Monday, August 29, 2016

Featured Author - Stacey Cotter, Harris Estate

1. What is Harris Estate about? 

Harris Estate is an alluring mystery that takes Leah Murphy from San Francisco, California to Oakdale, Texas when she inherits a long abandoned ranch estate. A grisly discovery on the property sparks an investigation with local authorities, which opens up Pandora's box and everything Leah knew about her life is changed forever. During the trials and tribulations, her marriage is tested, her desires are amplified and she has decisions to make that will affect everyone she loves.

2. What is the main take-away you want readers to have when they finish the book?

I'm in hopes that the reader enjoys taking a wild ride that makes them question what they might do in the various scenarios that our characters are thrown into. I want them to experience the same range of emotions: shock, fear, humor, passion and vengeance.

3. Your story centers on a strong female protagonist. Why did you choose to tell the story from a woman's viewpoint? 

Leah Murphy lives a full life in San Francisco, California. She is a busy mother of two, a wife and CFO, which makes her very relatable. So many of us are multi-tasking with taking care of our families, working and tending to our relationships. Having Leah’s perspective brings Harris Estate to life and pulls us into the mystery and her adventure.

4. How did you come up with the idea for the story? 

In January, my grandmother passed away at the age of 96. We celebrated her life and the love that she gave to all of us. Like many people after losing someone special, I found myself analyzing my life, past, present and future. A week after the service, I was on a several days long road trip for work when I drove past an abandoned farmhouse. My mind and imagination went into overdrive as I was curious what had taken place there over the past decades. By the time I finished work and was checked into my hotel, I had a blank Word document in front of me begging for words. That night I wrote the first chapter of Harris Estate and had the entire novel written within just a few weeks.

5. What is your favorite novel? 

The Moonlight Bay Trilogy by Dean Koontz has always been on my radar as an intriguing storyline with the main character who has xeroderma pigmentosum. However, I need to give a nod to Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, Cujo and Pet Cemetery, as those were some of the first novels I ever read. To this day, they stay with me.
6. Who is your favorite character in literature and why?
This in an extremely difficult answer as so many powerful characters impact your mind and life while reading the pages of a good book. Dean Koontz has the Odd Thomas character who has always intrigued me with his special talents and abilities. Having the series of books, keeps the character alive and the reader engaged in his life.

7. What would you rather read – action adventure or romance erotica? 

Both genres have their appeal, but I would need a darker element of intrigue to pull me in to either one. I’ve always been one to jump around to various types of literature. John Keats was an amazing English Romantic poet that I found myself studying regularly during college. In addition, William Shakespeare’s various sonnets and the play Romeo and Juliet still intrigues me to this day as well as many other poets and authors.

8. What is your favorite place to vacation? 

My happy place is on the shore watching the ocean waves crash up against the sand. Several times each year, we are able to escape to the coast for some fresh salty sea air and beach time.

9. What would you rather do: break bread with friends and family and laugh all night or travel to Europe? 

I would have to say that I would be mingling with family and friends doing a lot of laughing. It isn't much of a secret that my close circle knows how to have a good time. Traveling is a wonderful luxury. I feel fortunate to have family in Europe that we visit regularly. I'm in hopes to do more exotic traveling in the future.

10. Who do you admire the most? 

Without hesitation, I would say my mother. She has been dealing with rheumatoid arthritis for decades, in addition to being a two-time cancer survivor. Everyone close to her knows that she is in agonizing pain, but she never complains and is always smiling. Her courage, bravery and demeanor are all beyond admirable and are truly inspiring. It is a privilege being her daughter.

Harris Estate releases Nov. 1, 2016. To receive an Advanced Review Copy, please send an email to and indicate where the review will appear. 

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