About Me

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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Review: Found in the Woods by LoRee Peery

Today sees the release of Found in the Woods by LoRee Peery, book 4 in the Frivolities series.

How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?
When I was writing Moselle’s Insurance, the first in the Frivolities series, a writer friend said, “I love the ex-wife.” I tucked that away, picturing Beth as going through a metamorphosis, wild child to Christian woman who seeks to deal with abuse and fear. I took a few notes and found pictures for collage while I wrote Geneva and Lanae’s stories. A wolf calendar was on a wall in my kitchen, drawing me to wonder more about that magnificent creature each time I passed. Somehow I knew my next story would be set in the woods. When the time was right, we brainstormed at writer’s retreats. Along the way, Aiden Holt came to be the hero who detested wolves. Threads and more threads intertwined when Beth wondered what in the world she was going to do with the rest of her life. Meeting a little girl in need helped her see clearly. I’m drawn to suspense, one of my favorite genres, so the abusive ex-husband had to be one of the characters. I think a lot of inspiration comes from listening to the Spirit. “Amazing Grace” kept running through my thoughts. Bingo! A woman, a wolf, a man, lost in the woods. Thus my title: Found in the Woods.

For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb?
Beth Phillips returns to Platteville, Nebraska in order to begin a new life and to hide from her abusive ex-husband. The secluded cabin offers a chance to stay hidden and to draw closer to God, but Beth quickly discovers she is not alone in the woods. She befriends a curious, displaced wolf, but instead of fearing the animal Beth finds comfort in his company.

When field biologist, Aiden Holt, follows up on reported wolf sightings, he finds the animal and Beth Phillips. With emotional baggage of his own, Aiden usually prefers animals to people, but Beth's passion to keep the wolf draws Aiden in. Experience tells him the wolf needs relocation. His heart tells him he needs Beth Phillips. He camps nearby to capture the wolf, but can he capture Beth's heart, too? 

Two souls, each lost in their own way, are brought together by one of God's beautiful creations. Will the Lord's path to their destiny be found in the woods?
Are there any fun tidbits about this story you can share with us?
When I called Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to speak with Sam Wilson, Nongame Mammal/Furbearer Program Manager (quite a handle, hm?), I was told he was on paternity leave. That made me feel so warm and fuzzy that I used it for the reason Aiden investigated the wolf sighting. When Sam returned, he answered technical wolf questions.
And something I’ll always cherish is meeting Carol Eager, Lead Keeper, at Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari at Ashland, Nebraska. I had visited the park before. On my first visit I had no glimpse of the wolves. Later, I saw a couple from afar. When Carol and I met I commented on a piece of artwork that looks Native American. She smiled humbly and said she had made it. She fed the wolves at Wolf Canyon, talked to the wolves, and told me wolf stories. She’s even raised wolf pups. One wolf at the park was named Lakota, which I didn’t know when I named “my” wolf. Lakota has since expired.
How did you decide on the setting?
Since it’s a Frivolities, the town is fictitious Platteville, Nebraska. I believe I mentioned I knew the book would be in the woods. I’ve done my share of camping over the years so know a little about campsites amongst trees near a river.

The fourth in the series doesn't disappoint. It has a heroine who is struggling to overcome her past and refusing to let it control her. A hero who has his own problems yet is willing to set them aside to protect someone else. And a wolf! Lakota is as much a character as any of the others and brings a depth to this story that you don't expect.
Certainly a book to curl up with on a warm summer evening in the woods. Because you never know what you might find there.

When will it be released?
July 27, 2012

LoRee offered to answer ALL my questions :-) So you get half now and half later…

Where were you born? Norfolk, Nebraska

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? In a log home high on a hill looking over green pastures with a view of sunrises and sunsets. That’s probably the Nebraska Sandhills.

What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you or you witnessed that made you laugh so hard you couldn’t catch your breath?
Do you answer with the first thing that comes to mind? Alcohol, unfortunately, has taken its toll in our family but we have to keep a sense of humor as well. I think my sister asked, “Did Al call yet?” and one of my brothers thought she was asking for alcohol.

