Friday, September 9, 2011

The Arranger by L J Sellers - Interview & Giveaway: Nurture Tour Stop

I'm thrilled to welcome L.J. Sellers! L.J. is touring her book The Arranger.  I'm currently reading this book and I must say that it's a great read.  I wish I could just put aside any other duties and just read - I hate to have to put it down and I am always excited to pick it back up again!  It's different; set in the near future that seems imminently conceivable and believable.  Best of all, I have questions that will only be resolved in their own sweet time. This is a eye-opener of a superb mystery with several complex themes woven throughout.

So without further blathering on my part I'll share the blurb so you too, can be enticed to read this and later I'll speak with LJ via interview.

The year is 2023 and ex-detective Lara Evans is working as a freelance paramedic in a bleak new world. She responds to an emergency call and is nearly killed when a shooter flees the home. Inside she finds the federal employment commissioner wounded, but she’s able to save his life. The next day Lara leaves for the Gauntlet—a national competition of intense physical and mental challenges with high stakes for her home state. She spots the assailant lurking at the arena and soon after, she lands in deep trouble. Who is the mysterious killer and what is motivating him? Can Lara stop him, stay alive, and win the Gauntlet

Enter and comment for a chance to win a PRINT copy of The Arranger. Sorry! Due to postage costs for overseas shipments, this giveaway is limited to US and Canada entrants only. To be eligible you must enter via the short entry form and you must comment on the post. This tour will have giveaway opportunities at most every stop and the stops that are giving digital copies are open to everyone! So follow the tour to greatly increase your chance of winning! This giveaway ends Sept. 21st 11:59 PM CST. 



As I mentioned, I am currently reading The Arranger (and loving it!).  I hope to post my review within the next several days.


What books have most influenced your life?
The books that most influenced me as a young person were crime fiction novels. I loved the Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin series by Rex Stout, the Travis McGee novels by John McDonald, and the Deadly Sin series by Lawrence Sanders. Sanders wrote many different kinds of novels and he portrayed women in a strong and positive way, especially for his time. To this day, he’s my favorite author. I also used to read Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, and many others. In high school, I worked as a library assistant for a while, so I had daily access to all kinds of authors, and I loved it.

Tell us about your current release.
My new story is a futuristic thriller set in 2023. The Arranger features Lara Evans, the female detective from my current police procedural series (Detective Jackson Mysteries). In the new story, Lara is no longer a detective and is working as a freelance paramedic. She’s also scheduled to compete in the Gauntlet, a national competition with intense physical and mental challenges. She responds to an emergency call, witnesses a crime, then has to deal with the aftermath of s;; that while she’s competing. It’s an action-packed story.

The Arranger is also a character study of Paul Madsen, a lonely government software guy who is entrusted with a personnel project that changes the course of his life. Their stories come together in an exciting and satisfying ending.

I honestly did not realize that The Arranger is a spin off from a bigger series! It's a fantastic stand-alone but now you have me intrigued and I will be checking them out, too.  How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
My stories typically develop out of a crime that I see in the news and can’t get out of my mind and/or a social issue that I feel passionately about. The Arranger is no exception, in that I have deep concerns about our economy, and I worry about what our future will be like if the recession never ends. But the story also developed out of an opening scene I imagined one day, involving paramedics responding to a crime scene.

Most of my novels are part of a detective series, so the characters are the same from book to book, but I purposefully do not write to a formula. Each novel is unique, with unique crimes, distinctive structures, and different POV characters coming forward to tell the story.

Plotter or Pantser? Why?
I definitely plot all my novels before writing them. I think it’s a combination of my journalism training and my anal personality, but I like to be prepared and to know where I’m going. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t set out on a road trip without a map and a reservation, so I can’t imagine writing a story that way. But as I mentioned, my stories are complex and winging it just doesn’t work.

What do you think makes a good story?
For me, it’s a complex plot, a fast pace, and terrific characters. I also love it when a story involves important issues or educates me in some way.

The Arranger certainly falls in the category of involving issues that likely concern most of us.  I am finding it scarey and unfortunately possibly predictive of a not too distant future.  

Do you play any sports? What are you passionate about these days?
I put these questions together because, other than my writing and reaching out to readers, what I’m passionate about is physical activity. I exercise daily for my sanity. I can no longer play most sports because of multiple sports-related injuries, but I love to ride my bike….even in the winter. I’m also love to dance, an activity that gives me great joy.

