Monday, June 13, 2016
Cate Beauman's MORGAN’S HUNTER and FALLING FOR SARAH Blog Tour with a Spotlight, Excerpt, Guest Post and Giveaway
I am so excited to have Cate Beauman here at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Excerpt, Giveaway and Guest Post.
Thanks Cate and Tasty Book Tours for allowing me to join your Morgan's Hunter and Falling for Sarah Blog Tour!
Please take it away, Cate!
I often hear others in the industry mention their love of the written word or how they knew they wanted to write stories for as long as they can remember. In my case, neither of those statements quite rings true. I hated reading as a young girl. It wasn’t until I was twenty that I had any desire to pick up a book and read for pleasure. I also never knew I wanted to be a storyteller until five short years ago.
For most of my adult life, I worked with children with moderate to severe special needs. I loved it. Then we moved to a new state and the career I had chosen turned into a nightmare. My new job was awful and I resigned after a month of coming home in tears every day. For about two weeks, I binge ate chocolate and reread my favorite Nora Roberts novels. And then an idea clicked. I decided I was going to be a writer and tell fascinating stories just like my most favorite author.
My husband came home from work and I shared my new ambition. I think he thought I had lost my mind, but he supported me anyway and has continued to be my biggest champion.
For weeks I sat at my computer, typing away, having no real idea of what I was doing, but I loved it and how hard could it be, anyway? For a long time, I thought I was a storytelling genius—that one person who could write down their words and would instantly be picked up for a writing contract as soon as I got my work into the right hands. Wrong!
I finished my first draft and joined an online writing community where I could trade critiques with other writers. I learned so much and realized I had a long way to go to improve my craft. I rewrote my novel twice before I sent it off for professional editing. And the editor emailed me the next day to tell me not to give up my day job and refused my manuscript.
For a good two weeks I went back to the chocolate and Nora books and was ready to give up, but my champion reminded me that an editor is just a human being with an opinion. Thankfully, I resubmitted my work to a new editor and he got started right away. While my editor helped me clean up my project, I got started on the next story, then the next. Within a year and a half, I had three completed novels on my hands and wavered on what I should do with them.
After doing much research, I decided I could spend months writing query letters or I could put my work out there on Amazon and the several other vendors available to indie authors and see what was what. This was the right decision for me.
One nail-biting weekend in October 2012, we made all three books — Morgan’s Hunter, Falling For Sarah, and Hailey’s Truth — live and by weekend’s end, they were climbing Amazon’s ranks and made the bestseller list.
Now, here I am less than three years later and I’ve begun work on my eleventh novel. I wake up everyday thanking my lucky stars that my new job in a new state had been truly wretched, that I had the courage to try something different, and that I have loyal readers that eagerly come back for each new adventure in the Bodyguards of L.A. County series.
With lots of hard work and a healthy dose of divinity thrown in, I’ve managed to become an international best seller, the runner up and winner of several very cool awards, and the writer of well-rated novels.
Long story short: never be afraid to learn, go after what you want, grow from rejection, and be thankful every single minute for your tragedies and triumphs.
I love to watch people and am fascinated with psychology—two key components to great character development in my mind. It’s fun to sit at a mall, airport, restaurant, or any of the other various places people surround us in everyday life and observe. Creating compelling characters is a true skill and one I find great joy in. It’s such a thrill to meet my characters and discover what really drives them. While writing Falling for Sarah, I found myself diving into dark and disturbing depths to bring the main villain to life. On more than one occasion he disturbed me so much I brought my laptop to bed because I was too afraid to stay up alone after my husband and children had gone to sleep for the night.
Falling For Sarah Behind the scenes:
After completing Morgan’s Hunter, Ethan and Sarah begged me to share their story, but I didn’t know where I wanted to take them. I had the end result in mind, but there are a lot of pages to fill between a beginning and an end. That all changed one night when I went to the kitchen for a glass of water. As I turned off the faucet I looked up and caught a glimpse of our porch pillar through the window. For a moment, I’d thought someone was there. I had the ‘spooks’ after watching a particularly disturbing documentary on serial killers. Of course, I laughed it off but I asked myself, ‘What would it feel like to be watched? What would it be like to look up and see someone in the window that didn’t belong?’ My imagination took over and the ideas started flowing. The next day, I started my research on the inner workings of a true sociopath. Falling for Sarah quickly came together not long after.
