Meet Tracy Krauss

This morning, it is my privilege to introduce Tracy Krauss to you. Besides an author, Tracy is an artist, drama director, worship leader and teacher.She’s all about the creative process, so everything she does has that bent to it. When she’s ‘making’ something – be it a painting, directing her vision for a play on the stage, playing an instrument, or writing a book – she feels energized. Sometimes she tends to burn herself out because she doesn’t rest much, but she likes to be busy and she loves all her creative pursuits, so she finds it hard to drop anything.

Barbara: Good morning Tracy. Can you tell us a little about the environment you work in?

Tracy: I currently live in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, known for its many waterfalls. However, my husband and I have moved around a lot in our nearly thirty years of marriage, and many of the places we’ve lived have been in the far north. Places like Churchill, Manitoba – the ‘polar bear capital of the world’; the Yukon, which is next door to Alaska; and the North West Territories – all north of the 60th parallel. This has given me lots of fodder for my stories.

Barbara:  When did you start writing?

Tracy: I first started writing when my eldest was just a baby. I could hardly wait for her to go down for her nap so that I could pound away at my mother’s old typewriter. That was more than a quarter century ago. Four kids, plus homeschooling for nine years, plus going back to work as a public school teacher full-time, and I finally signed my first contract in 2008. (This was after many, many rejections and a lot of hard work revising, querying, and revising some more.) My first book  AND THE BEAT GOES ON released in 2009, followed by MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER  in 2010, PLAY IT AGAIN in 2011, and now, WIND OVER MARSHDALE in 2012. I’ve also had five plays published or contracted in that time with various play publishing houses.

Barbara: What authors have inspired your own writing?

Tracy: Frank Peretti is still my favourite author. To me he is a groundbreaker. He’s tackled subjects that were previously considered taboo within Christian circles in such a compelling and thought-provoking way that his writing is almost revered as truth. For instance, THIS PRESENT DARKNESS  has almost become a manual on spiritual warfare, even though it’s fiction.  I try to include some of this ‘edge’ in my own writing. Francine Rivers is another that comes to mind. She has written about some pretty controversial topics as well, and her characters are always believable; they aren’t perfect in other words. Again, this is what I strive for with my characters.

Barbara: Tell us about your current novel.

Tracy: WIND OVER MARSHDALE takes place in a small prairie town where, on the surface, everything seems quaint and happy. Underneath there are some serious issues, especially with racism, sexual promiscuity, and the occult. Thomas Lone Wolf is a Cree man on a mission to build a heritage site near the town based on some ancient archaeological evidence. He and his children aren’t prepared for the level of prejudice they begin to face. Rachel Bosworth is the new Kindergarten teacher, fresh from the big city and running away from a hurtful past. Con McKinley is a local farmer, who also happens to be single and good-looking. A love triangle of sorts develops, with the two men unwitting participants. As well, eccentric twin sisters bombard the town; one with her legalistic religious views and the other as a practicing witch. The local pastor has little effect trying to keep his parishioners in line since he is involved in some unsavoury business of his own. The lives of these and many other unusual characters weave together into a surprising climax.  Beneath it all is a thread linking everyone’s problems to the spirit realm; an ancient curse from the past that must be dealt with once and for all.

Barbara: What’s next?

Tracy: I have two more finished novels and several works in progress. I’m just in the process of polishing up CZECH OUT, about a hockey player who defects to North America during the cold war, and THREE STRAND CORD, a romantic mystery about three friends. Once they’re ready for submission I’ll be pitching them to my agent. I’m also always pitching plays as well, since I write most of my own material for my drama troupe.  Finally, I’m publishing an illustrated children’s book. I just finished all the artwork and it should be ready fairly soon.

 

About Wind Over Marshdale

Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens.  A perfect place to start over… or get lost. There is definitely more to this prairie town than meets the eye. Once the meeting place of aboriginal tribes for miles around, some say the land itself was cursed because of the people’s sin. But its history goes farther back than even indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition?

Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty – prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.

You Can purchase Tracy book:

Publisher : Astraea press http://astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662245&mode=product&product=12328252

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Wind-Over-Marshdale-ebook/dp/B008ARYQPA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339803471&sr=8-1&keywords=wind+over+marshdale

Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-over-marshdale-tracy-krauss/1111512160?ean=2940014767682

 

WIND OVER MARSHDALE (Excerpt)
By Tracy Krauss
Chapter  One

A  whispered   breath   skimmed   across   the   long   prairie   grass   like   a  giant  invisible  hand  stroking  the  fur  of  a  silken  feline.  The  screech  of  an  eagle  echoed  through  the  valley  as  it  dipped  and  glided  above  the  river.  The  rounded   slopes   of   the   bank   rose   above   the   swiftly   flowing   water   while  small   clumps   of   trees   clustered   nearby   but   for   the   most   part   the   land stretched  uninterrupted  toward  the  horizon.

