Welcome to the Smorgasbord Open House and my guest author Kim Troike (Caroline Clemens). Today Kim will be talking about where she was born in Ohio, her favourite television and films and family food favourites.
Kim was born in Sandusky, Ohio and lived on Lake Erie enjoying all the outdoor activities that are inherent in a childhood in that wonderful natural environment. Leaving that behind, Kim went on to train as a nurse and spent her career in ICUs, heart units and recovery rooms. Apart from penning some poetry in her 20s, it was not until 2011 that she managed to fit writing into her busy schedule with her first book Kiss Ride.
She lives in Atlanta with her husband Michael, son Matthew, and twin daughters Megan and Kristan. Her blogs are gardenlilie.com and theivorytide.com. The first one is for poetry and writing, and she shares other’s work there as well. The second one is for journalism-quality news articles based on a global scale with music and movies, too.
First a look at Kim’s books and first is the compilation Into the Vines.
Into the Vines is the full length novel containing the trilogy of the Vintage Bleu Series (French Bleu, Bleu Moon, and Sapphire Souls). These novellas were written under the pen name of Caroline Clemens and then brought together as the novel as Kim Troike.
Into the Vines is a novel of discovery, personal triumph and heroism. French Bleu, a vintage-jazz nightclub in Paris offers a reprieve to its inhabitants from death, illness and captivity. Olivier is a pilot who rescues stranded and desperate souls from famine and war torn areas of Africa, while Daniela, a young nurse, seeks that which is amiss in her own life.
Acceptable for middle-grade and above readers. Find out more about the book and the various locations here: http://theivorytide.com/into-the-vines/
Cover credit. For Into the Vines – Thinkstock Photos, a division of Getty Images
Here is what the readers of the original elements of the novel have to say.
This was the first book from this author I have read, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was and how much I enjoyed it. When I had to set the book down, I had that feeling of not being content until I could pick it up again. I liked all the characters, the romance, the danger, and the mystery. I now can’t wait for the sequel to come out later this summer.
“Bleu Moon” by author Caroline Clemens is a tale of how families can come together in a crisis. We follow Olivier, Danielle and Brie and many more in the beautiful country of France. A story that shows if you are a genuinely nice person and have the strength to keep on going you can overcome the pitfalls of life, keeping to your basic principles of wanting to be a good person and through hard work and perseverance you can come through anything. It’s nice to see that even in the worst of times; we can always find a way. Motivating. From Georgia to France the great thing about this novel is the characters that you become attached to. At time the story dragged a little in the middle but it’s nicely written, honest & humorous…worth a read.
Other books by Kim Troike/Caroline Clemens
The blogger and Poet
Kim has two blogs Garden Lilie and The Ivory Tide where you will find poetry, guest posts and reviews… Here is a recent poem – The Storm You can also find interesting articles on other authors such as the one on Brazilian author Paul Coelho. Over on Ivory Tide you will also find an eclectic mix of articles and I particularly liked this profile of her cousin who is a talented musician and singer.Julian Hagen.
Kim is also enjoys films and you can find her reviews here Film reviews
Now time to hand over to Kim to find out more about her background and some of her favourite pastimes.
Where were you born and can you tell us something about the history of your place of birth or any interesting historical fact?
I was born in Sandusky, Ohio where Cedar Point amuses travelers on vacation to its theme park. It was also where my grandfather & grandmother lived when he was in the Coast Guard.
Sandusky has so much to offer but like many small mid-west towns the growth and finances stagnated while I was growing up. We loved the corn fields, farms, swimming, and boating to the islands! That is why they call it Vacationland.
Thomas Edison was born nearby in Milan and this was a big deal as he invented just about everything or he hung out with them. He was amazing. Sandusky also had its very own Miss America named Jacqueline Mayer; we all watched her in the parade. Talk about cool I guess this put us on the map! Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes and we saw turbulent storms brew rather quickly. War battles, shipwrecks and the Underground Railroad to help slaves escape were all a part of Sandusky, Ohio.
What is your favourite all time television series?
My husband and I watched Coach together for years. Due to our work schedules we weren’t together all that much but somehow we saw most of these. We laughed quite a bit with the humor and living in a cottage. Also my husband loves football. After that it was all Disney when the kids came along. So many songs and princesses with themes that translated to real life, magic carpet rides, too. One of the movies I never watched but knew the whole thing by heart as I’d heard it over and over on the small screen in the van while I transported the kiddies to and from school!
