Friday, December 5, 2014

The Inside Scoop on Legacy of Lies

Last week's winner was Niki D.  Congrats!

(Don't miss the giveaway at the end of the post!)

Blurb: Katelynn swore she would never return to the small mining town of Comstock, Utah where she’d grown up. Only bad memories remain there of her estranged father, the gossipy townsfolk, and her teen sweetheart Walt Jeffries who broke her heart. But after receiving a letter from her father, she grudgingly returns only to find he died over a year ago and the past may not be all she’s been told.

Walt Jeffries is trying to bring new business to his dying town when Kate returns.  Her digging up the past may risk everything he’s working toward.  As Kate determinedly delves into the past, Walt finds himself between a rock and a hard place concerning his feeling for her and his duty to the town.  Can the two learn their real legacies, save Walt’s Rottweiler, Festus, and avoid getting killed themselves?  Will the truth set them free to fall in love?

Mom, hubby and brother out on west desert
Brother and hubby checking out caves
How It Began: Legacy of Lies is the first book I ever published.  By the time I started writing it, I was getting a feel for what was expected, but I was still very insecure.  I decided I needed to pay a professional to edit the book for me.  I went with a company owned by the writer of Water World.  You know.  The movie with Kevin Costner.   How could I go wrong? It cost around fifteen hundred dollars, but I learned a great deal from the line-by-line editing.  I found out that I made the same three writing mistakes over and over again. 

The last suggestion made was to cut my final scene.  The editor said it was anti-climactic. He said it needed to end in the mine where the action happened. It didn't quite feel right to me, but I deleted my final chapter, edited the ending, and began sending it out to numerous publishers.  I got one rejection after another.  I was totally frustrated.  Finally, I got a letter that said they loved my writing and would like to work with me but the book had an issue—there was no final wrap up scene. I quickly attached my final chapter and sent it off (without changes), and they offered me a contract!

The editing company I went through folded.  The editor had been right about the writing mistakes, wrong about the wrap up scene, and I learned I needed to trust my instincts.  You can learn something from almost every critique. (Even one where they told my characters were TSTL - too stupid to live.)

This book idea was born from my Utah heritage of mining, because I live right near the Kennecott Copper Mine and love traveling through our small mining communities.  My family loves to collect rock specimens and hunt for geodes, etc.

I also have a personal history that led to the idea of the character not knowing what the truth was about her own family and the past. This is another book that is particularly meaningful to me.

Premise: With each of my books, I always have a message in mind.  In Legacy of Lies the message is: Share your soul!

Aunt Millie, too, seemed ill at ease. She wrung her hands together and cleared her throat several times before she leaned forward in her chair. “I’d like you to explain what you meant last night by saying that Henry ditched you.”

Katelynn didn’t want to get into a discussion about her father’s indiscretions. “I’d like to know how he died.”

“Henry didn’t leave, remember? It was that mother of yours. She hurt him terribly and so did you.”

“We may have left, but it was at his request and because of what he had done.”

Millie jumped to her feet. “What are you talking about?”

The anger in Millie’s eyes made Katelynn realize she should have gotten in the car and left that morning.

“Look, maybe I’d better go,” she said.

“Running away again? Your mother’s influence, I see.” Tears formed in Millie’s eyes. “Henry searched and searched for you, you know.”

Katelynn cringed inwardly, and her throat tightened. She didn’t want to fight with Millie, but she certainly wasn’t going to sit and listen to her lies.

“How can you even say that? He knew exactly where we were. He just didn’t care. And if he hadn’t been having an affair, we wouldn’t have had to leave in the first place.” She dropped her lashes to hide the hurt, but heard a soft chuckle. She looked up quickly.

A smile crossed Millie’s lips. “An affair? Henry? I should have known. Why didn’t I see it? It was that mother of yours.”

“What do you mean, my mother?” Katelynn’s temper started to rise.

“She told you those lies so you wouldn’t try to come back and see Henry. That’s it.”

Katelynn seethed with mounting rage and jumped to her feet. “How dare you say such a thing about my mom!” She marched toward the door. “I don’t have to stay and listen to this.”

