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Nancy Allen, Witness Impulse Author : Ten Tips to My Teen Self

Giveaway alert: One lucky commenter will win a ten dollar Starbucks gift card and Nancy’s latest legal thriller.

Nancy AllenI’m super excited today to be hosting my good friend and fellow Witness  author, Nancy Allen. Not only is she a sweetheart, to know her is to be awed by her! Nancy has just received a 2015 Missouri Lawyers’ Women’s Justice Award. She practiced law for 15 years as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks. She has tried over 30 jury trials, including murder and sexual offenses, and is now a law instructor at Missouri State University. Her first novel,The Code of the Hills, was published by HarperCollins in 2014. A Killing at the Creek, the second book in the Ozarks mystery series released on February 17, 2015.

I’ve already had the pleasure of reading her latest: A Killing at the Creek and I absolutely loved it. A Killing at the Creek provides an authentic peek into the life of a criminal prosecutor in small-town Missouri. Elsie Arnold, though whip-smart in the courtroom, is all too fallible in the social arena, making her a supremely relatable protagonist. Nancy infuses the story with the flavor of the Ozarks so deftly that the setting seemingly becomes another character in the book. Then she tosses in lively dialogue and an unputdownable murder mystery to create a compelling read that will keep you turning pages late into the night. I think you’ll really enjoy this one and be surprised by how engaging a legal thriller can be.9780062325969

Okay- that’s enough from me. Without further ado, here’s Nancy:

 ♥

Ten Pieces of Advice I’d Give to Teen Nancy

By Nancy Allen

We’ve all said it, right? “If I knew then what I know now.” I’ve been thinking about this lately, for several reasons. The antagonist in my latest book, A Killing at the Creek, is an incorrigible teen; and my main character, Elsie Arnold, sometimes acts out like an incorrigible teen; and I have a teenage daughter (not the incorrigible type, thank goodness).

So exactly what would I tell my teenage self, if I had the power to go back and offer advice? I have a pretty good idea of ten things young Nancy would benefit from hearing.

  1. Go to class, damn it. Those college professors will teach you something you don’t know. And you’re paying cash money for it.
  2. Do not go on crash diets. Ever.
  3. Enjoy the time you have with your mother. Relish it, revel in it. It won’t last forever.
  4. Yes, a lot of people are shorter than you are—so what? Stand tall.
  5. Don’t bother with a lot of makeup, and don’t worry about name brand clothes or accessories. Youth is an ornament.
  6. Do not permit yourself to hanker after a boy who shows no interest in you.
  7. Never let your friends tell you what people say about you behind your back.
  8. Read your textbook before exam time. In fact, just keep up with the reading over the course of the semester. Maybe you’ll avoid being awakened later in life by the college anxiety nightmares.
  9. Never fake it, or try to be someone else. Plenty of people will like the real you. Be with those people.
  10. You will stumble. Own it. Use it. Grow from your mistakes.

codeofthehillsHaving just read over my list, it occurs to me that a number of those suggestions are still works in progress. Aaahhh, hell—what can I say? Some people never learn. I think I’m one of them….

 

 

Now it’s your turn. What advice would you give your teen self if you could go back in time? Remember, one lucky commenter wins a Nook or Kindle copy of A KILLING AT THE CREEK and a ten dollar Starbucks gift card. 

You can find Nancy here:

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Carey Baldwin Confesses All!

Today, I am so excited to host our very own Carey Baldwin and her brand new psychological thriller CONFESSIONI’ve just finished reading it and CONFESSION is AMAZING. It kept me up all night so just be prepared for a very tired “next day”.

CONFESSION is available at: AmazonBarnes and Noble, and iTunes

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To get us started, here’s the chilling blurb:

They say the Santa Fe Saint comes to save your soul—by taking your life.

 Newly minted psychiatrist Faith Clancy gets the shock of her life when her first patient confesses to the grisly Saint murders. By law Faith’s compelled to notify the authorities, but is her patient really the Saint? Or will she contribute to more death by turning the wrong man over to the police?

Faith is going to need all her wits and the help of a powerful adversary, Luke Jericho, if she’s to unravel the truth. But she doesn’t realize she’s about to become an unwitting pawn in a serial killer’s diabolical game. For once he’s finished with Faith, she’ll become his next victim.

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SW: This might seem obvious by the cover, but readers will want to know: What’s the tone of the book? Light or dark?

