Wednesday, February 01, 2017

AVALANCHE - Gayla K Hiss - One Free Book

Bio: Gayla’s writing journey began with her hobby painting landscapes. In her imagination, characters and scenes came to life as she painted beautiful natural settings. Her inspiring novels combine her love for the great outdoors with romance, suspense, and mystery. Gayla and her husband often tour the country in their RV, visiting many state and national parks. She enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling, and lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s excited to announce her debut novel, Avalanche, book 1 of her Peril in the Park series, which releases today, February 1st.

Welcome, Gayla. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I intentionally try to make my characters different from myself, but they have some of the same desires and struggles. They are definitely more adventurous and courageous than I am, and they have their flaws, too.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Does becoming a romance writer count?

Many people would think that is quirky, but to me it is normal. When did you first discover you were a writer?
I think the writer has always been in me, but I was a late-bloomer. As a child, I always wanted a diary, but I was much more into art at that time. In my late twenties, I became frustrated with painting because I couldn’t adequately paint the pictures I had in mind, so I started describing them in words. That’s when I realized the images in my imagination were really scenes from a story.

My husband was a late-bloomer, too. It is awesome watching his life unfold during our marriage. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
All kinds, really. Romantic suspense and mysteries are my favorite fiction genre, but I love Victorian and Regency romances too, especially romantic suspense from that era. Maybe after the huge success of shows like Downton Abbey and Poldark, they’ll bring back the genre of historical romantic suspense again. I also enjoy other historical fiction and the classics. I’m rediscovering The Pilgrim’s Progress at the moment. I like nonfiction too, including biographies, Bible studies, and self-help books about nutrition and health. All the books in my Peril in the Park series are set in U.S. national parks so there is a wilderness adventure element in them. I find stories about people surviving in the wilderness fascinating.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I tried to stay organized. It’s not always easy, but it really helps me keep on top of things. I like to have a short-term and long-term plan and bind my activities as much as possible within those plans. That’s not to say I don’t change the plans or step outside them from time to time. I also make exercise a priority, whether it’s a walk or working out with weights. It’s a habit I started as a teenager that’s become very beneficial over the years, especially with all the time I spend at my desk writing.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I put a lot of thought into all of my characters names, probably too much. I sometimes make up names to sound different. I want the names to reflect the essence of the character, without distracting too much from the story.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Being married to my wonderful husband for 32 years.

That’s wonderful. Living the happily- ever-after life takes a lot of intentional work on the marriage. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’m really glad I’m not an animal, but if I had to choose, maybe a beaver because they have really nice homes on the water and they’re always building/creating something.

This is the first time any author chose a beaver. What is your favorite food?
mango-passion fruit sorbet

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think gaining objectivity with my writing. It’s easy to become myopic about what I’m working on. I’m in a small critique group, and they really helped to open my eyes and see what needed to be fixed. My editor also helps me see those things I’m blind to.

Tell us about the featured book.
Avalanche is book 1 in a 4-book series set in the national parks of North America, and releases Feb. 1st. All the books in the series are inspirational contemporary romance with suspense/mystery elements. Avalanche takes place in North Cascades National Park. When Park Ranger Jenny Snowfeather runs into Deputy Marshal Chase Matthews at her brother's Fourth of July barbecue, she suspects there is more going on in Eagle Valley, Washington, than fireworks. As she joins Chase on a manhunt in the rugged backcountry of North Cascades National Park, Jenny is confronted with her past mistakes. But she soon discovers the greatest threat of all is losing her heart to Chase, who is obsessed with capturing the fugitive at all costs. Risking everything to help Chase find the man who could kill them both, Jenny's faith is put to the test. Will the enemy get away with murder? Will Jenny and Chase reach freedom and safety, or be buried alive? One step in the wrong direction could mean the difference between life and death.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Fireworks exploded across the dark sky, but Jenny Snowfeather hardly noticed. The news about the cabin break-in had cast a shadow over her brother’s Fourth of July barbecue. She’d suspected a bear at first, until she learned two hunting rifles and ammo had been stolen, along with food and blankets.

A bright flash startled her.

“Watch out!” a man cried as the stray spark zoomed toward her like a small meteor.

She spun around to escape, slamming right into the man and his plate of barbecued chicken.

He grabbed her, stumbled, and pulled her with him to the ground.

A second later, the blazing miniature rocket whizzed over their heads and crashed into the lawn only a few feet away.

She squeezed her eyes shut at the near miss. When she opened them, Jenny found herself face-to-face with the handsome stranger.

His large, brown eyes stared back in surprise.

Her gaze traveled to his arm, sheltering her body.

