Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cowboy Up with Terri Crews!

PT:  Hi Terri! We are durn pleased you're here. Let's start with the facts, ma'am. Give us your background and genre.
TC:  I was born in Folkston, Georgia, and I reside in the small town of Hilliard, Florida. Right after
high school I stepped into the role of wife and mother of two, and recently celebrated 27 years of marriage to my best friend. I am an office manager. I attend the local Baptist Church with a wonderful group of people.
        I enjoy penning novels laced with romance and variety of settings and plots. To date I’ve written over fifty five completed novels. With three publications thus far and one soon coming.

PT: Tell the readers how you got into writing?
TC:  My passion for writing goes back to childhood. In middle school I found myself writing poetry and short stories mainly during band class particularly, after I discovered that I wasn’t musically gifted, I had to do something to ward off boredom. The real spark came when my English teacher asked the class to write a short story. He chose two from the class and mine was one of the pair.  Mr. Timothy Rowe inspired this young novelist with advice and compliments after class.  
       Yet, it wasn’t until 2005 I began seriously writing full length novels as a hobby. My children were old enough not to need my waking moment and I found myself engrossed within my own mind.  After sharing my stories with friends, they prompted me to pursue publishing. 

PT:  Awesome story! Now, tell us some difficulties you’ve had to overcome to become a writer.
TC:  Being a writer is a difficult task. Especially when one is just beginning the process. A no-name will get your submission sent back to you in a matter of seconds, unless of course, you are willing to pay for publication.  My first novel I learned a valuable lesson. Then it was hours of searching, sorting through the good, the bad and the ugly of publishers. My advice please do your homework, there are those who will take advantage of starry eyed dreamers.
           I am so thankful that I stumbled across Prism Book Group. Joan Alley took the time to teach, to advise, and to grow me. Thank you! Presently my biggest nemesis is time. With a full time job, home life, and all the other little surprises life has to offer it’s very hard to get undistracted moments to prepare fifty five manuscripts for submission, and at times a grueling process.

PT: Lately I've heard a lot of people saying that Christian Authors do not write realistic, gut-wrenching stories. What’s your take on that?
TC:  My opinion on this is matter 50/50. I have read by the same author a routine of sweet romances and then there’s authors who will take tragedy and despair and deliver a message of faith and hope to the reader.  Personally as a Christian author, I don’t consider all of my novels strictly Christian oriented. I believe that there is preference for each individual writer. I think most Christian authors would want the reader to relate to circumstances and situations by embracing the strength of the human spirit. We are not defined by occurrences that happen in our lives. We must rely on a power greater than our own in order to thrive in this wayward society.  God grants us all grace to overcome, even on the days we fail.

PT:  Do you have a favorite theme you focus on in each book?
TC:  Do I have a favorite theme? Well, I have a vast variety of works and all of those involve a clean romantic nature. But if I counted the settings in which I have the most of, the winner would be the frontier/western era.

PT:  What exactly do you wish to impart to your readers through your books?
TC:  My desire is to deliver novels that stir all the emotions. Stories that imparts, encouragement, love, forgiveness, perseverance etc. I believe a writer’s goal is to entertain the imagination. If a reader closes a book with a smile, a tear, a sigh, or a giggle I’ve accomplished my goal

PT:  Tell us about your back copies, and then tells us about your new book, Outlaw Jack.
TC:  My first novel, From Letters to Grace. Christian and WWII era.
 Benjamin Watersfield clutched a single letter written solely for him, all the while waiting for the precise time to play the record.  The anniversary tradition of the day and time he’d first danced with Grace; he continued even with her gone.
        Ben, strong in his belief and totally captivated by Grace Cabot as she took his hand at the dance hall. “Dance with me soldier until my fella gets here.”  Grace was Charlie’s girl, devil may care ladies’ man and Ben’s best friend. Letters from Grace, arrived for Charlie and Ben listened, lingering on every word. Until the one letter arrived upsetting Ben over Charlie’s actions. For Charlie has no intentions of being tied to one woman’s apron strings.
       A friendship is strained with the passing days, as Ben is asked to pray for wounded and dying soldiers. The rage of war almost severs the relationship until tragedy strikes. Charlie saves Ben life, the action took Charlie’s legs, and infection is spreading uncontrollably through his body with the lack of medicine to combat the infection. One request sets Ben’s heart at rest while another, he must deny his dying friend. This story will have you reaching for the tissues.

