Win a $50 Amazon/BN GC - VBT: The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis

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Joan has stopped by to visit for a bit. Joan, I love books--what is the first book you remember making an indelible impression on you?

I don’t remember the name of the book but it was similar to Old Yeller. I read it as a young pre-teen on our back porch and cried all the way through it. OMG, I just remembered the name of the book: The Haunted Hound.

Do you have a crush on anyone? Roger Federer because he’s the most graceful tennis player of all time. I saw him play once at the US Open. We were sitting within spitting distance from him. I was in heaven (and, of course, he won).

What is your least favorite word?

Can’t. When people get negative, I get cold chills. My sixth grade teacher wrote on the blackboard: “Success comes in cans. Failure comes in can’ts.” I’ve never forgotten that.

What is your favorite Joke?

A man and a woman live in the same town. He decides he will never marry because he has a problem—he has very smelly feet. The woman decides she’ll never marry because she has a problem—very bad breath. The two meet and fall instantly in love. On the wedding night the man puts his socks and shoes far, far from the bedroom. The woman spends hours in the bathroom gargling. Finally they meet in bed. She turns to him and says, “I have a confession.” He responds, “I know what it is.” She says, “You do?” “Yes,” he says. “You ate my socks.”

What do you do to relax?

I read on my screened porch with a cat on my lap and a latte nearby.

What are your future ambitions?

I want to spend much more time in Italy, particularly in Umbria where I’d love to spend months, reading and writing.

If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?

Pasta with pancetta, tomatoes and onions, a crispy salad with balsamic dressing, crusty bread dipped in olive oil and Tiramisu for dessert.

Are you a romantic?

I might describe myself as more practical. When I’m home, I’m busy doing all the practical things that need doing to keep a household running. My husband, on the other hand, is the romantic. He tries to pull me out and whirl me around in his romantic world.

What song would you choose for Karaoke?

Probably a Johnny Cash song because he has a low voice.

Which Star Trek or Star Wars character are you most like?

Captain Kirk because he’s sensitive. He cares about people but he’s also a great leaders.

Who would you most like to be stranding on a desert island with? Least? Why?

Most with my husband because I can’t think of anyone else who could get along with me and not kill me in such a situation. I would least like to be with one of my friends who is a total neurotic. She’d drive me nuts and I’d probably have to kill her! Murder is always on my mind…

If you could only eat one food the rest of your life, what would it be?

Bread but I’d have to dip it in some flavorful olive oil.

If you were a shifter, what animal would you like to be?

A feral cat (maybe one who would wander up to my house). I’ve rescued a number of ferals—gotten them neutered or sprayed. Only two eventually let me touch them and they became great cats. The others stayed wary of me but ate my food.

Favorite season? Why?

Fall because it’s my birthday and my mom’s birthday and my husband’s birthday and I love the beauty of the fall colors and the crisp clean air.

Best movie ever made?

Hard to pick one. I saw Kings Speech three times. I loved the way Colin Firth played the role. Amazing. And, another that I liked very much was Art because it had no sound and was in black and white but was a very moving film. I saw that one twice.

The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.

If you found out you had only 3 months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page.

Hiding behind the façade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone.

Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Daddy, when I get my kitty, can I name him Davy?” she had asked, yanking Marlene’s Davy Crockett mug full of M&M’s from her grasp.

The colorful candy spilled all over the backseat of the car.

“Mama, tell Janie to—”

“Janie, behave,” Daddy said, admonishing her for an instant with his eyes from the rearview mirror.

“Malcolm, look out—!” Mom screamed.

Janie slammed into Marlene. Pain. The world tumbled topsy-turvy. The mug flew across the interior of the car, colors of the rainbow falling all around her.

Then, everything went black.

When she opened her eyes, Mom’s blood-streaked face rose in front of her out of the darkness.

“Wrap your arms around my neck, honey.” Mom lifted her from the wreckage.

Janie clutched her doll by the dress while the rain beat her curly hair flat.

Marlene stood on the side of the road.

“Try to walk,” Mom said, toppling her from her arms.

Her head pounded and blood trickled down her leg. She leaned on her good leg and limped in the direction of her sister.

“Mama, where’s Daddy?” Marlene asked between sobs.

Mom took Marlene’s hand and yanked her forward with Janie in tow.

Marlene lurched back toward the smashed Oldsmobile with smoke billowing from its hood and a big tree lying across the roof. The Davy Crockett mug lay shattered by the back tire.

“Daddy! We can’t leave Daddy!” Marlene yelled, picking up pieces of the broken glass.

They had left Daddy that day and piled into an old Chevy pick-up truck with a bashed in headlamp, belonging to a man with carrot-red hair. Mom pushed them inside the truck and ordered the man to get help. But by then it was too late for Daddy.

It was too late for all of them.

About the Author:
Joan Curtis authored four business books published by Praeger Press. She is also published numerous stories, including:

• Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar, Sea Oats Review, Winter, 2004
• A Memoir Of A Friend, Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul, 2003 and Flint River Review, 1996
• Jacque’s Story in From Eulogy to Joy, 2002
• The Roommate, Whispering Willow Mystery Magazine, April 1997
• A Special Sort of Stubbornness, Reader’s Digest, March 1997
• My Father’s Final Gift, Reader Digest, November 1994

Her first place writing awards include : Best mystery manuscript in the Malice Domestic Grants competition, best proposal for a nonfiction piece in the Harriette Austin competition, and best story, Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar in the Cassell Network of Freelance Writer’s Association.

Other Books:

Hire Smart and Keep ‘Em: How to Interview Strategically Using POINT, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA 2012.

The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, Praeger Press, 2010, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA

Managing Sticky Situations at Work: Communication Secrets for Success in the Workplace, 2009, Praeger Press, an imprint of ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara, CA.

Strategic Interviewing: Skills for Savvy Executives, 2000 published by Quorum Books, Greenwood Press.

“I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from a woman’s point of view. Characters drive my writing and my reading.”

Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner. She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.

Website ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ MuseItUp Publishing Author’s page

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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  1. Thank you for hosting my VBT today. I'm happy to answer any questions that come up.

  2. I like the cover and excerpt. ;)

  3. I enjoyed reading the questions that were asked of the author!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  4. I also enjoyed the book excerpt. It looks like a winner.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  5. Fun questions and answers. :-)

  6. Enjoyed the except/synopsis, it sounds like a good one. 😊👍


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