Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The F.I.G. Mysteries by Barbara Casey

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The F.I.G. Mysteries by Barbara Casey. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from The Wish Rider as well as a great guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops along the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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ABOUT THE SERIES:
Dara Roux, abandoned when she was 7 years old by her mother. Exceptionally gifted in foreign languages. Orphan.

Mackenzie Yarborough, no record of her parents or where she was born. Exceptionally gifted in math and problem-solving. Orphan.

Jennifer Torres, both parents killed in an automobile accident when she was 16. Exceptionally gifted in music and art. Orphan.
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Title: The Cadence of Gypsies
Series: The F.I.G. Mysteries #1
Author: Barbara Casey
Publisher: Hungry Goat Press
Publication Date: April 2nd 2015
Print Length: 272 pages
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
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Known as the F.I.G.s (Females of Intellectual Genius), three high-spirited 17 year olds with intelligent quotients in the genius range, accompany their teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, to Frascati, Italy, a few weeks before they are to graduate from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women. Carolina's purpose in planning the trip is to remove her unusually gifted, creative students from the Wood Rose campus located in Raleigh, North Carolina, so they can't cause any more problems ("expressions of creativity") for the headmaster, faculty, and other students – which they do with regularity. Carolina also wants to visit the Villa Mondragone where the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world, was first discovered and attempt to find out how it is related to a paper written in the same script she received on her 18th birthday when she was told that she was adopted.

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Title: The Wish Rider
Series: The F.I.G. Mysteries #2
Author: Barbara Casey
Publisher: Hungry Goat Press
Publication Date: May 5th 2016
Print Length: 162 pages
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
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When Carolina and the F.I.G.s return to Wood Rose, Dara decides that she wants to try to locate her birth mother when she learns that she might be living in New York City. Carolina, Mackenzie, and Jennifer accompany her and their search leads them to a secret dangerous shadow world hidden deep beneath Grand Central, constructed in what Mackinzie identifies as chevroned magic squares—N X N matrixes in which every row, column, and diagonal add up to the same number—and cloaked in the discordant B flat minor key music that only Jennifer can hear.

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EXCERPT:
Once the house got quiet and she thought everyone was asleep, Mackenzie sat up, fluffed her pillow behind her back, and pulled the little gold chain that turned on the white, hobnail glass lamp next to her bed. Then she reached for the small computer that was never far away, which applied logarithms and other difficult mathematical calculations and stored information, and began methodically punching in figures. Even as unrelated and disconnected everything seemed to be, there was a certain mathematical logic to it. There always was, for numbers never lied.

Five different addresses from five different areas of the city; yet they were an equal distance from the center—the center being Grand Central Terminal. It was more than just a strange coincidence, as Larry had said. More than likely he just didn’t want them to worry. There had to be a logical reason for it. And what did the number “61” have to do with everything?

Mackenzie pulled up another app she had installed on her computer before leaving Wood Rose that gave a lot of the history of Grand Central Terminal and the area that surrounded it. She also wanted to research the five addresses as well and had downloaded documents she had found in public records. The first address they were going to the next morning was in an older part of the city, she quickly discovered, but the apartment building itself was fairly new. The original building had been destroyed by fire several years back. She tried to pull up a tenant list to see if she could get any background information on who lived there, now as well as before the building burned, but hit a dead end.

The excitement of the past twenty-four hours and her concern for Dara suddenly left her feeling exhausted. She once again pulled the little gold chain; and tiptoeing into Dara’s room, quietly slipped into her friend’s bed and immediately fell asleep. From the screen of the small computer left behind, next to the white, hobnail glass lamp, a faint light illuminated the number “61.”
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Title: The Clock Flower
Series: The F.I.G. Mysteries #3
Author: Barbara Casey
Publisher: Hungry Goat Press
Publication Date: February 8th 2018
Print Length: 225 pages
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
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The three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—graduate from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women after returning from New York City where Dara learned why her mother abandoned her all those years ago, and they are now attending universities where they can further their special talents. This means they will be separated from each other and from Carolina, their much-loved mentor and teacher who is “one of them,” for the first time in their young lives. They vow to try living apart for one semester, in the so-called real world that doesn’t include the orphanage; but if things don’t work out, they will come up with another plan—a plan where they can be together once again. Dara is invited through Yale University to take part in an exciting archeological project in China. Jennifer, once again visualizing black and white images and the unusual sounds of another cadence that seem to be connected to Mackenzie, is engrossed in creating her next symphony at Juilliard. Mackenzie, because of her genius at problem-solving, is personally chosen by a US Senator to get involved in a mysterious, secret research project involving immortality that is being conducted in a small village in China—not too far from where Dara is involved with the archeological site. Once there, however, she finds herself facing a terrifying death from the blood-dripping teeth of an ancient evil dragon. Her best friends, the FIGs and Carolina, rely on their own unique genius and special talents to save her as she discovers the truth of her birth parents.

