Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Blog Tour - CRUEL WATER by Freya Barker




Innocence marked her…

Violation crippled her…

Love left her raw…

The life she carefully rebuilt is challenged when she is confronted with the sins from her past. The carefully applied protection is at once ripped away, leaving her exposed and vulnerable.

Her single night of indulgence with the silver-eyed stranger is only the beginning. He sees right to the heart of her and she is unable to ward off emotions that have been deeply buried. With the sting of betrayal still fresh in her soul, she’s surprised to find herself opening up to the honest integrity of the sharp-eyed, rough-looking biker.

When he lost everyone who mattered, he was left without roots and learned to be content simply living in the moment. Completely unprepared for the feisty blonde bartender with old pain marring her clear-blue eyes, he questions his own rules of detachment, as she unwittingly finds a way under his skin.

Appearances deceive and when the masks fall away, revealing deep, dark secrets, there is nothing left but to hang onto each other and survive the storm.


 


Previously Posted Review:
 
Interview with Freya Barker
 

Not all of our readers know that you were first a reader / blogger. What made you decided you wanted to give writing a try?
My age. I was reading on average 2-3 books a day and about 95% of what I was reading was about people in their twenties and their drama. Nothing wrong with that, except that they were mostly beautiful, healthy and as near perfection as you can imagine. I ended up rolling my eyes a lot while reading. I craved reading about more mature characters, more real, more relatable, and when I couldn’t find enough, I decided to write my own. The first book took me around eight months to write, but I loved it so much, I craved writing more. Nowadays I prefer writing to reading most of the time.

When approached by other who think they might like to give this writing business a try, what is your best advice?
Do it. Just write, review, change, write more until you reach a point where you might want to have someone you trust to be honest with you read over it. Listen to them, and take whatever critique they have in stride. You’re not going to be perfect all by yourself. You need a trusted and above all HONEST team of people around you who are not just blowing smoke up your arse. Flattery is nice, but it won’t challenge you to get better.
Invest in a good editor and if possible a proofreader. Make sure you have a professional (or professional looking) cover. Not everyone judges a book by its cover but since it will be the first impression you make on readers, make sure it reflects the quality of the work inside.
Don’t expect to make money at first. Do it because you love it. Do it because once you started, you can’t imagine life without spinning stories and creating interesting characters. Keep your expectations brutally real, so you won’t get hung up on the numbers game and forget why you started in the first place.
Writing is a blessing in itself, being able to share and have it enjoyed by others is a dream.


Where do you get your inspiration for your wonderful characters?
Everywhere! From my own life—there are characters who are based in part on people I know—but also random people. Sometimes I’ll see someone, or talk to a random person, and something about them speaks to me. I’ll develop characters around them. It can be as insignificant as the slightest smile, or a hint of body language, the sound of a voice, or a look. If it strikes me, my mind starts weaving context for a character.

Research is a big key for making your books realistic, where do you start? How many hours of research time goes into writing a book?
Oh God. I LOVE research. I wish I’d had this kind of devotion to it when I was in school. I tend to write off the cuff. I have a general idea of plot, I know who my characters are and then I start writing. I research as I write, except if the plot line hinges on something I’m not familiar enough with, then I research in advance. Because most of my books, especially in the Cedar Tree series, revolve around law enforcement, I make sure I know the ins and outs of law enforcement hierarchy, jurisdiction, procedure etcetera. I want my stories to be as credible as possible and therefore they have to pass muster on the details. That’s not to say I don’t take literary liberties when it suits the story, but I will stick as close to reality as I can.
It takes a lot of time. I would venture to say that for me research makes up about a third of the total time it takes me to write a book.


Can you tell us about one of your favorite characters? Why does he or she stand out above the rest?
It’s funny. My male characters seem to stand out most for my readers, but for me it is the female characters. I don’t know if I have a favorite per se, but I can tell you the one I identify most with is Emma in my very first book, Slim To None. That’s not really a surprise for those who know me.
I also adore Kimeo, in Like Arrows. She was one who touched a lot of readers because her story was so easy to identify with. For me as well.
The funnest character to write has been Arlene, who is irreverent, sassy, crass and direct, but also has a heart of gold.


What do you hope readers take from your books?
Oh that one is easy; I hope readers (most of whom are women) will take ‘hope’ from my books. Not just for love and romance, that’s almost secondary, but for a good, happy, satisfying life, regardless of their current circumstances.
Change is inevitable in life, both good and bad, and the challenge we face is to shoulder and adapt to what comes our way. I myself struggle with health issues that have challenged my mobility and cognitive functioning, and it took me a long time to adjust, and adapt to it. Everyone faces struggles of some sort and the key, I believe, is not to get stuck in how it limits you. You move through with eyes open and determined to the future.
Strong female characters that have all dealt (or are dealing) with adversity and what I hope they show, is that despite it (or perhaps in some cases, because of it) you manage to hold on to yourself and learn to stand strong. Believe in yourself—in your worth.


