I know I usually stick to a certain type of book when I’m functioning as a blog tour host, but I saw the blurb for this come up and was immediately hooked. This is something I can see myself tearing through – in fact, I cannot wait to read it. So of course, when I’m excited about something, I’m always down to share!
Author: Kelly K. Lavender
Published: November 6th, 2014 (2nd edition)
Genre: Suspense Thriller
Recommended Age: 18+
Beautiful Evil Winter, a Russian Action Thriller, earns a list of accolades including an Eric Hoffer Award for “…writing of significant merit” and a Readers’ Favorite International Book Award. The novel takes place in the 1990s after the fall of the USSR, a time reminiscent of the unforgiving, gunslinging days of the frontier west. When mild-mannered Ethan and fiery Sophia board a plane bound for Russia, they hope to secure their son’s safe passage back to the US. An innocent encounter with the Mafia de-rails their plans. Suddenly, they become a target of the iron-fisted Mafioso that wields total control of Russian adoptions. What can make matters worse? An inexperienced untrained adoption coordinator who must complete the legal process and insure a safe return to the US. How much hardship can a couple endure when faced with do or die events? When hope fails and suffering prevails, what’s left?
Awards and Honors
The Eric Hoffer Awards – Commercial Fiction – Honorable Mention. The Hoffer Awards spotlight “…writing of significant merit.”
- The National Indie Excellence Awards – The New Fiction Finalist
- Dan Poytner’s Global EBook Awards-Bronze Medalist Suspense
- Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards-Triple Genre Finalist- Suspense, Thriller and Romance Sizzle
- Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards-Honorable Mention Suspense
Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards contestants include New York Times Best-Selling Authors and celebrities, comedian Jim Carey won an award this year.
We’re also lucky to have the author, Kelly K. Lavender, here for an interview today, so let’s do it!
SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline?
KL: I start with a ending, then develop the characters. The storyline falls into place from that point. I do keep an ideas notebook, which helps me enhance the manuscript with story flourishes, twists and turns.
SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Do they filter in through your dreams? Where do your ideas come from? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?
KL: When I’m writing, I visit the “James Bond” side of my brain because I want to create that high-octane tension, drama and Suspense in my books. Headline new stories provide ideas for my books. When developing a plot, inspiration hits me before I fall asleep or during the day while doing other non-related activities, like riding my horse or training my dogs.
SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?
KL: I love to write Suspense because I like the adrenalin rush and the challenge of figuring out the smartest way to reach the exit door.
SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?
KL: My biggest frustration and challenge has been managing the marketing and the work required for my second novel. The downside thus far has been trying to balance the day – the online marketing work, lifestyle and writing.
SJ: If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why? An enemy?
KL: I would like to be stuck as a character in the final chapter of Beautiful Evil Winter. My loved ones would enjoy joining me there.
SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?
KL: I don’t think it’s possible because there are many different roads to becoming successful. I believe education and hard work will tip the scale. The UCLA Writers’ Extension Program will provide a prospective author tools to write a page-turner. Hard work becomes important to anchor and maintain an author presence in a very competitive marketplace. As an indie author, finding the right team to support the creative effort is all-important. I used Damon Za, book cover artist extraordinaire, Polgarus Studios for formatting and Yellow Bird Editors for editorial work.
SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?
KL: If you feel you must write a book, write it. Don’t be the person sitting in the nursing home regretting the fact that you never wrote that book! Do it because you want to do it, not because you think you’ll rival Stephen King’s success or sell a book for 7 figures. I read once that most authors, under contract to large publishing houses, earn less than $1,000 a year. Write because you love it and see what happens next.
SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.
KL: I write Fiction hybrids – part Women’s Fiction, part Suspense and part Thriller. I prefer these genres because I can create meaningful captivating stories.
SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?
KL: If I buy her book, I’ll be bleary-eyed for days. How does her main character evolve to become an empowered woman in this one? I might learn something that may help me someday.
SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now.
KL: My second novel takes place in the US and holds all the promise of being a captivating novel. It should be in print by May as it has to work its way thorough the polishing process, review by two editors. I always hire two editors to review my manuscripts before publishing, and I always review my work several times before a launch. I think this book will be better than Multi-Award-Winning Beautiful Evil Winter.
My fascination with fiction began in middle school when I entered a book-reading contest and won. As an ardent fan of the resonating narrative and the cliffhanger, I decided to dedicate myself to becoming a skilled writer. When college professors spotlighted my writing in the classroom, it anchored my interest in becoming a novelist. I continued to pursue my education at UCLA, via the UCLA Writers’ Extension Program, where my writing earned praise from an award-winning author. Of equal and enduring importance, in my life, is a passion for horses. As an avid, lifelong equestrian and horse owner,I now live on a ranch with my family,which we share with a menagerie of four-legged friends. Beautiful Evil Winter is my debut novel
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
- Winner’s choice of an Amazon or Barnes and Noble $50 Gift Card.
Giveaway is International.