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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Time Apart by Rebecca N. Caudill: Interview & Giveaway

A Time Apart
Macauley Series, Book One
Rebecca N. Caudill

Genre: Paranormal Romance , Vampire

Date of Publication: February 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-1508482666

Number of pages: 211 (estimated)
Word Count: 71,020

Cover Artist: Rebecca N. Caudill

Book Description:

A love story that traverses the confines of time, life, and death, uniting two passionate souls from different worlds and ages …

Olivia Donnelly has spent her whole life obsessing about how she will die. When tragedy strikes, reality comes crashing down and she’s forced to confront her fears head on. Hoping that a move across the globe will help her to cope with a devastating loss, she arrives in Ireland a broken down shell of a woman looking for a second chance at life.

Almost immediately Olivia is drawn to places she’s never been, and to a man that she’s never met. When she crosses paths with the mysterious and frustratingly private William Macauley, her life is thrown into turmoil unlike any she has ever known. The two couldn’t be more different – she’s human, he’s a vampire – but Olivia can’t get him out of her mind. Having acknowledged her overwhelming desire for William, now she must come to terms with how her feelings for him will greatly alter her future.

Olivia’s understanding of life – and death – take on new meaning as she examines the truth of the person she once was, the woman she was born to be, and how William is the key to her everlasting happiness.

Available at Amazon


“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard Flight 716 with service from San Francisco to Dublin. We ask that you please fasten your seat belts and secure all baggage beneath the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartments. At this time, please turn all personal electronic devices to airplane mode so that they cannot transmit a signal. As you know, smoking is prohibited for the duration of our journey to Dublin, and that includes in the lavatories. Thank you for choosing Aer Lingus. Enjoy your flight.”
It was usually at this point in any flight where Olivia’s real panic kicked in. Shortly – terrifyingly – the plane would be airborne with nothing but land and sea below. While she knew statistically that airplanes were safer than cars, she’d never known anyone – let alone two anyones – who had been killed, their bodies never recovered, from a freak accident on the freeway. Not to say that it didn’t happen everyday; she just didn’t know anyone that it had happened to.
To distract her mind, she listened to the crew outline the plane’s safety procedures and then the Captain’s welcome, including the weather forecast for Dublin – rainy and brisk, how shocking. Sipping the champagne the flight attendant had offered her when she boarded, Olivia felt the combination of the Valium and the alcohol take over her body, but not quite enough that she gave up the death grip she had on the arm rests. As she felt the tell tale tingle of the Valium working its magic, she thought – not for the first time – that maybe someday a plane crash wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to her. Maybe someday she’d just never wake up from the self-induced drug and alcohol fueled nothingness she needed just to fly. 
Who am I kidding?
Sadly, more and more frequently it wasn’t just plane rides that had her mixing booze and pills. Most days she wrapped herself in a hazy blur of alcohol like a security blanket, protecting her in a cocoon of mental fuzziness.
Olivia felt her pulse beginning to race and her breathing accelerate, and she made a conscious effort not to panic, not to look over at Judgy lest the woman start advocating for professional psychiatric help. It wouldn’t have been the first time some well-meaning motherly type had tried to get Olivia into therapy. She stole a quick glance in Judgy’s direction only to find that she was already engrossed in her novel, Olivia’s neurosis and emotional paralysis the least of her concerns.
Not too long after she had fought back the near panic attack, the whirring of the engines lulled Olivia into a stupor that soon resulted in a fitful sleep. For the next ten hours she didn’t exactly fall into a deep slumber, but she wasn’t fully awake either. Her mind seemed to float between a dreaming and wakeful state, and she felt strangely separated from her body. She’d see snippets of things in her head but wasn’t sure if the images were of events or instances that she was remembering, things she was imagining, or scenarios she was concocting to be used in her novel. 
And then Olivia saw, quite clearly, the face of a man she had never met and yet she felt like she had known him all of her life – blue eyes, sharp and unnaturally piercing as if he could see deep into her soul. She saw a field of green that stretched far and wide, rolling hills dotted with sheep and lined with stacked stone walls. She saw herself as a child chasing a puppy larger than she was down by a river while laughing that high-pitched squeal that only a child can make as the dog raced back toward her covered in mud and dripping with water. And then that image changed as quickly as it came and she saw her mother as a young woman, happy and carefree, in love with a man who was not Gerald Donnelly.
And as she always did when in one of her fitful states of sleep, Olivia saw all the ways she could die – car accident; mugging gone horribly wrong after having put up a brave fight; her house on fire, the flames licking at her feet as she tried to run; her body weak and broken as it was ravished by cancer; or her heart slowly stopping as she lay in her bed, blind from old age and hunched with the rigors of time.
And in these dreams she was ready for it – any of it – almost welcoming the vast blackness that would follow whatever her death would be.
And then she saw that face again – the man she didn’t know but felt so deeply that she should. He whispered her name, longingly, “Olivia.”

