ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, Masquerade Marriage, won numerous writing awards. A Texas Christmas Mystery released in December 2011. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. In 1990, Anne graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies from the University of Texas.
Anne, I'm so glad to have you on my blog this week! Anne is giving away a copy of her book, A Texas Christmas Mystery. Tell us about an interesting Christmas or something fun you got one year or just leave a comment to be entered and don't forget to let me know if you follow by Feedburner. Leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
I’m at my computer desk, completely dressed in black pants and a Caribbean Joe top. I’m wearing partial make-up, liquid base-powder-blush-lipstick. And my right foot is encased in a walking cast due to AchillesTendenitis. Left foot in a sneaker.
Do your characters ever give you surprises when you are writing? Can you give us an example if they do and if they don’t do you know why?
My characters always surprise me. That’s the excitement in writing. I’m a seat of the pants writer which means I start with a concept and the characters evolve as they deal with the situation. I love watching my characters in action. I do not plot the book in advance or make character sketches. It’s rather like watching a movie and trying to get the action down on paper for my readers.
Many writers will say they see stories all around them. Is there someplace you found this story?
Absolutely. When I visited Galveston Island I toured an off-shore oil rig. What I found was so exciting, I knew I had to write a book about it. And Galveston is such a lovey, historic town I had to include the gracious Victorian homes. Also because it is a beach town, there is a Coast Guard station there on the gulf. So the mystery practically wrote itself.
Did anyone inspire you to write or was this something you always wanted to do?
I’ve always wanted to become a writer. As a child when I played with dolls, they became characters in stories. I thought everyone played that way. I imagined stories in my mind when I should have been studying in school. So, when my children were taking naps, I actually sat down to write.
If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why?
I’d love to be the heroine in my Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage. She’s courageous, beautiful, wealthy and finally earns her father’s love and respect. I’d love to be Megan McMurry because she weds a Highlander to save his life and discovers legendary love with the awesome fugitive. She has so many new beginnings in her life that cause her to grow spiritually and emotionally that life is never boring.
What is something that very few people know about you?
I’ve travelled to twenty-five different countries and I hate to fly. I’m claustrophobic. I’d rather take an all day road trip then to fly an hour to reach my destination.
What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
Pictures. I love looking at pictures of my past, of my children as they grow, of places I’ve visited, of people I love. My husband and I had a photography studio and we are seldom without a camera. We record everything. I’m so thankful for digital pictures because we have so many containers of pictures in our home, I can’t think of where I would put more. I love my pictures.
If your editor told you she wanted you to write a romance book but she wanted you to use a type of food in the title, what would your title be?
Cliché I know, but I’d write Death By Chocolate. I write both historical romance and contemporary suspense and mystery. Though one genre is contemporary and one is historical, both contain mystery and suspense, and romance of course.
A lady Coastguardsman searches for a killer. An oil rig troubleshooter accused of murder races to clear his name. The murderer strives to silence them both.
As Amber seeks to arrest Derrick, sparks fly.
Amber Meredith needs to solve her first case. But the handsome Cajun suspect makes her heart race and her toes tingle.
Derrick Darbonne worked all his life for his high-paying, adventurous job. When his past threatens his future, will he endanger the woman he loves?
Only one thing scared Derrick Darbonne. He had no fear of fire, hurricane, sabotage, high seas, drunken roughnecks, reckless roustabouts, brawls, or hard work. But losing the job he’d slaved all his life to obtain terrified him.
He’d worked himself up from oaks draped with Spanish moss, murky alligator-filled water, and a tiny cabin on the banks of the bayou with no running water or electricity. He’d finally gotten to where he wanted to be. And now someone was trying to pin a murder on him. Some Christmas present.
Derrick crushed the schematics he’d been scanning and jammed them into his pocket. He braced his legs wide on the steel floor of the oil rig and raised the powerful navigational binoculars. A Coast Guard cutter slashed a white wedge through the sparkling Gulf waters straight toward his oil platform.
His jaw tightened, his spine stiffened, and he swallowed.
Standing beside him, Joe Bridges, the MIC, Man in Charge, swore.
If Derrick had been a swearing man, he would have joined Joe. Instead, he gripped the navigational binoculars tighter. “Third time this week. If I had anything to hide, I’d jump ship.” He smacked his hard hat so thoroughly his ears rang. “Thought so! That guardsman is a female.” Here was a Coastie bearing down on him with the authority to shut down the operation. The men would be out of work just in time for Christmas. What pretense to investigate the murder was the Coast Guard using this time?
