Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Tracey Lyons

January 12, 2017 Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, historical 58

Author Interview RIMSP

I had the privilege of meeting today’s guest at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat last August in Nashville. Tracey is lots of fun and a sweetheart too!

An Amazon Top Ten bestselling historical romance author of the Women of Surprise series, Tracey sold her first book on 9/9/99! Her books have been translated into several languages and are available in print, digital and audio formats. Tracey lives with her husband in New York’s Hudson Valley region. She has appeared on the award winning Cox Cable Television show, Page One and on the stage of Lady Jane’s reading salon in New York City. She holds membership in Romance Writers of America, American Fiction Christian Writers and Novelists Inc. A true upstate New Yorker, Tracey believes you should write what you know. Her historical romances are all set in the New York State area. Tracey considers herself a small town gal who writes small town romances. You can learn more about Tracey and her books by visiting her website at www.traceylyons.com.

You can also connect with Tracey on Facebook and Pinterest.

Her latest book, A Changed Agent, released June 2016 from Waterfall Press.

When schoolteacher Elsie Mitchell meets rugged William Benton on a train platform in Albany, it appears they have nothing in common. He isn’t the sort of fellow a proper young woman of the 1890s would ever speak to, much less become involved with. But when she arrives at her small town in the Adirondack Mountains, Elsie is offered a job as caregiver for this mysterious out-of-towner’s niece and nephew, who’ve been tragically orphaned. Heartbroken for them, she accepts.

Unknown to her, William is an undercover Pinkerton agent posing as a lumber-company foreman. He’s never wanted family—his work is too dangerous. Yet as Elsie transforms his house into a home and he spends time with the children, he feels drawn to family life—and to Elsie.

As a good Christian, Elsie is troubled by William’s secrets…though she does find him intriguing. And when a sinister figure from her past arrives, Elsie and William will have to trust in faith and newfound love to protect their unlikely family from danger.

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Yaaaaay!!! I’m so excited to be chatting with you today! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:

apples or oranges

Tracey: Apples. I grew up in upstate New York and they have the best Macintosh apples. I still drive the 2 hours to go to my favorite farm stand to purchase them.

Carrie: Yum! I would too! 

winter or summer

Tracey: Summer. Because it’s camping season. My family actually counts down the days from Christmas until Memorial Day, which is when we head out for our first big camping weekend.

Carrie: I like the campfire part of camping… and of course the s’mores. But the bugs and the bathrooms and the whole sleeping outside thing? No thank you. lol.

dogs or cats

Tracey:  Dogs. I’m allergic to cats.

Carrie: And dogs are just friendlier 😀

coffee or tea

Tracey:  Tea, tea and more tea! I can’t stand the taste of coffee, yet I like coffee ice cream. How strange is that?

Carrie: lol! I’m super sensitive to coffee flavor so I’m not sure how I’d feel about coffee ice cream.

Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Tracey: I would be super organized. Right now, some days I am and some days not so much. But I do like to have everything in its place.

Carrie: I love having everything in its place too! In theory. LOL. In reality it doesn’t always pan out 😉

When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?

Tracey: First of all, I love bookstores. I’m still mourning the closure of all Borders and Walden bookstores. There is something so pure about simply spending a few hours wandering around shelves filled with books. I must admit when I enter a bookstore I head to the sale tables. I’ve scored some really great research books there. Then I head straight to the romance section where I find all of my friend’s books. If no one is looking I always put one copy face out!

Carrie:oooo i love doing that! I feel like I’ve accomplished some great feat of promotion when I do that haha!

If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?

Tracey: They would tell you that I’m a procrastinator when it comes to actually sitting down to write. But once I’m in the seat, the story flows like a swollen river! LOL!

Carrie: haha!! Do you provide life jackets for your characters? 😉

Your main characters in A Changed Agent, Elsie Mitchell and William Benton, sound like opposites in most ways. Which one is most like you?

Tracey: Elsie is the most like I am. She’s strong-willed and a bit stubborn. 

Which one gave you the most trouble? 🙂

Tracey: Elsie gave me the most trouble. I think it’s interesting when an author puts a bit of themselves in their books. I knew what her character flaws were from the get-go. Fixing them was a challenge.

Carrie: If only fixing our own character flaws weren’t so much of a challenge as well!

When Elsie returns home from her vacation, her luggage has an unfortunate encounter with the train platform. But Will steps in to help her, and a story begins! What frustrating circumstances in your own life have worked out serendipitously in the end?

Tracey: My career, like many other authors, has been filled with many frustrations. Over the past few years I was fortunate enough to land a good agent. After being with her for two years she left the agency to go back to the editorial side of the business. I was left floundering once again in a sea of unknowns. Then I contacted an agent I’ve known since the beginning of both of our careers. Upon reading my email explaining my circumstances, she offered immediate representation. She and I have been working together for almost a year now. Things are going better than I could have anticipated. I guess the saying, “When one door closes another opens,” comes to mind. I’m really happy with where I am in my career right now. 

Carrie: I love how God so often works that way!

What do you most want readers to take away from A Changed Agent?

