Welcome back, Tamara. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I see pretty much what I’m doing now: home schooling my three boys, dealing with four dogs and an occasional stray or two, and writing. I have a very supportive husband, and the boys think it’s “cool” that their mother is a published author.
Tell us a little about your family.
My husband and I live in east
with our three sons and four dogs. Two of our older sons have left the nest.
Life is never quiet, so I’ve learned to write around the chaos. Sometimes, late
at night with the hum of the dryer and the rhythm of the washer as the only
noises in the house, I write until I literally can’t keep my eyes open. I
wouldn’t have my life any other way. Well, okay, maybe a spa would be nice once
in a while with no barking or Nerf wars in the background. Texas
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I’m a scaredy-cat. I make no bones about it. I would never read a book that scares me, like a psycho thriller, so the obvious question is: why did I write a sometimes-scary trilogy—the Brothers of Texas series? I write them because I can control the bad guys. One time, late at night, several years ago, I’d written a terrifying scene (just stretching my wings as a mystery writer) and I scared myself! I had really dived deeply into the mind of a killer and every little sound made me think this killer was in my house! With my husband out of town, I couldn’t sleep at all that night. My writing hasn’t changed my basic reading habits. I still love a good romance. I love nonfiction. And I love mysteries, but I don’t like the scaring-me-out-of-my-skin thrillers. I sure do like writing them, though—sometimes.
What are you working on right now?
I’m having a great time writing about Mary Margaret, a quirky, funny, single 31-year-old woman who stumbles into a two-decades-old double murder and has to deal with the return of ‘the love of her life’ who dumped her when she was close to graduating from high school. Burke, her long-lost love, is a former Marine who is just—no other way to describe him—hunky. He’s now the deputy sheriff of
in east .
As Emmie—her friends’ nickname for her—sinks deeper into the mysteries
disrupting her life, she encounters Burke at every turn. The book is a mystery with
a touch of romance, and Book 1 of this new series will be out this spring. Texas
I want to feature that series on my blog when each book releases. What outside interests do you have?
My absolute favorite thing in the world is a picnic. I love the whole idea of spreading out a blanket, bringing a basket of food and drinks, lying in the sunshine, listening to the boys play ball with their daddy, and watching clouds. I also love to hike. I get the same feelings of contentment in nature hiking up a mountain in
New Mexico, Arkansas,
When I met my husband on an airplane headed to Colorado one Christmas, one of the first
things we discovered that we had in common was a love of the outdoors. He was
an avid hiker, as was I, and our first date was a hike up a steep mountain in
the Colorado Rockies. We still like to get out on a long trail and lose
ourselves in nature. Colorado
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’m a Texan through and through. So I write about Texans in
, mostly. In the second book of the
Brothers of Texas trilogy, the main character is Luke McKenzie, a rancher from Texas Texas, but the setting is a vacation spot in the mountains; he
hikes a favorite trail of mine and my husband. Since Colorado has such a diverse geography (5
separate regions), it’s not difficult to find the perfect spot for characters
to tell me their story. Texas
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Wow, this was so difficult. I’m an historian so my mind buzzed with all the possibilities from Homer to Plato, Alexander the Great to George Washington, King Tut to Ronald Reagan! I would choose Jesus, of course, but if we’re not talking about God, then I would choose Elvis. I would ask him about his spiritual journey through all the fame and chaos and depression. I’d ask him what was his favorite thing to do—maybe we’d have a picnic and he could relax and we would just talk. And then I would keep everything he told me under lock and key so that he would feel safe enough to talk to me again.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I would have liked to have known that I am not my writing, or my last book, or my next book. I think before I started writing novels 20 years ago that I thought I would arrive if I could only be published and live the life of a writer. Of course, I discovered that no such thing happened because of publication. Busier, yes, and an entirely new set of things to deal with, but I never arrived. I am definitely a work in progress.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
This is an on-going lesson but one the Lord has definitely honed in me lately: the past had a hand in making me who I am, so I need to learn from it. I shouldn’t use it as a crutch not to live life to the fullest, and I shouldn’t dismiss its value.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Write every day, master marketing avenues, and stay focused on the goal. A fourth thing would be spiritual: bathe everything in prayer.
Very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
Deception at Fairfield Ranch, Book 3 in the Brothers of Texas trilogy, is about an engineer, Kyle McKenzie, who is deceived in the cruelest way by his wife and an unknown scam artist adept at disguising himself. Kyle must protect his ill daughter and the woman caring for her from this evil man even though he has no idea what he looks like.
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Her heart pounded so fast, she could hardly breathe. But she’d said it. She’d finally said it. And the devil take Kyle McKenzie for all the misery he’d put her through!
“Margot, did you mean—” Kyle looked as if he’d just been sucker-punched. “You’re saying you wanted them to kill her?”
Margot shivered and stepped deeper into the dark walk-in closet, wishing it would swallow her up and spit her out somewhere else. Anywhere else.
“Is that what you meant?”
Gritting her teeth, she covered her ears.
Squeezed her eyes shut.
Stop it! Stop it!
“You wanted them to kill April?”
Yes! Yes! That’s exactly what I meant!
His words hissed at her from where he stood like a sentry blocking her escape. She wanted to run from him, from the words, from the truth, from their life. She wanted to screech at him that it was all his fault, that he’d sacrificed everything when he’d let their daughter live. None of this was supposed to happen. She wasn’t supposed to be a mother. She wasn’t supposed to love her daughter.
She wasn’t the kind of woman who could.
Her hands shook as she cupped her elbows and fought the need to rock herself. Like a living thing, his words slithered over the carpet toward her feet. Kill her? Kill her? They pricked at her heels on their way up her legs. She took a frenzied step away from them, tightened her jaw, and willed nothing to matter anymore.
“Margot.” A whisper this time, imploring. He took a soft carpeted step toward her.
She spun around, unable to bear his pity or his compassion or his need to comfort what couldn’t be comforted. “I hate you for letting her live.”
Kyle jerked as if she’d slapped him. His eyes widened. His jaw dropped.
She wanted to sneer at him, to yell, “You should have known. You should have known!”
“You hate me?”
This time, she smirked. The power of letting him go, of letting it all go, surged through her. It hadn’t been so very difficult after all. “Are you surprised, Kyle?” She brushed past him. “You really didn’t know?”
He followed her into the bedroom like a puppy. “But I thought—”
She pivoted as anger sliced through her. “You thought! You thought! It’s always been about you! Did you ask me what I wanted, what I thought? No! You just shoved and shoved—” She gasped, pressed her fingers against her mouth, and turned her back to him.
“But God blessed us with a—”
“Oh, that’s rich.” She threw up her arms. “By all means, bring God in on your side. Use him for leverage. You always have.” She slapped the closet door so hard, it slammed against the wall.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
All my books are on Amazon as well as other sites, and my website is www.AuthorTamaraGCooper.com . Thank you for having me as a guest today,
enjoyed it so much!
Thank you, Tamara, for sharing this series with me and my readers. I’ve loved all three books in this series. For a scaredy-cat, you write compelling suspense novels with so many unexpected twists and turns. You’re one of the best suspense writers I know.
Readers, here are links to the book.Deception at Fairfield Ranch: A Romantic Suspense Novel (Brothers of Texas) (Volume 3) - Paperback
Deception at Fairfield Ranch: A Romantic Suspense Novel (Brothers of Texas Book 3) - Kindle
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