Monday, January 13, 2014

ATONEMENT


Welcome to the Atonement Tour! Today I'm pleased to introduce to you author J.H. Cardwell, here for an interview, and a spotlight on ATONEMENT!

Tell me about yourself, and your writing.

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres? I have been writing short stories and poems for years. I recently decided to take on a full-length novel (recent as in earlier this year). I have two Indie published books: Attainment and Atonement. Both are listed in the New Adult/contemporary romance category. Since they are based on characters in their late teens and early twenty’s, there’s more of a light romance and lots of suspense.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre? I feel the romance genre can be sub-categorized into many other genres. I know my book fits into New adult (not so much YA because I feel you need to be at least 15yo to read it) and also in the Chick Lit as well as the romantic suspense. One day I may venture over into fantasy/sci-fi. I have four children (one already a teenager), and they are surely drawn to that genre.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
I mainly plot out my entire story outline on paper or on my virtual notes. Then I fly by the seat of my pants to keep it interactive and fill in the blanks of my outline.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
My typical writing day would be to spend the first hour or so handling email and social media, then after a second cup of coffee, start in on the story-line. Unfortunately, this is a dream world, and rarely happens like this for me (only on a rainy weekend or on a vacation day). Typically, in the real world, I wake up an hour or so before anyone else and with a cup of coffee in hand I re-read my last few paragraphs (always making changes) and try to add a few to the story. Then, my real life of work, kids, carpooling, activities, etc…ensues and I add another couple of paragraphs or chapters (on an especially creative night) after I tuck the kids in the bed and spend a little alone time with my hubby (of over sixteen years).

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
I have SO many favorite authors now! I’m so thankful for e-books. I feel many good, new authors have come to light. I love Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, Abbi Glines, Karen Kingsbury, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Scottoline, Barbara Freethy, Kristin Hannah and many, many more! I love all books from these authors and more. The first author I ever read was C. S. Lewis when I fell in love with his series The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe in the 4th grade. I’ve had a huge love for reading ever since!

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
So far, I have enjoyed being an Indie author and self-publishing. There truly are many positives to taking this route. I chose not to seek out an agent with my first books/series. I will however, most likely pitch my first stand-alone book of which I’ve already begun writing, to specific agents and publishers. I am SO very excited about this book!! It is Kristin Hannah meets Gillian Flynn. I wonderful romantic suspense novel. So, that would be my goal and hopefully my accomplishment. Releasing my first stand-alone in 2014 and having a rep push it to a publisher.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
Hmmm, this has been a party topic for years. It’s along the same lines of what you would wish for if you only had one wish. This is a hard decision. I might would say I would choose endless knowledge – to know how and why and when to do or say anything, you know, superhuman-like. Knowledge is power and could lead to being able to accomplish many other tasks or abilities like discover time warps or how to become more technically savvy!
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
I would have a flying, large dog (that could talk and see the future). I would want it large enough for me to jump on its back for a quick escape and also large enough for it to fight my physical battles for me. I would still want him to be cuddly enough to be comforting. I love dogs - sweet dogs! That seems very childish, but…you asked!

Tell us a little about your latest release.
My latest release, Atonement, is the second book in a three-part series (not really a trilogy, because the third book has a different lead character). It is much longer than the first book, Attainment, and has just as many twists and turns. I love suspense in any genre, and my favorite genre is Romance. I would encourage you to read the first book to learn about Reese, Tate, John, and all of Reese’s best friends. There is love, lust, even a murder following an intense date rape prologue leading into the story. Atonement picks up right where Attainment left off where they are most all in college. Betrayal happens early in the story and leads Reese on a heartbreaking and heart-mending adventure. Atonement answers the question: Does she finally get her happily-ever-after?
What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
Another tough one! I can’t live without my beverages! I am a coffee addict and I crave it morning and mid-day. I also LOVE a nice glass of wine in the evenings to unwind.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
Absolutely! My brother is a writer and has co-authored many articles and novels together with other authors. I myself have co-authored articles, but never novels. I would choose a Romance novel with ANY of my favorite authors! While I am a true fiction girl, I also hope to one day co-author with my pastor, a fiction story centered around teen girls and bullying. Although I am a mother and a nurse, I’m not sure I could ever mentor anyone by writing a non-fiction, self-help book. I could however, bring a story to life with make-believe characters and hopefully save or change a life, a teenage girl’s life to be exact.

