Wednesday, March 04, 2015

BEAST OF STRATTON - Renee Blare - One Free Ebook

Welcome, Renee. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
It’s amazing how I sprinkle a little of me into each character, sometimes without even thinking about it. I’m not saying a lot now … but in every person, you’ll find a touch of Renee. Whether it be a whim, a habit … good or bad. After all, I’m not perfect. LOL I did it when I began writing to keep my stories real. It stuck.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m not actually quirky. I’m a type-A personality. I guess that’s why I’m a pharmacist. I guess I’d have to say the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is paint a cross on the cars at Cadillac Ranch on Route 66. My husband would say it’s how I bet on the horses at the race track. (I pick the best looking horses and find their numbers on the lists.) He uses statistics. What can I say? I’m a woman at heart.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve known I could write since junior high school … around twelve or thirteen. It’s always been my security blanket. In times of trial or stress, I tend to pen my emotions in the form of poetry. As far as novels, that didn’t come until much later. My husband’s the one I give credit for encouraging me to begin that endeavor. About four years ago, he challenged me to write my own when I filled his ears with a ton of complaints when I’d bought a book I didn’t like. The rest is history.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m fairly eclectic in my reading choices. I like everything from historical romance to science fiction. I’ll even pick up a paranormal and read it. I’m not too keen on horror. You won’t catch one of those in my library or on my television very often. I love suspense which is probably why I write it, and a good mystery is good to curl up with on the couch. But I have to say … I’m a sucker for a Scottish romance. I always have been. (sigh)

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
The same way I always have, I guess—with lots of prayer. As busy as I am, I can’t start the day without my time with the Lord. The first thing I do is open my Bible and read His word. We have our time together. I share my worries and concerns … listen to what He has to say. Our time’s special. It anchors me for what comes. Some may even get a glimpse of what we talk about every morning because I post a tidbit each day.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes the name pops into my head and fits … like a glove. I don’t have to think about it. Other times, I need to dig out my book of baby names and search for the right one. And then there’s those times, nothing works. That’s when I ask people. My husband, my mom, my son, my coworkers, my Facebook friends, my fans … you name it. Eventually, I hear it and it’s like—YES, finally!

I just know when it’s the right one.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Our son. It was a challenge to get him into this world. Not only my body, but my marriage came under fire and withstood the inferno. It was a concerted effort but between the both of us, my husband and I, a new life was born.

The Lord taught me a lot during the process. The most important lesson? The child I carried in my body was not just mine, but His. It’s a lesson I took to heart, we both did. Today, he’s a wonderful, godly man.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would have to say the golden retriever. I love people and never meet a stranger. I’m loyal to a fault. I’m quick to forgive and for me, a little attention goes a long way.

We had a golden retriever when I was in high school. A wonderful dog. What is your favorite food?
My favorite food? New York Style Cheesecake with no topping … well, I like cherry topping, but no cherries. That sounds really quirky. Maybe that should be my quirky thing. LOL I make it from scratch (when I can figure out the oven!) I tried to make one over the holidays this year and it looked awesome. Need I say more?

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I would have to say … getting people to take me seriously as a writer. And I’m not talking about my friends and family. I figure they will always see me as a pharmacist until I don’t wear the white jacket anymore. No, I’m talking about fellow writers.

I didn’t join ACFW to get published. I didn’t enter my first Genesis contest to land a contract. I knew I wasn’t a good writer, yet. But I wanted to be.

I soaked in all the knowledge I could from those who were. I took Creative Writing courses. I ignored the destructive remarks and focused on the constructive criticism. I learned. It’s a process I will continue to do as long as I write.

Tell us about the featured book.
Beast of Stratton is a story inspired by the fairy tale, “Beauty and the Beast.” It began in my critique group, Rough Diamond Writers. Each of us chose a different fairy tale and penned a story. I’ve loved this tale since I was a little girl so it came natural to pick it.

Since I write contemporary and suspense, Beast of Stratton took on a more modern flare and the rest is history.