         Second novel, Sarah’s Bounty. Sweet Romance, frontier setting.  This novel is basically two stories in one. 

     Summoned by a wealthy widow, T. J. Blake almost refuses her request until the tune of five thousand dollars dances in his ears. One condition. Sarah is to remain untouched. Not hard to do considering the payout.
         Saloon-raised Sarah is snatched from all she knows, only to be shocked by the truth of her parentage. To seek answers, she calls a truce with her would-be kidnapper to confront her mother, and complies with role play to keep the true nature of their relationship hidden.
        Then it happened: the need to perform the act of a lifetime for the sake of staying alive and keeping Sarah safe, left Blake with no choice but to become cozy with her.  
         Blake drops Sarah in her snobbish mother’s lap, and then realizes that his reward wasn’t worth what he’d leave behind. The look on her face tied him in knots. He couldn’t walk away without giving her the one thing she asked for. After all, Mama didn’t say nothing about touching Sarah once he delivered her.  With the rest of his payout in his hand, Blake fulfilled the lady’s request while her mother is screaming at him to release her. Worth every cent and more as he pressed half of the five thousand dollars into Sarah’s palm with the only advice he could give. If this life doesn’t prove to be what she wanted, then she should pursue her dreams.

     This novel has several twists and turns, I found myself laughing and crying throughout the pages.

      Third novel, Sam’s Treasure. Sweet Romance, frontier setting.

 Samantha Carleton dreams of regaining all she lost including her identity. Her father had disguised her as a boy to ward off would-be outlaws on the trail. The gold rush had overtaken many folks with the fever in hopes of striking it rich, Sam and her father included. But with each nugget found, her pa wasted the money on alcohol. Well, Sam had had enough of his senseless spending. Her feisty determination played a large role in getting her recognized as a menace in the sleepy, little town.
          Undercover, Sheriff Trace Wallace, only smiled after he’d thrown the boy from the saloon. Good riddance to the unruly lad, causing such a ruckus and demanding that his pa come down from upstairs. But this only managed to provoke the boy’s next plan of action. The upstairs came alive with noises and excited voices filtering through the air in the saloon. Then the couple came bursting through the door, half clothed and battling a swarm of bees. Clearing out the whole place. Trace spotted the boy standing smugly with a dirty grin splitting his face, satisfied to have accomplished what he set out to do.  
         Little did each of them know that this wasn’t the only predicament they’d find themselves in. Nope, Sam’s pa spent too much time bragging about his Sam’s ability in finding gold. With a rash of crime in the area, Trace had no choice but to volunteer to oversee the boy as would-be outlaws plotted in on how to make use of Sam and his talents.
       Fearful of these criminals finding out her identity, Sam plays the part of boy to the best of her ability, until a disagreement reveals to one of the crooks of who she is.  His silence over his discovery sets her on edge. What will he want in order to keep her secret?
      For Trace and Sam, love is the best treasure of all.  

