Good morning everyone! I'm pleased to bring L.J. Garland and Debbie Gould to you today! They're going to be spotlighting their new release, Sins of the Mind, which looks really enticing!
They agreed to sit down for my interview, and had some really interesting things to say. Take a peek!
Good morning, ladies! Briefly take us on the journey with you – when did you start writing, did you start in the genre you’re published in now, what hurdles did you have to overcome, etc.
LJ GARLAND : We were both published authors by the time we’d met.
DEBBIE GOULD : Yes, we’d both had several novels out by different publishers.
LJ GARLAND : As for genres? When we’d started together, I’d been pubbed in both sci-fi romance and romantic suspense.
DEBBIE GOULD : I was basically romantic suspense. That is where my heart lies.
LJ GARLAND : So, yes. Since our latest release, Sins of the Mind, is romantic suspense, we were pubbed in the same genre.
DEBBIE GOULD : As far as hurdles, writing the story was easy. Sending it out to the critique group and learning about all the things I had no clue about was shocking. Grammar is not my strong suit apparently. LOL.
LJ GARLAND : For me, it was that there was SO much to learn. Writing is a very complicated craft—not to mention subjective.
Obviously you write romantic suspense. Is that your favorite genre to read? Do you write in any other genres, or under any other pen names you’d like to share?
LJ GARLAND : I read everything from YA to fantasy to horror to sci-fi romance to astronomy books. As long as it’s interesting, I like it. Love the NatGeo and Science channels for a quick fix. As far as writing, I like sci-fi romance, time travel, suspense, and paranormal.
DEBBIE GOULD : I usually stick with romantic suspense, all though I do wander off into the paranormal and horror from time to time.
Of the books you have published, do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?
DEBBIE GOULD : I keep hoping back between my first and second for different reasons, lol. But then there is Sins of the Mind and well, the paranormal Laura and I just finished is awesome. Then again the book following Sins of the Mind has started off with a bang, so, umm I think it’s fair to say I can’t pick one favorite, lol.
LJ GARLAND : Oh Yeah! That paranormal we finished is amazing…the characters are so deliciously tortured. But today, Sins of the Mind is my fav. The characters are interesting and diverse and the setting (Vermont) is gorgeous. Shh…Debbie and I have already started on the next book in the Red River series.
What are your published titles and please tell us about anything coming down the pipe next
LJ GARLAND : Well…guess that cat’s out of the bag! LOL
DEBBIE GOULD : We are working on the next book in the Red River Series, yup more murder, mayhem, and romance, lol.
LJ GARLAND : Yep, we’ll be torturing the next characters even more than the first. Though, I think Sins of the Mind had several unexpected twists…and the characters got banged up pretty good.
Let's talk about Sins of the Mind, specifically for a little bit.
Tell me about your plot development? How did the idea spur, did you have to do much research, any interesting tidbits that we should know?
LJ GARLAND : And as I recall, we were both on the same Internet forum. We’d known each other for…what? Two years, Deb?
DEBBIE GOULD : Yup, about that. We had been brainstorming a plot in one of the books I was writing (still unfinished, lol) and I showed her the first chapter of another story that had been screaming in my brain at me. She liked it, and I asked her if she wanted to co-write it.
LJ GARLAND : That’s right! And I was excited because the story was interesting. Romance and murder, what’s not to like? So, we started brainstorming ideas and things got pretty intense and…what’s the word I’m looking for?
DEBBIE GOULD : Twisted?
LJ GARLAND : Yes. That’s a great descriptor. But we both loved it and voilà, Sins of the Mind!
What’s one thing about your hero that we wouldn’t necessarily learn in the book? A secret dream, an embarrassing habit, an episode from childhood.
DEBBIE GOULD : Hmmm, he secretly likes to go commando.
LJ GARLAND : Hahahaha! Or he likes to clean is gun in private…. ;o)
All heroes are unforgettable in one way or another. What’s one thing about your hero that makes your heart go pitter-pat?
LJ GARLAND : His total devotion to the heroine. As far as other women go, he doesn’t see the – well, not in romantic terms. It’s all Abby and only Abby.
DEBBIE GOULD : His protectiveness, yet he know how to give her space too.
If your hero doesn’t have a pet in your novel, what kind of pet would best suit his personality?
DEBBIE GOULD : German Sheppard.
LJ GARLAND : Definitely a dog. Sheppard sounds right.
Moving on to heroines – Everybody has flaws. Sometimes they are endearing, other times they are annoying. What is your heroine’s greatest fault?
