About the Book
Book: Stars in the Night
Author: Cara Putman
Genre: WWII Romantic Suspense
Release date: February 1, 2022
Hollywood 1942. When attorney Audra Schaeffer’s sister disappears, Audra flies to Hollywood to find her but instead must identify her body. Determined to bring the 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?
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About the Author
Since the time I could read Nancy Drew, I have wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 I attended a book signing at my local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, is history. There I met Colleen Coble. With prompting from my husband, I shared my dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, I’ve been writing award-winning books with the count currently at 35 published and more in the works.
In addition to writing, I am a mom of four, attorney, clinical professor at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, my husband, and my kids. I graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!), George Mason Law School, and Purdue University’s MBA program. You can learn more about my books at http://www.caraputman.com. And if you’d like a copy of my legal suspense novella, Dying for Love, simply connect with me here (http://www.caraputman.com/contact/), and I’ll send you the link.
More from Cara
One of the things I loved about writing Stars in the Night, set during World War II, is that I learned so many things. As a World War II history nut, that keeps the writing fresh and exciting. Here are a few of the things I learned while writing Stars in the Night:
1) There really was a Hollywood Victory Caravan. The Hollywood Victory Caravan traveled by train Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., then north through cities like Chicago and Minneapolis.
2) If something had happened to the train, Hollywood would have been ravaged. The real caravan was filled with stars like Abbott and Costello, Desi Arnez, Bing Crosby, and Groucho Marx. The papers at the time said the stars would have gone out in Hollywood if anything had happened.
3) The first train entertained the President and Mrs. Roosevelt at the White House. What a great way to launch the tour. And Mrs. Roosevelt had a staff member standing immediately behind her to help her “remember” everyone who came by so she could say something personal to them.
4) The Winecoff Hotel, where I have my stars stay while they’re in Atlanta, was the site of the worst hotel fire in American history and has recently been restored and renovated.
5) I initially considered having the tour appear at Ford’s Theater, but it was essentially abandoned during the World War Two era – and was used as storage. Hard to believe if you tour that beautifully restored theater today.
6) The National Theater has had continuous shows running since December 1835. Fortunately for my story, it had a hole the summer of 1942, which fit perfectly with when I wanted my caravan to have a show there.
7) The Hollywood Canteen didn’t open until later in 1942. Since my first book involved a canteen, I really wanted to include the Hollywood Canteen. Besides, what’s more romantic than movie stars mixing with and entertaining servicemen? Unfortunately, it was in the planning stages during Stars in the Night. Maybe in the next book…
As you can see, I love the details of history. I hope Stars in the Night sweeps you away to a time that was rich in service, glamour, and conflict.
Interview with Cara
Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.
This is a little nerdy, but I have my MBA but never took calculus. It made for an interesting Finance class, but my curiosity and law background got me through the program quite successfully.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Passionate, Driven, Committed
What book is currently on your bedside table?
When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyers is a book I read recently that surprised me. Such a good and inventive time travel book. I also really enjoyed Shadows in the Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp. I’m currently reading The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart and Free Fall by Nancy Mehl.
What has been your favorite part of the publishing journey?
Truly it’s all the people I’ve gotten to meet and call friend. Writers are some of the most creative and caring people I know. It’s been a joy to work with so many in various capacities: American Christian Fiction Writers boards, co-writing, blog teams, and so much more!
Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
I’ve always loved those classic movies from the black and white era of Hollywood. There’s something about the glamour and glitz of stars like Clark Gable and Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Grace Kelly that just captivates me. There’s also something of the small town girl or boy heading to the big city with even bigger dreams. It was easy to weave those themes together into this book.
Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
Audra does because of the hard choice she had to make. The idea of whether she would give up her dream because family meant more. I’ve also always been captured by the idea that William Rehnquist and Sandra Day O’Connor graduated from law school at the same time but had very different careers before reaching the Supreme Court. While Audra’s story happens ten years earlier I wanted to show how far we have come in that sense.
What were the highlight or key challenges you faced when writing this book?
This book takes place in so many cities that the research was daunting. Where would a Hollywood tour have performed a show in each city? Where would the stars have stayed? How did you get from Indianapolis to LA on plane in 1942, etc. Research is a HUGE part of historicals and then sifting it down so that all the research doesn’t weigh the story down but instead serves as the gilding to the story.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
My website is a great place to learn more: http://caraputman.com. I’m also on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Any current or upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?
I’m currently writing two WWII novellas for different publishers. It has been so fun to get back into one of my favorite time periods, but I had forgotten just how much research is required. I’m learning a ton…but the rabbit trails are never ending!
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To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of Stars in the Night!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.