Fab Cara! Fab Giveaway!

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Hey, guys! I'm back from a week in Savannah and Tybee Island, Georgia. I'm just as tan as ever and ready to get back to blogging. Today we're welcoming my friend and fellow author, Cara Putman. We're also giving away a copy of her new historical Christian fiction release, Stars in the Night. AND Cara has a great contest going on of her own that you'll want to check out as well.  Keep reading for info on both giveaways.

Cara and I met through American Christian Fiction Writers. Cara held a leadership with the organization and was working her tail off at the yearly conference, and I was probably eating M&Ms and slurping Starbucks while on my way to a class. And she lets me hang out with her anyway. I recently got to read Stars in the Night and asked Cara to stop by.

J: So tell us where the idea for Stars in the Night came from. It's a great concept.

C: I was working on the last book for my second World War II series for a Heartsong Presents and beginning to think about where I might want to set a future series. My husband, who is as big a World War II fan as I am (if not more) and I were brainstorming one night. Since I'd done two series set in the Midwest, I kind of wanted to branch out, and I've long had a love of classic movies. As Eric and I were talking, we hit on the idea of Hollywood during WWII.

There were so many different roles that the stars played during the war. Canteens. USO tours. Active service. 4-Fed. The plot options and historical details seemed endless. Then as I researched I stumbled on the original Hollywood Victory Caravan. My imagination kicked into overdrive. What if I created a second Victory Caravan? What if a killer followed someone on to the train? What if people died and you were trapped on the train with a killer? And what if romance blossomed in the midst of the suspense?

Then I got a call from the woman who became my editor at Summerside. She wondered if I might be interested in writing historical romantic suspense for them. And as God works, one of the settings they were interested in was Hollywood. It was perfect timing and a great fit.

J: I loved the historical background in this book. I'd never even heard of the Victory Caravan until I read your book. So tell us what the book is about.

C: Stars in the Night is set in Hollywood in 1942. When attorney Audra Schaeffer's sister disappears, Audra flies to Hollywood to find her, but instead must identify her body. Determined to bring her killer to justice, Audra takes a job with the second Hollywood Victory Caravan. Together with Robert Garfield and other stars, she crisscrosses the southern United States in a campaign to sell war bonds. When two other women are found dead on the train, Audra knows the deaths are tied to that of her sister. Could the killer be the man with whom she's falling in love?

stars in the night

J: Isn't that cover gorgeous? I also love the title. What does it mean to you?

C: It has a combination of meanings to me. The first is pretty obvious: the stars of Hollywood living through a dark moment. But it also symbolizes to me the ways God's presence and grace shine like stars in our darkest moments.

J: The book was so well researched. Just flawless. What did you learn while researching?

C: So much! I learned that Ford's Theater was basically abandoned for storage during the war. I learned about how very much the studios controlled their stars' lives. It was actually common for studios to pair stars or wanna-bes and make them get married–often with disastrous, long-term results. I learned about how very quickly the stars jumped in to help the war effort after Pearl Harbor–and how affected the men were if they were 4-Fed and couldn't fight. So many details. And so many I didn't get to use in the book.

J: As an old movie fan, I loved the classic Hollywood setting. My favorite old movie is probably Charade starring Audrey Hepburn. What's your favorite?

C: My favorite would have to be the Thin Man and the following series, though it's really hard to narrow it down. I hope to write the sequel which will be Victoria's story and take place on the set of a Thin Man type of movie. But you have to love the rapport between William Powell and Myrna Loy. Priceless!

J: You're starring in an old movie. What other stars are in it with you?

C: Oh, great question! I would want to star with Jimmy Stewart and Claudette Colbert or Katherine Hepburn.

J: I loved the dialogue of the time period in the book. You did such an awesome job with that. Don't you wish the world could get back to the days of gee whiz and Jumping Jehoshaphat? What was your favorite period detail in the book?

C: Hmmm, throwing in some of the lingo. But also the glamour. Who doesn't have a secret wish they could have starred on the silver screen during it's hey-day? The idea of slipping onto the stage during a USO type show in a gorgeous Carol Lombard or Ginger Rogers style dress? Divine!

J: Do you have a favorite scene you could tell us about?

My favorite scene is probably one that a friend suggested I add. It's an intimate and touching scene between Audra and Robert when the sun rises while they are on the train during the fictional second Hollywood Victory Caravan (the first one was real!).  Audra realizes it's the dawning of the day her sister will be buried and she couldn't make herself go home. Robert comforts her and God touches her. I love it!

J: What is the last book you read?

C: I'm currently reading Bishop by Stephen James. Gripping already. And the book before that was Back on Murder by Mark Bertrand. Brilliant detective story.

J: Favorite story in the Bible?

C : Esther. Did you expect me to say anything else? The idea of the girl who becomes queen, but the story doesn't end there. That's really only the beginning. She gets to choose whether or not to let God work through her–and as Mordecai so aptly tells her–if she refuses, help will come from another avenue.

J: What's the book you wish you had written?

C: Gosh, Jenny, these aren't easy questions. In all honesty, I wish I could write like you did in Just Between Me and You. Your ability to have me in stitches and then have me sobbing are amazing. Can't wait for your next adult novel.

J: (Note to readers: I did not pay Cara Putman cash to say that. I might've set up an off-shore account for her in Switzerland, but no American dollars were involved.)  And thank you, Cara. That's really sweet. And I can add “full of it” to the things I know about you now.

Okay, come back this Friday for part two of my interview with the fabulous Cara Putman. In the meantime, you can check out her website where you'll find details about her AWESOME classic Hollywood giveaway. Check it out HERE.

Also I'm giving away a copy of Stars in the Night. To be in the running, just leave a comment to this post and answer the question: You're starring in an old movie. Which one and what character are you? (Note to those who have not gotten right with the Lord Jesus Christ and do not watch old movies, you may pick one from 1985 and earlier. Nothing newer than '85.)  You have until Thursday night, 8 pm, cst. Contest only open to US residents. (Sorry international friends!) Winner announced on Friday's blog.

Let's hear your answers!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 38 comments
Tammy - July 26, 2010

Im going to say Gone with the Wind and I would be scarlett, the reason i say this movie is because its one of the few “older movies” ive seen. So I dont have great knolledge about all the older hollywood movies out there *hangs head in shame* lol

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Melissa - July 26, 2010

Ooh, love this question! So many good movies, so many wonderful characters to choose from. Going to have to go with “It Happened One Night.” I’d be Claudette Colbert’s character, and oh how I’d enjoy the “walls of Jericho” banter with Clark Gable. Runner-up choice: “Bringing up Baby.” I’d be Katherine Hepburn’s Susan Vance and live in a constant state of zany happiness.

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Trudi - July 26, 2010

I’ve always wanted to be Leisl in “The Sound of Music.” That way I could dance around the gazebo. 🙂

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Amy - July 26, 2010

Tammy’s pick was my first choice, so I will now say Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity. Or Janet Leigh in Psycho. Either would have been so much fun to make!

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Kristin - July 26, 2010

I would be Debbie Reynolds’ character (Kathy Selden) in “Singin’ in the Rain.” Because I would get to dance with Gene Kelly *swoon* (although he was a pretty short guy, so I would likely be taller than him, which would be a little awkward, LOL). Or maybe Judy Garland’s character in “Summer Stock” (Jane) or in “In the Good Old Summertime” (Veronica).

In short, I would be in some kind of musical where I would be romanced by a handsome hunk. But only if I miraculously developed the ability sing on key and dance.

~Kristin

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laura kirk - July 26, 2010

Doris Day in Pillow Talk. I loved all the different circumstances in which she was found. The drunk scene would be fun. Although, I do NOT drink. I still think it would be fun to act as if I were. Can’t wait to read “Stars in the Night”!

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Paris - July 26, 2010

I would be Hayley Mills in “Summer Magic”. I LOVE that movie because its about a city family moving to the country and I love stories like that.

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Sharon - July 26, 2010

I would be Angela Pleasence from the 1984 “A Christmas Carol”. I loved that movie so much, and she played the ghost from Christmas past. That one was my favorite because she was always entertaining, and in my opinion, she showed Scrooge the best scenes.

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Sheri - July 26, 2010

I would love to be Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. I know she was self-centered but it looks like it would be such a fun role to play! I see that Tammy posted this role first, but it would be my favorite too!

Thanks for a chance at Cara’s book! It sounds so interesting and has such a beautiful cover.

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Bethany Ellis - July 26, 2010

Oh so tough! By the way, though, Charade is my favorite old movie! Hmm…I think I’d want to be the Princess (can’t remember her name) that Audrey played in Roman Holiday. I love that movie 🙂

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Emily Sto - July 26, 2010

My Fair Lady and I would play Eliza Doolittle =) LOVE THAT MOVIE AND AUDREY HEPBURN IN IT!!

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Rhonda - July 26, 2010

Mary Badham as Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

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Erica - July 26, 2010

Hmm…I’d love to play Sabrina in the movie Sabrina 🙂

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Cara Putman - July 26, 2010

Melissa mentioned two of my all time favorite classics. Both perfect representations about what Hollywood did so well! But have to agree with Kristin, too. Love Debbie Reynolds in Singing in the Rain. That movie just makes me smile — and she is so sweet and innocent. I’m just shocked nobody mentioned any of the supporting cast in You Can’t Take it with You LOL> Watch the movie and you’ll understand 🙂 Good luck, y’all!

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Jenny B Jones - July 26, 2010

GREAT answers, guys! Sabrina was such a good movie. Tammy, even though you don’t watch old movies, we’re gonna keep you around anyway. And pray for your misguided heart…

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Cassidy - July 26, 2010

Ok, I totally know this one. I would be in It’s A Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and I would be Mary. I absolutely love that movie, it’s sooo romantic, and Jimmy Stewart was pretty handsome = )
Please enter me in this giveaway! That books sounds pretty interesting = )

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Nicole O'Dell - July 27, 2010

Great interview!!

