Latest Posts

Gravedigger by Ceeree Fields - Book Tour + Giveaway

By 8:00 AM , , , , , , , ,

The Rayburn Mysteries Book 1
by Ceeree Fields

Romantic Suspense

Hunting a killer is easy. Learning to love is hard. 

Josephine 'Jo' Rayburn has no luck with love. Between the demands of her job as a homicide detective, finding the perfect yarn for her knitting projects, and her nosy family, she doesn't have time to find her happily ever after, nor does she really believe it exists. Until she's assigned to the Gravedigger task force where she meets Rhysian 'Rhys' Harrison, the sexy Coroner's assistant.

Rhys Harrison thought he had found love with the perfect woman. But his parents' deaths forced him to choose between his fiancée and caring for his brother, he chose his brother. His only regret, the medical degree he abandoned to work in the Coroner's office. When the Gravedigger leaves his latest victim at the gates of a cemetery, Rhys and Jo are thrown together, her prickly personality interests him, but it's her deeply hidden romantic side that captivates him.

After one of the task force members is shot, Rhys's fears of losing Jo, like he's lost so much already, threaten to rip them apart. Can she convince him that love is worth having no matter the risk? Or will he play it safe, leaving before his heart becomes too attached?

What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?

I only get to choose 10? Crud-o-la...

Robert Jordan the Wheel of Time series would go at the top. Then would probably come Carol O'Connell, John Sandford and Michael Connelly as I thoroughly enjoy good mysteries. Then pretty much any romance author, I have a LOT of those from historical to contemporary I've read a lot of different authors. Contemporary: Daryl Devore, Liza O'Connor, Viviana MacKade, Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, to historical Jenna Jaxon and Gina Dana to offbeat steampunk with zombies by Meljean Brook and Egyptian gods and goddesses by Tmonique Stephens or haunting contemporaries set in France like Sara Claridge's books.

Like I said, I read a lot. I don't have 'favorites' exactly since I re-read the stories. Even mine. I've got all my books loaded onto my Kobo and I read them. Not to edit, but to read and enjoy. It's why I wrote them in the first place.

What book do you think everyone should read?

One they enjoy. I am not a mandatory reading person. I think people should try different genres, kind of like trying different foods, it broadens the mind.

I try different genres, just because I like the experience. Horror is the worst for me though. Stephen King's IT totally freaked me out when I read it, I swear I slept with all the lights on for a week. And every drain in my bathroom was plugged and covered before I fell asleep. So the movie didn't even phase me, because the book was so much more intense. This genre I limit myself as my overactive imagination immerses me in every little detail like I'm there. Like Thinner, again by Stephen King. I've read Dean Koontz too, Tick Tock was spine-tingling for me.

I don't like a lot of true stuff. Biographies and autobiographies, those aren't my thing. I've tried to read them, but I just can't get into them too well. I do like some of the old ones, like Anne Frank's diaries, because I've visited the attic Anne Frank lived in during the German invasion, so I can better picture her life there as well as the village since my husband and I walked through it and asked questions.

How long have you been writing?

I've been writing since I was fifteen. I finished my first book, it was about two-hundred pages, by the time I was seventeen and spent the next two years trying to get it published. I had the sequel written when I was twenty, then between college and a full-time job I couldn't carve out the time for anymore. And after all the rejections I realized the market wasn't ready for a female fighters, females needed to be secretaries, office workers or managers. But never heads of security or rulers of a world.

So, I put the stories aside and focused on life in general for a while and I feel as if it made my stories richer. I can draw from certain experiences that I just hadn't had at seventeen yet.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?

By the time I'm writing my stories, the worlds are fully formed. There might be some secondary characters that'll pop up every once in a while. But I know what my characters ate for breakfast, which shoe they put on first, what music they listen to and so on.

For instance, the cast of characters in Gravedigger all have their own likes and dislikes which sometimes clash.  Rian, he'd eat Fruity Pebbles every morning and twice on Sunday if Rhys didn't watch him. Rhys prefers bagels or scrambled eggs. Jo loves raspberry pancakes. Sullivan, Jo's partner on the force, hates donuts, while his daughter, Arabelle loves them. Arabelle is addicted to frogs in all shapes and sizes and buys any clothing with the creatures on it for her father to wear. Hence the various frog ties and shirts Sullivan will come out proudly wearing. Karma is addicted to French Fries and will literally cross into oncoming traffic to get to a food cart selling them.

