Monday, May 12, 2014

Joanne Huspek, author of Finding Cadence

Author Bio:

Joanne Huspek is an empty-nester who writes about everything: food, travel, gadgets, politics, culture, relationships, now combining all of the above for a foray into novel-writing land.

Her first e-published novel, VIRTUALLY YOURS is the offbeat and humorous journey of the on-and-offline relationships of six women who met and maintained a lasting friendship on the Internet. The Virtual Moms embrace a newbie – with a secret – and the dynamic is changed, adding an unexpected twist to the lives of the friends.) VIRTUALLY YOURS was released in March, 2012. Genre is best described as MOM-LIT, depicting the lives of us sassy former chicks. VIRTUALLY YOURS placed in a Query Tracker contest.

Currently, working on the sequel, VIRTUALLY YOURS FOREVER, which will be a little darker in content. And in the distant works, VIRTUALLY YOURS, BABY!

FINDING CADENCE was released in March/April 2014. Much different from the romanced laced VIRTUALLY YOURS, FINDING CADENCE explores loss and the tenuous bonds of relationships. FINDING CADENCE placed in the 2011 San Francisco Writers Conference Contest, and also did well in a Novel Rocket Contest in summer 2012.

Member, Romance Writers of America, Greater Detroit Romance Writers of America. Received RWA PRO pin November 2011.
Joanne Huspek lives in the now-frozen tundra of Southeastern Michigan with her husband Brad, Boston terrier, Grace, and the very bad orange tabby, Purrby. In addition to writing, she enjoys cooking and creating twisted wire jewelry, which means her housekeeping skills are practically non-existent.

Title: Finding Cadence
Author: Joanne Huspek
ISBN: 978-1495249037
Page count: 435
Genre: Women's, contemporary
Price: 14.99 hard copy, 7.99 eBook
Tell us about your book:
The Reeds seem to have it all: an enduring marriage, wealth and social standing, a thriving business, and a talented pianist son attending a West Coast conservatory. But an accident on an icy Michigan highway leaves Cadence Reed an unexpected widow. After the funeral, Cadie learns her loss is not limited to Carter's passing. Layer after layer of secrets are revealed, exposing Carter as a philandering sociopath who has left his family in a precarious financial state. Her heart broken, her world in shambles, Cadie and her son embark on a journey, across the country and into Cadie's past. Cadence must look deep inside herself to find the will and a means to survive.
How long did it take to write the book?
Four long years, plus three additional years of re-writes and editing.
What inspired you to write the book?
The short answer: My life. The longer answer: I've felt pain, betrayal, embarrassment. I've been proud of my children beyond words. I'm interested in relationships, between husband and wife, siblings, parent and child, between friends. I wanted to explore all of these things in my book, and I think I've accomplished that.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
This was my first novel, and I didn't have a clue. I'd write whenever hit by a whim, which wasn't much back then. I used one NaNoWriMo to complete the bulk of it, and then powered through to completion. (These days, I have a schedule. I'm still a pantser when it comes to writing, but now I have a DEDICATED writing time.) FINDING CADENCE had to be thoroughly researched, and I'm appreciative of all the people who helped me.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I hope readers are entertained. I hope they cheer for Cadie and can relate to her.

