Monday, May 24, 2010

Welcome Debut Author, Cara Lynn James!

I'm so thrilled to welcome my friend and Thomas Nelson debut author Cara Lynn James! Cara's first book has just been released (check out the gorgeous cover!), and I'd like to introduce you to her today.

Cara: Hi, Missy! Thank you for having me on your blog.

Missy: How long have you been writing for publication?

C: I decided to start writing for publication a few months after I moved with my family from Vermont to north Florida. That was November 2002. I remember because that’s when I joined RWA and the Gulf Coast Chapter of RWA. It was wonderful to talk to writers and learn more about the craft and about publication from people who knew what they were talking about. Some chapter members were already published and the rest were also serious writers. That was so different from typing away in private not having a clue about what I was doing. I was afraid if I told anyone about ‘my secret habit’ they’d laugh at me. Actually, I did tell a friend and she did laugh!

M: Who are some of your favorite authors or what's your favorite book?

C: Of course my favorite authors are Seekers! I read both inspirational and secular fiction—women’s fiction, mystery, historicals, suspense and romance. I used to read mainly thrillers, but I moved on to other genres. I’m not going to mention who my favorite inspirational authors are because I have many I really enjoy and I don’t want to leave anyone out. Maeve Binchy and Rhys Bowen are two I always read. I have two all time favorite books. It’s a tie between The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Picher and Gone With the Wind.

M: What's your fav movie?

C: Same as above—Gone With the Wind. I also love the Godfather movies, the Jane Austen movies and most anything on Masterpiece Theatre or Masterpiece Mystery. I loved Upstairs, Downstairs. My favorite movies make me laugh or make me cry.

M: Can you tell readers something unusual about yourself?

C: I once owned a small bookstore in Shelburne, Vermont. I guess that’s not out of character for a writer. But running a business is completely different from reading or writing books. Let’s see. I was also a Naval officer for almost eight years and flew in the back seat of training command jets wearing about 50 pounds of equipment--a flight suit, boots, a helmet, oxygen mask, torso harness and G suit. Very heavy stuff. Sitting on an ejection seat is really uncomfortable and kind of scary!

M: What's your family make-up?

C: My husband is a retired Science teacher and Navy pilot. Our daughter and her three year old son live with us along with her Papillion, Sparky. We have a son who just graduated from college. He lives in an apartment about five minutes away from us.

M: What's your writing area like?

C: My office is our enclosed porch which I love. My desk and bookcases are up against the brick wall. Usually I sit on a recliner loveseat and write on my laptop—or look at the jasmine vines or flower garden. The jasmine smells so good. I hate it when the weather gets so hot I have to close the windows and turn on the air conditioner. I’m a New Englander at heart. I like lots of fresh air. The problem with the porch is you have to walk through it to get to the deck and the back yard. I don’t always get a lot of privacy, but I love the feel of the room.

Thanks, Cara, for letting us take a peek into your life! I didn't know about you owning a bookstore! And I loved hearing about your writing space. :)

Now here's a peek at Love on a Dime:

In age of elegance and excess, Lilly Westbrook longs for a love both true and eternal.

Newport, Rhode Island, 1899, is a place of shimmering waves, sleek yachts, and ladies of leisure. Of opulent mansions that serve as summer cottages for the rich and famous. Home of railroad magnates and banking tycoons--dashing young men and the women who aspire to marry them.

But it's not the place for lady novelists. Especially not those who pen disreputable dime novels. This poses a problem for Lilly Westbrook, because that's exactly what she does.

No one in Lilly's social set knows she pens fiction under the nom de plume Fannie Cole. Not her family or the wealthy young man about to propose to her. And especially not Jackson Grail, the long-lost beau who just bought her publishing company...and who stirs her heart more than she cares to admit.

But Lilly must put aside her feelings and follow the path that will maintain her family's social stature and provide the financial security that everyone is depending on.

Now Lilly faces a double dilemma. Can she continue to protect her secret identity? And will she have the courage to choose the man who will risk it all just to win her heart?

Be sure to visit Cara at


Lindi Peterson said...

Great interview. Like you, Cara, The Shell Seekers is one of my very favorite books. Congrats on your debut! I do love the cover.

Cara Lynn James said...

Good morning, Lindi and Missy! Lindi, congrats on selling your new book! I bet it was a thrill. And Missy, thanks for hosting me on your blog. I love the porch picture and I wish I could be sitting on the porch right now.

Pam Hillman said...

Loved hearing a bit more about you, Cara. You writing porch sounds very serene...well, except for the people who come by and disturb you.

And...Love on a Dime is wonderful! Lilly and Jack are well motivated, and so well drawn that they feel like real people, not the figment of your imagination. The setting and pacing are ideal for summering in Newport, Rhode Island, and the plot is worthy of a Sherlock Holmes novel.

And, that cover?!?!? Stunning!!

Mary Connealy said...

I'm reading Love on a Dime right now, Cara, and absolutely loving it.

Lilly is just a perfect heroine. And Jack, c'mon, Jack, don't let that awful man have her!!!!!

LOVE WILL CONQUER ALL. But I'm so impatient for it to start conquering. LOL

Missy Tippens said...

Good morning, Lindi! I just love her cover, too!

Missy Tippens said...

Hey, Cara! So glad to see you this morning. We were both up late, and now back online again this morning, huh? :)

Missy Tippens said...

Pam has read it! I'm jealous. It's in my TBR stack calling my name. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Cara Lynn James said...

Hi Pam and Mary! I discovered when I got my editorial letter just how important motivation is! I thought my characters had really good motivations, but my editor wanted to make them stronger. So now I pay a lot more attention to motivation right from the beginning. If I don't I'll have to later and that's a lot harder.

Missy Tippens said...

This is so strange! I had Pam's and Mary's comments disappear! Okay, please tell me I didn't dream them! :)

Missy Tippens said...

And now they're back. I guess Blogger is just spazzing today.

Mary, I've got Wildflower Bride right there with Love on a Dime waiting, calling my name. I can't wait for vacation! I'll pack my big bag of books and read like crazy. :)

Myra Johnson said...

Wow, I've known Cara since--what--2005? And still learning fun stuff about you! Envious of your back-porch office! And I can't wait to dive into Love on a Dime! It's next in my TBR stack!

Cara Lynn James said...

Hi, Myra! I love my office, but I could do with less traffic including Florida frogs (about 1 inch long) when someone leaves the back door open. That's not as bad as snakes, but they could be next.

Missy Tippens said...

Myra, thanks for stopping by!

And Cara, I can just see you typing away as a frog hops by. :)

Cara Lynn James said...

Missy, I just looked out the porch door and saw a salamander slithering up a patio chair. I have no incentive for leaving my recliner for the great outdoors. I'm a wimp.

Thanks for having me on your blog today!

Sheila Deeth said...

Sounds fun, and a lovely interview.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Wow, know a person for five years and not know those cool details.

Your book is on my TBR pile and look forward to reading it. Okay I did cheat and read the first chapter and loved it.

Missy Tippens said...

Cara, I was just thinking that we get more lizzards (with a pretty blue stripe down their tail) than anything. :)

Thanks for stopping by, Sheila!

Hey, Tina. And hey, peeking at the first chapter is perfectly okay. It's those people who read the ending first that amaze me! :)

Sherrinda said...

Oh, I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book! Of course, the story sounds wonderful too!!!

I love that you used to be a Naval officer. I'm sure all you experiences give you fodder for stories.

Thanks for a great interview, Missy!

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks for coming by, Sherrinda!

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