Tag Archives: Seattle

Author Interview with ML Erdahl ~ New Release: Winter Takes All

I am very pleased to host today’s guest. I had the pleasure of editing this fabulous book, and of meeting the author face to face at a conference in Seattle. He’s funny and personable and very talented. Please help me welcome ML Erdahl.

 

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

My family were early homesteaders of Gig Harbor, WA.  They witnessed the city go from dirt roads and pristine forests, to the medium sized city that it is today.  I grew up there and attended college at the University of Washington in Seattle. Today, I live in Renton with my wife and a houseful of neurotic rescue pets.

Where did you get the idea for Winter Takes All?

 My writing story for Winter Takes All began with a genre swap suggested by my wife. Her favorite fiction genres are Mysteries and Thrillers, while mine is Fantasy.  She gave me Nevada Barr, Janet Evanovich, and Mary Daheim novels to read, and I gave her Robert Jordan. I loved the stories I was given, which were so different from the long epic adventures I was used to. I enjoyed the wit of the genre, as well as the concept of a ordinary person being forced out of their comfort zone to the point where they find themselves investigating a crime.

During the long bus rides to-and-fro work, I must have been inspired, because an idea for a cozy mystery percolated in my head. I began writing it down over the next year. After I’d finished my book, I read it back.  I’m not going to lie, it was pretty mediocre, but I could see the elements of a great story.  I began to study how to write fiction, and applying what I’d learned, re-wrote the entire book to its present incarnation.

The moral of this particular story for aspiring writers is to learn how to write, and then begin writing. I still believe that the best learning tool is to practice, but having an idea where you’re going will help you get there faster. Trust me on this.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

By day, I’m an environmental chemist. My company specializes in analyzing fuel spills. We’ve received samples from the Exxon Valdez to the Deepwater Horizon gulf spill. It’s a satisfying job in that I know I leave the world a cleaner place with my work.

What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand?

Being from the Pacific Northwest and of Norwegian descent, you’d think I’d like seafood, but I can’t stand the stuff.  Whenever I eat it, my wife accuses me of “making the face.”

What was your first job?

Mowing lawns.  I still like yard work, but I remember one old lady’s yard I mowed had so very many snakes. Harmless garter snakes, but they still gave me the heebie-jeebies.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?

A favorite book is a tough one since I love two genres, cozy mystery and fantasy. Therefore I’m going to cheat and pick two, Janet Evanovich’s “One for the Money”, and Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn”. Both of those authors know how to write the most memorable characters.  My favorite childhood book was Shel Silverstein’s delightful poetry in “Where the Sidewalk Ends”.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Winter Takes All?

I want people to read my novel and feel like they escaped on a wild ride. I want a reader to turn the last page and immediately download my next book to continue the adventure.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

Someday I’d like to take a crack at my other favorite genre, Fantasy. All of the advice to authors is to stay in your lane and not switch genres, because you’ll lose your audience. However, I don’t think I want to let life pass me by without taking a shot at it.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

For the most part, they are made up, but after I was done writing, I discovered my brain had also frankensteined bits and pieces of various people in my life. I recognized different attributes of friends and family in my characters.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

They are my biggest cheerleaders.  My wife spends hours every day either helping me directly or doing more around the house to give me more time to write.  Furthermore, many of my family and friends were my beta-readers, who took time to not only read the earlier drafts, but give me valuable feedback. I couldn’t ask for a better support system.

How did your interest in writing originate?

In middle school, our English teacher had us free write for an hour once a week and I was hooked. After moving on from that grade, I continued writing short stories to amuse myself and my friends. However, it wasn’t until the last few years that I began to take writing seriously.  Reading books on writing from KM Weiland, Jane Friedman, and Stephen King has shown me how much effort needs to go into each and every sentence to make a compelling story. Instead of being intimidating, it has inspired me.