So, I'd say they come to me all at once with all their foibles and flaws.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

It depends. Some books beg to be written and I'll highlight areas I need to research more in depth just so I can get the story onto the page.

Gravedigger, I researched quite a bit before I wrote it as I wanted to understand if it were possible to dig a body out of a grave and what would it take. It actually takes quite a lot of work, but if someone was determined it could be done. The Mad Russian was able to do it alone and based on my research he got away with it for quite sometime as he gathered twenty-seven bodies before he was ever arrested.

I also needed to know how secure cemeteries were, which I used my mother for as well as my knowledge of visiting cemeteries on Halloween with my friends. Now-a-days cemeteries are very secure with all the turmoil surrounding them. Back in the early 90's I could drive through most of them looking for ghosts and such. We never did find any, but it made for a great Halloween experience as well as for scary stories to tell my nieces and nephews.

Then I delved into why the Mad Russian did what he did so I could mirror this for my character. I didn't use everything I learned, but I used some of it to help round out that character.

If you're interested in the Mad Russian here's one of the links I used ~

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. I see writing as a part of my life. I think, now that I've learned how to manage time more effectively I'll never stop writing. I'll always be working on one story or another for the rest of my life.

Whether my stories sell or not is a whole different thing. But I write what I want to read, so I'm always entertained and anyone who's read my books have enjoyed them, so that's a win as well.

The second I started writing again, I realized what Confucius meant when he said 'Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.' Marc Anthony said it as well 'If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life.'

These two understood job satisfaction.

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

I like romance. Give me a good romance and I'm happy. It can be sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, futuristic or any other you can think of and I'll read them. I enjoy high Fantasy as well.

I re-read an amazing indie author the other day named Will Wight and his Traveler's Gate series. It's almost like reading about the video game I play the way the first book is laid out in terms of the house the MC has to traverse to gain his powers. It was well thought out with a great balance.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

My fight scenes I write with music that has a heavy beat or is very dramatic like Florence and the Machines No Light, No Light I listened on repeat as I wrote a scene in Birch's Faith where she rescues the male MC. The music helps me focus and gives me a beat to work from as I get the scene on paper.

For Gravedigger, my latest release, I listened to Halestorm quite a bit and ended up incorporating the band into the first date scene with Josephine and Rhysian as they both love the band's music and it helps smooth the first date foibles they'd run into in the car.

Arguing scenes, I write those in silence as I'm most times talking it through to myself when I'm writing them. The same with the breakup scenes. Most of the other scenes it just depends, sometimes I listen to light Jazz, classical, sweet romantic songs.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

I have several. There are some scenes I know what I want, but it's not translating on the page, so I'll work on another story and let the scene stew a bit.

Gravedigger wasn't like that, though. That story, the second I had everything laid out, flew onto the page without a problem. The sequels were the same way.

But my upcoming release, Naktmerié's Monster, I had a few challenges. I wanted my hero in that book to be different from the predecessors. The reason being, in all the others the couples meet and they fall in love... well except for Sara's Kaos, Kaos was my MC in that one and he wasn't too impressed with Sara, but he was still drawn to her. I didn't want that with Nakt. I wanted him to be a total alpha-hole, I didn't want him to want to be bonded. I just wanted him not to fit a mold, so I broke it.

It was a hard balance keeping him sympathetic to the reader while still making him a total tool. It was also hard showing his redeeming qualities, so Shae could still fall in love with him. It doesn't help their relationship at all when Shae sets Nakt up to be kidnapped by a sadistic villainess, but in my opinion you can't have a hero that's dark and brooding and have his lady love be lily white and singing about the bright sunny day... Nope, she's gotta have a dark side as well.

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

My own books. If I was someone else, I wouldn't be me and my stories might never be written. So I'll choose me. I might not be famous, nor rich, but I love my characters and my worlds and I absolutely LOVE talking about them with anyone who'll listen. Captive audiences are the best, because then they can't run away, it's why we keep duct tape around though my hubby swears it's to repair stuff.

Pen or type writer or computer?

All the above... Any of the above... Might as well add ebook annotations and cell phone notes app. And grocery receipts,  napkins at restaurants, and children's menus. If my muse is rocking then I'm writing and I'll use whatever is at hand... even if it is my hand and I can only make a few notes.

