Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Lorie Ham has been a good friend for several years. We met at the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime and we roomed together at Left Coast Crime in Anchorage, Alaska. I'm a big fan of her series and sorry to know that The Final Note is the last.
Here's a blurb about The Final Note.
The Final Note:
Alexandra Walters, a gospel singer living in the small town of Donlyn which is nestled in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley of California, finds herself the victim of a stalker during a reunion tour with her family singing group. By the end of the tour, the stalker is dead and Alex finds herself the prime suspect. The murder takes place in the California Coastal town of Ayr (near Santa Cruz), where Roxi Carlucci lives. Roxi is the cousin of private investigator Stephen Carlucci, one of two men vying for Alex’s affection. Donlyn Police Detective Will Knight is the other. Roxi, Stephen, Alex, Will, and a cast of Alex’s roommates and friends return in this final novel of the series to help find the real killer. To further complicate the matter the stalker returns—is Alex being stalked by a ghost?
In the end not only is the stalker revealed and the killer caught, but Alex finally chooses between the two men she loves.
I had a few questions for Lorie and I think you'll be interested in her answers.
Marilyn: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Lorie: I started writing when I was 7-I always loved making up short stories about my stuffed animals. At 13 I had my first poem and song published. It’s just something that has always been a part of me.
Marilyn: What gave you the idea to begin this series?
Lorie: I have been a gospel singer since the age of 5 so it’s a life I know but I never thought of using it as a setting for a book until fellow Sisters In Crime members started suggesting it. I decided to give it a try and here I am 4 books later.
(I knew the answer to the question, but thought others would like to know too. Lorie came to my church to put on a program singing gospel songs a couple of times.)
Marilyn: I understand this will be the last one in the series, why did you decide to end with this one?
Lorie: Ending the series had a lot of to do with the publishing industry itself. I had a hard time finding a home for my books because they were crossover before crossover was popular-gospel singer main character, but not really Christian fiction.
Once the series ended up with the publisher it did I found it impossible to find someone else to take over the series once I began having issues with my publisher. So I decided that it was time to finish this series up and move on to something new. I needed this last book to tie up some loose ends, including a stalker I left Alex with in the previous book, Out of Tune. Plus it was time for her to pick between the two guys, lol.
Marilyn: What's next for you?
Lorie: I actually have several new projects going including a vampire book and a new online magazine called Kings River Life which goes live in June. But fiction wise, my current focus is a new mystery series featuring an animal rescuer who just happens to be Stephen Carlucci’s cousin (Stephen is a PI in my current series). Those who love Stephen will be happy to know he will make appearances in this new series.
Marilyn: Where can my readers find your books, including this latest one?
Lorie: The first 3 in the series can only be purchased from me by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can find used copies on Amazon and abebooks.com The one book not in the series, Deadly Discrimination, will be serialized on my new magazine website at www.kingsriverlife.com The new book, The Final Note, can be purchased directly from the publisher at https://www.createspace.com/3434460 and will soon be available on Amazon.
Marilyn: Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you or your books?
Lorie: I think this series is unique because it gives people a glimpse into a world few people really know about, the world of professional gospel music. And I do my best to give an accurate portrayal including not just the good but the bad as well.
Also, I’m excited about the new series as I have also done animal rescue work and it is another world few people have seen what goes on behind the scenes of. It’s not at all like Animal Cops.
People can find sample chapters of my other books on my website www.LorieHam.com The website is under construction so chapters of the new book are not yet up.
Marilyn: Thank you, Lorie. I've read The Final Note and enjoyed it. I'm sorry to see the series end.
Here are some reviews of Lorie's other books:
Reviews of other books-
Out of Tune-
Once again Lorie Ham has created an entertaining and intriguing mystery featuring the very likeable Alex Walters. Ham excels at portraying the realistic relationships between the dynamic Walters family and she always leaves the readers wanting to know more. Readers looking for a novel full of mystery, romance and humor need to look no further.
— Cynthia Chow
DEADLY DISCRIMINATION is a classic whodunit with motives and clues a-plenty. I thought I had the perp pegged, but got a big surprise at the end. It's Agatha Christie meets Jan Karon...a mystery lover's delight.
— Rosey Dow
Trouble With Tenors-
Written in Ms. Ham’s uncanny, witty style, THE TROUBLE WITH TENORS is an unabashed whodunit, throwing suspects and motives at the reader almost faster than you can keep track of them. Full of plot twists and inner challenges for Alex as she struggles to come to terms with her feelings towards her ex, her boyfriend, and the new police sergeant, this novel is an engaging read. I look forward to the next Alex Walters installment and hope to see her deepen her relationship with Steven.
— Aimee McCleod
Murder In Four Part Harmony-
In gospel singer Alex Walters, Lorie Ham gives readers a peek at an unusual profession and offers a new slant on the amateur sleuth. Alex's curiosity gets her into trouble, but her faith and her .45 see her through. All the while, she is good company.
— Jonnie Jacobs