Friday, February 28, 2014

DISTORTION - Terri Blackstock - One Free Book on This Blog, Plus More

About the Author: Terri Blackstock has sold over six million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, Restoration, and Moonlighters.

Welcome back, Terri. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I started my career in the secular romance market and had thirty-two books published there. But in 1995, I came under intense conviction that I was squandering my writing gift and that I was to leave all that behind and write books that glorified God. Since that time, I’ve seen my writing as a calling. I feel a keen responsibility to God and to my readers. My goal is to write riveting novels that enable my readers to step into the skin of my characters and emotionally experience the truths I embed in my fiction. People forget a sermon, but they never forget the emotional experience of a great story, which is why Jesus taught in parables. This is one of the gifts God has given me, and He gave it to me for a purpose. I want to fulfill that purpose by using it to show readers how much God loves them, that He can be counted on, that He won’t let them down, and that Jesus is the one who can fill all their deepest voids.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I have to say the birth of my children and, most recently, the birth of my grandchildren. I realize that’s a stock answer that most women use, but there’s a good reason for that! Childbirth is a miracle.

How has being published changed your life?
I’ve been published for thirty years, so it’s hard to remember life before that. But I think it made me take my writing more seriously than ever, because I knew I could make a living doing it, depending on how hard I was willing to work. And it made a difference when I knew that people were actually going to read my work. Suddenly I was writing with the reader constantly in mind.

What are you reading right now?
Life Expectancy, by Dean Koontz

What is your current work in progress?
I’ve just finished the third book in the Moonlighters Series, and we’re about to start the editorial process on that. Meanwhile, I’ve begun work on my next series, which has been in my head for a couple of years. I had to finish the last series before I could start this one, so I’m really excited to finally have the opportunity to dig into a new set of characters.

What would be your dream vacation?
Lately all of my travel has centered around my grandchildren—we had three born in 2013, and one in 2011. But I would really love to go to Hawaii for several days. Maybe I’ll get there one of these days.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’ll usually pick a place in the south where I haven’t been before, then visit and see if it fits my story. If it does, I’ll research the areas I need. The internet is such a help these days because I can get satellite views of any street or building. Plus I can always ask people in that area for help via Facebook or my large network of writer friends.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be  and why?
I think I’d love to spend an evening with Bible teacher Kay Arthur. I’ve been a student of her Precept Bible Studies for years, and I’d love to sit at her feet for an extended time and absorb more of her wisdom and knowledge of the Bible. She never fails to illuminate things in the Bible that I just skimmed right over.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love following politics. I’m a bit of a news junkie, and I follow what’s going on in public policy and lawmaking very closely. I feel deeply that our country is on a precipice, and that we’ve departed far from our religious values and the morals that help keep free people free. I can’t say that following politics is good for my soul or that it’s encouraging in any way, but I can’t seem to disengage from it. I think too much is at stake.

On a lighter note, I love home decorating. My husband and I built a home in 2012, and I’m still trying to decorate it. I have so many projects started and unfinished, and dozens of frames that I need to fill. I enjoy watching home decorating shows on HGTV and DIY networks, and that’s how I spend a lot of my television time.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I have the hardest time ekeing my way through a first draft. Once the story is down—even in its rawest form—I enjoy rewriting it. I love writing the second, third, fourth, and umpteenth drafts. But while I’m writing that first draft, I get anxious, depressed, insecure and feel like I’m never going to pull it off. I just try to plow through it as fast as I can without judgment so I can get that phase behind me.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Focus more on the writing of the book than on the marketing, and don’t rush to self-publish before a book is ready. In the past, writing was a profession that required lots of patience, and before a novel was published, it had been vetted by professionals like agents, editors and publishers. Today writers have other options, so they get impatient, and they’re uploading books that will not help their careers in the long run. Learning your craft takes time, and it isn’t something that happens with one book. I’m glad my first two books never saw the light of day.

Tell us about the featured book.
When Juliet Cole’s husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her boys. But a threatening voicemail takes this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack. Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too, unless she meets the killers’ demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband’s dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more of her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Juliet Cole watched her husband through the windshield, wishing he’d stop brooding. His jaw popped as he stood at the gas pump, scowling at the dollar amount of the fuel going into the U-Haul truck. She couldn’t say she blamed him for his foul mood tonight. This was the fourth time in the last year that Bob had taken the day off from his practice to help her sister Holly move, and it had been a long day. A white Camaro pulled up between her silver Caravan and the U-Haul truck Bob was about to return, the gas station’s lights illuminating him. The man inside looked toward Bob, then turned to peer at Juliet. Did she know him? Just in case, she lifted her fingers in a wave. The man looked away and pulled on through.

Bob put the gas pump back into its cradle. He grabbed the receipt, then climbed back into the box truck. He pulled out without a word, expecting her to follow. Maybe when the truck was returned and he was back in her van, she could coax him into a better mood.
She followed him down the highway where clubs with neon signs lined the streets. This was the only U-Haul location that had the size truck they needed, but since they’d had to return it after dark, she would have preferred a safer area. Her husband’s left-turn signal came on, and she pulled in behind him. There were no lights in the parking lot. Uneasy, she clicked on her locks.

