Friday, May 27, 2011

A LEGACY OF LOVE - Victoria Burks - Free Book

Welcome, Victoria. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I don’t deliberately characterize myself in my stories. However, I don’t believe it’s possible for writers to portray their characters without some small part of his or her multi-faceted personality showing up in one or more of them—minute parts that are perhaps unrecognizable on a conscious level.  

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

It would have to be the spur-of-the-moment two-week trip I took with my friend, Sue, to Portland, Oregon, a few years ago. Being one who likes things planned out and organized, I learned that occasional spontaneous decisions can prove to be a lot of fun and rewarding. I will never forget those wonderful carefree days that tightened the bond of our friendship even more.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, even those pesky term papers in high school and college, but I never thought of myself as a possible writer until a few years ago when I felt the inspiration to write my first novel, A Legacy of Love. Looking back on years past when I was a children’s church director and Sunday School teacher, I often wrote puppet skits, stories, and even a Christmas play; anything I needed during those years to make the life of Christ come alive to my young students.

Later, when I taught adults, I wrote a number of Sunday School lessons, an in-depth study of the Twenty-third Psalm, and recently a nine-week Bible course relating to Biblical hospitality. After winning a writing contest for one of my fictional short stories, I begin to think that perhaps God had after all placed a talent in my heart for creative writing. When I received a volley of encouraging words from Francine Rivers who had read the first three chapters of my novel at a writer’s conference, I decided to “take a leap of faith” and pursue the budding passion within me to write romantic suspense novels which would encourage readers to allow Christ into their hearts and into their circumstances. My next novel, Bittersweet Justice, will be released this coming fall. 

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I read for both self-help and entertainment. I like to read books that stimulate and develop my faith in God, books which help hone my craft in writing, and novels related to my genre. I also enjoy historical fiction and western drama.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Through prayer and meditation. I tell my Father, God, everything, just as I would my best friend, even those things I wouldn’t even tell her. Ha. Seriously, I talk to Him as though He is standing or seated right next to me. I find that his answers bring the peace that passes all understanding no matter the circumstance in my life at the moment.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

Names just seem to come to my mind as the story unfolds, along with the physical image of the characters. It’s the fleshing out that is sometimes difficult for me. I see their image and think, Who is this person? What makes him tick? How will he forward the plot? It’s seldom I know the answers to the above questions immediately; they tend to unfurl as the plot develops. 

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

When the grandchildren begin to arrive in our family, I determined to be the best grandmother I could be. The following note written to me by my thirteen-year-old granddaughter, Lauren, tells me I may be attaining my goal. “Grandma, you are awesome. When I grow up, I want to be a grandma just like you.” And, this comment from my teenage grandson, Brian, “Grandma, you are a hip grandma.” The following conversation between my four-year-old granddaughter, Sarah, and her mother when she came to pick up Sarah after an afternoon with me gives me additional hope. My daughter Becki: “Sarah it’s time to go home now.” Sarah: “This is my home. You are going to bring me back home in a little while, right?” Also, not to discount the words from my eighteen-year-old grandson, Chris, who can’t stop by the house as often since he’s now employed after school, “Grandma, I miss you.” As far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t ask for a greater accomplishment than this, even that of a newly published author as exciting as that is for me.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

I would want to be a soft furry cat with personality plus; a loveable cat whose antics bring smiles to the lips of its master. I like to make people laugh because laughter is great medicine and health to one’s life according to Proverbs.

What is your favorite food?

Italian. I think I could eat some form of pasta every day. I don’t, of course, too many carbs.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

The skill to “show, not tell” has been difficult for me. It is an ongoing challenge to get the scene in my head onto the printed page with colorful and exciting words. I’ve always been good at telling a story, even from childhood, but I’m still working on the art of showing.


Tell us about the featured book.

A Legacy of Love is the story of Danielle (Dani) McKinnon whose life is in shambles. She is ready for a change…a big change. When a letter arrives from an attorney in Georgia, stating that she’s the beneficiary of a distant relative’s estate, Dani can’t pass up investigating the opportunity. A trip to Atlanta reveals her inheritance includes ownership of Stratford Hall, a historic, secret-laden, 200-year-old, antebellum manor in the midst of the Appalachian Hills. While ownership possession of this estate seems like a dream come true, there are others determined to claim her inheritance for themselves. They’ll stop at nothing, even threatening Dani’s life in their effort to steal the legacy from her. Add to the mix her dashing new love interest, Justin Harcourt; the delightful Irish caretaker of the hall, Mrs. O’Brien; and a mysterious cowboy, who always seems to show up when she needs him most, and things couldn’t get more complicated.

Drama unfolds as Dani struggles over tough choices. Is her desire for a new beginning and the obligation of her birthright enough to risk all? Is her infatuation with Justin jeopardizing her new-found faith in God and the possibility for true love? A Legacy of Love is an exciting tale of faith, romance, and danger leaving readers guessing until the very end. 

