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Character Interview: Cassandra Brighton from Linda Lucretia Shuler’s literary novel, ‘Hidden Shadows’

HiddenShadows_medWe’re thrilled to have here today Cassandra Brighton, from Linda Lucretia Shuler’s new literary novel, Hidden Shadows.  Cassie, forty-five, recently sold her Houston boutique of Native American Art, “Spirit of the Southwest,” and moved to Willow City, a small community in a rugged corner of the Texas Hill Country.

It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Cassie.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

It took a while for the author to know who I really am. I don’t think Linda would mind if I use her first name; we’re close now. I think of her as a sister. Although I didn’t at first. I didn’t trust her then.

I’m a private person, really – full of dreams, musings, hidden fears. So much has happened in my life, so much love and so much sorrow – the kind that rips you apart. I’ve made some stupid mistakes, but who of us hasn’t? It takes a while to share these hidden parts of yourself, the good as well as the bad. We all are a mix, aren’t we? None of us perfect. All of us a stew of feelings.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

“Colorizing.” Hum. Now that’s a curious choice of words. To be honest, it’s hard to see oneself from another’s eyes. I never thought myself beautiful, although friends tell me otherwise. I’ve just turned forty-five, after all. Bits of gray in my hair, and some lines starting to appear under my eyes. As for my personality, Linda’s been relentless, digging right down inside me, forcing me to realize things about myself I didn’t understand before. Sometimes I think she goes overboard, like with my dreams. Dreams should be private, shouldn’t they? And here she is, spilling them to the world. Especially my visions of ancestors who once lived in this creaking old homestead. I can feel their spirits here, warm, kind – well, all except one. But I don’t want to talk about him.

What’s the next question?

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My strongest trait? Lordy, give me a moment to think . . .

Perhaps my strongest trait is my sensitivity, my awareness of thing felt, but not seen: the  struggles of others, hidden within them; the spirituality of animals, such as the wolf who seems to have adopted me; the faint music of long-ago echoing among the hills; the soft footsteps and whispers of spirits within the walls of my ancestral home. It’s natural to me, this lovely way of responding to the world.

Worse trait?

My strongest trait is also, in a weird way, one of my weakest. I can be overly sensitive, easy to wound. My imagination often runs rampant, tossing me into a whirlwind of anxiety.

On second thought, maybe my worst trait is the reluctance to let go of the past. Memories, longings, hopes unfulfilled – these haunt me.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Angelica Joli. I love her intensity, the graceful way she moves, like a panther. She has chutzpa too; I can’t imagine her sitting down and letting the world pass her by. And emotional! Everything she feels flits across her face; no words are needed.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Oh, yes. He’s gorgeous. Mercurial. Talented. Frustrating. Tormented, I think, by his past. Quick to anger, I suspect. I don’t know if he’s as quick to love. He chose someone else – a tight-lipped, icy queen who claimed him as her own.

I’ll let you discover the rest.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

To be honest, I was nervous from the beginning. I mean, couldn’t Linda at least give me a break?  I had to knock her in the head a time or two – or tried to, at any rate. She must have heard me, because she finally came around to seeing things my way.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Guy, a tormented soul. Something about him scared me in the beginning. Still does, as a matter of fact.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

It surprised me. I mean, you make plans and life suddenly throws something else at you. But isn’t that the way it goes? Life is a journey toward the unexpected. I’m here, I’m healthy, I’m smiling. That’s all I’d better say.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

I’d say, “Linda, write about me as I am now, not as I was when we first met.”

Thank you for this interview, Cassie.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Oh, I would love to think so! However, there’s a kink: My ancestors are rattling around in Linda’s thoughts, demanding to be heard. I suspect she’s going to write about them next. Theirs is an interesting story, my pioneer forefathers (or is it foremothers?) and the dangers they faced so bravely as they settled in this wild corner of Texas. Since I’m part of them, I’m part of their story, too.

