Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Author Feature Friday Jim Cangany

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When ordinary guy, E.J. McCarty, crosses paths with not-so-ordinary Annie Wilson, extraordinary things happen. For E.J., it’s the start of a great adventure. For Annie, it’s an escape from colossal failure. But thanks to fate--and Amtrak--they’re thrust together on the cross-country ride of their lives.
E.J. and Annie like each other, so what’s the problem? Rock star/actress Cassandra Lawrence is the problem. Despite their obvious attraction to each other, Cassandra’s history in show biz and distrustful nature conspire to keep them apart.
Can E.J. break down the walls Cassandra has built around Annie? Can Annie learn to trust E.J. enough to let him even try? And what’s with E.J.’s bizarre dreams about the North Star? From Chicago, through the heartland and all the way to the Malibu Pier, they struggle to accept that while faith, hope and love are important, trust is the key to the future.
 4 stars of sweet romance. Reading a romance book is always a treat but reading a book from a man writing it is even better. Cangany wrote a beautiful and amazing love story. E.J and Annie like each other and seem perfect for each other but just like any relationship things or people get in the way. This story has everything you need in a romance and some. Jim writes about these characters and develops them perfectly that you cant help but fall in love with them. This book is an amazing debut novel thanks to Jim Cangany for introducing us to his world of romance can't wait to read more;)
 Excerpt from Fallen Star:
"And here we are," Annie said as she dropped her purse in a window seat. Our seats were in business class, about two-thirds of the way down the train car on the right. She pointed above us to the baggage storage area. "Would you mind?"
"Not at all, least I can do." I lifted her luggage over my head and placed it in the storage compartment. I gave the train car a once over, taking it all in, and okay I admit it, stalling. For some reason, it seemed that sitting down next to Annie was going to create some kind of commitment or bond or I don't know what, between us. Or maybe I was just chicken. Here I was, a grown man and I was scared to sit down next to a pretty girl. How weak was that?
Fortunately, Annie came to my rescue.
"Here, come join me." She patted the empty seat cushion next to her.
I may be chicken, but I'm not stupid. When a pretty girl asks you to sit next to her, you do it. I sat down and dropped my backpack between my legs. Looking around, I continued to study our train car and the other passengers that were finding their seats. The car seemed like a cross between a charter bus that you might take on a big group trip and an airplane, with an aisle down the middle and two roomy seats on one side, a single seat on the other. The windows were large to provide for great views once we got out of the station.
"Not bad. This business class is nice. I've never taken a train before, so this is all new to me."
"Really." Sarcasm dripped off each letter of the word. "The way your head won't stop turning this way and that, it's a wonder you haven't gotten motion sick or something."
"And I take it you're an experienced train traveler?"
She nodded. "I've done train travel from time to time. It can be a nice alternative to flying or driving."
The train lurched forward and we began our trip to St. Louis. "Wow, good to know I'm in such experienced hands. So where are you headed?"
Annie looked out the window. "Home."
The way she said that single word, so wistfully, almost sorrowfully, told me I shouldn't intrude, but I couldn't help myself. She’d told me that she lived on the West Coast, but that was an awfully big area. "And where might that be?"
She started playing with a lock of hair by her ear. "Southern California, L.A. area."
"Nice. So what do you do there?"
"Oh, I run my own business. It's similar to a consulting thing."
She sounded tired, as if whatever she did, she didn't truly enjoy it. I was going to ask her more, but she leaned her seat back and closed her eyes.
"Please don't take offense, E.J., but I'm kind of tired. I think I'm going to try to catch a little nap. Do me a favor. If I'm still asleep, wake me before we get to Bloomington please. I'd like to… Oh, you'll do that for me, yes?"
"No problem." I reached down, unzipped by backpack, and pulled out a red sweatshirt emblazoned with the yellow and blue logo of Cycles Forever, the bike shop back in Indy where I'd gotten my start. "Here, use this for a pillow."
She stuck out her hand, took it without opening her eyes and placed her under her head. "Thanks." She turned toward the window. "You're a nice guy. Wish more people were like you."

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Kaitlin didn't want to go to the Christmas Parade. Michael didn't, either. But when their chance meeting along the parade route is brought to an abrupt and all-too-soon end, an angel steps in to bring them back together.
Kaitlin's beloved heirloom angel pin, to be more exact. Michael finds it on the ground after Kaitlin's gone. With only a name to go on, can he track her down to return the pin before the night ends, as he feels he must? Once she realizes it's gone, is there any chance she'll ever see it again? The only hope they have of finding each other and returning the pin to where it belongs rests with divine intervention and the absolute determination that only comes from true love. 

Author Bio
A lifelong resident of the State of Indiana, Jim Cangany is proud to call himself a Hoosier. The youngest of eight children, he grew up in a household full of books and people. Thanks to the influence of his older siblings, Jim gravitated toward fantasy and sci-fi when looking for something to read. He wrote his first story at age fourteen. A school project, The Magic Coin was a fantasy that involved a king, some bad guys, and, not surprisingly, a magical token.
These days, Jim writes romance on the sweet end. If you ask him what is a guy like him is doing writing romance, he'll shrug and simply say, "Those are the stories in my head." A believer that the world has enough doom and gloom, he likes stories with a happy ending, regardless of genre. He lives in Indianapolis with his wonderful wife Nancy and his two sons, Seamus and Aidan.

