Friday, October 26, 2012

BLUE AFRICA - Therese Stenzel - Three Free Books

Welcome back, Therese. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
What a great question! He told me to e-publish my rejected manuscripts so I see a lot of books on Amazon lol! Also, I’ve been asking Him what is beyond being published? How can I fit more ministry into a writing career? I see having books published as means to an end, so I am looking for Him to open doors for me to minister somehow some way. I don’t have an answer yet, but I am excited for His direction.

Tell us a little about your family.
I have been married for 21 years to my best friend, Neal. I have three kids Jonathan 17, Benjamin 16, Olivia 12. With my son being a senior I’m seeing the end of three kids at home sniff, sniff, but I know that God always has plans to give me a “future and a hope” for each season.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I can’t read a book without correcting a writers mistakes—such an annoying habit I’ve picked up! I appreciate good writing and can “see” when an author has spent time honing their craft.

What are you working on right now?
I am working on book three in the British Missives series titled, The Bride of Thistleloch Castle, set in Scotland. It’s about an English girl whose father loses her hand in game of cards to a Scottish man…

What outside interests do you have?
Reading, of course. Right now I’m reading the British classic Birdsong. I love to read old, obscure British books, and classic authors like Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters—sigh I was born in the wrong country and in the wrong era lol! I also watch and collect British period movies

How do you choose your settings for each book?
The settings just come to me. I believe it is the Holy Spirit who gives me the books, so I’ll get a character, and a setting stuck in my head and then little by little a story will unfold. Then I start writing to see where it will go. I never know the ending when I begin.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Jane Austen. First of all, I could listen to a British person speaking all day, and someone who lived years ago would have that accent, and would use delightful words you only hear in period movies. I also think she had a wicked sense of humor so she’s probably a lot of fun.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That it is more of a spiritual journey than a physical one. That God’s plans are higher, better, and sometimes include curves like a two year hiatus from writing because of back pain, a plunge into the fun and fascinating world of indie publishing—not what I would have planned, but He is in control J

Four of the people I’ve mentored have chosen to Indie publish. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
That food is my idol—oops that’s a lesson for another blog.  He is teaching me that trusting Him is like walking out onto an old rope and wooden bridge that looks like I might fall thru the slats at any minute, but He is telling me it’s going to be ok and to trust Him. And though I’ve walked with him for 37 years, I still don’t fully understand what it means to trust Him.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
This scripture says it best; Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that your will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Col 3:23-24 NIV

Tell us about the featured book.
Blue Africa is a historical romance set in British East Africa, 1897. Miss Cassandra Littlemen is determined to become England’s first female entomologist, but the English scientific community and her father do not approve of female scientists. Intent on fulfilling her lifelong dream of capturing rare butterflies, she sneaks onto a royally-sponsored African expedition posing as her brother. Expecting to find the doddering Mr. John Keep in charge, she is dismayed to discover his bachelor son, Sir William Keep, in his place. Can her disguise fool this exceptional scientist? William Keep is hiding a secret—Queen Victoria has recently arranged a betrothal between her granddaughter and the newly knighted William, sending him to Africa on a scientific expedition to prove his worth to the royal family. Sir William is anxious to achieve great findings like his famous father. But he must get this headstrong Miss Littlemen back to England before the Queen finds out. But can he do it before he loses his heart?

 Please give us the first page of the book.
British East Africa, (Kenya) July 1895
Cassandra Littlemen paused on the dock and surveyed the bustling, African port. She squinted through the bright July sunshine and the cool blue water around her. With no binding corset, no stiff crinoline to bind her, her white shirt, and tweed trousers felt blissfully airy. She shifted her masculine boots and closed her eyes. The warmth of the sultry sun consumed her. A swell of joy rose in her throat.

After ten days of travel, Africa at last.

The sound of Swahili, smooth like a river, rang directly behind her. She clutched her bulky satchel and spun around.

Jambo.” A dark-skinned man greeted her with a bow. “I am Nolo, Mr. Keep’s servant, and you are...” he paused and raised an eyebrow, “...Sir Edmond Littlemen?”

Cassandra forced her hand to remain steady as she handed the man her documents. Two weeks aboard the steamer from France had given her time to practice being a male, but would he see through her disguise? She had determined not to lie about her identity, but rather to allow others to make their own scientific deductions regarding her masculine appearance. “My father couldn’t come. I’m...the other Littlemen.”

