A Conversation with Author Laura Oles

Giveaway Ends 8/22

IR– What inspired the idea for your book?

LO– I believe it’s the feeling of being an outsider. I grew up in a military family, moving regularly, always trying to figure out where I belonged. In DEPTHS OF DECEIT, I wanted to take my protagonist, Jamie Rush, out of her element by bringing her a case that reminds her that she’s still an outsider in the island town she now calls home. 

IR– If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together?

LO– Jamie and her partner, Cookie, would plan a full day. We’d start by having breakfast tacos at Taqueria San Juan and then take a quick drive around the local park to watch the ferry shuttle boats across the channel. Time spent on the beach is a must, even if it’s just an early morning walk. A visit to the Jetty to watch the fishermen work would be in order, and of course, Jamie’s bulldog, Deuce, would be along for the ride. He loves chasing the sandpipers on the beach, although his sprint only lasts about twenty feet. An evening dinner at Hemingway’s Pier, complete with Marty behind the bar spinning his latest story, would finish our adventure. However, if Jamie catches a case, that means I’m dog sitting Deuce while she works.

IR– How do you define success as an author?

LO– A message or a review from a reader explaining why they enjoyed my novel or short story is one of the most rewarding things I experience as an author. If a reader chooses to spend time with my characters and enjoys the journey, that’s success to me.

IR– Do you have any quirky writing rituals?

LO–  If I can walk my Labrador a couple of miles early in the morning, my writing tends to fall into place easier.  So, as far as rituals, I’d say a good morning walk, a cup of coffee and then right to my desk. I start by reviewing the previous day’s pages. Unless something is pressing, I try not to check email until noon. And I leave my phone in another room.

IR– What are you working on in the near future?  

LO– In addition to novels, I enjoy writing short stories.  I have one coming out next spring in an anthology. The third Jamie Rush book is also in the works. She’s keeping me bus

IR– What comes first for you — the plot or the characters?

LO– Oddly enough, it’s often a line or two of dialogue. I don’t always know who it belongs to, but it tends to follow me around until I figure it out.  And then the characters emerge from there.  If it’s between plot and character, I gravitate towards characters and their world, and the plot comes later. I can’t figure out what they’re up to until I understand who they are and what matters to them.

IR– How do you avoid or defeat writer’s block?

LO–  For me, writer’s block often means I haven’t done enough of the heavy lifting of understanding the scene, the character, or the stakes. If I’m stuck at my desk for too long, I go for a walk to work things out. I don’t listen to music or podcasts; I walk and work through the scene until something shakes loose.  And it usually does. If all else fails, I start cleaning my office.

IR– Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests? 

LO– I love going for long walks or hikes in parks. I love a good road trip. Also, my husband and I recently purchased an old 1955 Thunderbird that needs restoration. Learning how to replace disc brakes, locate the data plate, and other issues has been frustrating, fun, and rewarding.  I also went down a bit of a rabbit hole trying to learn more about the original owner. I guess I’m always looking for a mystery, even in my other hobbies.

IR– What has been your favorite reader feedback? 

LO– Someone recently messaged me to let me know my book kept her company while her son had surgery (it was a success, and he is doing well). That was pretty special. 

IR– What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?  

LO– I would say that it’s important to touch your work almost every day.  You don’t have to write each day but keep the story in your mind.  Don’t worry about needing hours each day to write to be successful.  Fifteen minutes here, thirty minutes there. It all adds up like change in your pocket, and sooner or later, you’ll have a finished draft. Join a writers group in your area or online. Writing is a solitary pursuit, so I think it’s important to connect with other writers.  A good critique group is valuable. I’ve been a member of Austin Mystery Writers for several years, and I’m grateful for the support our group provides.

IR– What would your dream library look like? 

LO– It would be two stories, including a library ladder, a fireplace, and a cafe. Maybe an orange tabby cat to keep watch over things. And a mountain view. 

IR– Name some fun facts about you or your work. 

LO– 

+I get to take classes covering a variety of subjects including forensics, investigations, and +cybersecurity.

+I love creating timelines and outlines.

+Some of my best friends are my imaginary ones. 

+Editing is like a puzzle, and I enjoy a good puzzle.

+I can spend hours studying something because “it’s research.”

IR– What book would you choose to open a secret room? 

LO– P.D. James, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman.


Depths of Deceit by Laura Oles Banner

Depths of Deceit

by Laura Oles
July 25 – August 19, 2022
Virtual Book Tour

Depths of Deceit by Laura Oles
Two sisters.
One deadly secret.
No time to lose.

PI Jamie Rush has her hands full with small-time skip-tracing and surveillance jobs in Port Alene, Texas. The work is steady, though she still struggles to make ends meet. But when her partner, Cookie, brings in a low-paying and potentially time-consuming case, Jamie takes it on out of loyalty.

Cookie’s childhood friend, Renata, needs to find her younger sister, Leah. As Jamie digs into Leah’s past, it becomes clear that the missing woman’s life was shrouded in secrets, the kind that could jeopardize those involved in the case.