Author Bio

Rebecca Caudill read her first novel when she was just four years old and has been hooked on books ever since. When she wasn't writing her own stories, she was sneaking copies of her mom's paperbacks to read late into the night.

Fast forward several years later and Rebecca graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in English Lit, which gave her new insight into the written word. Following college, Rebecca embarked on a career in tech PR in the famed Silicon Valley, which eventually led to her leading Global R&D communications for a Fortune 500 company that everyone knows by name. Finally, after more than a decade of writing words ascribed to other people, in December 2014 she quit her job to pursue writing full time.

Today Rebecca lives with her husband and beautiful-but-neurotic cat in Oakland, California. When not creating fictional worlds inhabited by strong women, rakes, rogues, and dashing heroes, she is planning her next vacation, trying out new recipes, or drinking Islay scotch.

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Please welcome A Time Apart author Rebecca N. Caudill to Diane’s Book Blog. 

What is your favorite part of the story, A Time Apart: Book One of the Macauley Series?

It’s my book; how can I pick just one? J All kidding aside, I have two favorites parts of the book. The first is when William and Olivia first meet one another in person, and the second is the first time they are intimate with one another. When I was drafting the scene at the Shelbourne Hotel, I was so energized – the two characters I’d been envisioning, had given words to, were finally going to meet! It felt like a significant turning point in the writing of the manuscript, like there was no going back. In terms of my favorite other scene, since the book is a romance novel first and foremost, I was really worried about writing that first love scene as readers have a lot of expectations of those scenes. Heck, I had a number of expectations of the scene. When I had dotted my last “i”, and crossed my last “t”, I was so immensely proud of what I had accomplished for my characters. It was exactly what I had envisioned.

Who or what inspired you to be a writer?

I’ve always been a storyteller, but I first began writing them down while in elementary school, and when I won a few awards for my stories, I decided that someday I’d grow up and be a famous author. Of course, I also wanted to be a judge, a horse jockey, a rock star, and a host of other things most young kids dream about.

I studied Journalism in college and I had assumed that upon graduation I’d write professionally for a newspaper, but that was at a period when newspapers were beginning to struggle financially and being a beat reporter paid less than working at McDonald’s (something I’d already done in high school). Instead, I ended up going into copywriting, where I wrote commercials for a radio conglomerate in a large east coast market.

After marrying my husband, we moved to San Francisco where I began working in technology PR, which requires a ton of writing – albeit not very creative writing, and your name is never attached to it.
After more than a decade in the industry, I found it very difficult to balance my day job with my desires to pursue a career as a fiction writer, so with the support of my husband, at the end of 2014, I quit my job to pursue creative writing full time. As they say, the rest is history.

What inspired you to write your first book? How long did it take you to write A Time Apart?

I had been wanting to get back in to creative writing for awhile, but it was incredibly hard to juggle the demands of my career with the desire to write. After 10-plus hour days in the office, I’d come home and want to just vegetate in front of the TV, or I would have more work to do. Then in 2008, two friends told me about NaNoWriMo, which they were both participating in, and I decided to join them. I guess you could say that was the push I needed to start writing my first book.

Unfortunately, I was horrible at it. I’d write a page and then edit it, resulting in practically an entire re-write. By the end of November I had only written an official 10,000 words, although with all of the edits I’d made, I’d actually written closer to 25,000 words. I tried it again the following year and failed just as spectacularly. It was then that I realized that NaNoWriMo, while an amazing program, just wasn’t amazing for me.

With A Time Apart: Book One of the Macauley Series, I basically wrote what I would want to read. I’m a voracious reader, but there’s a recent trend to write really young heroines. There’s nothing wrong with that at all – I’ve read and loved these books too! – but I really wanted a heroine that was slightly older, and had a bit more of life under her belt so that older readers could more easily identify with her. So the first thing I did was visualize my heroine, Olivia, including who she was, what drove her, what her challenges were. From there, I set out to develop a hero who would be her match. At that point, I’d already figured out the scenario that would get them together – or in some cases, keep them apart – and I just went from there, writing on a time table that was manageable.

Here we are six years later with Book One of the series, which clocks in at around 71,000 words.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Depending on my mood, I have a few favorite authors, and I’ve read their books several times throughout the years.

Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire is what set me on my love of the paranormal. I have yet to read an author who can invoke the feel of New Orleans, a city I adore, quite the way that Rice does.

Another favorite, albeit an unoriginal one to love at the moment, is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. I’m a sucker for a highlander with a heart of gold and Jamie Fraser is the perfect embodiment of what I like to see in that sort of male character. I was very worried about the TV version of the show, but it has surpassed my expectations. I daresay that I like Claire even better now than I did in the book. Bravo to Ron D. Moore and Caitriona Balfe for elevating such a beloved character. And Sam Heughan, despite my earliest skepticism, is absolute perfection in the role.

Another favorite of mine is A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. When the third book in the series came out last year I re-read the first two, devouring them quicker than I did the first time around. I love how Harkness interweaves various forms of paranormal, and how she uses history to elevate the tension in her story – both London and Sept Tours are almost characters in and of themselves! – and finally, with the marvel of modern medicine. It’s just a truly captivating tale and one that I’ve recommended to practically everyone that I know. I recently read that the All Souls Trilogy is going to be developed into a TV series by BBC so I am waiting with baited breath.
How do you overcome writer’s block?

Writer’s block is The Worst. It happens mostly when I’m not able to focus 100% on my characters – when there is too much going on in my day-to-day life, or when I need to think about other things, and then it’s really hard to go from those thoughts back into my fictional world. When that happens, I have learned over the years not to force it. If you write when you’re not feeling the words, it’s going to show and you’re going to end up rewriting them anyways so it’ll just wind up being wasted work.

What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading three books but that changes on a daily basis since I go through them pretty quickly. I just downloaded about twenty more books onto my Kindle this past week. My current “to read” list is on Goodreads.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

First of all, I want to thank them for their interest in my book. Authors put so much of themselves into getting these words to print, and while a lot can be said for the satisfaction of a job well done, we also receive a tremendous amount of satisfaction from knowing that people enjoy what we do. Also, I want to let them know that I’m pretty active on social media, especially Twitter and my blog, and that I love interacting with people. I sometimes get frustrated with Twitter because I feel like the majority of people that I follow in the community use it as a broadcast mechanism, when Twitter can be a truly exceptional tool in getting to know someone and having an opportunity to interact with them that you wouldn’t normally otherwise have.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sample from Chapter 6