Cooking and Baking
I LOVE to cook and bake, but there’s a catch: I’m a bit of a maniac when it comes to good, wholesome food. Rarely does an unbalanced meal make its way to my dining room table. I have two growing boys always eager for their dinner, but it’s not often that I have time to slave over a hot stove or oven all day.
I love meals loaded with all sorts of vegetables, but my kiddos don’t always share the same enthusiasm. Luckily, I found this recipe on-line a few years ago and adapted it to make it more my own. This ultra delicious stir-fry is a winner with everyone in my house. There is a bit of prep-work, so we tend to save this dish for a Saturday or Sunday meal. Plate the beef, broccoli, mushrooms, and saucy goodness over a bed of white or brown rice, and you have quite a treat!
Beef Broccoli Stir-fry:
3 Tablespoons of cornstarch, divided
2 Tablespoons water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. sirloin, sliced into stir-fry-sized pieces
4 cups washed and dried broccoli florets
1 small onion, sliced
8 oz. package baby portabellas, sliced
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
Fresh ginger root, minced (approximately 1 Teaspoon)
1. Make and set aside: Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch. Mix until well combined.
2. Combine 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of water, and minced garlic. Stir until smooth. Add beef to the mixture and toss until well coated.
3. In a skillet or wok, over medium-high heat, stir-fry beef in a small drizzle of olive oil until beef is browned. Remove and keep warm.
4. Stir-fry onion and mushrooms in the same pan used for the beef. Add broccoli when mushrooms cook down and cook for 4-5 minutes longer. Return beef to pan and add soy sauce mixture, stirring through the meat and vegetables for about two minutes.
5. Serve over rice and enjoy!
I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as my family has!
25 Random Fun Facts About Romantic Suspense Author Cate Beauman
Most of my story ideas come from watching hours of crime television/documentaries.
Music is a major part of my writing process. Great songs are very motivating — kind of like when you find an amazing jam to exercise to.
3. My family and I currently reside in North Carolina. We love it here. We get the opportunity to experience four seasons with winter being the shortest. I’m not a huge fan of cold weather, so that works out well!
We have two huge Saint Bernards. Over 300 pounds of big fury love!
For most of my adult life, I worked with children with moderate to severe special needs. I loved it.
I like to try recipes I think my characters would want to eat.
I often dream that my finger is stuck on the delete key or that I’m rewriting scenes that are perfectly fine.
When I’m writing the first draft of a new book, I hardly sleep.
9. I think Homeport by Nora Roberts was pretty important to my writing/reading life. I was never a big reader until one of my girlfriends made me promise to give Ms. Robert’s book a try. I fell in love and devoured every romantic suspense novel I could get my hands on after that.
10. I also love the book He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. I love the honesty among the pages of that book. Why would anyone want to spend time with someone who doesn’t value you and want to spend time with you?
My husband reads every word I write and critiques my stories.
When I get writer’s block I take a shower. For some reason it seems to get ideas flowing again!
All of the titles in the Bodyguards of L.A. County series have the heroines name in them along with a word that describes the story itself
I usually fill an entire spiral notebook with additional ideas for a story by the time I’ve completed a novel.
15. Villains play a large part in my novels. I love trying to get in their heads and see how they’ll cause obstacles for my heroes and heroines.
16. I write for sheer entertainment. If my readers forgot about their troubles for a little while and enjoyed a good story, I’ve done my job.
I remember finishing a Nora Roberts novel and saying, “I’m going to do that.” She is so inspiring!
I remember the day I told my husband that I was going to write a book. I think he thought I had lost my mind, but he supported me anyway and has continued to be my biggest champion.
I love weaving romance and suspense together. Both romance and suspense are intensified when the hero and heroine have a lot to lose.
At some point during each novel, I’m certain I don’t want to be a writer any more. Then I finish the book and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
I keep notebooks in my car, purse, etc. because I never know when an idea will come to me.
22. I recently started writing Deceiving Bella, book eleven in the Bodyguards of L.A. County series which I hope to release this summer.
23. The first editor I shared my work with told me not to quit my day job and refused my manuscript.
24. I would have to say that one of the biggest things I have learned throughout my writing journey is to support myself, trust who I am as a person and as a writer. I think that’s vital to thriving in an often brutal industry.
Never be afraid to learn, go after what you want, grow from rejection, and be thankful every single minute for your tragedies and triumphs.
