Local author spotlight welcomes Jamie Carie!

Welcome, Jamie, and congratulations on your latest release, just out September 1 from B&H Books!

Author Jamie Carie
Author Jamie Carie

Readers, Jamie is a Southern Indiana girl, born and raised.  I know many of you are familiar with her hometown of Vincennes, Indiana–and even cooler, Jamie has a book entitled Wind Dancer that features George Rogers Clark as one of the characters.  Love when  novels tie into our local history!

So, Jamie, tell us about your latest project.

This year is all about the Forgotten Castles series. This is my first series and I loved writing three books with the same characters and a longer story arc. The entire series comes out this year. We intentionally did back-to-back publishing so people wouldn’t have to wait long for the next book. Also, my Christmas novella, The Snowflake, will be in an anthology along with Alan Maki and Gilbert Morris this November so that should be a lot of fun.

Here are the back of the book blurbs for the series:

The Guardian Duke

In this Regency-era romantic adventure, Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, is ordered by the King to take guardianship over Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are presumed dead after failing to return from a high profile treasure hunt. But Alexandria ignores this royal reassignment, believing her parents are still alive and duly following clues that may lead to their whereabouts.

Gabriel, pressured by what are actually the King’s ulterior motives, pursues her across windswept England and the rolling hills of Ireland but is always one step behind. When they do meet, the search for earthly treasure will pale in comparison to what God has planned for both of them.

The Forgiven Duke

Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon—the path of least resistance—Alexandria Featherstone sets off from Ireland to Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. Her glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton—the path less traveled by—on Dublin’s shore still haunts her. Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.

The powerful and wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life of him or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.

A Duke’s Promise 

From the Land of Fire and Ice back to England’s shores, Alexandria Featherstone finds herself the new Duchess of St. Easton. Her beloved husband has promised a wedding trip that will take them to where her imperiled mother and father were last seen—Italy and the marble caves of Carrara.

But a powerful Italian duke still plots against Alex and her treasure-hunting parents.

Hoping to save them, Alex and Gabriel travel to Italy by balloon. Fraught with danger on all sides and pressured to the breaking point by Gabriel’s affliction, the couple must learn what it really means to work and fight together as true lovers on a journey that requires steadfast faith in God and each other.

It’s a risk that will lead them to win everything they want or lose everything they have.

Where do Louisville/Southern Indiana readers know you from, outside of your books?  

I grew up in Vincennes, Indiana and still have relatives there so we head south (from Indianapolis) a few times a year. My parents used to live in Nashville, Tennessee and I loved driving through Louisville on I65. The landscape is so hilly and pretty. After crossing the bridge over the Ohio River and driving through the city, I love the way the road curves around with rock faces on either side where they dug out the highway. It’s as if I have stepped into another land. There is a feeling of history for me in that part of Indiana and Kentucky – Native Americans padding across the forested land, the scattered forts of men like Daniel Boone and those famous bands of Long Knives and sharp shooters. My imagination comes alive in that area of the country.

I also visited the LifeWay Christian Bookstore in Louisville for a book signing not long ago and the people were wonderful. Now I’m craving a road trip to Louisville. Maybe I will attend another book signing soon or make it to the Kentucky Derby next year. I’ve always wanted to go!

Everybody needs to experience the Derby, at least once.  I recommend you come on Oaks Day–it’s “Derby for Louisvillians” and it’s practically a legal holiday.  Tell us about Wind Dancer!  (That sounds like the name of a raceHorse, actually.)

Wind Dancer tells the story of Isabelle Renoir, a young woman of French-Canadian descent who is raised in the British-held frontier town of Vincennes. A free spirit, she dances in the moonlight as a praise offering to God and is as fearless as any man taking her long rifle into the woods. Sent on a task of fetching her beloved priest’s books, she crosses paths with Samuel Holt, an American spy in George Rogers Clark’s army. Their perspective missions are thwarted when the unthinkable happens and they must join together in a fight against spiritual forces that no earthly weapon can conquer.

Wind Dancer was nominated for Best Books of Indiana in the fiction category in 2010 and has been very popular in the Indiana/Ohio/Kentucky region for its local historical settings in Vincennes, Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and the Falls of the Ohio and Corn Island.

Here is a short excerpt of Samuel heading to Corn Island to meet up with George Rogers Clark:

Samuel absorbed every detail of his surroundings, judging and weighing the dense shadows of the forest while making his way down the weed-clogged hill to his canoe. His gaze swept the banks of the Ohio River, taking in the strong smells of rotting woodland and moss, the humming of insects and frogs, the buck a quarter mile to the east staring, ears perked toward him, and most important, the dense overgrowth surrounding the water, making easy spying lairs for enemies. Reports of recent heated attacks by the Shawnee up and down the Kentucky frontier made his body tense with constant watchfulness, made them all skittish as rattlesnakes.

Seeing nothing but the lush green of a June morning, mist still rising above the green-grey waters of the river, and hearing only the distant roar of the falls upstream, he pushed his canoe into the water, jumped aboard and settled himself low in the bottom of the craft. He found the familiar, smooth handle of the paddle in his hands, grasped hold, and dipped it deep into the water, feeling the glide of the small vessel across the calm surface.

