Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Body and Bone by LS Hawker Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

Body and Bone

by LS Hawker

on Tour June 2016

Synopsis:

Body and Bone by LS HawkerLS Hawker returns with another atmospheric, twisting tale of suspense that questions the nature of identity and how far a young mother is willing to go to run from the mistakes of her past.
He wants to destroy her reputation.
He wants to destroy her life.
He wants to destroy…her.
Nessa Donati used to be a happily married mother with a successful music blog and satellite radio show. But that was before her husband John relapsed on drugs and went missing. That was before he was presumed dead. And before she was framed for his murder.
When a commenter on Nessa’s blog starts harassing her online, Nessa shrugs it off. Trolls are a part of internet life. But eventually the troll begins threatening her safety and releasing personal details… details only her husband would know.
As Nessa’s life is dismantled piece by piece, her only option is to find John and put a stop to the lies. But when their son becomes a pawn in his twisted game, she must face a disturbing truth: Maybe John isn’t tormenting her, after all. But if he’s not…who is? And how far will this monster go to exact revenge?

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Published by: Witness Impulse/HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 2016
Number of Pages: 303
ISBN: 0062435221 (ISBN13: 9780062435224)
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE
Tuesday, May 31
Nessa Donati was going to have to sell her brand spanking new car. And all because the rear-view mirror hung in the perfect position to display an accidental glimpse of her reflection whenever she reached into the back seat. Typically she prepared herself before facing a reflective surface. But when she was caught off guard, without fail, her mother's disappointed, sour Resting Bitch Face stared back at her.
It wasn't that her mother was unattractive. She was, in fact, far more beautiful than Nessa could ever hope to be. It was that her mother had always used Nessa as a mirror in which to see herself without ever truly seeing Nessa.
So the new black Chrysler Pacifica would have to go.
It was nearing sunset when Nessa parked it on Crestview Drive by the Randolph Bridge, which spanned not only the Big Blue River but the northern tip of Tuttle Creek Lake as well. This was the last stop on a four-day camping trip, just Nessa, her three-year-old son Daltrey, and their Wheaton Terrier, Declan MacManus.
She checked on Daltrey, asleep in his car seat, listing to starboard, mouth open. He'd be okay for a moment, and she was glad she wouldn't have to explain what she was about to do. She felt silly enough about it already.
Nessa and Declan MacManus exited the Pacifica, the dog running ahead, while Nessa locked and shut the door.
She walked the eighth of a mile to the river's edge beneath the bridge as sparse traffic droned by overhead, tires making that phut phut phut sound as they traversed the seams in the asphalt. Nessa stood and watched the water flow past, appearing deceptively tranquil until a tree branch rushed by at break-neck speed. Declan sniffed happily around, pausing to mark every object he encountered with a lifted leg.
Nessa looked around to make sure she was alone, then reached into her pocket and withdrew the six-inch-long braid of her husband John's hair. He'd cut it before their wedding five years ago. She had kept it in a velvet box all this time, never dreaming this day would come. She looked at the sky and the water, remembering all their good times on the river. This was the right place to let John's braid go.
The water lapped against her tennis shoes as she wound up and let the braid fly. She watched it arc through the air, hit the rushing water with an inconsequential splash, and disappear. She watched for a moment and let herself cry a little. She needed this sort of closure ritual to move on with her life, like spreading his ashes. Except he wasn't dead. Yet.
Nessa trudged back to the car, Declan MacManus meandering behind her. She unlocked and opened her door, and the dog jumped in and settled in the passenger seat. Nessa noted that Daltrey hadn't even changed position while she was gone.
Nessa started the car, put it in gear, and headed toward home.
Forty minutes later, she parked in the converted hay barn garage behind her house and decided she'd wait until morning to unload the camping gear.
Declan MacManus jumped from the car and ran, whining, toward the other outbuildings, hops vines, and woods beyond, as Nessa climbed into the back to struggle with Daltrey's carseat restraints. She draped him over her shoulder, and took him inside and upstairs to his big-boy bed. There, she pulled off his sandals and kissed his fat little feet before slipping him between the sheets. Good. He was out for the night. She left his door ajar, and went downstairs and out the back door to get their suitcase from the Pacifica.
Outside it was full dark, and the woods buzzed with late-spring insects. When she hit the bottom step, she saw Declan MacManus curled up in front of the outbuilding they called the boathouse. He sprang to his feet as if he'd just noticed royalty entering the room. This slowed Nessa down—what was he doing?—but she continued on to the garage, where she retrieved their luggage. When she closed the garage door, the dog jumped to his feet again, in the exact spot she'd left him.
Nessa stood staring at him, and he gazed expectantly back at her.
And then she saw it. The wooden carriage-house door's lock was gone. In its place was a jagged hole, as if God himself had punched a massive fist through it in a fit of righteous anger.
Nessa froze, her breath captive in her throat.
She set down the suitcase and, after a moment of indecision, pulled out her phone and dialed.
Marlon Webb didn't say hello, just, "With a student." This was his way of saying he could be interrupted only for a very specific kind of emergency.
"Call me back," she whispered. "I'm rethinking that whole restraining order thing."

