Welcome, Readers! How are you? I hope you are well. I have this special Wednesday Edition of my blog for you all to enjoy! Author Angela Ruth Strong is with me today sharing about her newest release, A Cuppa Trouble. I am so excited to share this interview and book details with you. As well, Angela is offering a giveaway! Now that I’ve gotten you eager, I’ll get started…
Welcome to my blog, Angela! I’m glad you’re here. First, can you tell us a little about your novel?
A Cuppa Trouble is book two in my CafFUNated Mysteries. It’s about a tea lover and a coffee lover who start a shop together and their differences make them the perfect team for solving mysteries. This book is set at Valentine’s so there’s a romance thread (or two) as well as a spiritual thread about communication. I’ve tried to emulate the feel of the television show Psych, so it gets a bit silly at times, but I’m pretty proud of the suspense at the end. Not your typical cuppa tea.
Love it! A series with “caffeinated” attached to it? This coffee-lover is tuned in for sure! What was the inspiration for A Cuppa Trouble?
I love heist stories, so I really enjoyed researching the real life car jacking and smuggling rings. A lot of the crazy stories in my book are based on true events. A ten-year-old really did steal a car. A car jacker really did get stuffed in the trunk of a car by the car’s owner. Ohio really does have a law that it’s illegal to leave the keys in your car to let your car warm up in winter if the doors are unlocked. Some stuff is just too weird for me to have made up.
As a Historical Fiction/Romance writer, I can attest to that! Fact is often stranger than fiction.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?
My mom was a writer, so I grew up with stories about myself in Women’s World. When I was sixteen, I wrote about something that had happened to me, and my mom helped me submit it to a magazine—because that’s what you do, right? They paid me $100, and it was the easiest money I’d ever made. It hasn’t ever been that easy since, but it inspired me to go to college for journalism and attend writing conferences.
Neat. I can’t say, in all the authors I’ve interviewed, that anyone has had a parent writing about them in a magazine 🙂
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
4th grade when we wrote tall tales as a school assignment. I wrote about a dog who stopped a bank robbery. (I told you I’ve always loved heists.) In the carpool on the way home, the other kids wanted to hear my story. They laughed so hard that I pretended I’d lost the assignment and had to write another tall tale to read to them on the ride home the next day. Making people laugh has become one of my favorite parts of writing.
That’s cool. My work doesn’t tend to be humorous (except a phrase or line here and there), but in real life I’m your favorite jokester. Same reason–I like to make people laugh.
Now, as much as we love writing, there’s got to be something you don’t love as much…what part of the writing process do you dread?
Writer’s block. I hate spending a whole day (or days) just thinking things over when I should be getting words on the page. But I do believe that my writing is better for it.
Ugh! That is the worst!
On that note…do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?
This may sound contradictory, but you have to be both confident in your abilities and open to feedback at the same time. It’s the insecurity that makes people feel like they have to prove themselves and so they shut down or argue against feedback when it’s not what they’d hoped to hear. But if you’re pursuing excellence rather than recognition, you should welcome the suggestions that can help you make your story better.
Great advice! I agree that extra eyes and thoughts make your story stronger.
What are you currently reading?
I just downloaded Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan. The last books I read were On Magnolia Lane by Denise Hunter and Vigilant by Sara Davison, which was spectacular.
A couple more for my TBR (to be read) pile! I tend to read mostly in my genre, but it’s good to read a variety of things, I think. There are so many gifted writers I can glean from.
I typically “set the stage” for my writing sessions…music is a big part of that. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?
I like quiet while I write, but whenever I’m not writing, I’m listening to the radio for songs that I would play as a soundtrack if my book were a movie. Then I listen to them over and over and whenever I hear them down the road I think back to the book scene and what it meant to me. Most recently, I’ve been listening to Beloved by Tenth Avenue North. Sooo good.
I like that…a soundtrack for your book. My playlists that I make for my writing sessions usually reflect the music that would be in the soundtrack I suppose.
Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?
We just bought a sofa with a recliner that has an armrest next to it that works perfectly for my computer mouse. So though I have an office I could write off if I used it, this is my spot. And I like to get started as soon as everyone leaves the house in the morning, though that doesn’t always happen.
I get that. I don’t use my office nearly as much as I’d like 🙂
I get this question a lot myself, so I thought I’d ask it for the sake of my readers–how long does it take you to write a book?
