Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Book Tour - "Dying to Dream" by Kathryn Long

Paranormal Mystery
Date Published: June 1, 2013

Take a strong dose of mystery, add a bit of the paranormal, flavor it with southern charm, then heat it up with romance and you have Dying to Dream. 
When Jack Robesaux is found lying dead on a Louisiana beach, psychic, Marin Seurat, must use her gift to prove it is murder and not suicide. Though Marin knows her dreams with their messages from the dead could help, she struggles with the idea of returning home and facing a troubled past. However, a phone call informing her of Jack's murder and the return of the family curse gives Marin that final push. In a surprising turn of events, Marin discovers a mystery from long ago that somehow connects to recent deaths. With the help of cryptic messages delivered by spirits, Marin races to solve the mystery of Saint Toulere. 

Author Bio:
Kathryn Long is a recently retired school teacher who has enjoyed writing mysteries for several years. Credits include mystery shorts, "Betrayal in an Envelope" and "A Good Man", both published by The Piker Press. Long has ventured into self-publishing with a cozy mysteryseries beginning with Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes, as well as a series of YA novels, Cinderella Geek, Not So Snow White and Alice in Realityland under the pen name Jennkrist. Dying to Dream is her fourth mystery gone to print with indie publisher, Mainly Murder Press. Future publications include a romantic suspense novel titled A Deadly Deed Grows, which will be coming out next year with The Wild Rose Press. Long keeps actively involved through such efforts as belonging to Sisters in Crime, maintaining a writing blog: , an author website: , and an author Facebook page, Kathryn Long’s Books. 

Dying to Dream grew from the author’s strong interest in “ghost hunting” and participating in several ghost tours. Her knowledge of French and Spanish and love of foreign cultures helped create more colorful characters in the book and add to their authenticity.

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Marin kicked at the covers as she tossed and turned in her bed. She struggled to awaken, but felt helpless. The dream pulled her under and deeper into sleep, resisting her attempts to tear free. She could hear the swish of silk, feel it brush against her thighs. She sniffed the damp, cold, musky air and it chilled her. She moaned as the dream took hold.

Picking up her skirt, she hurried along the corridor. The poor lighting cast a shadowy veil this time of evening. Only the dim, yellow glow from the candles shown. She chose her way carefully, but the fast pace her legs took lead down a reckless path. "Mon petit, where are you? Come to me, Jacques," Marin felt the emotions of the spirit overtaking her. Her voice sounded uncomfortably strange. Yet, she carried on, when a sudden burst of noise broke the evening's silence. Slowly, Marin sensed herself fading away and into another.
"Madame Marguerite. Should you be up and around so late?"
The words made her jump and Marin pivoted quickly around to see who said them. She exhaled slowly when somehow she recognized who it was.
"Really, Girard, I don't need you advising me on how late I should be up and around, as you put it," she snapped. "That's hardly your position."
"Of course, Madame." Girard bowed, backing away. "Monsieur Etienne felt concerned and asked me to attend to the matter."
The mention of Marguerite's husband seemed to upset Marin and it did nothing to improve her mood. She lifted her chin, and with a steely glare she quipped, "You can inform my husband that I must attend to urgent business, and I will be along when I am good and ready. If this does not please him … well, then he may come join me in my search."
"Search, Madame?" Girard looked puzzled.
In an exasperated sigh Marin turned on her heel and headed off down the corridor once more, calling out as she picked up her pace, "N'importe pas, Girard. Just tell him I will join him when I am finished."
She left the servant standing there as she hurried around the corner, but her steps came to a halt when she heard the cry, a faint sound.
"Jacques?" she whispered and tilted her head. The long silence brought nothing more. No sound of the child, his footsteps, nor his laughter, just the small cry, a faded echo left behind.
Her anxiety built. Marin felt Marguerite fill her mind with words. Words from Etienne's conversation she overheard earlier that evening. And Marin trembled as she sensed the cold, cruel tone of his voice. It left her knowing that something was very wrong. And now, Jacques, Marguerite's son troubled her. She drowned in her desperate thoughts; she must find him.
When she reached the next corridor, Marin imagined she heard a whimper. Her eyes squinted into the dim light and she waved the lantern back and forth, but saw no movement, just a sound, so faint, its existence almost undetectable to anyone. Only a mother who lost so much could recognize the desperate plea, no matter how slight. She picked up her pace and ran.
"Jacques?" she cried as she neared the turn in the corridor. The sound of heavy footsteps echoed. Still faint enough to give her safe distance, but there all the same. Marin felt the cold shiver through her body and she began to cry. She put her ear to the wall to listen. Any moment, he would answer. She wanted to awaken, but Marin felt the emotions of Marguerite pull her close.
"Maman. Help me, maman."
Marin gasped. She put a hand to her throat. Her eyes widened with fear and hope. She leaned close to the wall. "Jacques? C'est tu? Is that you, mon cher?" Her lips brushed the cool dampness of stone. "Jacques?" she whispered.
The loud wail, a pitiful cry for help sounded once more. "Maman. Please, please save me."
She fell back several steps, tears welled in her eyes. She struggled to hold onto some semblance of calm. But then, those heavy footsteps echoed louder, nearer.
She grew quiet, only the trembling of her heart and rapid, shallow breaths escaped her. When the steps grew silent, her breath caught and held there.
She recognized the voice, as familiar as her own. And just as Marguerite, Marin knew she must face it. Her heart raced, the terror and confusion merging. She felt herself pulled even further into the spirit of Marguerite, until they became one.
"Mon Dieu, please forgive me," she cried, as she slowly turned around.

