Monday, July 04, 2011

PURPLE KNOT - Raquel Byrnes - Free Book

Welcome, Raquel. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
There is whisper of myself in each character. I write what my heart knows and so the trials and triumphs they face are shades of what has touched my own life.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I took target shooting classes for research…does that count? The police officer that conducted the gun safety lesson found it the oddest reason for anyone to want to learn to shoot.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I think the Lord designed my heart to tell stories. I’ve written for as long as I can remember. Always with adventure, faith, and love in them.  Though, I’ve gotten much better since writing Bear and Cat Have a Picnic when I was five.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’ve always been a huge mystery fan. From the noir detective novels by Dashiell Hammett to Sherlock Holmes, I love a good chase. I enjoy romance of any era. Something about hearts and lives on the line really pulls me in. I’m also a major cop procedural lover. If there’s a rogue cop and a deadly criminal, I’m reading it.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I have a son that has autism, he’s very high functioning, but he still is most comfortable with established routines. So our household runs on a very clear schedule. It really helps that everyone is in bed at a certain time and the house is quiet and still for me to write.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
My critique partner pointed out that all of my heroine’s names begin with the letter, R. She wondered if that was because they were symbolic as being a part of me since my name begins the same way. I had no idea I did this until she told me. I thought I chose names that sounded nice.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’m most proud of my children. I’ve homeschooled all of them since pre-school. All six of them are sweet young people that love the Lord. There is nothing that will ever be more important to me.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I would be a platypus. As the duck-billed mammal that lays eggs, it fits with my tendency to not always adhere to the norm.  Plus, I think they’re kinda cute.

What is your favorite food?
I’ve recently developed a complete love for anything Cajun. My brother took me out to eat alligator and crawfish when I was writing a book that takes place in the Louisiana bayou. I love the spicy, hearty meals that fill you up and remind you of family.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think that overcoming the need for every chapter to be perfect before moving on was really stopping me from finishing. Someone at a conference told me to give myself time to improve. She said writing was a trial by fire, learn-as-you-go type of affair and I just had to get the story out. Helped me tremendously.

Tell us about the featured book.
Purple Knot is an inspirational romantic suspense. Reyna Cruz, who left Seattle in the midst of tragedy, goes back and teams up with her ex fiancĂ© to solve his sister’s mysterious death.

Please give us the first page of the book.
I lurk in the shadows of the normal world. A recorder of sins, I dwell in the gray of secrets and lies. I capture images of infidelity, and follow the printed trails of stolen promises. Nothing stays hidden from me, no matter how deeply it’s buried. I am a purveyor of all that is protected, and I am very good at my job.

That is how I came to be on the fourth floor of an abandoned carpet warehouse with my camera on its tripod and a foam cup of coffee in my hand. A client, for whom I’ve done numerous jobs, asked me to keep an eye on his business partner. For the last four weeks, I’d tracked balding, middle-aged, Norman Bower from his lunch meetings to his handball matches and back to the office. I’d snapped images of him buying shoes, awkwardly flirting with a waitress way too young for him, and sneaking cigarettes in the parking garage before heading home to his wife and kids.

My client was convinced Mr. Bower was passing information about their sealed job bids to a rival company and wanted proof of cavorting with the enemy to use in a take-over. Unfortunately, Mr. Bower’s only vice was that he was incredibly boring. Still, I was on retainer, so I took a few more shots of Mr. Bower seriously testing the strength of his sweat suit material while trying to achieve the downward dog position in his beginning yoga class across the street.

My phone buzzed and I answered it while packing up equipment. There’s no way Bower would try to court a client while sweating like a junkie and fighting off a heart attack. I was done here.

“Reyna Cruz,” I answered.

“It’s me.”

My heart sank when I heard Summer on the other end. I recognized the way her words sounded through a busted lip, and I gritted my teeth, willing myself not to get upset. Summer’s husband was an animal.

“Yeah, Summer. How are you?” I shoved my camera into the case and rubbed my eyes.

“I’m at the hospital. Jimmy wanted me to call you.”

Jimmy was her brother and the only decent male in her life. He wasn’t a cop, but monitored the chatter on the sheriff’s frequency whenever he could. Jimmy listened for domestic dispute calls almost compulsively. That he’d hear his sister’s was only a matter of time.

“Hey Rain.”