It’s about a young woman’s search for her father. He’s disappeared leaving only a note, a rose, and pendant necklace as clues to his whereabouts. Determined to find him, she sets off to New York and disguises herself as a secretary at his place of employment, Stratton Industrial where the CEO, a wounded war veteran has recently returned from his second tour in Iraq. Her presence and some strange occurrences within his firm pulls him from his reclusive penthouse, and the quest to find her father begins.

I love books based on fairy tales. Please give us the first page of the book.
The hot spray of the shower slapped his back like a whip. Miles Stratton leaned his forehead against the cool tile and rolled his shoulders. He blinked to clear water from his eyes, but steam swirled around him. The world spun and his vision blurred. He leapt back in time—into smoke and pain.

The yoke wrenched against his hands while the rotors groaned above his head. Another missile slammed into the chopper and the tail dropped off, spinning it toward the ground. The acrid smell of burning fuel and blood hung in his nose as he fought to keep the bird in the air.

Icy water snapped him into the present, and he slammed his hand into the wall, his roar echoing around the small cubicle of granite and tile. Enough already. Miles closed his eyes and pushed the memories away.

He dipped under the cold spray one last time before shutting off the water. In his room, he dug around in his bag, tossing wrinkled clothes on the bed. Sooner or later, he’d need to unpack. It’d have to be later.

Clad in old jeans and a t-shirt, he pulled the door open and water dropped on his bare toes. He headed back to the bathroom. After another pass through his wet hair and beard with his towel, he tossed it in the hamper. Pulling a dry one off the shelf, he grabbed a comb and a rubber band.

Banging cupboards greeted him when he walked into the next room. An annoying person was in his kitchen. Again. “Hey, knock it off.”

“Where’s your scotch?” His stepbrother peeked around the corner.

Miles settled on the couch with the towel on his chest and started combing the tangles out of his beard. “Long gone.”

“What?” Ray groaned and tossed his ice into the sink with a clank and joined him in the living room. “You didn’t have to drain it all, dude. Maybe you should back off a little.”

Miles grunted. He hadn’t touched a drop since landing stateside. No, scratch that. The night before his last mission in Iraq. The toast of death—his last drink. His beard clear of snarls, Miles started on his mane. A low growl rumbled when the comb caught a ratted mass of curls. He worked it loose and began again, delving into the thick hair.

Oh, I can hardly wait to read this book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
·        faithwalker007@gmail.com
·        Facebook
·        Twitter
·        Pinterest
·        Tumblr: The  Journey
·        Amazon Author Page
·        Blog: Renee’s Inspirational Moments
Group Blog: The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction


Welcome, Renee. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
It’s amazing how I sprinkle a little of me into each character, sometimes without even thinking about it. I’m not saying a lot now … but in every person, you’ll find a touch of Renee. Whether it be a whim, a habit … good or bad. After all, I’m not perfect. LOL I did it when I began writing to keep my stories real. It stuck.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m not actually quirky. I’m a type-A personality. I guess that’s why I’m a pharmacist. I guess I’d have to say the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is paint a cross on the cars at Cadillac Ranch on Route 66. My husband would say it’s how I bet on the horses at the race track. (I pick the best looking horses and find their numbers on the lists.) He uses statistics. What can I say? I’m a woman at heart.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve known I could write since junior high school … around twelve or thirteen. It’s always been my security blanket. In times of trial or stress, I tend to pen my emotions in the form of poetry. As far as novels, that didn’t come until much later. My husband’s the one I give credit for encouraging me to begin that endeavor. About four years ago, he challenged me to write my own when I filled his ears with a ton of complaints when I’d bought a book I didn’t like. The rest is history.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m fairly eclectic in my reading choices. I like everything from historical romance to science fiction. I’ll even pick up a paranormal and read it. I’m not too keen on horror. You won’t catch one of those in my library or on my television very often. I love suspense which is probably why I write it, and a good mystery is good to curl up with on the couch. But I have to say … I’m a sucker for a Scottish romance. I always have been. (sigh)