What hidden talent do you possess outside of writing... something you do for fun, but are good at?
I notice things in nature and take pictures that I’m told are artistic.

What’s your favourite colour?
Love those British spellings. Green. Sometimes I’ve preferred red, yellow, and purple. But I always come back to green.

What music groups/artists blast from your CD player while you write?
This changes. Sometimes I need the moods produced by lilting Celtic or the intensity of dramatic movie scores. If I really need to think, I don’t listen. When I’m proofing or adding edits I play country. I’ve found I can’t play hymns or praise songs because I catch myself singing and typing what’s going through my head.

What are you most passionate about, other than writing?
I want the genetic hold of alcohol to lose its grip on my family. I know choice is involved as well, but four generations and countless lives have seen the effects. I pray the pull is replaced by the Holy Spirit.

Name some of your most favourite things.
The smile of a child. Rainbows. Butterflies. Unbroken landscape.

What got you interested in writing?
I’ve always been a reader. Way back when I harrumphed, “I could write better than this!” And my hubby said, “Why don’t you?”

Why did you begin writing?  How long have you been writing?
No doubt for class assignments. I have an essay I wrote when I was 13, “What Jesus Means to Me.” That was 50 years ago. Oops, now you all know how old I am.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Never stop reading. Read all genres, but mostly the one you want to write. Get involved with other writers by joining a like-minded group that involves critique. Writers have been my best teachers. And never stop learning.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
“Life” block, maybe? My family is large, someone is always needy. If my mind is too weary, I know the Lord will provide the words at my next sit-down. My subconscious, when I’m not praying, is always ready to write down snippets that pertain to my WIP or something to use later.

Who is your favourite author and why?
I think I’ve answered this before. Different authors have impacted me at different times in my life. If I’m really into the story, my favorite writer is the one I’m reading. LaVyrle Spencer tops the secular list for emotion. I laugh reading Janet Evanovich, go on an adrenaline high with Karen Robards, cry with Karen Kingsbury, and sigh with satisfaction when I read most of the Pelican Book Group authors.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Love that qualifier, opinion. My answer may have been different a year ago and probably will be different a year from now. Today, I want to “see” the fictitious world, and live it through the eyes of the POV character. I want to go, “Wow, I wish I had written that,” referring to the writer’s voice. So I guess that character and being pulled into the scene are big with me. I love it when I wonder how they will ever overcome, and then the ending is a satisfactory one that wraps up all loose ends.

How do you develop your plots and characters?
Each story has been a little different. Most of the time, characters come first. I know Nebraska, not so familiar with the city, so setting is usually small town or rural. I think of the big things first as far as what the characters face, how the Lord will work in their lives, usually know the ending, and then figure out the scenes.

When you write do you start with a plot outline, a character sketch, how do you begin? How do you stay on course?
Character sketch first, the elements as I know them now, a chapter goal. I try to come up with a 40-word descriptor close to the beginning. I keep on course with those 40 words before me, along with verses or godly reminders. I’m an organized person, but my desks are a disaster when I get going on a project.

Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us?
It’s taking longer than I had planned on, but “Unfinished Business” is a fictional memoir I’ve turned into a romance.

What are you reading now?
Right now, a Love Inspired suspense.

To Be Continued next week . . .


Susan Lyttek said...

You ask such thought-provoking questions, Clare! I love to read your interviews.

LoRee Peery said...

Clare makes me smile whether I'm answering her questions or reading another author's answers.
Thank you for your time, Clare, and your review.
Thank you for stopping, Susan.

LoRee Peery said...

P.S. What a party in London! Well done to everyone, I'm sure you were crying with pride, Clare.

Marianne Evans said...

LoRee, it's awesome settling in for a visit with you! Clare is a fantastic hostess. :-) I'm excited to read your latest - Found in the Woods sounds awesome!!!! God bless, and keep up the GREAT work! <3

LoRee Peery said...

As I've said before, Marianne, you are always an encouragement, and loyal to PBG authors. May the Lord bless your weekend.

Donna B said...

Great interview ladies, and wonderful review. I wholeheartedly agree with it all!

LoRee Peery said...

I appreciate your support, Donna.