The Devil Can Wait by Marta Stephens


Join Marta Stephens, author of the crime mystery novel, The Devil Can Wait (BeWrite Books, Nov. '08), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in December on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

Editor's Note: Marta is the winner of a free virtual book tour sponsored by Pump Up Your Book Promotion. If you would like a chance to win a free book tour, leave a comment on our authors' blog stops and you could be the next winner! Winners are chosen at the end of every month!

About the author:

Marta Stephens is a native of Argentina who has made Indiana her home since the age of four. This mild-manner lady turned to crime with the publication of the first in her Sam Harper Crime Mystery series, SILENCED CRY (2007) which went on to receive honorable mention at the 2008 New York Book Festival and top ten in the 2007 Preditors & Editors Reader Poll. The second book in the Harper series, THE DEVIL CAN WAIT, will be released by BeWrite Books (UK) on November 3, 2008.

Stephens holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations from Ball State University (IN) where she is employed in human resources. She is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime Speed City Indiana Chapter, and the Midwest Writer's Workshop.

Stephens believes learning is a life-long adventure. Aside from her writing, she is trained in graphic and web design. She co-designed the award-winning book cover of her debut novel, SILENCED CRY with friend Scott Parkison (IN), created the book trailer, and designed/administers her website, http://www.martastephens-author.com/, her personal blog, http://mstephens-musings.blogspot.com/, and the authors’ blog, MURDER BY 4 http://murderby4.blogspot.com/.

Stephens lives with her husband, daughter (22), and son (20). She enjoys oil paintings, gardening, the family’s pet Boston Bulls and mini Daschunds, and shared moments with family and friends.

About the book:

The city of Chandler, Massachusetts is plunged into terror when the bodies of three local teenagers wash ashore. While homicide detective Sam Harper hunts down the guilty, a sinister plot emerges overseas. From the Vatican to the jungles of South America, a cursed black pearl ring, the demonic prophecy it represents, and the men who pursue its powers find their unfortunate way onto Harper's turf.

Enthralled by the ring's story and a front-page spread, newspaper reporter Jennifer Blake agrees to pick up the ring at a local pawnshop for her former college professor. When she does, unforeseen events shoot Blake to the top of Harper's prime suspect list. Soon, the seemingly unrelated cases converge and the heat is on for Harper to expose the truth behind a Vatican secret and stop the self-righteous man who does the unthinkable in the name of God.

Review:

Marta Stephens knows how to feed the reader the clues and we’re given the opportunity to sit with the detectives as they hash over the cases. I recommend this series to any reader and am convinced it would interest anyone wanting to broaden their reading pleasure.Reviewed by Lucille P Robinson for Alternative Read

The Interview:

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

"The Devil Can Wait" is the second book in the Sam Harper Crime Mysteries. It’s a story about greed and superstitions and the consequences for allowing those things to take control. The story begins with the third body of a murdered youth that washed to shore. Sam Harper and his partner Dave Mann have little to go on but suspect a serial killer and know they must find him before he kills again. In the meantime, another sinister plot emerges overseas. In the jungles of South America, a cursed black pearl ring, the demonic prophecy it represents, and the men who pursue its powers collide and eventually find their unfortunate way onto Harper's turf.
Enthralled by the ring's story and a front-page spread, newspaper reporter Jennifer Blake agrees to pick up the ring at a local pawnshop for her former college professor. When she does, unforeseen events shoot Blake to the top of Harper's prime suspect list. Soon, the seemingly unrelated cases converge and the heat is on for Harper to expose the truth behind a Vatican secret and stop the self-righteous man who does the unthinkable in the name of God.

Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?

The story behind the story is true. It involved a quarrel and a cursed black pearl ring that nearly killed the object of a jilted young man’s affection. Filled with resentment, he begged her to take the ring as a parting gesture. Within days of accepting his gift, the young woman fell victim to a number of life-threatening accidents that came in quick succession. She survived each incident, but evil remained a constant threat to her life. It was only after she destroyed the black pearl ring that all appeared to return to normal.

Such was the spark behind "The Devil Can Wait"; fiction with a taste of the unexplained. I was an impressionable eight-year-old, unable to distinguish fact from fiction, yet that event seared itself into my mind.

I was always intrigued by this event and the challenge to turn it into a suspense novel was just too irresistible to ignore.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My success as a writer is the direct result of the constant support and encouragement I receive from my husband, Rick, daughter, Jessica (22) and son, Tracy (20). My husband is the first person I go to when I hit a brick wall in a scene. He’s an avid reader and always has the perfect solution. I love that my children have read the books, are interested in my characters, and are a part of what I’m doing.

Your biggest critic?

I am. No one has to push me to write or edit my work. I’m always looking for a way to improve my writing.

In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills?

Writing to me is a layering process. When I wrote "Silenced Cry," the first book in the series, I was trying to find my voice in addition to learning the many things that writers need to know about fiction. With this second book, I sense that my writing has matured. Everything I’ve learned over the years is now engraved in my mind – I don’t have to think about the basics and thus, I can concentrate on what I need to do to improve my writing.

What are you currently working on?

I’ve been working on the third book in the series, "Grave Witness" (working title) for several months. I hope to have it completed in 2009 for a possible release shortly after.

Do you have any advice for writers or readers?

Novels don’t materialize overnight. It takes time—often years of dedication, research, and a massive amount of hard work to turn that "great idea" into a polished page-turning story. Never stop learning, listen to the advice of those whose work you respect, but always remember to be true to yourself.

Biggest weakness?

I tend to get easily distracted. I try to organize my time as much as possible so I’ll have set blocks of time to dedicate to my writing.

What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?

My writing has been described as tight and crisp and my characters genuine. I think what draws the reader to my books though are the complex plots and the unexpected twists they create. One of the consistent comments I’ve received from readers and reviewers alike is that they enjoyed solving the case along with Harper. I’ve found that one of the most difficult yet enjoyable parts about writing suspense is being able to present clues without the reader realizing it, and not revealing the guilty until the last possible moment for a "wow" ending.

Are you a different person now than you were 5 years ago?

On a personal level, I haven’t changed. I still work full time, care for my family and home and continue to do all the things I’ve always done. However, writing has opened doors I never thought would be available to me and yet it’s no different than anything else in life. The more you do something, the better your skill and the greater your self-confidence.

Is there anything you regret doing/not doing?

Not at all. I believe that everything, good or bad, happens for a reason. There have been times when I’ve wondered why I didn’t start writing at a younger age. The obvious answer to me is that I wasn’t ready, interested, dedicated or all of the above. However, everything I’ve done in the past has led me here. It’s a matter of staying positive and taking in the lessons that each experience has to offer.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I want to thank you and your readers for the opportunity to share my journey with you and to encourage aspiring authors to walk the extra mile and to continue to challenge themselves

WIN PRIZES!

THE DEVIL CAN WAIT VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on December 1 and end on December 23. You can visit Marta's blog stops at http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in December to find out where she is appearing!As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner(s) will be announced at the end of every month!




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3 comments:

Cheryl said...

This is an excellent book. I highly recommend it. You can read my review at http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/2008/12/devil-can-wait-by-marta-stephens-book.html

Cheryl

Cheryl said...

Loved, loved, loved this book. You can read my review here: http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/2008/12/devil-can-wait-by-marta-stephens-book.html

Great interview ladies. I like hearing about the true story that inspired the book.

Keep working on that third novel, Marta. I'm impatiently waiting for it.

Cheryl

comic books said...

great post; i'm now interested in this book.