To complicate matters, PI Alastair Finn has returned, and he’s willing to reclaim his town by any means necessary. Jamie has never been one to retreat, and Alastair enjoys a good fight. Sparks will fly.

A missing woman. Felonies. Finn’s return. Every twist reminds Jamie that she’s still an outsider in this town. Jamie must prove herself all over again, and the stakes have never been higher.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Female PI
Published by: Red Adept Publishing
Publication Date: May 31, 2022
Number of Pages: 292
Series: A Jamie Rush Mystery, #2
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

The mermaid in the truck bed was what caught Jamie Rush’s attention. The cast-iron figure peeked over the hatch, her carved, flowing hair and demure smile in view. This was supposed to be a standard identify-and-repo job. Jamie was certain she hadn’t seen a mermaid on the itemized paperwork. Brody Rutger, in addition to hiding from creditors, had added theft of a local celebrity to his resume.

The day had started strong, with a lead on Rutger and an opportunity to catch him between fishing charters, using a boat he’d quit paying on months before. Suddenly, Marian the Mermaid was caught up in the mix.

And something was going on with the weather.

The month of November normally brought a steady stream of long-term vacationers from the north—affectionally called Winter Texans—who fled harsh winters for the promise of more tepid temperatures. Those who’d already set up residence in Port Alene were likely to be disappointed. Port A, usually quite predictable in her warmth, had suddenly changed her mind. That day, she was trading humidity for frigid air, and the wind, once laced with a warm, salty breeze, was offering only a cold shoulder. The palm trees lining Island Main bristled from side to side, and the town seemed to have turned inward in response. The icy wind whistled in the gap of her Tahoe’s window.

Jamie shuddered at the weather’s frigid downturn, while her partner, Cookie Hinojosa, all but cursed Mother Nature. He believed anything under seventy degrees was downright blasphemous. Jamie tilted her head toward the gray sky and welcomed the sting of air on her cheeks, her head briefly popping out the driver’s-side window. Cookie glanced over and shook his head.”

You’re very grumpy this morning,” Jamie said. She gave him a once-over, taking note of the large Dallas Cowboys logo on his chest, the silver star claiming almost all the space between his shoulders. “I see you found your favorite winter hoodie. Probably more fun to wear when they’re winning.”

Cookie turned to her and scowled. “Et tu, Brute? You’re going to dump on our favorite team? Really?”

Jamie reached over and gave her partner’s meaty shoulder a squeeze. “They need to earn our love by playing better. And we’ve been damned patient.” She rubbed her hand up and down his sleeve, noting the fabric felt cold. “You should probably break down and buy a proper winter jacket.”

“This is South Texas. Only snowbirds wear ‘proper’ winter jackets.”

Cookie dismissed the idea of wearing anything that added additional bulk to his substantial frame. “My Hawaiian shirts are sad from neglect.”

She had to agree. A long-sleeved Hawaiian shirt would look ridiculous on anyone. She rubbed her hands together and hoped the cold snap would soon dissipate, returning the balmy temperatures Port Alene normally delivered.

“I’m going to pull back a bit,” Jamie said.

Their skip of the day, Brody Rutger, owed their client, AAA Repo Services, $15,027. Brody had ducked all attempts at collection, so Jamie and Cookie had been hired to locate him and return the boat. Jamie and Cookie specialized in skip tracing, which essentially meant finding people who didn’t want to be found. They worked skips but also some surveillance—which paid well but was boring beyond belief—and some divorce cases, which also paid well but renewed Jamie’s resolve to never get married. In Jamie’s experience, if a person disappeared, the reasons involved money, private information, or violence. And secrets—always a secret.

***

Excerpt from Depths of Deceit by Laura Oles. Copyright 2022 by Laura Oles. Reproduced with permission from Laura Oles. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio:

Laura Oles

Laura Oles is the Agatha-nominated and award-winning author of the Jamie Rush mystery series, along with short stories and nonfiction. With two decades of experience in the digital photography industry, Laura’s work has appeared in trade and consumer magazines, crime-fiction anthologies, and she served as a business columnist. Laura loves road trips, bookstores and any outdoor activity that doesn’t involve running. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her family.

Catch Up With Laura Oles:
LauraOles.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @LauraOles
Instagram – @lauraolesauthor
Twitter – @LauraOles
Facebook – @lauraolesauthor

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

07/26 Showcase @ BOOK REVIEWS by LINDA MOORE
07/26 Showcase @ From the TBR Pile
07/28 Review @ Novels Alive
08/01 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
08/03 Showcase @ Nesies Place
08/04 Showcase @ Silvers Reviews
08/05 Interview @ I Read What You Write
08/06 Showcase @ Brooke Blogs
08/07 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
08/08 Showcase @ The Reading Frenzy
08/10 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
08/11 Review @ Urban Book Reviews
08/12 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
08/13 Review @ Paws. Read. Repeat
08/15 Review @ Melissa As Blog
08/16 Review @ The Page Ladies
08/17 Guest post @ The Mystery of Writing
08/17 Showcase @ The Authors Harbor
08/18 Review @ Avonna Loves Genres
08/19 Review @ Pat Fayo Reviews

Giveaway:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Tours for Laura Oles. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.

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