Welcome, Vanessa. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I'd like to say that I had my characters wit under pressure or their bravery in the face of daunting odds, but I might be more squeamish than they are especially if evil doers were trying to hunt and kill me.
I will say at least one character in each book has the tendency to use a Biblical allusion, which is something I love. Growing up I loved bible stories, the odder the better. So, if you see something like the Prophet and the Courtesan, it's probably a Regency take on Hosea and Gomer.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Own a coffee shop. Don't mix your caffeine addiction and business. It just not café au lait.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In high school, I wrote poems and short stories. It was a great way to escape in a world of my own. When these creations won awards, I guess I thought I was on to something.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I really love Regencies, the romance and mystery of that timeframe. One of my critique partners has gotten me to expand to westerns. I think anything with a high sense of honor and duty will hook me.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
My question is why do you think I do? J Seriously, it is with laughter. A good belly-rolling laugh is the best medicine.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes the names will come to me in a dream. Other times I have a good idea of the characteristics, and I research period names that fit it.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Well, I am very proud of my daughter who is growing up to be a smart Christian young lady. I'm proud of my husband who serves this country on active duty. I'm proud of my nerdy college degrees. And I proud that Madeline's Protector has been published. This is one of those short stories I originally began in high school, but I didn't start writing it into a full book until seven years ago. I hold a copy in my hand, and my heart beams.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
If I were an animal, I'd be an eagle to soar in the sky and see all parts of the world from up high.
What is your favorite food?
Brownies. I have had brownies for my birthday every year since I've had teeth. I've had all types, too: fudgy, milk chocolate, blonde, caramel, iced, etc.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The greatest problem was the purple prose. I'll admit it. All my favorite books were thick in over the top descriptions. I went to therapy. I some time chant lavender is okay. That seems to get me through. A dear friend red lined a draft of a chapter and showed me how to pair it down. My ACFW critique group has been invaluable in helping to sharpen my skills.
Tell us about the featured book.
Madeline's Protector is a story about a reformed rake (Lord Devonshire) and a sheltered devout duke's daughter (Madeline St. James) meeting by accident in a remote coaching. Very soon, bullets are flying, and the hero must protect the heroine from bandits. In saving her life,
violates the conventions of society, compromising their honor. They are forced
to wed to stifle the scandal. This is
how their tale begins. The question is will the two learn to trust each other to
thwart the enemies plotting their demise.
Please give us the first page of the book.
"Stop, thief!" Madeline St. James grabbed the coarse sleeve of the man who stole her guineas, but he shook free and dashed away.
"Give those back, this instant." Mouth open, pulse racing, she stopped her pursuit. A scream bubbled in the pit of her stomach, but she pursed her lips. A St. James never made a public scene or conceded defeat.
The thief reached the other side of the vacant courtyard, well ahead of a wagon rumbling up the cobblestone lane. He shot her a toothless grin and traipsed to the main building of Tilford Coaching Inn.
The dray and its lumbering horse team swerved closer, but if she waited one more second, the thief would escape her view. Another man would’ve taken advantage of her. Not again.
Picking up her weighty skirts, she sprinted onto the slick rocks of the road. The silver hem of her long carriage dress slapped at the mud. Better to be dirty than a victim. Cupping her palm to her eyes, she scanned for the thief.
The man bounded up the stone entree. He’d vanish like her driver, amongst the sea of gaming travellers.
She lengthened her stride to intercept him.
One high step too many, her boot heel caught in the sagging silk, tripping her. The air pushed from her lungs as she fell flat.
Wheels squealed. Hooves clomped the cobbles.
Soon the horses would be on top of her, stomping and kicking.
A couple of tugs and yanks couldn’t fish her boot free. No escape this time. Abba Father, forgive. She turned her head and braced for the onslaught.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Vanessa, for sharing your new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Madeline's Protector - paperback
Madeline's Protector - Kindle
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 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.