Carla Interviews Suzanne Stengl about The Ghost and Christie McFee

Hello everyone. I’m Carla Roma and I’m here with Suzanne Stengl, the author of THE GHOST AND CHRISTIE McFEE. I found Suzanne in the little village of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the island of San Cristóbal in the Galapagos Islands. Or as they say here, Las Islas Galápagos.

We’re enjoying some ice tea in an open air restaurant beside the ocean and watching the sea lions lazing on the beach.

Carla: I’m glad to finally meet you, Suzanne. Do have time for a few questions about your upcoming release?

Suzanne: (pouring a pitcher of water over her head…) I have all the time in the world.

Carla: It’s really hot here, isn’t it?

Suzanne: It sure is. Forty-five degrees Celsius. In the shade.

Carla: Whoa. (fanning herself) What’s that in Fahrenheit?

Suzanne: You don’t want to know.

Carla: I understand you have some pretty authentic details about scuba diving in your book?

Suzanne: Yes, authentic. I’ve experienced every one of them.

Carla: I’m beginning to understand how hot it would be wearing a 7 mil neoprene wet suit in this heat. Do you really need a wet suit? The water doesn’t look that cold.

Suzanne: The water temperature here ranges from 64 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit at the surface, depending on the season. Of course it gets colder as you go deeper. So you need a wet suit.

Carla: If it’s as low as 64 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s similar to the temperature of Lost Lake, isn’t that right?

Suzanne: Yes, it’s similar. And in both places, in a wet suit, the temperature is perfect – once you’re underwater. It’s beautiful. (She looks out at the ocean.) There’s a wreck right here, in the harbor.

Carla: A wreck?

Suzanne: A sunken ship. It makes an artificial reef. A place for algae to grow and invertebrates like barnacles and corals and oysters. They provide food for the smaller fish, and then the smaller fish in turn provide food for the larger fish.

Carla: (fanning herself) I don’t know how the tourists can stand wearing a wet suit until they get in the water.

Suzanne: Most tourists live aboard boats and dive from them. Their sleeping quarters are air conditioned. (She dumps another pitcher of water over her head.)

Carla: Do the staff care about you doing that?

Suzanne: No, they’re used to me.

(The waitress brings another pitcher of water, and another pitcher of ice tea, and sets them on the table.)

Suzanne: Muchas gracias.

Carla: OK, let’s talk about your book. The opening scene in GHOST has your heroine on a dive boat. And she’s seasick. Have you personally experienced that?

Suzanne: I sure have. We did an 8-day tour aboard the Yolita here, in the inner islands, with a group of 16 passengers and 5 crew. Every one of the passengers got sick on the first day. Including Rolf.

Carla: Rolf is your husband?

Suzanne: Yes he is. He’s a traveler.

Carla: You’re quite the traveler too, I must say.

Suzanne: No, I’m not. I’m a tourist. There’s a difference.

Carla: Then, you’re quite the tourist.

Suzanne: I’m the tourist from hell. (She dumps more water over her head.) I should have known I’d get seasick, since I also get carsick, and bus sick, and avoid roller coasters. And like I said, everyone got sick for a day. But since I’m so good at being seasick, I did it for the full eight days.

Carla: That must have been horrible!

Suzanne: Parts of it. Parts of it were great. The food was excellent. Although it would have been even better if I hadn’t been so nauseous. And the passengers aboard the Yolita were incredible. Mostly young travelers, all interesting people. The sixteen of us would sit around the big table for meals. For the first few days, French was the default language and then we changed out a few passengers and the default language became English. We had Italian, Swiss, British, Swedes, one guy from California, and the French.

Every day we walked different trails on different islands and saw the endemic plants and animals. It was a mixed blessing, being on shore. No seasickness, but the heat was extreme. For me, anyway. Before I left the boat, I’d soak my shirt so I could be cool for a time. At the end of the hike, I’d walk into the ocean. I love my Tilley hat because I can dip it in the water and douse my head, when it isn’t possible to jump in completely.

Carla: When would it not be possible to jump in completely?

Suzanne: If it was a beach that the sea lions had claimed. They can be territorial.

Carla: (glances uneasily at the sea lion occupying the bench in front of her.)

Suzanne: I don’t know why they love those benches, but they do.

Carla: Okaaay . . . So, you slept aboard the boat? Weren’t you seasick while you were trying to sleep?

Suzanne: Yes. Some nights, when we were making a long open water crossing between islands, it was especially rough. Many of us would lie on the sundeck and watch the stars.

Carla: And that helped the seasickness?

Suzanne: Yes. The stars don’t move so they are a reference point. It’s like focusing on the horizon in the daylight. And it was fun, lying there with everyone. Kind of like a pajama party.

Carla: Hmmm. But with being so seasick, weren’t you afraid you’d be sick while you were diving? That couldn’t be good.

Suzanne: It’s a real leap of faith, for someone like me – a non-adventurous tourist – to sit in a zodiac fully loaded with dive tank, 7 mil neoprene and 13 pounds of weights. And feeling nauseous. If you throw up underwater, it’s important to keep the regulator in your mouth.

Carla: ewww.

Suzanne: Otherwise, you’ll drown. But I learned to deep breathe until we tipped over the side. And then all of a sudden, I was underwater and no longer rocking and I was out of the heat. My head was instantly clear and, for about 30 to 40 minutes, life was normal. At least, it was normal for my head and my stomach. The rest of the world was not normal.

Carla: Not normal?

Suzanne: No, it was amazing. Sea turtles, sea lions, penguins, sharks, rainbows of fish. And when we weren’t diving, we were snorkeling. Snorkeling with the little penguins is something I will remember forever.

Carla: Too bad you can’t forget about this heat. Can you pass me that water jug?

Suzanne: Sure. Help yourself.

