Please welcome my guest, multi-award winning author Charlene Raddon.
About the author:
Charlene Raddon began her fiction career in the third grade when she announced in Show & Tell that a baby sister she never had was killed by a black widow spider. She often penned stories featuring mistreated young girls whose mother accused of crimes her sister had actually committed. Her first serious attempt at writing fiction came in 1980 when she woke up from a vivid dream that compelled her to drag out a portable typewriter and begin writing. She’s been at it ever since. An early love for romance novels and the Wild West led her to choose the historical romance genre but she also writes contemporary romance. At present, she has five books published in paperback by Kensington Books (one under the pseudonym Rachel Summers), and four eBooks published by Tirgearr Publishing.
Charlene’s awards include: RWA Golden Heart Finalist, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award Nomination, Affair de Coeur Magazine Reader/Writer Poll for Best Historical of the Year. Her books have won or place in several contests.
Currently, Charlene is working on her next release.
Howdy, Charlene. I’m thrilled to have you here! Please start by telling us how you began writing.
Believe it or not, Lyn, it was a dream that started me writing, a dream so vivid and compelling I had to get up, drag out an old portable typewriter (1980) and go to work. I quickly discovered how difficult writing could be, so I began studying how to write. I’ve been writing ever since.
Writing is a learning experience, that’s for sure. What’s your best time of day to write? On average, how many hour a day do you write?
I spend all day on the computer, but actual writing time probably averages out to 3 hours a day. The rest of the time I’m doing email, research or promotion. Mainly promotion.
Promotion is a fulltime job, isn’t it. How and where do you research for your books?
My personal library includes numerous research books collected over the years, but I also do a lot of research online. Research can be a real bear or it can be a joy. I love learning and can get pretty deeply involved in searching out those little details that bring a book alive.
We’re two of a kind. I love research, but it does take time. Do you have critique partners and/or beta readers?
I belong to the Wasatch Mountain Fiction Writers, a group of mixed genre authors. We started this group over 25 years ago and it’s as much a support group as a critique group. I’ve learned a great deal from them. I also have an online critique partner and belong to an online critique group of western historical romance authors. I know authors who never allow anyone other than their editors to read their work until it’s published, but I don’t know how they do it and still produce excellent books. Must have outstanding editors.
I feel the same way. Crit partners are invaluable. What about your book covers? Who designs them?
Kensington Books took care of my covers for my paperbacks, published back in the 1990s, and I wasn’t always pleased. Now I’m publishing with Tirgearr Publishing and they give me a lot of say in my covers, which means a lot to me. Two of my e-book covers I designed myself.
Thanks for mentioning your publishers. Good to know! For the fun of it, describe what it’s like to be an author in a few words.
Ha! Flying without parachutes
LOL! I totally agree. If you don’t mind telling us, which of your books has been most favorably reviewed?
Oddly enough, the book that did the best as a paperback is not the one doing best as an e-book. Forever Mine was my most successful paperback and received a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award Nomination. But Tender Touch has sold the best as an e-book. It was a Golden Heart Finalist in 1991 under the title Brianna. My personal favorite is To Have And To Hold, although Forever Mine was a very special book for me because I’ve spent a great deal of time in the area. Cape Meares, Oregon is probably my favorite place in the U.S.
I remember you mentioned Cape Meares on another site. It sounded so beautiful. Would you like to share a blurb and excerpt from one of your books?
Yes, I’d love to. The Scent of Roses is my latest release and it’s a sequel to To Have & To Hold. It’s a western historical romance with paranormal elements (ghosts).
A WOMAN’S SMILE
Rosalyn Delaney’s husband, Josiah, had vanished six years ago. Following a private detective’s lead, Rosalyn leaves Salt Lake City and boards a train heading to the mining town of Whiskey Ridge, Arizona. She arrives at Rose House, an old mansion reputed to be haunted, only to discover her missing husband has been killed, and his business partner, Whip Kincade, is wanted for his murder. Determined to uncover the secrets surrounding Josiah and his death, Rosalyn decides to stay-even when she begins to receive nightly visits from a charming “ghost”…
A GHOST’S KISS
Escaping a troubled past, Whip Kincade had hoped he could make a fresh start by coming to Whiskey Ridge and opening a saloon with his friend, Josiah. Now as a murder suspect hiding in his own house, Whip’s future looks bleak indeed…unless he can find the real culprit. But the unexpected intrusion of Rosalyn ruins his plans of sneaking out at night to investigate. Scaring her away is the first step in clearing his name, but Rosalyn doesn’t rattle easily. And Whip isn’t sure he wants the lovely widow to walk out of his life—especially when she would take his heart with her…
“Aw, God.” Gall rose into Whip’s throat. “Aw, God, no.”
Josiah sat slumped at the desk, his head on the blotter. The bullet hole in his temple was neat and tidy, compared to the mess the missile had created as it exited, shattering the other side of the skull and splattering brains everywhere. To ease his queasy stomach, Whip stepped out into the hall and gulped air.
Hauling three crushed miners out of the mine had been bad. This was worse. He felt the itch of tears behind his eyes as he struggled to accept that his partner was dead, and blinked them away. No time for grief. Other things needed doing, and crying never helped anything. It certainly wouldn’t give Josiah back his life.
When he had himself together again, Whip took a deep breath and went back into the study. Snooker looked up and whined.
“I know, boy.” Whip patted the retriever’s head. “I loved him, too.”
The .45 caliber Schofield-Smith and Wesson revolver Josiah kept locked in a desk drawer lay on the floor beside the chair. Whip picked it up and checked the load. One bullet missing. His heart clenched. Had the man taken his own life?
A quick scan of the room said No. Whip’s arrival had probably frightened off the killer before he could replace books and papers knocked to the floor in a struggle, or right the spilled waste basket. The killer had won the battle and killed Josiah with his own six-shooter.
If only Whip had arrived home sooner. He’d failed his friend, his partner, twice in one day. At the mine, he’d turned on Josiah, blamed him for the cave-in, then hadn’t been there when the man needed him most. But Whip would avenge his friend’s death. He’d track down the killer and see him hang if it was the last thing he did.
He was heading for the door, thinking to ride after the man he’d seen leaving the house, when Snooker exploded past him into the hallway, barking. Whip cocked the Smith and Wesson and edged toward the door, his heartbeat matching the thunder that rattled the windows.
The dog’s barking faded, but another, closer sound reached Whip. Someone was hurrying toward the study from the front of the house.
He ducked behind the door a split-second before Lucinda Bullock burst into the room, her silver satin cape glistening with raindrops.
“Josiah?” she called.
A flash of lightning highlighted the gory scene at the desk. Her scream set the hair on Whip’s nape on end. He stepped from the behind the door, intent on comforting her. When he said her name, she whirled to face him. Her hands flew to her face. The terror in her eyes faded as she recognized him. “Whip!”
Her gaze lowered to the gun in his hand, then lifted to meet his gaze. She gave a sob, fear returned to her eyes, along with tears.
“I’m sorry, Lucinda—”
She didn’t let him finish. She bolted from the room. For a moment he stood there, uncertain what to do. The gentlemanly thing, he supposed, would be to hold her head while she puked. He’d likely end up emptying his own stomach, but he went to see what he could do for her anyway.
The front door stood open, and Lucinda raced toward it as if the hounds of hell were at her back.
She sped up. He glanced down and noticed he still held Josiah’s six-shooter. Ah hell, the fool woman thought he’d killed her husband.
Buy Link for any of Charlene’s books: http://www.amazon.com/tirgearrpublishing