About Me

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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Guest author - Sadie and Sophie Cuffe


How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?

Strangers often ask us if we’re twins. We’re not, but we’ve always thought it would be fun to have an identical twin. The premise of having someone who looks exactly like you isn’t new, but we like to think we put a different spin on it by having one twin impersonate his abducted brother while searching for the kidnapper.

We write what we know and what comes from the heart. The story behind this book is the story of rural folk everywhere, living off the land, protecting their families, and dealing with the challenge of new ideas and change.

The story evolved very slowly. We knew what would happen in the plot, but at the first writing, we have to be honest, we hated the hero and heroine. Innumerable rewrites later, we feel it’s evolved into something readers will enjoy.

For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb?

As undercover agent, Jackie Duncan, ferrets out environmental activist, Rand Adams and his turbulent plans for the logging town of Stellar’s Ford, she sees double when identical twin, Robbie, assumes his brother’s identity. After nearly getting skewered by an arrow at a tree-spiking site, Jackie’s list of suspects grows, and her rural childhood haven boils over with protests and arson. At every turn, Rand Adams (or is it Robbie?) is a step ahead of her.

When her investigative work won’t turn the tables, Jackie stubbornly befriends this would-be enemy and discovers, though they share the same face, Robbie is not his volatile brother. But who is he, and will their fragile love and common faith be enough to weather the arrival of brother, Rand, and his claims of being a kidnapped pawn in a cat-and-mouse game that's about to turn deadly for all of them?

Are there any fun tid-bits about this story you can share with us?

Sometimes the supporting characters take on a life of their own and in Arrow That Flies it happened with mill owner and grown-juvenile-delinquent, Brad Stanley, and his Great-aunt Myra. Sophie’s favorite line in the whole book is Jackie’s take on Brad Stanley, “She might not know a gearbox from a jewelry box, but she knew a dipstick when she saw one.” And eighty-year-old Myra is the woman we all aspire to be one day, complete with rapier wit, big heart, a bigger shotgun, and perfect one liners like:. "Just because I shake your hand, doesn't mean I trust you.”

How did you decide on the setting?

Several years ago we lived in a county with more trees than people. The forest provided for everyone in big and small ways. Drawing from that experience, we chose a place set in the hills, remote and wild enough to be out of the mainstream and a little dangerous to lend bite to the suspense factor. But the setting is small town cozy enough to add a touch of shock when the calm and security of rural life is shattered by violence and revenge.

When will it be released?

Arrow That Flies was released in August 2011 by Desert Breeze Publishing. Thanks for asking. It's available from Desert Breeze Publishing at this link: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-191/S-%26-S-Cuffe/Detail.bok

as well as from Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Brothers-Christ-Book-ebook/dp/B005FGA8S8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1314472919&sr=8-2

Where were you born?

Both born and bred in Maine, YAY!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Right where we are - we love it here!

What hidden talent do you possess outside of writing... something you do for fun, but are good at?

Sadie: I can pinpoint the time without a watch and I can snap brush (Gather evergreen fir tips in the woods to make fresh fragrant Christmas wreaths and garland.) very fast, faster than Sophie.

Sophie: I usually sing the harmony line with whatever's playing on the sound systems in stores or restaurants. I understand this can be annoying.

What’s your favourite colour?

Sadie: Candy apple red

Sophie: any shade of blue.

What music groups/artists blast from your CD player while you write?

Sadie: Crossing the Borders: Celtic Folk music; Carmen Gilman with The Newton Street Irregulars: The Comforts of Home; & Celtic Wonder: various artists

Sophie: what Sadie's listening to because whoever touches the dial first, rules the player. Good thing we share similar musical tastes!

What are you most passionate about, other than writing?

Sadie: farming.

Sophie: music and farming and sewing and cooking and...

What got you interested in writing?

Sadie: I took a job on a ranch and started a journal about my experiences (I stink at journaling and didn’t continue for more than a couple of weeks). My boss was into writing cowboy poetry and read me some of his works. The ranch job didn’t last but the idea that I could write poetry as good as he could, did. My poetry phase was a bust, but once I started writing, I never stopped.

