Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Please welcome the AWESOME Alison Stone!

Today's a special day -  Alison Stone is joining me here on the blog to talk about her book that is releasing soon. We also share an agent - Jennifer Schober of Spencerhill Associates and a publisher, Samhain Publishing.

I hear we are also going to be sharing another publisher in the near future... pay attention, because you're going to be seeing her name a LOT. I'm really thrilled that Alison has chosen THIS moment and THIS blog to make a big announcement....

SHE HAS SOLD TO LOVE INSPIRED SUSPENSE! WOOOOO! Break out the party horns! Congratulations, Alison!

While she's putting the finishing touches on her first Harlequin title, she's sent a bit of info about herself and her new book that's coming up!
Here we go!

1.        If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I would love to live anywhere along the coast, preferably in the southern United States. My bliss is to sit out on a balcony with my laptop or a good book with the sound of waves crashing in the background. Ah...

2.        What’s your writing routine?

During the school year, I get up and see my four children off to three different schools—elementary, middle and high school. Then I usually take a two mile walk. I return to my desk ready to write. I find checking e-mail, Facebook and Twitter can really eat up my time, so I try to limit these activities. Some days are more successful than others! I work on and off until the kids get home from school. I often write or work on promotion for a few more hours after dinner.

During the summer, I feel most accomplished when I get up early and write for a few hours before we run off to the pool or other activities.

3.        How do you celebrate successes? Do you go out to dinner, treat yourself to shopping, etc?

It’s funny you asked this question. In my August release, Too Close to Home, the dedication reads (in part): To Scotty, Alex, Kelsey and Leah, my biggest supporters. Thank you for leaving encouraging notes on my desk, for asking me every day if I got all my words in, and for picking the best restaurant to celebrate a new contract.

They can’t wait until I sell my next book. I think they already have the restaurant picked out! J (And I just got some news from my agent today! A dinner out is in their future! Squee! Okay, back to the interview…)

4.        What was the first story you ever wrote?

When I first tried writing fiction, I targeted the children’s market. I have a lot of cutesy stories in my files that will never see the light of day. I remember one where a young boy bought his little brother a stroller with big wheels. I think I titled it, “Dune Buggy, Boom Buggy.” Yeah I know, Highlights Magazine didn’t recognize my genius either.

Once I populated my stories with adult characters and dead bodies, I found my voice. Too Close to Home is the revised version of one of my first completed romantic suspense novels. The main character is a manufacturing engineer and I drew on my experience working in the automotive industry. No one ever drowned in the chromate wash on my watch, but it made for good suspense in my fictional world.

5.        Which novel do you wish you'd written and why?

I wish I had written The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I was drawn into her portrayal of 1962 Jackson, Mississippi. I am a “Northerner” who went to college in Atlanta, GA. I arrived on campus in 1987. As an eighteen-year-old, I thought the civil rights movement, including the work of Martin Luther King Jr, had started so long ago, not the short two decades earlier. I used to love driving through the old neighborhoods and finding huge plantation houses. I remember traveling with my friend from Atlanta, GA to Greenwood, SC and seeing the old shacks where farm help used to live. The South is rich in history. I wish I had explored the history more when I lived there.  

BIO: Alison Stone graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech. After working in Corporate America for a number of years, she retired to raise her young family. Soon the writing bug bit. After years of conferences, critique groups and writing, Alison achieved her dream of becoming a published author. She claims it was easier to earn her engineering degree. Too Close to Home is her second novel. To learn more about Alison Stone please visit She’s also chatty on Twitter @Alison_Stone.

Thanks for hosting me Donna.  I’m thrilled to announce my second release, Too Close To Home, due out August 7th. Here is the blurb:

They say you can never go home. If you do, better watch your back.
Ten years ago, after her father’s gruesome death was ruled a suicide, Kathryn McNabb left her hometown, vowing never to return. And never to let anything—business or personal—break her heart.
Now an overachieving manufacturing engineer, she thrives on order, control and solitude. But an unexpected inheritance makes her the co-owner of the company her father founded, forcing her to face the ghosts of her past. Including Ben Nowak, childhood friend, secret crush, and son of the man who ruined her father.
Ben hadn’t planned on returning home either, but with his own father’s death it falls to him to continue the family legacy. When he learns Kathryn plans to sell the plant out from under him, his quest takes on new urgency—Midport Industries is the main source of jobs in town.
Butting heads strike sparks of attraction that entangle business and pleasure into a hopeless knot. And someone is watching. Someone with a darker reason to prevent the deal from going through. Someone desperate enough to kill…
Warning: Beware of the shadows, disgruntled employees, and childhood crushes all grown up.