Sunlight glinted off the glassy top, a welcome glare only in the sense that it felt like a new adventure awaiting him. A soft breeze blew, caressing his hair that had become rather long and bleached further by the sun. Stirrings of excitement reached his belly . . . rising . . . rising into a deep breath of the morning air.

It didn’t take long to row the distance. Corn Island and George Rogers Clark awaited him just ahead. Smoke was rising from the trees, the smells of breakfast cooking in the air. He’d been there before, a couple of years ago. Corn Island was just a small outcropping of land in a river and yet, could be, would be, the training camp for an army with grand designs.

Sweat trickled down his back as he paddled faster, fishy-smelling water dripping onto his legs as he switched sides. He had not seen his friend in months, and he missed Clark’s broad grin and wild dreams. Now they would train an army before going on to do the impossible – taking a series of forts from the best military force in the world with just a handful of pitchfork-swinging farmers and sharp-shooting backwoodsmen.

You mentioned the CBA in your email.  What is the CBA, and why would Louisville readers be interested?

CBA stands for Christian Booksellers Association. ABA is the American Booksellers Association. My understanding is that Christian books are sold/supported under the CBA umbrella while secular books are sold/supported under the ABA. I’m not sure the reading public cares as long as they know if they are picking up a “Christian” book or not. I’ve heard of people feeling tricked into reading a Christian book because it wasn’t obvious in the book’s description, which I can understand would be frustrating. On the other hand, I sometimes dislike being categorized in such a way that people automatically assume my books are preachy or trying to teach the reader some lesson, and then they wouldn’t give them a second glance. My goal is to write great stories with timeless themes such as “good vs. evil” and “love conquers all.” In that vein, I always hope that anyone who enjoys historical romance will try my books.

You’ve been publishing for some time.  Any opinions about the state of publishing today?

I think the developments and changes that the e-book revolution has brought about are very exciting. I have reached somewhat of a ceiling at my current publishing house, and the possibility of trying new things (including lower prices) and publishing my own e-books opens up some very interesting avenues for me. Also, those who have tried to break into traditional publishing for years without success now have a chance to take matters into their own hands and allow the reading public to tell them, through reviews and sales numbers, if they can be successful authors or not (the definition of success being subjective, of course). This seems right to me. Publishing houses have never been able to predict which books will become great successes or giant failures. That power lies in the hands of people willing to spend their hard-earned dollars on something they value instead of the opinions of a few gatekeepers. It’s the same with other art forms – music/film/visual arts/any craftsmanship. The best, or at least the perceived best, will rise to the top while the rest will fade away. I’m excited to be a creator of artistic content in this marketplace.

Who are your favorite writers from the local area?

Historical author James Alexander Thom is a big favorite of mine. I met him at the Indiana Historical Society Holiday Author Fair last December and it was awesome (think of me going to his table star-struck and speechless). I’m also a fan of Colleen Coble who is from Ft. Wayne, Indiana and Meg Cabot of the Princess Diary fame from Bloomington, Indiana.

Alas, I was scheduled to meet Mr. Thom and his wife at my own book signing event this past weekend, but they had to cancel.  Perhaps another time!

Tell us about your favorite bookstores/coffee shops/writing haunts.  What makes them special?  (If you don’t buy into the stereotype of the writer surrounded by books and coffee, then tell us more about where and how you write.)

I love to hang out in bookstores and coffee shops but not for writing. I can’t concentrate with other people around – including my family. I like to write in a secluded spot like my office or outdoors when the weather is nice with my soundtrack playing and scented candles flickering nearby. I really like to write at night, but when deadlines are looming I write more of a nine-to-five schedule with some writing jags in the evening as well if I’m really behind.

Jamie Carie's Writing retreat
Jamie Carie’s Writing retreat

What’s next on the writing slate, for you?

I plan to publish my first contemporary story next spring, tentatively titled Maddie Be Good (her name is Madeline Goode and she is always trying to be good but often struggles with funny results). It’s a fun read about a widowed woman who falls in love with an NBA star and how they deal with the mysterious circumstances of her husband’s death. Publishing it myself will be a whole new adventure and something I am looking forward to it!

Thanks for the wonderful interview! I wish all those indie authors out there loads of success! Let’s put some great stories into the world that inspire and entertain. Cheers to all with the courage to write from their heart and publish with some backbone!

Jamie, best of luck to you with Maddie B. Good (that sounds fun) and with all your series!  I’m *certain* there are readers of this blog who are going to be excited to pick up your novels.

Readers, if you know an author who deserves to shine in the Local Author Spotlight, please get in touch.  Either side of the river is fine–we speak Southern Indianaese, too!  Books about relevant local subject matter are encouraged, as well.  Email RedTashBooks@gmail.com and please put “LouisvilleKY.com Author Spotlight” in your email subject.  Be patient, but if you have not received a response within 2 weeks of sending your email, feel free to resend.  Thanks!

Stay tuned for more local author news.  I hope you’re discovering some fantastic new reads, from names new and old on the literary scene.

Leslea Tash is a Southern Indiana journalist-turned-novelist.  Formerly a freelancer best known for Guerilla Mothering, she now writes dark fantasy, horror, fairy tales, and other fun stuff including the 5 star, Top-rated Dark Fantasy Troll Or Derby under the pen name Red Tash.  She welcomes your feedback on this column on the LouisvilleKY.com site, on Facebook, on her websites or twitter.  Just about anywhere works.  Get in touch!