Author Speed Dating – Shelley Coriell

I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match. 

This week’s guest: Shelley Coriell

 

 

 

15 Questions

1. If you had the chance for front-row tickets AND backstage passes with any band, past or present, which one would you be jamming with? Explain your choice.

The Bangles, Destiny’s Child, or the Supremes. As the mother of three daughters and the author of books about “strong women of ALL ages”, I’m all about Girl Power.

2. What is the one thing you wish someone else had told you before you published your first book?

That I wasn’t a writer but a storyteller. It took me a few books to fully understand that the words I put on the page and characters I pull from my heart are not mine. They belong to my readers who complete the storytelling process. In other words, my books mean nothing without readers.

3. Keith Urban or Adam Levine?

Adam Levine, mostly because I adore the movie, Begin Again. Great music, fascinating characters, and a triumphant story of art and the artist.

4. What are your go-to meals for the final week before deadline?

Green smoothies for the win! I’ll boost them with hemp, flax, or chia seeds and mix up texture and taste with everything from avocado and mango to cucumber and ginger. 

5. Give the title of the first manuscript (published or unpublished) you ever wrote. What was the story about?

The Popularity Game, a 50,000-word YA novel about a nerdy honors student who finds herself transformed into one of the highest rollers in her high school’s “popularity game.” My tagline for this Cinderella story read, “Games are not a reality. They are play. There are make-believe. And in make believe, no one really gets hurt.” Makes me cringe now.

6. Books by George Orwell or Kristin Hannah?

Kristin Hannah. THE NIGHTINGALE was one of the few novels I’ve read in the past two decades where I literally got lost in a story. I even remember the exact line in chapter one that captured my heart and wouldn’t let go: “The stairs unfolded from the ceiling like a gentleman extending his hand.” (Catch me while I swoon, okay?)

7. At which time of day are you more productive as a writer, mornings or nights, and is caffeine a friend or foe?

Morning glory, here. I do yoga, walk, and prep meals all before 6 a.m. With my head and body engaged, I’m ready to write. Don’t be too impressed. I’m toast by late afternoon. I once told one of my daughters who needed help with homework, “I don’t do math after 5 p.m.”

8. Which WIZARD OF OZ character were you most like during your junior high years?

Junior high? Um, no. Let’s not talk about that.

9.  In addition to writing, what are your other outlets for your creativity?

Cooking and, more recently, gardening. There’s a surprising amount of creativity required in gardening, like what to do with sixteen heads of cauliflower that ripen at the same time.

10. What type of shopper are you: mall rat, online shopper, bargain sleuth, or none of the above?

I’m an aspiring minimalist, so I don’t do much shopping. My goal: to live more with less. Right now I own about 100 pieces of clothing, including shoes. Light feels so good!

11. Have you ever experienced misgivings as an author, and, if so, what are some of the ways you’ve tried to keep those feelings at bay?

An agent once told me to make a manuscript “perfect”. This advice sent me into a tailspin. After a period of angst and un-productivity, I realized there is no such thing as the perfect word, perfect turn of phrase, or perfect execution of story. What seemed “perfect” one day didn’t cut it the next. I learned that I must stop tinkering, put the story out there, and celebrate.

12. Scandal or Pawn Stars?

Neither. I don’t watch much TV.

13. How many books have you published, and how many are still tucked in a drawer somewhere?

Eight books published, including two young adult books, three romantic thrillers, and three mysteries. In a perfect world, I’d stick with one genre, but my heart tells me otherwise. Books in the dungeon: six. I’m fairly certain a few of those beasts will eventually see the light of day.

14. What was the most challenging revision you ever had to make in a manuscript?

Developmental edits on my third Apostle book, THE BLIND. In THE BLIND, my heroine Evie Jimenez, a fierce and feisty FBI bombs and weapons specialist, tracks down a serial bomber. My beloved Evie was such a strong, fascinating woman, that she took over the story.  The hero appeared in only about one quarter of the book. Not good considering this was a romance! 

15. Sure, it’s like picking a favorite child, but which one or two of your titles do you secretly love just a little more?

