Books · Excerpt · West Virginia · Writing

Release Day: Safe and Sound

Today is the release day for Safe and Sound, book 3 in the New Beginning Series. The plot for this book actually came to me midway through book two, Led Astray, and resulted in having to go back and make sure these two storylines blended together. Safe and Sound isn’t a ‘part 2’ to Led Astray, but actions in Led Astray is what ‘started’ the story for Safe and Sound. I like how the plotlines feed off each other. I’m also excited about this book because it’s my Christmas setting story. I always wanted to write one and using a holiday setting worked for this story. It’s not exactly a Christmas story but the holidays gave it the mood I wanted.

Blurb:

Four years prior, Hannah Stratford got lost during a blizzard and the mountain claimed her, leaving her husband Connor Stratford grief-stricken and filled with guilt. When a woman’s body was discovered after an explosion, Connor learned her death wasn’t accidental but a probable murder. Now, one of the men responsible for Hannah’s death is hunting down another woman. To keep the young woman safe and draw the murderer to him, Connor offers her safety and shelter in his home. When the woman claims to be his wife Hannah, Connor finds his past and present pulled apart. Is this woman who she claims she is…or is she running a scam with the man who murdered his wife?

Excerpt:

Katrina fled down the small hallway leading to the back door. She slammed her hand onto the bar and the door shot open. Run. Don’t look back. The pace of the words matched her heartbeat and she sprinted down the sidewalk.

Footfalls sounded behind her.

She pushed past people. Knocked into a young mother.

“What’s your problem, lady?”

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Katrina ran. She couldn’t waste her breaths on words. She had a few precious moments, one last time to outrun the past coming back to claim her. She scanned the area for a place to hide or seek help.

Across the street was an alley leading to the fire station. Safety. Katrina surged forward. A horn blared. Brakes squealed. She pivoted away from the car and leapt onto the sidewalk.

A twinge in her ankle sent her reeling forward. She grasped onto a parking meter and regained her balance. Ignoring the pain in her foot, she pounded down the sidewalk and made it to the opening of the alley.

Darkness surrounded her. She fought the instinct to stop instead of plunging into the damp, musty pathway. She was too close to change plans now. This was her one way to freedom and hope. A hand bit into her shoulder. She screamed and twisted. Her injured foot slid on something slick. The man tightened his grasp. He lifted her and pushed her against the building.

“You made this so easy.” He pressed into her back, his body holding her against the brick.

Katrina stomped on his foot and jabbed her elbow into his stomach. He sucked in a breath but the pressure against her didn’t decrease. A hand inched down her stomach and rested at the waistband of her jeans.

“How should I make this look? An assault? Robbery gone bad.” He twisted her arm behind her back. “Let’s just go with dumping you in the middle of nowhere. Don’t have to worry about anyone looking for you. You’re already dead.”

Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Sarah Sanders from A Legacy of Lies

Welcome to the Self-Rescue Princess blog. I’m so glad you could join me  and Sarah Sanders, heroine of A Legacy of Lies, today.

1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

I was always the reasonable sort, until I kissed a cowboy against my better judgment. Feeling strangely drawn to this mysterious ranch hand with a dark past, I find myself swept up in an adventure that will force me to question everything I believe.

Jim Anderson’s cowboy gig is going pretty well. Except for one thing – he thinks he’s going insane. Night terrors, hallucinations, and now a girl he has no business falling for. It’s better to keep his distance. But when Sarah is nearly killed, he will risk it all to save her.

When tragedy brings him back to the home he tried to escape, Jim will have to face the truth behind his strange circumstances and hope that Sarah will believe him. Digging up the answers to questions long buried, does he have the strength to face the dark family secrets that threaten to destroy them both?

2. What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?

I went on faith. I felt this strange “prompting” to go with Jim and help him figure out what is going on in his life. I knew he needed a friend to face the huge mountain of lies and deceit he was facing.

3. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

My inner strength comes from my faith. When I am overwhelmed and weak, it is what fills me with strength and peace. I know who I am in Christ, and this gives me the confidence in other areas of my life.

4. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Learn to be your own person. Celebrate your talents and gifts and be proud of your uniqueness! If you go with the crowd, you will eventually be trampled by them. Stand up for yourself and for what you know is right. Learning to do these things will give you confidence and strength that will not be easily shaken!

5.  Favorite quote or Bible verse.

Psalm 37: 4-5

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. (NASB)

If you’d like to learn more about the author, please stop by Stephenia’s website http://www.stepheniamcgee.com/.

Heroine Interviews · Writing

SRP Heroine Interview: Emily Worthing from It’s Complicated.

Today, I’m talking with Emily Worthing from the novel It’s Complicated.

1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

Charles ‘Black Ash’ Ashton temporarily abandons his jet-setting lifestyle to avoid being blamed for a multi-million pound poker scam and meets quiet, elegant math teacher Emily Worthing but the odds aren’t in their favor. After a disastrous affair cost Emily her heart and prestigious job she prizes honesty above all things. Ash makes his living at the poker table, where a little deviousness and the occasional white lie never hurt. Ash must leave behind his irresponsible past and Emily searches for the strength to forge a new future. Ash puts all his cards on the table one last time and he and Emily prove they’ve an ace in the hand called love.

2. What made you want your story to be told?

I want others to know that they are the only person who can change their life and that your past doesn’t have to determine your future.

3. What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?

A combination of people and events made me aware this was the time and I’d better not let it slip from my fingers.

4. In your life, what has empowered you?

I’m totally confident of my abilities in my chosen academic field and love the precision and logic of mathematics.

5. What are strengths and weaknesses?

I see my intelligence as a strength although some men have considered it a threat. I try to always be there for my friends and family when they need me. I know it’s a weakness to allow my twin sister, Claire, to always overshadow me but some things are hard to change. It’s going to be a battle but this time I intend to beat it once and for all. I gave in to my weakness for good-looking men once and it cost me dearly which is why I’m determined at the beginning of my story to keep Ash at arms’ length.

6. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

Not relying on another person to save me from my choices and using my own abilities to overcome difficulties and move forward in life the way I want.

7. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

No self-respecting man wants a doormat apart from when he needs to wipe his dirty feet.

8. Favorite quote or Bible verse.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

9.  If your story had a theme song, what would it be?

I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor  – because there were times I thought I wouldn’t but I have and I’m stronger than ever.

10. Will you be continuing your journey in written form?

Another book isn’t in my plans. I believe my story’s been told and the rest of my life is mine to enjoy in peace. I treasure my privacy and putting the first book out there was hard enough.

11. Is there anyone in your life (friend, family member) who will be sharing their life?

There’s nothing at the moment but my twin sister, Claire, has never liked to be one-upped by me so it wouldn’t surprise me if she had to have a go too. Of course knowing her it’d go straight to the top of the bestseller list 🙂

Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Rose Strickland from Diners, Dives, and Dead Ends

Today, I’m talking with Rose Strickland from Diners, Dives and Dead Ends.

1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

I’m a struggling waitress and part-time student, but when my friend, Axton, goes missing, I have to find him.  Suddenly I’m hashing it out with sexy bad guys and scrambling to find clues in a race to save my friend before his time runs out.

With my anime-loving bestie, my septuagenarian boss, and a pair of IT wise men along for the ride, I uncover political corruption, illegal gambling, and shady corporations.  I’ve gone from zero to sixty and quickly learn that when you’re speeding down the fast lane, it’s easy to crash and burn.

2. What made you decide to take on such a risky endeavor?

When my parents cut me off, Axton was my best friend.  I’d never felt so alone.  But Axton stood by me.  He’s always been there for me with a kind word or a bad sci-fi movie, so when he goes missing, I have to find him.  There’s no other alternative.

3. Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?

No way.  Committing a crime?  That seems more likely.  And I had no idea that looking for Ax would take me down such a twisted path.

4. Who would you say is the least pleased about your additional career choice of amateur sleuthing? Or is detective work your only career?

My mother thinks I should finish my degree already and get a real job.  The way she sees it, hanging out with Axton, who likes a little too much doobage, is a waste of time.  And she wouldn’t be happy to know I put myself in danger for him either.  She’s convinced I should step back into the country club mold.  And rubbing elbows with illegal gamblers and sexy villains isn’t her idea of decorum.

