Thursday, February 20, 2014

Featured Author: JL Redington

CLP Blog Tours brings JL Redington here today to talk about her newest romantic suspense novel, The Lies That Save Us. Get to know JL in the interview I did with her, read an excerpt from the book, and don't miss the chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card with the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this feature.

About the book: 

Alexa is beautiful, smart and alone in the world, a result of devastating losses in her life.  She purchased a diner in the quiet out of the way town of Startup, Washington and hired employees to help run it. She’s just beginning to feel secure in her loneliness. 
Suddenly her world is jolted awake by Cayman, a handsome young stranger that enters her diner seemingly from nowhere. Event’s happen quickly, and soon Alexa is deep into secret lives, deception and desire.
Will she figure out the riddle of her father’s death?  Will she be able to resist the temptation to fall in love with Cayman, in spite of her suspicions?  Will she live to tell the tale?

JL's YA series:

A Cry Out Of Time
Pirates of Shadowed Time

A View Through Time

JL's romance series:

The Lies That Save Us 
Solitary Tears 
Veiled Secrets
Love Me Anyway 

Interview with JL Redington

How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I’ve been writing about a year and a half.  Twenty some years ago I wrote a YA book that totally stunk.  As my children grew and left home, my ‘adopted’ daughter who is now a NY Times Bestselling author and my birth daughter’s best buddy, told me I needed to get that story out and start writing.  So, I did.  I redid the story, started with a YA series called the Esme Chronicles and it became A Cry Out of Time, the first book in that series. 

What is the story behind the title of your book?

I usually have to write a few chapters, and in the case of The Lies That Save Us, I had to write the whole book before I could think of a title.  Then I’ll pick out key words I want to use and head to the Thesaurus.  Titling my books is a fun process, and one of my favorite parts.  It’s like putting a puzzle together.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

I did with my YA series, I was a realtor and would write from about 10 pm – 2 a.m.  Now, I’m blessed to be able to stay home and write full time. It’s a dream come true for me.

How did you create a plot for this book?

I usually have a story piece that pops into my head and plants an idea. Nothing happens with the story until my fingers hit the keyboard and the movie in my head starts playing, then off I go! Usually about three or four chapters into the book I have to stop and go to my iPad and write out the remainder of the book in a chapter heading format that keeps me moving in the direction I want to go.

How do you get to know your characters?

As I write a story, the person in the character emerges.  It’s like making a new friend with each new character, the more I write about them, the more I learn about them.  Often, this requires some adjusting to the earlier story line, as I learn more about them, but usually by the third or fourth chapter I’ve got their personality down and the rest is just writing.  I’m a little backward that way, I guess.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I think I had the most fun with Greyson from my newest release, Love Me Anyway. Actually, it was the two main characters that kept me smiling in that book. Similarly, I had a great time with Patrick and Kate from the second in my Broken Heart series, Solitary Tears.  The more I answer this question the harder it is to pick a character!

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

In The Lies That Save Us I would have to say it’s where Alexa’s dad finds her in the warehouse.

Who are your favorite authors?

Oh, many authors, so little time, but I would have to lead off with Robert Jordan and his Wheel of Time series. Amazing. Then there’s Brandon Sanderson, who finished The Wheel of Time series after the death of Robert Jordan (a sad, sad loss). His Mistborn Series is awesome. Also, anything Agatha Christy, or any of the Sherlock Holmes stories.  And those are just the tip of the iceberg!

I don’t claim to be an expert on writing, but there are some writing techniques (or mistakes) that stand out to me when I read (e.g. when an author switches POV mid-scene).  What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?

The word ‘had’ in every other sentence. I picked up a book by a new author and ‘had’ appeared in nearly every sentence. “He had thought about doing that...”  “He had remembered his wife doesn’t like...”  “She had put her book on the table” It kept jerking me out of the story, and I couldn’t even make it through the first chapter. Also, the word "that." It’s largely unnecessary and easy to leave out, but often an author thinks ‘that’ they need it. 

Do you have a routine for writing?