 

In  the  distance,  a  faint  rumbling  could  be  heard.  It  began  to  shake  the  earth  as  it  drew  nearer.  A  cloud  of  dust  accompanied  the  approaching  

mass.   Hooves   pounded.   Nostrils   dilated.   Eyes   reddened   with   fear.   The  musky  stench  of  sweat  mixed  with  the  heat  and  dust.  

 

The  huge  beasts  moved  en  masse  toward  the  precipice.  Thousands  of  shaggy  heads  bobbed  in  unison  as  the  herd  of  bison  stampeded  forward.  

As  if  in  slow  motion,  they  continued  on,  up  and  over  the  sharp  bank  of  the  river  into  the  ravine  below.  One  by  one,  they  hurtled  forward,  oblivious  to  

the  fate  that  awaited  them,  as  they  toppled  headlong  to  their  deaths.    Thomas  shot  up  in  bed,  panting.  The  T-shirt  he  wore  clung

to   his   body   with   sweat.   It   was   not   the   first   time   the   dream   had  come  to  wake  him.

 

He  took  a  deep  breath,  disentangled  himself  from  the  sheets,  and  rose  to  get  a  drink  of  water.  No  point  going  back  to  bed  now.

He  wouldn’t  sleep  anyway.  He  padded  down  the  narrow  hallway,  passing   the   half   closed   doorways   that   sheltered   his   sleeping

children.  Ducking   to  avoid   hitting   his  head  as   he  entered   the   tiny  kitchen,   he   paused   for   a   moment   to   look   at   the   expanse   of

landscape   beyond   the   window.  Mostly   flat,   with   a   rise   of   gently  rolling  hills  in  the  distance,  it  was  clothed  with  a  carpet  of  rippling

grass  except  for  the  odd  patch  of  dry  fallow.  Just  like  in  the  dream.

 

The   early  morning   sunrise   was   just   beginning   to   filter   in,  reaching  to  shed  some  light  in  the  shadowed  corners  of  the  room.

Thomas  had  managed   to   rent   a  house   near   the  outskirts  of   town.  Correction.  It  wasn’t  exactly  a  house.  The  realtor  called  it  a  “double

wide.”  Okay,  it  was  a  trailer,  but  it  was  the  only  property  for  rent  in  Marshdale   at   the  moment.  At   least,   that  was  what   the   realtor  had

said.  It  wasn’t  the  nicest  place—rather  dingy  if  truth  be  told—and  it  was  farther  from  school  than  Thomas  would  have  liked,  but  it  was

still   within   walking   distance.   Better   than   the   overcrowded   and  dilapidated  homes  he’d  been  used  to  as  a  child.

 

But  that  was  another  time.  Another  life.

 

He  was  here  now,  for  better  or  for  worse,  and  the  people  of  Marshdale  would  just  have  to  accept  it.  He  was  Thomas  Lone  Wolf,

proud  of  his  Cree  ancestry,  and  determined  to  do  something  about  it.  As  a  community  liaison,  he’d  worked  with  dozens  of  indigenous

groups   all   over   the   western   provinces   trying   to   set   up   business  propositions.  This  time  was  different,  though.  It  was  personal.

 

With   practiced   fingers   he   undid   his   nighttime   braid   and  shook  out  his  hair,  which  fell  well  past  his  shoulders.  Even  at  forty,

there  was  no  sign  of  graying  or  hair  loss.  It  was  straight,  coarse  and  black,  just  like  his  ancestors’ – he  was  the  perfect  picture  of  a  Cree

warrior.

Now   that   he   was   awake,   he   allowed   himself   to   replay   the  dream  in  his  mind – at  least  the  parts  that  he  could  remember.  Like

most  dreams,  the  initial  clarity  soon  faded  after  just  a  few  waking  moments.   There   were   buffalo – always   buffalo.  And   they   seemed

bent  on  suicide,  careening  to  their  deaths  before  he  could  stop  them  somehow.

 

He  was  going   to   start   writing   it  down.  The   theme  was   too  familiar;  the  mixture  of  fear  and  power  too  real.  Some  people  said

you  dreamt  in  black  and  white.  Thomas  wasn’t  sure  about  that.  He  knew  there  was  blood  in  his  dream – and  lots  of  it.  The  redness  of  it

stood  out  in  stark  contrast  to  the  muted  prairie  landscape.  And  the  stench.  That  unmistakable  metallic  scent  filled  his  nostrils  to  such  a

degree   that   he   could  almost   swear  he   still   smelled   it.  Almost.  But  that  was  ridiculous  and  he  pushed  the  memory  of  the  coagulating

stains  out  of  his  mind.

 

With   a   sigh   he   turned   back   to   the   cupboards   and   started  readying  the  coffee.  It  would  soon  be  time  to  wake  the  children  and

get   ready   for  work  himself.  Another  grueling  day  of   lobbying   for  something  that  should  be  rightfully  his  to  begin  with.  Reality  didn’t

stop  for  dreams.

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