LindaShuler_authorPix72

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linda Lucretia Shuler wrote her first story when she was six, Koko the Monkey, which she still has tucked into a drawer. Since then her stories and poems have appeared in anthologies and literary journals, and a handful of her plays have been produced in schools and community theatres.

Linda received a BFA in theatre from the University of Texas, and an MA in theatre from Trinity University while in residence at the Dallas Theatre Center. She taught theatre arts in college and high school for three decades, loving every moment and directing nearly a hundred plays in the process. She also wrote theatre arts curriculum K-12 for Houston ISD, conducted numerous workshops, and performed in community theatres.

Hidden Shadows, Linda’s debut novel, takes place in Willow City, a ruggedly beautiful section of the Texas Hill Country less than three hours from her home in San Antonio. Several other manuscripts are in the works, reaching across the genres. These include a prequel to Hidden Shadows, plays, and a collection of poems and a half-dozen different story ideas demanding attention.

Linda enjoys participating in Toastmasters, writer organizations, critique groups, and book clubs. She continues her love of theatre, delights in watching the birds flocking outside her office window, and is an enthusiastic fan of San Antonio’s championship basketball team, the Spurs.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Hidden Shadows

Genre: Literary

Author: Linda Lucretia Shuler

Publisher: Twilight Times Books

Amazon / OmniLit / B&N / Twilight Times Books

Hidden Shadows is a story of connection: to the land, to our ancestors, to others, to ourselves – and to the redemptive power of love: 

Cassie Brighton, devastated by the accidental death of her husband, flees to a remote homestead deep in the rugged Texas Hill Country. Alone in a ramshackle farmhouse steeped in family secrets, Cassie wages a battle of mind and heart as she struggles to overcome the sorrows of her past, begin anew, and confront the possibility of finding love again.

What people are saying:

Hidden Shadows is a wonderful novel of a women’s journey of self-discovery and search for purpose. The characters will win your heart (and sometimes break it) in this beautifully written and satisfying story of loss and renewal.”

Sandra Worth,

Award-winning author of The King’s Daughter: A Novel of the First Tudor Queen

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Book Review: The Accidental Art Thief, by Joan Schweighardt

TheAccidentalArtThief_medTitleThe Accidental Art Thief

Genre: General fiction/Literary

Author: Joan Schweighardt

Websitewww.joanschweighardt.com

Publisher: Twilight Times Books

Find The Accidental Thief on Amazon 

Set in New Mexico, this is the story of 45-year old Kathryn (aka Zinc), a deeply sensitive yet socially awkward woman who’s lived all of her existence without making her own decisions, and whose life suddenly forces her to take charge, face her fears, and grow as a human being.

For the past 25 years Zinc has cared for an old art collector and lived in a casita under the protection of his estate. She writes poetry and her only possessions are her two dogs. Life is monotone and safe for Zinc, whose idyllic environment is perfect for hiding from the world. But things abruptly change when the old man suffers a tragic fall and dies. His nasty daughter Marge takes charge, and gives Zinc only two weeks to gather what little she has and find another place to live. Overnight, Zinc is forced to face her fears and the world she’s been hiding from for so many years—or tries to, anyway.

Her first decision—stealing one of the old man’s paintings—unravels a series of unusual events that forces Zinc to interact with other people—a clairvoyant, her auto-mechanic brother, and a poet whom she ends up meeting in Antigua and falling in love with, among others. She even gets a job at the Chamber of Commerce. But Zinc isn’t the only one struggling through life and facing her demons, and so do the other characters in the book. Eventually, Zinc must make things right and return the painting, but not before going through a series of unusual turns.

The Accidental Art Thief is a well-written literary novel with complex, skillfully developed characters—ordinary people moving through life like ghosts, it seems at times. Their emotions are what makes this novel compelling. Themes of love, friendship, self-growth, and emotional survival interlace in this sometimes darkly humorous story. Elements of magical realism further deepen the tale, adding a light touch of the paranormal to the plot. Fans of Alice Hoffman, Sue Monk Kid, and J.K. Rowling (The Casual Vacancy) will surely enjoy Schweighardt’s The Accidental Thief.

