Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Interview with mystery author Joan C. Curtis

Today’s special guest is Joan C. Curtis. We’re featuring her new mystery/suspense novel The Clock Strikes Midnight.

During her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Joan will be awarding a randomly drawn winner with a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift certificate. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

Author bio:
Joan Curtis authored four business books published by Praeger Press. She is also published numerous stories, including:

•           Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar, Sea Oats Review, Winter, 2004
•           A Memoir Of A Friend, Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul, 2003 and Flint River Review, 1996
•           Jacque’s Story in From Eulogy to Joy, 2002
•           The Roommate, Whispering Willow Mystery Magazine, April 1997
•           A Special Sort of Stubbornness, Reader’s Digest, March 1997,
•           My Father’s Final Gift, Reader Digest, November 1994

Her first place writing awards include: Best mystery manuscript in the Malice Domestic Grants competition, best proposal for a nonfiction piece in the Harriette Austin competition, and best story, Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar in the Cassell Network of Freelance Writer’s Association.

Other books:
Hire Smart and Keep ‘Em: How to Interview Strategically Using POINT, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA 2012.

The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, Praeger Press, 2010, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA

Managing Sticky Situations at Work: Communication Secrets for Success in the Workplace, 2009, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA.

Strategic Interviewing: Skills for Savvy Executives, 2000 published by Quorum Books, Greenwood Press.

“I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from a woman’s point of view. Characters drive my writing and my reading.”

Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner. She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.

What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
The Clock Strikes Midnight released on 11/25. My cozy mystery series will debut in the Spring 2015.

Blurb about The Clock Strikes Midnight:
The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.

If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page.

Hiding behind the fa├žade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone.

Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.

Excerpt from The Clock Strikes Midnight:
“Daddy, when I get my kitty, can I name him Davy?” she had asked, yanking Marlene’s Davy Crockett mug full of M&M’s from her grasp.

The colorful candy spilled all over the backseat of the car.

“Mama, tell Janie to—”

“Janie, behave,” Daddy said, admonishing her for an instant with his eyes from the rearview mirror.

“Malcolm, look out—!” Mom screamed.

Janie slammed into Marlene. Pain. The world tumbled topsy-turvy. The mug flew across the interior of the car, colors of the rainbow falling all around her.

Then, everything went black.

When she opened her eyes, Mom’s blood-streaked face rose in front of her out of the darkness.

“Wrap your arms around my neck, honey.” Mom lifted her from the wreckage.

Janie clutched her doll by the dress while the rain beat her curly hair flat.

Marlene stood on the side of the road.

“Try to walk,” Mom said, toppling her from her arms.

Her head pounded and blood trickled down her leg. She leaned on her good leg and limped in the direction of her sister.

“Mama, where’s Daddy?” Marlene asked between sobs.

Mom took Marlene’s hand and yanked her forward with Janie in tow.

Marlene lurched back toward the smashed Oldsmobile with smoke billowing from its hood and a big tree lying across the roof. The Davy Crockett mug lay shattered by the back tire.

“Daddy! We can’t leave Daddy!” Marlene yelled, picking up pieces of the broken glass.

They had left Daddy that day and piled into an old Chevy pick-up truck with a bashed in headlamp, belonging to a man with carrot-red hair. Mom pushed them inside the truck and ordered the man to get help. But by then it was too late for Daddy.

It was too late for all of them.

Can you describe your dream home?
I’m living in my dream home, but I’d just pick it up and move it to Tuscany or Umbria. It is very open, with lots of windows and beautiful gardens (that I don’t have to tend) outside. The rooms are spacious with high ceilings. And, there’s a marvelous screened in porch with a cat door. Oh yes, and a swimming pool.

What is the first curse word that comes to mind? How often and why do you use it?
Shit. I don’t use it often, but I do if something really horrible happens—like losing something I just created on my computer.

How would you spend ten thousand bucks?
I’d give part of it to my nieces and I’d spend the other part on our river cruise to the Danube.

What are 5 things within touching distance?
Cat photos, books, okay—a Rolodex, can I count my laptop? Printer, telephone glasses, Italian language DVD’s and books.

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

JoanCurtis said...

Thanks for the nice interview!

Susan Bernhardt said...

Great interview!

Best wishes, Joan on The Clock Strikes Midnight. It sounds intriguing.

Rita Wray said...

Great excerpt.

Robert G. said...

Don't you just love "hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness?" :)

JoanCurtis said...

Hi Robert... So you'll have to find out about love/hate, betrayal and forgiveness in The Clock Strikes Midnight...

bn100 said...

nice interview

Anonymous said...

i loved the post great thanks for this chance