She loves writing, building worlds that her characters can explore and break if they feel the need. Action, adventure and love are her favorite things. And when stuff gets blown up who says the guy is the only one who gets to do it?
What made you decide to become a writer?
I've always had stories floating around in my head helping me get through boring everyday life stuff like standing in a grocery line before ereaders were ever invented or waiting for the gas to hurry up and pump. It wasn't until I moved to the Netherlands that I had enough time to actually sit down and put the stories to paper. Living here is slower not at all like living in the United States where every minute of every day was always filled.
And as I was waiting for my exam results in order to apply for dual citizenship, my husband suggested I write the story I was telling him about. That was my first book I ever self-published, Birch's Faith.
Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
I'm a pretty voracious reader and will try any genre once. So I have a TONS of favorites. John Sandford, Michael Connelly and Carol O'Connell would be some of my favorite mystery writers. And I'll read pretty much any genre of romance from sci-fi to sweet Amish reads.
Since my latest release, Gravedigger, falls into the category of romantic suspense I'll try to limit myself to that genre. I'd go with Jane Ann Krentz, Linda Howard, Sharon Sala and there are so many more that are popping into my head I better stop or we'll be here all day.
If you could be any character in any book, who would it be and why?
I'd go with Aviendah from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. She's one of the MCs paramours, but is fierce in her own right as she was a Maiden of the Spear and later a Wise One who wields the female piece of the One Power. I like her indomitable spirit, she doesn't like change but when there's no other choice she does what's needed. Even if she panics and runs at first, she finally gets her head out of her rear and is like... okay, this is the path I need to be on and jumps in. She merges her time as a warrior with what she needs to be a Wise One to help guide her people and Rand through the war that's coming.
Do you have any hobbies you would like to share?
I'm a gamer. I love to play simulation games like Sims, Restaurant Empire II, and I have a Farming simulation game that's on my 'play when you have a weekend free' that's not happened yet, but soon... I hope. I also play Runescape. I have an amazing group of friends on there that I LOVE to hang out with and it's the game I met my hubby on so it's close to my heart. I've played that game for fourteen-years now and still love to play when I have time.
Other games I play are Zelda Twilight Princess, the sand dungeon is the best dungeon EVER. Final fantasy 12, though I like the others this is one I've played multiple times. All the Zelda games, though I don't have the Switch one yet, but I hear it's AMAZING and can't wait to try it.
What’s an item on your bucket list that you haven’t done yet?
I want to travel. I'd love to see more of Europe. Greece, Norway, Denmark are a few of the countries on my bucket list to see and wander around. See what the culture is like, how people interact and talk to them. I love to meet new people and hear what they have to say. Sometimes they become secondary characters in my book.
Tell us the best vacation you have ever been on.
I don't have a best/favorite vacation, because I loved all the experiences I've had while on vacation.
From getting seasick when my dad tried to share his love of deep sea fishing to bungee jumping which is was the biggest adrenaline rush since I'm terrified of heights.
Now I love to go and learn the history of a place, to walk in places that are steeped with stories and if there are people who know the story listen as they tell it. Like seeing the attic where Ann Frank hid to evade the Germans, walking through the village that sheltered her. Going into Groningen and touching the bullet holes Germans left behind during World War II and realizing my grandfather wandered these same streets when the Allies came to help.
I'd like to go see the village that inspired the story of the Pied Piper which is in Germany. Those are all enjoyable in different ways.
Where do you find the inspiration for your books?
I find inspiration in the oddest places. For my latest release, Gravedigger, I was actually researching another series. I was in the middle of googling about a serial killer based in California when 'Russian Body Snatcher 2011' popped up into my search list. So, being a curious writer, I, of course, clicked the link, sometimes these digital side trips can be fun. This one was fascinating it centered around the Mad Russian. Needless to say, after reading all the articles and investigative information I could find. Which kicked my imagination into high gear and Gravedigger was born.
This is the Wiki Page of the mad-Russian, Anatoly Moskvin, for those interested in reading up on the Body Snatcher of Russia.
Is there anything else you would like to share with your fans?
Yes, Josephine and Rhysian and their families were fun characters to write. I based the story in Birmingham, Alabama, because that's where I grew up. So the cemeteries Josephine and her team are staking out to capture Gravedigger are cemeteries in and around Birmingham, Alabama. Elmwood is one of the most historic cemeteries and sits on 482-acres of land. Forest Hill, which I mirrored the first cemetery on, sits on at least 375-acres. So they're large places with streams, woods and not easily covered by Josephine's team.
Blurb for Gravedigger:
Hunting a killer is easy. Learning to love is hard.
Josephine 'Jo' Rayburn has no luck with love. Between the demands of her job as a homicide detective, finding the perfect yarn for her knitting projects, and her nosy family, she doesn't have time to find her happily ever after, nor does she really believe it exists. Until she's assigned to the Gravedigger task force where she meets Rhysian 'Rhys' Harrison, the sexy Coroner's assistant.
Rhys Harrison thought he had found love with the perfect woman. But his parents' death forced him to choose between his fiancée and caring for his brother, he chose his brother. His only regret, the medical degree he abandoned to work in the Coroner's office. When the Gravedigger leaves his latest victim at the gates of a cemetery, Rhys and Jo are thrown together, her prickly personality interests him, but it's her deeply hidden romantic side that captivates him.
After one of the task force members is shot, Rhys's fears of losing Jo, like he's lost so much already, threaten to rip them apart. Can she convince him that love is worth having no matter the risk? Or will he play it safe, leaving before his heart becomes too attached?
Gravedigger's Amazon Link:
Trailer for Gravedigger.
Excerpt for Gravedigger:
Her gaze bounced from all the colorful yarn in front of her, to him. She narrowed her eyes. “Did Sullivan talk? Because if—”
“Sullivan knows?” Rhys held his palms up, shaking his head. “No, I kind of spied on you . . . sort of.”
She took a careful step back. Could she have read him wrong? God, she had the absolute worst luck with men.
“Get that look off your face. I wasn't following— Wait, I kind of . . . Dammit.”
It was the first time she'd seen him at a loss for words and had heard him curse. He took a deep breath, then released it as he rubbed his palms across the sides of his pants. Nervous was good . . . maybe.
Rhys's gaze tangled with her and she read the sincerity in it. “I take my brother to the library on Wednesdays. They sponsor a reading program, and I like him to have real books. Borrowing the books teach him to take care of items, especially if he's responsible for turning them back in or paying for damages out of his allowance.”
“I thought I saw you on the escalator, but . . .” she trailed off unsure if she wanted him to know she'd almost followed to see if the man really was Rhys. Jo hadn't followed though, not wanting to embarrass herself if she were wrong.
“Yeah, probably. I followed you—”
“And saw the knitting books. Crap.” Jo stepped into his space, jabbing a finger at him. “No telling anyone. Sullivan knows, but I have enough blackmail video of him that he won't ever spill.”
“I'm not going to tell anyone, Jo. I mean I don't get why it's a big secret—” Rhys's hand caught hers, linking them together again.
People who didn't work in law enforcement rarely understood the weird sense of humor and pranks that occurred because of it. “If any of my coworkers know, I'll get orders showing up on my desk for knitted speedos, with sizes I'm sure—”
“Are you kidding?” Rhys's mouth fell open when she shook her head.
“With just the Digger case, Sullivan and I have gotten three different adverts for zombie apocalypse survival kits. Not to mention a few axes, and tons of emails with videos on how to survive a zombie attack.”
“I thought cops had more important things to do.”
Jo snorted. “They do, but they also know levity keeps you from sinking into the deepest darkest hole you can find. We see the absolute worst humanity has to offer. Grandmothers killing grandkids because they were high. Or parents selling their kids. Kids shooting parents or other family members. If someone can dream it up, we've seen it.”
He gently pulled her close, cradling her in his arms. Safe. His chest was solid under her cheek. His heart a steady beat in her ear, she stifled a gasp at how right he felt.
“I know. I've only worked for Jim for a few months and I already know I'm not cut out for it.”
Gathering her composure, Jo kept their hands linked and leaned back. “You wanted to be a doctor? I thought I heard that.”
“Yes, a pediatrician.” His thin lips softened from the hard-flat line they'd been in. “I planned to go into practice with a couple of friends I'd met in school. One was studying to be an OBGYN and the two others were studying general medicine. I wanted to help kids.”
“And what stopped you?”
“My parents died, and I needed to take care of Rian.” Rhys set her away from him. “And this is depressing. How about we get off these subjects and back on this amazing yarn.”
Deciding to go along with him, Jo turned and fell into her second love. Knitting. Jo wanted to dig into all the questions she had: why Rhys quit medical school, why he'd taken a job at the Coroner's office and why he still drove his father's car after they'd been dead for two years, she tamped down the urge. Focusing on his smiles and laughter. But especially the bubbly feeling of happiness he drew so effortlessly from her.
Follow CeeRee on Social Media:
Carly Jordynn is an author/blogger/speaker. She writes for the young adult, adult, and middle-grade audience. You can follow Carly at the following:www.carlyjordynn.com