Morgan’s Hunter & Falling for Sarah
Bodyguards of L.A. County #1 & 2
By: Cate Beauman
Morgan's Hunter: The Bodyguards Of L.A. County #1 (Published Oct. 15, 2012)
Morgan Taylor, D.C. socialite and wildlife biologist, leads a charmed life until everything changes with a phone call. Her research team has been found dead — slaughtered — in backcountry Montana.
As the case grows cold, Morgan is determined to unravel the mystery behind her friends’ gruesome deaths. Despite the dangers of a murderer still free, nothing will stand in her way, not even the bodyguard her father hires, L.A.’s top close protection agent, Hunter Phillips.
Sparks fly from the start when no-nonsense Hunter clashes with Morgan’s strong-willed independence. Their endless search for answers proves hopeless — until Hunter discovers the truth.
On the run and at the mercy of a madman, Morgan and Hunter must outsmart a killer to save their own lives.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2016/05/morgans-hope-and-falling-for-sarah.html
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16055633-morgan-s-hunter
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/91237-the-bodyguards-of-l-a-county
Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/MHSaleBN
Falling For Sarah: The Bodyguards of L.A. County #2 (Published Oct. 15, 2012)
Widow Sarah Johnson struggled to pick up the pieces after her life was ripped apart. After two years of grieving, she's found contentment in her thriving business as photographer to Hollywood's A-list and in raising her angel-faced daughter, Kylee until bodyguard and long-time friend Ethan Cooke changes everything with a searing moonlight kiss.
Sarah's world turns upside down as she struggles with her unexpected attraction to Ethan and the guilt of betraying her husband's memory. But when blue roses and disturbing notes start appearing on her doorstep, she has no choice but to lean on Ethan as he fights to save her from a stalker that won't stop until he has what he prizes most.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16055654-falling-for-sarah
Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/FallingForSarahTourBN
Excerpt #2, Falling for Sarah
September 24, 2010
Sarah Johnson turned the key and opened her front door. She crossed the threshold, breathing in the familiar scent of fresh-cut flowers and the hint of low tide blowing in from the Pacific. “It’s so nice to be home. Welcome home, sweet baby girl.” She stared at her sleeping newborn and smiled, brushing her lips over the soft skin of her baby’s forehead.
“Look out, coming through,” Ethan Cooke said, loaded down with balloons and vases overflowing with cheerful blooms. “I had no idea bringing a baby home from the hospital required movers.”
Sarah stepped aside, chuckling. “I know. Kylee has quite a fan club already. Let me help you with some of this stuff.”
“I’ve got it. You gave birth yesterday, for God’s sake. The nurse told you to take it easy.” He set the vase on the entryway table and released the balloons to the ceiling as he dropped the diaper bag from his shoulder to the floor. “Besides, Jake would kick my ass if he knew you were hauling things in.”
Sarah’s smile widened as she thought of her husband. “Yes, you’re probably right, but I also know he would be grateful you were able to help me out. My mother wasn’t expecting to run her shop today. Dana called in sick, so that was that.”
Ethan moved closer to her side, staring at the baby. “I’m happy you called. I wanted to come visit you ladies again last night, but things got a little crazy while I was on duty.” He brushed a finger down Kylee’s tiny nose. “She really is beautiful, Sarah. She looks just like you.”
Sarah’s blue eyes twinkled. “Thank you, but I definitely see some of Jake in her too.” She wrapped her free arm around Ethan’s waist and rested her head against his shoulder as he returned her embrace. “I’m so happy right now, Ethan, so absolutely happy. Twenty-nine more days and my family will be whole again. I can’t wait to hug Jake and watch his face when he holds her for the first time. I could tell he wanted to crawl through the screen yesterday and touch her tiny fingers and toes.” She looked down at Kylee. “No more deployments for your daddy. He’ll be all ours.”
“He’ll be mine too.” Ethan grinned, wiggling his eyebrows. “I’ve been waiting just as eagerly for Jake’s return. It took me two years to convince him to join my firm. Now I need to get Hunter on board, and the crew will be together again.”
“Getting yourselves into as much trouble as ever I’m sure. You’ll have to wait a little longer for your new security expert. He’s not leaving my side for at least a week.”
“I think I can live with that.” He kissed her forehead and started toward the door. “Let me get the rest of the stuff from the truck. Then I’ll set up Jake’s surprise.”
“I can’t wait for him to see it. I’ve nixed the big-screen TV idea for so long, I’m pretty sure he’s stopped hoping for one.”
“It’s a beauty, all right. He’ll love it. I’ll have everything hooked up in no time.” He gave her a gentle squeeze and headed for the door.
“Great.” Brimming with joy, Sarah kissed her daughter again and took the baby to the nursery she’d painstakingly painted on her own. The pale yellow stripes looked wonderful with the touches of pink scattered about the room. Sitting in the rocker, she put Kylee to her breast and listened to the door open and slam shut as Ethan brought their items in from his Range Rover. Minutes later, she smiled when she heard him rummaging through the cupboards in the kitchen. If Ethan was anything, it was always hungry.
Kylee’s mouth went slack as she fell back to sleep.
Sarah fastened her nursing bra and fixed her shirt. She settled Kylee against her shoulder and walked out to the kitchen while she rubbed her daughter’s back, burping her.
Ethan stood in front of the open refrigerator, mumbling his excitement about her stocked shelves. He glanced up, grinning, and she itched for her camera. “Hey, I’m going to make myself a sandwich before I get started on the TV. Want one?”
“No, thanks. Do you want me to make it for you?”
“Nah, you don’t have to do that.”
“Why don’t you let me because I have another favor to ask of you.” She smiled. “The least I can do is make you something to eat.”
He went to the pantry, grabbing a loaf of bread. “Why don’t you tell me what you need?” He pulled open a cupboard and took out a plate.
“A shower.” She smiled again, nibbling her lip.
His eyes zeroed in on Kylee, and he took a step back. “Geez, I don’t know, Sarah. I’ve never held a baby before. What if I drop her?”
A laugh bubbled in her throat at the sheer horror in his eyes. Even after he’d helped her through hours of labor, watched her deliver Kylee, and cut the cord in Jake’s honor, he’d refused to hold her.
“You’re not going to drop her,” she said, walking to where he stood. “Fold your arm like this.” She held out her arm, bending at the elbow.
He cleared his throat, following her lead, and she placed Kylee in the crook of his rigid arm. Kylee squirmed, and he grabbed Sarah’s hand. “She’s moving, she’s moving. She’s going to fall. Shit, Sarah, I really think this is a bad idea.”
“I think it’s a great idea. Trust me on this one.” She adjusted the baby slightly, moving his arm closer to his body, making sure his hand held Kylee under her diapered bottom. She backed away from them, grinning at the discomfort and mild panic all over Ethan’s face. “You’re a natural. Look at you two. I need my camera.”
He groaned as she moved to the pile of bags outside the kitchen door and grabbed her case, pulling her Nikon D3 from the bag. She held up the camera and looked through the lens, focusing on Ethan’s arresting face for a test shot. Sharp cheekbones and straight black eyebrows accentuated his long, thick eyelashes and bold gray eyes. She zoomed in on the clear gray pools surrounded by dark, smoky rings and pressed the shutter closed in rapid succession. His firm, full lips and muscular torso showcased a man perfectly comfortable with his masculinity. She tightened her focus on his big hand holding Kylee’s little body and clicked away again, moving in closer, getting lost in her passion for pictures.
“Sarah, do you want that shower or not?”
She pulled the camera back, focusing on Ethan’s raised brow and lips pressed firm in annoyance. “Sorry. I got a little carried away. You two make excellent subjects. The camera loves your face.”
“So you’ve told me—more times than I can count.”
She placed the Nikon back in the bag and zipped it closed. “You’re doing a great job with her.”
He glanced down at Kylee. “I guess this is okay.”
“See? I’ll be quick. She just ate so she should sleep. Here’s the burp cloth just in case she spits up.” She draped the cotton towel over Ethan’s shoulder and turned to leave.
She stopped, turning back.
“Um.” He took a step toward her and stopped. “What if — what if she starts to cry?”
Amused by his distress, she couldn’t help but smile. The man standing before her dealt with the scum of the earth every day, yet a seven-pound infant brought him to his knees. “Just jiggle your arm a little bit. She’ll fall right back to sleep.” She turned and walked toward the bathroom, calling over her shoulder, “Oh, and relax. Babies feel tension.”
International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.
Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular bodyguards series.
For information on Cate's new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, sign up for her newsletter at: http://www.catebeauman.com/author/home.html#!newsletter-sign-up/c9td
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