Thursday, November 07, 2013

THE NUN AND THE NARC - Catherine Castle - One Free Print or Ebook, Winner's Choice

Readers, this is a new author to this blog. Welcome, Catherine. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Wow, I’m not sure I know how much of myself I write into a character, at least not consciously. My daughter, however, says she can see bits of me in my characters. I think we all write from a position of knowledge and our actions, reactions, and mores creep into our characters whether or not we want, or intend, them to.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I rode the Twin Racers at King’s Island backwards once. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but I’m not a big daredevil. The rollercoaster has two trains, one that goes forward and another that goes backwards. My daughter challenged me to ride the backwards coaster. I nearly chickened out, thinking it would be really scary not seeing where the coaster took me. You know how you can lose your stomach and your seat when the coasters barrel downhill. I was afraid I might lose my lunch. But it actually wasn’t as bad as the forward coasters.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve known I was a writer since I was a kid. I wrote short stories in grade school and had penned my first romance book by the time I was a teenager. I was the kid who loved the term paper and essay assignments, as long as I could choose the topic. However, I never thought of it as a career choice back then, just something I loved to do.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I have everything on my book shelves, real and virtual: children’s books, mysteries,  romance, adventure, biographies, fantasy, and sci-fi. I’ve even been known to read nonfiction, the encyclopedia, and the dictionary. I have a dictionary entitled Mrs. Byrnes Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words by Josefa Heifetz Byrne that I pick up occasionally and peruse. But I have to say my favorite genres are romance, fantasy, and mystery in that order. I love happy endings, exploring the unknown, and unraveling a puzzle.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Prioritize tasks. I keep a running list of things to do which works for me, if I don’t forget to look at the list. If I don’t get it down on paper, I don’t remember it. I also spend time with friends and family. The hubby and I have standing date nights and a weekly movie out with our best friends. I also spend time talking to my daughter almost every night.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I don’t have a set method for choosing a character’s name. Sometimes I look through the baby name book I keep on my desk to find something I like. Other times the characters tell me who they want to be, because they refuse to cooperate until I get the right name. Other times I just leave a WIP name until I find the right one. I once wrote almost an entire book with a character entitled Mother 3, because every name I assigned to the character didn’t fit. In The Nun and the Narc I liked the alliteration of Sister Margaret Mary’s name. I originally called her Mary Margaret, but the hero kept calling her Maggie, so I eventually changed her name to Margaret Mary. Occasionally, I’ll still put Mary before Margaret. I also like to play with the names, hence the hero of The Nun and the Narc has an undercover agent name of “Bond. Jed Bond.”

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Professionally, it’s writing THE END on each book I write. Until you write THE END there’s always the chance your book will stall.

I think I may have written THE END on my first novel, but I haven’t since then, and I’ve had over 30 published books. I just stop writing when it’s finished. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I have absolutely no idea what kind of animal I would be. If you’d asked what kind of flower, I could tell you – a daylily, because it’s my favorite bloom. But animal …? Not a clue.

What is your favorite food?
Chocolate, of course. The darker the better. It should be one of the major food groups as far as I’m concerned.

I agree with that, and now they say it’s very good for us. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest roadblock to writing was probably the fact that I didn’t recognize it as a career choice until much later in my life. I loved writing, but had always been single-minded about my original career choice. When that dream failed, it took me quite a while to realize that writing (the other thing I loved to do) was an option. When my daughter was in middle school, I started writing as a contributor to the local newspaper. That stringer job, and the guidance the editors gave me, provided me the confidence I needed to pursue a writing career.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Nun and the Narc was a 2007 ACFW Genesis finalist and is a 2014 EPIC Ebook finalist.  Readers have called it “…an inspirational tale with a definite twist” and said the “plot is unlike any I've read or could have imagined.” One of my goals was to write a book that Christians as well as non-Christian readers would enjoy. Readers have said the book “… shares Margaret's deep faith and her hilarious need to pray and confess even when bullets are flying, but it never seems too preachy or sanctimonious, even when Jed starts turning more and more toward Margaret's God. It has all the makings for something that could annoy non-Christians, but I found myself nothing but charmed and warmed.” Maybe I should have said that is my greatest writing accomplishment. J

 The Nun and the Narc
Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicable attracted to him he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them, because he is making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.
Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor hammered the last nail into the tin roof, descended the ladder, and inspected her handiwork. The early morning sun glinted off the bright surface. Her humble creation couldn’t compete with the colorful casetas that climbed the surrounding hills, flooding the mountainside with the colors of a pastel sunset, but it would keep Esperanza’s family dry. She’d promised the house would be ready yesterday. Already behind schedule, Margaret started work at daybreak. A promise was a promise, even though Esperanza would not be here to collect.

