Sabotaged Christmas by Carole Brown

Posted by on Dec 11, 2015 | 10 comments

Sabotaged Christmas by Carole Brown

Christmas is almost here! My guest, award-winning author Carole Brown, has a brand-new book worth propping up your feet and reading when you need a few minutes to escape the Christmas rush! Please leave a comment to win a either a print or Kindle copy of Sabotaged Christmas (An Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery Book 1!



Fabulous Fridays

Welcome back, Carole! For the readers who don’t know you yet, tell us a little about yourself.

Going beyond my bio (J), I love life. I so appreciate the gift of writing God has given me. I love my family and spending time with them. At home we enjoy our land, walking, our gardens, animals, hot tub, and fireplace. We’ve traveled extensively–for our ministry and for fun–and love so many parts of our great earth! We’ve experienced life and enjoyed the scenery. My husband and I share a love of writing. He is my go-to person in scenarios.

I’ve collected many unique and fun music boxes through the years. I also enjoy a few special elephant figurines, fill journals with quotes that have special meaning to me, and I like taking time to create pages for the scrapbooks I’ve begun.

If I didn’t love writing so much, I think I’d enjoy a career in photography, and do capture many pictures that mean the world to me. In he meantime, I will continue to thank God giving me the best (in my opinion) talent in the world!

What spurred you to begin writing and how many books do you have out now?

I realized I loved creating stories in elementary school. I just didn’t know how far I would go.  That love never left me, and now, many years later, with God’s help and blessing, I have four fiction books published, with the fifth one due out in November, 2015. Next year, if all goes well, the plan is to release three more books. I see no end in sight. J

What is the most exciting part of being able to interact with your readers?

Hearing how my readers enjoy the book. Second to that, would be the encouragement or value they’ve received.

What inspired Sabotaged Christmas? I see that it is part of a series. Share something about that with us?Sabataged Christmas

I actually tried to write the first three books as Romance books. Lol. That is so not my genre. When I wanted to revive them, I did what I should have done from the first: created them as suspense and/or mystery books. Now, they’re taking on a life of their own.

The idea came to me about three close friends who have their own romance (and now mysteries) to contend with.  I loved the idea of a centralized location–a hometown that was both friendly and homey–yet peopled with those who felt jealousy and fear and love and happiness.

Each of the first three books share the story of these friends:

Toni DeLuca–an Italian, dark haired beauty who loves repairing antique cars, who inherited a construction business, and who loves to dress up and enjoy a night on the town, finds herself interested in the disagreeable new client who hires her business, Perrin Douglas and Toni work together to find the person who’s sending threatening pink cards filled with accusations that make no sense.

In book two, A Knight in Shining Apron, Starli Cameron, built a fancy and successful restaurant, from the insurance policy of her deceased–and abusive husband. The abuse alone makes her leery of a sanguine, handsome man from England, who swoops in to become the head chef of her establishment. But when someone is threatening her with harm and burns down her business, what can she do, but accept Sir Peter Carrington’s help?

Book Three finds Caroline Gibson, co-owner of Undiscovered Treasures, being pursued by her childhood friend–and the worst artist in the world (so she thinks). Yes, she longs for love, but not to him. Yet when Andy’s pictures are being stolen and sold for far less than they’re worth, Caro runs to help him solve the mystery

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

That depends. I enjoy giving my characters talents, gifts, personalities and problems, I’ve enjoyed, suffered through, or experienced. There are many activities I may have liked or experienced, but had not the gift to excel. But through my characters, I can do that. Things I would have loved to have been able to do extremely well, and only succeeded in being adequate sprang to life in my characters stories.

Hardships and problems I’ve experienced or known through others we’ve ministered to became all too real in the lives I created on paper.

Are you a full-time writer or do you hold a day job? What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in protecting your writing time?

