Friday, May 3, 2013

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They say you can never go home. Well, Lacie Joe Jensen never wanted to.

Lacie Joe left small town Kentucky for the big city lights and never looked back. Until now. Her ailing foster-father needs her, his memory is failing. But townsfolk remember all too well the troubles Lacie Joe caused as a youth, and they're not afraid to remind her.

Lacie Joe has a few allies in town, for starters, ex-boyfriend turned police officer Jay Hayworth. Jay's kept the fire burning for Lacie during her long absence. He's one of the bright spots in Lacie's troublesome past, him and her truck, Big Orange.

A suspicious accident forced Lacie Joe to leave town, Jay steps in to remind Lacie she no longer has the right to remain silent.

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For the Love of Big Orange
Bluegrass Country Novella, Book One

Number of pages:  127
Word Count: 43,500

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Author Interview:

Who was your favorite character to write? Why?

Lacie Joe, the heroine. I think oftentimes women are portrayed as shrinking violets in need of a hero’s saving.  That’s all well and good, but I like strong-willed women looking to make their mark on the world.  Lacie Joe is spunky, quirky, and she’s got a good head on her shoulders.  She’s a role model and eventually owns up to her mistakes.  

What gave you the idea for The Love of Big Orange?

For the Love of Big Orange was inspired by my strong belief that sometimes the key to helping yourself is through helping others.  The heroine, Lacie Joe, has a long list of poor choices and turbulent childhood.  She grew up in the foster-care system and was eventually taken in by a family in rural Kentucky. It’s there that she finds her forever home, but her past catches up with her and she makes some choices that seem irreversible. 

Her story progresses and she discovers that the key to redemption and moving herself from being a victim to victor is by helping a group of kids who come from the same background as she, as well as her ailing foster-father and a man, Big Willie, who she wronged in the past. 

With the popularity of E-readers, some commentators have speculated that readers are now free to read in public without the giveaway of a saucy cover, or that they will have less embarrassment taking the book to the cashier (very true for me!). Do you think there is any truth to that?

I do! I recently read an article citing statistics of how sexy romance novels sales have soared in the past few years due to the increase and availability of electronic reading devices.  Readers are free to become absorbed in a tale, regardless of the content, without receiving any judgment based on cover. 

Which do you think is more important in your stories, plot or characterization?

A great story with a solid message is always at the core of my stories.  The characters have to be real and come to life in order to tell that story, so I weigh them both equally.  There are several messages in Big Orange, the key one being that sometimes helping others is the key to helping yourself. 

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start writing?

Go for it! If there’s a story inside you waiting to be told, sit down at the keyboard or grab a pad of paper and write, write, write.  Make time for you to develop that story and characters.  Write when the mood hits you, and even when it doesn't   You can always edit out the weaker parts later.  Just get started, the rest will take on a life of its own once you put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. 

What kind of environment do you like to write in? Where and when do you write?

My incredibly supportive husband and son built me an office for Mother’s Day two years ago.  I have to be there to get my mind right in order to work on manuscripts.  I know authors who can write at public places, but I need my comfy chair and desk.  Check out these pics. 

Are you working on anything right now you would like to tell us about?

I’m working on the next two books in the Bluegrass Novella Series.  The second title, To Have Mercy, will be released in early-summer.  The third is, Finding Justice, available later this fall. 

Like Big Orange, the characters are young adults who've come from diverse and troubling backgrounds.  The hero in To Have Mercy is Jacks, who befriends Mercy Lynn who is a spunky roadside diner waitress.  The two set off in an adventure in search of clues in order to piece together Jacks past.

If you could live in one period of time, when would that be?

The present.  I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I've married the love of my life, I have a beautiful son and a 4 year old Cavachon dog (she’s my writing partner).  Every experience that I've had has shaped who I am today and the family and friends I share life with, and it suits me just fine. 

One materialistic thing you can’t live without?

My pink robe and lamby slippers. We have a busy work and family life and often get home late in the evening after leaving the house before dawn. Nothing says home like my fluffy robe and slippers.  (See pic)

If stranded on a deserted island, and you could have one "book boyfriend" with you, who would it be?

I’m way too old for this, but…if I were younger I would definitely choose Jacob Black!

*Admin note: You are NEVER to old for Jacob Black :)

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Author Bio: 

Leta Gail is a small town girl with big dreams, who shares her life with her husband, son, and little dog Kimmy. She enjoys exercise, (as if), planning family vacations, dreaming up places to go with her husband, reading, tinkering with computer software, and watching her son grow.

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She is a Project Manager by day working in Information Technology, who moonlights as a writer. She has a monthly column, Blonde Bytes, in a women's publication- Pastelle Magazine, where she writes about fun geeky stuff.

She loves to write about great friendships and deep emotions. She finds the humor in everyday life and creates believable characters she hopes her readers will enjoy. She likes story lines like, life after divorce, strong-willed women making their mark on the world, and finding love in unexpected places. She also enjoys writing tales that salute our nation's heroes.

She enjoys the super support of her husband and inquisitive son while she dreams big and "shoots for the moon", as her husband so aptly states.

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Buy links are provided as a courtesy to the reader and do not constitute an endorsement by this blog or its owner.

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