“But Kate, honestly, your father had no idea where you were. He even hired a private detective. Emma took you and left. He tried to find out from Emma’s cousin, but she either didn’t know or wouldn’t say. Henry was heartbroken.”

She stared at Millie in disbelief and said nothing.

“Come sit down. We’ll talk.” Millie dropped into her floral easy chair and patted the couch.

Katelynn wanted to run, but she dragged herself to the couch. She didn’t know why she wanted to hear more, especially when she knew none of it could be true. But she also knew there were always two sides to every story, and she wanted to know more about her father, no matter what kind of person he had been.

“I don’t mean to talk badly of your mother, Kate. I know she’s the only family you’ve known, but let’s face facts.”

“What facts?” She turned to her aunt, her shoulders slumping.

“You know as well as I do that your mother hated this town and our family, and she didn’t want you to have anything to do with us.”

“I know no such thing. My father asked my mom to leave when she found out that he was having an affair.”

Millie smiled again. “Did she say with whom?”

“Yes, she did, but I won’t discuss it. It doesn’t matter now.”

Millie clicked her tongue, and her eyes lit up. “Not Sophia Jeffries? Did she tell you that?”

Her expression gave the answer away.

Millie forged ahead. “They never had an affair. Henry and Sophia dated before your mother came to town, but when he saw Emma, he fell madly in love. Sophia never forgave him for jilting her, and Emma was always jealous of Sophia’s past relationship with him. Mind you, Sophia always flirted with Henry when Emma was around, but Emma should have trusted your father. Do you remember anything about the Jubilee Mine?”

Her brow furrowed. She knew her parents had trouble with Will and Sophia over the mine, and that Will left town and hadn’t come back before she and her mom had gone.

“I don’t remember much,” she told her aunt.

“Well, you do remember that your father and Will were partners in the mine and that they went broke, or don’t you?”

“I thought that Will left town to get a job and that Mom and Dad both worked to keep things going.”

“But did you know that Henry made a promise to Will to take care of Sophia and the kids while he was gone?” Millie asked.

Katelynn’s eyes widened with surprise. “No.”

“Henry gave money to Sophia. After several months, rumors started going around town that Henry was a polygamist and that Sophia’s two younger sons were really his. Emma got even more jealous and angry because she was working, too, and Henry would turn around and give the money to Sophia. They fought quite a bit.” Millie paused and looked at her watch.

Katelynn’s mind was swimming with bewilderment. Memories of her parents fighting drifted back to her. She wondered if Millie could be telling the truth. She wanted to believe that her father loved her, but she didn’t want to believe that her mom had lied to her all those years. A sick feeling settled in her stomach.

“Are you all right, Kate? You look pale.”

She couldn’t speak, so she just nodded.

“Don’t you believe me?”

“I don’t know what to believe.”

This book by Cindy A. Christiansen is a book of non-stop action that will surely be a page turner.  With characters that entice and interest the reader and a plot that will keep you hooked until the last sentence, this is a must read book.   

This book is enjoyable because of the characters actually being real to life, not the romantic hero that everything falls into place for.  Katelynn the main character is a character that proves herself page after page, especially in the face of opposition brought forth by other characters like Walt and Millie, people purported to be her friends and family.

This book follows the journey of Katelynn as she tries to discover and reconcile her past with her father.  To her dismay she finds that he is no longer alive and that she was blocked from all contact with him.  For her this shocking discovery is only the beginning of new problems she must face to discover the reality of her past and live to see her future.

In a word this book is good.  Overall well written and the start of a promising career for Cindy A. Christiansen. 4/5 Stars, Alan Christopher Williams, The Book Reviewers

Giveaway:  I will select 2 winners for a PDF copy of Legacy of LiesLike or favorite my Amazon page and then leave a comment. Please include your email or send it to me at:

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
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  1. Hello cindy, i favorite your amazon page. My name is Linda Romer email please enter me in your giveaway. Thank you

    1. Hello, Linda! Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out Legacy of Lies. Have a great weekend.


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