5.  What are strengths and weaknesses?

I think I’m loyal to the people around me—my bestie, Roxy, my boss, Ma, and of course my bud, Ax.  But I have a wee bit of a temper.  Especially around one very hot criminal.  He tends to bring out the angry.

6. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

It means I don’t have to rely on my parents’ money or connections.  I can make it on my own.  And my life might not be a Ke$ha video, but it’s mine and I’ve worked hard for my independence.

7. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Be true to yourself and learn a skill.  For example, picking locks might come in handy.  Just saying.

8. What was one lesson you learned during this challenging time in your life?

I’m a survivor.  And that a stun gun is my friend.  And to wear clean underwear.  Wait, I learned that last one a long time ago.

9.  If your story or life had a theme song, what would it be?

Me and My Friends—Red Hot Chili Peppers.  When they talk about being “freaks of a feather” I can relate.

10. Do you plan on dabbling in amateur sleuthing in the future, or have you hung up your detective hat?

I’m anti-dabbling.  I had no plans to stick my nose into anybody’s biz again, but my friend, Janelle, has found herself in a tight spot.  And when my friends need me…well, maybe one more time into the breach and all that.

Terri L. Austin lives in Missouri with her funny, handsome husband and a high maintenance peekapoo.  She’s the author of Diners, Dives and Dead Ends—a Rose Strickland Mystery.

Kirkus Review: “Austin’s debut kicks off her planned series by introducing a quirky, feisty heroine and a great supporting cast of characters and putting them through quite a number of interesting twists

Want to win a copy of DINERS, DIVES AND DEAD ENDS?  Leave a comment along with your email address, and Terri will enter you to win on of three copies.  Drawing takes place on August 31, 2012.  Continental US only.

The book is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  You can catch Terri at TerriLAustin.com, Twitter, Facebook, and GoodReads.

Books · Heroine Interviews

SRP Heroine Interview: Bree LeFleur from Out of Time

Today on my blog, I’m going to talk with Bree LeFleur, the heroine from  Out of Time.

1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life

Bree Le Fleur moves to Arizona to heal from her past. She meets her neighbor Donny Garafalo Jr., race car driver and model. Unlike most women, she’s not impressed. After their disastrous introduction, Bree ends up needing Donny’s help. They become friends and Donny decides Bree is the perfect girl for him. He won’t inherit the family business unless he can change his ways. He believes dating Bree and attending church will persuade his father. While following his ruse, they fall in love and find faith. Things look promising until Donny hits the road again for his final racing circuit and Bree discovers a plot to harm him. She tries to tell him, but he won’t listen, so she takes matters into her own hands. When he finds out, will he thank her for meddling or send her packing? Is their love strong enough to make it through the ultimate test?

2. What made you want your story to be told?

Well, for one thing, I’m sure I’m not the first young woman to feel insecure around a sexy man who has women chasing him down all the time. I didn’t want to fall for Donny, but God had other plans for me. When Donny found faith, his heart changed. I was afraid to trust it and I made a lot of stupid decisions, not to mention how I threw myself at him thinking it would hold his attention and he wouldn’t want anyone else. I’m ashamed of it now and I’m trying to share my story as a warning to other young ladies to trust God and listen to your heart. Don’t act on natural insecurities and allow the whispering taunts in your head that you’re not good enough drive you to tempt your man to sin. And please stop reading those sexy magazines with articles about keeping a man’s interest by being sexy. They only make things worse.

3. What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?

Donny kept telling me the fact that I was pure and inexperienced made me more attractive to him and I kept reading stuff that said if I did the right things to “turn him on” he’d never leave me. Well, I learned that a decent man isn’t going to stick around because he’s tempted, he’s going to stick around because of love, and because of respect he feels for the woman. It took me awhile to learn this, but I’m glad I finally did. I started treating myself with respect and it made things a whole lot easier.

4. In your life, what has empowered you?

I think the fact that I had strong faith in the past helped, but then I lost my faith when my brother died. I blamed myself and God. Donny’s discovery of the Christian faith and learning about the things I used to love made me reconsider my bitterness and let go of it. When he changed his life around, it really made an impact on me. It made me want to renew my relationship with the Lord. Only after renewing my commitment was I able to be strong in the areas that normally tempted me.

