Krista Lynn is a late-comer to the author’s world with a long academic career in earth sciences in her wake instead of years of fiction writing. But, wind has filled all the sails this year, with the release of Blood Stones, the first book in the Haunted Canyon Series. The next book, Cast in Stone is due December, 2016. A short cozy mystery anthology titled, The Talking Board Mysteries, is in the works for early 2017.
It’s no mystery why Krista writes about the high desert of Arizona. She grew up on a gold mine about 60 miles north of Phoenix. The closest neighbor was 6 miles or so down the Agua Fria River, or another 20 miles by dirt road. To say it was a gold mine is technically correct, but very little gold was ever mined. It did, however, keep gas in the jeep and food on the table. The real treasure of this placer gold-mining venture was the lasting impressions of living wild on the desert with her brothers, and a menagerie of dogs, goats, and donkeys. And experiencing the magic and spirit of a rugged, isolated landscape where mysteries are carried on the wind, and whispered in your sleep. Years later, these experiences are the multi-colored threads woven into her series of romantic supernatural suspense set in the high desert of Arizona.
She taught physical geography and GIS courses at CSUF and Fresno City College before taking an Academic Coordinator for GIS Technologies position at UC Davis Cooperative Extension where she built a GIS program to assist agricultural research.
She now enjoys the full-time writing life in California with her husband and a menagerie of dogs, goats and one spoiled horse – and reading, reading, reading! What a joy!
What makes you proud to be a writer from central California? I live in central California and have always loved books and admired writers. Being now among those that start, finish, and get a manuscript traditionally published, I guess I can say I’m proud of that accomplishment. Mostly, I think I’m just satisfied (in a relieved manner) that I met my goal, and that I have written a good book. There were times when I thought never to finish, and was certain what I had spent months on was just awful. I persevered and finished and I’m getting many 5-Star reviews.
I am proud of my book cover and website. I designed them both.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I love so many writers, I really can’t begin to say just one who sparked my own writing. I know that my first foray into writing a story was prompted by a Linda Howard book – Death Angel. I embarked on my own story, The Assassin of Citrus Cove, which I am going to self-pub this year, based on a character in Death Angel, which is a romantic suspense. I’ve tried to write The Assassin… in the style of Michael Connelly or Robert Crais, two stellar mystery writers. So, I guess this explains the mystery novel element of my book Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon. For the Sci-Fi edge of the book, I think a combination of books and movies influenced me.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? To answer the first question: I was raised in an environment that valued education and character. My brothers have advanced degrees as do I. My mother was an intelligent person—a life-long learner. We were partly raised in the high desert of Arizona where we went to a one-room school house, lived in a cabin not unlike the one I depict in my book, and, as we had no electricity or running water, we read books by the feeble glow of one bulb in the kitchen, which owed its light to the poor amperage afforded by a gas generator—which was always shut down by eight o’clock to save fuel.
This is from my website’s About Page.
I grew up on a small gold mine claim in Arizona where my dearest friends were dogs, goats, my mom – and books. The worlds in those books were no more enchanting and exciting than the beauty and mystery of the desert around me. The one-room school house sitting proudly amongst Palo Verde trees and Saquaro cacti is still vivid when I recall time spent there. I can open the memory and read it like a beloved book, so indelibly written is it into mind – and spirit.
A memory-chapter I “read” often is about the cabin where we lived. From it could be seen a tall bluff that defined the course of the Agua Fria River. Old Indian, who lived with us, explained that an Indian burial ground was at the top of the bluff. He said we should never go there because it was sacred and protected by spirits.
Of course we did. We went there once. One time. My two brothers and I scrambled to the top of the cliff, and for two minutes it was just a small mesa dotted with cacti and mesquite brush. A jackrabbit burst from under its bushy shelter and birds flapped away at our intrusion. That was before everything went still – no breeze, no movement of any kind as the sun slipped behind a curtain of thin clouds, leaving the dim stage to our imagination. Imagination. That’s what the adults said when we tried to explain what we felt and how, under a 110 degree desert sun, we were suddenly chilled to the bone before a dust devil kicked up dirt and pebbles and chased us off the mesa. And we heard voices….
We did. Didn’t we? Mom said it was all in our heads. Old Indian said nothing. He let the hard stare he gave us speak loud and clear. He told us not to go. He said there were spirits. They were both right. There are spirits there, and the experience is still in my head. I can read it like a book.
So, borrowing from the “books” of life, I’m writing a series of haunting love stories, the kind of romance I love to read – served with a garnish of mystery, suspense, and yes…magic.
To answer the second question: I started with serious intent 3 years ago.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? “Selling” the trilogy to Black Opal Books.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? When Black Opal offered a contract, because it hadn’t all been for nothing, you see.