Three months at a comfortable pace, though I did write a middle grade novel in a week once. I have to warn my family when I’m on book deadline like that because I won’t make sense when I talk. They find it very entertaining when I tell them to let the horses in (though I mean the dogs) or when I randomly mention that I was adopted (even though I wasn’t.) When they point out what I just said, we laugh until we cry. It’s pretty entertaining.
LOL! Ah, the life of a writer…
Can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb?
As research, I had my writing group stuff me in a trunk. I was able to escape, though afterwards, I realized my hand was bleeding. Not sure how that happened.
Oh no! That’s fun though–an interesting way to get in a character’s headspace.
Before I let you go, I have to ask–do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
I’m finishing up book three, A Latte Difficulty. This one has Marissa witnessing a crime and hiding out in a safehouse. If you know Marissa’s clumsiness as well as her controlling ways, you know this is just another recipe for crazy.
Love this! Thanks again, Angela, for being on my blog today and sharing about your book and your process. My readers love to glimpse into the “heads” of different writers and get a peek at how they operate. So, thank you.
But now, it’s time to get to the book…
A Cuppa Trouble
Can a couple of baristas chase down a car thief without spilling a drop of their favorite drink?
Plans for a Valentine’s Day grand opening of a small town coffee shop go awry when the first customer is killed. Evidence points toward the victim being mixed up in a car theft ring, but shop owners Tandy and Marissa have reason to believe he was framed. An assortment of suspects–from a pink-haired heir to Tandy’s charming ex–all seem to know a little too much about grand theft auto.
Without approval from either their boyfriends or the gum-chewing FBI agent in charge, the shop owners go on stakeouts, plan stings, and pursue justice in a high-speed car chase. If they don’t find the killer soon, it might be more than their love lives in trouble.
Enjoy an Excerpt
“You kidnapped my business partner.”
Vic crossed his arms. “You do business with car thieves?”
“What? No. She sells tea. As bad as that may be, it’s hardly criminal.”
Metal smashed, glass cracked, and a taillight burst from the corner of Vic’s vehicle. An ugly brown boot took its place.
“Tandy?” The muffled voice sounded like Marissa’s, but that couldn’t be her foot in the ugly brown boot.
“Oh fantastic.” Vic pointed the direction of the mess. “I caught her trying to steal a Jeep, and I made a citizen’s arrest to help the police. I didn’t realize she’d damage my car.”
What had Vic expected? He certainly couldn’t expect Tandy to believe his excuse. “She owns a Jeep. Maybe she got locked out and had to break in.” Tandy raised her voice so Marissa could hear. “Marissa, did you lock your keys in the Jeep again?”
The boot disappeared, and part of Marissa’s face filled the hole. “No!” Her response came with enough force that Tandy was a little scared of releasing her from the trunk.
Tandy shook her head at Vic. “There has to be a logical explanation for why she was breaking into a Jeep. You should have at least asked her what was going on rather than resort to kidnapping. That’s not how you make a citizen’s arrest.”
“Police lock criminals in the back of their cars. I was doing the same.” Vic lifted a shoulder, as if no responsibility rested there. “As soon as I let her out, you’ll see that she wasn’t using a coat hanger to get into her own vehicle. She has what’s known as a Relay Attack Unit designed to unlock cars without a key. Only a car thief would own such a thing.”
Now he was overtly lying. And Tandy would be able to prove it. Good thing he’d broken up with her last year. Otherwise she’d be dating a liar.
Sheriff Griffin sauntered from the police department. “What’s going on here, Tandy?”
Marissa banged against the inside of the trunk in response. “Griffin, get me out of here!”
Griffin’s hand rose to his holster.
Vic sidestepped farther behind his car as if he might need to duck from bullets.
Griffin pointed with his free hand at Marissa’s face in the hole. “Is someone in your trunk, sir?”
“It’s me. Marissa.”
Griffin’s eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Let her out right now.”
More About the Author
Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there’s nothing else she’d rather write about. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been optioned for film, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon best-sellers. She also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at WRITE THAT BOOK.
Connect with Angela and Her Books
Find out more or join her newsletter at www.angelaruthstrong.com
Angela is offering to one (1) winner, chosen by Rafflecopter, an ebook copy of A Cuppa Trouble.
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