My review originally appeared in Blogcritics. 

I was given a review copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Character Interview: Frankie Winesky from Joan Schweighardt’s novel, ‘The Accidental Art Thief’

TheAccidentalArtThief_medWe’re thrilled to have here today Frankie Winesky from Joan Schweighardt’s new novel, The Accidental Art Thief. Frankie is a 52-year-old auto mechanic living in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Frankie. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Number one, your introduction missed the mark. So let’s set the record straight right now: I am not your average auto mechanic. I am the owner/operator of my own auto repair business. I got a corner lot, a nice big garage with three hydraulic lifts, a brake lathe, a high performance tire changer, a wheel balancer, a bathroom, and a nice cushy office with a big oak desk and a/c.

You bring it in, I work on it, no matter what shape it’s in. And 99.99 percent of the time I get it running again. But I’m best known for the work I do on vintage models. I got two of my own: a ’65 Mustang convertible and a ’66 GTO. Cars are my life. That’s why when I wanted to find a way to thank my little sister for, um, saving my life that one time there, I bought her the Firebird: V-6 aero snout with a one-piece fold-down seatback, which would have come in handy if she’d had to live in her car, which, if not for me, would have actually come to pass. A muscle car for a chick with no muscle, figuratively speaking.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently? 

The author nailed it. I think she really helped the reader to understand the great inconvenience it was to have my sister and her mutts moving in with me. I think readers will really appreciate the sacrifice I had to make to accommodate the three of them.

What do you believe is your strongest trait? 

Besides knowing more about cars than probably 99.99 percent of the people on the planet? Probably I got more good car stories than anyone else too. Click and Clack, the Car Guys on that radio show? They’d be the only ones in my league.

Worse trait? 

I wouldn’t really say I have a worse trait. Not that I can think of on the spur like this. Worse thing I ever did was screw up a relationship with this woman Gloria. Ah, Gloria. You can read about her in the book if you’re interested. That mistake cost me big time. And all for a one-nighter with a thirty-something-year-old who I never saw again. You live and you learn.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)? 

Funny you should ask. My sister asked me the same question the other day and I said right off the bat, George Clooney. He’s taller and he’s got more hair, and maybe we don’t look that much alike, but we carry ourselves the same, if you know what I mean. We got that confidence thing going. Zincy laughed. She said, “Honestly, Frankie! I’ll give you William H. Macy, but that’s as far as I’ll go.” I said, “Fine, I’ll take the H-man.” Clooney is better looking, but no one is as cool as Willy H.

Do you have a love interest in the book? 

Oh, do I ever.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out? 

How can I say this without being a spoiler? My sister committed this crime, see? And being her big brother and all, I had to cover for her. I had to more or less undo the bad thing she did. Remember the scene in Mission: Impossible where Tom Cruise is dangling from a wire being held on the other end by someone he doesn’t even trust? Suffice it to say I had to endure almost the exact same predicament to save my sister’s ass. I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but there was some uncertainty about how it would all turn out.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why? 

Shite, I can tell you right off the bat that I wouldn’t want to be my sister. She ain’t wired right, if you know what I mean.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away? 

Ooh la la, at least from my perspective. Ooh la la, and bring on the homemade tarts and ginger ice cream!

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it? 

Give me center stage. And let me tell more car stories.

Thank you for this interview, Frankie.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future? 

Count on it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

joan Joan Schweighardt is a former indie publisher who now works as a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor. The Accidental Art Thief is her fifth novel.

Connect with Joan on the web:

Website / Twitter / Facebook

Find The Accidental Art Thief on Amazon.

