Friday, October 30, 2015

Interview and #Giveaway with Award Winner Author: Lisa Carter

It is so fun to feature new authors, and Lisa Carter is new to me (Jaime) as well! Although I was there when she won an award for romantic suspense this last September. Super cool! So, join me in getting to know Lisa, her writing habits, a bit about her and her latest book. And, of course, there's a giveaway!


· How did you begin writing?

I told myself stories as a child to fall asleep at night. I thought everyone did this until I discovered in elementary school, this might not be perceived as normal for the rest of the school population. But I became the neighborhood child who entertained my friends and organized epic retellings of prairie schooners in space, aka whatever I had watched on television lately—Daniel Boone, The Wild West, Star Trek (the original), or Gilligan's Island. Yeah, I know I'm dating myself. It was only after I turned 45—dating myself again—and my children were in middle school that I got serious about writing down the stories swirling in my head—a scary place—to pursue a career in writing. My first novel was published in 2013. Seven novels and counting, it’s been a whirlwind of adventure.

· Take us through a day in the life of you, the author (because some us picture you rise from bed, calmly pour your coffee, sit in a sunny little alcove, and write for eight hours before getting ready for a luxurious dinner out with your special someone) ;)
I begin my writing day as soon as my youngest daughter heads off to high school each morning—before 7 a.m. Yes, I often stay in my pajamas, writing and/or editing until my laptop needs recharging and I take a quick shower. I write on the couch, at my desk, or in a special chair in my reading alcove—I move around during the day a lot for a change of scenery. I try to end my writing day around 3 p.m. if deadlines allow when my daughter returns from school.

· Tell us where you got the idea for your latest book and why you developed a passion to write it?

I’m going to be honest with you—I’m not sure how this story came to be on the printed page. Sure, I’m the one who typed the words. Sure, I’m the little girl who refused to leave the Cherokee exhibit at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. Every single year . . . And sure, my first encounter involved coming face to face with fake Cherokee Indians on board the Tweetsie Railroad when I wandered too close to the staged Indian attack as a 3-year-old. Raised tomahawks leave an impression—fake or not. But hence, my fascination—to the best of my recollection—with the Cherokee and with the larger Native American population began. That’s it in a nutshell. Thank you very much, Tweetsie.

I am not Native American. Nor am I a wannabe. Just fascinated and intrigued by their persistence and perseverance to survive despite overwhelming odds. I got cold shivers when I read about the Snowbird Cherokee and how they’d escaped the mass roundup during the Trail of Tears. I realized the 180th commemoration of the Trail was on the horizon, and I intended as always to write about what fascinates me most—the modern-day Indian and their juxtaposition into the larger American culture.

But somehow in the process of creating this contemporary novel, the characters from 1838—Sarah Jane and Pierce, Touch the Clouds and Leila—were born. They just came to me. Whole and complete. Their story is a kind of metaphor for the journey of the human condition. Lost but in Christ found once more.

· Who is your favorite character in this book and why?

Linden’s grandmother, Marvela, is an absolute hoot. Her golden years reunion romance forms a secondary subplot, illustrating that sometimes love is so wasted on the young and foolish. She and love interest, Ross Wachacha, get the best lines in the book. Like Ross’s sage advice to his nephew and story hero Walker Crowe—“If you ever want to get a woman, boy, you got to learn to talk more. And once you get one, then you’ve got to learn to hush again.”

· What is the most important takeaway from your book that you hope your readers see?

This story became—for me—about how far God’s mercy reaches. For truly, the farther we’ve traveled together, the sweeter will come the end. All this to say, this story is not mine, but one of those things which, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, is God’s story. An eternal story of His mercy and grace to all who’ve been broken and felt abandoned by the guilt of their transgressions or the pain of loss. God invites those who’ve ever felt unwanted, unloved or weary to come. Because in Christ there are no outcasts. My prayer is that readers would discover this God of all peace and all comfort. He is a God who offers grace in the hour of their greatest need. And Beyond.

· If you were to be offered the opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or to back pack deep into the heart of the Swiss Alps, which would you do and why?

I would climb Mt. Kilimanjaro because I don’t just write adventure, I try to live it, too. My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this year with a bucket-list trip to the Amazon jungle and a hike to Machu Picchu.

· And while you’re on this grand adventure, would it be necessary for you to have coffee or tea? (‘cause we’re split evenly in preference here at the CCC blog)
Since Kilimanjaro was once under British rule, I’d have to go with tea. But wait—Tanzania also grows some of the world’s best coffee . . . I’d have to try both. And who knew, but in the Amazon and Peru, I had the most amazing hot chocolate of my life—not so amazing considering Ecuador and Peru are exporters of cacao/chocolate.

· If you had to write your novel long-hand, would you use a fine point Sharpie, a roller ball pen, a fountain pen, or a pencil?

I’d use a fountain pen.

· Your favorite flavor of pie … because we’re heading into pie season!

I love visiting an heirloom apple orchard not far from the Great Smoky Mountain setting of Beyond a Cherokee Trail. This time of year I’m all about apple pie.

