Wednesday, March 06, 2013

ANGEL FALLS - Connie Mann - One Free Book

Here's a new author to this blog. Welcome, Connie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I never write myself into the characters deliberately. But I do ask myself, “If I were this person, how would I react to this situation?” That’s really how the heroine in my new book, Angel Falls, was born. I asked myself what kind of person I would be if I’d grown up alone on the streets in Southern Brazil. If I’d been abused, how would I view men? Regina, my fiercely protective, knife-wielding orphanage director came to life as a result those questions.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m not sure I’d call it quirky, per se, but I became a USCG-licensed boat captain almost seven years ago. It’s not generally a female occupation, but one I love. When I’m not writing, I get to take 5th graders out on a boat for the Silver River Museum, which is part of our local school system. It’s such fun!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I fell in love with books when Mom started taking us to the Bookmobile and the public library. I escaped into books and solved cases with Nancy Drew—and the Hardy Boys—and hung out with the Little Women. I desperately wanted to be Harriet the Spy, but my family didn’t appreciate my spying. I fell in love with stories and that’s when I fell in love with the idea of writing my own. In third grade, I penned the immortal Susie’s Babies about my hamster. Hopefully my skill level has improved along with my increasing love of writing and telling stories.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Romantic suspense has always been my favorite genre to read, so it’s not surprising that it’s what I write. But I read all kinds of stories. I love cozy mysteries as well as nail-biting suspense. I enjoy quirky small town stories as much as international thrillers. Regardless of genre, there is nothing I love more than sliding into a story and taking a trip to a place—either physical or emotional—that I’ve never been. 

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Lately, I’ve been more intentional about unplugging from the internet. I can be offline for a few days, and lo and behold, the world won’t end. It’s a good reminder for me. I also need my outdoors and people fixes, so I head out on the water whenever I can, either at my day job or on our family’s little boat.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Hmm. I’d say, very carefully. If the character’s name doesn’t fit, I can’t see them clearly in my head. Until I get that part right, the whole story doesn’t feel right. I’ve had to stop and brainstorm for a few days, consulting name books, especially ethnic names, to make sure it rings true. I like names that have cool nickname possibilities, too.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’d have to say my children, though I obviously can’t take all the credit there. But being a mom has been one of the greatest joys of my life. My son and daughter are such fabulous people. I’m so blessed to have them in my life. I enjoy them and enjoy spending time with them.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I would be a bird. There is something so tempting about soaring above the world and seeing everything from that perspective. Flying really appeals to me.

What is your favorite food?
Anything Italian. I got to visit Italy a few years ago and fell in love with Italian cooking. If there’s fresh basil in it, I want a bite.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I finally realized that I’m neither a total plotter nor a total pantster. I’m a little of both. If I plot the entire story, scene by scene, I feel like I’ve already told the story in the outline, so why write it? I lose interest. But if I don’t have a general guideline, I wander around lost in the woods and spend way too much time rewriting. So I finally learned to plot in little sections as I go. It’s still a messy process.

Tell us about the featured book.
In Angel Falls, two pasts collide in a deadly race to save an orphaned baby.

Regina da Silva and Brooks Anderson have both been broken by their violent pasts. But while Regina is determined to keep her orphanage children safe, Brooks, a former Army Ranger, never wants to protect anyone again. When circumstances force them together in Brazil, they find themselves pursued by a killer as they protect an orphaned baby. As the danger heightens around them, so does the attraction between Regina and Brooks. Will their pasts stop them from realizing their true feelings for each other when their pursuer strives to keep them apart forever?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Angel Falls
Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, Present Day

Regina da Silva tied the laces on her cracked leather boots and yanked the hand-knitted wool stockings Olga made her last Christmas up past her knees. Outside, an icy wind fought to get in through the wooden shutters guarding House of Angels’ orphanage. She straightened the layers of skirts swirling around her ankles, knowing she’d give away all but one before the night ended.

She didn’t want to go out tonight, and that made her feel small and selfish. And guilty. So she hefted the wicker basket filled with meat pastries and opened the door—before she changed her mind. On nights like tonight, she didn’t know which she hated most—the cold, or the memories.

“You are still going out tonight, Regina?” Irene demanded quietly from behind her, voice heavy with accusation. And disappointment.
“Just this one night, Regina, stay home. We’ll talk. Laugh, maybe even shed a few tears. Minha amiga, even Jesus took time off for his friends.”

Regina swallowed hard and glanced over her shoulder at the sagging sofa, where Irene sat with her feet curled under her, cuddling her three-month-old son. The pleading tone almost demolished the fence guarding Regina’s mouth.