Your favorite…

Movie Shawshank Redemption

Music Eclectic

Place you’ve visited Venice

Place you’d like to visit Greece

TV show from childhood Night Court

TV show from adulthood Game of Thrones

Food Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Sports team Seahawks

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Board Games/Card games

Great interview, it was fun getting to know more about you, ML. Now, please tell us about your book…

 

Blurb:

Crystal Rainey is aghast when she realizes her new year’s resolutions haven’t changed one whit from the previous year. Wanting to escape a future as dreary as a Pacific Northwest winter, she walks out on her dead-end office job, despite her tenuous savings account.

Stumbling across a job opening posted by a wilderness guide outfit, an intrigued Crystal bluffs her way into the position. With handsome fellow guide, the stalwart Conner Oakes, she leads a corporate retreat on a snowshoe hike to a majestic alpine chalet.

But when the company’s detestable owner turns up dead in the snow, she fears her new life and budding romance slipping away. She finally has something worth fighting for and is determined to solve the murder and grab her chance at happiness before it’s too late.

Excerpt:

Not the most auspicious start to my guiding career, Crystal admitted to herself.

Conner sat back down, took a grateful swig of the coffee and sighed. “This could have gone better,” he said stating the obvious.

“What happens next?” Crystal asked.

“We wait until dawn, see if he turns up, and escort everyone out of here. Hopefully, Philip is waiting for us at the lodge, and we can drive this whole miserable lot back to the city a day early. In the meantime, I suggest we follow everyone’s lead and try to get a little shuteye.”

Conner’s radio crackled with Sam’s voice, “We’ve found the missing man from your group, Conner. He’s at the bottom of a cliff. I’m sorry to say this search and rescue operation has become a search and recover.”

Conner paled at the news.

“What does ‘search and recover’ mean?” Crystal asked.

“It means he’s dead.”

*************************

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Apple Books

Biography:

ML Erdahl lives amidst the trees of the Pacific Northwest, where he pens humorous cozy mystery novels set in the wilderness he has spent his lifetime exploring. The only thing slowing him down is when his adorable rescue dogs, Skip and Daisy, demand to be petted and cuddled on his lap while he types. When he’s not wandering the mountains, you can find him gardening, reading, or searching for the best coffee in Seattle with his wife, Emily.

Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Goodreads

Bookbub

Pinterest

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A Criminal Christmas – Tidbits, Favorite Lines & More… 8 Stories, 8 Authors, 99 Cents!

I am thrilled to share my latest release, a Christmas anthology with 7 other authors. Settle back and take a peek into the stories and get to know my fellow authors. And, guess what? The ENTIRE anthology is only 99 cents!

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Click HERE for the Amazon/Kindle Buy Page

Click HERE for the Barnes and Noble/Nook Buy Page

Alexa Grace – Deadly Holiday

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Tantalizing Tidbit:

In Deadly Holiday, all of the characters from the previous three Deadly Series books play a role. The characters return to search for a lost boy, fight breast cancer, deal with the personal financial impact of a bad economy, and seek a Christmas miracle.

Favorite lines:

“He then tiptoed to the big rocking chair where he sat and gazed with wonder at the tiny baby kicking her legs beneath the pink blankets in the bassinet next to him. With his index finger outstretched, Shawn ever so slowly stroked the velvety soft skin of her arm, and then smiled with delight when her tiny hand clutched his finger and she cooed. She was named Mylee. Her middle name was Faith, because Mom said that faith was the only thing that got her through the days he was missing. She told him that faith would get them through all the days ahead.”

Favorite Christmas memory or tradition:

I’m from Indiana and one year we were snowed in for the holiday and it was great. My brother, sister, and I went sledding and then had hot cocoa in front of the best electric fireplace. One of my best holiday memories.

Contact info:

You can visit my website at – http://authoralexagrace.com

Subscribe to my newsletter at – http://eepurl.com/sJ-Df

Friend me on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlexaGrace

Tweet me – @AlexaGrace2

Join my street team at https://www.facebook.com/AlexaGraceStreetTeam

Ann Charles ~ The Old Man’s Back in Town

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A sizzling, suspenseful SHORT STORY wrapped in a puzzling mystery that will leave you hungry for more.