· What are you currently working on in the book world?
My seventh romantic suspense novel, The Stronghold, releases in March. My second in a contemporary Coast Guard series, Coast Guard Sweetheart, releases in May. And my first attempt at a true historical romance, Lassoed by Marriage, is part of a novella collection due out in January. I can be found most days writing one manuscript, editing another story and marketing yet a third.

· Lastly, will you leave us with a snippet from your book that is one of your favorites and gives us a glimpse into its pages?

Initially on opposite sides of the 180th Trail of Tears commemoration, Linden and Walker have slowly found common ground as their friendship and attraction for each other grows. After an exhilarating motorcycle ride aka first date on the Cherohala Skyway high above the Cherokee National Forest, they’ve shared some personal things up on the mountain and have now returned to the valley town of Cartridge Cove. They were getting along so well . . . until they’re not. A misunderstanding erupts about the festival.

“And you, Walker Crowe, have got the nerve to accuse me of having personal issues?” Linden’s voice rose a decibel.

Walker flipped the visor down veiling his eyes. “Much as I’d love to stand here all night in a shouting match with you, I have better things to do.”

“Fine. Me, too. Sorry to have wasted your afternoon and your gasoline. Don’t let me keep you from important tribal business a stupid outsider like me couldn’t begin to fathom. Emmaline’s right. You are a jerk.”

Maybe the king of jerks. Could she pick ‘em or what?

His only reply was to do a three-sixty and gun it as the back tire hit street level.

“Idiot,” she yelled at the disappearing red taillight.

She grabbed her purse out of the trunk where she’d stored it when she’d been dumb enough to take a motorcycle ride with a raving lunatic. She slammed the lid shut.

“Creep.” She stalked up the sidewalk between the driveway and porch. “Loser.”

She took the three steps in a single bound to find her grandmother ensconced in a rocker and drinking sweet tea out of a crystal goblet.

Gram gave Linden a cat-swallowed-the-cream smile. “My, my, darlin’. What you two must have gotten up to this afternoon to put such a fear inside that young man?”

“Me?” Linden lobbed her purse at the door. “I guess you heard all that.”

Gram set the glass with a tiny ping onto the side table. “Honey Girl, half of Cartridge Cove heard ‘all that’ just now.”

Linden frowned as her grandmother’s words registered. “Scared? Him? What’re you talking about?”

Marvela patted the armrest. “Got too close would be my guess.”

“Somebody ought to knock some sense into that man’s head.”

“Typical of a Wachacha.” Her grandmother snorted. “Typical of the male of our entire species, if you ask me.”

“If you’re implying he and I . . . ? Give me some credit, Gram.” Linden tossed her head. “He’s a moron.”

Marvela laughed, the sound like a bird trilling across the deepening twilight. “Has there ever been anything more irresistible on this earth, Honey Girl, than a man who doesn’t think he needs a woman?”


About Lisa ...

Lisa Carter's novel, Under a Turquoise Sky, won the 2015 Carol Award for Romantic Suspense. Her latest, Beyond the Cherokee Trail is a 4 1/2 star Romantic Times September Top Pick. Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales and researching her next exotic adventure. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball. She loves to hear from readers.





Beyond the Cherokee Trail

The farther the road you’ve traveled . . . the sweeter the journey home.

When Linden Birchfield arrives in the Snowbird Cherokee community to organize the 180th commemoration of the Trail of Tears, she runs head on—literally—into arrogant former army sniper Walker Crowe. A descendant of the Cherokee who evaded deportation by hiding in the rugged Snowbird Mountains, Walker believes no good can result from stirring up the animosity with the white Appalachian residents whose ancestors looted the tribal lands so long ago.

Though at odds over the commemoration, Linden and Walker must unite against an unseen threat to derail the festival. Together they face an adversary whose implacable hatred can be traced to the events of the Trail, a dark chapter in America’s westward expansion. Walker must thwart the enemy who threatens the modern-day inhabitants of tiny Cartridge Cove—and targets the woman who has captured his heart.

Because more important than knowing where you’ve come from is knowing where you’re going.

Enter to win this super cool book


  1. Jaime, thank you for introducing me Lisa! Suspense is my favorite genre. Lisa, I love your adventurous spirit! The Amazon jungle for your 25th wedding anniversary sounds like it was an incredible trip!

    I raise my tea cup to you!

    1. The Amazon was incredible. Looking forward to further adventures on the page and in real life. Thanks for joining the conversation.

  2. First time to learn about this author. Enjoy suspense stories very much!

  3. Thanks for the introduction to Lisa. I'm jealous of her trip to the Amazon! What fun!

    1. The Amazon and Machu Picchu were incredible. I'm always ready for the next adventure. :)

  4. Lisa and Jaime, I have been a Christian since I was 12, but the true meaning of grace had never been taught, explained or understood to/by me until I was nearly 35 years old. I'm not sure if I was just oblivious or non-discipled, but I believe God's timing of that knowledge was perfect. If I didn't know or understand the meaning of God's grace or giving grace to others until 35 years of age, I assume that there are many others who are lacking, as well. It makes me appreciate Lisa's book and many other Christian novels that repeat that message. As believers, we need to hear that message repeated all the same.

    1. So true. My life is all about grace and therefore, so are my stories. :)

  5. I like hearing about how authors write in the middle of their busy lives! :) This sounds so intriguing! Thanks for the giveaway. :)


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