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
The same way I always have, I guess—with lots of prayer. As busy as I am, I can’t start the day without my time with the Lord. The first thing I do is open my Bible and read His word. We have our time together. I share my worries and concerns … listen to what He has to say. Our time’s special. It anchors me for what comes. Some may even get a glimpse of what we talk about every morning because I post a tidbit each day.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes the name pops into my head and fits … like a glove. I don’t have to think about it. Other times, I need to dig out my book of baby names and search for the right one. And then there’s those times, nothing works. That’s when I ask people. My husband, my mom, my son, my coworkers, my Facebook friends, my fans … you name it. Eventually, I hear it and it’s like—YES, finally!

I just know when it’s the right one.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Our son. It was a challenge to get him into this world. Not only my body, but my marriage came under fire and withstood the inferno. It was a concerted effort but between the both of us, my husband and I, a new life was born.

The Lord taught me a lot during the process. The most important lesson? The child I carried in my body was not just mine, but His. It’s a lesson I took to heart, we both did. Today, he’s a wonderful, godly man.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would have to say the golden retriever. I love people and never meet a stranger. I’m loyal to a fault. I’m quick to forgive and for me, a little attention goes a long way.

We had a golden retriever when I was in high school. A wonderful dog. What is your favorite food?
My favorite food? New York Style Cheesecake with no topping … well, I like cherry topping, but no cherries. That sounds really quirky. Maybe that should be my quirky thing. LOL I make it from scratch (when I can figure out the oven!) I tried to make one over the holidays this year and it looked awesome. Need I say more?

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I would have to say … getting people to take me seriously as a writer. And I’m not talking about my friends and family. I figure they will always see me as a pharmacist until I don’t wear the white jacket anymore. No, I’m talking about fellow writers.

I didn’t join ACFW to get published. I didn’t enter my first Genesis contest to land a contract. I knew I wasn’t a good writer, yet. But I wanted to be.

I soaked in all the knowledge I could from those who were. I took Creative Writing courses. I ignored the destructive remarks and focused on the constructive criticism. I learned. It’s a process I will continue to do as long as I write.

Tell us about the featured book.
Beast of Stratton is a story inspired by the fairy tale, “Beauty and the Beast.” It began in my critique group, Rough Diamond Writers. Each of us chose a different fairy tale and penned a story. I’ve loved this tale since I was a little girl so it came natural to pick it.

Since I write contemporary and suspense, Beast of Stratton took on a more modern flare and the rest is history.

It’s about a young woman’s search for her father. He’s disappeared leaving only a note, a rose, and pendant necklace as clues to his whereabouts. Determined to find him, she sets off to New York and disguises herself as a secretary at his place of employment, Stratton Industrial where the CEO, a wounded war veteran has recently returned from his second tour in Iraq. Her presence and some strange occurrences within his firm pulls him from his reclusive penthouse, and the quest to find her father begins.

I love books based on fairy tales. Please give us the first page of the book.
The hot spray of the shower slapped his back like a whip. Miles Stratton leaned his forehead against the cool tile and rolled his shoulders. He blinked to clear water from his eyes, but steam swirled around him. The world spun and his vision blurred. He leapt back in time—into smoke and pain.

The yoke wrenched against his hands while the rotors groaned above his head. Another missile slammed into the chopper and the tail dropped off, spinning it toward the ground. The acrid smell of burning fuel and blood hung in his nose as he fought to keep the bird in the air.

Icy water snapped him into the present, and he slammed his hand into the wall, his roar echoing around the small cubicle of granite and tile. Enough already. Miles closed his eyes and pushed the memories away.

He dipped under the cold spray one last time before shutting off the water. In his room, he dug around in his bag, tossing wrinkled clothes on the bed. Sooner or later, he’d need to unpack. It’d have to be later.

Clad in old jeans and a t-shirt, he pulled the door open and water dropped on his bare toes. He headed back to the bathroom. After another pass through his wet hair and beard with his towel, he tossed it in the hamper. Pulling a dry one off the shelf, he grabbed a comb and a rubber band.

