Friday, December 6, 2013

Featured Debut Novelist: Lisa Carter

Lisa Carter is a writer, teacher, speaker and musician whose articles have appeared in FamilyFun, Thriving Family, MomSense and Christian Parenting Today. 

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Carolina Reckoning, her debut novel, released in August 2013, but she was always the child who made up epic tales involving prairie schooners or interplanetary voyages for the neighborhood kids to re-enact during summer vacation.

Aloha Rose, part of the Quilts of Love series, released in November 2013, with her next novel Beneath a Navajo Moon following in March, 2014.

The following is a November 2013 interview with Lisa.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY 
AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW


Be in to win a copy of 
Carolina Reckoning
by Lisa Carter


One print copy to be won

Contest open to entrants in the USA only.

Contest runs from 29 November - 12 December NZDT


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Tell us a little about yourself.

As a frequent speaker and vocalist at women’s ministry events, I share my own journey of faith regarding the sufficiency of the Cross and His grace in my life. My debut romantic suspense novel, Carolina Reckoning, released in August. My husband and I have two daughters and make our home in North Carolina. When I'm not writing, I enjoy traveling to romantic locales, quilting, and researching my next exotic adventure.

Born and raised in the American South, I come from a rich, cultural heritage. Don't necessarily believe all of Hollywood's depictions of us as a people group. But the stereotype of friendliness, politeness, and hospitality is no myth. This is who we are. We are a fun group, too. Most visitors find us charming and sincere.

I write romantic suspense I call "Sweet Tea with a Slice of Murder." And yes, you will find a little bit of sweet tea and a whole lot of magnolia in many of my characters. :)


What inspired you to become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

My earliest memories involve making up stories in my head. I thought everyone told themselves stories to fall asleep at night until I went to grammar school and discovered this wasn't the case and actually might make me be perceived as strange. As I grew older though, I was the neighborhood kid to whom other kids flocked during summer vacation asking me what "we" could pretend-like today. And depending on what I was viewing at the time on television -- I date myself here -- our daily fantastic adventures included remakes and blending of Little House on the Prairie, Star Trek, and The Brady Bunch. I may have invented steam punk at the age of ten without even realizing it. :) And later as a teenager and adult, I spent a lot of time scribbling my stories into notebooks never dreaming God would one day take me into this direction for real. Isn't God neat that way? How He takes the desires of our heart -- yearnings we're too timid to envision -- and uses these desires for His glory.


What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

Christian fiction is a light in a dark world. A world devoid of hope apart from God. An increasingly chaotic world. Often, film, books, and other media give us the facts, but no solution and no hope. The best Christian fiction, I believe, doesn't paint an unrealistic picture of the struggles of life, but ultimately points us despite the pain to the Source of hope, comfort, strength, and peace.

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How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write? 

My goal is to proclaim the truth of God’s Word, His redeeming love as seen in the life of Jesus Christ and to help her readers know for themselves this great, awesome God of all comfort and wisdom. He is enough for every need. I hope readers will laugh; perhaps cry; but also that these stories will warm readers' hearts with the greatest of all loves, God's.


What has been the most surprising aspect to becoming a published novelist? 
It is a full time job, whether you work at writing full time or not. Between writing, speaking, marketing and ministry, I'm working all the time. I struggle to balance the other areas of my life with this writing calling.


How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ? 

Because of the juggling act I perform as a wife, mother, and writer, I am driven by my own insufficiency to my knees to the Source who is All-Sufficient. Which is probably where God intended me to be all along. The writing journey has deepened my walk with Christ and opened incredible avenues of ministry.


Other than being a novelist, what other goals do you have for your life? 

I still have two daughters at home. I have goals for them that we are in the process of seeing come to fruition. And of course I look forward, if God allows, to being a grandmother one day.

I also love to travel. One of my goals as a young person was to see the world one day. I've made strides in that direction, but there is still so much of God's wonderful world to visit. So many places; so little time. Maybe New Zealand one day? That is the stuff of dreams.

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What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I read; I travel when finances allow. I sing in my church choir; I quilt -- when writing allows. I get together as often as I can with family. I love doing coffee or lunch with friends.


What can you tell us about your debut novel? 

Carolina Reckoning:

Part of her wasn’t surprised at what she found in her husband’s pocket . . . until Alison becomes the chief suspect in his murder.

