Tuesday, June 25, 2019

SCARLET OAKS AND THE BANISHED WITNESS

June 25, 2019

Where did the month of June go? Before we know it, July 4th celebrations will be in full swing and fireworks will be going off. There is nothing like great fireworks to bring in a celebration. Speaking of celebrations, I have a new author I want you to meet and her series SCARLET OAKS. I came across this series while I was recovering from gallbladder surgery. I can only watch so much Netflix. I hope you enjoy getting to know Michaela James and her new novel SCARLET OAKS AND THE BANISHED WITNESS as much as I have.




Michaela James
Scarlet Oaks and the Banished Witness

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I grew up in a town called Chandler’s Ford, an hour south of London in the U.K. It’s very close to the city of Winchester, which is home to Winchester Cathedral, under which my favorite author, Jane Austen, is buried.  I met my first husband on vacation while visiting the Greek Island of Corfu.  He was from Nevada, and after a year of long-distance dating, I moved to the United States and we married. We were married for seventeen years, and I'm afraid only a couple of them were good. 

What inspired you to author this book?

This is the third book in what  hope to be a long series. I love writing about strong women and incredble friendships. Having grown up on Agatha Christie, I also feel impelled to have a murder or two in every book I write.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

I try to design a cover that hints at its interor while capturing the reader's attention. The majority of this series is centered around San Francisco and enables me to showcase the stunning Golden Gate Bridge.  This book, however, finds Scarlet and company in the beautiful city of Portland Oregon visiting a suspicious wellness facility.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

Personally, my incredible second husband has had the most significant influence.  His unconditional love has given me confidence and inner strength I’d never known before.  As a writer, it’s JK Rowling.  To have young children lining up overnight to read a thick book with complex words and no pictures is just incredible.  I’m currently enjoying her Cormoran Strike series.


What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

Remembering where I left off with book two.  Note to self – don’t leave too much time between books in a series.

Tell your readers about your book.

It's fun, and it's suspenseful. I do recommend reading books one and two first.  Book one is free, and book two is 0.99 cents for a limited time.  Scarlet, her friends, and family, are people I believe readers will like and relate to. “The Banished Witness” finds Scarlet and her team of amateur sleuths in Portland, Oregon. Scarlet’s boyfriend James has a sister who’s been staying in a wellness facility there named Cedar Acres. When James is suddenly denied visitation rights, and Scarlet receives a call into her radio station about a missing girl, they suspect Cedar Acres is not what it seems.  Scarlet and her friend Tom go undercover as guests of Cedar Acres in an attempt to find James’ sister and the missing girl. “The Banished Witness” is a book that won’t give you nightmares, won’t make you uncomfortable, but I hope will highly entertain, keep you guessing, gasping and laughing.

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Who is your target audience, and why?

Readers who invest in characters, and who are in it for the long haul. The characters in my Scarlet Oaks series are real people to me. My hope is that readers feel the same way. People who like a good who done it, enjoy suspense and a little humor.

If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at your book to read, why should they buy it?

They’ll happily lose themselves in the world of Scarlet Oaks.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

At risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, my sons. They've grown to be kind, caring, genrous, and loviing young men.


What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre

My story ideas.  They won’t remind you of the five other books you’ve read.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

When I walk, I forget about daily stresses and the ‘To Dos.’  It enables me to clear my mind for creativity.

Do you have any other books? Tell me about them.

The Healing Room” is a YA  first POV that has, drama, intrigue and lots of humanity.  “Love me or Die” is my first novel.  While I love the story and the huge twist, I feel my writing has come a long way since then.  “Serial Caller” and “Exposed Photographer” are the first two books in the Scarlet Oaks Series.  They’re fun, suspenseful and at times quite profound.  “The Secrets of Mead” is an English Village Mystery.  It’s a classic who done it with a unique and surprising twist.  I’ve also written five young children’s books under Lambsy La La.


What’s the next book you’re writing?

I’m going to try my hand at Cozy Mysteries.  I love humor, I believe it keeps us all sane.  The cozy mystery genre is all about light-hearted fun, so I think it will be a good fit for me.


What one piece of advice do you have for new authors.

Don’t give up.  Just keep writing.

Tell your readers anything else you want to share.

Can I ask a favor?  If you read my stories or any author’s stories, please share your thoughts with us.  I’ve had thousands of downloads of my free ebook but so few reviews.  Good or bad, authors really want and need to hear what you think. Thank you so much!

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