5. What are strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths are easier for me to talk about. I am a nurse by profession, so caring for the sick and helping people heal is my passion in life. I’m typically patient and a loyal friend. I have compassion on people who are hurting. I am not easily duped, either. I refuse to conform to other people’s expectations of who they think I should be. The weakness I have is that I tend to rely too heavily on magazines and then modeling after beautiful women when it comes to advice on things like dating and sex. I don’t work on my inner beauty enough. For some reason I feel like I have to compete with the pretty people in this world, even though I know it is inner beauty that attracts a man for life. My biggest weakness is not having enough faith in myself to be beautiful enough on the inside to keep a famous man like Donny, even if he has changed his ways. Trust doesn’t come easy for me, either.

6. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

For me a self-rescue princess is someone who doesn’t use manipulation to get what she wants. And she doesn’t let others discourage her from achieving her goals in life. A strong, confident woman knows who to trust and when to be cautious. I need to work on that.

7. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Don’t use sexiness or sex-appeal to snag a man and think it will keep you together. If he’s only attracted to the outside of you, which will eventually wrinkle and fall apart, then you’ll have nothing left that will last you once those younger years have dried up. Plus, sex can only contribute so much toward bonding in a relationship, and a man who is shallow enough to only be with you because you’re great in bed is not a good man for you over the long haul. Holding back, and respecting your body enough to wait for marriage to have sex, is totally worth it. Trust me on that. No man wants to marry a woman who has slept with every guy on the block.

8. Favorite quote or Bible verse.

Romans 8:11-13 (and I’ll paraphrase it, but the gist goes like this… If the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, it gives life to your mortal body.) This was what I had missing in my life before I had real saving faith. I couldn’t stop sinning on my own. I needed the power that raised Jesus from the dead living in me to empower me. He’s only a prayer away.

9. If your story had a theme song, what would it be?

Perfect by Flyleaf (the music in the beginning even fits) and the lines that say:

I’m nobody

Perfect in weakness

I’m only perfect in just your strength alone

10. Will you be continuing your journey in written form?

No, this is it. Donny and I live happily ever after… The End!

11. Is there anyone in your life who will be sharing their life?

You can’t improve on perfection (cheeky grin.) This book is a stand-alone title.

Books · Heroine Interviews · Uncategorized

SRP Interview: Hope Williams from a Decision to Love

Decision to LoveToday on my blog, I’m going to talk with Hope Williams, the heroine from  Decision to Love.

1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

Eight years after Tony and Hope’s affair ended, new problems arise. Jimmy has gone off to college, but returns home with a startling revelation that devastates his father and causes his final heart attack. Now Hope is grieving the loss of both her husband and their son. She tries to make sense of everything, and in the end she decides to love her son through the grief. More than that, she makes the decision to love whoever her son chooses to love, whether she agrees with his choices or not.

Tony’s life has its own disaster tearing through it. First, he is accused of killing his ex-wife, but he is soon released once the authorities realize he had nothing to do with it. The tragedy with his ex-wife led to some major changes in his life, however, and some soul-searching that ultimately turns Tony’s life around. While he is still adjusting to his new perspective on life, his long-lost daughter Nina contacts him and has some secrets of her own. He is overjoyed to be reunited with his daughter, but with their relationship comes an entirely new set of challenges.

Jimmy is confused about his faith, his life, and ultimately, whom he should love. After some severe trials knock him off what he thought was the right course for his life, he makes the decision to love himself enough not to be used by someone again. But will his decision protect him in the end?