Before my review, I have an one on one with Kathryn to share with you:

  1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 

Let’s see … growing up I imagined a variety of careers … archeologist, secret agent, forest ranger, rock star, Nancy Drew … and now I can be all of those when writing fiction!

How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?

First draft can take me anywhere from three months to a year, depending on the length and how regular I keep to my writing.

How do you come up with themes for your stories?

Usually the ideas come from something I read, watched on television, or even from my dreams! In other words, they just pop up at any time. Then I take that detail, twisting and turning it into a story idea of my own.

Do you have a schedule of when you write? 

Not really. I try to write at least once a day, but life seems to have other plans. I write most productively in the morning. I just retired from teaching so I hope to set up a regimen of writing for a couple of hours each day throughout the year.

How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
Fortunately, my kids are grown and the huge factor of having retired recently should help free up more time to write. So my balancing act isn’t that challenging. Actually, I’d say promoting my work tends to be the thing competing greatly with any current writing project. It just takes up so much of my time.

What elements do you think make a great story line? 
--Creating characters that readers will empathize with and feel invested in                
           what happens to them
        --Fast-paced plot where the events keep it moving toward the resolution
        --Believable dialog – both external and internal

7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?

Developing the plot. I come up with the initial plot, but it’s a general guideline. I often back myself into a corner with events, only to realize it doesn’t work. Then, I have to rewrite that scene. It’s sometimes a frustrating experience.
8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 

Five adult mysteries, one adventure, and three young adult books. Dying to Dream (my fourth mystery to see publication) is my favorite. My sixth mystery will be coming out probably sometime early next year with The Wild Rose Press.

Do you have a favorite character?

In Dying to Dream I love Tante Louise, a feisty, outspoken yet kind and loyal older woman who spouts off in French and dabbles in voodoo.

Where do you write?

Usually in my family room, but this fall I’m converting a spare bedroom into my writer’s cave I can’t wait for the privacy!

When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took? 

Unfortunately, I first went into publishing with eyes closed and a feeling of impatience. This was more than ten years ago and I learned my lesson. I found the publisher for my first novel on the internet, but did not research its reputation well. However, I learned from the experience. That’s why I strongly advise anyone looking to be published, do your homework and check everything out. And of course, today there are so many more options such as self-publishing, which I’ve also done. Going with a traditional publisher has been one of my goals that seemed to fit well into the picture right now.
12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?

My family has always been supportive. Of course they tell me my writing is good! For one, my son commented that in Dying to Dream he was impressed with my descriptive passages. That surprised me because I always thought that dialog was my best feature!

What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?

Reading, of course I also enjoy taking vacations, especially to some quiet, secluded beach or to our cabin in the Allegany Mountains. I love watching any detective show like “Bones” and sitcoms like “The Big Bang Theory”. I love summer weather and spending time outdoors, probably because in Ohio the warm weather months are few compared to the cold ones!

What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing? 

Be patient and learn to write well. When submitting to publishers or agents, do your research and find the one(s) that fit(s) your needs. Grow a suit of armor because rejections will hurt and discourage you otherwise.

What is your favorite book? Favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write? 

I can say my favorite genre is mystery, but I don’t have a favorite book. Favorite authors who I enjoy reading and probably have been inspiring include Stephen King, James Patterson, James Lee Burke, Janet Evanovich and Mary Stewart.

Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such? 

I’m fairly solitary when it comes to writing. If I spend enough time working on it, I can figure out where to take my story. I will admit I am somewhat insecure about the idea of giving someone I know my work to read. I have used a few online contacts in the past to help out, but have never paid someone to edit my work. Maybe when I have more cash reserve, I will consider that.

Are you working on anything now?

I have started a third book in my self-pubbed Lilly M Mystery series – Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes and Gangs, Illegals, and a Rose Tattoo are the first two. Also, I am working on ideas for a novel to follow up Dying to Dream, making that into a series. In the meantime, I will be working on edits for the romantic suspense novel I have coming out with The Wild Rose Press. It never ends, but that’s a good thing. Right?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for showcasing my profile and interview, Tanya! I look forward to reading the review.

    Kathryn Long