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.
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.
Yaaaaay!!! I’m so excited to be chatting with you today! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
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!
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.
Tracey: Dogs. I’m allergic to cats.
Carrie: And dogs are just friendlier 😀
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.
What about you? What’s something in your life that started out frustrating and turned out to be a blessing?