I love writing some of my likes and interests into my characters. For example, I love to bake and love to discover new healthy recipes. In The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, Cara is a great cook and baker. It comes natural to her and because she loves her daughters so much, she enjoys providing healthy foods for them.
Another example for two different books: I’ve always loved ice skating and loved watching it. In my WWII series, the second sister has a real talent for ice skating and even works toward the Olympics. Unfortunately, because of WWII it never comes to pass. I also love hot air balloons and enjoyed bringing it into one romance novel as a unique wedding getaway for a couple. That was fun. J
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Oh, my, I don’t know. We’ve experienced so many things it’s hard to pick one. Hmmm, maybe having the chance to try fried sheeps’ intestines. They’re a delicacy in
Mexico. One can only hope they’ve been washed very
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
The first time I remember writing anything creative was in the sixth grade. We were assigned to write a week-long journal of a caveman’s family. Wish I still had that, although I probably wouldn’t be sharing it with anyone.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love romance novels that make me feel satisfied, laugh, cry, or relate. But my very favorite genre is suspense/thrillers/mysteries. I enjoy true to the world stories that deal with appropriate subjects from our world. Handled tactfully and well, they help make us aware of the true state of certain situations.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
God and my husband. As I’ve grown older, I love simplicity more and more. Although I still have tense and stressful days, I try to lean on God’s strength and realize He knows my future. Without Him I can not make it. And my husband is such a strong person, and wise. I can talk with him about most things. He’s a steady influence in my emotional world.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I use baby books a lot. I go through them looking for names that fit and feel right for the character. Sometimes it’s not a name I’m particularly fond of, but as a character name, it works and grows on me.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Other than getting my first traditional writing contract? We’ve lived an adventurous and exciting fulfilled life. We’ve traveled a lot, seen a lot of things, experienced a lot, but having two sons who still love and respect us is saying a lot in my book. Getting three grandsons means the world to me!
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I love dogs, but would probably be more of a cat in that I love to snuggle. I love hugging my family and friends and feel like I’m purring with contentment when I’m having a good time around them.
What is your favorite food?
This is another hard one for me. I love GOOD food. I enjoy going to a nice restaurant, but I also love homemade cooking. Vegetables and fruits are high on our list. Well-prepared fried chicken, stir fry, potatoes (all kinds), excellent cheesecake, brownies, and ice cream. The list could to on and on.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
When I got back into writing as a serious career, I went into it thinking I would get that contract, win those awards right away. I found out quickly, and rather abruptly, how much I needed to learn and relearn. Fortunately, I’m stubborn enough to go the long haul and kept at it. It hasn’t been easy and it has been discouraging at times, but the reward is wonderful!
I can thank my husband for the idea. We like to follow news items that catch our attention. A while back the cult news in
Texas was prominent, and Dan—my husband—began
a what if session with me. It seemed
like a tough topic, but he was there with me throughout the whole time. We
added a twist to the old cult-thing with a spunky rebellious woman who
prevailed in spite of circumstances.
Here’s a short blurb:
How far would YOU go to avenge the murder of your daughter?
Caralynne Hayman is angry and bitter over the abuse and death of her eleven-year-old daughter from the hands of her religious group, The Children of Righteous Cain. When her husband suffers a sudden heart attack, she does nothing to help him. In her eyes someone needs to pay, and if that means all of the men in the group, then so be it.
Dayne MacFarland is sent away to college by the senior elder of the group to learn ministry. When he returns after finding salvation, determined to bring the truth to the people he’s known all his life, he rediscovers Cara and realizes the love he once felt for her is still deeply embedded within his heart.
Dayne faces men unwilling to turn their backs on the cult training he despises. Cara faces men who follow their leader in abuse toward their wives and the young girls of the group. Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings.
Can Cara overcome the feelings that have governed her most of her life? Can she learn to trust Dayne, and most of all a God whom she sees as uncaring—if he’s really there at all? Only Dayne’s prayers and love can reach Cara and show her the way to redemption.
This sounds like a very interesting book. Please give us the first page.
Twenty years earlier
The shadow creatures on the wall shook their wings and legs. Heads with horns nodded. Scary, dark faces watched.
The little girl clasped her floppy-eared rabbit against her chest and stared into the dark.
“Mmm …” Mommy’s murmur reached to her through the walls, and the giggles from her mother tiptoed in, shooing away the fear.
Whoosh. She blew out a breath and squeezed her rabbit tighter. “Mommy has a friend with her, Ramsey. She loves me just like I love you and will give me hugs in the morning after the man leaves.”
Ramsey said nothing. She ran her fingers over his face and could feel his black button eyes staring at her, trusting her to protect him.
“And she’ll read to us, and I’ll sit on her lap and we’ll snuggle—all of us together.” She nodded and tugged on Ramsey’s left ear.
She rolled over.
Real live whispers and laughter floated into the room.
Opening her mouth in a wide yawn, she patted Ramsey’s tummy and whispered again, “Don’t be afraid. I’m right here.”
“Please. That hurts.”
“Mommy?” The little girl frowned but her eyes wouldn’t open. Just like when she and Mommy put cucumbers slices on their eyes.
Rubbing at her eyes, the little girl sat up. Mommy had never sounded like this before, and neither had any of the men—the men who brought flowers and candy and money.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
I also am part of several other blogs:
Geezers Guys and Gals: http://geezerguysandgals.blogspot.com/
Stitches in Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/
Thank you, Carole, for sharing this book with us.
Readers, here’s a link to pre-order the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman
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