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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Interview with Author, Carla Cassidy

I'm so happy to announce that I interviewed one of my favorite author's, and I consider her a dear friend.She's a very prolific author, and I have never read a bad book from her.Please welcome, Carla Cassidy.

After a stint as a professional cheerleader and a singer/dancer in a touring show band, Carla sold her first book, a young adult romance in 1988. In 1991 she sold to Silhouette and since that time she’s written and sold over a hundred and forty books for publication.

Her work has earned her a Career Achievement award from Romantic Times Magazine, three Rita nominations and most recently her Harlequin Romantic Suspense, The Mercenary’s Perfect Mission is a finalist in the Readers Choice Awards.

Carla has written for Silhouette, Harlequin, Dorchester and NAL.

The only thing Carla likes better than reading a good book is to write one.

Carla, I read your April release, Scene of the Crime: Deadman's Bluff, from Harlequin and enjoyed it very much. This is an excellent story.

Buried Alive
FBI agent Seth Hawkins was on a mission to catch a serial killer. Yet his only lead had no memory of how she'd been abducted...or anything else about her identity. The only thing Tamara Jennings knew for sure was the undeniable attraction she felt for the strong, handsome man who saved her life. But as memories of her forgotten past return, would they lead her to the killer — and to a life she could share with Seth?

Now, we're ready to find out a bit about you, Carla.

Q: When did you start writing? Were you serious about your writing then?
A: I first started writing around 1980. At that time I was focused on bad poetry and even worse short stories. It wasn’t until around 1987 that I decided to try my hand writing an actual book. I sold my first book, a young adult, in 1988.

Q: Do you have a set time to write during the day?
A: I write all day every day. The computer goes on at the same time I pour myself my first cup of coffee and the computer doesn’t go off until I’m ready to go to bed. I take breaks to do the usual housework or whatever else needs to be done, but I spend at least eight hours with the butt in the chair and working on a project.

Q: What's your favorite genre to write or read?
A: Definitely romantic suspense. I love both writing and reading it.

Q: What's the hardest part of the story to write for you?
A: The love scenes. Maybe it’s because I’ve done so many and there’s only so many ways to write them or maybe it’s because after all the years of my marriage, I’m just tired!

Q: Who's your favorite author?
A: I have tons of authors I love to read, but Lisa Gardner is one of my very favorites!

Q: What do you do to relax?
A: I write, I sit on the back deck with my hubby and I love to go to casinos!

Q: There are times when life interferes with an author's writing. During those times are you still able to write?
A: I have a disabled daughter, have gone through breast cancer, hip surgery, a heart replacement valve surgery for my daughter’s partner, a fire that moved my son, daughter-in-law and two teenage girls in with us for nine months, and my daughter almost died when the lower half of her stomach perforated. Yes, there has been many reasons to take me away from the writing, but instead throughout everything I realized the writing was the one thing I could depend on. It became the world I could control when real life had been uncontrollable.So, yes, I write through good times and bad times. It’s my sanity.

Q: Was there ever anything you wanted to do besides be an author
A: My original goal was to be a dancer. I even went to a private college to major in dance, and then took off for New York City to become a Broadway star. Along the way instead of stardom, I found a husband.

Now, I'm going to throw in a couple of fun questions. We don't want to be too serious today. Wink!

Q: Do you have a bucket list of things you would like to do?
A: Sleep until noon, buy every piece of bling I see, wear high heels until the day I die. I’d like to laugh more often, make others feel good about themselves, do something charitable. I have no desire to sky dive or travel, no adventures on my bucket list…just a gentle, kind life with peace in my heart.

You have always been a sweet, gentle and caring soul, Carla.

Q: What is the most fun thing you've ever done?
A: Oh goodness, I don’t have a definite answer for this one. Sometimes my idea of fun is just laughing with my husband or dancing in my living room when nobody is home.

Q: If you had a chance to be anyone besides yourself who would it be?
A: On most days I kind of like being me, but I would like to be younger!