Though I'll give some advice here, men's hands are bigger which makes being married rock as you can borrow your husband's hand. The key is having him sit still long enough to transcribe the notes. I've not tried this method yet as usually I can find something else to write on, but I've been keeping it in the back of my head just in case.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

I'd probably go with Aviendah from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. She's one of the MCs paramours, but is fierce in her own right as she was a Maiden of the Spear and later a Wise One who wields the female piece of the One Power. I like her indomitable spirit, she doesn't like change but when there's no other choice she does what's needed. She merges her time as a warrior with what she needs to be a Wise One to help guide her people and Rand through the war that's coming.

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

I've always wanted to be an author. It was my husband who encouraged me to take the opportunity when I first moved to the Netherlands and publish my first book.

So, that's what I did, I wrote Birch's Faith and the rest as they say is history.

A day in the life of the author?

A day in my life... Oh dear, as my husband would say. I try to get up between 330 and 430 every morning as that's when it's quietest. I make a pot of coffee and do my best to write for about an hour. Then I check emails, Facebook, Twitter, my website, YouTube and various groups I'm in which can take a few hours give or take and as my mom-in-law wakes anywhere from 730 to 930 I have to listen out for her so I can get her ready to start her day.

Then the kids might come over, school here is a bit different than in the states. And the kids all have bikes as that's their primary mode of transportation usually until their mid-twenties when they take driving lessons and then get a car. Since we never know when the kids are coming I try not to write during the day as I can be interrupted quite a bit. Instead, I'll work on graphics, listen to music selections to try to find one that fits my next book so I can make the trailer. I'll work on critiques for other authors, beta reads, or reviews as these I can fall in and out of pretty easily. Or I'll record tutorials for my game, which I still need to edit, tutorials for various programs I use, or I'll record game play just for fun.

The reason I'm recording the videos and such is I want to reopen my blog, but in such a way it helps other authors and is also enjoyable to readers who stop by and want a few minutes of entertainment.

So, I'm working on several blog stories as well as incorporating my love of gaming. In that vein I've decided Fridays will be fun and games day. Which I'll post my game play on or a game like Snake others can join in and play if they want. I'll make sure to post the rules, there won't be prizes as this is strictly just for fun and to connect with those you might not connect with otherwise.

Advice they would give new authors?

Don't give up. If writing is truly your dream and your passion, then keep going. It's easy to listen to all the negatives, we get fed that every day in this world. You need to learn to filter it out and focus on the comments that will make you a better writer so you can succeed. Maybe you write something that's offbeat and others don't get it. As long as you enjoy the story, the world and the subject you're writing on, then keep going. There are so many people in the world, it will click with someone, somewhere.

As for critiques. Take these with a grain of salt. You know your characters best, the critiques are to help draw attention to something that might be a hiccup, however, maybe the hiccup is there for a reason that only you know but reveal later in the story. If you have a critique circle and several people are highlighting the spot, then you might need to step back and re-examine to see what can change to smooth the section out.

Never take a critique personally, it's not an attack on you, though sometimes it feels like it. It's not. These groups are there to help you get better at your chosen craft, some of the personalities might be blunt. It's never personal, it's just how the person might communicate.

I've had critiques where I literally cringe, because it's as if my page is bleeding with comments. It happens. It'll probably happen next time I post another chapter for my critique group to look at. It's just the process.

What makes a good story?

Anything can be a good story. Even a dripping faucet if it's told with a good flare, especially if the MC beats it into submission with a wrench to try to stop the drip... but then the liquid finds a way to wiggle out just to... ddddrrrriiiipppp one more time. Which leads to the demise of the faucet and sink. As the faucet pings onto the tiled floor, the water rushes out in joy as it sprays everything it can reach, effectively flooding of the kitchen. The click of heels has the MC turning towards the doorway in dread as his wife steps through, grocery bags in her hands. She arches a brow. “Tried to fix-it yourself, I see.”

There was a book, the name escapes me and Google isn't helping me today, but the entire story took place in the kitchen. The reader only saw snippets of the MCs lives based on the action in the kitchen and you had to fill in the rest using your imagination. It was a good story, just a bit odd.

What are they currently reading?

At the moment, I'm reading His Midnight Sun by Viviana MacKade. It's a great story, I'm halfway through and if you've read it... shhh... don't tell me the ending. =D

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

This varies for me. If I'm in the middle of writing a scene and it triggers something for another story, I'll stop and make a few notes. Then I'll finish my scene and return to the notes to flesh them out and set them aside.