Outlaw Jack

        Jacqueline Wallington had been dealt her fair share of heartache and tragedy, but just when life began to treat her kindly, cruel fate strikes again. Two months of marriage to the wealthy cattle rancher is destroyed by his untimely death. And to make matters worse, Bill Terrell slithers upon her front porch with his so- called papers proclaiming her late husband’s outstanding debts and his ill-mannered proposal.       
       Angry, hurt, and alone once again, Jack sets out with her the only thing she could manage to take from the propertyher late husband’s colts. With revenge driving her misdeeds, she earns herself a title “The Gray-eyed Bandit” whose sole purpose is to steal from the man who stole from her and ironically give most of the loot away.
        With the last of Terrell’s bank in her sights, the robbery goes off without a hitch, or so she thought. Bullets find their mark, landing her in the dirt and right in the lap of handsome, kind-hearted, Deputy Gavin Ward.
        Gavin Ward was elated to know that it was his bullet that toppled the notorious “Gray-eyed Bandit.” Guilt overshadows his pride when he discovers he’d just shot a woman. Fearful for her life and uncertain if he should take her back to town, Gavin takes her to his cabin to tend her wounds. After all, she was entitled to a fair trial. As the night wore on, Gavin is amazed that she is able to answer his questions. 
        Hearing her story, he changes his mind about turning her in. This beauty wasn’t the nasty outlaw posters claimed her to be, but a troubled young woman driven by a terrible twist of fate.  He could relate with his own demons lurking in his past. Days pass and Gavin sees there is more to Jack than meets the eye. She manages to stir something he’s never longed for, love, companionship, and family.
        Jack is now well aware of what she’d been missing her whole life. She loved Brody, however he had not once displayed any kind of romantic affection toward her. Why? Brody treated her kindly, lavished gifts upon her, but nothing more. Wasn’t it normal for a man to desire his wife? What was wrong with her? Could what her Mama accused her of being be true? Was she a bad seed? Did her unique features disgust her husband?
          When she plagued him with questions of romantic notions, Gavin couldn’t believe his ears. Brody Wallington had to be blind not to be captivated by his own wife. Her eyes alone could mess with a man’s thinking, not to mention the fullness of her mouth. Her inquiries came true to light when fever took hold of Jack. Images of her past life played out in the madness spewing from her mouth. Ugly things ravaged his imagination while he tended her. Her own father, his blood ran cold, and then a husband’s rejection. She called him Brody… she wouldn’t know and a kiss was just a kiss, a pleasant memory or so he thought. 
           Caught up in her fire, Gavin falls head over heels for this uncanny outlaw. He is convinced that he can earn her a new title, but they had to clear up the old one first. But at what cost? Could the plan they’ve cooked up work? Or will the woman he loves hang? 

PT:  Your novels sound so intriguing! Well, where is your writing is leading you next?
TC:  Pony Chasers is next in on the list to be published. This novel is set in the 80’s a time when rodeos and country music were very popular. The first part of the novel the main character is seventeen and drifting from town to town with her rodeo chasing father and younger brother. Not a normal family at all, but for Kennie, she was about to learn valuable life lessons.

During the second part of the book, it’s seven years later. Her passion for country music brings her to her biggest gig yet- performing at Gilley’s. Where she clobbers an over- zealous cowboy with her guitar only to realize she’s face to face with her first love, and first heartache. 
      All it took for Dusty to fall in love again was a song, the beautiful woman before him, and a memory and a long awaited kiss goodbye that he never got.  No, seventeen wasn’t too young to deem one’s self in love and neither was twenty four. Matter of fact, he had to convince her to stay rather than to chase her dreams. Then fate steps in just as he is sure she’s fallen for him and those ponies. But reality is, did he want her to be miserable wondering what could’ve happened with her career or could he love her enough to let her go again? 

PT: Speaking of chasing ponies, look like I better go grab my mount before I get left high and dry. Thanks, Terri, for stopping in at the Mine.

TC:  My pleasure! Thanks for having me.

Ya' know what? Terri is giving away a copy of Outlaw Jack! Now, we done shot out the lights in our excitement! But you have to leave your email address (and a comment would be great, too) to be entered in our giveaway, like always here at the Diamond Mine. Thanks for stoppin' in Cowpoke! I hope you enjoyed this little rodeo with Terri!


Julie b Cosgrove said...

great interview, Terri! I smiled for you all the way trough it. So glad to know you as a fellow Prism author! Thanks for all the co-promoting you do.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Wow - 55 completed novels! Awesome achievement Terri! Lindsey Paley

Deanna Stevens said...

Outlaw Jack! sounds like a fun story..
Enjoyed getting to know you :)