Sophie: Sadie was writing for God's World Publications and getting paid for it! After a few months of doing her final edit (my area of expertise), I thought, "I can do this." So I submitted a piece and was accepted.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Keep at it. Our favorite quote before we were published was, "Even a blind pig can find an acorn once in awhile." Hmmm, it worked for us.

Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us?

We’re working on the sequel to Arrow That Flies called Warrior’s Journey. We started with identical twins and now it’s time to tell the brother’s tale. They may look alike on the outside, but inside they’re as different as fire and ice.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Sadie: I thought of myself as a writer when I landed a job writing a weekly human interest column for the newspaper. The first thing my editor said to me was: “Anybody can write about one thing because everybody has something that bugs them. I’ll give you a shot and let’s see if you can write about more than one thing.” I kept the job for five years.

Describe your writing space.

Sophie: Our writing space is in our daylight basement. We sit back-to-back so we can't see each other's computer screens (except when Sadie gets into hover mode). We're surrounded with filing cabinets and homemade (by our father) book cases and desks with a woodstove about ten feet away. And there's always the dog at our feet and a couple of cats who like to noodle around on the keyboards. It can make for some interesting conversations in our characters.

What do you do in your spare time? (Assuming you have any ;-) )

Sophie: I like to sew. I make clothes for my three grandchildren. And I love making cloth dolls. Our 82-year-old mother, Sadie, and I also knit sweaters for the Guideposts Knit for Kids Sweater Project.

What genre would you like to explore that you haven’t tried to write in yet? Will you? What would you never see yourself writing?

Sadie: I would like to explore steam punk. It combines history, fun, whimsy, and tons of out-of-the-box thinking. When we get caught up on all our other writing projects, even if I’m 90 I want to give it a go. I would never write erotica or pornography, anything that degrades and harms other people.

Do you really, really want a dog?

Already have one named Henry - he's a mostly-Australian Shepherd and does an excellent job of keeping our goats in line.

Do you hate how you look in pictures?

Definitely!

When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

Sadie: Oh man! I still have bad hair!

What’s a saying you use a lot?

Sadie: “How’s that?”

Sophie: "How rude!"

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Sophie: An Asian neighbor once brought me what looked like a chocolate-covered coconut candy for my birthday. I took a huge bite, only to discover it was seaweed covered rice. There was no disguising my surprise. I think I managed to swallow it and smile, but I'll never make that mistake again!

Have you ever cried during a movie?

Sadie: A movie isn’t worth watching if it doesn’t make me cry.

Sophie: I cry during heart-wrenching commercials, so movies - yeah, definitely!

If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?

Sadie & Sophie: Our dad, who passed away nearly three years ago. This book is dedicated to him.

My review:

In Arrow that Flies, Sadie and Sophie Cuff have created a suspenseful tale that pulls you in from the offset. A ransom note, pinned to the door with an arrow, drags RJ into a world where he has to pretend to be his brother. Only he didn’t bank on falling for the woman investigating his brother. Set against a back drop of a mill owner and a group of environmentalists, what should be a simple assignment for Jackie, turns into a life and death struggle with not only her life but her heart on the line.

With a gripping storyline, a beautiful setting and real life characters, this story keeps your attention to the very last page. The scenery is beautifully described so that you can visualise it easily. This is the first book I have read by this author it won’t be the last.



Thursday, 22 September 2011

Release date for Cassie's Wedding Dress

Cassie's Wedding Dress releases on October 14th! I'm organising a blog blitz for that day and will put links up soon.

If it were a movie it'd star the two ppl below.

Eric Close from Without a Trace as Pastor Jack Chambers. Only with a Brit accent ;-)

Fiona Bruce, BBC newsreader, as Cassie Hinton.

Blurb:

Steeplechase jockey Cassie Hinton's dream was to walk down the aisle in her medieval wedding gown to become Mrs. Jack Chambers. Injured in the Grand National, she returns home...only to find Jack is now the Pastor of her parent's church.

Jack Chambers, now a widower and single parent, still has feelings for Cassie, but she sees him as nothing more than a Pastor. Even if he could change her mind, there is still his position to consider.

With the Royal Wedding fast approaching, Cassie makes her dress, little dreaming of the consequences of doing so.

Extract:

“Everyone else has photos of the royal couple and ribbons, silver bells, hearts and balloons. I wanted something more sophisticated but this…” she gestured at the window, “…isn’t it.”

“Maybe tie it in with what Danny sells. After all, the bakers did a wedding cake and the printers did invitations.”

Cassie nodded, her mind whirling. “Yeah…thank you.”

Jack glanced at his watch. “I’d best be off and get Lara from school. She complains if I’m late. I hope you find a solution to your problem.”

“Thank you. Bye.” Cassie smiled and turned back to her display, watching Jack’s reflection in the glass as he walked away. He’d always been a Godly man, even as a teenager, and despite everything that happened he kept his faith—unlike her. Her life and her faith lay in ruins.

She used to hope he’d ask her out one day, but it never happened. And now it never would. She was down and out before anything even got started.

He was a pastor, and she was his parishioner. A fallen- without- hope- of- redemption parishioner, at that. Strike one.

He was a widower with a small daughter. Strike two.

Her leg—her disability. No man would ever want a one-legged ex-jockey. Strike three.



Saturday, 10 September 2011

Sept 11th


Like most of us, I know exactly where I was and what I was doing. I was at my parents. Two kids at school three miles away. It was 2.15pm. Neighbours had just finished and Dad asked if I'd like to watch Diagnosis Murder. I said yes so he kept the TV on.

A black screen came up saying "news report". We went live to New York and stayed there. I was driving to the school to collect R and C when the first tower fell. I arrived home and put the TV on in time to see the second fall. The TV just stayed on as hope faded. Like when Princess Diana died, we waited for someone to tell us it was a joke. But they never did.

On Oct 11th 2001 a friend sent me this.

Michael wrote:
I had a very dear friend question my faith in God right after the terrorist attack on America. Her question was simply put, "Where is your God today?" She was very hurt, as all Americans were, so I tried not to react defensively. Since that moment I have prayed and grieved over the disastrous events.

However, I believe I have the answer. I know where my God was the morning of September 11, 2001! He was very busy. First of all, he was trying to discourage anyone from taking this flight. Those four flights together held over 1000 passengers and there was only 266 aboard.
He was on 4 commercial flights giving terrified passengers the ability to stay calm. Not one of the family members who was called by a loved one on one of the high-jacked planes said that passengers were screaming in the background. On one of the flights he was giving strength to passengers to try to overtake the high-jackers.

He was busy trying to create obstacles for employees at the World Trade Centre. After all only around 20,000 were at the towers when the first jet hit. Since the buildings hold over 50,000workers, this was a miracle in itself. How many of the people who were employed at the WTC told the media that they were late for work or they had traffic delays. He was holding up 2-110 story buildings so that 2/3 of the workers could get out. I was so amazed that the top of the towers didn't topple when the jets impacted.

Although this is without a doubt the worst thing I have seen in my life, I can see God's miracles in every bit of it. I keep thinking about my friend and praying for her every chance I have. I can’t imagine going through such a difficult time and not believing in God. Life would be hopeless.



I stitched this tribute piece in 6 months

I wrote a poem a year later.

Manhattan Skyline

Towering above the Manhattan Skyline
The twin towers of the World Trade Centre stood.
Dwarfing the city, in elegant beauty,
They symbolised all for which America stands.
The financial heart of the slumber-less city,
Standing for justice, for truth and for love.
A base for all nations, to work and to live in
A city within a city it stood.

Out of a cloudless blue sky in September
Disaster struck in the blink of an eye
Planes crashed into each of the towers
Bringing horror and terror and death.
The Pentagon, a field in Pennsylvania
Were also hurt by this terrorist act
Thousands of people were killed or were injured
Or were widowed and orphaned too.

The images of the towers on fire were live on the tv,
Smoke billowing out as they burnt
Then falling and collapsing, one after the other
Together in life and together in death.
Out of the dust, came the story of hero’s
Giving their lives so that others may live
People that should have been there but weren’t
People that shouldn’t have been there, but were.

Memories of that September morning
Will live on within us each day,
As we mourn those we lost,
On the planes, on the ground
One day in history we cannot forget.

One year on and the pain is still here
And the anger and hurt that we felt.
The site is now cleared, and plans on the table
To rebuild and renew and remember.

9/11 will always serve to remind us
Of just what harm hatred does
But it also can serve to remind us
Of just what friendship can do.


© Clare Sept 2002