I’m a full time writer, but having said that, I will admit, I often find myself struggling to find time to write certain days. Because I never thought I’d get to be a grandmother, I must enjoy every moment I can with my grandsons. It’s a very special gift, and I refuse to ignore it. Hubby and I still minister, and so when duties call from that direction, I find myself limited once again with precious little time to create. Life and restrictions. Necessary, and I deal with it, and count it all as part of my writing life: learning, research, relaxation.

How important is the setting to your writing?

Very much so. I want my readers to feel as if they’re sitting right in the middle of the action of the story. I want them to experience the problems, feel their own hearts beat faster with the anticipation of a surprise, the fear of the unknown or scary, the flush of a compliment or endearing remark from the hero. I want them to hear the music, see the center of the town–the heartbeat.  When they can, then I’ve succeeded in opening up the rest of the novel to them.

Why did you choose the particular theme in Sabotaged Christmas? What were you trying to say to your readers?

Life is many times a mystery, and that includes the romance that captures or avoids us. When they intermingle, life can certainly become overwhelming and problematic, but in all things, God is good, even when we can’t feel or see him there. In these simple little mysteries, I show friends who’ve experienced some loss, but more so good lives–except in their love lives. Pairing that with their problems and blending them together created unique situations for each of them that readers can, hopefully, gain encouragement that no matter what, we can obey God and trust in his wisdom to lead.

Please share the first scene or page from Sabotaged Christmas.

Chapter One

Antonietta DeLuca’s glance probed the dark shadows in the front yard of the Wisecup job. The streetlight lit up the orange-leafed maple tree, setting it on fire. The tree limbs dipped and swayed to the whispering music from the Autumn winds. Something moved, and Toni shifted to stare at the spot. Fallen leaves crackled to the left of the empty house she faced.

With a screech, two cats shot past her and crossed the street, yowling like demons in the night.

Hands shaking, Toni glared at the scattering offenders and leaned against the mailbox, dragging in deep breaths.

She shouldn’t have come by herself, but she’d never worried about that before. Her supervisor had begged her to avoid lonely places by herself. Yet she’d needed to do the final inspection of the repairs before signing off on one of their last big projects of the year. With Christmas coming and a long winter ahead, that meant money in her pocket and her employees’ pockets.

Drawing in another deep breath, she started up the sidewalk and pulled from her pocket the key to the house. The lock clicked, and a faint, far-off shuffle brushed against her senses.

Head cocked, she listened. Had that sound come from inside the house? Her lips whispered a prayer even as she twisted the knob and gave the door the slightest push. Down the long hallway a light bounced from one of the side rooms.

Bounced? A candle? No, a flashlight.

Someone was in this house.

Reason said to run for help. Tenacity said she couldn’t afford to have this job tampered with. Too much effort, too much time, too much money was involved.

Teeth clenched, Toni moved forward and grabbed one of the old umbrellas hanging from a line of hooks. Better than nothing. Her lips wanted to twitch at the ridiculous picture she made, but the fear was too great for levity. Another five feet and she stood at the doorway of the great room.

Someone stood poised at the window, a long and thin object raised. Ready to break the window they faced? A hoodie covered his head, the dark helping to hide his face.

The fear drained away. “Hey. What are you doing?”

The figure whirled, hesitated and ran toward her, the gadget he held pointed at her.

Toni stumbled backward.

The person shoved past, swiped at her shoulder, missed, and fled down the hall.

“Stop.” Toni followed, skirted the half-open exterior door, and tripped, sprawling on the concrete porch. Pain shot through her knee and she grimaced. Struggling to her feet, she limped down the steps and to the street.

No sign of the intruder. Toni bent and rubbed her knee. But when she straightened she saw the man, black jacket, hood off his head, at the corner of the street. He seemed to be hesitating as if he’d call out to her, and then he trotted toward her.

Was he the intruder? She studied his clothes, his height and build. But everything had happened too fast. It was impossible to know for sure.

She frowned at him. What was he doing? Coming back for another attack?