Excerpt from Too Close to Home:

The Watcher stood silent at the edge of the property, taking a long drag on his cigarette. He blew out a slow, smoke-filled breath and flicked the butt into the night. He stomped the glowing ember with the steel toe of his work boot.

Nasty habit is going to kill me. One side of his mouth curved up. If he lived long enough.

He returned his attention to the brightly lit clapboard-covered house, watching, waiting, obsessing as he had done for the last ten minutes. As he had done for the last ten years. He hoped to catch a glimpse of the occupants—one in particular. He lingered longer than he had planned, comfortable in the knowledge no one could see him even if they had bothered to peer into the darkened backyard. And he fully expected they were far too busy with their joyous homecoming to bother.

A cool breeze whipped up from the northwest, rustling the few remaining leaves clinging to the branches above. A few leaves, their life cycle complete, floated to earth. He hated this time of year. Nothing good ever came from it. And from the looks of it, this autumn would be no exception.

She appeared in the kitchen window. The fine hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. He took a small backward step toward the tree line, the jagged weeds scraping against his jeans.

Did she see me?

A silent laugh whispered past his lips. Don’t be paranoid, man. Maybe she was doing the dishes. Or getting a drink of water. It didn’t matter. As long as she wasn’t watching him watch her.

Tears filled his eyes, catching him by surprise. She wore her auburn hair long now, and even from this distance she looked good. Healthy. A smile on her face.

His jaw trembled. “Silly fool,” he whispered to no one but the shadows.

Sadness morphed to anger. A deep-seated anger. Life wasn’t fair.

Why was she still living, breathing when—

He cut the thought off. He was a complete failure. Refusing to watch anymore, he lowered his head and stuffed his cold, wet hands into his thick winter coat, glad he had left the thin windbreaker at home. The night temperature had dropped as quickly as his mood. He tucked his chin into the coat’s collar as a shiver coiled up his spine.

He turned to walk away.

The Watcher had witnessed what he had dragged himself out of his cozy, warm house to see. Kathryn McNabb had returned to Midport, New York. Now he had to make sure she left. One way or another.

Failure was not an option.


  1. Thank you, Donna, for hosting me! Thanks for the awesome congratulations. What a fun way to announce a new sale. I am thrilled we'll now be sharing Samhain and Harlequin...and the fabulous Jenn Schober.:) So exciting.

  2. What a great excerpt, Allison. I enjoyed the interview. Do you find that many of your characters reflect your background in the automotive industries? I think that's intriguing and I wondered if you have been able to use it in several angles.

    Congratulations on your Love Inspired Suspense contract.

    1. Cathy,

      Thanks! So far, Too Close to Home is the only book I used my automotive background in. Manufacturing facilities, especially with big companies, are like mini-cities. Maybe I'll revisit it in the future.

      Right now I'm working on a new book featuring pharmaceutical research. Right out of college, I was a quality engineer for a big pharmaceutical company. I'm always up for using my past experience. However, the book I sold to Love Inspired Suspense is set in Amish country. I'm game for researching new ideas, too. I've always been fascinating with the Amish since I was a little girl. Doing research for the book was fun.

      Thanks for the warm wishes.

  3. Anonymous9:52 a.m.

    Congrats honey!!!!! I'm sooo happy for you! :) This is so exciting, I'll do the happy dance with you!!! Such good news friend!

    1. Thank you! Joining you in a happy dance!

  4. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm so happy for you.

  5. Congrats!!! So happy for you!

  6. I'm so honoured you announced it here first!

    Looking forward to your next release and your first LIS, Alison!

  7. Thanks so much for helping me celebrate, Donna!

  8. Congratulations on your success, Alison!

  9. Squeeeeee! I'm so happy for you! You know that (I know you know that) but I had to say it one more time! Squeeeee!

    1. I so happy that you're happy for me! Squeeeeeee!