Monday, October 03, 2016

DEAD BROKE - Linda Fulkerson - One Free Book

Dear Readers, I loved this book, and not just because it takes place in my home state and I recognized so many places I’d been. If you love a good mystery/suspense, this book is for you.

Welcome, Linda. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
The protagonist in my River Valley Mysteries series, (Andrea “Andy” Warren), is a combination of mine and my daughter’s personalities. She is a freelance sports photographer. I was once a newspaper sports writer, and my father was a professional photographer, so I drew on my knowledge of those careers as I wrote.

That’s why they rang true as authentic. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I enlisted into the Marine Corps on a dare. I served for nine years.

Wow! When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I became interested in writing while I was a copy-editor for our small town newspaper. I soon started writing features for local magazines and began querying major national magazines. I quickly collected many generic, photo-copied rejection slips. One day, I received a rejection letter from an editor at Woman’s Day that was signed in ink with a hand-written note in the margin about what a great idea my pitch was, but, she explained, it just wasn’t something they needed at that time. I was so excited to get a real note from an editor that I danced around the house, waving the letter. My family thought it was an acceptance letter and didn’t understand why I was so excited about a rejection notice. Getting a personal note meant my query had made it past the slush pile onto the desk of a real editor whose name actually appeared on the magazine’s masthead. That’s the day I told myself, “I can do this!”

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My favorite genres are mystery and fantasy, but I read a lot of historical romance, too. I appreciate any book that can quickly pull me into the life of an interesting character. My two all-time favorite classic authors are Raymond Chandler and Mark Twain. I also love reading authors who use unique ways to describe common situations or emotions. Douglas Adams was a master at that. I enjoy humor and try to include it in my writing. My favorite nonfiction authors are Erma Bombeck and Robert Fulghum. I read a lot of writing craft books, too, and James Scott Bell is the absolute best at explaining various aspects of craft. For Christian fiction, my favorite authors include Kristin Billerbeck, Frank Peretti, Susan May Warren, and many others. I’ve learned to never start a Susan May Warren book unless I can devote enough time to finish it, because I typically read her books in one sitting.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I start nearly every morning with a 2-mile walk through the woods (we live in the country) with my husband, and I take a nap every day from 1-1:30 pm. That gives me the extra oomph I need to be productive until bedtime, which for us, is 1 am. (Hubby works second shift.) I try to take life one day at a time and rarely stress. Like everyone else, I stay incredibly busy between church and family, my digital marketing services/graphics design company, consulting/coaching, speaking engagements, and writing. I start each day by making a to-do list and march down it as much as possible. Things with a deadline get done first. Things that don’t get done get put at the top of the next day’s list. But the main thing that keeps me sane is trusting in God’s promise that everything will work out for the good.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
For the mystery series, most of the names popped into my head – names I like, names I’ve heard throughout the years. I keep a spreadsheet of character names, descriptions, speech patterns, occupations, relationships to other characters, etc., for quick reference so I won’t get confused on future books in the series. I’m working on another series in a speculative genre (dystopian), and I did research on names with specific meanings. I used Latin and Hebrew names for both the characters and place names. The first book in that series is still in progress.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising four children to adulthood, who are all Christians and who are all self-sufficient, is something for which I’m extremely grateful, but, of course, my husband played a huge role in that feat. Personally, it would be my first book, The Prodigal Daughter: Hope for Runaway Christians and Those Who Await Their Return, a memoir my mother encouraged me to write.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
LOL – probably my dog (an 11-year-old miniature dachshund). She is spoiled beyond belief and sits on my lap while I write.

What is your favorite food?
Pizza with sausage, mushrooms, and onions. Oh, and Dr Pepper.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve had a lot of challenges with writing during the past two years due to health issues for both of my parents. They both passed away during the past year, just nine months apart. I guess my biggest roadblock was guilt from wanting to keep writing while still helping take care of my parents, so I had to learn to juggle my work instead of setting aside large blocks of writing time, which is what I was used to doing.

My mother encouraged me to keep writing. Even though she had late-stage cancer, she would ask what I was working on and how it was coming along. One of the biggest barriers for me was learning to write in locations other than the comfort of my desk chair, such as my car and/or hospital waiting rooms.  

With God’s help and encouragement from my family, especially my daughter, to publish one novel, two nonfiction books, and two coloring books for writers during the past year.

Tell us about the featured book.
DEAD BROKE is Book One of my River Valley Mysteries series, which features a spunky protagonist and a quirky community. I’d read a few of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books, which were fun and well-written, but they include a lot of foul language and sexual content. I decided Christian audiences needed something similar without being subject to the sex scenes or bad language, so I started brainstorming ideas for a mystery series.

Tagline: Sometimes home is sweeter when it’s in a different time zone.

Blurb: Sports photographer Andrea “Andy” Warren, whose faith has dipped to the same depths as her checkbook balance, receives a phone call that forces her return to the Arkansas hometown she renounced, where she hopes to avoid her meddling mother, her ex-fiancé, and the local sheriff.

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
The only force with sufficient power to propel my feet forward is the inescapable awareness of my checkbook balance. The figure pounds inside my head like the beat of a bad disco song, and I find myself moving in step with its cadence. Constance, you owe me for this one. In reality, I owe her. But who wants to muddle a perfectly good mope-fest with the facts?