Abandoned and betrayed by everyone she’s ever loved, 30-something, Raleigh housewife Alison Monaghan yearns to find someone who will prove to be faithful and true, but instead she discovers a photograph of her husband in the arms of an unknown woman. Before she is able to confront her husband, he is found murdered at Weathersby Historic Park where he served on the Board of Directors and where Alison volunteered as a garden docent.

Detective Mike Barefoot, a Cherokee native from the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC, immediately puts Alison at the top of his suspect list, but against his better judgment, he finds himself drawn to her and to her two teenage children.

Trying to prove her innocence, will Alison become the killer’s next victim?


Year ago, I worked at an antebellum mansion and as a writer began to suppose "What if" a murder were to occur in this uniquely Southern setting. This novel is the result and filled with the quirky characters for which the South has a well-deserved reputation.

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What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead? 

Aloha Rose, a contemporary romance in the Quilts of Love line, just released in November 2013. Two romantic suspense novels release in 2014. Beneath a Navajo Moon, set in Arizona, comes out in March. Under a Turquoise Sky, set in New Mexico, releases in September.


What would you like to say to your upcoming fans in New Zealand and around the world?
I may never have the opportunity of visiting with you in person. But I'm so thankful that the stories which God has placed on my heart can travel to you in my place. In turn, the settings of my novels often become characters in and of themselves. And my gift to you is the chance to travel through my stories to places you've only dared to dream of until now -- the American South, Hawaii, the American Southwest.


Do you have any parting words?

Happy reading and happy travels to all worldwide fans of Christian fiction. Always in His love, Lisa


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Carolina Reckoning

When 30-something housewife, Alison Monaghan discovers proof of her husband's infidelity in a photograph with a mysterious woman, she must decide how to confront Frank when he returns home from work. Despite the influence of her best friend Valerie, a strong Christian, Alison remains aloof from God and is determined to handle this crisis her own way.

But Alison may not get that chance. Frank never makes it home. Soon his body is found on a lonely back-country road in antebellum Weathersby Historic Park where Frank served on the board of directors and where Alison, with a degree in landscape design, was a volunteer garden docent.

Homicide detective Mike Barefoot, a Cherokee native from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, immediately puts Alison at the top of his suspect list. He finds himself drawn to her--and not just because she had motive for the crime.

As an army veteran, Mike usually keeps his emotional walls high. And as a detective, he knows not to get involved with murder suspects. So why he is so attracted to Alison? Can he fight his feelings for her--and the stirrings in his heart toward God?


Purchase Carolina Reckoning
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle
The Book Depository]


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Aloha Rose

When Laney Carrigan sets out to find her birth family, her only clue is the Hawaiian quilt—a red rose snowflake appliqu├ęd on a white background—in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Centering her search on the Big Island and battling fears of rejection, Laney begins a painstaking journey toward her true heritage.

Kai Barnes, however, is determined to protect the people he’s come to regard as family. He thinks Laney is nothing more than a gold digger and blocks every move she makes toward her Hawaiian family. As their conflict escalates, it puts at risk the one thing that Kai and Laney both want most—a family.

               
Purchase Aloha Rose
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle
The Book Depository]




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Beneath a Navajo Moon

The search for a woman who disappeared in 1906 has lead cultural anthropologist Erin Dawson to Cedar Canyon, where the iconic terrain of red rock walls and mesas keep Navajo traditions—and maybe criminal evidence—well hidden. When Erin’s search leads her to cross paths with tribal policeman Adam Silverhorn, it’s hardly love at first sight. But everywhere she turns, Adam is already there.

Fighting their feelings for each other, the two are suddenly thrust into a battle far more dangerous—a common quest to rout an insidious drug cartel that has spawned the recent rise in gang violence on the reservation. Adam’s position of authority gives Erin a rare glimpse into Navajo life few outsiders like her ever see—and into a crime ring that no one dares to imagine.

As danger mounts, Adam and Erin begin to wonder if they will live to tell how they really feel.


Pre-Order Beneath a Navajo Moon
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | 
The Book Depository]





Buy Lisa's Books at The Book Depository

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Be in to win a copy of 
Carolina Reckoning
by Lisa Carter


One print copy to be won

Contest open to entrants in the USA only.

Contest runs from 29 November - 12 December NZDT

Please comment about the interview, or leave a message for Lisa when making a blog post comment. Simply commenting about entering the draw or wanting to win the books does not qualify for valid entry into the draw. 

All entries must be made using the Rafflecopter contest to be eligible for drawing. Winning entries drawn will have their entry options validated before being accepted - if incomplete another entry will be drawn. 


Read Previous Featured Author Interviews


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