Though the parking lot was empty, she pulled between the white lines of a parking space, facing the depository box forty feet away. Bob drove the truck to the empty space among the other rental trucks, off to her left at the back of the lot. He jumped down from his seat and slammed the door. Then he trudged across the asphalt to put the key in the night depository.

Another car pulled into the lot, drove just past the building and did a U-turn, putting the driver on the side of the depository box. He stopped in front of the box, obstructing Juliet’s view of Bob. The car’s interior light didn’t come on; the man didn’t get out of the car. Juliet stiffened, her hand on the door. Was he talking to Bob?

A blast as quick as a balloon pop jolted her. She strained to see. Her car sat at an angle to the box, her headlights aimed to the left, barely illuminating the driver. He had turned sideways, his back to her, and was leaning out the window closest to Bob. Another blast, then another, shook her breathless. As he turned back to the steering wheel, she saw the quick outline of a gun.

Dread choked her. Tires squealed and the car screeched off, leaving thick darkness in its wake. Then she saw him … a hump on the ground.

Wow! What a hook at the end of the first page. Can’t wait to read it. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Don't miss Terri Blackstock's latest release in the Moonlighters series, Distortion.

The book releases March 11th, and Terri will be kicking off the release with a fun Facebook Distortion party and giving away a Kindle Fire HDX. PLUS readers can pre-order the ebook for just $4.99 between now and 3/11 everywhere ebooks are sold.


One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Distortion and Truth Stained Lies by Terri Blackstock
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 11th. Winner will be announced at the Distortion Facebook Party on March 11th. Connect with Terri for a "suspenseful" book launch party with prizes, a book chat, and more.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

Thank you, Terri, 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.
Distortion  -
Distortion (Moonlighters Series) - Amazon
Distortion (Moonlighters Series) - Kindle

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.


Jackie McNutt said...

Wow Terri has certainly written a thriller.
Thank you for review. I would like to read Distortion.

pol said...

sounds like another winner Terri, thanks for sharing with Lena and us. I would like to be in the drawing on this one.

Paula O(
a reader in Ga

Linda Kish said...

Wow! This sounds great. I'm hooked already. I hope I get lucky.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Melanie Backus said...

What a great sounding book. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Melanie Backus

Terri Blackstock said...

Thanks for the interview, Lena! And I appreciate everybody's encouragement. Do sign up for the Kindle Fire HDX giveaway. I'd love for you to win!

Anonymous said...

Sounds suspenseful and fast-moving. My type of tale.

Britney Adams said...

What a cliffhanger! I am eager to read more! Thank you for sharing Terri's interview and for the chance to win a copy of DISTORTION.

Britney Adams, TX

Mary Preston said...

I think my heart had stopped by the end of the page. What a thrilling & scary beginning.

Mary P


Marjorie/cenya2 said...

I just love a mystery and the storyline of this book says Read Me.
I live in Ontario, Canada

cenya2 at Hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great book from Terri! I'd love to enter.

Courtney C. from AR

Anonymous said...

Love all of Terri's books. Thank you.

Julie (WI)

Merry said...

I admit to being excited whenever a new book by Terri comes out. She writes amazing suspense and weaves wonderful spiritual truth into her stories. Add me please!
Merry in MN

Sybil Bates McCormack said...

Terri has such a great writer's voice. "Distortion" sounds like a fantastic ride. Blessings!

Sheila Deeth said...

I keep planning to read one of her books. Now I know why, and I'd love to read Distortion. sheiladeeth at gmail dot com

Melissa Oldaker said...

I love her books! You can always count on a book that will keep you up all night to finish. Can't wait to read this one!

Melissa O.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giveaway!
Sydney Harries GA

Jean said...

I LOVE Terri Blackstock's books and have read almost all of them. I would love to win her latest!! Thank you for the opportunity.

Jean K
West Palm Beach, FL

Tonja Saylor said...

I live reading your books Terri! And after the winter we've had I'm ready to go "south" with you to help with research! :)
Tonja in Virginia

Connie said...

Thanks for this interview. I love Terri's books.

Melisa McLeod said...

I love Terri's writing. It always pulls me right in and keeps me quickly turning pages. Can't wait to read Distortion.

North Carolina

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Terri Blackstock said...

Today is launch day. I appreciate all of your comments so much! You have no idea how much they've helped my insecurities. It's nerve-racking to have one of my babies debut. :-)

Anonymous said...

Terri, I love your books!
I took notice of your comment, don't publish a book before it's ready. How does a novice author know when that time has come? For instance, let's say one's books have done well in contests, and get largely positive feedback from judges as well as some constructive suggestions which the author then puts into place. Then they get professionally edited, and a couple of beta readers are rounded up. After all those tweaks are implemented, it feels right to go ahead and self- publish. Your thoughts?
Dawn, Oregon