Author Interview

1.     Where are you from? I'm from Indianapolis, Indiana, the Crossroads of America.

2.     Can you tell us a little about your family? I've been married to my wonderful wife Nancy for over twenty-two years. We have two sons; Seamus, who's seventeen, and Aidan, who's twelve. Given that Nancy lives in a household of guys, she's very tolerant on top of being wonderful!

3.     Do you have to travel over the Holidays? Not a lot. We're fortunate that Nancy's family lives about an hour away and my family is even closer than that. Our home is big enough that we do a lot of hosting, so there's more cleaning for us than traveling.

4.     When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do with your time? I'm a huge fan of professional bicycle racing, so that keeps me busy during the warm weather months. I also love college basketball, and root especially hard for Butler University during the winter.

5.     When and why did you begin writing? I wrote the earliest versions of what became Fallen Star way back in the '80s, when I was in college. Over the years, I tried writing off and on, but was never able to get very far on any project. It wasn't until 2011 that I finally got serious and made a true commitment to writing. Why 2011? The best way I can describe it is 2011 was when my characters started knocking on the inside of my head to be let out so loudly, I couldn't ignore them anymore.

6.     What inspired you to write your first book? My wife. More specifically, her bout with breast cancer in 2009. Nancy's fully covered, thankfully, but that was a scary time for the both of us. In going through her treatment, we realized just how precious life truly is and embraced the idea of living a life without regrets. One of the things I'd always wanted to do was write, so when the characters came knocking, I answered. Nancy and I have joked that the North Star Trilogy is my 250,000 word love letter to her.

7.     Do you have a specific writing style? Kind of. When I get an idea, I work out a one to two page outline that gets me from start to end in very general terms. Once I have that finished, I start writing the story and just go. The outline keeps me from veering too far off course, but gives me the freedom to let the story surprise me. Using an early scene from Fallen Star for example, I knew Annie and E.J. would meet in the food court at Chicago's Union Station. I didn't know exactly how they would meet or what would happen next until I actually typed it out. I find its great fun that way, being surprised by my stories.

8.     What are you reading right now? Pursuing the Times by Lauren Baratz-Logsted. It's a funny contemporary spin on Pride & Prejudice. Reading romance is good "homework" for me, and Lauren's contemporary romances are a hoot.

9.     Who are some of your favorite authors? I'm a huge fan of Terry Pratchett, the British satirist. His Discworld novels are brilliant. Alex Bledsoe's work is great, too. I love his Tufa novels and his Firefly Witch stories.   

10.  Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version? Only one comes to mind, the original Planet of the Apes film starring Charlton Heston. Pierre Boulle's novel was fabulous and I truly loved the twist at the end, but I could watch the movie again and again. As for the ending, when the portion of the Statue of Liberty washes ashore, I think it's one of the greatest final scenes in Hollywood history.

11.  Do you prefer ebooks or paperbacks? Since my books are electronically published, I feel I should say ebook with emphasis. The truth of the matter is I like both. Since my sons don't have ereaders yet, I enjoy being able to share hard copy books with them. Thus we have a shelf full of Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling! For the stuff I like to read, I'm perfectly happy with my ereader.

12.  Where’s your favorite place to write? We have a spare bedroom at home that's been converted into an "office." It's where my desk and reference materials are located. I probably do ninety percent of my writing there. It's also where we have three bookshelves full of books, so I always have plenty of motivation.

13.  What music are you listening to at the moment? I'm listening to Sara Bareilles' The Blessed Unrest pretty much non-stop these days. God, what an album. She's completely deserving of her Grammy nomination.

14.  What is something you hate doing? Why? Even at age 48, I'm not the best at eating my vegetables, but I'm getting getter. Seriously, I absolutely despise dusting. I'll do anything else around the house--vacuuming, laundry, dishes--you name it. Nancy and I joke that my solution to dusting is to just pile things on top of my desk so the dust never reaches reach it.

15.  Where does the inspiration for your characters come from? I like to put opposites together. Rather than a specific person as an inspiration, I tend to think of my characters, at least initially, as types, so using Fallen Star as an example again, E.J. is this very friendly, open-book type of person, while Annie is very reserved, almost secretive.

16.  What are your quirky habits? If you asked Nancy, the list would probably be too long to print! I'm left-handed, but I shoot pool right handed, which is kind of strange. Probably the thing I'm most obsessive about my insistence on using a pen until the ink is completely gone. It drives me nuts if someone borrows a pen I've been using. I don't know why it bugs me, it just does.

17.  Any advice for other authors? Write what you feel passionate about. If you can feel it in your heart, then that passion will come across in your words.

18.  Is there anything you want to tell your readers? Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving a guy who writes romance a chance. I realize that male authors can be a turn off for some fans of romance, and I truly appreciate those who are willing to look past that and give my stories a read.

19.  When can we expect Book #2 of the North Star Trilogy? I'm glad you asked. Lucky Star will be out on February 14, 2014. Rather fitting for a romance, I'd like to think. The tag line for the book is "An unlikely love. An unseen enemy. A lesson in faith." I have the cover, but I'm keeping it under wraps until I get closer to publication.

20.  Can you tell us a little bit about what you are currently working on? Book #3 of the North Star Trilogy is in the hands of my editor, so I'm currently working on a project with completely new characters. It's set on a small college campus and involves a hero looking for redemption by coaching women's basketball and a heroine who doesn't trust him farther than she can throw him. I'm about 20,000 words in on my first draft, so it's going to be a while before I'll be shopping it.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for having me, Ladies. And more so for the kind words in your review, Raquel. You four are the best!