After a mental pep rally, I suck in a deep breath, adjust my camera bag’s shoulder strap, and take another step. I can do this.

I stride into the shadow of the hulking arena, grateful for the momentary reprieve the shade provides from the Phoenix heat. Loose change shimmers from the depths of a decorative fountain near the entrance, tempting passersby to toss in a coin or two. No sense wasting the few cents I have, though. My wish won’t come true.

My new Jimmy Choo slides clap against the concrete floor as I make my way through the VIP tunnel. At the corridor’s mid-point, a man wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with the Week Night Wrestling logo sits behind a table marked ‘Security.’ He’s a burly guy, bald, with gray stubble, and looks to be nearing sixty. Probably a WNW has-been who won’t let go.

A roar from the crowd invades the passageway. The noise bounces off the walls and reverberates in my ears. I flip open my wallet to reveal media credentials, lean toward the guard, and

How can readers find you on the Internet?
The easiest place to find me is my website, Just above the site’s footer, you can find links to all my social media profiles – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’d love for people to connect with me on their favorite social media platform(s).

Thank you, Linda, for sharing this book with us. I am eager for the next book to come out. We need to feature it on the blog, too.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog. Paperback:

Dead Broke (River Valley Mysteries Book 1) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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:


Linda Fulkerson said...

Lena, Thanks so much for sharing about my book, DEAD BROKE, with your readers! I hope those who read it enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :)

Avery Cove said...

Great post! Love your book cover, Linda. Looks like a good read!

Linda Fulkerson said...

Thanks, Avery! I actually designed the cover myself. :)

Adam Dutka said...

I would love to have this book in my home in Piggott, Arkansas �� I know Janina would enjoy it!


I love a good mystery and can't wait to check it out!

Linda Fulkerson said...

Adam - Piggot is a great town with a lot of literary history, as you well know! Thanks for your comment and good luck in the drawing. :)

Linda Fulkerson said...

Alegna Media - Aren't mysteries fun? I hope you enjoy this one! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good luck! :)

Lisa M. Collins said...

I love mysteries! I can't wait to read this one.

Linda Fulkerson said...

I hope you enjoy it, Lisa! :)

Mark said...

Sounds like a great read. I'd like to win it

Linda Fulkerson said...

Good luck, Mark! Thanks for stopping by!

Karen C. Prough said...

I'm ready for a good mystery, after being stuck in the 1800's for two years. :) Book Cover is very nice! Looks like a mystery.

Linda Fulkerson said...

Thanks, Karen! I enjoy historicals, too, but mysteries are my favorite. I hope you enjoy this one. :)

Theresa Chapman said...

I haven't had the chance to read yet, but I know Linda won't disappoint. She's a great writer and friend!

Linda Fulkerson said...

Thanks so much, Theresa! :)

Brices Mice said...

A great interview! Love the book cover which always draws me in, and a mystery to boot! A great combo...Wishing you the best of luck in all you do!

Many Blessings to you,
Linda B.

Charles said...

Great post, I enjoyed reading it. Linda we may share some friends back home in Arkansas. I'm from Searcy and was a former member of the White County Creative Writers (actually I still get the newsletter). I live in Georgia now and lead a local Writer's Guild. Congratulations on your success.

Theresa Bertram said...

I haven't read it yet, but the preview is awesome! I love having creative friends living so close to me!

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks good. Please enter me.
Clarksville VA

Linda Fulkerson said...

Linda B - Thanks for your comment. Glad you like the cover since I designed it. I think it's my favorite from all the book covers I've done so far. :)

Good luck in the contest!

Linda Fulkerson said...

Hi Charles! I've actually spoken to the White County Creative Writers group before. It's been a few years. So, yes, we probably do have some friends in common!

Linda Fulkerson said...

Theresa - you're pretty talented yourself! Thanks for all you do for our community & thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment here. :)

Linda Fulkerson said...

Hi Abigail - thanks for your comment. Good luck in the contest!

Kim hansen said...

Love a good mystery. north platte nebraska

Connie said...

So happy that you didn't feel the need to use excessive sex, violence or bad language to deliver a good story. There are many of us readers who don't want this!
Connie from KY

Beth Gillihan said...

Sounds like good read. Great cover.

Beth in Montana

Linda Fulkerson said...

Hi Kim - Good luck in the contest! Thanks for stopping by.

Linda Fulkerson said...

Hi Connie - I'm glad to hear that many readers feel the same way. :)

Linda Fulkerson said...

Hi Beth - thanks for the compliment on the cover. :)

Lourdes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lourdes said...

I love mysteries and more so the clean ones, thank you fora chance to win.

Lourdes, Long Island, New York

Linda Fulkerson said...

Searching for a fun, clean mystery is what prompted me to write this book. Good luck in the drawing, Lourdes!

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.

Dianna said...

I'm SO grateful for Christian books that are clean, yet still exciting to read. Thank you! It's really fun to read about the author's craft behind the scenes.
Dianna in TN

Linda Fulkerson said...

Good luck on the contest, Sharon! Hope the hurricane didn't affect your area. :)

Linda Fulkerson said...

Thanks so much, Dianna! I enjoy "getting to know" authors and the story behind their stories, too. :)

Dorothy Johnson said...

Enjoyed the interview and look forward to reading your book.

rubynreba said...

I always enjoy these mysteries! Thanks for the nice interview.
Beth from IA