Author Bio:

ls hawkerLS HAWKER grew up in suburban Denver, indulging her worrisome obsession with true-crime books, and writing stories about anthropomorphic fruit and juvenile delinquents. She wrote her first novel at 14.
Armed with a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, she had a radio show called “People Are So Stupid,” edited a trade magazine and worked as a traveling Kmart portrait photographer, but never lost her passion for fiction writing.
She’s got a hilarious, supportive husband, two brilliant daughters and a massive music collection. She lives in Colorado but considers Kansas her spiritual homeland.

Interview


  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was eight years old. I wrote a story about my imaginary pet snake named Horace P. Sweet (named for a character in Dr. Seuss's I Had Troubles in Getting to Solla Sollew). My teacher loved it and asked me to read it to the class. They laughed in all the right places, and I was hooked.

  1. How long does it take you to write a book?

Depends on the book, but the first draft typically takes me about three months. The first draft of one of my unpublished manuscripts took three months to write, and then I spent the next nine or so years poking at it with a stick off and on. I don't recommend this method. I wrote my second published thriller, BODY AND BONE, in about six months.

   3. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Probably the little rituals I go through to set the mood. Dozens of Christmas lights cover my office ceiling, which I only turn on when I write. Movie soundtrack music or soundscapes from mynoises.net or asoftmurmur.com must be playing. My desktop has two large monitors, so I write on one and play a slide show of beautiful landscape photos on the other. I light scented candles with names like "Grandpa's Chair" or "Bow Ties and Bourbon." It works for me.

    4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

One way I get ideas is listening to podcasts that tell true stories, like This American Life and The Moth. My other method is in the summer, my arm-candy husband Andy and I sit on our back deck, smoke cigars and drink whiskey and play the what-if game. What if the hitchhiker you picked up was involved in a drug deal and got you involved? What if a lightning sprite nicked a cloaked alien craft in low orbit, and it fell to earth and was found by three storm chasers? What if you were a blogger and a commenter started releasing information about you—information that only a dead person would know? Stuff like that.

   5. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I was 14, and I wrote it longhand in a pink Minnie Mouse binder. It was a total rip-off of SE Hinton's The Outsiders, and it was AWFUL.

      6. What does your family think of your writing?

My husband has been instrumental in my creative growth and my success. He's the guy who demanded that I take my writing seriously, and I listened to him. He's also the best muse and brainstorming partner on earth, and often rescues me from plot roadblocks. My oldest daughter is an aspiring novelist and we do a writing podcast together called "The Lively Grind Café." She often acts as editor and proofreader for me. My youngest daughter is a writer and computer animator. Both of them say they've been inspired by having a crazy mom who takes dictation from the voices in her head.

      7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I'll tell you about a surprising thing I learned about myself in creating my books. I discovered that I have this weird tendency to latch on to a concept within a manuscript, and even when it turns out it doesn't work with the overall story, I continue to try to shoehorn it in. My editor will be like, "That doesn't work," and I'll be like, "I'll make it work." It's like having a cheating boyfriend your friends know is a tool, and you know is a tool, but you stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that he's a tool. I finally recognize this about myself, and now I'm obsessively on the lookout for it. Have I mentioned I'm slightly obsessive?

     8. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Seven finished ones (two of them published, one in progress for publication January 31, 2017, working title: UNDISTINGUISHED DESTRUCTION), and three unfinished.

I will always have a soft spot for my first published novel because it was my breakthrough. But probably my all-time favorite is the one I worked on for nine years that will most likely never see the light of day.

      9. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

My suggestions will seem diametrically opposed. First, learn to take criticism. Never believe that you've got it all figured out, because no one does. You're going to keep improving and changing throughout your career, and if you're smart, you'll listen to readers regarding what works in your writing and what doesn't. If two or more readers have the same problem with an aspect of something you've written, it's probably a real problem.

Second, learn to trust your gut about your own writing. Silence the evil troll that lives in your brain and tells you that you suck. Drown him/her out with loud music and sunlight. There's a quote from the classic baseball movie Bull Durham that perfectly harmonizes these two disparate ideas: "You have to play this game with fear and arrogance."

     10. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I'm lucky because I've had a good amount of contact with my readers, and they're usually very enthusiastic about my novels. These readers often ask what happened to the characters after "The End," as if they're real people living real lives beyond the pages of my novels. I take this as a good sign—it means the reader has become emotionally attached to my characters, which means I've done my job and I can go have a beer now.

     11. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Boringly enough, I wanted to be a writer. But periodically I wanted to be a rock guitar god, a linebacker for the Denver Broncos, and/or a graphic artist.


     12. What would you like my readers to know?

That leaving reviews or ratings for the books you read—whether good or bad!—is helpful to writers. It's also helpful if you are objective in your reviews; in other words, if you read a fantasy novel and fantasy is not normally your thing, you might find you don't like the book because it's fantasy. However, it's a well-written and representative example of that genre. If that's the case, give it higher marks. Since being published, I've realized that I have, in the past, rated a book outside my genre preference lower just because it was in a genre I don't particularly like. Look at it this way—will fantasy fans love it? Then rate it accordingly!

Visit LS Hawker - LS Hawker's website LS Hawker's twitter LS Hawker's facebook

 

Tour Participants:


Don't Miss Out on this Exciting Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for LS Hawker and WitnessImpulse. There will be 3 US winners of one (1) eBook copy of Body and Bone by LS Hawker. The giveaway begins on June 1st and runs through July 3rd, 2016.
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2 comments:

  1. I have always wondered how long it takes an author to write a book from start to finish so found this interview quite interesting. Thank you for sharing.

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