Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by! I'm pleased to bring you an interview with author Shriley Hailstock, along with an excerpt and review of Shirley's book, White Diamonds
Tell me about yourself, and your writing.
I'm a very active person, who's studied, worked and traveled a great deal. I'm a full time author now with 29 books published (27 in print). I love strong heroines and adventure stories. I read a lot (of course). When not reading I enjoy sewing, photography, tennis (both playing and watching).
How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I've been writing seriously since the 1990's. I have 29 published books in romance, romantic suspense, women's fiction and I recently added fantasy to the list.
Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
Usually in one genre - romance. The umbrella for romance is large and includes romantic suspense. Women's fiction may be new since it doesn't have to have a central romantic plot. My fantasy does have a romantic plot weaved into the main story.
Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
Plotter, definitely. My first published book was written without a guide, but after that I plotted the entire book out and found the writing went a lot faster. Of course, I was working with a deadline and promotion investments in my time, so I needed to keep to a schedule and plotting helped that.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
In the morning I work on reissues. I have the rights back to a number of out of print titles. I am updating them to current day and current technology. In the afternoon and evening I work on new books. I've contracts for additional print books, so I try to get both done.
Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
I read a lot of authors. I especially like to read a first time author because it tells me what the editor saw in that book that made her take a chance on the authors. As an automatic buy, I read Anne Stuart, Donna Hill, Candice Poarch, Dean Koontz,and Sandra Brown.
What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I'd like to increase my online sales. Online is a place I can interact directly with the readers. I can't do that as well with print books. Online sales are lucrative and I want a larger presence with the aspects of the publishing process that I can control.
If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
Rapid mental telekinesis. I'd like to get more done in a day and I'd like to just be able to think things and see them done. This would take care of mundane tasks like housecleaning and grocery shopping.
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
I suppose I'd have something like the character Yoda from STAR WARS or Dobby from HARRY POTTER. Not only would it be a pet (or pet-like), but someone to learn from.
Tell us a little about your latest release.
My latest release was a Christmas novella called THE CHRISTMAS LIST. It's a romantic fantasy involving a street-smart teenage angel helping the hero to save his soul. Of course, he has to do something for the heroine in order to accomplish this.
Coming in 2014 is a traditionally published (print) romance called WEDDINGS BY DIANA. Diana, the owner of a franchise business meets a man online and corresponds with him. When they finally met, not only do they already know each other, but they have no love for each other and he wants her to relinquish her offices so he can build on the land. Sparks fly, weddings happen, but the couple's happy day is not a smooth road.
What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
I'm sure I could adapt to not having anything that makes me happy and comfortable today, however if I have to choose something I would hate living without air conditioning and indoor plumbing. Even if those were denied me, it would be stories that I couldn't live without. Without paper and pencil or computers, we could tell the stories the way our ancestors did. I love hearing people's experiences in something that I have not done, so just listening to stories makes me happy.
Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
Yes, I believe I could. Personality makes a lot of the success of writing together. Today, however, we are seeing a lot of collaborations that are almost autonomous. The author writes a synopsis which is approved by another (usually very popular NYT bestseller) author. Then the first author writes the book and sends it to the NYT author, who then editors, rewrites, makes sure it's his style and then it's published with both names. I could do that or I could write and edit with another person. After years of working with an editor, I can be edited and have no negative reaction to it.
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
The person is Jesus Christ and the questions I have would take a long time to write. I'd want to know about the reasons only that part of the world was chosen for his appearance. What about other countries, other cultures. I'd want to know what death was like. What happens in an eternity. I'd want to know if there really were miracles and why did they apparently stop. My list goes on and one.
What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
Sewing, piano playing, reading, tennis.
If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
If I were on the staff, I'd be the Director. I like being in control.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
Singing. I would love to have one of those voices that makes people stop in their tracks, like Whitney Houston's or Mariah Carey's. Mariah can sing above a high C. I can only get to the high C before my voice cracks.
Weather: Hot or cold?
Both. I grew up in Buffalo, NY where we have all four seasons and I love all of them.
Favorite place to read?
I love seeing in the corner of the sofa, with my feet up and a cup of coffee close at hand.
Breakfast. It's supposedly the most important meal of the day, but the foods tend to all be fattening and not good for you. However, you have the entire day to use the energy is creates. I do exercise regularly and I don't eat a huge breakfast everyday.
Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
Wyatt Randolph’s best friend was killed for a cache of diamonds. His death set off a chain of events that go all the way to the White House. It’s up to Wyatt to discover what the stones entrusted to him do and why people are willing to kill for them. With the reluctant help of Sandra Rutledge, the daughter of the man Wyatt believes holds the key to the entire project, the two of them fight to find the truth and stay alive in the process.
Wyatt Randolph! What was he doing here?
His body wobbled like a puppet from side to side, forcing Sandra to compensate for his shifts. The snow pattern behind her looked as though a drunk had woven a crooked line to her door.
How she got him into the cabin she'd never know, but she had him on the table of her mother's mountainside surgery. Melissa Rutledge, Sandra’s mother, often came to the mountain to write and relax. She’d penned many of her papers in this cabin.
Now what? Sandra asked herself. She checked his eyes, lifting the lids to make sure. . .of what—that his eyeballs were still there? She'd seen it done countless times, but had no idea why anyone did it. Sandra was the daughter of a famous surgeon, a woman whose medical skills included the successful transplantation of human hearts. Yet she, Sandra, didn't know how to change a bandage.
She did know there was more blood on the senator’s belly than had been there before. Either she had made the wound worse by moving him or the heat in the cabin was warming him. The bruises on his face were superficial. She didn't think there would be any permanent damage to his eye, despite the fact that he looked like a monster from an old black-and-white movie. Whoever beat him had only damaged one side of his face. The other half was unmarred. Carefully she began opening items of clothing to reach the source of the blood. Her protected fingers worked quickly to unbutton his coat and shirt. When she should have found skin, she discovered a band around his waist.
It was a crude attempt at a money belt. Blood soaked it. She frowned, skewing her nose at the amount covering the cloth. In this storm he should have picked a different road on which to get stranded, one where there was a doctor!
Sandra glanced at his face. He was helpless, unconscious. Paleness clung to him like a death shroud. She was his only hope. Sandra went back to work, taking a pair of bandage scissors and cutting the bound cotton in two places. She lifted it away and stared at the gaping wound. Blood oozed from it. Even her untrained eyes knew he'd been stabbed and that he needed stitches.
Absorbed by the thought that she was going to have to administer to this wound, she let go of one side of the cloth she held. Suddenly, she jumped at the noise and stepped away from the shards of glass pecking her legs as they fell from the bloody cloth and danced about her feet.
Sandra gasped, dropping the cloth. Diamonds, not glass. Huge cut stones stained the white floor, skittering about like bloody jumping beans before momentum ceased and they came to rest. Her mind whirled with questions as her eyes darted back and forth between the floor and the man on the table. What was he doing with all these diamonds? An unnamed fear rose in her throat but she pushed it down. She didn't have time for that now. At the moment she had a man who needed her complete attention.
Ripping off the rubber gloves, she dropped them in the medical wastebasket and, without lifting the receiver of the speaker phone she punched her mother's phone number at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. She waited while the secretary connected her, praying silently that Dr. Rutledge was available and not in surgery.
Sandra knew surgeons could assist in operations in all parts of the world by satellite hookup. Here, in the remote Pocono Mountains, they didn't have that kind of equipment and she was no doctor, yet the man lying on the table behind her would bleed to death if she didn't get help for him. This was the best she could do. Sandra let out a relieved breath when her mother's strong voice came over the line. She was going to have to walk her through the steps that would save the life of a United States senator. Then Sandra could wonder about the diamonds on the floor.
Review rating: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS
Review: Action packed, adventure and sizzling moments that had my catching my breath. That's what White Diamonds did. There wasn't a moment that I thought I knew it all, because then I was thrown into a whole new surprise. Kept me up pretty late at night, trying to finish. The romance is not the main feature in the story at all, though yes, there was some. This was mainly more of a suspense, not that I find anything wrong with that, because I love suspense. Sandra, the lead character, is pretty feisty and knows how to after the things she wants. It's a great story, definitely grabbed me and drew me in.
Shirley Hailstock began her writing life as a lover of reading. She likes nothing better than to get lost in a book, explore new worlds and visit places she never expected to see. As an author, she can not only visit those places, but she can be the heroine of her own stories. A past president of Romance Writers of America, Shirley’s has authored 29 books and won many awards and accolades for her work.
Connect with Shirley!
Web Page - www.shirleyhailstock.net
Buy the Book!
KOBO - http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/White-Diamonds/book-Mj6UMCx0R02SEkG8vlWmzw/page1.html?s=GtVH3dSshkCoZTeHQ3C8Sg&r=1
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/173191