2. What made you want your story to be told?

Well, when Jimmy started college and told me over Thanksgiving break that he was attracted to men, I knew his father would flip out, especially since he’s our only son. So I talked to other people and found out I wasn’t alone in this. Then when my son told my husband about his sexual preference, my husband had a fatal heart attack. I didn’t understand why this was happening. I mean, I raised Jimmy in a Christian home and he loved Jesus from the time he was five on through school. He was always praying for his friends and loved bringing them to church with him. Then…bam! He goes off to college and comes up with this startling revelation about himself and I started grieving immediately. It didn’t help that his father also died in the midst of our family conflict. So I had compounded grief. Then I blamed myself, which was stupid, but hard to resist. As a mother, how do you fix something that is so entrenched in someone’s identity? The truth I discovered, was I couldn’t change a thing. But I didn’t give up on my son and made the decision to love him and whoever he loved despite whether I agreed or not with the person he chose. Then my son breaks up with his boyfriend and starts hanging out with my ex-lover’s daughter? How in the world did that happen? But I guess God knew I needed something in my face to help me work through this situation. And ironically, God used a tragic time from my past to bring about some good. God’s ways are mysterious, but I don’t question Him anymore. I’ve learned to trust. Oh, and my story continues with a book title, Learning to Trust. Good one, eh?

3. What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?

If you’re talking about the decision I made to love my son regardless of his choices, then I suppose the fact that he’s all I had left in the world after my husband died was a major contributing factor. I kept thinking I’d forgiven myself, too, but then this brought everything back. It didn’t help that my son’s new best friend was Nina, my ex-lover’s daughter. Small stinking world, I’m telling you. But it happens.

4. In your life, what has empowered you?

The love I’ve received over the years from my husband gave me a lot of strength. His decision to forgive me despite my wayward heart eight years ago helped a lot. My faith has helped me get through a lot of tough times as well. I’ve learned that I need grace and forgiveness every day. I’m not above sinning and I need to remember that or I’ll be more vulnerable to spiritual attacks. Knowing that God is on my side and wants me to grow in my love for Him helps keep me striving for more of Him and less of me. It’s a good thing, though. And when I am feeling empowered, I can help my son. He needs me now.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This is going to sound crazy, but my weakness is for sexual contact with men. Now that my husband has passed away, I’ve decided to stick it out and remain single until I die, but it has been only eight months since he passed away and already I’m starting to feel super lonely and my need for skin to skin contact is growing by the day. I never would have strayed eight years ago if he had tried to work things out, but when he stopped touching me and loving me as a man should love his wife, well, the temptation became too great. It’s a wonderful thing, but I hate this intense physical desire at the same time. Now that I have no outlet that fits what my faith allows me to do (because I’m not married) it’s more like torture for me than a blessing. My strength is that I do have faith. I also have a son who loves me and I had a good marriage for many years. I am creative and a good friend. I love intensely and am devoted to the people I care about. I would never hurt anyone on purpose. I need to pray more for my friends, but I’m working on that.

6. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

What that means to me is I can be strong and confident if I remember that I’m not alone in this life. God has my back, and He’s given me people to love and who love me to help me through this journey called life. I’ve learned that I don’t have to make poor choices or do things that will hurt myself and my family. A self-rescue princess would stop before things got out of control and make sure that she’s strong enough to say no to things that are not good for her. I strive every day to be that kind of strong, confident woman.

7. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Don’t let despair trap you in a corner so you feel that there is no way out. Nothing good will come of this and you will only ruin your life. Know that God is for you and not against you, and you’ll make it through the tough times and come out stronger in the end.

 8. Favorite quote or Bible verse.

Romans 8:11-13 (and I’ll paraphrase it, but the gist goes like this… If the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, it gives life to your mortal body.) This was what I had missing in my life before I had real saving faith. I couldn’t stop sinning on my own. I needed the power that raised Jesus from the dead living in me to empower me. He’s only a prayer away.

9. If your story had a theme song, what would it be?

Meant to Live by Switchfoot.

I love the line that goes… “We were meant to live for so much more. Have we lost ourselves?”

10. Will you be continuing your journey in written form?

Oh, yeah. My story lives on. I resist finding love again through this whole book, but in the end there is a hint that love will spark in my heart again for a certain man. The book this story will be told in is titled Learning to Trust and it will release next year.

11. Is there anyone in your life who will be sharing their life?

Yeah, the first book in the series, Never Without Hope, is my story about how my life got out of control. Then the second book, Their Separate Ways, features the year after. In Never Without Hope, you only get my perspective. In Their Separate Ways, my ex-lover’s perspective comes into play. Then the third book, Decision to Love, features my perspective, my ex-lover’s perspective, and my only son’s perspective. The fourth book, Learning to Trust, will add Nina’s perspective. She is my ex-lover’s only daughter. It’s a series full of complex characters, but the stories run deep and have many layers. The series is titled Sacred Vows, and so far there are four books. I’m not sure if there will be any more after the fourth book. I’ll play that one by ear.