Q: If you wanted to escape your life where would you go and would you take anyone with you?
A: To be honest, I know escape isn’t possible, but peace is in my office all alone. My office is a sanctuary with scented candles and things I love surrounding me. I even bought a full size tree that has pink lights all over the branches because it feeds my soul on a dark and stormy night. My best escape is into the world of fiction and the lives of my characters. Face it, no real bucket list, no real plan for escape…I sound so boring!

Believe me, when I say she's not the least boring, folks.

You can find Carla at her website, and on Facebook.

Here is a blurb for Confessing to the Cowboy, a June release from Harlequin. It can be preordered at Amazon at this link.

The Price of Deadly Secrets…
Someone is killing waitresses at the Cowboy Café. Three women are dead, and Sheriff Cameron Evans means to find out why. But as he works to solve the case, the hunky sheriff must push beyond his feelings for the café's owner. There's a murderer on the loose. Passion has no place here.

For Mary Mathis, the crime is personal. Not only are the victims her employees, they may be a sign of something deeper. Eight years ago she came to Grady Gulch fleeing a violent past that has scarred her for life. Now she has to discover if that history is dooming the women who work for her. She already knows it has made new love impossible—no matter what she may secretly desire.

Sheriff Cameron Evans was tired of finding women dead in their beds. He stood in the doorway of Dorothy Blake's small bedroom and took in the tragic scene before him. It was definitely a bad start to a new week.

A light breeze fluttered the blue-flowered curtains hanging at the open window, blowing in the cold November early morning air.

Dorothy was clad in a pale pink nightgown and covered by a blue bedspread. Blood stained the spread around her neck but without that telltale sign it would appear that Dorothy slept peacefully. Her eyes were closed and her features showed no sign of stress.

Cameron tightened his hands into fists as two of his men wearing paper booties moved in to collect any evidence that might lead to a clue to the killer. He had little hope that they'd find anything. Two previous deaths in the same manner had yielded nothing. The murderer was smart and meticulous in his efficiency. Get in, slit the throat of a sleeping woman and then get out, leaving nothing behind for law enforcement to work with.

The window appeared to be intact, suggesting that it had been unlocked and had provided easy access. Cameron's frustration grew as he thought of the town hall meeting where he'd cautioned all women living alone to make sure their windows and doors were locked at all times. Apparently there had been some at the meeting who weren't paying attention.

"Where's the kid?" Cameron asked. He'd been told before he'd arrived on scene that the body had been discovered by a teenage kid.

"In the kitchen with the dog," Deputy Adam Benson said from behind Cameron. "He's pretty freaked out."

"I can imagine," Cameron replied. He moved past Adam and headed down the hallway to the kitchen. There was nothing more he could do in the bedroom. His team was well trained and the coroner stood by to move in after the crime-scene team had taken their photos and done their work. In the meantime he had to speak to Jeffrey Lawrence, the young man who had found Dorothy an hour earlier.

Dorothy's kitchen was painted a cheerful bright yellow, with white and yellow gingham curtains hanging at the window. Despite the day's chill the sunshine streamed into the windows with welcome heat that battled with the cold air drifting down the hallway from the bedroom.

Jeff Lawrence sat at the small, wooden kitchen table, his blue eyes red-rimmed as he hugged a wiggly, small furry mutt close to his chest.

"I can't get the picture of her out of my head," he said as he swallowed hard in an obvious effort not to cry. "It's like burned in my brain… all that blood and the smell."

"I'm sorry you had to experience that. What were you doing here so early in the morning?" Cameron took the seat opposite the young man at the table.

"It's my job…to walk Twinkie every morning before I go to school. I'm a senior and trying to save up some extra money for college." Twinkie whined at the sound of her name and licked the underside of Jeff's pointy chin.

"How long have you had this arrangement with Dorothy?"

