The Clock Strikes Midnight: An interview with Joan C. Curtis


The Clock Strikes Midnight is a race against time in a quest for revenge and atonement. This is a story about hate, love, betrayal and forgiveness.

If you found out you had only three months to live, what would you do? That’s the question Janie Knox faces in this fast-paced mystery full of uncertainty and tension that will surprise you until the very last page.

Hiding behind the façade of a normal life, Janie keeps her family secrets tucked inside a broken heart. Everything changes on the day she learns she’s going to die. With the clock ticking and her time running out, she rushes to finish what she couldn’t do when she was 17—destroy her mother’s killer. But she can’t do it alone.

Janie returns to her childhood home to elicit help from her sister. She faces more than she bargained for when she discovers her sister’s life in shambles. Meanwhile her mother’s convicted killer, her stepfather, recently released from prison, blackmails the sisters and plots to extract millions from the state in retribution. New revelations challenge Janie’s resolve, but she refuses to allow either time or her enemies to her stop her from uncovering the truth she’s held captive for over 20 years.

An Excerpt from The Clock Strikes Midnight

Cover_The Clock Strikes Midnight“Daddy, when I get my kitty, can I name him Davy?” she had asked, yanking Marlene’s Davy Crockett mug full of M&M’s from her grasp.

The colorful candy spilled all over the backseat of the car.

“Mama, tell Janie to—”

“Janie, behave,” Daddy said, admonishing her for an instant with his eyes from the rearview mirror.

“Malcolm, look out!” Mom screamed.

Janie slammed into Marlene. Pain. The world tumbled topsy-turvy. The mug flew across the interior of the car, colors of the rainbow falling all around her.

Then, everything went black.

When she opened her eyes, Mom’s blood-streaked face rose in front of her out of the darkness.

“Wrap your arms around my neck, honey.” Mom lifted her from the wreckage.

Janie clutched her doll by the dress while the rain beat her curly hair flat.

Marlene stood on the side of the road.

“Try to walk,” Mom said, toppling her from her arms.

Her head pounded and blood trickled down her leg. She leaned on her good leg and limped in the direction of her sister.

“Mama, where’s Daddy?” Marlene asked between sobs.

Mom took Marlene’s hand and yanked her forward with Janie in tow.

Marlene lurched back toward the smashed Oldsmobile with smoke billowing from its hood and a big tree lying across the roof. The Davy Crockett mug lay shattered by the back tire.

“Daddy! We can’t leave Daddy!” Marlene yelled, picking up pieces of the broken glass.

They had left Daddy that day and piled into an old Chevy pick-up truck with a bashed in headlamp, belonging to a man with carrot-red hair. Mom pushed them inside the truck and ordered the man to get help. But by then it was too late for Daddy.

It was too late for all of them.

An Interview

Do you ever wish you were someone else? Who?

Sophia Loren because she’s beautiful and Italian and who wouldn’t want to be that elegant lady?

What did you do on your last birthday?

My husband took me out to eat and we celebrated together because his birthday is the day before mine.

Do you have any tattoos? If so, what are they and where on your body?

No tattoos because I’m basically afraid of needles!

What are you working on right now?

A cozy mystery series starring Jenna Scali. The first book is titled e-Murderer and is scheduled for release in the Spring of 2015 by MuseItUp Publishing. I’m working on the second one in that series, titled Murder on Moonshine Hill.

What do you think you’re really good at?

I’m good at writing dialogue and at talking. I spent most of my career as a seminar leader. I’ve had to think on my feet. That experience also put me in front of many different people and has enabled me to create interesting characters. I tend to make people laugh.

About the Author

Author Pic_The Clock Strikes MidnightJoan Curtis has authored four business books published by Praeger Press. She has also published numerous stories, including:

• “Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar,” Sea Oats Review, Winter 2004
• “A Memoir of a Friend,” Chicken Soup for the Working Woman’s Soul, 2003 and Flint River Review, 1996
• “Jacque’s Story” in From Eulogy to Joy, 2002
• “The Roommate,” Whispering Willow Mystery Magazine, April 1997
• “A Special Sort of Stubbornness,” Reader’s Digest, March 1997
• “My Father’s Final Gift,” Reader’s Digest, November 1994

Her first place writing awards include: best mystery manuscript in the Malice Domestic Grants competition, best proposal for a nonfiction piece in the Harriette Austin competition, and best story (“Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar”) in the Cassell Network of Freelance Writer’s Association.

Joan’s other books include Hire Smart and Keep ‘Em: How to Interview Strategically Using POINT, The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media, Managing Sticky Situations at Work: Communication Secrets for Success in the Workplace, and Strategic Interviewing: Skills for Savvy Executives.

“I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from a woman’s point of view. Characters drive my writing and my reading.”

Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the southern traditions with the eye of a northerner. She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Georgia.

Connect with Joan on Facebook, Twitter, MuseItUp Publishing, and her website,


Joan will be giving away:
• One $50 Amazon/ gift card to a randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter
• One $25 Amazon/ gift card to a randomly chosen host

Don’t forget to follow the rest of the tour and comment here; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway