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Friday, June 13, 2008

Spotlight on Cara Putman and Deadly Exposure AND Sandhill Dreams


Cara Putman is an author, attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, women's ministry leader, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. Heartsong Presents is publishing a three book series of World War Two romances: Canteen Dreams (October 2007), Sandhill Dreams (May 2008), and Captive Dreams (September 2008). Love Inspired Suspense published her first romantic suspense Deadly Exposure in May 2008. Now she's working on the Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Law (don't ask!) and the first book in an Ohio World War Two series.

by Cara Putman
Published by Steeple Hill Suspense

by Cara Putman
Published by Heartsong Presents


How could a killer have struck in a crowded theater? That was the question plaguing TV news reporter Dani Richards. She'd been in the box next to the victim -- and hadn't heard or seen a thing. Now the very man who broke Dani's heart years ago is investigating the murder. And when her coverage of the story led the killer to stalk her, police officer and former flame Caleb Jamison insisted on protecting her. Dani was afraid to let Caleb close again. Yet she had no choice. The killer's sinister phone calls left no doubt that he'd come for Dani next.

Buy Your Copy of Deadly Exposure Today!

Lainie Gardner dreamed of becoming a nurse. Of serving her country. Of doing something important in the war. But rheumatic fever changed all that, and instead of running home, Lainie is determined to find a job at Fort Robinson in Nebraska's Sandhills. Tom Hamilton had dreams too. Dreams of preparing the horses at Fort Robinson for duty on the warfront. Instead, he is assigned to train war dogs and their handlers, meaning that each day he must face the fear he's had of dogs since he was bitten as a child. Lainie and Tom wonder why God seems to have denied them their dreams. But is it possible new dreams will bring them more joy than they ever imagined?

Buy Your Copy of Sandhill Dreams Today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this book?

For Deadly Exposure, I worked at a small town Nebraska TV station for a couple years in college, and loved the chance to resurrect my love for journalism with this book. And I set it in Lincoln, Nebraska, since I lived there two years in college and still visit at least a couple times a year. It's my idea of a perfect small city. Out of those two things, I brainstormed ideas with my husband since I knew I wanted a fast-paced suspense. Because it was published by Steeple Hill, it is also filled with romance. And I'm thrilled with the emotion and conflict that developed in it as I wrote. It's a fun read, filled with twists and romance.

Sandhill Dreams is the second book in my Nebraska World War Two series published by Heartsong Presents. I loved researching and writing this book, because it's a story that I don't think many people know about. World War Two was the first time that the United States made a concerted effort to use dogs in war. Half of those used during the war were trained at this little fort in the middle of nowhere, Nebraska. I'd visited once as a young teen and remembered that piece of history and after spending a day at the Fort with the museum curator knew it was perfect for this series.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

Dani Richards, the heroine of Deadly Exposure, has strong shades of me. We're both independent, stubborn, sink our teeth into something and not let go kind of people. Add in the love of family, Lincoln, and journalism, and she's definitely got traces of me.

Lainie Gardner has some serious questions about how much God truly cares about her after things don't turn out the way she'd planned. I'd just experienced an excruciating test in my life when I started writing the proposal for this book, and the questions I was confronting color the spiritual thread Lainie lives. I say it was the time the candy coating came off my faith and I truly learned that I do believe everything I've always said I believed. Lainie lives through the same struggles.

3. What themes exist in Deadly Exposure and Sandhill Dreams that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

For Deadly Exposure, the thread is that God is truly our refuge -- even when life is falling apart and we are confronted by our failures and need for Him. The theme verse is Psalm 62:5-6. The subtle theme is one of forgiveness and moving beyond the past mistakes. And the hero and heroine have a doozy!

For Sandhill Dreams, the theme verse comes from Isaiah 43:1. The hero and heroine both learn that God truly sees them and has called them by name. I think sometimes it is so easy to forget that when we are in the middle of trials.

4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

In Deadly Exposure, I struggled to get the romance up to 50% of the story. One day I was sitting at my computer asking God what to do to make the romantic conflict believable. The suspense is incredibly fast-paced (one week from start to finish), so I needed something big but believable so they could realistically fall in love. God whispered the answer in my ear, and I sat there thinking, "Wow! That would be great. Will the publisher go for it?" I wrote it, since I couldn't come up with anything better LOL, trusting God with the results. My editor loved it!

Sandhill Dreams was actually fairly easy to write. It was just a matter of sitting down and doing it. I enjoyed the story, history, and characters. Lainie was constantly getting herself into trouble, and I think is a more layered character than Audrey was in Canteen Dreams -- though I loved her. And Tom was great!

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

Captive Dreams, book three in the Nebraska World War Two series, releases in September. Captive Dreams is the story of Anna Goodman and Sid Chance and the challenges they experience on the home front during World War II. Anna works at the Air Base in Kearney, but comes home each weekend to try and hold the family farm together. Since his appearance in Sandhill Dreams, Sid and a dog team have been assigned to Camp Atlanta, a Prisoner of War (POW) camp. Anna and Sid meet when Sid is overseeing a group of POWs who are providing farm labor for her father. Anna is incensed that they are there because she knows the family doesn't have the resources to pay the workers. Sid vows to pay extra attention to the Goodman farm and make sure everything is okay. Over the following months their tentative friendship builds into a romance that turns into love.

Thanks so much for hosting me. Now it's time to get back to writing!

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Thank you, Cara, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of either Deadly Exposure or Sandhill Dreams. If you have a specific one you'd like to win, please specify with your comment.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname or that there is a way to contacvt you. Otherwise, you won't be entered. Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

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Deborah said...

i loved cara's first book! please enter me for deadly exposure!

Cara Putman said...

Thanks so much for hosting me, Amber, and good luck, Deborah!

Cherie J said...

Wonderful spotlight! Would love to read either one.

tetewa said...

They both sound great!

windycindy said...

Greetings! I think Cara is wonderful. She seems like a sweet person and I love her books. Please enter me in your drawing for either book. I appreciate it! Thanks, Cindi

ChristyJan said...

Both of these books sound like wonderful reads.

Karin said...

I also would like to be entered for either one ---thanks!

Carolynn said...

I haven't read anything by Cara but I would love to, thanks for the chance to win!

Unknown said...

Please enter me for Sandhill Dreams.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to win Deadly Exposure, thanks!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have our two winners from this spotlight, and they are:

KARIN for Deadly Exposure
MELISSA for Sandhill Dreams

CONGRATULATIONS! I've sent your mailing address to Cara so she can send out your books.

Thanks, as always, for your continued support. Check out Deeanne Gist and Suzanne Woods Fisher for 2 more winners.

SmilingSally said...

I would be thrilled to win either one of these books; both sound good to me!

Karin said...

Hi! I am so happy to have won. Thank you!