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Title: The Nightjar's Promise
Series: The F.I.G. Mysteries #4
Author: Barbara Casey
Publisher: Hungry Goat Press
Publication Date: April 21st 2020
Print Length: 156 pages
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
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Jennifer Torres, one of the three FIGs (Females of Intellectual Genius) who is a genius in both music and art, is the last to leave the closed rehearsal for her upcoming performance over Thanksgiving break at Carnegie Hall when she hears something in the darkened Hall. Recognizing the tilt of the woman’s head and the slight limp of the man as they hurry out an exit door, she realizes it is her parents who were supposedly killed in a terrible car accident when she was 15 years old. Devastated and feeling betrayed, she sends a text to Carolina and the other two FIGs—THURGOOD. It is the code word they all agreed to use if ever one of them got into trouble or something happened that was too difficult to handle. They would all meet back at Carolina’s bungalow at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women to figure it out. As soon as they receive the text, because of their genius, Dara starts thinking of words in ancient Hebrew, German, and Yiddish, while Mackenzie’s visions of unique math formulae keep bringing up the date October 11, 1943. And as Carolina waits for the FIGs to return to Wood Rose, she hears warnings from Lyuba, her gypsy mother, to watch for the nightjar, the ancient name for the whip-poor-will.

In their search for “The Nightjar’s Promise” and the truth surrounding it, Carolina and the FIGs come face to face with evil that threatens to destroy not only their genius, but their very lives.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books, an independent nonfiction publisher of true crime, where she oversees acquisitions, day-to-day operations, and book production.

Ms. Casey has written over a dozen award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction for both young adults and adults. The awards include the National Association of University Women Literary Award, the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award, the Independent Publisher Book Award, the Dana Award for Outstanding Novel, the IP Best Book for Regional Fiction, among others. Two of her nonfiction books have been optioned for major films, one of which is under contract.

Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories. Her award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey's essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. In 2018 Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with three cats who adopted her, Homer, Reese and Earl Gray - Reese’s best friend.

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GUEST POST:
Grand Central Terminal – Then and Now
by Barbara Casey


The role New York’s Grand Central Terminal plays in my young adult novel, The Wish Rider, Book 2 of The F.I.G. Mysteries, is key in that not only does it represent something of a secret, by-gone era, it represents hope, renewal, and the future for my three main characters: Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer.

Formerly an intercity railroad terminal, Grand Central Terminal was built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel. It is the largest such facility in the world by number of platforms with 44 serving 67 tracks along them. They are on two levels, both below ground, with 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower. The total number of tracks along platforms and in rail yards exceeds 100, and the terminal covers an area of 48 acres. Restored back to its 1913 splendor, Grand Central has become a major New York destination, and its 12,000 square foot former main waiting room, Vanderbilt Hall, is the site for ongoing entertainment throughout the year.

In The Wish Rider, Grand Central Terminal becomes the final destination for the FIGs, for Dara believes that is where she will find her mother—the mother who abandoned her when she was a young child. With Carolina there to guide them and give her unwavering loving support, the three FIGs set out to accomplish an impossible task. It is there that Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer discover a secret sub-culture, dangerous, hidden, and known only to those who exist there. With Dara’s genius of understanding of foreign and extinct languages, Mackenzie’s genius of solving problems, patterns and formulae, and Jennifer’s genius in intuiting life through painted images and musical notes, the three FIGs are able to escape the horrors of their deepest fears and emerge into the light of what their future holds.
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GIVEAWAY:
Barbara Casey will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to one randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

94 comments:

  1. Thank you for hosting me and for your interest in my young adult series, THE F.I.G. MYSTERIES. I look forward to visiting with you and your bloggers. All best. ~Barbara

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  2. Sounds like a great mystery series.

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    1. Thank you. I am working on Book 5 in the series now. Each book reveals a little more about the F.I.G.s - why they were orphaned and why they all wound up at the same orphanage.