Tantalizing Tidbit:

The story is set in the town of Goldwash, Nevada, which is a fictional town I created based on the real ghost town of Goldfield, Nevada.

Favorite lines:

“That woman was nuttier than a squirrel turd. Her leaving was my good fortune.”

“Well, well, well. Look what Santa brought you, Monty, a hunka-hunka burnin’ heartache. You must have been naughty this year.”

“Montana, think about what you’re up against. He’s twice your size, built up with years of prison bulk and revenge, and probably pissed as hell at the woman who helped put him behind bars.”

Favorite Christmas memory or tradition:

My favorite memory is making Buckeye candies (little peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate). I make them now with my kids, who eat one for every ten we dip, I swear. Ha!

Contact info:

(website) www.anncharles.com (Facebook) Ann Charles Author; (Twitter) AnnWCharles; (Pinterest) AnnWCharles

Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordano ~ Holiday Justice

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When the wrong Santa comes down your chimney…

Tantalizing Tidbit:

Misty’s:

The story contains viewpoints from 4 of our characters. It was fun to revisit Grey, Sydney, Caroline and Mitch all over again!

Adrienne’s:

I can hit a bullseye from 220 yards with a .308 sniper rifle.

Favorite lines: 

Misty’s:

A clang behind them made Mitch whirl, ready to jump on whoever was coming up the fire escape. A second later, Sydney’s head popped up over the roof edge.“What the hell are you two doing?”

And that’s when an idea—a terrible, awful idea—formed in Mitch’s head.

Adrienne’s: 

His eyes narrowed, and even through the cold, she spotted the simmering heat that always charged her body, made her tingle with anticipation because their love of cupcakes didn’t necessarily include eating them. The things they did with cupcakes should, in fact, be illegal.

Favorite Christmas memory or tradition:

Misty’s:

Watching Christmas movies. I love all of them from White Christmas to The Grinch!

Adrienne’s:

Spending Christmas Eve with my extended family. We do a variation of the Feast of the Seven Fishes and I look forward to it every year.

Contact info:

Misty:

website: http://www.readmistyevans.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMistyEvans

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/readmistyevans

Adrienne:

To sign up for Adrienne’s newsletter or for more information on Adrienne’s books please visit: http://adriennegiordano.com. Adrienne can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AdrienneGiordanoAuthor, Twitter at http://twitter.com/AdriennGiordano and Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/AdrienneGiordano.  For information on Adrienne’s street team, Dangerous Darlings, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/dangerousdarlings.

Kim Hornsby ~ Christmas Interrupted (Dream Jumper Christmas)

Christmas Interruped FINAL

How well do you know your neighbors?

Tantalizing Tidbit:

Christmas Interrupted is a Stand Alone Novella but continues from the last Dream Jumper book (if you’ve read the series.) I did not give away much of anything so readers can go back to the first book, read the series and still enjoy all the twists and surprises in all three books. And I included a recipe for Christmas cookies!

Favorite lines:

“I heard the woman jumped off the widow’s walk to her death and soon after the husband and kids moved away.”

Favorite Christmas memory or tradition:

Christmas Caroling! I love to get a group of kids together to go door to door singing.

Contact info:

www.twitter.com/kimhornsby www.facebook.com/kimhornsbyauthor

www.kimhornsbyauthor.net

Jacki Delecki ~ Marriage Under Fire

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A Christmas Wedding with the Grayce Walters Mystery Gang!

Tantalizing Tidbit:

The house where Maddy and Hunter are on a stake out is a friend’s house.

Favorite lines:

“No way would Maddy Jeffers admit, even under the threat of torture, that her killer shoes were killing her.”

He was a professional soldier, a top-notch intelligence officer, and the idea of a wife—not any wife, but Maddy—terrified him. This assignment made Belarus and Yemen seem like child’s play.

Favorite Christmas memory or tradition:

Singing Christmas Carols, baking Christmas cookies with my mom.