LJ GARLAND : Stubbornness. Gets her in trouble for sure!
DEBBIE GOULD : Ditto! I’m all for being independent, but when your life is on the line, you really ought to pay attention to what the sexy detective tells you to do.
LJ GARLAND : I know, right? It’s not like it’s his first day on the job.
Without giving away details that might spoil the story for those who have not read it, could you tell us the one strength your heroine provides to your hero?
DEBBIE GOULD : Hmm. She opens his eyes to things other than just the job.
LJ GARLAND : Wonderfully cryptic! (high fives Deb) She sure does. Lots of other things.
If your heroine was your daughter – what advice would you give her upon meeting your hero?
LJ GARLAND : If your heart chose Ethan, if you love him, then run to him. You couldn’t have done any better.
DEBBIE GOULD : Don’t jump to conclusions and listen to your heart.
If we peek in on your hero and heroine’s lives ten years from now, can you give us a glimpse of what we’d see?
DEBBIE GOULD : Love!
LJ GARLAND : Ethan and Abby will be blissfully married. We write romance, so it’s a definite HEA.
Well, let's take a peek at them now, shall we?
“Moment?” He raised his eyebrows, tried for a surprised expression. “We were having a moment? Where was I?”
A husky laugh escaped Abby’s lips. She gave him a playful shove, but he caught her hand, his fingers encircling her delicate wrist. With great care, he bowed his head and pressed his lips to the center of her palm. Her sharp intake of air told him she liked it.
“Is this the moment you were referring to?” He kissed her wrist. “Or this?” His mouth grazed along her skin, up the side of her neck to the tender point below her ear.
“Mmm.” She shivered.
He inhaled, reveled in her unique scent. A mixture of spicy vanilla and exotic flowers invaded his senses and sent the room slowly spinning. Primal lust roared through him, demanded he possess her in a rush of carnal passion.
But Ethan resisted.
Intent on enticing Abby into a wild, heated frenzy, he trailed the tip of his tongue along her throat. Her pulse hammered beneath his ardent attention, and he reveled in her response. His fingers slid over her supple skin. One hand sought the silky tresses adorning her head while the other coaxed her legs across his lap and then slipped around her waist.
He pulled back, stared into her lovely face. Eyelids fluttering, she sighed in his arms. When she looked at him, desire burned bright in her eyes. His heart stuttered at the sight, and hot need rushed to his groin.
“Abby.” Her name rolled from his tongue in a mix of desperation and lust. A voracious hunger to taste every inch of her body washed over him. The urge to kiss the small of her back, to run his tongue along her skin, delving and dipping into her secret, sensitive places, all but overwhelmed him. “Tell me to stop. If you’re not ready, honey, tell me to stop right now and by all that’s holy, I will. But you need to know how much I want you right now.”
LJ GARLAND : Now, this is an interesting question because I would say that I was a plot writer and Debbie is a character writer.
DEBBIE GOULD : Yeah, I’d have to agree.
LJ GARLAND : I would hope that would mean we got the best of everything in our stories! LOL
If you write in multiple genres, Do you find it challenging to shift? Or is it a natural process?
LJ GARLAND : I don’t have a problem switching from genre to genre. If they’re set in space or in a deep cavern or on a desert island, it’s more about the story and characters for me.
DEBBIE GOULD : Like I told Laura, who keeps wanting me to jump into Sci-Fi, if I know the world and what’s going on in it, then I can do it. Setting really makes no matter if you know the plot and your characters. May take more research though, lol.
What would you like to say to writers who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep creating, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?
LJ GARLAND : The imagination is vast…open yourself to it. Writing is a process. Learn the craft and never stop.
DEBBIE GOULD : Exactly, don’t ever stop learning your craft, take courses, get a critique partner, hook up with other authors. We are, for the most part, a generous group of people and always willing to pass on tips or give a helping hand when we can.
Very sound advice!
Where can we find you to stay updating on everything?
- We can be tracked down at Our Blog where we blog, chat about stuff, and interview other authors.
- L.J. can be caught at L.J.'s Website where she can be E-Mailed. You can also tweet her at @LJ_Garland1
- Debbie can be found at Debbie's Website where she can also be E-Mailed.
- We love hearing from people who have enjoyed our stories!
Well thank you, LJ and Debbie for coming by today! Best of luck with Sins of the Mind and your upcoming sequel! You're welcome to come back when it releases.