Thursday, December 22, 2011

Three Thoughtful Authors

eBooks for Soldiers
Authors: Amy Barkman, Debbie Roome, Tracy Ruckman

Tracy Ruckman
Book TitleBoard to Death: A Trio of Mysteries in the Dangerous Games Series

Where do you live? Southern United States / Georgia

Do you have a family member or close friend who has served in the military?
Yes, several. My grandfather and four of his siblings (boys and girls) served during WWII. Father-in-law served in the years following, and my brother-in-law served in Vietnam. Right now, several cousins and friends are serving in a variety of places.

What leads up to this excerpt from your book?
In this section, my main character has just realized that the chef she’d been dating could be the murderer.

Please share with us a paragraph/excerpt or two from your book
Debbie Roome
She was such a fool. But now it all made sense. His knife with Camillia’s fingerprints, her shirt with the bloodstains, and then, cleverly disguising Dennis’s death as an accident. He even practically told her he’d been at the gazebo just before Chip found Dennis. How could I be so dense? Even the stainless steel pot was a giveaway – Dennis didn't own any nice cookware. I had dinner with a murderer. A double murderer. And had a good time. How could I?

Gretchen sobbed into the pillow. When she left Melvin’s campsite, she didn’t want anyone to find her, so she picked up Half-Pint and some clothes, then went to Peg’s and locked herself in for a good cry.

This next excerpt is a couple of hours later:
Amy Barkman
She woke up cold. Just as she reached for the throw across the top of the sofa, she heard the tinkle of breaking glass and instantly, she was wide-awake. The sound came from the direction of the utility room. Gretchen grabbed her cell phone off the coffee table and dialed the sheriff’s cell phone, which she’d programmed in after Felton’s murder. It went to voice mail. She whispered into the phone, “It’s Gretchen. I’m at Peg’s cabin. Someone’s breaking in. Help me!” She hung up, and listened for more noise, not sure what she should do. She hit redial but when she heard the laundry room door squeak open, she dropped it in her pocket and ran for the front door – she could get outside.

She fought the locks – they were so good at keeping her safe inside that they wouldn’t let her out now. Finally, throwing back the last deadbolt, she pulled open the door, only to find the screen door locked too. She jiggled the handle, trying to force it open.

“Hold it.”

Board to Death
Can you tell us something unique that you experienced while writing this book? 
Our book consists of three mystery stories that we wrote around a theme of board games. Amy, Debbie, and I brainstormed a little – but not nearly as much as we should have before we wrote our stories. When they were done, we discovered that my story Sentenced, the third one, was too much like Debbie’s Mind Games. Since hers was second, and tied in so well to Amy’s Victim, we knew I needed to rewrite mine. But I discovered that just by changing a few small details, I totally changed my story so that it was vastly different from Debbie’s.

Greatest words of encouragement anyone has ever personally spoken to you:
Encouragement seems to come on days I need it most. A reader will brag on our books, or someone will send me a thank you note for some small kindness, or my husband will make me a pan of brownies. It’s the little things that keep me going. A friend once suggested I start an “encouragement” file (she called it some beautiful name, but it was foreign and I knew I wouldn't remember it, so I just dubbed mine Encouragement.) I file all kinds of correspondence there as it touches me, and when I’m having a down day, I go in and read some of them to help me.

I also read the Bible for encouragement. Reading the words of Jesus, David, or Paul always lifts my spirits.


  1. Thanks so much for hosting us today! And thanks for supporting our troops!

    And now, I seem to be craving jelly beans...

  2. LOL Sorry for the Jelly bean craving, but delighted to have you here!