Contact info:

www.jackidelecki.com

FB: Jacki Delecki Twitter-@jackidelecki

Lori Leger ~ Christmas 911

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Last minute Christmas shopping can be downright deadly!

Tantalizing Tidbit:

I, personally, have never had to call 911, or known anyone who’s been a 911 dispatcher, but I found plenty of information on different sites. The story takes place in Beaumont, TX, so I was able to pull up info from their area. My son-in-law is a cop, so he helped me out with the info for the weapons and ammo, and even whether or not a gunshot would shatter or fracture the door glass. I also had inside info from a dear friend who works at the courthouse in Beaumont to know at what point the bad guys could help a prisoner escape. She told me they had one prisoner appear at the courthouse and he nearly escaped by putting a ham sandwich between his skin and the ‘shock belt’ they place around their waist (like a taser) so that it didn’t shock him when he went to escape. He jumped down some stairs and hurt his leg, so they caught him.

Favorite lines:

(Scene set-up) 8 1/2 month pregnant Cori, is telling Luke, the 911 dispatcher, how her husband had left her for another woman because Cori couldn’t have children. Her husband wrapped his car around a tree while his girlfriend was giving him oral sex. “Yeah. Here’s a tad more irony for you. There he was, wanting to procreate, but his last DNA ends up . . . well, one can only assume where it ended up, I guess.”

Favorite Christmas memory or tradition: 

I rent two cabins on a lake about an hour from our home and our family spends the weekend there, usually two weeks or so before Christmas. This will be the first time in seven years we don’t do that…and I’m kind of bummed about it. 🙁

Contact info:

Twitter: @LoriLegerAuthor FB: llegerauthor , lorilegerauthor, cajunflairpublishing Blogspot Blog: lorilegerauthor.blogspot.com WordPress Blog: cajunflair.wordpress.com Website: www.LoriLegerAuthor.com

Alicia Dean ~ The Twelfth Day

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Tantalizing Tidbit(s):

-I wrote this entire story in a weekend and revised it in a few days, along with working my day job and other projects.

-My ex-husband and son helped me with a research question.

-My model for the hero was James Marsden and for the heroine Kate Beckinsale.

-My heroine loves science and dislikes football, which is the exact opposite of me.

Favorite lines:

A ping sent icy chills over her skin. The familiar, terrifying music played and the words, On the eighth day of Christmas appeared. Along with an image of a figure—a young man, blank eyes staring at the ceiling—lying in a dim room.

Favorite Christmas memory or tradition:

I have lots of great memories from my childhood, but my favorite memory/tradition is with my own three children. Even though they are grown and don’t live with me, every year on Christmas Eve, the three of them spend the night with me and we wake up the next morning and open gifts and the stockings ‘Santa’ filled during the night. Even the three years I lived away in Kansas City, we managed to keep the tradition. I know that will end when they have families of their own, but in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy and appreciate it.

Amara Draska ~ The Way Evil Does

The Way Evil Does

A story about right, wrong, and what you can’t stop yourself from doing.

Tantalizing Tidbit:

My POV character, Rebecca, is a departure from the norm. She has inner demons to contend with and makes different choices than many of us would. Before this was published I considered modifying her character to conform to the expectations most readers have for a female lead, but it bothered me to see her changing into someone else. In the end, I stuck to my original vision of Rebecca with her kind heart, quirks, awkwardness and bad behavior.

Favorite lines:

And even though he was gagged, the part of his mouth that was still visible showed a smile. He was grinning the way evil does when it knows it has you.

It felt so damned good to be with him, but at the same time it also felt sick and wrong, and much like the contrary mixture of sweet and sour in Chinese food, it was delicious as hell. God help me.

He had gotten under my skin, turning frigid on me after my remark about his desperate, delusional horseshit. In retrospect, that had been the wrong approach to take with him.

Favorite Christmas memory or tradition:

We always make snowball cookies (proper name: Russian Teacakes). It just wouldn’t be Christmas without them.

Contact info:

Website: Amaradraska.com

Twitter: @amaradraska

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Amara-Draska-548417351945912/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

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