Dear Readers, this is a very good debut novel. I loved the characters, and their stories pulled my heartstrings. And this author created the setting in such a way that I felt as if I were walking beside each character, experiencing everything they did. The cities, travel by riverboat, and the mountains of
were authentic to the time period. I highly recommend this book. Montana Territory
Welcome, Misty. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Oh, my. Probably too much! In my latest release, I gave the heroine, Leah, some of my physical characteristics. She also has a bit of my hard-headedness. And her journey to stay in God's will for her life is similar to the lessons that have been so hard for me to learn through the years.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hmm… I'm never good at this kind of question. I was always one of those "good girls" growing up, and I tend to be on the serious side, sometimes. In fact, my husband lovingly calls me a "wet blanket." J One of my ongoing quirks is that I'm a bit of a Mountain Dew-aholic. In fact, some of my friends call me "Dewey."
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
All my life, I've been a true book lover. Give me a good novel, and you probably won't see me again until it's finished. I've also always enjoyed writing, and tend to express myself best through my written correspondence.
But I never seriously thought about writing a novel, until I was putting together my bucket list a few years ago, and "Write a novel that's published" was near the top!
I decided, it's now or never, and made the commitment to do it. So, I had a general idea that I wanted it to be a Christian western romance. But where to start? I finally decided I needed to find a good book to help me plan. I stumbled upon (a.k.a. God led me to) the best possible book to help me get started with a great plan: Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. For all you writers out there, I can't recommend it highly enough!
From there, I've soaked in every bit of writing instruction I can from some amazing groups and individuals. And I've spent countless hours sitting with my laptop pouring out words onto the screen. The Lady and the Mountain Man is my first release, but the second novel I wrote. My first novel is under contract with Prism Book Group to release in 2015. Writing is in my blood. It's my passion. A true gift from my Heavenly Father, and I pray daily that he uses the words for His purpose.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I certainly read a lot of Historical Romance (which is what I write), but I love Contemporary Romance, too, and sometimes a bit of Romantic Suspense! Pretty much anything with a clean story and a good romance. Every now and then I'll read Women's Fiction (mostly because the book is written by a friend), but I love a sweet love story!
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I won't pretend I have it figured out! Between being a wife, mom to two daughters (ages 3 and 7), working full time as the family's only breadwinner, and writing two novels per year, my life is busy. But we're all busy, right? That's part of the culture we live in.
The two things that have kept me from going off the deep end are:
God has finally brought me to a place where I've learned to take one day (and sometimes one hour) at a time. I need to plan ahead as I can, but I can't have any real expectations about what tomorrow will be like. I need to work my way through today in the very best way possible.
My extended family is my strong support system. I'm not sure I would have made it through the challenges our family has faced in the last year without the support of my mom. We weren't incredibly close as I was growing up, but in my adult years, she has become my close friend, confidante, and encouragement. God had a great plan when he placed us in families!
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I'm going to share a childhood secret here, something I've never told anyone. When I was about eight years old, I decided that when I grew up I would have twelve kids—six boys and six girls. I made a list of all my favorite names, and chose a first and middle name for all twelve of my planned children. Of course, my husband wouldn't need to have any input into the kid's names. J I've kept that paper tucked in my Bible all these years, and I've used that list of names for most of my character names so far.
I like that. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I hope you'll indulge me in another childhood story as I answer this question. J When I was twelve years old, there was a local horse show circuit that gave an award each year for the most points earned in each division, along with an overall
award for all categories. I had been working hard to train my young horse and
decided I would do whatever it took to win the annual high point award for my
division (hunt seat) that year.
It took more hard work than I could begin to describe. My dad was my faithful partner in the effort, hauling my horse to and from the horse shows, often coming home in the wee hours of the morning. It's an experience that I will always remember with a warm feeling in my chest and a smile on my face. By the end of the year, I'd won both my division trophy and the overall
award—and intangible rewards that will stay with me always.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a horse. They're similar to humans in that each one can be so different, both in appearance and personality. I would, of course, want to be one of the kind, beautiful, smart, easygoing horses.
What is your favorite food?
It's a toss-up between chocolate and cheesecake. I'm a true woman. J
Chocolate cheesecake is good. Then you wouldn’t have to choose. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The writing process is so full of roadblocks, and a writer's success is truly measured by how well they've overcome and learned from the challenges. Overall, learning the craft has created my biggest roadblocks. There are so many things to learn and skills to hone in order to write a good novel—three-act structure, showing versus telling, deep point of view, and the list goes on!
Each step of the way in my writing journey, when I received a rejection, it was usually because I needed to dig deeper and hone another part of the craft. There are so many resources for writers, they can seem overwhelming at times. The tools that continue to help me most are writing craft books, fantastic writer's groups like ACFW, blogs from other writers and industry professionals, and feedback from my critique partners.
Tell us about the featured book.
Leah Townsend, a recently orphaned heiress, flees
after discovering her fiancé’s plot to kill her after their wedding. She needs
a safe place to hide, and finds herself accepting a newspaper marriage proposal
from a God-fearing young rancher in the .
But when Leah arrives at the mountain ranch, she learns her intended husband
was killed by a grizzly, leaving behind a bitter older brother and a spunky
younger sister. Montana Territory
When Gideon Bryant finds a city girl standing in his log cabin, his first thought is to send her back where she came from. He’s lost too many people to the wild elements of these mountains––his parents, his wife, and now his brother. His love for this untamed land lives on, but he’s determined not to open his heart to another person.
But when an accident forces Leah to stay at the ranch for seven more months, can Gideon protect his heart from a love he doesn’t want? Has Leah really escaped the men who seek her life?
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
“Are you going to poison her the way you killed your last wife?”
Leah Townsend froze in the hallway, her right foot suspended midair as her breathing stopped.. She lowered her toes to the floor, and then sidled closer to the closed study door—still not daring to breathe. The thick Persian rug muffled her footsteps. As she leaned forward, the strong scent of oil wafted from the mahogany wood door.
A throaty chuckle drifted out of the room. “I haven’t decided yet. When I get tired of the nagging, I’ll find a way to dispense with her. Assuming she’s received her inheritance and her father’s estates are legally mine.”
Leah’s blood ran so cold it froze in her veins. Dispense with her? Her brain repeated the words once, twice, and then took off like the hooves of a racehorse. Her blood began to move again, rushing through her so quickly it roared in her ears.
She’d recognize that voice anywhere. It held the suave tone of a man very sure of himself. The tone of the man she’d had nightmares about every night for weeks. The tone of the man her father had legally contracted her to marry in six days. Simon Talbert.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Misty, for sharing your debut novel with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.The Lady and the Mountain Man (Mountain Dreams Series) (Volume 1) - paperback
The Lady and the Mountain Man (Mountain Dreams Series Book 1) - Kindle
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