I write for six-eight hours a day. I get up in the morning and get ready for the day, so I don’t have to interrupt my train of thought once I’m started. I eat breakfast and head back upstairs and start writing. I stop when I hear my husband come through the door from work. My children are grown and gone, so it makes it much easier for me to have this wonderful block of time to write.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I work at my desk in my office. I don’t write at night, though in Alaska it does tend to get dark a bit early through the winter, often by 3:30 in the afternoon. When my husband comes home I like to have wound down my story for the day so I can spend the evening with him.

Where’s home for you?

In January of 2013, my husband and I moved to Juneau, Alaska for a job change for him. It was a job change for me as well, as I was selling real estate full time and decided in Alaska I would write full time.

Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?

Bookstore. Better chance to see all the new authors and newest releases.

Where is your favorite Library and what do you love about it?

My favorite library would be in the grade school in Granite Falls, Washington. That is where I learned to love books and found a world where children were loved and cherished. Often in my mind I go back to that library just to remember the warm, comforting feeling I would get when I walked through its doors.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

I feel like a publishing house makes decisions daily about what people will read. It’s not the general population that gets to make that decision, it’s made for them and I have a hard time with that. I want to choose what I find interesting to read, and self-publishing puts the decision into the hands of the reader where it belongs.

What steps to publication did you personally do, and what did you hire someone to do?  Is there anyone you’d recommend for a particular service?

I put my books up myself, except for iTunes, and I have a publisher, Gossamer Publishing that does that for me and a bunch of other things, as well. They’re great. I still put my books up myself, thanks to training from my daughters and sharing their experience with me. My covers are done by Nicole at Trevino Creative. She does an excellent job and her prices are reasonable. is a good way to contact her.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

My all time favorite quote is from the book A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson as quoted by Nelson Mandela:

“Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God! Your playing small does not serve the world.  There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so other people won’t feel insecure around us.

We were meant to shine as children do. We were meant to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone! And when we lout our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. When we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.”

What is your favorite candy bar?

Three Musketeers!!!

What three books have you read recently and would recommend?

Actually, it’s more like fourteen books, because it’s the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, read for the third time! Absolutely the best.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently on the second book in my Passions in the Park Series, Cherish Me Always.  I hope to have this one live by the end of January.

Excerpt The Lies That Save Us

“Don’t play those games with me, young lady,” said Keith, “I’ve been around too long, and don’t have that much time left that I would enjoy the game now.  You liked him, and you know it.”

Alexa dropped dejectedly down in the seat across from Keith.

“Did I really blow it?  I can’t fall for anyone again, Keith.  I really can’t.”

Keith chuckled and looked down at his empty coffee cup. 

“How old are you?  Twenty-six?  Twenty-eight max?  Don’t you think that’s kind of a long time to be alone?  You may have to do that ‘kissing-the-frogs’ thing for a while, but you don’t have to sleep with every frog you kiss, and you don’t have to expect every one of them to turn into a prince.  But you could at least enjoy yourself along the way.  I need some coffee.”

Alexa sighed and reached across the table to pour the steaming coffee into his cup.

“I can’t, Keith.  I mean it; and I don’t want to.  I don’t want to deal with another human being in my life.”

“Yes, you do.” He said with determination.

“How do you--How could you even remotely know that?”

Keith looked at her across the table.  He picked up his coffee cup and took a slow sip, then put the cup back down on the table and stared into the dark liquid.

“I know that because there isn’t a human being on the face of this earth that doesn’t need to be loved.”  He looked into her eyes.  “You’re not betraying the memory of your father, nor are you giving in to a life you swore you’d never want.  Be human Alexa; live again.  Square your shoulders, take a deep breath and give it a go.  It’s a ride you can stop at any time.”

About the author:

JL Redington lives Juneau, Alaska,  with her husband Terry and puppy, Shelby. Together they are the parents of six grown children and nineteen grandchildren. She loves to read, camp, cook and be with her friends and family. In writing this romance series, JL has found a new love in her life, and that is writing books. JL has always felt books are a way to take us out of the everyday and into a place we can relax, be entertained and enjoy a different world for a period of time. Happy reading!

Connect with JL!
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Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo