Friday Fanfare Welcomes:
Leanna Sain – Half-Moon Lake
How did the writer’s journey begin for you?
My novel writing journey began at a Halloween party where I saw the “Gate to Nowhere” (the title of my first novel) and the stories just keep coming. My “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. My fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone, YA crossover.
My Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases my plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all my own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want my books.
Tell us three things about you-the writer-readers wouldn’t typically know.
- I’m one of the fastest goat-milkers I know.
- I’m terrified of heights
- Wasp/Hornet spray stuns a rattlesnake so you can kill it (voice of experience talking here), but you have to unload the whole can on it.
Well, I know what I’m reaching for next time I see a rattler! LOL
It all began when…
It all began when my husband and I were doing a furniture delivery down in the Nantahalla Valley. The kudzu inspired it.
Where did you get the premise for this book?
I was on a ‘twins’ kick. I wondered about something bad happening to one twin that resulted in their death and the psychological trauma causing amnesia in the remaining twin.
Interesting. What stands out about this story that made writing it different for you?
It was my first book written in 1st person. I actually wrote this one before Red Curtains (the first book in my GRITS series). Everything is in Kate’s POV. It was so much fun I decided to do all the GRITS books in 1st person too.
Were there any difficult challenges or special subject matter you came across while writing this book?
No difficult challenges, but since kudzu plays an important part in the story, I had to do a lot of research about the plant. I wove what I learned into the story. There’s more to it than just an invasive vine.
I thought that said invasive wine. I was about to grab my glass! 😆
What about this book would make us want to read it more than others of similar taste?
I think my characters are just more believable and although it’s a suspense/mystery, it’s a FUN read. I made myself laugh…out loud. Plus Levi is just plain HOT!
What do you want readers to take away from this book?
I want them to love the book so much that they can’t wait to go out and get all my other books.
Tell us about the finished book. Is there anything special we might not know after reading it?
Learning that her name is Katelyn Eubanks is only the first surprise. Second, she had an identical twin sister who drowned at the age of nine. Since Katelyn can’t remember anything prior to that age, it seems more than mere coincidence. The biggest surprise is that her father, a man she never knew existed, left his entire estate to her, enraging other would-be heirs.
With her unremembered, but closest childhood friend, Levi, as well as help from the estate’s deaf-mute gardener, and the outspoken cook, Katelyn searches for answers to questions that have plagued her all her life, but doing so, opens the proverbial Pandora’s box. As her memories return, so does the terrible danger she escaped fifteen years earlier.
I hope readers get their curiosity piqued when the story mentions Half Moon, the Cherokee Indian medicine woman, and the MacKinlay family (see the Gate to Nowhere Trilogy).
Where can readers find you and your books?
Is there anything else you want to share or add?
I love talking to book clubs or women’s groups. If your group is within an hour or two of western NC, I’d love to come see you. Contact me at http://www.LeannaSain.com
I wish I lived closer! Thanks for visiting Leanna!
K folks, it’s a nasty, rainy day here in Oklahoma, and I don’t have a fireplace. So, I’ll gift one commenter with a copy of my ebook Risk Factors if you share this post on FB and Twitter then post both direct links in comments. I’ll draw the winner Sunday night.
I have Leanna Sain in the Round Pen today. I’ll let her tell you a bit about her book, Red Curtains.
I saw ‘Lily’ while my husband and I were visiting Savannah for our 26th anniversary. We were waiting for a tour bus when she strolled past us, wearing a court jester hat and talking to herself. She walked up to a mailbox by the bus stop proceeded to sprinkle some invisible substance around its base. I cocked an eyebrow at my husband and quipped, “Fairy-dust?” He shrugged, waiting to see what she did next.
She was obviously homeless, and the moment I saw her, my mind started creating her story. As soon as we got on the bus, I began scribbling ideas as fast as my pen could write. Red Curtains is the result.
I know the homeless issue isn’t a comfortable subject, but unfortunately, it’s reality and I hope my book raises awareness. Homeless statistics are staggering, so to help in a small way, I’ll be donating a part of book sales to the “Stand Down” program mentioned in the story.”
“Cleo!” she greeted me joyously, as if we were long, lost friends instead of mortal enemies. “It’s so good to see you!”
“Ellie.” Her eyes narrowed at my mispronunciation, but she didn’t correct me. I gave her a cold stare. The only thing that kept me from yanking her out of my seat by her dark rooted, bottle-blond hair was sheer, iron will.
“I saw you come in earlier,” she trilled in her fake- friendly voice. “I wanted to be sure to come tell you ‘hi.’ Imagine my disappointment when I finally made it to your table and found you were gone. But luckily…” she gave Jonas an impudent smile. “…this nice man was good enough to let me sit here and wait for you.”
Finally made it to my table? Yeah, right. I was sure she’d waited—on purpose—for me to leave before she swooped in. I’d seen this act before, and I thought I was ready for it, but I guess I wasn’t. When she finished her little performance with a wink, I think I may have growled.
“Well, that worked out well for you, didn’t it?” My smile was brittle. One false move and my face might shatter into a thousand little pieces. I waited stiffly for her to vacate my seat. Could a person’s blood actually boil?
Jonas was casting an uncertain look between the two of us. I’m sure he was astute enough to feel the undercurrents. He might not understand them, but he had to be aware of them.
Then he sort of jumped, shoulders stiffening, eyes widening in shock as he stared across the table. What was that about? I glanced at Ellie, looking for an answer. Uh-oh. I knew that look. I’d seen her use it often enough. It was her “come and get me” expression—gazing up through her mascara thickened lashes, a seductive smile curving her lips, promising things I didn’t even want to know about—the look that reduced men to puppy-like creatures, eager to please. A movement under the table caught my eye and my jaw dropped. Ellie’s stiletto-clad foot was rubbing suggestively up and down Jonas’ leg. Obviously, Ellie had no intention of relinquishing her spot at the table.
Oh, no you don’t, girlfriend! Not this time! I made a totally out-of-character and utterly rash decision, praying that Jonas would just go with it and that it wouldn’t backfire. I slipped into the seat beside him, snuggling up close. “I like it better on this side, anyway.”
I’ll have to hand it to him. It only took him a split second of startled uncertainty before he dropped his arm around my shoulder, pulling me even closer. He put his lips to my ear, whispering, “I guess you’ll explain what’s going on later?”
His warm breath against my ear caused goose bumps to shiver along my arms and down my legs, but I dimpled up at him and answered, “You know I will.”
Turning to Ellie, I almost shouted over an explosion of laughter from the bar. “Isn’t he a sweetheart? I just love him to death!”
Ellie’s expression had become a bit frosty and I almost giggled with delight. It felt wonderful to be vindicated. Not to mention, it was very, very cozy to be snuggled up against Jonas like this.
She slid toward the outside edge of the seat. “It was good to see you, Cleo. Happy holidays. Nice to meet you, Jonas. Maybe we could meet for a drink sometime?”
“Sounds good,” he said. “I’ll let you set it up with Cleo.”
Ellie’s jaw tightened. “Of course. See you later.” She spun around and stalked away, swaying a little on her four-inch heels.
North Carolina native, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, then moved back to her beloved mountains of western NC with her husband. Her “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. Sain’s fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone, YA crossover.
Her Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all her own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want her books.
She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com
Twitter: Leanna Sain@Leannasbooks
Website and blog: http://leannasain.com
Thank you for sharing Red Curtains with my readers, Leanna! I think it’s a wonderful thing for you to donate a portion of sales to a good cause most of us don’t even think about in our own daily lives.