I can’t pick a favorite book, but I can pick a few favorite characters. Favorite villain: The Gravedigger, the serial killer from my romantic thriller, THE BURIED. This villain’s backstory was so heart-breaking that I cried when I learned what turned this particular character into a killer. Favorite heroine: Det. Lottie King from my latest mystery series. Lottie is a hard-nosed homicide detective and a soft-hearted Grandma. She showed up in one of my Apostle thrillers and would not shut up. I finally gave her her own series, which I lovingly call my “Grandma with a Gun Mysteries“.

***

 

New Shoes: Detective Lottie King Short Stories Vol. 2

By Shelley Coriell

 

 

Lottie reached for the shoe box on the top shelf. One shoe tumbled toward her; the other fell behind the shelves.

“Don’t even think about trying to escape,” Lottie told the runaway shoe. “I used to catch serial killers for a living.” She nudged the wood with her hip, inching the shelf away from the old brick wall. She jabbed her foot at the sandal. Wood dug into hip. Rough brick bit into her butt. Her toes stretched and strained. Closer. Closer. Her big toe brushed the sandal strap. Just another half inch and—

Shelves groaned. Wood split. Shoe boxes trembled.

Lottie jumped back just as the shelves careened forward. Bricks loosened and fell to the ground. Shoe boxes rained down on her head and shoulders. The unit crashed to the floor, a cloud of dust and grit peppering Lottie.

“Oh, dear,” the shoe store clerk called out. “Would you like a hand?”

Lottie waved away the dust then froze. “Looks like I already got one.”

For poking out of one of the holes in the old brick wall was a human hand.

***

A 2016 release from White Pear Press, NEW SHOES: DETECTIVE LOTTIE KING SHORT STORIES VOL. 2, may be purchased from these retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

***

About Shelley

Shelley Coriell is an award-winning author of mysteries, romantic thrillers, and novels for teens. Her debut thriller was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year, and her other novels have been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Best Paperback Original of the Year from the International Thriller Writers, and a Kirkus Recommended Read. A former magazine editor and restaurant reviewer, Shelley lives in Arizona with her family and the world’s neediest rescue Weimaraner. You can find her at www.shelleycoriell.com or connect with her through these social-media channels: Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

 

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Author Speed Dating: Lora Lee

Author Speed Dating(1)

If there’s one thing I enjoy almost as much as writing books, it’s READING books. I love discovering new authors, too. So as I planned my new blog, I decided this could be a perfect place to introduce my writer friends to new readers and introduce my reader friends to some of their new favorite authors. Only we’re going to do this Speed-Dating style. Just 15 getting-to-you questions, a little bit about the author and an excerpt from one of her stories. Check them out right here each Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match…or two…or three.

Let’s get ready to Author Speed Date. The clock is ticking. Ready. Set. Go!

 

 

This Week’s Guest: Lora Lee

 

Cozy Mysteries

 

 

 

 

15 Questions

  1. Which Disney princess (or prince) do you wish you were more like?

Cinderella, because I’ve never had glass slippers. Mine were cowboy boots.

And which one are you really most like?

Was the old woman who lived in a shoe a princess? If not, she should have been because – you know . . . kids!

  1. Monopoly or Battleship?

Monopoly – because . . . money, money, money!

  1. How many books have you published, and how many are still tucked in a drawer somewhere?

Four published and more than one unfinished hiding in boxes somewhere.

  1. If you had no audience, and no regrets would follow, what midnight snack(s) would you be gorging on tonight?

Mama’s pecan pie — because . . . Texas!

  1. Manolo Blahniks or Nikes?

Nikes! I’d be a train wreck in heels.

  1. Give the title of the first manuscript (published or unpublished) you ever wrote.

Conquered Hearts – unpublished rough and tumble western historical. Texas Longhorns and cattle drive. Yeehaw!

  1. If you were marooned on a deserted island with plenty of food and water but with only one book to read and re-read, which title would you hope for?

My hardcover edition with three Nora Roberts’ “Born In” books because — you know . . .Ireland!

  1. In which genres and subgenres have you been published?

Contemporary Romance and Cozy Mysteries.

  1. Pizza and beer or steak and Chianti?

Smoked brisket and beer.

  1. How old were you when you had the first inkling you might be a writer, and what gave you that hint?

Fourth grade. I loved reading fairy tales and playing make-believe.

  1. In 10 words or less, give your best writing advice to aspiring authors.

Don’t procrastinate. Write every day even if it’s only a few lines.

  1. TED Talks or Cupcake Wars?

Neither one. How about Fixer-Upper?