Tracey: I want readers to know what it feels like to be loved…and to be in love. I also want them to understand that even in the darkest times our faith can bring us through anything.  You just need to hang on and trust that God has plans for each of us.

Carrie: “even in the darkest times” – yes. Amen.

Again thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Tracey: I’m so excited to tell you all that I’m busy working on the next book in, what I call, my Pinkerton series. (The series is still untitled) The Heart of An Agent features a secondary character from A Changed Agent, former Pinkerton agent Lily Handland. She becomes involved in helping a very broken man, widower, Owen Murphy, save his business. The book is set at a fictional Adirondack great camp. The real camps were made popular in the mid-late 1800’s by the wealthy New Yorker’s who traveled to the wilderness for their vacations. The Heart of An Agent (Waterfall Press) is set to release in August 2017.

Carrie: YAY! I can’t wait!!

Tracey Lyons is offering one of my readers your choice of a paperback OR Kindle copy of A Changed Agent. Due to shipping costs and international regulations, the paperback copy will be open to US only. The Kindle copy is open internationally but is void where prohibited. Giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies.

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What about you? What’s something in your life that started out frustrating and turned out to be a blessing?

Carrie

58 Responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Tracey Lyons”

  1. Debbie Clatterbuck

    I still have something in my life that is frustrating, but is also a blessing. My troubled daughter that I still take care of. She is 25, but has the mindset of a preteen and other emotional issues. She can frustrate me so much and then turn around and show me what a true blessing she really is.

  2. Patty

    Sometimes my husband and I frustrate each other so much! But of course he is my greatest cheerleader and blessing too.
    It sounds like I am a bit like Elsie too, strong-willed and stubborn, and in a marriage you have to learn the give-and-take.

    • Tracey Lyons

      My husband and I have been together for 40 years and married for 36 of those. We were high school sweethearts. Marriage is such a balancing act. And I believe you really can’t appreciate the good without a little bad tossed into the mix.

  3. Laurie Adams

    Finding a second career after moving back to my home state of New York (but on the opposite side of the state from where Tracey lives. I’m in the Finger Lakes). I had taught for 26 years in CT, so to then move at 50 years old and try to “find” my next career was very frustrating. But, as Tracey said, when one door closes, another one opens. I was very fortunate to be able to walk through a series of doors that led me to my current “new” career, and all of the worry and frustration were worth it. Not only do I really like what I’m doing, but I have the most amazing office on the shore of a lake with two views of the lake from my desk. (I’m also a writer, and I can do that from anywhere, thank goodness.)

    • Carrie

      oh that view sounds gorgeous! I’m so glad to hear that those doors opened up for you, Laurie, and that you are finding delight in your second career!

    • Tracey Lyons

      Hi Laurie! I agree it’s hard to make a decision to move or change careers. I’m one of those people who likes everything in it’s place and this means I like things neat and organized in my life. When my husband and I moved to California from upstate NY, my home for my entire life, I knew adventure was out there. But I’m so happy to be back home in NYS. And it was wonderful visiting with you and your husband this past summer. You have a really peaceful home.

  4. Rebecca Maney

    I actually ate lunch with Tracey in Nashville and totally enjoyed her, and purchased this book there. It’s a great story! I love Pinkerton agent stories, so I am eagerly anticipating the next in the series.

    Great interview!

    • Carrie

      oh yay! I loved being able to eat lunch with the authors – it was such fun 🙂

    • Tracey Lyons

      Hi Rebecca! We had a great time in Nashville. And it was a pleasure meeting you. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. The next one is actually coming out in September. We had to push the release date a few weeks out.

  5. Cathy

    It was a bit frustrating when a plan to build a house in a more country area fell through, but it worked out for the best as we are so close to medical and other needs in town. Thanks for the interview as this sounds an interesting read.

  6. Janice Moore

    Having to move, due to my husband’s work (as a pastor) is sad, hard and frustrating to start all over. However, I do learn to love the people where ever I more. There are good people everywhere!
    Speaking of apples, the latest move is into an area where streets are named after different kinds of apple trees. We are on McIntosh Lane, but do not know why the spelling is different from Macintosh.

    • Carrie

      hmm… that’s interesting! I think that would bug me LOL

  7. Tracey Lyons

    Hi Janice, I can only imagine how hard it is to move around. I am really a community oriented person. So when we move the first thing I do is find a group that I can join, usually it’s a writer’s group. I’ve been part of a singing group for about 6 years, in our new community. I love to sing and I’ve made so many wonderful friends. I suppose the good thing about moving into a church community is that everyone makes you feel welcome.

  8. Dianne Casey

    I added a sunroom on my house and it was a very frustrating process. Between the contractor and the city and the permits it seemed to take forever. In the end it turned out beautiful and is a great addition to the house.

    • Carrie

      remodeling or building is often frustrating but you do end up with a beautiful product in the end!

  9. Winnie Thomas

    Another fun interview! This book sounds very intriguing. Carrie’s done it again–another one for my TBR pile!