Books · Heroine Interviews · Uncategorized

Interview: Kathleen – Heroine from What a Texas Girl Wants

Today on my blog, I’m going to talk with Kathleen, the heroine of  What a Texas Girl Wants.

1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

Kathleen Witte is a down-to-earth girl. She has to be, with the family ranch on the verge of success. After seven months of keeping it all together by swearing off men, however, Kathleen needs a bit of fun in the sun. Waking up with a husband she can’t remember isn’t how she planned to blow off steam.

The last thing Jackson Taylor wants in his life is a down-to-earth girl. He has four weeks of freedom in which to find his birth mother. He’s done well avoiding commitment until now, so when he wakes up on a Mexican beach with Kathleen his first reaction is curiosity. When he spies the matching wedding rings on their left hands curiosity turns to concern.

Neither Jackson nor Kathleen want to stay married, but when her family shows up, they have no choice. Once back in Texas, however, can they keep this all-business marriage from turning into an all-consuming love?

2. What made you want your story to be told?

I tried for a while to stop my author telling my story – I mean, who really wants to be outed as the girl who goes on a booze-fest, marries and perfect stranger and then cons him into staying married? But then I realized a lot of us girls get stuck – whether it’s with a job or our families or our friends – and that part of my story was about getting un-stuck. That’s when I decided to let my author in on everything.

3. What lead you to make the changes you did in your life? 

I’d been stuck for a lot of years, trying to hold everything together. I actually wasn’t trying to make a change in my life – I was just trying not to ruin all the careful plans I’d made. Once Jackson came along, though, I realized I wanted more than to be the Perfect Daughter. That is when the change really started to happen.

4. In your life, what has empowered you? 

My family. Although I get annoyed with them from time and time – my grandfather can be really overbearing! – they love me unconditionally, they believe in me and that gives me the strength to go after what I want. Including Jackson Taylor!

 5. What are strengths and weaknesses? 

I think weakness is the ability to grow, it’s another challenge – figuring out how to get better. And our strengths are the things that tell us we can keep going, even when things are really dark.

6. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you. 

It means I’m willing to work hard for everything I have. Before Jackson, I thought I had to be focused on just one area of my life – my horse training –  but I’m starting to realize that I can have multiple areas of focus. Loving Jackson doesn’t mean I have to give up my personal dreams and goals.

7. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women? 

That they can have it all, if they’re willing to work hard to achieve it. Whatever ‘it’ is for them.

 8. Favorite quote or Bible verse.

When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another. – Helen Keller.

9.  If your story had a theme song, what would it be? 

Perfect by Sara Evans. Because no one saw Jackson and I as perfect for one another, but we actually are.

10. Will you be continuing your journey in written form? 

My story is over – well, it’s beginning! – but I’m happy where I am. For now.

11. Is there anyone in your life (friend, family member) who will be sharing their life?

I do have two sisters who have stories to tell. I hear they’re currently driving my author to well-deserved distraction.

Thanks for stopping by Kathleen and telling us a little bit about yourself. If you’re interested in learning more about the author of Kathleen’s story, Kristina Knight’s website is http://www.kristinaknightauthor.com/.

Books · Heroine Interviews

Interview: Alice Windsor, heroine from Victorian Scoundrel, The Windsor Diaries, Book 1

Today on my blog, I’m going to talk with Alice Windsor, the heroine of  The Windsor Diaries.

CHRISTINA:  Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?

ALICE: It’s modern day England and compressed natural gas has taken over from the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian age. Unfortunately, my mischief making cousin, Edmund, a Prince of Wales, travels back in time to 1851. He meets with our great grandfather many times removed, Prince Albert, with the intent to make a mess. Of course I had to travel back in time to put a stop to it.