“What do you think about your new house, Rafael?”

The teenager dropped the load of rugs he carried on the dusty ground beside her, shooting puffs of gritty dirt into the air. Margaret wiped the taste of dust off her dry lips as Rafael squinted up at the shiny roof, and said something in Spanish.

“English, please. You know I don’t understand much Spanish.”

Rafael squatted down in the dirt. “If you like basura, it is okay.”

Sighing, she crouched down beside him. “I know it’s not the Taj Mahal, but it’s certainly better than the cardboard shack you were living in.”

“Don’t matter where I live now. Without Mamacita, I don’t go back.” He pulled a cigarette stub out of his pocket and lit it.

“Your mama wouldn’t like that, Rafael,” Margaret said softly.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @AuthorCCastle

Buy links for The Nun and the Narc:

Print version:

Thank you, Catherine, for visiting with us today.

Readers, 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, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.



Anonymous said...

I will be happy happy happy if I was to win. Angela from kY

Catherine Castle said...

Hi, Angela! You're just next door to me. I'm from Ohio, but have KY roots through my parents. Thanks for stopping by.

Michele said...

I am about 1/2 way through reading the Nun and the Narc and it is very good! Moves quickly, good writing--can't tell you about the end yet!

Catherine Castle said...

Thank you, Michele. I'm glad you're enjoying the book. Thanks for stopping by, too.

Melanie Backus said...

Lena, thank you for introducing Catherine. She sounds interesting and so does her book. Thank you for the chance to be a winner!

Melanie Backus, TX

Catherine Castle said...

Melanie, so glad you stopped by and thanks for the kind words. I rather like Lena's "tell us what state you hail from" addition. I lived in Texas for a while. Austin, the capital.

Linda Bennett Pennell said...

Great read, Catherine! Love the twists in the plot!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Intriguing storyline! The Nun and The Narc is on my ipad waiting to be read.

Catherine Castle said...

Thank you, Linda. I'm glad you liked the story. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Catherine Castle said...

If your TBR pile is like mine it's stacked pretty high, virtually and literally. Thanks for coming by and commenting.

Karen Lopp said...

Loved the book, Catherine.

Mary Preston said...

What a fascinating story this promises to be.

Mary P


Janet Sketchley said...

I've already reviewed the book, so don't enter me in the draw. Just wanted to say it's a fun read.

Carole, like you I think it's fun to browse dictionaries and encyclopedias. In school, when they made us look up definitions, it took forever. I kept finding all kinds of other cool words.

Jackie McNutt said...

I think the story line from your book The Nun And The Narc sounds like an interesting concept I am looking forward to adding to my to read list.
I am Ohio resident.
It is so nice to learn of your books. Thank you.
mcnuttjem0(at)g mail(dot)com

Catherine Castle said...

Thank you, Karen. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Catherine Castle said...

Hi, Mary. Thanks for dropping by from across the ocean. Australia has always fascinated me. I love stories set there.

Catherine Castle said...

Janet, thanks for the kind words about the book. When I would ask Dad how to spell a word he'd always tell me to look it up. That led to a lot of page turning and word perusal. It certainly helped increase my vocabulary and improved my spelling.

Catherine Castle said...

Glad to meet a fellow Ohioan, Jackie. I hope you enjoy the book.

Diana Flowers said...

I always enjoy getting acquainted with new authors. Hi, Catherine! I enjoyed the interview and I just LOVE books and movies about nuns. I loved The Sound of Music and The Nun's Story with Audrey Hepburn! Please enter me! Thanks for the opportunity to win this great sounding book!

Diana from SC


Catherine Castle said...

Hi, Diana! I love nun stories, too. VorIt's part of what inspired the book. How about A Change of Habit with Mary Tyler Moore and Elvis or The Flying Nun TV series? Two more of my favorites. Thanks for stopping by.

Jean said...

Thank you for this opportunity!

Jean Kropid
West Palm Beach, FL

Catherine Castle said...

Jean, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Good luck with the giveaway.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Catherine Castle said...

Hi, Sharon. Thanks for stopping by.

Catherine Castle said...

Lena, thanks so much for hosting me. It's been fun.

Tonja Saylor said...

This sounds like such a fun read. I love the title.
Tonja (VA)