Derrick lowered the binoculars and frowned. “She looks familiar.”
“Ever since you arrived for the routine inspection, Cajun, the Coast Guard’s been on our backs.” Scowling, Joe thrust out a hand for the glasses. “Then there was the murder. That’s the reason the big boss’s keeping you out here again, so long.”
“Don’t I know it! I’m looking for a saboteur as well. Probably the same guy.” Derrick slapped the binoculars into Joe’s hand and tried to lighten his foreboding with a jabbing tease. “Now I’ve got to get the Coast Guard environmental crew out of your hair.”
“Rib me, will ya?” Joe repositioned his yellow hard hat over his bald head and shook a work-hardened finger. “I’ll bet you I can get that Coastie to go for me and my shiny head before she goes for you and that Cajun accent of yours. Loser pays a hundred bucks.”
“You want us to distract her with our masculine charm so she won’t sniff out any violations that could shut us down?” Derrick surveyed the rig’s two-hundred-foot deck looking for any OSHA or EPA trouble the Coast Guard might use to give a citation. Sunlight slanted off the metal plates causing enough glare to hurt his eyes. He didn’t like Joe’s plan.
“You got it.” Joe grinned.
Derrick gave a tight smile. He slid his gaze to the roughneck inside the glass-enclosed room, jiggling the joy sticks and pushing the buttons that worked the rig’s floor. The big man hooking a new drill in place beneath the five-hundred-foot drilling tower wore his safety equipment. No problem there.
Derrick flicked his gaze over the new hire, the eighteen year old from Galveston. The kid’s long blond hair straggled from beneath his yellow hard hat. He was bent over washing sludge and mineral oil through sand to clean out the last drop of hydrocarbon before reusing the sand. Kid was a hard worker, already adept at his job. No laws broken. No environmental procedures shortcut.
The rest of the roughnecks and roustabouts worked steadily. None violated safety measures. No oil spills or pipe breaks had occurred. The hole drilled through the sea bottom was clean and not yet exceptionally deep. They should hit oil soon. Joe Bridges had a salty vocabulary, but the boss man ran a tight rig. So why suddenly all the anonymous phone calls about regulation problems? Had to be the murder.
Derrick needed to come up with answers.
“Alamo Oil pays you a hefty salary to make sure things run smooth on all two hundred of its rigs.” Joe’s voice sounded more than a little jealous.
“Don’t I know it.” Derrick ran a hand over the stubble already growing after his close morning shave.
“Alamo doesn’t want to fork out any stiff fines or lose any drill time because of environmental pollution, safety violations, mismanagement, or accidents. So make sure that Coastie’s distracted.” Joe winked. “And don’t mention the murder. We’ve trampled that ground too many times with the Coast Guard already.”
“Right.” Derrick rubbed the back of his neck. An uneasy feeling kept nagging him about the murder. Nothing he could put a handle to, but—too many clues led directly to him. Once the Coast Guard put the puzzle together, they’d come looking for him. He grunted. How had his personal helmet wound up grasped in the dead kid’s hand?
Joe swore loud enough that the crew cleaning sand looked up. He lowered his voice. “That Coastie’s gonna cause trouble. I feel it in my bones.” His eyes, shadowed under his hard hat, looked wary. “We gotta keep her thinking about us, not her job.” He handed the binoculars back.
Derrick frowned. “I think you’re just hard up for a date. You want a girl friend to share Christmas with.”
As the Coast Guard cutter pulled alongside their offshore rig, Derrick focused the binoculars on the trim figure in her blue uniform. He’d not seen many women in the Guard, and none that looked so curvy…wow, hotter than a Louisiana mudbug boil. He loved that spicy crawfish dish.
Dread inside his gut heightened. Sweat beaded his forehead. He got tongue-tied around women. “This can’t be good!”
“Yeah. The broad’s probably a—”
“It’s Amber Meredith!” Derrick fumbled the expensive binoculars, made a grab for them, and caught them just before they hit the deck.
View Anne’s other books, her blog, Addicted to Excellence, extensive travel pictures, and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. Anne is active in ACFW, FHL, Sisters in Crime, The Writer’s View, and the Southwest Chapter of ACFW. Anne loves to speak to book clubs, libraries, and conferences. Her love of sailing, horseback riding, history, and art, as well as her Citizens Plano Policy Academy training, and military life sometime figure in her books. She maintains a web site, two blogs, and judges the Rita, Golden Heart, and Book of the Year, but she’s never too busy to talk with her fans.
Her highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus.
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