What authors or books have you read that some sort impact on the way you tell your stories?
I don’t think it’s a secret that I adore Kristen Ashley books. The way she can bring a story to life with her multi-layered characters, the way she narrates in a natural, almost ‘speaking’ way. Her books, which by the way are deliciously long, are the most comfortable and yet intriguing to read. She’s funny, she’s emotional, she’s suspenseful, she can be angsty, but she always feels real. She doesn’t hide behind flowery language, or over-the-top angst or emotion, but says so very much more with regular, every day words that are refreshing in their simplicity.
I want to be like Kristen Ashley when I grow up….


When in your writing zone, what does it look like? Music or quiet? Secluded or anywhere?
Quiet. Because of the cognitive function issues I have, I need to be able to focus on one thing in order to be creative. Multi-tasking, once something I was supremely good at, has become a thing of the past. So I write when I’m alone, preferably at home in my comfy chair.

Tell us 3 things about yourself that we wouldn't know?
Let me see…. I’m pretty open, so there isn’t much people wouldn’t know, but I’ll try.
I am the baby of a family of six children, four big brothers and one big sister, and I grew up a bit of a tomboy.
I wear mostly dark (or black) clothing, but surround myself with color in my house.
I crave solitude. I live in an urban area, but would much prefer to live at the end of a dead-end dirt road in the middle of nowhere, with only nature and wildlife around me.

Head Start is the final book in the Cedar Tree Series, are you sad to see this series end?
So sad. Really. But I don’t want to lose the surprise factor in my writing and for Cedar Tree, a very small community, I think there has been enough drama and uproar to last a few decades. I will miss these characters and the town, because I created it to be a place I would want to live, with friends like Arlene, Gus, Seb, Caleb, Katie, Clint, Emma, Joe and Naomi, Beth, Mal and Kimeo, and last but not least, Neil and Kendra.

What adventures are you planning to take us on with your next book? New series or maybe some more Portland, ME?
There will definitely be more Portland, ME. These people are starting to crawl under my skin and are making a home in my heart. I have slotted a total of four books in that series, and with the first two already out there, I’ll be working on the third one next.

Then there is the upcoming new series, Rock Point: La Plata County FBI, which is also set in Colorado, not too far from Cedar Tree in Durango. Some of the characters for that series you may recognize and you will on occasion see one or two of the Cedar Tree friends appear. It’s my way to hang on to them a little longer.


Where might we find you at signings in the next year?
I’m all over the place! I’ve already been to San Antonio and Biloxi, but here is the rest of my schedule:

One More Romance, Cincinnati, OH — April 16 with Pam
Readers & Writers, Louisville, KY — May 14
Ignite Your Soul, London, ON - Sep. 17
Deliciously Dirty, Phoenix - Sep 24
RomCon Conference, Denver, CO — Sep. 30 - Oct. 1
Glass City, Toledo, OH — Oct. 8
Arch City, Columbus, OH — Oct. 15
Rebels & Readers, Huntington, WV — Nov 4 & 5
I hope to see you at one of these events!!


Thank you so much for your time today. I can't wait to get lost in your next books. 
It was my absolute pleasure and thank you, for having me. 


previous PORTLAND, ME, Novels:

”From Dust” (#1)
Amazon (universal): myBook.to/FromDust
B&N: http://bit.ly/1DuO7ZD
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1gae320
iBooks: http://apple.co/1ILipDC
Scribd: http://bit.ly/1DuOdke

More from Freya Barker:

 
CEDAR TREE SERIES:
Slim To None (#1)
Amazon: myBook.to/SlimToNone
B&N: http://bit.ly/1L0IU9e
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1hfICni
iBooks: http://apple.co/1FMynCt
Scribd: http://bit.ly/1L0J4gJ

Hundred To One (#2)
Amazon: myBook.to/HundredToOne
B&N: http://bit.ly/1M68wCu
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1RkbLuF
iBooks: http://apple.co/1N8iIQA
Scribd: http://bit.ly/1QPgq6K

Against Me (#3)
Amazon: myBook.to/AgainstMe
B&N: http://bit.ly/1j5cBjJ
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1L8EX6Q
iBooks: http://apple.co/1JJzyxA
Scribd: http://bit.ly/1Ocuqdh

Clean Lines (#4)
Amazon: myBook.to/CleanLines
B&N: http://bit.ly/1jCIgJ9
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Vuxfpb
iBooks: http://apple.co/1hfILqQ
Scribd: http://bit.ly/1MNvVeP

Upper Hand (#5)
Amazon: myBook.to/UpperHand
B&N: http://bit.ly/1M68JFN
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1MNvYr6
iBooks: http://apple.co/1M68KJY
Scribd: http://bit.ly/UpperHandScrbd

Like Arrows (#6)
Amazon: myBook.to/LikeArrows
B&N: http://bit.ly/LikeArrowsNook
Kobo: http://bit.ly/LikeArrowsKobo
iBooks: http://bit.ly/LikeArrowsiBooks
Scribd: http://bit.ly/LikeArrowsScrbd


Freya Barker inspires with her stories about 'real’ people, perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy.

A recipient of the RomCon “Reader’s Choice” Award for best first book, “Slim To None,” Freya has since published eight books. She continues to spin story after story with an endless supply of bruised and dented characters, vying for attention! 



3 comments:

  1. Great interview thanks for sharing

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