CB:  CONFESSION is a dark psychological thriller with strong romantic elements. I’d compare it in tone to something by Karen Rose or Allison Brennan. I’m not claiming to be amazing like those two authors of course! But readers should be prepared for a dark tone and a dark villain. In other words CONFESSION is not for scaredy cats. That said, it’s a wonderful love story too.

 SW:  You can definitely make that “amazing” claim. So what makes Luke and Faith, your hero and heroine, unique? How do they think?

 CB: I really admire Faith and Luke, and I think they complement each other well. Faith lost her parents at a young age, then later lost the sister who raised her. Faith pulled herself out of a funk, and though she came from a working class background, managed to get herself an Ivy League education. She’s devoted her life to helping others. Of course, she likes keeping the focus on others so she doesn’t have to deal with her own emotions. But Luke’s not going to let her get away with that for long.

Luke Jericho: He comes from a life of wealth and privilege. He’s a man who has everything—and can do everything—from running an empire to riding a bucking bronco. Luke says it best himself when he tells Faith: “I don’t seduce. I don’t persuade. When I see something I want, I just go get it.”

One thing Luke and Faith have in common is they hate injustice and they’ll do just about anything to right a wrong.

BTW. The most unique character in my book is the villain. But if I told you what makes him tick, I’d be giving away the whole shebang!

 SW: I love heroes like Luke, men with a quiet confident strength. But your serial killer is unique in a terrifying way. He has a phobia—he’s afraid of blood. Do you have any phobias?

CB:  Yes, I used to be afraid of needles. Which was a wee bit of a problem considering I wanted to become a doctor. In CONFESSION my serial killer has a blood phobia, and he turns to Faith to overcome it. Of course she doesn’t know he’s a diabolical killer, or that the blood he craves most is hers.

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 SW:  Did your previous job as a clinical psychologist play any role in the plot of this book?

 CB:  Absolutely. In ways I didn’t understand until the book was written. There were several times as a psychologist when I had to make decisions about whether or not a person was a danger to themselves or others (we’re talking about admission into treatment facilities not criminal matters here). If I decided in the affirmative, it meant a person might be involuntarily confined to a treatment facility. If I decided “not a danger” and I was wrong, the person’s life, or other people’s lives would be in jeopardy.  This is a common question asked of a clinical psychologist and though a judge makes the final decision, the expert’s input is usually the determining factor.

I had no idea how these decisions still weighed on me subconsciously, until I saw the extreme version of such a scenario staring back at me, decades later, from the pages of CONFESSION. The book kicks off with Faith figuring out what to do when her patient confesses to the grisly Saint murders. Is he really the Saint? Does she turn him over to the police? Her decision is what sets the plot in motion.

 SW:  Will we be seeing more of the secondary characters- Caitlin Cassidy and Special Agent Atticus Spenser?

 CB: Oh, yes. I confess to being smitten with both of them. Dr. Caitlin Cassidy is a forensic psychiatrist and Atticus “Spense” Spenser is an FBI profiler. They are the protagonists of my next full-length suspense, LABYRINTH, which comes out in Sept.  I’m planning quite a future for Caitlin and Spense, so stay tuned.

 SW:  I can’t wait for LABYRINTH! Do these stories come to you through the villain’s POV or the hero/heroine’s?

CB: As you might expect, they usually come to me via the heroine’s perspective. CONFESSION is absolutely Faith’s story, just like FIRST DO NO EVIL was Skylar Novak’s story. However, I will say that I’ve long been fascinated by a certain literary work and that wormed it’s way into CONFESSION and heavily influenced the villain’s psyche. I’m not free to say more than that without spoiling the story…so I’ll just leave that as a tease.

SW:  I will say nothing! Do you ever get frightened by what you write?

 CB: Yes and no. I’m frightened by the existence of evil. But my stories allow me to quash those fears by making sure that no matter the odds, good always triumphs in the end. I do get scared at times, especially when researching real events that influence what I’m writing. Real bad guys frighten me—fictitious ones not as much.

SW: Thank you so much, Carey, for spending the day with us. But now it’s the reader’s turn to ask a question or leave a comment. And for one lucky commenter, Carey is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card!

Do you have a fear or phobia? And if so, how do you deal with it? Comment for a chance to win a $10 gift card.

slideFirstDoNoEvil300 (1)Connect with Carey!

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CONFESSION is now available at: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes

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