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    1. I appreciate your comment. The F.I.G. MYSTERIES definitely has some interesting characters as well as unusual mysteries to solve.

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  4. Sounds like a great series! I like all of the covers.

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    1. My publisher is also a professional artist, and she designed the covers. If you read the books, you will see how each cover reflects what each book is about. They really are amazing.

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  5. Love the cover and the excerpt sounds amazing.

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  6. How long was the writing process?

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    1. I normally take between 6 to 8 months to write a book. The research takes a bit longer. Thank you for asking, Deborah.

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  7. this book looks amazing!!!!!

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I am glad you stopped by.

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  8. Love this excerpt! Ty for the opportunity

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  9. Since you have traveled extensively-did this help you when you were looking for a location for your books you write

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    1. Traveling really has helped with my writing in many ways. Getting to know different places, of course, but also the people and cultures have broadened my stories and what I write. Thank you for asking.

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  10. David HollingsworthJuly 20, 2021 at 10:08 PM

    What inspired you to write this book?

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    1. When I was attending NC State University in Raleigh, I used to drive by an orphanage each morning on my way to classes. Somehow that memory stayed with me until I eventually created the F.I.G.s.

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  11. Looks like interesting books.
    Thanks for the contest. 

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    1. Thank you for commenting, and good luck with the contest.

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  12. Nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

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  13. These sound like books that many people would enjoy reading!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. I certainly hope so. It is interesting - I wrote them with the young adult/new adult reader in mind, but I receive just as many positive comments from the adult readers. Thank you, Nancy, for your comment.

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  14. I LOVE A GREAT MYSTERY. gOOD WORK!

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  15. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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  16. You are welcome. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

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  17. Nothing like a good mystery!
    Thank you for sharing this.

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  18. Do you listen to music when you write?

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    1. I do. I always listen to classical music. Thank you for the question.

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  19. Super cool book! Ty for the chance congrats on your new release

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    1. Thank you for your comment, and good luck with the contest.

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    1. I am glad you think so. I appreciate your stopping by.

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  21. Where is your favorite place to write?

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    1. I have a home office where I do all of my writing. Of course, I keep a pad of paper and pen next to my bed, in my purse, and in the car for those times when I think of something I want to write down. Thank you for the question.

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  22. So many of you have expressed interest in THE F.I.G. MYSTERIES. Originally, Book 4 - THE NIGHTJAR'S PROMISE, was supposed to be the final book in the series. However, my publisher offered me a new contract to extend the series, so I am now working on Book 5, and it will be released after the first of the year. In addition, the William Morris Entertainment Agency in Hollywood is representing me, so I hope to have more exciting news about the F.I.G.s in the future. I appreciate all of your comments and look forward to reading more. Thank you.

    ~My best, Barbara

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  23. How many books do you read in a year?

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  24. I try to read one book a week, but sometimes my schedule just doesn't permit it. I usually read at night in bed before going to sleep, and I read a little of everything. It can be nonfiction or fiction, just whatever looks interesting.

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  25. Do you ever use your own experiences to write a book?

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    1. I am sure there are bits and pieces of personal experiences in all of my novels. Certainly the emotions, and I also draw from the places I have lived or traveled to. Of course, my nonfiction books are totally different. Thank you for asking.

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  26. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  27. The stories look exciting with Grand Central Station as the centerpiece and 3 genius "orphans" using their gifts to solve problems. The trio support one another as they age.

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    1. So much about what I wrote about Grand Central Station is fact. There really is that hidden area beneath the tracks and an old railway car. The FIGs learn more about themselves and each other in each book, and they discover why they were placed in an orphanage and why they are so special. The book I am writing now - Book 5 - puts all of this on a totally different level which I think will be exciting. Thank you so much for your comment.

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  28. What author do you most like to read?

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    1. This question is always difficult for me because I read so many authors. I think it all depends on the mood I am in at that given moment. I do tend to be drawn toward British mystery writers. Thank you for your question.

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  29. I like the cover and would love reading it too.

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    1. I hope you get a chance to. Thank you for commenting.

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  30. Actually, I belong to a book club, and I receive two books to read each month. Other than those books, which can be anything, I read books that have to do with whatever research I am doing for the book I am writing at that time. Thank you for asking.

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  31. How many years have you been writing books?