I love to be Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady…or Breakfast at Tiffany’s…or anything! I’d even be fine with being Jennifer Love Hewitt when she played Audrey Hepburn in the TV movie about her life.

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Amy - July 27, 2010

Hmm…this is a toughie. I would be in an old MGM musical–probably “Singin’ in the Rain” so I could, uh, be Gene Kelly’s love interest (played by Debbie Reynolds.) But how much fun would be be to play Lina Lamont–the girl who can’t sing for a hill of beans? Yeah, she would be more fun. I always loved Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady.” But Audrey Hepburn didn’t get to sing, so I would have to actually sing the part. Or maybe I could be Mary Poppins…she was pretty amazing. Geez, Jenny, why do you have to ask all these tough questions?

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Amy - July 27, 2010

Or maybe I should just be Sandy in GREASE…. 🙂 Although I’d hate to wear that spandex outfit in the final number….yikes!

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Ashley - July 27, 2010

I would be Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis. The scene where she sings Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is one of my favorites!

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Madison A. - July 27, 2010

I love the old Hayley Mills movies! One of my favorites that she played in is “Pollyanna”. Of course I would want to play her character in the movie, Pollyannna. I also loved her movie “Summer Magic”.

I’d love to read “Stars in the Night”!

~Madison

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ashley - July 27, 2010

Oh wow. I totally want to read this!!!! So interesting. Nice job on the interview ladies. 🙂

I don’t need to be in the running to win a copy, but if I were to be in a movie – um can I say tv show? of course I can, I would be in Dick Van Dyke. I used to watch that all the time as a kid on Nick at Night. LOVE.

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Jess - July 27, 2010

I know it is technically not that old but my favorite pre-85 movie is hands down “Grease” and I would have to be Sandy! I know all the songs by heart, since I was like 10 years old. (And I must say I was singing things that I should NOT have been singing at 10!)

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Amy K - July 27, 2010

I’ve got to say Gone With the Wind as well, but I would be Melanie and not Scarlett. Melanie is so sweet and admirable and full of integrity. Although, I do have a secret desire to be just a little like Scarlett. 😉

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Megan - July 28, 2010

I know Grease was already mentioned but instead of being sandy I would want to be Frenchy… I mean she is zany and crazy and weird but still a good friend… Plus she’s a beast in the beauty school dropout number!! 🙂

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Suzanne Schaffer - July 28, 2010

I’d be Dorothy McGuire’s character in The Enchanted Cottage from 1945. Amazing movie.

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Amy - July 28, 2010

This book looks like it would b very entertaining. i will DEFFINATELY b reading it! and encouraging all of my friends 2 read it.

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Candace - July 28, 2010

Great interview!

I would want to play Melanie in Gone with the Wind. I just love her sweet spirit.

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Katrina - July 28, 2010

I would love to be Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. 🙂

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Jules - July 28, 2010

I would be Josephine March (June Allyson) in Little Women or Lisa Carol Fremont (Grace Kelly) in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. 🙂

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Cara Putman - July 28, 2010

I love all these movies! You gals have added to my list to watch.

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Lauren - July 28, 2010

I have to admit I haven’t seen a lot of old movies, but if I had to choose one I would say The Wizard of Oz! Although I still to this day have a fear of flying monkeys, this is one of my favorite movies from my childhood. I would love to be Dorothy and be able to wander around the land of Oz!

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Kim - July 29, 2010

Though the earlier version with Leslie Howard is good, I like the version of The Scarlett Pimpernel with Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour and Ian McKellan. I would play Marguerite falling in love with and marrying a hero in a time of great crisis (French Revoution), even though she doesn’t know that about him yet. 🙂

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Shauna - July 29, 2010

Without question, I’d be Lisa/Leeza in Rear Window. Oh. My. Word. Grace Kelly’s clothes are amazing, it’s my favorite Hitchcock film, and I love Jimmy Stewart.

(Also, if I were Sandy in Grease, I would have to ad-lib at the end and have her say bye-bye to Danny. I hate the message of Grease, especially now that I’m a mom of daughters: Good girls are lame, and you should change yourself and be someone you’re not in order to make other people happy. The end.)

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karenk - July 29, 2010

i love ‘the sound of music.’ i would be ‘maria’ of course 🙂
thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous novel 🙂

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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Brandy Bruce - July 29, 2010

Bette Davis in Now, Voyager. I absolutely love that movie.

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Mary - July 29, 2010

Charade! Reggie Lampert (Audrey Hepburn)
My favorite line!
“Oh, I love you, Adam, Alex, Peter, Brian, whatever your name is, I love you! I hope we have a lot of boys and we can name them all after you!”

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ugg classicol - August 2, 2010

Ugh, I liked! So clear and positively.
Have a nice day

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