  10. Andrea Stephens

    Great interview! I actually have this book on my kindle! waiting to be read.
    There are many things that have been frustrating that turned into blessings. I’m going to say Facebook. Yes, Facebook. It was so frustrating when I first started using it, still is sometimes, but it has turned into such a HUGE BLESSING in my life. I’ve met so many great people there. Authors, book bloggers, book lovers, and book reviewers. I get to go to fancy parties and win prizes all while sitting in my comfy chair. I get to chat with this really neat girl with a superpower, she’s so encouraging and sweet. My life has been blessed.

    • Carrie

      awwww You are so loved, my dear friend! And I think Facebook is a great example. It can be incredibly frustrating but then God uses it all the time as an incredible blessing

    • Tracey Lyons

      Hi Andrea, Thanks so much for dropping by. And I, too, agree on Facebook. I’ve met a lot of wonderful readers through there. And I’m so happy to hear you have my book! That’s so cool! I hope you enjoy it.

  11. Marilyn

    Thanks for this giveaway. This book looks so good.
    Marilyn

  12. Becky B.

    So many things start out frustrating and turn into something good in my life. We had an event with our oldest son that turned out to be a life changing event for him and for us. Sometimes when I fight I can miss what God is doing.
    Thanks for the interview.
    Becky

  13. carylkane

    Great interview! I stand on the scripture that He works in ALL things to bring good to those that love Him.

  14. Dianna

    My principal moved me to a different classroom, different subject area….at first, I wasn’t happy but now I really enjoy it.

    • Carrie

      that can be really frustrating! So glad it’s worked out well for you 🙂

  15. Trixi

    I can’t really name a specific time when something was frustrating and it turned out to be a blessing. I’m sure there have been many…lol!

    Thank you for the giveaway chance, this book sounds good by a new-to-me author! I enjoyed the fun interview 🙂

  16. Deana Dick

    When I first met my hubby we didn’t like each other at all. He annoyed me and I was to outspoken for him. After 34 years together it was the biggest blessing I could have asked for( except for our kids)

  17. Meredith Miller

    Parenthood! I felt like my first child was my learning experience, and my third was a breeze!

  18. Tracey Lyons

    I’m enjoying all of your comments so much! I invite you to come follow me on my Facebook page author page, Tracey Lyons Author, where I post all sorts of newsy things and occasional facts about the Adirondacks, the setting for A Changed Agent and The Heart of An Agent.

    Carrie, thank you again for hosting me!! You have a terrific blog!

    • Carrie

      I love my peeps! Aren’t they great? Thanks, Tracey 🙂

    • Tracey Lyons

      Anne, daughter-in-laws can be a good challenge. I’ve known one of mine since she was a child, she attended the same schools as our sons. My other one, I’ve only known for about six years. So I’m still getting to “know” her. Having only sons, I love having the girls around! But every once in awhile that saying comes to mind, “A daughter’s a daughter all her life, a son’s a son till he takes a wife.” LOL!

  19. Annie JC

    Everything? hahah. No. I think moving away from NYC. I’m liking the “quiet” life now! 😉

  20. Kathleen Denly

    Your opening questions are so fun! Thank you for sharing this interview. I especially enjoyed Tracey’s answer to, “What do you most want readers to take away from A Changed Agent?” I can certainly relate to her answer.

  21. Patti Hansen

    A downturn in my dad’s health has led to frustrating experiences with doctors and pharmacies but having him live with us and enjoying each hug is a huge and welcome blessing.

    • Carrie

      Doctors and pharmacies can indeed be so frustrating – I’m sorry you’re having to go through that! But what a blessing it is having this time with your dad!

  22. Donna B

    Several years ago I moved back home with my mom because of having some health issues. I thought it would be a temporary situation but now has turned into being permanent. It is still frustrating at times but we try to work together and help each other. She no longer drives, so I take her to all of her appointments. Since I live with her it is helping to keep her in her home and out of a nursing home.

  23. Connie Scruggs

    When my first husband left me and our 3 year old son and 20 month old daughter.
    It was hard, but a year and a half later I met my current husband, who has been the best father, spouse and friend I’ve ever known.

  24. Linda Moffitt

    My Kids LOL JK My Hubby becoming an OTR Truck Driver he was only home 36 hrs a week including sleeping time. Through two of our Children’s young lives. When my 3rd was coming and The other two were 6 and 8 he started a home every night run. Now most people wouldn’t see the bad in that BUT I had routines that were disrupted and we had a great relationship because our time together was precious and little. You know the saying, Absence makes the heart grow fonder, well that was true in my case. It’s been 5 yrs now and I’m still not used to it.

    • Carrie

      but what a blessing that he prioritized you enough to switch his job around like that!

  25. Jocelyn

    My husband and I walked a rocky road for many years. About four years ago, a woman we knew died in a car accident. The shackles fell off of my eyes at the realization of how little time we have here on earth. Our marriage made a turn, and it has been a wonderful blessing.

    • Tracey Lyons

      Jocelyn, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your story. I’m so glad you and your husband worked thing out, but sad that you lost a someone along the way.