Nolo stood slightly taller than she, dressed in a white sari and red turban. The wise expression on his dark face reminded her of a strict nanny. His bony features betrayed no age as he scanned her papers. “Ah, you are Benjamin Littlemen.”

A flood of mortifying heat flooded her cheeks. This is for you, Benjamin. The vision of her younger brother, convalescing in the south of France rose in her mind. Tears burned in her exhausted eyes.

You must go Cassandra, for us, for all that we had planned. You will go to British East Africa and write to me every glorious detail of the butterflies of Africa.

A man shouted behind her. She whirled around, and searched the length of the pier. In the glow of the late afternoon sun, the dinghy that had brought her ashore pulled away.

 “Plum pudding. My things.” She darted toward the end of the dock. “Wait!”

“Ngoja!” Nolo shouted behind her.

She ran down the long wharf. “There are important boxes on that boat.”

As she reached the edge, her boots skittered to a stop. The rickety pier wobbled. She gasped as the wooden slats near her feet separated and fell with a plop into the murky inlet.


Pedaling backwards, she waved her arms to maintain balance. But the faster she retreated, the faster the sound of splashing wood rang around her.

Someone grabbed her belt and yanked her back toward a patch of dirt in front of the dock.

“Please, Mr. Littlemen. All will be well.” Nolo released his grip.

Now on land, she bent over, rested her hands on her knees, to catch her breath. “My things...”

“The boatmen always carry people separately from their luggage. Your effects will be delivered to the camp by morning.”

She straightened her posture. “I apologize for my—” An abrupt creak shot through the air.

She stared open-mouthed as the pier tilted to one side, and slid, with a deafening crunch, into the inlet.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Therese, for sharing this book with us today.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Blue Africa (British Missives- a three book series of adventure and romance on British lands)

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 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.


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this novel

kmkuka at yahoo dot com
...from pa...

mongupp said...

I loooove historical fiction! Seems like a riveting story!

Monica, Ontario

Unknown said...

Therese...just a comment. If you were born in another era, either the books you are enjoying now would be new, not old obscure, or they wouldn't even have been written yet!
Thanks for the interview and great giveaway, Lena and Therese. i would love to win

Marianne from northern Alberta


Therese Stenzel said...

I am so glad for readers who love historicals and I can't wait to send out the free copies to the three winners.

Lena, Thank you for including me in your blog!

Therese Stenzel

Sharon Moore said...

Therese - We are glad you were born in this era so we can enjoy your stories! Thanks for sharing with us and following God's leading in your life.
Sharon from Eagan MN
smoore at tcq dot net

Patty said...

Sounds interesting, and it's always fun to meet a new author!

Patty in SC

Arieth said...

I enjoy this interview, each author is authentic and this lady is precious to God. I hope her book will be translated into Dutch. Though I also read English books with pleasure :-)

Diana Gardner said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Portsmouth, VA

Mary Preston said...

I do enjoy Historical Romance. BLUE AFRICA looks wonderful.

Mary P


Shopgirl said...

This sounds like a fun read! I'm from MN.

Anonymous said...

I live in the great state of Florida.
Thanks for entering me in your contest.
Janet E.

apple blossom said...

please enter me thanks
Live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins
Duncanville, Tx

Anonymous said...

Ooo, this sounds really cool!!

Leauphaun from BC

Kandra said...

Sounds intriguing!
Kandra in Tennessee

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond

spangldlady said...

Blue Africa in the late 1800s---how very exciting! I love the cover it makes me want to read. I have many friends who have served in Africa over the years as missionaries and I love their stories. Please enter my name. I am from MO! Blessings! Darlene

rubynreba said...

This looks like a very interesting historical fiction book. I would enjoy it.
Beth from Iowa

Anonymous said...

From San Diego, CA and would really enjoy winning free books. Thanks for having the contest.

Jasmine A. said...

Thanks! Jasmine from Montana :)

holdenj said...

Sounds like a great story. Thanks for the chance to win.
Julie in MN

Michelle said...

I love historical fiction, and 19th century Africa is a setting one doesn't find often, please enter me.


Michelle said...

I love historical fiction, and 19th century Africa is a setting one doesn't find often, please enter me.