I don't typically do chapters first or outline. I write scenes. For instance, with Gravedigger I knew how I wanted the first date to go with Josephine and Rhysian so that was the first scene I wrote. I put them at an outside craft show mirrored after Homestead Hollow that takes place twice a year in Alabama.

The next scene I wrote was the first scene of the book with Josephine meeting up with Sullivan in the parking garage and heading out to the crime scene on a case Josephine refers to as the 'Zombie Case'.

After I get done writing I put the story together, I know how I want it to go, but some scenes come to me faster than others so I grab them while they're fresh.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Before signing up for things that cost money, like software. You might not need some things right off the bat so wait, who knows, you might be able to pick it up when the company's having a sale, or vanity publishers that you pay upfront costs to publish your books. Check into everything, make sure it's what you need before forking over your hard-earned cash. A good writing group has no problem answering those kinds of questions with beginning authors.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Gaming and reading. I can get sucked into my various games in a heartbeat and easily lose track of time which is why I have a timer on my cell. If I'm taking a break from writing, I'll set my timer so I'm not away from it for longer than thirty minutes or so.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Neither. I write what I enjoy reading. All my books are on my Kobo and I re-read them through the year. My thoughts are if I'm passionate about it and I enjoy reading it, others will too. My mom, who doesn't read a lot of futuristic books enjoyed Birch's Faith and is now reading the next line in that series, D'Reaper's Destiny, so I call that a win.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don't quit writing. Even if it's just a few minutes every day jot a few words down. I wish I'd not given up after the sixth rejection, but kept on trying.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Making sure I have their reactions right. I don't want cookie cutter male MCs, so if I'm having issues I'll poke my husband and use him as a sounding board. Or I'll ask some of the guys on my game.

I feel like I've got a good representation with my latest release, Gravedigger.

I have Rhysian who's laid-back and relaxed, comfortable in his skin and doesn't mind showing his emotions. Compared to Josephine who's emotionally constipated, add in snarly and prickly and not many men are willing to give her a chance, at least not many sane ones.

Sullivan is older and has no problems expressing himself, he's confident and says what he's thinking. Sometimes he can be blunt, but then again Jo's the same way. In that respect, he's makes a good mentor for Josephine.

Webster 'Maker' Schumaker, Karma's partner, is a watcher. He's silent for the most part and even though he's big he tends to blend in the background. It's part of his military training and he uses it to his advantage allowing his partner, Karma Zwart, to draw the attention. The two together make a deadly team.

Then there's Rian, Rhysian's brother, with him I get to go a little crazy and be a kid again in a grown up body... oh, wait I do that every day. Nevermind. I just get to have fun with Rian. He's bright and sunny with some of the moody, angsty piece as well tossed in. Since he was brain damaged in a hit-and-run when he was twelve his brain never fully developed. With a body of an eighteen-year-old and the brain of a teenager, he can be a handful when he loses his temper, which is why Rhys does his best to navigate the minefield that are Rian's emotions without setting him off.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It depends. Gravedigger it took me two weeks when I sat down and began writing. I thought my hands were going to fall off trying to keep up with the typing.

With Birch's Faith it took me a month and then a LOT of time editing time. Whereas Naktmerié's Monster took me almost six months because I struggled getting the balance just right between alpha-hole and someone the female MC could love with my main male MC, Naktmerié.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I believe in stress and life. I think if those two things are hitting a writer it makes it harder to get into your characters' heads, or it can make your characters angsty as we as writers try to work through it. But overall writer's block? No, I think if a writer is stuck at a certain point in their book, go work on another one for a bit. Let your mind rest and then come back to the first story when you've got the ideas sorted again.

If that doesn't work go for a walk, listen to some music, meet up with some friends or go sit in the library and people watch. Get out of your head for a bit and let your imagination fill up again. Something will click and you'll be back to typing away in no time.

CeeRee Fields currently lives in Groningen, the Netherlands with her husband
and cat. Since she was born in Alabama and moved to the Netherlands,
Dutch is
not her first language which gets her into mischief in various stores
around town when she tries to speak it.

She loves writing, building worlds that her characters can explore and break if they feel the need.

 Action, adventure and love are her favorite things. And when stuff gets blown up who says the guy 

 is the  only one who gets to do it?

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

You Might Also Like


Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.