My favorites now are Game of Thrones and Outlander. Normally, I wouldn’t watch a show like Game of Thrones with all the blood and guts but somehow I’ve become transfixed, mesmerized. Maybe it’s because women have huge parts, scene stealers if you will. I actually think that as barbaric as the times were women had more power than they do now. How could that be? I feel like I’m watching history that was never taught to me. Game of Thrones keeps me on my toes as my husband and I watch it together trying to figure out all of the kingdoms. Of course, I like the woman with her dragon.
Buy Outlander and other books by Diana Gabaldon
Outlander, how precious and violent! Wow. I’d love to be able to say I read the books but I had three in diapers, etc., etc. Reading a half a page in a magazine was all the time I had back then. But my friend read all of the books. Now I’m treated to a wonderful show that I look forward to seeing in beautiful color and dialect. The fact that I’m a nurse and love horses and things of old like chivalry, well, it makes for a unique experience. I love period pieces, so I’m hooked. When he punches her in the stomach I was in the room and defending her, rather attacking him and not bothered with the outcome. Huh! The writer did a fine job of creating a maniac, a cruel character that we hate.
What is your all-time favourite film and give a review with marks out of 10?
Probably Titanic is a ten but before that Gone With the Wind has always been my favorite. It gets a ten by ten or a 100. I love Gone With the Wind because I identified with aspects of Scarlett, not necessarily the all the loves but with her hard work and tomorrow is another day aspect. This is how I live my life. My life doesn’t fit in that neat little box like so many. I like who I am and have been comfortable with myself since the age of 21.
Like I said before I love period pieces and love the farming aspect of a big place. I like the land and always wanted to live on a ranch or big plantation of sorts. My grandfather did this; I’ve driven tractors and bailed hay. Okay back to the movies … Titanic was exceptional and it was the first movie I saw after my son was born. We made his stroller into the Titanic for a 4th of July parade. We were quite proud of that. I don’t think he won the Academy Award for that movie but Leo should have. They should give the award when it’s due not wait until the actor proves himself again. That’s my opinion.
If you cook do you have a signature dish that everyone loves to eat?
Yes, Cowboy Salad. Enchilada Casserole and Southern Cheesecake are faves, too!
The Cowboy Salad recipe was given to me and I was told to make it for a big swanky party, one of those neighborhood deals. It turned out great but not before I sweated it out if I passed the social test and now it’s a favorite of my son and brother-in-law. If I didn’t already know it before, I learned it again. Those kind of people are not worth your time. If you must impress to be liked, don’t do it. Instead do it for you.
The Enchilada Casserole I found in a magazine in the midst of being the super mom. It was easy, delicious and nutritious. What could a mom desire more? Here is a recipe for Enchilada Casserole uploaded by TessaAriasTV
Another family favourite is a Southern Cheesecake recipe which was from a fellow nurse whom I job shared in the nineties. She was from Meridian, Mississippi and she gave me the recipe. You can’t get any deeper in the south than Meridian. I renamed her recipe and it’s a knockout. You never go home with any leftovers. So make two!
What is your WIP?
My following projects are to finish a story titled North Depot 1922, which is a historical fiction focused on life in the 20’s, jazz, trains, NYC, Chicago, North Carolina, and on down to Florida. I may change the name if something else comes along as I write the second half. The plot revolves around two families summering in North Carolina and how two of these childhood friends, Emmaline & Robert, set out to solve a mystery while seeking their adventure & fortune. My grandfather worked on the trains and here is a photo of North Depot.
Three years ago my children and I sat at my favorite restaurant The Cheesecake Factory planning out what the characters names would be. Yes, we wrote them on a napkin and now I’m typing about them. I did check to make sure they fit the time period and I believe they do. You see, I have fun at this past time of mine. Later this summer I hope to write a volume of poetry titled, Smoked n Spiced, which will be my second one. I suppose it may have a food or culture theme to it, definitely hotter than my first.
Links to connect via blog and social media.
My thanks to Kim for joining me today and we would love your feedback… Please feel free to share Kim’s interview.