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?
Not to sound cliché, but I would of course spend as long as possible taking a walk and absorbing all there is to hear and know from Jesus. I would ask Him to guide me to make the best possible decisions in raising my children and in nurturing my marriage as well as caring for our parents. I would also ask him ultimate ways to help change the world for the better right up front; instead of so much trial and error.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
I have many dreams of hobbies and activities - such as traveling the world in search of the best wine and food possible. Realistically, as real as four kids and life will allow, I try to squeeze in time at the beach, movies, shopping, hiking, reading, and of course writing (although I know you said outside of writing – sorry)!!

What is something you've always wanted to do, but haven't done yet. Why not?
I’ve always wanted to visit my brother in London. He has been there for over 15 years and I have never been. He comes home at least twice a year, but I haven’t been able to go there due to timing. I want to allow a good three weeks to go, and it seems I was either pregnant, or in training with my job, etc... to be able to produce the time necessary to enjoy the trip.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
Okay, don’t think of me as too vain, but I would choose this Attainment series. There is so much going on in these books, it would make for great scenes – action and love.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I wish I was super athletic, but I’m not! I did play tennis and cheer growing up, but I was too much of a wimp to play other real sports. My husband is VERY athletic, so now when any of our four kids has a wimpy moment he says “They got that from you” with a wink. I laugh because I know it’s true. Sorry kids.

Favorite color?
Turquoise. I always think tropical when I see it.

Weather: Hot or cold?
Definitely hot. I love the beach and a warm sea breeze. While I love the look of snow, I hate the wind and frigid temperatures.

Favorite place to read?
Outside on my patio - in my glider.
Favorite meal
Ooh, maybe the toughest question yet! I love a good fillet mignon and salad with tasty bread! I also love Italian, Mexican, and Hibachi! The list goes on. Reminiscently, I love any meal my Grandma used to make.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
Coffee. But if you mean with a meal, water, hands down. I have it with everything. Not only is it free at most restaurants, it goes with everything!
If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
My ultimate dream would be to travel the United States first on a private jet with my family and a couple of babysitters/nannies/tutors of course. Then I would go global. London would be my first stop, then Paris, then the list goes on! If money was no object, I would travel to lower income, less privileged areas and provide them clothing, non-generic foods and cosmetics, and the chance for education, all the while watching the look of peace and hope fill their faces!! What a dream!


Atonement
Attainment Series Book Two
By: J.H. Cardwell

Blurb
Reese Stanford is off to college at Wake Forest with her loving boyfriend, Tate Justice…or is she? When trust issues arise regarding Tate’s behavior, she turns to none other than her beautiful past - the beach god, John Rider who is conveniently available and still waiting. Will it be enough drama for John to finally have her forever, or will other shocking revelations and dark discoveries keep Reese from becoming his life-long dream? Will Tate ever be able to win her love back?
 Betrayal, anger, lust, and love fuel the future of Reese causing unexpected twists and turns on her long-awaited road to happiness. Will undying love conquer after all? Can Reese remain true to herself?

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Author Info
Julie has spent years in the medical field. The first few as a Cardiac Specialty Nurse, and over the last decade as a Pharmaceutical and Medical Sales Representative. She has gathered mounds of experience both personally and professionally to pour into her long time passion…writing. After years of power points in the corporate world, she is finally pursuing literary fiction/New Adult/Contemporary romance with her first novel, Attainment, and the now released sequel Atonement. The third book in the series, Chloe, will be released in 2014. Julie resides in a small town in NC with her husband and four children. She continues working full time in sales, exploring her writing late at night and in the wee hours of the morning when her children are tucked safely in bed.
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