Banging cupboards greeted him when he walked into the next room. An annoying person was in his kitchen. Again. “Hey, knock it off.”

“Where’s your scotch?” His stepbrother peeked around the corner.

Miles settled on the couch with the towel on his chest and started combing the tangles out of his beard. “Long gone.”

“What?” Ray groaned and tossed his ice into the sink with a clank and joined him in the living room. “You didn’t have to drain it all, dude. Maybe you should back off a little.”

Miles grunted. He hadn’t touched a drop since landing stateside. No, scratch that. The night before his last mission in Iraq. The toast of death—his last drink. His beard clear of snarls, Miles started on his mane. A low growl rumbled when the comb caught a ratted mass of curls. He worked it loose and began again, delving into the thick hair.

Oh, I can hardly wait to read this book. How can readers find you on the Internet?
·        faithwalker007@gmail.com
·        Facebook
·        Twitter
·        Pinterest
·        Tumblr: The  Journey
·        Amazon Author Page
·        Blog: Renee’s Inspirational Moments
Group Blog: The Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction

Thank you, Renee, for sharing this new book with us. I can hardly wait for my copy to arrive. I'm eager to read it. I know my readers are, too.

Readers, here is a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Beast of Stratton

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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, 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:
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

17 comments:

Renee Blare said...

Thanks for having me on your blog, Lena! It's an honor. :)

Polly D said...

So anxious to read Renee Blare's book "Beast of Stratton"! I am partial to this writer and wish her the best in all her endeavors. I'd love to have a free copy of her book!
Thank you,
Polly DeBruin
El Dorado, AR

Renee Blare said...

Thanks, Polly. I'd love for you to read Beast of Stratton, too! Thanks for stopping Lena's blog. :) God bless...

Peggy Trotter said...

I love the cover! And what a fascinating idea to re-tell a fairy tale! It was so fun getting to know you! ;)

Renee Blare said...

Thank you, Peggy. I love the cover as well. I loved writing this story and I absolutely love Beauty and the Beast! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Anonymous said...

I love any kind of fairytale retelling, whether It be contemporary, medieval, comical, or authentic. I would just LOVE to win this. Sounds suspenseful and enjoyable. Can't wait to read!
J.C. -Indiana-

Renee Blare said...

Hi, JC. I would love for you to win it too! It's a great story (even if I do say so myself.) ;) P.S. How's the weather in Indiana?

Lisa Lickel said...

Congratulations, Renee on your book. Nice interview! Lovely January weather here in Wisconsin. Great reading time.

Renee Blare said...

Hi Lisa and thanks! It's cold here in Wyoming, but it's supposed to warm up. We'll see. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Mary Preston said...

A great post thank you. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a favorite of mine. I look forward to your re-telling.

Mary P

QLD AUSTRALIA

Beth Gillihan said...

Sounds like a great book! I love re-telling of fairy tales! thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Pam Graber said...

I love the fairy tale element here! Would love to read about this "Beast".

Pam in Ohio

Renee Blare said...

Thanks Mary and Beth, I love fairy tales, especially Beauty and the Beast. I can't wait for you to read it! I hope you love it as much as I did writing it. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Joy Avery Melville said...

Renee and Lena;
What a great interview - knew I loved this gal!
Can't wait to read the story in its entirety.
Super writing on that first page. Love the word painting thus far!
I'm Joy Avery Melville from Schoolcraft, MI (historical for the underground railroad hideouts) ';)

Renee Blare said...

Hi Joy, love you too! Thanks for stopping by. I can't wait for you to read it too. I know you'll tell me exactly what you think. LOL

KayM said...

It sounds like you have a really interesting character for your book. I'm looking forward to reading it.
Tennessee

Renee Blare said...

Hey Pam and Kay, thanks for stopping by the blog. I can't wait until you read it too! This "Beast" is quite the character. He captured my heart. :)