep getting in the way.
Gossip, a Spanish proposal, an inheritance, and a sabotaged construction business all converge to play a part in ruining Christmas for Toni’s employees. Will the mysterious person behind it all succeed in pulling off the biggest scam Appleton, West Virginia has ever seen?
Will this culprit destroy Toni’s last chance at happiness with the man of her dreams?
Welcome back, Carole! Let’s start with five fast favorites:
Favorite color? I love color schemes like orange and browns, black and reds, blues and greens.
Cats or dogs? Both, but I lean a little more toward dogs. 🙂
Sports or music? Music, definitely. Music sets a mood. Lifts a spirit. Gives hope. Sets the toes to tapping. 🙂
Favorite food? Hmmm. I love any food that is prepared well, but I think I favor Mexican or Italian dishes. Salads are big with me too.
Favorite book or movie? I love Pride and Prejudice and It’s a Wonderful Life is beautiful.
Those are definitely classic favorites! What inspired you to write Sabotaged Christmas?
Sabotaged Christmas was one of three “romance” novels I attempted because I was encouraged to write for a market that was known for needing a lot of romance books. Unfortunately, I’m not the best “romance” author in the world. So I finished the books, but they were shelved. When the opportunity opened up for me to rework these into mysteries, and better yet, gear the first as a Christmas book, my editor said, go for it. I love this warm-hearted romantic mystery that is just the book for a quick read on a cold December (or January . . . Or February . . . Etc) evening.
That sounds like a great combination. What do you hope your readers will take away from this story?
Toni DeLuca the protagonist has an abiding hope and faith that she will be able to help the bruised Douglas family find their way to healing and to God. If we can each attain that faith that the little we do can be an encouragement to others, then writing the book is well worth the time it took!
“…the little we do…” It so often feels like little, but to others it can be a huge encouragement! I love the hope in that! What is your favorite dessert? Would you be willing to share the recipe?
Apple pie has always been a favorite of mine. May I share one that Toni DeLuca shared with her guests in Sabotaged Christmas?
Toni DeLuca’s Yummy Apple Pie
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup Crisco
6-7 tbsp of water
Cut shortening into flour until it resembles corn meal. Add water, one tbsp at a time. Add more if needed, but be careful not to over soak it. Divide into half, then roll each half into an even circle and place in pie plate.
Apples (I like to heap my filling, but use however many that suits your taste). Peel and slice into first pie crust liner.
Sugar to taste
Slabs (tsps) of butter (I use about 4-6) placed over the apples
Cinnamon to taste
Sprinkle (LIGHTLY) a touch of vanilla over the filling
Place the second half of the pie crust on top of the filling. Pinch the sides together in whatever simple or elaborate decoration you want. Add top decoration with carved letter, added crust pieces, etc. I usually keep mine simple. Add a sprinkle of sugar on top of crust if desired.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, then turn down oven to 350 degrees and bake until apple pieces are done. Normally about 30 – 40 minutes, and crust is golden brown.
I’m an adjuster when it comes to cooking. Once I’ve learned how a new recipe goes, I will adjust to suit my (or family’s) taste. I might substitute ingredients or change them according to our likes and dislikes.
Mmm… Warm apple pie… I can almost smell it! Can you give any hints about what you are working on now?
I’d love to. There are three specific ones, although I tend to work on others as the inspiration hits me.
- I’m working on editing the second book in the Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery series. The title is: A Knight in Shining Apron. Hopefully release date will hold for spring of 2016.
- I’m also working hard to prepare the second book in my WWII Spies series called: A Flute in the Willows. The protagonist is the second, red-haired Rayner daughter who eloped in the first book.
- And the final book that should release next year is the third book in my Denton and Alex Davies mystery series called: Daffy’s Duck.
Wow — you’re a busy lady! Do you have a favorite Bible verse? Why is that one special to you?
Psalm 91 always stands out to me. I love the assurance of God’s protection if we but trust him.
Of course, this season, The Christmas Story is a beautiful one, too.
I can’t read the beginning of that Psalm without singing. (I know. Those of you who have been with me for a while are NOT surprised. 😉 ) When I was in college, someone put the first two verses to music, and I loved it! Such an encouraging psalm! Can you share (briefly) about something you feel the Lord has been teaching you recently?
After going through five deaths in as many months the first part of this year, I’ve learned that God’s grace is sufficient and that He will see me through even the darkness nights and loneliness times. I’ve always known this, but to experience it is the best lesson learned.
I’m so sorry for your loss, Carole! Experience is a tough teacher, for sure. He is faithful, and I’m so thankful He sustained you through those hard times. Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us today!
More about Carole:
Brown not only has her award winning (2015 Winner of the USA Best Books Award, 2015 Small Publishers Book Award, RWA International Digital Award finalist, Clash of the Titles Laurel Awards finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now.
A companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia, quotes, recipes from West Virginia and from Caralynne’s life, pictures and discussion questions for the novel is also available.
The first book in her Denton & Alex Davies mystery series, Hog Insane and Bat Crazy, the second book are fun, lighthearted novels that not only deal with the mysteries the Davies land in, but relationships too.
The first book in a new WWII Spies Romantic Suspense series, With Music In Their Hearts are nostalgic, warm-hearted books that place readers firmly in that era. Three red-headed sisters. Three spies. Three stories.
This month, Brown is releasing the first book in a new series, The Appleton, WV Romantic Mysteries: Sabotaged Christmas.
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?
You can connect with Carole online:
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
Stitches in Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/
Also by Carole:
Angry at being rejected for military service, Minister Tyrell Walker accepts the call to serve as a civilian spy within his own country. Across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio, a spy working for a foreign country is stealing secret plans for newly developed ammunition to be used in the war. According to his FBI cousin, this spy favors pink stationery giving strong indications that a woman is involved.
He’s instructed to obtain a room in the Rayner Boarding House run by the lovely, spunky red-haired Emma Jaine Rayner. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between them immediately even as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.
While Tyrell searches for the murdering spy who reaches even into the boarding home, Emma Jaine struggles with an annoying renter, a worried father (who could be involved in this spy thing), and two younger sisters who are very different but just as strong willed as she is.
As Tyrell works to keep his double life a secret and locate the traitor, he refuses to believe that Emma Jaine could be involved even when he sees a red-haired woman in the arms of another man. Could the handsome and svelte banker who’s also determined to win Emma Jaine’s hand for marriage, be the dangerous man he’s looking for? Is the trouble-making renter who hassles Emma Jaine serving as a flunky? Worse, is Papa Rayner so worried about his finances and keeping his girls in the style they’re used to, that he’ll stoop to espionage?
Will their love survive the danger and personal issues that arise to hinder the path of true love?
Denton doesn’t think so and Alex hopes not, but who are they to quibble with the local gossip?
Transmission problems and a blown tire land Denton and Alex Davies right in the middle of a dilapidated, unfriendly town that’s welcoming no strangers, least of all nosy ones with a bent toward solving mysteries.
But with support from the town detective–an admirer of the Davies–and their own tenacious personalities, Denton and Alex aren’t easily scared off. Not when warnings in the form of painted bats show up on the porch of their rented cabin, not when the mayor threatens to run them out of town and not even when Denton finds the bones . . .
An ancient story, a bit of a map, a lost jewel and even a bat clan serve to provide the Davies and their sidekick, Taffy, the dog, their hardest case so far.