One of my favorite authors and friends is back visiting with us. Welcome, Kathleen. How did this book come about?
Originally, I had another story idea planned for book 2 in the Secret Life of Will Tucker series, but my editor suggested I write the story of the hero’s best friend in book one. Thus, Agent Kyle Russell, inventor and crime fighter, got his say.
Tell us about the book’s cover and what makes it unique.
One of the book’s two main settings is
Orleans, so I love that the designers captured the feel of the in this cover. Between the
gaslights and the iron balconies, I believe they did a great job. Crescent City
Please explain and differentiate between what’s fact and fiction in the book.
Of course, Millie and Kyle are fictional characters, as are most of their family members. However, I do include Jean Lafitte, a pirate and hero of the War of 1812 in the tale. It is also fact that many people in the
region of Texas and Louisiana believe that treasure was buried
by Lafitte before his hasty departure in the early 1800s. According to these
experts, time and storms have removed many of the markers leaving untold
amounts of wealth waiting to be found.
How much research did you have to do for this book?
Since I grew up on the
much of what I wrote were things I learned during those years. From the search
for pirate treasure to the red house on Gulf Coast
and the moss hanging down on dark bayous, these are things of my childhood.
Because Millie is a Galveston Island Memphis
girl, I did take a trip there to experience the city for myself. During that
same research trip, I traveled down into the places where Lafitte was known to
frequent as well.
What are some of the most interesting things you found about this subject that you weren’t able to use in the story?
I watched a documentary on Confederate gold that put forth the hypothesis that Jean Lafitte’s pirate treasure might be hidden beneath the Mississippi River or, more interestingly, under a prominent landmark in New Orleans. Both are compelling theories but neither managed to find a place in the story.
What inspired and surprised you while you were writing the book?
I grew up a stone’s throw from
and lived in Cajun Country (aka ) for five years, so
writing about that part of the country and its people always inspires me. As to
what surprised me? I think that would be the intricacy of the plot I managed to
weave and the inventions that Kyle created that I was able to use in the story line. Lafayette,
What do you hope the reader takes away from the story?
I hope that the reader will see that even when it appears we have strayed from the path God designed for us, He is always there to lead us back to where we should be. A second lesson is that it’s surprising what one can learn by asking questions and then really listening to the answers. Sometimes those who we do not believe have much to offer us are the very ones God uses to send us a message.
What is the next project you’re working on?
I just finished galleys for the third book in the Secret Lives of Will Tucker series. Sadie’s Secrets offered more than a few surprises while writing. I won’t give the plot away, but suffice it to say that Will Tucker offered the biggest surprise of all—and I’m the writer!
What do you do when you have to get away from the story for a while?
I read. Failing that, I love long car rides with my husband.
Please give us the first page of the book.
December 24, 1888
“I am a Pinkerton agent, not a treasure hunter, Cap.”
Agent Kyle Russell knew he had raised his voice far louder than was proper, but he did not care. In previous cases, pleading his passion for the topic might have been a sufficient excuse, but this time he offered no apology. He was a man accustomed to working cases that mattered, not a flunky being used to further a political career.
“The President has requested I put my best man on this case, and unfortunately, you are he.”
If this was the captain’s way of praising him, the compliment fell short. Nor did it matter than it was Christmas Eve and he had agreed to a meeting in
Chicago when his mother
wished him home in New Orleans
to celebrate the holidays with his family.
“March 4.” The captain shrugged. “Your time on this case lasts only until inauguration day. When the president leaves office, you can leave this case behind.” He removed his spectacles and pinched the spot where they’d last rested on his nose. “What if I allow you to return to the Will Tucker case when you are done with this one? Would that sweeten the pot for working this one until the first week of March?”
The name held memories of a grudge that had become personal. Of a man whose exploits had wounded hearts and caused losses beyond the jewels he stole from his victims. That he had escaped from Angola Prison in
Louisiana had been a
thorn in Kyle’s side for almost two years.
But Confederate treasure?
“Before I answer you, can I ask why a president who was voted out of office is suddenly interested in Confederate treasure that may or may not have existed?”
A lift of one shoulder and the captain donned his spectacles once more. “I would only be guessing, but I think he is looking to add some money to the government coffers. To leave on a high note, as it were.”
“Meaning he is promising to be back in four years. To be responsible for adding a substantial deposit of gold to the treasury without taxing the people might help him get there.”
“Confederate gold for reelection?” Kyle shook his head. “Not seeing the point in it.”
“We do not have to see the point,” he said. “And who knows? Maybe it is not Cleveland himself who’s asking. It could be anyone who runs in his circles. A cabinet member, one of his political backers, anyone.” He walked to the door and closed it. “The assignment comes from William Pinkerton himself, so I suggest you take it seriously and respond accordingly.”
Can’t wait until my book gets here. It’ll be the next book I read. How can my readers find you on the Internet?
Amazon author page:http://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-YBarbo/e/B001JP44ZM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Millie's Treasure - Christianbook.com
Millie's Treasure (The Secret Lives of Will Tucker) - Amazon
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