Jimmy’s laid back drawl came across the line, and his crooked grin flashed behind my eyes. Originally from Louisiana, he and Summer had moved with their family to Seattle when they were fourteen. They were twins and my very best friends in the world. Jimmy, at one time, had been much more than that.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
The can reach me at my writing blog:
Or at my website:

Thank you, Raquel, for the interesting interview.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

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 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.


Unknown said...

Soemone mentioned in their blog that seldom are first responses chosen. Well. i guess we'll see if i can break that. Anyhows, Thanks for the interesting interview/post, Lena and Raquel, and the giveaway. I'd love to win. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com from Peace River Country, Alberta

Sarah said...

Would love to win!

Sarah H

Michelle said...

Sounds like a great book, I love romantic suspense.

mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net


Anonymous said...

I would be blessed to win.


apple blossom said...

please include me in this giveaway. thanks I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Sarah said...

This looks good. I would like a chance to win.


Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Joyce said...

The book sounds wonderful!


Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This sounds like a great book. I would love to read this. Thanks again.

I am from Oklahoma.


Raquel Byrnes said...

Marianne - Best of luck and thank you!

Sarah - You're in the running. :)

Michelle - Thanks so much for stopping by.

Angela - that's sweet...good luck.

Apple Blossom, Sarah, Linda - You're included. :)

Joyce and Rebecca - Thank you for your kind words.

Lena - Thank you for the amazing job you did on the post. Its so lovely. :)

tammy ramey said...

the book sounds wonderful and i can't wait to read it.

Tammy R.

Nas said...

Sounds like a very good story, as I love romantic suspense stories!

All the best!

scottsgal said...

I love it - a platypus - I'd pick an oddball animal too
thanks for the chance
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Mozi Esme said...

Looks interesting!

Jane from Oregon

Pam K. said...

"Purple Knot" is an interesting title; the book also sounds intriguing. I'd love to win.


Raquel Byrnes said...

Tammy - thanks so much!

Nas - good to see you again!

Scottsgal - yeah, I like being a bit odd.

Mozi and Pam - So glad you stopped by! Thanks a bunch!

Faith's Grandma/Oh said...

This sounds like a great book, can't wait to read it....

Faith's Grandma

Anonymous said...

Oooh, Raquel - love that first paragraph! The whole first page is great, of course, but what an amazing description of the heroine as she sees herself. Good job! You've got my attention. :)

delia AT delialatham DOT net

EJ said...

Sounds like a good series - please enter me in the contest. Raquel - went on your page & saw that you have SIX kids - not sure how you find time to write & homeschool them. I have 4 adopted kids with special needs & still have trouble getting things done. One of mine is also on the Autism Spectrum & we've also found that keeping the household on a schedule helps alot (lots of change is not good!). God Bless - Elaine in Iowa

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks interesting, would love to win.
Blanch, N.C.

Courtney said...

Sounds like a great book!! Thanks!!


Anonymous said...

Would love to win the book. I'm a follower and a subscriber. I posted this to my blog:

dancealert at aol dot com

Raquel Byrnes said...

Faith's Grandma - Thank you so much!

Delia - Thanks for your sweet words.

Elaine - A pleasure to meet another mom of a spectrum sweetie. Truly a calling.

Abigail and Courtney - So thankful you stopped by, thanks!

Dancer - I'm so grateful for you adding me to your blog. Thank you and good luck!

A..m.Carpenter/ohio said...

Love suspense....this is my kind of book...Thanks


Jo said...

I would love the chance to win this book.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Anonymous said...

Love Cajun food too, but I will pass on thank you :) I'll just take your book and smile :)


peachykath said...

I really liked the interview with the author, I found I have a few things in common with her. I've been target shooting and loved it, I also have a love for cajun food and mystery novels. Please enter me in the drawing for this book. Thank you.

Katherine from Northern California


margie said...

Very interesting interview and the book sounds great!!! I would love an opportunity to win a copy here in South Carolina...margie at mijares dot net

Kristie said...

Wow! I'm impressed that you homeschooled your six children. And your organized routine makes me wish I could do that. All that and writing too. My goodness. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Pat said...

I love romantic suspense. I live in Ohio.
pkildow at gmail dot com

Carol N Wong said...

I love the title. I know the author means by sticking to the routines. My brother who is severaly autistic gets upset if the routines are broken. Looking forward to reading the Purple Knot.