Guest post: “My Inspiration behind ‘The Saint of Santa Fe'” by Silvio Sirias

Sirias - Cover - 9781937536565.inddEvery June 9, the Republic of Panama mourns the anniversary of Father Héctor Gallego’s disappearance. More than forty years after the crime, his case still remains a source of deep, national pain.

While researching The Saint of Santa Fe, I spent a considerable amount of time in the mountains of the province of Veraguas, where Father Gallego served as parish priest. I had lengthy conversations with people whose lives were deeply affected by this noble Colombian. Among them were Jacinto Peña, the lone witness to Father Gallego’s abduction; Father Raúl Rodríguez, Santa Fe’s current parish priest; and Edilma Gallego, Héctor’s sister who first came to Panama in September of 1999, when it was thought that her brother’s remains had been found. Edilma Gallego, a person every bit as courageous as her older sibling, has chosen to stay in this country to continue his work. And she and her family still have hopes that one day they will learn the truth about what happened to Héctor.

The stories and comments I heard while in Santa Fe were both inspiring and heartrending.  “He was the angel God sent to liberate us,” an elderly campesina said to me.  “To know him was to know Christ,” said Eric Concepción, for whom Father Gallego obtained a scholarship so he could study agriculture. At the time of our conversation, Eric was the president of Panamá’s organic farmers. “He was a prophet,” Father Rodríguez claims. “And sadly, as history repeatedly demonstrates, prophets meet a tragic fate because the truth they speak threatens the established order.”

And Father Héctor Gallego did speak the truth. As the first parish priest in the four-hundred year history of Santa Fe, he helped bring an end to the exploitation campesinos had been subjected to for centuries. Sadly, the truth offended the local strongman—a first cousin of General Omar Torrijos—and this cost Héctor his life.

Who kidnapped Father Héctor Gallego; on whose orders; how did he die; and where are his remains are questions that several former members of Panama’s defunct military can answer.  Yet in writing The Saint of Santa Fe I believed readers deserved to learn the story about the extraordinary things this saintly man did in life.

Find out more on Amazon

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silvio03c
Silvio Sirias is the author of Bernardo and the Virgin (2005) and Meet Me under the Ceiba (2009), winner of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize for Best Novel, and most recently The Saint of Santa Fe.  A native of Los Angeles, he spent his adolescence in Nicaragua and currently lives in Panama.  In 2010, Silvio was named one of the “Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch (and Read).”  He has a doctorate in Spanish from the University of Arizona.  He has also published academic books on Julia Alvarez, Rudolfo Anaya, and the poet Salomon de la Selva.  In addition, he has a collection of essays titled Love Made Visible: Reflections on Writing, Teaching, and Other Distractions.  The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature lists him among the handful of authors who are introducing Central American themes into the U.S. literary landscape. For more information, visit his website at www.silviosirias.com.

https://www.facebook.com/silviofans / Twitter: @silviosirias

Interview with Silvio Sirias, author of ‘The Saint of Santa Fe’


silvio03c
Silvio Sirias is the author of Bernardo and the Virgin (2005) and Meet Me under the Ceiba (2009), winner of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize for Best Novel, and most recently The Saint of Santa Fe.  A native of Los Angeles, he spent his adolescence in Nicaragua and currently lives in Panama.  In 2010, Silvio was named one of the “Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch (and Read).”  He has a doctorate in Spanish from the University of Arizona.  He has also published academic books on Julia Alvarez, Rudolfo Anaya, and the poet Salomon de la Selva.  In addition, he has a collection of essays titled Love Made Visible: Reflections on Writing, Teaching, and Other Distractions.  The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature lists him among the handful of authors who are introducing Central American themes into the U.S. literary landscape. For more information, visit his website at www.silviosirias.com.

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, The Saint of Santa Fe.What was your inspiration for it? 

A: Thank you for the congratulations! I read about the tragic, yet heroic, story of Father Hector Gallego’s in a local newspaper shortly after my wife and I moved to Panama. Something about his sacrifice, as well as the photograph they published, started to haunt me. Even though his disappearance and death occur nearly forty-three years ago, Panamanians still remember him and the work he did. In fact, they continue to clamor for justice in his case.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist. 