  1. Which one of your own fictional heroes would you have taken home if you could?

Hands down – Buddy Lee from ALL THAT MATTERS.

  1. What is your most ridiculous fear?

Being sprayed by a skunk! 

  1. If someone has never read one of your books, which title would you recommend she read first?

For Contemporary Romance readers: ALL THAT MATTERS, an emotional Cinderella-in-reverse love story, deep in the heart of Texas. Cozy Mystery readers: BRINGING IN THE THIEVES  for a taste of Texas twang and gospel music when a preacher’s daughter and an ex-con uncover some mighty dirty laundry among Ruby Springs’ holier-than-thou citizens.

***

Bringing in the Thieves

Bringing in the Thieves

By Lora Lee

 

 

I knew the minute I read the church bulletin that I was fixin’ to be Southern-fried and plated up in front of God, the Faith Community Church deacons, and eventually the entire community of Ruby Springs, Texas, sure as my name’s Frankie Lou Birmingham McMasters.

My well-meaning landlady, Nettie Bloom, had decided to announce my proposed church project without asking me if I wanted her to. I had just scheduled a meeting with the deacons about it, not given them any details about the idea. I hadn’t spoken it aloud to anyone but Miss Nettie. But now there it was in print, along with Miss Nettie’s usual assortment of misplaced phrases and Mrs. Malaprop word choices. Miss Nettie had been editing the church’s newsletter, News From The Pews, for a good many years, but I’d noticed her memory getting a little tangled lately.

NEWS FROM THE PEWS
Faith Community Church
100 Blessings St.
Ruby Springs, Texas 

As we wait for the selection of a full-time pastor, we welcome back interim minister, Reverend Matthew Whitlaw to the pulpit next Sunday at Faith Community. His morning sermon will be “Jesus Walks on Water” followed by “Searching for Jesus” in the evening.

For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

Members of the Weight Watchers group will meet Monday at 5:30 for weekly weigh-in. Please use large double door at the side entrance to the annex. The Low Self-Esteem Support Group will be using the back door.

Prior to prayer meeting Wednesday evening, a bean supper will be held in the church hall. Special music will follow.

Until further notice, please give massages to secretary, Lovey Muchmore. She will then give massages to the newsletter editor who will share the details in the newsletter.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: A NEW CHOIR FOR TEEN SINNERS IS BEING FORMED AND WILL COMPETE IN THE SLUMBER FUN AT THE CITY PARK NEXT MONTH. For more information on sinning contact Frankie Lou McMasters at Doc Adderly’s Animal Clinic.

 Prayerfully submitted,

N. Bloom, Newsletter Editor

Truth be know, there were certain people who weren’t exactly thrilled by my return to the town where my daddy, Reverend Frank Birmingham, occupied the pulpit at Faith Community Church before his retirement to Florida. I’d been gone from Ruby Springs eleven years, but it seems those certain people have the combined memory of a herd of elephants.  One in particular: Poppy Rose0 deHaven Fremont, Faith Community’s choir director.

I grabbed my tote, made a quick call next door to Miss Nettie’s house where my eleven-year-old, Betsy, was staying for dinner, then headed for the church. It was a hot spring night and bound to get hotter.

Help me, Lord, Miss Nettie and that newsletter are gonna get me killed one way or another.

 

***

 

BRINGING IN THE THIEVES, Book #1 of the Joyful Noise Mysteries series, is published by Bell Bridge Books and available now in digital and print versions. Book #2 in the series is a work in progress – tentative title SWING LOW, SWEET LARIAT.

Buy Links: Amazon Kindle, Amazon Paperback, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books

***

About Lora Lee

Born in a small town in the Texas Hill Country, Lora Lee discovered the magic of reading at an early age and began inventing stories before she could write down the words. Her preacher daddy, as well as her mama, encouraged her love of books by making certain she always had a library card each time they moved to a new town. She currently resides in West Michigan. Known to her supportive critique group as LL or Tex, author Lora Lee is Mom to her four children and Grandma to her nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She enjoys exuberant family gatherings when all twenty-plus members join her for good food and noisy ball games in the back yard.

Keep in tune with the Joyful Noise at: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads.

Lora Lee also writes as Loralee Lillibridge. Learn more about her contemporary romances through her blog and on her Loralee Lillibridge website.

 

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