Back in 1851 I met Grayson Kentfield, Earl Swinton and the Prime Minister, Sir John Russell. When I’m near Lord Swinton my stomach flutters and my knees get weak. He has some unspoken affect on me that I haven’t felt before. Being near Grayson is a big distraction. I traveled back in time to prevent Edmund from making mischief, but I might be in a bit of a pickle.

CHRISTINA: What made you want your story to be told?

ALICE: Edmund and I are royals. We have a duty to be responsible and not make mischief, but sometimes, when you’re so convinced of what your destiny is, like Edmund, you make questionable choices. Making the right choices is never easy.

CHRISTINA: What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?

ALICE: Edmund is always getting me into trouble. He’s always testing me and I find it’s always a challenge to stay one step ahead of him. What Grayson has taught me is take responsibility for your actions.

CHRISTINA: In your life, what has empowered you?

ALICE: My dyslexia can be frustrating. I’ve worked hard to do overcome the frustration. In that regard, living with dyslexia has taught me to think outside the box, and that’s a very empowering feeling.

CHRISTINA: What are strengths and weaknesses?

ALICE: I think staying true to your convictions is a strength – and a weakness. It can be a weakness if you can’t see that your convictions may take you down a path you can’t handle.

CHRISTINA: Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

ALICE: In the case of my dyslexia, I want to show others that while it’s a challenge, it is a challenge you can meet. I want to be an example to others – that you can overcome anything if you believe in yourself and your abilities.

CHRISTINA: What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

ALICE: Respect yourself. Respect your mind. Feed it with knowledge. Knowledge is power. Respect your body. It truly is a temple.

CHRISTINA:  Favorite quote or Bible verse.

ALICE: My favorite book in the Bible is Proverbs and my favorite verse is Proverbs 4:23 – “With closest custody, guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life.”

CHRISTINA: If your story had a theme song, what would it be?

ALICE: I love Adele, especially her song “Rumour Has It.” That’s what my life is, one rumour after another. It’s a good thing my father doesn’t believe half of what’s written in the papers. Oh, did I mention my father is the Duke of York?

CHRISTINA: Will you be continuing your journey in written form?

ALICE: Oh, you bet. It seems that despite my best attempts Edmund and I still mucked up the timeline. We’ve got to back to ensure that Keira Russell and Grayson make compressed natural gas a viable fuel alternative. It’s my understanding the book will be called “A Gentleman and a Rogue” and it will be released in NOV 2012.

CHRISTINA: Is there anyone in your life who will be sharing their life?

ALICE: Edmund finally gets a chance to woo Keira in book 2. Thanks so much for having me here today, Christina. It’s been fun.

BOOK TRAILER For Victorian Scoundrel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IUYj2d7ZeY

Find Stephanie Burkhart at:

http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

Books · Contests · Excerpt · Writing

New Outfit for Your eReader and a new ebook – Giveaway

To celebrate the new book in the New Beginnings Series, I’m doing a giveaway not only for the newest title, Led Astray, but also a new beginning –look–for your eReader with a sleeve handcrafted by Personal Bags by Patricia. Please see the photos below of my Kindle keyboard (Chris1) and Kindle Fire (also known in my house as Dragon) modeling the beautiful sleeve which is made from a lovely romantic fabric of pinks, creams and blues.

Romantic sleeve for ereader:            

 

 

 

 

 

 

My models in action:

Chris1 (I know a very original name)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon:    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now, a little modeling from Led Astray:

“Now, Pastor, I wouldn’t make such a hasty decision.” Mr. Kline pulled out another card and reached around Riley to place it on the desk. “Talk to the members of your church.”

“I know their feelings on destroying the beauty God created.” Riley picked up the card and started to tear it in half.

Mr. Kline gripped his wrist and squeezed, stopping Riley from completing the tearing motion. “Jobs are scarce in this community. There aren’t many other companies wanting to bring other employment opportunities to this backwoods place.”

Naomi gasped. Riley motioned for her to stay behind him.

“Pastor Coole, is something wrong?” A woman’s soft voice drifted from the doorway.

Riley turned, and his breath caught in his throat. The heart-shaped face of an angel appeared through the slight opening. Lips lined in pink stood out from a smooth complexion. She stepped into the office and a questioning expression filled the sweet, young face as large green eyes focused on him and blinked. Once. Twice.