A: The story is about a young, Colombian priest who left his homeland to start a parish in a remote area of Panama. He soon discovered that his parishioners had been living as indentured servants for generations. He helped to free them. In the process, however, he offended a wealthy landowner and he was kidnapped by military operatives never to be heard from again. Also, in researching the novel I met his sister, Edilma, who moved here from Colombia fifteen years ago to discover the truth about her brother’s death. The novel tells her story as well.

Q: How was your creative process during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way? 

A: This has been the most difficult of the three novels I’ve published. At first it was because I knew little about Panama’s culture and history, so I had a lot to learn. It took me about three years to become comfortable enough to write about my new, adoptive homeland with confidence. Then, because of this insecurity I included too many historical details in the narrative, weighing the pace down. It took me quite a while to decide what to jettison, but once I did the pace improved significantly.  Finally, General Omar Torrijos, a figure many revere in Panama, is the villain in this tale. It was a tremendous challenge to flesh him out. He became clear after I took a trip to Coclesito—a town he adored and used as an experimental Sirias - Cover - 9781937536565.inddstation to improve rural conditions in the country. In fact, he died in a plane crash while flying there. During my visit I felt his spirit and I came to understand his legacy with absolute clarity. But it all took quite a while, nearly ten years from the moment I decided this would be my next novel. Of course, I took long hiatuses, but getting this story right required of all my faith and patience. In the end, though, I am thrilled with the results.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it? 

A: I am also a teacher, and even though I have been teaching for many, many years, I still get a bit nervous before starting every class. I take it as a sign that I care about what I’m doing. It’s the same with writing. But as with teaching, after a few minutes into it the anxiety disappears.

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?

A: When I write full-time, I work from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. five days a week.  My wife and I have chosen to lead a simple life. We own little and are almost debt-free. Because of this, I can take long stretches off from my teaching job, usually two years at a time.  It is then that I can devote myself entirely to my next novel. I am hopeless at multitasking.  When I write, that is all I do. I just can’t balance it all, I’m afraid. But because of this, I am much more of a homebody when I am a writer than when I’m a teacher.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author? 

A: Such an honest question deserves an honest answer. And although my answer may seem brutal, any writer facing such a situation has a difficult choice to make. I couldn’t be an author if my wife wasn’t 100% supportive. Every writer needs a spouse who helps to nurture the muse, otherwise it would be akin to sabotaging one’s work. As heartless as this may sound, I’d say either give up on writing or get out of what appears to be a bad relationship. To become a writer one has to make countless sacrifices, and a spouse needs to be on board for all of them.

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree? 

A: I wrote an essay titled “The Kindly Demon that Fuels Me.” I wrote it precisely in response to Orwell’s essay “On Why I Write,” where the quote you mention can be found. I agree that most writers have demons. Mario Vargas Llosa added to this thought by saying that novelists write to exorcise demons. Yet the one that drives me is a benevolent one, taking the form of my desire to be remembered after I’m gone. When I look at it this way, I am don’t find my demon terrifying in the least.

Book Review: ‘A Very Good Life’ by Lynn Steward

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00031]A Very Good Life is the first book in an exciting new series by successful business woman now author Lynn Steward.

In this story, which crosses over from the literary to women’s fiction to romance, Steward takes us to 1970s Manhattan, home of the sophisticated and the elite. There, we meet Dana McGarry.

Dana has everything — a successful job at a prestigious department store, a handsome lawyer husband, a beautiful home, and loving family and friends. But things aren’t always as perfect as they appear to be, aren’t they?

When Dana’s husband begins to drift away, and demands at her job require that she behaves unethically, her world begins to crumble. She finds herself at a crossroads. Will she make the right decisions and stay true to herself and her vision of what a ‘good life’ should be?

This was a wonderful read! It reminded me of novels I read years ago by Barbara Taylor Bradford. Female readers will no doubt empathize with Dana as she struggles to keep her career and marriage together. She is strong, but also caring and sensitive. Readers will also be swept away by the setting. With vivid detail, the author brings Christmas in 1970s New York City alive in all its splendor. I really felt transported in time and place, felt the snowflakes and smelled the holiday trees. The characters are sympathetic and interesting and, of course, the antagonist is just one of those persons the reader will love to hate.

Steward has created a wonderful world of drama in this new series. Book two is supposed to come later this year and I’m really looking forward to reading the new installment. If you love women’s fiction and are a fan of strong female protagonists, I recommend you pick this one up. It won’t disappoint.

Find out more on Amazon.

Visit Lynn Steward’s website.

My review was originally published in Blogcritics.

Character Interview: Anne Williams from Catherine Astolfo’s psychological suspense, Sweet Karoline

We’re thrilled to have here today, Anne Williams, from Catherine Astolfo’s new psychological suspense, Sweet Karoline. Ms Williams is a 33-year-old Executive Assistant living in Los Angeles, California.

It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Sweet_Karolina_Createspace_Front_CoverThank you so for this interview, Anne. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I’m not so sure Catherine Astolfo was entirely sympathetic to me. After all, I was going through a very rough time. I’d endured the tragic death of my best friend. I’d made several shocking discoveries that threw my entire world into turmoil. In fact, I likened it to an earthquake that changes the landscape. A person has no idea how to travel through the territory. I think it’s perfectly understandable that I was conflicted and somewhat bitter. Perhaps the author could have left out some of my more caustic remarks.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

As I mentioned, I believe the author could have focused a little more on my positive remarks and thoughts. Including everything I said or thought was a little bit much, in my opinion. I’m sure Ms Astolfo wanted to ensure the readers got the full picture, but when a person is down, do you take everything they say seriously? Did she have to include all the mistakes I made? Why not show my good side to the public instead of the whole person? People might misunderstand my personality.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I’m very smart. I worked hard at becoming the Executive Assistant at Grace Productions here in Los Angeles. I’m also loyal, a trait that is a rare commodity it seems.

Worse trait?

My worst trait is that I trust too easily.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Halle Berry. She looks like me (perhaps she’s a little older than when the book takes place, but she can easily be made to look younger).

Do you have a love interest in the book?

I certainly do. His name is Ethan Byrnes and he’s a wonderful man.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Oh, my, right from the first sentence. Talk about spilling your guts and misleading the reader!

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

I would not want to be Karoline. She only appears in flashbacks.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Once again, I think the author could have kept some things a secret. Why do readers have to know everything?

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Catherine, try to be a little less revealing, would you, please? Confessions are not always a good thing. Sure, the readers like it, but isn’t there such a thing as being circumspect?

Thank you for this interview, Anne. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

I don’t think so. I’m pretty much retired. Unless something else happens to yank my life off track again…

Purchase SWEET KAROLINE on AMAZON

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IMG_2453aaCatherine Astolfo retired in 2002 after a very successful 34 years in education. She can recall writing fantasy stories for her classmates in Grade Three, so she started finishing her books the day after her retirement became official. Her short stories and poems have been published in a number of Canadian literary presses. Her story, “What Kelly Did”, won the prestigious Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Crime Story in 2012.

In the fall of 2011, she was thrilled to be awarded a four-book contract by Imajin Books for her Emily Taylor Mystery series (previously self-published), and has never been happier with this burgeoning second career!

Catherine’s books are gritty, yet portray gorgeous surroundings; they deal with sensitive social issues, but always include love and hope. They’re not thrillers, but rather literary mysteries with loads of character and setting. And justice always prevails.

Website: www.catherineastolfo.com

FB: http://tinyurl.com/kc4n5xw

Twitter: www.twitter.com/cathyastolfo

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