Monday, July 7, 2014

Tour: Breakwater Bay- Review + Author Interview

Welcome to my stop on Shelley Noble's Breakwater Bay tour!  I'd love for you to check out the interview and then I will share my review!

Tell me about yourself, and your writing.
I was born and raised in Georgia, went to school in Utah, California and Oregon and danced professionally in New York. I’ve been blessed with two talented children, a myriad of vagabond pets and now live at the Jersey shore. I think it’s funny that I went from performing in theatres filled with people every night to working solo at my desk with imaginary characters. A confession: I don’t always wear makeup.

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres? My first mystery was published in 1999. It was the first book I’d written and I was VERY lucky to get an agent who sold me quickly. As of this summer I have eleven mysteries, four romances, three women’s fictions and several novellas and short stories published.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
I write in two different genres, women’s fiction and mystery, under two different names. I did write romance for a while but three genres and three names were just too much. Plus I didn’t feel I could do my best work with that many balls in the air so to speak. I’m moving from contemporary amateur sleuth to historical mystery this year, and I’m really excited about getting to write one of my favorite periods, the Gilded Age.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
I’m a kitchen sinker. I plot sometimes, sometimes I just follow the story. I also storyboard because I’m a visual learner and it helps me to see the movement of the story. Plus I get to move those sticky notes around to see what works best. I draw maps for visual clarity and because it’s fun. I outline each chapter as I finish it, so that it’s easier to find specific events (especially helpful in mystery writing). I think there’s a big misconception about plotting. I plot and yet I’m always surprised by what happens.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
I try to be up by 6. Coffee and NY Times (on my balcony if it’s warm enough.) Then I do necessary emails, then write until about one. Stop for lunch and 45 minutes of Murder She Wrote, just because I love Angela Lansbury’s voice. Back to writing, or to copyedits or proofs of another project. Research. Walk on the beach or go to the gym. Then it’s happy hour and the Dodgers, or off season a good book.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
My daughter says I only read dead people. Which isn’t true but I do love the nineteenth century writers, the cadence of the language and the slower pace is the perfect antidote to the break neck speed of every day life. Pickwick Papers every Christmas. I also am a fan of Susanna Kearsley, Barbara O’Neal, Anna Quinlan, Luanne Rice. Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense is the best ever.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I’d like to get this new Gilded Age Newport mystery launched and start the novel that will come after my 2015 women’s fiction Whisper Beach.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

Tell us a little about your latest release.
Breakwater Bay takes place in contemporary Newport, Rhode Island. Meri Hollis restores old Newport mansions to their former glory. She has the perfect job, a family who loves her and a boyfriend who is about to propose to her. It all comes unraveled in one night as a long kept family secret is revealed and Meri has to reevaluate everything she knew about loyalty, family, and what it means to be loved.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
Quiet time (and coffee)

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
A friend and I once wrote a historical romance together. We had a great time, acted out all the dramatic scenes, and it took forever. It was fun and we did manage to finish it, but I don’t think I would try it again.

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?
That’s a hard one. I’d like to talk to Florence Nightingale but I’d really like to hang out with Annie Oakley.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
Jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, crosswords; Tai Chi, visiting lighthouses and carousels.

What is something you've always wanted to do, but haven't done yet. Why not?
I would love to refurbish and run one of the old wooden carousels. Writing keeps me busy: time, body and spirit wise, but I enjoy visiting carousels wherever I go.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
The Winter Sea, by Susanna Kearsley.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I’d like to be able to really play classical piano

Favorite color?
Blue in all it’s wonderful manifestations

Weather: Hot or cold?

Favorite place to read?
Anywhere there’s a big comfy chair.

Favorite meal Christmas dinner.
Prime rib, Yorkshire pudding and good old English Trifle

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
I’d like to spend some serious time in Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall. Whenever I visit I always feel like I should have stayed longer. And of course there are the Greek isles.

                                Breakwater Bay  
A Breakwater Bay Novel
By: Shelley Noble
William Morrow
Releasing July 1st, 2014

The perfect summer story of family secrets, an abandoned baby, and new romance set in Newport, RI.
Meri Hollis is happy to come home as her restoration career takes her back to her roots in Newport, RI. She can spend time with her Gran, contemplate her future with her not-so-committed boyfriend, and help restore a classic Newport mansion to its former glory. But her idyllic summer takes a turn on her 30th birthday. She did not expect to have her family’s deepest, darkest secret exposed and she certainly didn’t expect that secret to have anything to do with her...

30 years ago, Alden Corrigan was just a boy who snuck out of the house to take his father’s dinghy out on the water. But when a storm come up, he suddenly finds himself playing rescuer to a girl. A very pregnant girl. After he saves her life, the girl runs off. But not before she leaves behind a very special gift.

Now that the truth it out, there is much more at stake for the summer in BREAKWATER BAY. And Meri and Alden are thrust into situation that could prove to be the making of their futures... or the end of their friendship.
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Review Rating: 3.5 LIGHTNING BOLTS

Review: Secrets have a way of coming out. On her 30th birthday, Meri learns the truth about her past. One she never expects....

Breakwater Bay is a story full of secrets, relationships tested, and a bit of romance, too.  Meri's life is thrown in a tailspin when she learns things she couldn't even imagine. The story takes us through her feelings and discovering the past. At times, the pacing is a little slow. It kind of jumps around here and there, and the ending didn't feel resolved for me.  However, the emotions were full on, I felt so many things and the characters had a lot of engaging moments and kept me turning the pages. So while my feelings on the execution of the story are mixed, this is still a story I can recommend as it's full of mystery and intrigue. 

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Author Info   
Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer. She most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.
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