How many published books do you have? One
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? Before and during.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? The publisher describes Blood Stones as Paranormal Thriller/Romantic Thriller. I categorize it as a Supernatural/Sci Fi Romantic Suspense. Blood Stones is a cross-genre book that weaves elements of romance, ghosts, Native American Indian lore, and ancient aliens. I believe this is a challenge to the category gods and goddesses. It is not urban fantasy. There are no vampires, or werewolves that live down the street or in the mansion on the hill. But there are entities that haunt the canyon. Their destinies are intrinsically tied with that of the humans in the story, some of which are intimately connected, unbeknownst to them in book one, to the entities. The first book is about the haunting, and the legend of ghost warriors. The next two books develop who is really in the canyon, their story of survival and their quest to find a way home. So, I would love to have your take on where my book fits. At this point in the trilogy, it is heavy on the romantic suspense.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? I’d say there was no one moment, just an adult lifetime remembering the glow of an enchanted childhood.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Finish your book, because that’s the only way to really work on it. The rough draft is just the beginning. From there, you can truly begin the long, winding journey to publication.
Who is your favorite author and why? There really are many that I love. Mary Stewart, Thomas Wolfe, Diana Gabaldon, Emily Dickinson (poetry), Mary Baloug, J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith, Robert Crais, Emile Zola, Steinbeck, Harper Lee…a crazy combo, I know. But, really crazy is the fact that I adore Linda Howard. I didn’t start reading romance until I was fifty years old and read one of hers. The relationship between two people is always the heart of any story. I learned that from her.
Deep in the Arizona desert, the love a young woman feels for her mysterious Indian lover grows deeper every year, though her heart stopped beating over a century ago—stilled by the one she loves. What magic could cause this? What ancient Native American witchcraft could hold her spirit captive and make her part of The Haunting of Sunset Canyon? Could the legends of ghost warriors who guard the treasure of the Lost Blood Stones Mine be true?
When Darcy Peel left Dry Creek, Arizona, to go to graduate school, she thought she had left for good. She never imagined she would come back to the small community nestled in the shadow of Prospector’s Mountain. But now she is compelled to return and find her sister who is lost in the red gorge canyon. On her trail to the truth, Darcy meets Alan Brandt, a young deputy who possesses hidden abilities that link him to stories of ghost warriors. Can she trust him to help find her sister as he promises? Or is she being trapped by the canyon’s magic—seduced by her attraction to a man with an uncanny connection to the deadly legends?
Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon by Krista Lynn begins in 1911 during the Summer Solstice in Little Springs River at Sunset Canyon, Arizona with a story that sets the stage for a supernatural suspense.
Fast forward 100 hundred and four years later in Sacramento, California where Darcy Peel lives and teaches at a prestigious university. Darcy is forced to return to her rural hometown of Dry Creek, Arizona when her sister, Deanna Peel, suddenly disappears in the desert canyons while pursuing her research. The local headlines relate Deanna’s disappearance to the deaths of other Peel family members who entered the canyon and presume that she is also dead. “Deanna is well known in her community as an activist for desert preservation and anthropological research in the “Canyon that Sees the Sun” as that deep gorge is known from Indian myth”. Some of the locals believe that Deanna “fell prey to the Curse”.
Intent on doing her own expedition to find her sister, Darcy drives the long hours back, stopping alongside the highway a half-mile from her family’s 76 Diner and Gas Station to view Prospector’s Mountain. What awaits her is Déjà vu as she holds up an old Polaroid photo from June 22, 1986 and stares out her windshield at the mountain, then back to the photo. The cloud formation she sees over the mountain top is identical to the one in the old picture which was taken the day of a horrifying experience that happened on the date of the photo.
Darcy has to stay focused on her mission to find her sister as the dark magic of the New Moon at vernal equinox draws near, bringing its strange energy to the mountain, its canyons, and the small community steeped in rich Native American legends. Darcy might just find more than the answers she came in search of when a young deputy named Alan Brandt is willing to assist. Their attraction to each other another is yet another mystery that will need to be solved.
Author Krista Lynn weaves a tale conjured up from her childhood where she lived with her family sixty miles north of Arizona on an old gold mine. The nearest neighbor was twenty miles away. Krista draws from her own memories of an isolated desert life with her brothers, animals and the supernatural desert landscape. Descriptive writing, easy to follow dialog, well developed characters will draw you into this first story in her Blood Stone series and will leave you waiting for her next novel coming soon titled ‘Cast In Stone’.
If you enjoy stories that speak of supernatural legends and curses, suspense and mystery, humor and romance this book is for you. It is a multi-genre geared for young adults and up.
Cold Coffee Press/Cafe endorses Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon by Krista Lynn. I reviewed this book from Kindle/PDF format. The review was completed on July 6, 2016. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press http://www.coldcoffeepress.com and Cold Coffee Cafe http://coldcoffeecafe.com/
Genre: Paranormal Thriller/Romantic Thriller