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    1. I wrote my first book in 1980 and it was published a year later. At that time I was given a contract for my second book. I have been writing ever since. My first two books were written for young teens, but then I switched to writing novels for adults as well as nonfiction for adults. Somewhere along the line I started writing about the F.I.G.s and I just can't seem to stop. I just love these three young women and their mentor. It is my nonfiction, however, that has been optioned for major films.

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  32. Do you like watching sports?

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    1. I enjoy pro-football, and I keep up with the Atlantic Coast Conference in collegiate sports. And I am enjoying watching what I can of the Olympics. One of my adult novels, THE COACH'S WIFE, is a mystery/suspense that takes place against the backdrop of the NCAA National Basketball Championship. The book won several awards.

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  33. Do you set an alarm so you don't write for too long at a stretch?

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    1. I have never done that, although some writers do. I write as long as the creative juices are flowing or until I start feeling tired. Early mornings are when I am at my best and when I do most of my writing.

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    1. Thank you, Leela. I hope you get a chance to read the series.

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  35. Can you see yourself writing for the rest of your life?

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    1. Actually, I do. It is such a passion with me, and it is something that I truly enjoy.

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  36. Do you ever get writer's block?
    If so how do you get through it?

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  37. David HollingsworthJuly 31, 2021 at 8:01 PM

    How many books have you written?

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    1. I have written 17 books which have been published. I have a handful of others that I have written, but they are not published yet.

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  38. Do you usually stick with one genre when writing?

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    1. I write both nonfiction and fiction. I only work on one book at a time, however, and that is because I get so caught up in my characters and the story itself. It is just better for me, and I feel my writing is better, if I stick to one book at a time. Once it is finished, then it just depends on what ideas I have and what I feel like writing.

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  39. I love that the main characters are strong, intelligent young women who don't fit into the mold of society's norms.

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    1. Julie, I love your comment. Most of my books have strong female characters, and the F.I.G.s are no exception. They face so many problems, but eventually they figure out a solution and get it done. It might not necessarily be a solution that you or I would come up with, but it is a solution. Thank you for stopping by.

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  40. Since you write true crime do you also listen to any podcasts or watch any shows like Dateline? I am a fan of all things true crime.

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    1. Only occasionally. My true crime books are historical in nature and focus on strong women who for whatever reason have chosen a life of crime. My book VELVALEE DICKINSON: THE DOLL WOMAN SPY, for example, is about an American woman who spied for the Japanese during WWII. It made international news at the time, and yet so few people know about her. My book has been optioned for a major film and is in pre-development now. Thank you for asking.

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  41. Where do you get inspiration from to write your books?

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    1. I just never know - it is strange. Sometimes it might be a line from a poem, or a childhood memory, or seeing something in nature that might trigger an entire storyline. In THE F.I.G. MYSTERIES, it was an orphanage I used to drive by every morning on my way to class at the university. That image stayed with me until I finally developed it into this series. Thank you for stopping by.

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  42. David HollingsworthAugust 5, 2021 at 1:51 AM

    What do you do when you're not writing?

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    1. Well... I run my literary agency, the Barbara Casey Agency, and I am a partner with an independent publisher of true crime/nonfiction, and I take care of my 98-year-old mother. When I have time, I love to work in the yard, especially my flower beds. And I also love to go antiquing.

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  43. I just wanted to let all of you know that my publisher is releasing all of THE F.I.G. MYSTERIES in hard copy as well as audio books. This is in addition to the paperback and eBook that is available now. Book 5 is going through a final edit, and work on the cover design is scheduled to begin in September. Book 5 will be released in April 2022.

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  44. sounds like a fun one

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    1. This series definitely has its fun moments, but there are also some emotional ones as the F.I.G.s struggle to find out why they were placed in an orphanage to begin with.

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  45. What's your all time favorite book?

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    1. Well, don't laugh because it isn't anything like a famous Classic or something of that nature. One book I have read several times and will continue to do so is MAKE WAY FOR LUCIA by EF Benson, a British author. For some reason, that book always makes me laugh, no matter how many times I read it, and I love the characters. I read the other books that were an off-shoot of LUCIA as well, and thoroughly enjoy them.

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  46. I love to read books about strong female characters and fantasy. Can’t wait to read these.

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  47. This has been such a fun tour. I want to thank all of you who took interest in my mystery series about the females of intellectual genius--the FIGs. Good luck with the drawing and all my best to you. ~Barbara

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