What was the scariest moment of your life?
I chose this question because it will give readers a glimpse of who I am (or was) when I’m not writing novels. I have three moments that come to mind. The first was riding my bicycle downhill from Truckee California to Reno Nevada in the snow. Forty miles an hour downhill with six inches of snow and slush on the ground! I thought I would slide off the road and tumble hundreds of feet to my death.

The second time was when my ex-husband tried to kill me. He was choking me, and I had almost lost consciousness, when his Great Dane bit him in the ass to save me. Good dog. Bad husband. I left him and took the dog.

The third most terrifying moment for me was when my new husband and our combined family stopped at the coast one day while on vacation. Seconds after getting out of the van, I realized my six-year-old son was not with us. I freaked out and started running up and down the parking lot and the jetty, calling his name. I thought he was gone, that some pervert had picked him up, and that I would never see him again. Fortunately, my husband found him ten minutes later. My little boy had made a beeline for a lighthouse to do some exploring. That was the worst moment by far. Some things are worse than death.

Wow!  I'm so glad you didn't plummet off the icy road, got rid of the loser husband, and found your naughty, precocious son safe and sound!  Last question! Let's make it a fun one -  Beatles or Monkees? Why?
Definitely Monkees! As I mentioned, I love to dance, and I love music that I can dance too. Just give me the beat.

Where you can find me on the internet:
Author’s Twitter Account:!/LJSe​llers
Group blog:

L.J. Sellers is an award-winning journalist and the author of the bestselling Detective Jackson mystery/suspense series: The Sex Club, Secrets to Die For, Thrilled to Death, Passions of the Dead, and Dying for Justice. Her novels have been highly praised by Mystery Scene, Crimespree, and Spinetingler magazines, and the series is on Amazon Kindle’s bestselling police procedural list. L.J. also has two standalone thrillers: The Baby Thief and The Suicide Effect. When not plotting murders, she enjoys performing standup comedy, cycling, social networking, and attending mystery conferences. She’s also been known to jump out of airplanes.


September 12th – Aparajita B. @ Le’ Grande Codex

September 12th – Jaidis S. @ Juniper Grove

September 13th – Tessa D. @ It’s a Philip K. Dick World!

September 14th – Evangeline H. @ Sugarpeach 

September 14th – Beverly G. @ Everyone Loves A SiNner 

See Full Tour Schedule

Find out about how you can book your Virtual Book Tour with Nurture Virtual Book Tourz

Disclaimer: This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.   In some cases, I receive free books in return for a review. My reviews always express my own personal opinion. I am not obligated to write a glowing or even favorable review.  I have not received any monetary compensation in return for my honest review. Promotional banners and information was provided through Nurture Your Book Virtual Tours. I am an authorized Tour Host. 



Jaidis said...

Such a great interview! I don't know what I would do if my daughter ever went missing, even if it was only a few moments. Just the thought terrifies me.

Thanks for sharing LJ and Laurie!

loves to dive said...

You had me at the monkees, was there anyone cuter than Davey Jones? I would have kept the dog too.

Jasmyn said...

Great interview and thanks for the giveaway.

Karen C said...

That was a fantastic interview - thank you both!! I find that I'm a cyclical reader and my romances are currently sitting on the shelf while I glut myself with suspense and thrillers. Cant' wait to read The Arranger - thanks for the chance to win it.


L.J. Sellers said...

Thanks, Laurie, for hosting me and others for stopping in. This book was challenging, but fun, to write and I'm pleased by readers response to it!

zee said...

Awesome interview. I got to know LJ better and found out we have a few things in common too.


Carol M said...

Great interview! I'd love to read this! It sounds really good!
mittens0831 at aol dot com

- Melissa - said...

Really? This book sounds great. Mystery, drama, people getting shot... my type of book!

Barbara said...

Wow, great interview! And this book sounds like a real nailbiter!...I'd really like to get a hold of it!

ebaker said...

This book sounds amazing!! Crossing my fingers : )

Gina said...

Wonderful interview!!!! Book sounds really good!!!

Misusedinnocence said...

This sounds like a great read!

Laurie said...

The Giveaway Winner was ng Random. org. Congratulations Jasmyn!