Dear Readers, when I first saw the cover of this book, I knew I wanted to feature the author on the blog. So here she is.
Welcome, Kristi. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
There’s an element of myself in Miranda. As a more creative type growing up in a family of engineers there were times when I definitely felt a bit out of sync with the rest of my family. Beyond a basic idea, though, Miranda was her own character, and I loved getting to learn about her.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
My husband claims the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is dance the lambada in a fish tank on Jupiter in the fall. As I have a very strong dislike of fish, I don’t think I’ve ever actually done that. Also given that answer, it’s entirely possible that the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is marry my loving, supportive, and slightly dorky husband.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
The first time I considered the idea of writing books was when an author came to my third grade class and told us the book we’d read had started as a writing project for his fifth grade English class. It was a dream I toyed with for years after that. It wasn’t until about five years ago that I realized I could actually do it.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m definitely a romance junkie, and I float around the various romance genres most of the time. I do enjoy the occasional fantasy, though, and on even rarer occasions an adventure novel.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I don’t. Sanity is highly over-rated.
I say that as a joke but there’s a certain amount of truth to it. As much as I would love to have a smoothly running, organized life, I don’t think I’ll ever be there even on my best day. It means boiling it down to what really matters and what has to get done. Prioritize and know that your life doesn’t have to match anyone else’s.
So true. How do you choose your characters’ names?
There are lists of typical names for the time period. I start there and play around with combinations until one fits with the character in my head. Sometimes none of the names fit and I start picking pieces of different names and smashing them together until it works. For titles, I have an old book of English location names that I like to play around with.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Signing my contract with Bethany House was a pretty exciting moment, I must say. Seeing my name on a book cover was astounding.
I think the thing I’m most proud of, though, is that I actually wrote the thing in the first place. Writing a book is something I first attempted in elementary school. I started several books over the years, but never finished. To actually complete a book and then write another and another, well, that’s a pretty big accomplishment.
As a side note, my husband wanted me to list marrying him as the answer for this question, too.
And I’m sure it would be a very good answer, too. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I’d be a horse. When you look at horses at lot of the beauty comes from the fact that they look impossible. Svelte legs holding up powerful bodies and majestic heads. While physically I don’t have the power, grace, or appearance of a horse, I love the essence of them. They are so perfectly constructed that it’s obvious God designed them. I want to own those qualities as well.
What is your favorite food?
My first instinct is to say chocolate because that is my go-to treat, but I’m also a really big fan of pizza. Fortunately my husband is not so that keeps us from eating it too often.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Realizing that the delete button was my friend. It took me a very long time to admit that the first four chapters of my first book were back story and needed to be scrapped. I think learning to edit and being willing to edit is one of the most essential skills of a successful writer.
Rewrites and edits aren’t a favorite of mine, but they are so essential to help us become the authors God created us to be. Tell us about the featured book.
Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside longs to be bold and carefree. To help her cope with her emotions, she pours her innermost feelings out in letters to her brother’s old school friend, the Duke of Marshington. Of course, she has no intention of ever sending these letters as that would be highly improper, but when her brother’s new valet, Marlow, mistakenly mails one of the letters, her world spins into upheaval.
Shockingly, this leads to a lively correspondence with the duke even as Miranda becomes close to Marlow. Insecurity from her impending spinsterhood soon shifts into confusion as Miranda finds her feelings growing for two men—one she’s never met but whose words touch her heart, and one she has come to depend on but would never fit in her world. When Marlow’s behavior becomes more and more suspicious, Miranda realizes that she’s landed in the middle of state secrets and intrigue, and more than her heart is at risk.
Please give us the first page of the book.
(I didn’t know if you wanted the Prologue or Chapter One. I’ve included both first pages.)
It is never a happy day when an eight-year-old girl’s cheesecake lands in the dirt, and she certainly doesn’t take kindly to the laughing little boy who put it there.
Fat tears welled up in Lady Miranda Hawthorne’s eyes as she stared at the cake now resting forlornly on the ground. Her little hands curled into angry fists at her sides.
“You’re a cad, Henry Lampton!” Miranda scooped the cake from the ground and hurled it at the laughing boy, her cheeks wet with tears. There was something satisfying about seeing the creamy dessert smear across his shirt and the smile fall from his face.
Miranda didn’t have long to relish her revenge because her mother appeared to lead her away from the party. Mother didn’t say a word until the door closed behind them, shutting them into her study.
“Miranda, a lady never expresses her disappointment in public.” Mother’s admonition was gentle but firm, as it always was.
Even though she knew her mother meant well, Miranda shuddered every time she heard the words, “Miranda, a lady never…” Occasionally it was “Miranda, a lady always…” but even then it was something like “Miranda, a lady always pays attention to her guests, even when she finds them boring.”
Miranda knew better than to speak as he mother lectured. Every time she tried to defend herself, it only made the torture last longer. So she waited until her mother dismissed her.
Instead of returning to the party, however, she ran to her room and threw herself on the bed, punching the pillow at the unfairness of it all.
Lady Miranda Hawthorne would support her sister tonight, even if it killed her. Judging by the pain already numbing her face, that was a distinct possibility. She massaged her cheeks, hoping to make the forced smile look and feel a little less wooden than the bedroom door in front of her.
With a sharp twist of the brass knob, she wrenched the door open and strode into the corridor. Her stride was firm. Her posture perfect. Nothing would make her abandon the endless lessons in ladylike etiquette from her mother.
Then she walked into a wall.
Oh, very well, it wasn’t a wall precisely. Walls didn’t appear in the middle of passageways, covered in wool.
“I do apologize, my lady.”
Nor did they speak.
Miranda looked up at the obstruction that was in actuality a solidly built man. She retreated a step, putting as much distance between her and the man without retreating into her bedchamber. Up and up her gaze traveled.
The last dredges of sunlight filtered through a large window at the end of the corridor, sending dim squares of gold marching across the floor and up to the man’s broad chest.
He wasn’t family. All of her relations had blond hair, including those so far distant they wouldn’t even claim the connection if her brother wasn’t a duke. The dimly lit passageway prevented her from making out an exact color, but the “barricade” before her had very dark hair pulled back into a short queue at his neck.
With a deep breath, she reminded herself where she stood in life. She was a lady of quality. The daughter, and sister, of a duke. Somewhere in her must lie the aristocratic arrogance she’d seen so many of her friends embody. If this intruder had nefarious purposes, talking was her only defense. Those long arms could haul her to a stop before she went more than two steps.
I’m intrigued, and I’m sure my readers are, too. How can readers find you on the Internet?
There’s lots of information , including bonus material for A NOBLE MASQUERADE on my website: KristiAnnHunter.com (http://www.kristiannhunter.com/)
I can also be found on:
Facebook - (https://www.facebook.com/KristiAnnHunter)
Twitter - @KristiAnnHunter (https://twitter.com/KristiAnnHunter
Instagram - @KristiAnnHunter
Pinterest - AuthorKristiAnn (https://www.pinterest.com/authorkristiann/ )
Thank you, Kristi, for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.A Noble Masquerade - Christianbook.com
A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House) - Amazon
A Noble Masquerade (Hawthorne House Book #1) - Kindle.
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