Thomas Kline’s attention also turned toward the young woman, and the man raked a leer over her body. Riley clenched his fists. The young woman flipped strands of her unnatural colored hair, a hue resembling a brand new rising sunset, over her shoulders. Curls surrounded her neck and cascaded down her back, a cloak of multitude colors.

“Now who do we have here, Pastor.” Kline stepped toward the woman. “You sure do like to have an array of woman about.”

“And you like to ignore the word ‘no.'” The woman strode forward, confident and menacing, the angel persona vanishing.

Kline took one long step forward and stood face-to-face with the spitfire. “What makes any of this your business?”

“From what I know, I was asked to be here, and you weren’t.”

Kline reached for the woman’s arms. “I’m advising you to leave.”

She jerked away. “Or what?”

Riley stepped between them, confusion revving his heart rate and causing his thoughts to swirl. Who was this woman, and why did she show up now? This wasn’t a lost soul who stumbled onto the church and sought directions. This woman intended to be here, meant to wage war with Kline. Why?

How to enter: To enter to win the eReader sleeve and a copy of Led Astray in your preferred ebook format, please leave a comment along with your email. I’m all for readers leaving any comment they’d wish, but the Kindles would like to know with of them looks better, Chris1 or Dragon. The last day for entering will be May 17 and the winner announced May 18.

Books · Heroine Interviews · Writing

Interview: Sara, heroine from A Special Blessing for Sara

Today on my blog, I’m going to talk with Sara, the heroine from A Special Blessing for Sara.

1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life? 

Oh, I can’t tell you what I just found out – something totally amazing and unexpected. But I can tell you this, I’m so happy. Things are turning around for me.

2. What made you want your story to be told? 

I guess since I have seen how God works in my life, I thought it would be helpful for others to know what’s possible when you have a love relationship with Christ. I’ve learned in the last year to leave it all to Him, so I made a major mess on my own. I’m a Christian counselor, you know, but man, did I need counseling! My broken engagement threw me. Then I didn’t trust my feelings toward — oh, I’ll let you read my book. I don’t want to give too much away.

3. What lead you to make the changes you did in your life?

I had an inner battle going on. When you’re rejected the way I was, you get a low opinion of yourself. Like, what did I do wrong? Why did he leave? Things seem bleak. I didn’t even tell my sisters at first, and they usually know everything about what’s going on. I guess I had to digest it myself first.

4. In your life, what has empowered you?

I lean on God a lot. He is my strength. Also, as I’m a counselor, I see so much suffering, and I’ve watched the recovery process as people turn their problems over to God and work through their past, that I’ve made it a goal to seek Him first. It took a while to learn it and I’ve had quite a year of turmoil. Even witnessed a shooting, but that’s going to take to long to explain.

5. What are strengths and weaknesses?

My own strengths? I don’t give up easily and I’m organized. (usually) If I start a job, I don’t quit until it’s done.

Weaknesses?  Lots. I’m impatient with incompetent people. (Like I never am! Ha.) Also, I forget birthdays sometimes and I’m lazy about calling people.

6. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

I can’t qualify for “self-rescue,” really. I know some women who seem to be able to “go it alone,” but I’m not one of them. I am strong though with God’s help. When I forget to pray about things (important stuff) or go on impulse, I get myself into trouble. Gosh, I almost lost my chance at happiness. If it weren’t for…. Oops, there I go again. You just have to read my book.

7. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

 Problems? Don’t try to go it alone. Seek family, friends, counselors, but first get on your knees. He really will give you the strength and wisdom to get through. Learn to go one day at a time.

8. Favorite quote or Bible verse.

 I love Philippians 4:4-7. I have difficulty memorizing verses, but this one is imprinted forever in my mind.

9.  If your story had a theme song, what would it be?

No idea, sorry.

10. Will you be continuing your journey in written form? 

Okay, Sara left. It’s June, here. Actually, I’m working on a three-book series about Amish sisters from Lancaster County. So far, I’ve only done ‘stand-alone’ books, but I’m ready to attempt a series.

11. Is there anyone in your life (friend, family member) who will be sharing their life?  Not really, though I’m sure there are traits found in my characters, which could sometimes be assigned to members of my own family.