"Since the beginning of summer. She and my mom are good friends and that's how I know…knew Dorothy." His eyes welled up with tears once again. "My mom is going to be so upset about all of this."

Cameron waited a minute for the kid to get himself back under control and then continued, "How did you enter the house this morning?"

"I have my own key. Sometimes Dorothy worked the night shift at the Cowboy Cafe and she'd sleep in late in the mornings. If she didn't answer when I knocked, then I used my key to come in and usually found Twinkie on the foot of her bed. Whenever Twinkie saw me she'd jump down and we'd go for our morning walk."

"Is that what happened this morning?"

Jeff's head bobbed like one of those big-headed dolls people put on their dashboards or desks. "Everything was the same as usual. I knocked on the door and when Dorothy didn't answer I went ahead and let myself in. I walked down the hallway to her bedroom and Twinkie was curled up at her feet, just like usual. But this morning Twinkie didn't jump off the bed when she saw me. She just whined and whined and I thought maybe she was hurt. So, I walked over to her and that's when I noticed the blood…and the smell. I didn't touch Dorothy, I knew she was dead. I just grabbed Twinkie and left the room and then called 911."

"You did the right thing," Cameron replied. There was no way Jeff was involved in the crime, at least not at the moment. The kid had the green cast of somebody on the verge of puking. He petted the dog as if the silky fur were the only thing holding him together.

"What's going to happen to Twinkie? Dorothy doesn't have any family, and I can't take her. We already have a big dog, Zeus, who would eat this little girl for lunch." Jeff looked distraught. "Twinkie is a great dog, friendly and well trained. I mean, I'm sorry about Dorothy, but you need to find a good home for Twinkie." Jeff looked at him pleadingly.

Great, Cameron thought. Not only did he have another murder to try to solve, he also had the faith of a softhearted kid depending on him to find a tragically orphaned mutt a good home.

"Gather up all her doggie stuff, and I'll see what I can do," Cameron said. "Then go home. We'll probably have more questions for you later, but right now I'd prefer you not talk to anyone about this crime except with your parents."

Jeff nodded and got up from the table. As he began to gather up all things Twinkie, Cameron went back down the hallway where he met the coroner, who told him what he already suspected.

Time of death was between one and three in the morning, cause of death was a quick, clean slice across the throat. Dorothy's hearing aids were on the night-stand. She'd never heard her screen being removed and the unlocked window sliding open. She'd never heard her killer's approach.

"It's just like the other two," Deputy Benson said. "Three women killed in their beds, their throats cut."

"And all three worked as waitresses at the Cowboy Cafe," Cameron added. He frowned, thinking of how this latest murder would affect Mary Mathis, the owner of the cafe.

Carla, thank you for letting me interview you for Romance Books '4' Us!


Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful to meet you Cassidy! I love your goals and determination to continue with life even with the bad things that have happened. I think you find the writing to be therapeutic in some ways... at least I do when things go so crazy!

Thanks for sharing!

Sandy said...

Thank you for coming by Melissa. Carla is a great person as well as author.

Cara Marsi said...

Wonderful interview. You have a most interesting bio. I love your dedication to your work. I also love RS so will check out your books. They sound terrific.

Sandy said...

Cara, thanks for coming by. I'm sure Carla will try to respond when she gets back from her trip.

Jennifer Faye said...

Great interview! It was wonderful getting to know the woman behind the name. I really your books and am looking forward to your new one. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Sandy said...

Thanks for coming by, Jennifer. If you ever meet Carla you would never know she had a problem in the world.

Carla Cassidy said...

Hi, just wanted you all to know that I'm here! Thanks so much for stopping by. I love what I do and I'm glad to share anything about me or my writing!

Janice Seagraves said...

Great interview. Detective stories are something I don't think I can write.

Love the excerpt.


Carla Cassidy said...

I've learned over the years that I can write about almost anything if an editor wants it!

Marianne Stephens said...

Thanks for being here today, Carla. You're an inspiration for all of us...a great combination of talent and hard work.

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