Fingers curled into a fist, she marched down the road to meet him. “What do you think you’re doing?”

She was close enough now to see a brow lift, the shadows in his eyes questioning her mentality.

“I’m walking home.” Said as if wondering why it was her business, and then he probed, “Are you okay?”

He didn’t need to think he’d get off that easy. Suspicion reared its head. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

His glance dipped to her legs. “Well, you are limping.”

“I am. Because of you.”

“Me? It’s my fault you‘re limping?” Were his lips twitching?

Too much denial. A sure sign of a lie. “Were you in the house?”

“What house?”

“My house.”

“And which house is that?”

Toni shot him a dagger-like look. “Do you live around here?

“Sort of.” He shrugged

“What kind of answer is that?”

“One that’s vague and thin on information. It’s dangerous to be out so late at night by yourself.”

Her heart jumped to her throat. Did she dare ask any more questions? Like why he’d invaded the house her team had finished remodeling today. “Is that a threat?”

“No. Not at all. Where do you live?”

As if she’d tell him. “I don’t know you.”

“And I don’t know you.” He grinned. “I’ve got to go. Have an early day tomorrow. See you around.”

Maybe. She was sure as anything this man was the one in the house. She had no proof. Knew nothing about him. But she would. First thing tomorrow. She’d had enough threats.

Book Blurb:

Toni DeLuca, the Italian owner of DeLuca Construction, finds herself confronted with doubts about her father and his possible deceptions–all because of the mysterious pink notes she’s receiving.

Relations with Perrin Douglas who has a troubled history—but the first man in years who’s interested her–is building to a peak. Yet Perrin‘s own personal problems and his doubts about women and God, keep getting in the way.

Gossip, a Spanish proposal, an inheritance, and a sabotaged construction business all converge to play a part in ruining Christmas for Toni’s employees. Will the mysterious person behind it all succeed in pulling off the biggest scam Appleton, West Virginia has ever seen?

Will this culpit destroy Toni’s last chance at happiness with the man of her dreams?

About the author:

Carole BrownBrown not only has her award winning (Winner of the 2015 Christian Small Publisher Award in General Fiction, nominated for an Epic Award, RWA International Digital Awards finalist in Inspiration, Laurel Award finalist, Selah finalist; Genesis semi-finalist) debut novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, available for purchase now, but a companion book called West Virginia Scrapbook, filled with tidbits of information about West Virginia.

A fun, lighthearted mystery series began with the first book: Hog Insane (A Denton and Alex Davies mystery Book 1), introducing Denton and Alex Davies and now her second book in this series, Bat Crazy. Her WWII romantic suspense Spies series began with With Music In Their Hearts, featuring the first of three red-headed sisters, three spies, and three stories.

Now, releasing November, 2015, is the first book in a new series: The Appleton, WV Romantic Mysteries, called Sabotaged Christmas.

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Connect with Carole:

Personal blog:







Stitches in Time:

Barn Door Book Loft:

Book Link:

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  1. Enjoyed the interview. I love Carole’s books. I have read Sabotaged Christmas but read it in e-book form and I would love to have a print copy for my library to join the print copies I have of all her other books.

    • Have you ck’d your mail lately? 🙂

  2. I would love to read this because I love Christmas and I love a good mystery.

    • Love Christmas too, EXJdub! I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas book (altho this one can be read any time! ) but needed to wait until the right time. 🙂 I hope you will read the book!

  3. I love a good mystery. I would love to know who was actually in the house.

    • 🙂 I’m not telling! Lol. Jan, I hope you’ll read the book. Mysteries are some of my favorite books!

  4. I like a good mystery & I want to know if Toni survives this..

  5. Toni is an interesting character; sometimes too kind and good for her own good, but still . . . I love her! 🙂 Hope you’ll read the book, D.KI!

  6. Love Carole’s book and would love to win this one.

  7. Thanks, JoAnn Stewart. You’re very kind. Thanks for stopping by.

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