A gust of wind snatched the door from her grasp and slammed it against the wall, the crash a call to arms. “If I don’t go, who will?” Regina asked. She didn’t add, “since you aren’t anymore,” but it echoed in the room nonetheless. Regina tried to keep the hurt out of her voice. She still couldn’t believe Irene and little Eduardo were moving to the United States in the morning and leaving her behind. She was thrilled for Irene. She was furious, too, and mad at herself for feeling that way. But she couldn’t find words for any of it. So she simply pointed to the basket and said, “Olga has the meat pastries ready and Jorge packed extra blankets.” Regina pulled on a pair of handmade mittens, carefully pulling together the hole in one thumb.

Irene sent her a piercing sad-eyed look. “You can’t save them all, you know.”

At the familiar argument, Regina met her gaze, eyes hot, and repeated what she always said in response. “Maybe not. But I can save some.”

I’m intrigued already. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’d love to connect with readers online. I try to offer encouragement to busy women on my blog: I’m also on Facebook and Linked-In, and on Twitter as @CaptConnieMann. I hope you’ll come visit me!

Thank you, Connie, for sharing your interesting life and book with us today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Angel Falls - paperback
Angel Falls - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Rita Garcia said...

Great interview! Thank you, I look forward to reading Angel Falls!

Connie Mann said...

Thanks so much, Rita! I'm delighted to be here today. I hope you'll let me know what you think of Angel Falls!

mongupp said...

this sounds intriguing and i love stories about orphans...Anne of Green Gables is one of my faves!

Monica Ontario

Marianne Barkman said...

This one sounds like a novel i could get my heart into! i love it. And the interview was great. Thanks, Lena and Connie

marianne in Arizona


Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins

Duncanville, Tx

Heidi said...

Looks intriguing!
Heidi from San Diego, CA

Connie Mann said...

Hi Ladies, had to run a few errands, but I'm back! Monica, Marianne, Lyndie, Heidi--so nice to *meet* you here! Glad you enjoyed the interview. And do hope you'll let me know what you think of Angel Falls!

Lisa Carter said...

I love books with characters who've seen their share of trouble and pain. Real life wounds that scar their hearts. I love Christian fiction and novels like Angel Falls because of the hope and inspiration they provide to others whose pasts have been anything but tranquil.

Congratulations, Connie. Thanks Lena for another great interview.

Connie Mann said...

Lisa, thanks so very much for your kind words! That's the goal of Angel Falls--to provide hope. Our God is a God of second chances and new beginnings!

Bethany said...

This sounds interesting! I'd love to be entered- Connie is a new author to me. -- I'm from Ohio.

cbus.blogger at gmail dot com

Davalyn Spencer said...

Interesting interview, Connie. Congratulations on following your dream and sticking to it!

Norma S said...

Great interview and thanks for giving me a chance to win your book, it sounds like a great book,can't wait to read it. So you have your licensed to be a boat captain that sounds like a fun and you take the 5th grade out on your boat for the Silver River Museum, that is really nice of you!I hope i win you book, i want to fine out about the baby. God bless you.
Norma Stanforth from Ohio

Connie Mann said...

Hi Bethany, Hi Norma--so nice to *meet* two lovely ladies from Ohio! Hope you get a chance to read Angel Falls-and that you let me know what you think of Brooks and Regina!

Davalyn--many, many thanks for the encouragement!

Diane Rains said...

Hi Connie! I've been looking for a great romantic suspense and Angel Falls sounds like just the book. Thanks for the interview.

Marti Pieper said...

I enjoyed learning a little more about you, Connie, and reading the first page, too. I have a daughter who has visited Brazil and volunteered in a very poor area, so I already identify with Angel Falls. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Preston said...

What a fascinating story line. ANGEL FALLS is going to be a great read.

Mary P


rubynreba said...

Enjoyed the interview! Angel Falls sounds like a book that I wouldn't be able to put down once I started it.
Beth from Iowa

Library Lady said...

I would love to be able to win the book, "Angel Falls". It would be a wonderful addition to the church library shelves.
Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.
Janet E.

Connie Mann said...

Diane, Mary, Beth and Janet--so glad you like the premise of Angel Falls! I do hope you'll let me know what you think of it!

Marti-how fun to have that connection to the story! Brazil is an incredible place! Hope you enjoy the story!

Hannah said...

I would love to win!
Hannah P

Kandra said...

please sign me up!
kandra in TN

Abigail Richmond said...

Enter me!

Blanch, N.C.

squiresj said...

I hope I am in time to enter to win this. Would love to review.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Kristie said...

I'm a librarian and it warms my heart to hear your library stories. We really do try to encourage lifeling reading! Looks like it worked for you. I loved Nancy Drew as a girl too. The book sounds great. I have never been to Brazil. Your book makes it sound interesting and exciting. Kristie from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Veronica Sternberg said...

This sounds so suspenseful! I'd love to win! I'm in MN.

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond