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Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads (aka Flinch Free Fiction) author, Katherine Brown

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Today I’d like to introduce you to my fellow CIR author, Katherine Brown. Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself, Katherine?

Hi! I write cozy mysteries and a few children’s books under Katherine H. Brown, but friends and family call me Katie. I am a lover of words and find the challenge of creating something brand new for the imagination out of words to be the highlight of my job as an author. I’ve been “making” books since I was eight or nine out of anything – paper and cardboard stapled together, for example – and feel incredibly blessed to now be writing as a career. I’m a stay-at-home mom to an incredible stepdaughter and in the last trimester of my first pregnancy. Keeping up with writing during that first trimester was rough; I was exhausted and couldn’t make it through a day without a nap. Now, I’m happy to say that I’m back in the swing of things and looking forward to the challenge of working in writing around loving on my baby girl in a few months. (Ha – wish me luck and sleep, right?) I prefer to write accompanied by tea, chocolate, and quiet.

Well, we wish you all the best with the new challenge you’re undertaking! So, let’s hear a bit more about you, and to do so I’m going to have you answer three questions. First, if you could tell your younger self something you know now, with respect to your writing career, what would it be?

The biggest piece of advice that I would give my younger self is: DO NOT stop writing. I took a break for several years to get “a real job” because I didn’t have confidence in myself to make it as an author. Don’t get me wrong, income and bills paid and debts cleared because of that job were a necessity and I would do it again. But I never should have stopped writing in the meantime. If I could do it over, I would write at whatever pace was comfortable during those years and stockpile books and stories. Then, when I finally made the leap to publishing my books, I would have had a strong backlist of titles ready to go. Writing fast enough to keep up with reader appetites is very difficult when you also have to focus on the marketing, advertising, editing, etc that goes with this business.

Isn’t that the truth, and something I wish someone had told me to do as well. But, we do the best we can now, and keep looking forward. Next question, where are your books set? And have you been there, or spent significant time there?

My Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery series takes place in a fictional town on the beach in Alabama. I prefer to use fictional places loosely based on trips I’ve taken or places I visit because getting to imagine and build all of the details myself is more fun, not to mention you don’t run the risk of describing something about a place inaccurately and upsetting a reader. The books spend quite a bit of their time in the Ooey Gooey Goodness Bakery, owned by main character Piper, and I like to think the bakery is a combination of how I would want to run a bakery as well as fond thoughts of a favorite place in my hometown where I go for cupcakes sometimes.

Yes, I too prefer to write stories in fictional settings, but they do drop into real places from time to time as well. Oh, and I also love cupcakes! Now, one last question and then we’ll hear more about your books. What makes you happiest as an author?

I love to hear from readers. It is so fulfilling to have my words in the hands of someone else. It is especially thrilling when they point out specific things they liked or related to in one of the books. Holding the paperback copy of my book for the first time on each printing is a close second. I mean, come on, how cool is that to have created an entire book that didn’t exist before?

Oh, I agree totally on both those answers. I love reader feedback, and having my books on my shelves is just sooo special. Now, speaking of books, let’s hear a bit about yours  and where we can find them.

As I said earlier, I have both cozy mysteries and a selection of children’s books available. My children’s books were where my publishing adventure began. You see, even though I knew I wanted to be an author, the thought of writing a “big” book was overwhelming at the beginning. That is a lot of words which translates into a lot of hours and when I started, I was also working a full-time job 55 hours a week already in the construction industry.  Nowadays, my cozy mystery stories are where I prefer to spend my time and energy. The first series I wrote is the Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery Series, a collection of 4 full books and a short story so far. I love fiction, I never had any interest in reading or writing non-fiction, but when I began my cozies, I had a desire to write something not just entertaining but that could be beneficial. Something I could be proud of. With book 1, I introduced the problem of human trafficking throughout the storyline, expanding upon it in book 2. In the back matter of both books are resources for recognizing and reporting the signs of human trafficking. It is, unfortunately, a crime that is only spreading and many people don’t recognize that it has become a worldwide problem that absolutely ruins and steals lives. Sounds heavy, right? And I said these were cozy mysteries? Well, they are. They are clean, witty, I’ve been told satisfactorily suspenseful by several reviewers, and full of delectable descriptions of goodies baked up by the main character, Piper, and her best friend Sam. The human trafficking thread flows in a way that doesn’t appear to be the focus and doesn’t take away from the entertaining characters and their problems.

Rest, Relax, Run for Your Life (Ooey Gooey Bakery Mystery Book 1) by [Brown, Katherine H.]

 

The first in the series is Rest, Relax, Run for Your Life.

You can find all of my books and a little more about me on my website http://www.katherinebrownbooks.com or my author page on Amazon: Amazon Author Page.

If you get the opportunity to read any of them, please consider leaving a review of your honest opinion. Those are so helpful to other readers and to myself in shaping the next books. You are also welcome to send me a little note through the contact page on my website; I love meeting new readers!

 

Meet fellow Clean Indie Reads (aka Flinch Free Fiction) author, Maria Farb

AuthorPhoto1Today I’d like to introduce you to my fellow CIR author, Maria Farb. Maria, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?

Ever since I climbed up to the rafters of our barn at age four, I’ve lived high adventure: scuba diving, hiking, climbing, and even riding a retired racehorse at full gallop–bareback. I love the thrill and joy.

Stories give me a similar thrill and joy. I love living through the eyes and heart of a hero who faces his internal demons and the heroine who fights her way free instead of waiting to be saved.

I create high fantasy, fairy tale retellings, and poetry. I live a joyful adventure with my husband and six children. I am a Christian and I love my Savior.

Wow, a racehorse, at full speed, bareback … or six children!  Wonder which is scarier? (I’m a horse person myself, but couldn’t imagine having six children when you only have two hands! Quite the accomplishment!)

So … before we hear about your books, I have three questions for you so people can get to know you a bit. First, how much time per week would you spend writing? Or are you a full-time author?

I’m a full-time homeschooling mother of six.

I write in the early morning before any one wakes up, sometimes in the afternoon when kids are playing, and in the evening when my husband plays with our kids. The early morning hours are my favorite and most productive writing times. On a good day I can get several thousand words before any one else wakes up.

I keep a notebook handy to capture ideas when I don’t have time to write. My rushed penmanship is near unreadable, even for me, so I type up all my notes each evening.

Ha Ha Ha! I have notes all over the place, but luckily, I can read mine! Second question, what inspired you to become an author, and how old were you at the time?

Some of my earliest memories are laying on the carpet listening to my dad read out loud. We explored the worlds of Narnia and Middle Earth. We cried with Corrie Ten Boom in The Hiding Place. We voyaged with The Kon-Tiki and to Grass Beyond the Mountains.

As a teen I made up stories to help my little sisters go to sleep. It backfired. We stayed up for hours continuing the tale. The King’s Trial was born in those late, whispered nights.

I started writing seriously when my youngest started sleeping through the night (two years ago).

Wow, I LOVED all the stories in Middle Earth, but didn’t discover Narnia until I was an adult. But I share your passion for fantasy of that type, and must indeed have a look at your books! Third and final question, what are some fun, random facts about you?

  • As a child, I couldn’t walk across a room. I danced, spun, skipped, ran, or otherwise moved, but I couldn’t just walk.
  • I took calculus at a community college at age 14. I planned to go to MIT and become an astronaut. Plans changed—in wonderful ways.
  • I lived in St Petersburg, Russia for half-a-year teaching English to kindergartners. I learned to wash my clothes in a bathtub, filter and boil my drinking water, and love my sweet, crayon-eating, kids. My next book is based in Russia and on one of my favorite Russian tales—Vasilisa and Staver.
  • I love reading to my children. We’ve enjoyed books from Dr. Seuss to Les Misérables. Maniac Magee is one of our favorites.
  • I love climbing, rappelling, and horseback riding. But I hate roller coasters and bungee jumping.
  • I’ve journaled almost every day since I turned seventeen. I capture conversations, descriptions, happenings, and quotes. I explore ideas. Through the years I’ve written well over a million words. It prepared me to become an author.
  • I live with a vivid imagination. I dream in 3-D, technicolor, and occasionally with my eyes open. This is a bane when it comes to nightmares. I will not watch horror movies.
  • I have an accent. People often ask me where I’m from. Maybe it’s my reader accent. I’ve read out-loud enough different books in character, that perhaps it stuck.

Well, it’s a shame we live so many miles apart (as given I’m in Australia, we’re no doubt far apart no matter where you live), as you sound like someone I’d love to meet in person! Thanks for coming here today to talk to us. Now, before we go, let’s learn a bit about your books.

The King's Trial (The King Trials Book 1) by [Farb, M. L.]

 

In a land where stories of the Shadow Demon keep children shivering in bed and tales of the Yorel bring hope to the commoner, Yosyph is both the reason for their fear and their hope.

Find this book on Amazon, by clicking here.

 

 

 

What readers are saying:

One of the best books I’ve read with wonderful characters who grow on their journeys, stellar writing, fantastic world-building, and a twisty, nail-biting plot.- Katy Huth Jones, author of the YA-fantasy series He Who Finds Mercy

M.L. Farb has created a rich world with deep, relatable characters. – Carol Beth Anderson, author of the Sun-Blessed Trilogy

I wholeheartedly recommend this clean fantasy adventure! – Annie Douglass Lima, author of the Annals of Alasia and the Krillonian Chronicles

I was struck by the beautiful prose from the first page! – Kristin Fink (Amazon Reviewer USA)

 

The Green Rose

My current WIP is the 2nd book in the Romancing the Californian Cowboys series. Book 2 is Casey’s story, Alex’s younger sister from Discovering Gold, and it’s almost half way finished.

In the story, Casey has written a song, and with the help of the cousin of Alex’s fiancé, Casey gets it up on YouTube!

And with the help of some dear friends of mine, it’s really there! Have a listen, and tell me what you think. And while you’re there, listen to some of their other songs, as they really are fabulous.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Yes, Happy Thanksgiving. And to help you celebrate I’ve made my latest book, Discovering Gold free!

That’s right … Discovering Gold is free for 5 days to help you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. But it’s only on Amazon.

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I hope you enjoy the story, and if you do I’d love it if you could find the time to leave a short review on Amazon or Goodreads! Thanks, and enjoy your pumpkin pie!

 

Discovering Gold – Available for Preorder Now!

My latest book, Discovering Gold, is now available for preorder. Set mostly in California, this is the first book in a new series. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Back cover blurb:

A woman scarred by injuries that will never heal … a man who’s not planning to have his heart broken twice … and an old mining town that brings them together.

When washed-up Australian tennis player Alex Mason unexpectedly inherits half of an old mining town in California, her dream of becoming a children’s tennis coach comes within reach. However, when she travels to California to visit the town, she begins to think there may be more to it than the dollar value of its real estate.

There are two types of people Travis Gold has learned to mistrust; athletes, like his cheating ex-wife, and Masons, the family who started a feud by taking his family’s saloon in a drunken poker game. Exhausted by his past, he’s ready to move on—until Alex Mason’s arrival in town opens every old wound.

Sparks fly when the descendants of the town’s founders meet, but at first it’s for all the wrong reasons. Can they both stop letting the past define them in time to discover the real gold in the old mining town?

Preorder your copy of Discovering Gold for just $.99US before it releases on 9th October at the full price of $2.99US. This book will also be available on Kindle Unlimited if you have that and want to wait.

Amazon US       Amazon AU      Amazon CA      Amazon UK

 

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Discovering Gold is coming soon!

Watch this space … my latest book has gone to the designer to get a cover made, and will be going on pre-order shortly.

I’m so excited as it’s been over a year in the making!

Here’s a look at some of the inspiration for this book … taken on a trip to California in June last year.