Quickly, he withdrew it and rolled over, raising himself to his elbows. “That was a close one. Are you okay?”

She sat up and lightly brushed the grass from her blue sweater and faded jeans. “Other than a few grass stains, I’m fine.” Glancing back at him, she noticed the food plastered to his chest and smiled. “But you’re not.”

When she leaned over to flick the remnant of baked beans from his white cotton shirt, her eyes zeroed in on the holstered Glock beneath his jacket.

That’s a very nice hook. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Gayla, for sharing this new book with us. I’m eager to read it.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Avalanche: A Contemporary Romance w/Suspense (Peril in the Park) (Volume 1) Avalanche: A Contemporary Romance w/Suspense Elements (Peril in the Park Book 1)

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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.

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Melanie Backus said...

Avalanche sounds like a good one and I love that there are more to follow. Melanie Backus, Tx

Melanie Backus said...

Avalanche sounds like a good one and I love that there are more to follow. Melanie Backus, Tx

Beverly Cheevers said...

It sounds intriguing. I thought your interview was very well done- great questions, interesting answers. :) Beverly Cheevers, Fort Worth, TX

H L Wegley said...

Congrats on your new book, Gayla! I've already ordered a copy, so don't enter me in the giveaway. I'm posting this to FB and Twitter. Hope you get an avalanche of new readers.

Gayla K. Hiss said...

Great to hear from you, Melanie, Beverly and HL! The book just released today so it's very exciting to be featured on this blog and to hear from you all.

Thanks for sharing on FB and Twitter, HL!

Susan Johnson said...

Mango-passion fruit sorbet sounds delicious. Avalanche sounds like a great book.
Susan in Odessa, TX

Gayla K. Hiss said...

Thanks, Susan! The hero and heroine in Avalanche like ice cream and milkshakes.

Vera Godley said...

This sounds like a fun read. New author to me. Any other books, Gayla? Please enter me in your giveaway.

Vera in the middle of beautiful North Carolina

Abigail Mitchell said...

Book looks good. Funny you should mention Poldark, I'm watching the last episode of the first season right now. My first time seeing it, borrowed it this week, watched the whole season within 3 days. Loving it! Thinking of watching Downton Abbey next. I've seen an episode or two of that.
Abigail in VA

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Edward Arrington said...

I read the electronic version of the book but would love to own the paperback. It is an interesting and suspenseful story. Gayla has done an excellent job and I look forward to more good stories coming from her. I like the idea of the National Park settings. Edward A in VA

Loraine Nunley said...

This book sounds interesting. I love suspense and I'm wondering about the Glock... Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

Loraine in TX

Winnie Thomas said...

Great interview! And Gayla, congratulations on your new book release. It sounds intriguing.
Winnie T from Utah

Gayla K. Hiss said...

Thank you all for your interest!

Vera, I'm glad you asked ... Avalanche is book 1 in a 4-part series. Book 2 is scheduled to be released Oct. 1st of this year.

Abigail, I watched all the seasons of Downton Abbey. I enjoyed the time period and the writing. I watched season one of Poldark. I started to watch season two, but didn't finish because it got a little too racy for me. :)

Edward, thank you for the kind words! I used to live in VA years ago. There's so much wonderful history there.

Loraine, thanks for writing. I went through Texas on the way home from our road trip last month. Actually I've been there many times. Great state.

Winnie, thanks! Utah has some beautiful national parks!

Connie said...

A hero and heroine that like ice cream and milkshakes? Yes, they have to have a great story!
Gayla, thanks for this giveaway and I wish you much success with Avalanche.
Connie from KY

Kim hansen said...

Sounds good. north platte nebraska.

Gayla K. Hiss said...

Thank you, Connie! My mother is from KY. I spent a lot of time at my grandparents' farm in western KY when I was a kid.

Thanks for responding, Kim! I hope you're staying warm this winter in Nebraska.

Karen Hadley said...

I really like the title and cover. I'm Karen from Oklahoma.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.

Gayla K. Hiss said...

Thanks for responding, Karen and Sharon!!

rubynreba said...

Our national parks are beautiful. Reading books about them will be interesting.
Beth from IA

Lourdes said...

it is so refreshing when I hear of a couple being married as long as you have Gayla. Unfortunately, in my world it's very rare. So looking forward too reading Avalanche. Thank you for the giveaway.

Lourdes Long Island, New York

Carol and Anton Kleywegt said...

Gayla, I love that you chose the great outdoors and our nation's best idea: the National Parks for your setting. Jenny is a firecracker, as we say in the South! Loved the book. When does Book 2 come out?