“Olivia,” he whispered, and then he too went silent, that one word all he was going to give her. 
Except it wasn’t all.
The way he had said her name did things to Olivia that she couldn’t adequately explain. To her ears, he had said it the way a man says a woman’s name as he’s about to make love to her for the first time, full of longing and desire. 
It felt like several minutes had passed since he had spoken her name, but in reality it had been less than 15 seconds. Olivia wasn’t worried about him hanging up the phone because she knew he could hear her breathing in response to his voice. Given how furiously she felt her heart beating, she thought he could probably hear it too as it was so terrifyingly loud. She certainly heard the thump, thump, thump of it echoing in her own ears.
“William,” she eventually responded, trying to keep her voice cold and emotionless, hoping that her desire for him wasn’t evident in that one single word. She wouldn’t say more, not yet. 
Olivia wanted to make him tell her why he was calling. She wouldn’t ask. She wouldn’t show how much she actually cared what he thought of her; unfortunately her hitched breathing gave her away. If he hadn’t known it before, William certainly knew that his voice – his words – had power over her.
“I had to call you. I don’t know why, I just felt compelled to. I didn’t want to continue conversing with you in one to two sentence fragments over email. While convenient, I find it so impersonal,” he said. 
Impersonal? So he was looking for some sort of personal connection with her? No, she wouldn’t read too much into his words.
When he realized that she wasn’t going to say anything back, he went on. “I know you don’t care one way or the other, but you are absolutely intriguing to me. A conundrum really. You see, for as much research as you’ve obviously done on me, I’ve probably done more on you. After all, you’re rather easy to find online.” 
Olivia hadn’t seen that one coming. 
Go on, she wanted to say, curious to know exactly what he found so intriguing about her, but her voice wouldn’t work.
When she failed to speak for several more seconds, he finally broke the silence, the tone of his voice going from interested to terse and ... rejected? 
“I can see you’re not going to speak to me. Perhaps I’m wasting my time. I’m sorry to have disturbed you.”
Before he could hang up and Olivia would lose the moment with him forever, she took a deep breath and found both her voice and her courage.
“I’m sorry, I’m just a bit shocked that you’ve called is all. I’m trying to figure out what you’re about,” she told him as matter-of-factly as she could. “We’ve hardly been what I would call cordial to one another since we spoke earlier tonight so I’m wondering why you want a more … personal … mode of communication. Hell, I’m wondering why you want any more communication, period.  You made it pretty clear that you aren’t interested in what I have to say, so I’m not sure what else there is to say.” 
Olivia could hear the hurt in her voice, and in addition to feeling embarrassed over her uncanny physical reaction to him, she also felt ashamed. Unfortunately, he seemed to pick up on both emotions.
“My apologies if I have … hurt … you.  It was ridiculous of me to have been so rude. Perhaps if you would allow me to explain myself, you might begin to understand why my initial reaction to you was so discourteous,” he said. 
Okay, Olivia thought, start explaining
She couldn’t have prepared herself for what he said next. 
“I know it’s late, but can I see you?  I’d like to speak to you in person.” 
Oh shit. Oh shit.
Oh ... SHIT.
“It is late,” she replied, leaving the statement hanging between them for him to interpret. 
She didn’t want him to think that she wasn’t interested in meeting him, but at the same time she also didn’t want him thinking he could call her up at midnight and that she’d be at his beck and call. While Olivia had had her fair share of romantic entanglements throughout the years, she’d never been someone’s booty call.
But damn if her curiosity wasn’t getting the best of her. Olivia internally calculated what it would take to make herself look presentable before meeting him – wherever he was. She figured that she didn’t have time to redo her make-up but she could easily throw her sweater and jeans back on, pull her hair up into a bun, and be in a cab on her way in just under 15 minutes.
And then, as if she couldn’t be any more shocked than she already was, his next words stopped her in her tracks.
“I’m in your hotel lobby, if that changes anything.”

It changed a lot of things. 


$25 Amazon gift card
$10 Starbucks card

1 autographed paperback 

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  1. Hi Diane,

    Thank you for participating in the blog tour for my book. I appreciate you taking the time to share some insights about my writing process and samples from A Time Apart: Book One of the Macauley Series with your readers. I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    1. Thank you for the interview! You are welcome at Diane's Book Blog any time. Good luck with your tour and A Time Apart.



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