Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meet Texas Author Valerie Massey Goree

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Valerie. Can you tell us, is there a story behind your book Deceive Me Once?

There are two events that inspired the plot. During a conversation with a friend from Puerto Rico, she stated how her mother-in-law was very unhappy that she was planning a QuinceaƱera—a coming-of-age party for her daughter. My daughter-in-law is from Mexico and at that time my granddaughter was only three years old. But I got to thinking. Will her mother plan a QuinceaƱera for her? I loved the idea!

We live out in the country. My dogs love to scamper in the brush and chase any animal, large or small, that dares to venture on our property. One day as I watched them from the back porch, I got to wondering. What if I found a person out there? What if …?

And there is a story behind the name of the main character. When my daughter was in second grade, she transferred to the school where I taught. I had playground duty the first day and noticed my daughter all by herself. My Instructional Assistant also had a daughter in second grade. I introduced the girls. Maricella and my daughter were best friends for many years.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

I love suspense, mystery, police procedurals. Recently I read the three book series by Catherine Leggitt, Payne & Misery, The Dunn Deal, and Parrish the Thought. You’ll love Christine Sterling, the amateur sleuth.

Which character in Deceive Me Once most interested you while you wrote?

Deceive Me Once is written in the first person, therefore I felt a strong attachment to Maricella. I was in her point of view for the whole story. She is a devoted wife and mother but struggles with issues from her past.

Let's have a little fun. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

My husband and I went to Port Aransas and Padre Island for a short vacation. There were tattoo parlors everywhere. We joked that we should stop and each get a tattoo. Not likely to happen! But I decided to tease our kids. We’d already planned a family get-together the weekend after our trip, so I purchased a package of temporary tattoos.

My husband and I applied them to our upper arms. Before the meal, we asked everyone to gather around the table as we had something important to discuss. We were solemn, and admitted we’d done something we weren’t proud of while on vacation. Didn’t know what came over us.

Looks of horror, surprise, and bewilderment met us. Then Glenn and I raised our sleeves and showed off our tattoos. Our daughter’s mouth gaped. Our son snickered. Glenn and I couldn’t hold it in any longer and burst out laughing. That’s when they guessed our secret.

We've thought about pulling that same prank on our kids. Funny. What is your favorite season of the year? 

Spring! When I grew up in Rhodesia, we had two seasons—summer and not quite summer. My first spring in Arkansas where I attended College was amazing. I’d get up early in the morning and go out with my camera and take photos of irises, daffodils, red bud trees. I’d never experienced such rebirth before.

What is a favorite memory from your childhood?

I recently had slides from my childhood digitalized. So many memories! We used to take an annual vacation to South Africa where we’d visit family, and spend every day on the beach. Sunburn. Ouch. I can still smell the salty air, and feel the rush of riding a wave into shore.

Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?

Our son served in the US Marines for 11 years. For the last four years he was stationed in San Diego, California. We flew out whenever he was deployed to Iraq or when he came home. We also visited Los Angeles. Scenes from California feature in two of my novels.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends? 

It seems everyone is so busy these days that our family only gets together on special occasions. Birthdays, Christmas, etc. But those times are precious. We have two children—both are married, and two grandchildren. My mother lives in a nursing home close by, and my mother-in-law lives in San Antonio. This is our family.

Babootie (South African meatloaf)
1 lb ground beef or turkey                      1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs                                                   ¾ cup milk
1 slice bread                                         ¼ cup raisins
1 tsp salt                                                1 tbs curry powder
1 clove garlic, minced
Heat oven to 350. Soak the bread in the milk. Mix meat, onion, raisins, curry powder, one beaten egg, salt and garlic. Squeeze the bread – save the milk. Add bread to the meat mixture. Spray a casserole dish with Pam. Place meat mixture in dish. Beat the other egg into the leftover milk. Pour over the meat. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  

It seems all my novels have a similar thread – forgiveness. Forgiveness takes many forms. We need to forgive each other, ourselves, but more importantly, we need to seek forgiveness from God.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?

The back porch. No close neighbors, no cars, just nature.

Could you share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you?   

Psalm 121. Lift up your eyes. When I left Rhodesia as a shy 17 year-old on my way to America to attend college, the church gave me a farewell party. One of the elders read that psalm and it has held a special place in my heart ever since.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

My next book is with a publisher and I’m waiting for the word. Contract or rejection?

You're keeping us in suspense. Thanks for sharing with us today!

Connect with Valerie Massey Goree at:
The third Thursday of each month on Catherine’s Leggitt's blog under the heading My Mother, My Child.

Valerie Massey Goree is giving away a copy of Deceive Me OnceTo be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your e-mail address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


Cindi A said...

The meatloaf recipe sounds interesting. I never would have thought to use raisins.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

ann said...

This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. And the meatloaf recipe sounds yummy and I kinda like the idea of the raisins in it. thanks

Jo said...

I would love to read this book. It sounds quite interesting and has me curious already.


Patricia Bradley said...

Enjoyed the interview and would love to win the book! pat at ptbradley dot com

Anonymous said...

Thanks karen for having Valerie for this interview. Valerie, you mentioned padre Island and galveston. Do you live in TX. I live near Houston, so not far to these places. This book sounds like a good one so please put my name in the drawing. Thanks.
MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

cjajsmommy said...

Note -- I am not entering the drawing as I've already read this book (and it was excellent!).

I wanted to thank you for the recipe for babootie. This is on the buffet at Boma restaurant in Disney World and one of the items that I always look forward to eating. I'm looking forward to making it myself one day.

Rose Milligan said...

I really enjoy a good suspense/mystery book. Thanks for having the giveaway.


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