Excerpt from book: First Chapter/First Scene
Part One
Butterflies and Hurricanes

Chapter One

I was deaf, dumb, and blind.
A savvy woman with razor instincts might have foreseen the cataclysmic squall converging on the horizon. What’s the adage? All good things must pass? Life was more than all good; hell, it was fabulous. A life lived in ignorant comfort, my needs and wants satisfied before I could address them. Whatever intuition I might have possessed had been kneaded into saccharine suburban complacency, not by harsh words or violence or financial deprivation, but by an embarrassment of riches. Problems brewed around us, storms menaced from a distance; messy predicaments didn’t happen to us.
February 10, a night blotted with blinding snow, after weeks of a warm, weird winter of granite skies and steady rain. TV meteorologists giddy for action predicted disaster with glee: Blizzard conditions. Travel not advised. I’d muted the volume; it’s Michigan, for Pete’s sake. In winter, snow is a given.
Carter, consistently late, would be later still because of the weather. A fine pinot, first a glass, then more, kept me company. Hours of waiting on my husband turned my annoyance to vexation. Outside, a collection of wind chimes banged hard against the garage wall, the once soothing metallic tinkles replaced with dissonant clatter. I remember thinking; if Jackson were here, he could name the pitches of each steel and copper rod, contralto A flats clanging against high C sharps. Behind the jolting discord, the wind’s relentless, anguished caterwaul.
Jolted awake by a thud, heavy boots traversed the snowy deck, purposeful, deliberate, unlike Carter’s energetic stride. Weak sabers of brilliance cut beams through the night. I should have been nervous or fearful, yet I wasn’t, the hour too late for casual callers or neighborly visits. Only those with malice in mind would venture out in this weather – or messengers bearing grave news.
Two figures peered into the French door glass, their movement interrupting the porch light. Men in dark uniforms armed with flashlights and cold steel, the glint of gunmetal a contrast to the mantle of enormous snowflakes settling on broad shoulders. Gloved knuckles tapped on the window pane, a crisp, strident rap. My visitors were not burglars; I sighed, relieved.
I stumbled toward the door and opened it. Snow swirled into the house. I shivered, instinctively pushed the door to frame, and leaned into the opening, my breath a steamy plume. “May I help you?”
One officer removed his hat, flashed a badge. “We tried your front door. I noticed the light on back here. Is this the home of Carter Cavanaugh Reed?” The baritone voice resonated, fringed with serious gravel. He brushed new snow from his brow.
“It is. I’m Cadence Reed.” It was late – or early, it was snowing, it was cold. Alone in the house – where was Carter? – I frowned. “I’m Mrs. Carter Reed. May I help you?”
“Michigan State Police. Ma’am, may we come in?”
I perused his eyes for content, his steady façade craggy and placid amidst gale-force winds. I shrugged, lethargy clouding my thinking. “Sure.” It seemed the courteous, civic-minded thing to do. I pulled the door open; the officers crossed the threshold as snowflakes danced around us. I secured the latch and motioned them inside.
The older one chose the sofa, while I took a chair. “Ma’am, I’m Sergeant Washington and this is Trooper Fulton.”
Fulton, standing sentry at the door, tipped his hat toward me and nodded.
Sergeant Washington cleared his throat. “We’re from the State Patrol station in Oak Park. Mrs. Reed, we have news. It’s bad.” He hesitated. For a moment my eyes locked on his, before absorbing his face. Skin so black it appeared an odd shade of aubergine; his hair, salt and peppered, the short curls trimmed close; brown eyes, like pools of deep, molten chocolate. Arrestingly attractive, yet his voice projected authority. “Ma’am, I regret to inform you Mr. Reed was involved in a traffic incident earlier today.”
 “Excuse me?” Angered, I might have sprung to my feet in surprise, rummaged the coffee table for my keys, and searched for my coat. I might have remained a stoic statue with hands folded stiffly in my lap.
“Ma’am, it’s more than a fender bender.” Sergeant Washington glanced at his partner. My gaze followed. The peachy fuzz on Fulton’s cheek belied his youth; he couldn’t have been much older than my son, Jackson. Fulton squirmed, exposing a rookie’s discomfort in his baby face. His eyes broke from mine, their focus drifted to his feet as he pounded them together. Melting snow slid from the hilly summit of his patent leather boots, thin ribbon rivers pooling onto the carpet. Sergeant Washington spoke again, this time with deliberation. “Unfortunately, Mr. Reed…was a fatality in an accident near Brighton…”
The words struck me and bounced off, swallowed by an uneasy silence. My anger evaporated, replaced with alarm and confusion. “I don’t understand. Where is Carter?”
A voice soft yet manly, compassionate; a warm hand on my forearm, a sympathetic caress. “Ma’am, have you relatives here? Are friends nearby? Someone should be with you…”
I pulled my arm away, instinctively triggered the Reed attitude. “You’re mistaken. My husband is an excellent driver. You have the wrong Carter Reed.”
The officers exchanged knowing glances. I was so naïve. Sergeant Washington words fractured into staccato measures. “I’m so sorry, Mrs. Reed. You have our sincerest sympathies. We’re sure. Your husband did not survive.” The sibilance of language punctured the still room; “so,” “sorry,” “sincerest,” “sympathies,” “sure,” “survive.”
“No.” My lungs burst, collapsed.
“We’ll stay with you; help you call your friends and relatives.”
I heard a response grotesque and squeaky – a voice foreign, not my own, but departing my lips. “There’re no relatives here.” My mind had drained dry. I remember thinking, Cadie, collect yourself. Remember your status. We are Reeds. I withstood a hurricane of ping-ponging thoughts, futilely grasping for sanity. “My son…he’s a college student. He’s in San Francisco. My sister lives in Colorado…” I might have been standing at the time. My knees weakened and wobbled. They withered under the weight of my body, the density of tragedy. One trooper may have grabbed me, hooked me under the arms. He may have delivered me to a chair, or perhaps I crumpled to a heap on the floor.
“Mr. Reed’s family?”
“Deceased.” I willed my heart to stop, but damn it if the thing kept beating. I’d ignored its strident articulation before, when life had been stupidly carefree. Now a hard drumming rang in my ears, bongo hollow, deep, hollow again. “My friend, Maggie…Marguerite…” My best friend’s last name, someone I’d known forever, slipped into the ether. Mere hours before we’d spent a carefree afternoon shopping for Jackson’s upcoming birthday. The fog lifted briefly. “Maggie Thompson.” My eyes fell to the cell phone on the coffee table. One officer opened it and scrolled through the address book. Strong arms in wet navy wool lifted me up, or perhaps they put me down.
Where can we go to buy your book?
The hard copy is available on Amazon. Ebook is available now on Amazon.

Barnes and Noble:

You can also buy a signed copy from my web site:

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