Carla: (dumping water over her head) I’m glad it’s not this hot in Bandit Creek.

Suzanne: ¡Yo también!

Carla: Does your heroine Christie McFee get over her nausea and learn to love diving?

Suzanne: You’ve just read the first chapter so far, right?

Carla: Yes.

Suzanne: Then you’ll find out in chapter two. More ice tea?

Carla: Please!

THE GHOST AND CHRISTIE McFEE is available from Amazon and Smashwords on August 1, 2012.

You can connect with Suzanne at her Website, Facebook, and on Twitter.

‘Wedding Fever’ Released Today!

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Wedding Fever by Sheila Seabrook! Click here to buy a copy!

Bandit Creek’s star reporter is about to have her life turned upside down!

Liz Templeton lives a quiet life with her mother, her mother’s best friend, her boss, and–oh yeah–the ghost of her teenage daughter. When her ex-husband returns to town to hunt for the legendary Lost Lake treasure, she doesn’t count on the pair of matchmaking mothers who are planning her wedding or her daughter’s obsession with the man who might be her dad.

Liz has one chance to stop her family from driving her insane…and falling head over heels in love with her ex isn’t part of the plan.

Review for WEDDING FEVER

Sheila Seabrook’s WEDDING FEVER is a romantic tale involving sunken treasure, lost love, and a ghost that will capture your heart. Once this story has you in its grip, it won’t let go! ~ Julie Rowe, author of ICEBOUND.

Carla Interviews Sheila Seabrook about Wedding Fever

Hello. I’m Carla Roma and my latest interview is with Sheila Seabook, who I encountered while hiking up Sulphur Mountain in Banff, Alberta. The hike was a rigorous three hour climb, which—when we weren’t gasping for air—gave us lots of time to chat. At the top of the mountain, we ogled the breathtaking view, ate lunch in the mountaintop restaurant, and rode the gondola back to town. Right now, we’re in the Rimrock Resort Hotel main lounge, enjoying the view, the roaring fire, and a few glasses of the hotel’s specialty coffee. And I’m trying to get Sheila to tell me about her upcoming Bandit Creek book, WEDDING FEVER, which will be available July 15, 2012. Confidentially, it’s like I’ve asked her to strip naked in front of twelve million viewers.

Sheila: After our hike, my legs feel like rubber. How about yours, Carla?

Carla: <rubs thighs and calves, waves over waiter> We’re going to need another round or five to help us forget the pain.

Sheila: So tomorrow I’ll be nursing a sore head instead of a sore body?

Carla: <grins> Just go with it, honey. Forget I’m a journalist out to discover what deep, dark secrets you’re harboring.

Sheila: <channels innocence> I’m Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes, Carla. If you want deep dark secrets, check out the 30 Days of Secrets in Bandit Creek. Big secrets, huge secrets, superglue-your-mouth shut secrets.

Carla: Will I find your secrets there?

Sheila: I’m an open book.

Carla: Which brings us to the reason we’re here. WEDDING FEVER. Your upcoming Bandit Creek release. One of the first things I noticed about you is that you love to laugh. And you talk—a lotabout your family.

Sheila: Am I boring you yet?

Carla: Weelllllll…just kidding. <grins> I know you’re dying to tell me more about them, so what does your family have to do with your book?

Sheila: Family creeps into every one of my stories. I don’t plan it that way, but before I know it, these quirky family members show up and demand to be heard.

Carla: Is your family the inspiration for your characters?

Sheila: Sort of. The people in my family make me laugh, even when they’re driving me nuts. So I bring that aspect of family into my work.

Carla: Tell us about WEDDING FEVER.

Sheila: It started with BABY FEVER, my short story from the Bandit Creek Fool’s Gold Anthology. BABY FEVER is about a woman’s desire for a grandbaby and the story gave me the opportunity to introduce the heroine from WEDDING FEVER.

Carla: Finally we’re getting to the good stuff. Tell us about your heroine. Is there a hot hero, too?

Sheila: Liz Templeton is Bandit Creek’s star reporter and for almost sixteen years—ever since she divorced her husband—she’s been keeping a huge secret. In WEDDING FEVER, her ex-husband returns to town and he’s still a hunk. Her mom and ex-mother-in-law are planning a wedding that’s never going to happen, or so Liz swears. And Liz’s daughter…well, gosh, Carla, I guess I should shut up now. It’s kind of a secret.

Carla: Oh no you don’t, girlfriend. You can’t start, then stop like that. I promise, if you tell me the secret, I’ll superglue my own lips together. <yeah, right!>

Sheila: <leans forward, gestures Carla to meet her halfway> Liz’s daughter is a ghost. A teenage ghost with an attitude. Everyone who has read WEDDING FEVER has fallen in love with my little ghost.

Carla: <whispers back> Is this a paranormal story?

Sheila: No, it’s a humorous story about a family reunited. Although seriously, every time I read the ending, I cry. <glances at her watch and gets up> I have a date with my husband, so I really need to run.

Carla: <jumps to her feet> That’s it? You’re going to leave me hanging? Hey, I thought we were friends.

Sheila: We are, and that’s why you’re going to read my book and love it.

Carla: <plops back onto the chair, watches Sheila walk away, and motions the waiter over> I need another drink. This journalist crap isn’t as easy as it looks. Do yourself a favor, buddy. On July 15th, pick up WEDDING FEVER by Sheila Seabrook. You’re going to love it!

You can connect with Sheila at her Website, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

‘Silent Waters’ Released Today!

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Silent Waters by Trip Williams! Click for Kindle and Smashwords (other formats).

For Jake McCord, Bandit Creek comes with an expiration date. But when Jake starts to
find the bodies of women, whom the town folks have never seen before, that expiration
date may become a life sentence.

Read the excerpt.