Freya Barker inspires with her stories about ‘real’ people, perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy. She is the author of the Cedar Tree Series and the Portland, ME, novels.Freya is the recipient of the RomCon “Reader’s Choice” Award for best first book, “Slim To None,” and is a finalist for the 2016 Kindle Book Awards for “From Dust”. She currently has two complete series and three anthologies published, and is working on two new series; La Plata County FBI—ROCK POINT, and Northern Lights. She continues to spin story after story with an endless supply of bruised and dented characters, vying for attention!
Where are you from?
I am Canadian, and live along the north-west shores of Lake Ontario. Originally I am from the Netherlands, though. I moved to Canada in 1989 with two toddlers and eight suitcases!
If you had to perform in a talent competition right now, what would your talent be?
That question has me thinking; if you’d asked me this at different points in my life, you would likely have received a variety answers.
Right now, however—and not without some serious practice—I’d probably opt to sing. I used to be really good, but if a machine is not regularly oiled and maintained, it no longer operates smoothly. Such is my voice at this point. LOL
What’s your favorite movie quote? (Make sure to include the name of the movie)
“I don’t want to survive. I want to live.”
This is from the movie 12 Years a Slave, and it hits me where I live.
It’s also a theme that runs through every last one of my books.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I think there are plenty of things that would surprise my readers about me, but I’m not sure how fun those facts are.
Let me see… I worked as a birth doula (professional support person) and in that capacity, appeared in two segments of a reality TV show called Birth Stories here in Canada, while attending to some of my laboring clients. My mother, who lives in the Netherlands, called me one morning to tell me she had just seen me on the BBC channel, who apparently were airing the shows. That gave us both a good chuckle.
Who’s your favorite cover model?
Ohhhh that’s not fair!! I’ve used a few on my covers and my first experience with a cover model was for my second book, Hundred To One. Steve Gehrke was a tattoo model, but had not yet been featured as a cover model at the time. I had the privilege of meeting him in Vegas, and was surprised by how quiet and almost shy he was. He’ll always hold a special place.
Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to use a few more since then. Alfie Gordillo, a stand-up guy, is the ultimate professional and funny as shit. He appeared on Upper Hand and I loved the opportunity to hang out with him.
But a guy who blows me away by his kindness and humility, as well as his great appreciation for the simpler things in life, is Blake Sevani. He is featured on my latest release, A Change In Tide, and I was thrilled to meet him and his wife Gina (a fabulous writer in her own right) at an event earlier this year. I truly adore him.
Okay, back to books, what genres do you write?
My first series, Cedar Tree, is pure romantic suspense. A natural choice for me, since I’ve always preferred reading that genre. But then came From Dust, a story that had been plaguing me for years, and the first in my Portland, ME, series. That book is not easily labeled, because although it features a little suspense, and substantial heat, it can’t really be considered romantic suspense, contemporary romance or even erotica. The story focuses on the journey of one woman from destitution to hope, and as such would be more aptly named Women’s Fiction or Lit.
SnapShot my first new series this year, is once again Romantic Suspense, but the new Northern Lights Collection would probably be best typed as Contemporary Romance.
I hate labels, by the way. I understand the need to clarify a genre, but I hate to put anyone or anything in a tidy little box. I don’t belong in one, and neither do my books. LOL
What is your inspiration?
Simple as that.
Every day things happen in my life or around me that provide fodder for my books. Words, experiences, observations, conclusions—it all seeps into the stories I create.
There is no better source of inspiration that the way the world plays out around you.
Tell us about your latest book?
A Change In Tide is the first of a four book collection of standalone novels. And this time, I mean ‘standalone’ quite literally. They are all situated in Canada, in the beautiful Ontario north, but in different settings and without a crossover of characters from one book to the next. There is only one common element that can be found in each of the four planned books, but you’ll have to read them to find out what that is.
I love Mia and Jared. I can identify with Mia in a lot of ways and writing her exposed quite a bit of myself. Including her automatic initial response to Jared, who was not her favorite person at their initial introduction.
I like to believe in the good in people and although I introduce Jared as an almost stereotypical man-boy, I did so purposely, hoping to show that all is not always it may appear. Like with so many things and people in life, once you put aside your kneejerk reaction and open your mind and heart, you’ll find unexpected depth and beauty. Jared is a prime example of that.
These two will tug at your emotions and melt your heart.
“The real, heart-warming, emotional, suspenseful and hot Cedar Tree series books, featuring characters whose banter, friendships and stories will have you rooting for them.”
The stories center around Cedar Tree, a small town in the Four Corners area of Colorado, a fictional town in an area I’ve visited a few times and have come to love.
In the first book we meet Emma, a single disabled mother of one adult daughter, who moves to town and lands herself in some trouble. She finds herself under surveillance by a private investigator by the name of Gus Flemming, owner of GFI Investigations.
There are seven books in total, chronicling the stories of the GFI operatives and their friends, and the series came to an end last year with HEAD START.
LINKS Cedar Tree
“The subtle sensitivity of Freya Barker’s writing means the emotional response hits with a visceral impact, however never feels too much, too real. She tackles these subjects many will not, and wraps them up in a romance that satisfies the sweet and the hot we love, while bringing an awareness of horrors that happen. She has given us an absolutely beautiful raw series that celebrates the strength of the human spirit and our ability to overcome.”
The Portland ME novels tell the stories of people who have seen the darkest side of humanity, who have lived the deepest tragedies and who STILL manage to find their happiness and even love.
I warn you…these books will bring up a host of emotions and are all loosely based on true stories.
Portland, ME, series links:
Universal link: myBook.to/ShutterSpeed
He wasn’t supposed to be here, but he can’t seem to escape his old life. Stuck in an old trailer in the mountains, he walks a fine line between ruse and reality. With the arrival of a young-looking pixie—who turns out to be a full grown, hot-blooded woman—his balance is thrown.
He tries to avoid her, but with the little pixel peeper snapping everything in sight, she unintentionally risks his exposure.
Universal link: myBook.to/FreezeFrame
A new career, a new place, and a new man—you’d think after the rough year she’s had, Isla has finally found her stride. Of course it’s never that simple. Some dreams she is building, some dreams are taken away before they have a chance to form. But she never imagined that the one thing she’s worked so hard to realize, could be the cause it all breaks apart.
Universal link: myBook.to/AChangeInTide
What impact would it have when everything suddenly faded to black?
For Mia, a crowded subway ride changes her entire life. Retreating to the wilderness helps her cope with a world that is suddenly too loud, too turbulent.
Her existence safely contained to the small cottage on the lake, she is unprepared for the neighbor that moves across the bay
A career-ending injury has Jared permanently benched. His reputation as The Enforcer won’t survive the unanticipated responsibilities awaiting him.
Away from the public eye, he adjust to his new reality, under the quiet observation of the intriguing hermit on the other side of the water.