Please give us the first page of the book.

Dani blinked back the tears that threatened to mingle with the cold, autumn drizzle stinging her face. Her hands shaking, she retrieved her mail from the mailbox near the door of her condominium. She rushed inside to escape the deluge from a sudden cloudburst. She wished she could just as quickly flee the memory of Lance Carter’s vicious remarks, his words the hour before whirling in her thoughts like a tornado.

The amiable greeting from her snowy, blue-eyed kitten, usually a delight, failed to lift her spirits. His back bowed in a sleepy arch against her leg; she scooped the mewling pet from the floor with her free hand and buried her cheek into the long, soft fur. “Oh, Percy, what am I to do about Lance?” Releasing the kitten a moment later, Dani slipped the straps of her briefcase from her shoulder, tossing it onto the sofa. She ignored the clutter as contents from the leather tote spilled onto the floor.

Dani cringed, the reaction from her co-workers a vivid memory. The pace to their respective vehicles outside Pendergraff Accounting had slowed at the sound of Lance’s raised voice. Mortified by their curiosity, she had tried to sidestep the confrontation in the parking lot, but he’d blocked the way. Dani stiffened at the memory. Lance had gone too far with that last retort, something about “the high and mighty Miss McKinnon no longer finding it feasible to associate with the lower staff.”

A tear slid from her eye and dripped onto the unopened correspondence in her hand. How could he have been so thoughtless? Dani sighed as a smidgeon of compassion blended with her indignation. She knew his anger had erupted from more than just a broken date. He’d smoldered like embers all week, his obnoxious attitude beginning the moment their employer had announced his choice for the vacant manager’s position. With Lance’s desire to wear the prestigious title a known fact, she’d expected a reaction from him.

But public degradation? Had their friendship over the years mattered so little to him?

I can hardly wait to read it. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Readers can find me on Facebook and Twitter, on my website, http://victoriaburks.tateauthor.com, on Author Central at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Author’s Den.com. Thank you, Lena for the interview on your blogspot today. It’s been a pleasure to share a bit of myself and my novel, A Legacy of Love, with you and your readers. 

And thank you, Victoria, for this fun interview. We have so much in common.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.
Http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com

19 comments:

Judy K said...

I loved Victoria's interview. To have a Granddaughter that writes such a touching letter to her Grandmother is precious! I haven't read anything by Victoria yet; she is a new author to me. I would love to win a copy of "A Legacy of Love".

Judy from IN

fredamans said...

I'm not sure what I would do if I can into a large inheritance. I'd love to read what Danielle does. Please enter this gal from Ontario, Canada. Thank you.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

California

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I love stories set in Georgia since I was born and raised in Georgia. I am a GA. Peach but with wrinkles.lol
Would love to receive a letter saying I had inherited a beautiful southern home. I always dreamed of a 2 story home with wrap around porch and beautiful flowers hanging and beautiful gardens etc. I love gardening. Would love to see how this story goes.
Please enter me in giveaway Lena..


Brenda from Middle GA

Victoria Burks said...

Thanks, Judy. My grandchildren are very precious to me.

Victoria Burks said...

misskallie2ooo I love the South also. When I visited Atlanta and the surrounding area, I knew immediately that this would be the setting for A Legacy of Love. It is a gorgeous state.

Anne Payne said...

Anything with a mysterious cowboy has to be good, right ;) Thank you for the giveaway.

Anne, rural NC

Edwina said...

I always enjoy your interviews, Lena - especially when the author describes the animal they would be!

Living just outside of Atlanta, I'd love to read Victoria's book!

edwina(dot)cowgill(at)yahoo(dot)com

GEORGIA

Jo said...

Great interview. I would love to read this book. Please enter me.

Blessings,
Jo from Southern Arizona
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

kylady717 said...

Wow! you do sound like a great grandma....and I'm with you there on the pasta...I could also eat it every day :) would love to win this book...Thanks

Mona G./Ohio

apple blossom said...

Please enter me thanks
I live in ND


ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Courtney said...

Sounds like such a great story and I just love the cover-very unique! Thanks for the chance to win!

Courtney from WA state

karenk said...

please count me in...thanks ;)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Victoria said...

Courtney, thanks for the compliment on the cover. A lot of my readers share your sentiments.

Abigail said...

Enter me in the contest.
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Krista said...

Sounds like a good book!

Krista from Gresham, OR

peachykath said...

This book sounds really interesting. Please enter me in the drawing for it. Thank you.

peachykath79[at]yahoo[dot]com

Katherine from Northern California

Faith's Mom said...

Please enter my name for this contest. Thanks, looks like a great book.

A.Carpenter/Ohio

Shirley Thompson said...

Count me in for this contest. would love to win this book..

Shirley T. Illinois