A Highland Pearl Character Interview
Greetings from 16th century Scotland. My name is Andrew Dubh Munro. I’m know as the Black Falcon of Fàrdach, and I am the Thirteenth Baron and Chief of Clan Munro. My home is located in the Scottish Highlands on the north shore of Cromarty Firth. The seat of my clan, the place I reside, is Fàrdach Castle. Fàrdach is a Gaelic word meaning, home. Gaelic is my first language, although in order to trade with merchants in Inverness and other places, I also speak Inglish and French.
My father, Sir William Munro was killed in a battle with the MacKenzie Clan. The MacKenzies and Munros have been feuding since that time. I wanted to bring peace between the two peoples, but Hugh MacKenzie and his warriors continued to reive Munro cattle and destroy Munro property. While confronting the reivers one day, I was seriously wounded, and thought I would die.
My brother, Gavin, sent for a bonnie lass and healer from the nearby village of Drumainn. Maidie saved my life, and I fell in love with her. She was a strong believer in the Lord of All Creation. I wanted to take Maidie as my wife, but she was hesitant since I, at that time, did not believe.
One night, the MacKenzies burned one of the Munro villages, and I accompanied my brother and our warriors in the chase for the culprits. My injury had not healed completely, and I could not keep up. I insisted Gavin and the band of warriors go on without me. My gille, Colin, stayed with me. We made ourselves comfortable and settled down to wait for Gavin’s return.
I soon learned the burned village was a trap to get me out of the castle. The MacKenzies captured Colin and me, and took us to the dungeon of their castle. We stayed in the dungeon five days, eating rancid meat and drinking foul water. Our physical condition weakened until I thought the two of us would die.
Being thrown into the dungeon was the best thing that could have happened to me. Colin was a believer and taught me the way to the Lord through his son, Jesus the Christ. I prayed and was accepted into the Lord’s kingdom. I wasn’t afraid to die then, for I knew Heaven awaited.
Hugh MacKenzie released us on the urging of my former father-in-law, Bryson Fraser. The story takes many turns and twists before Maidie and I were reunited and I declared my love for her. The miracle was, she loved me in return and promised to become my wife. The Lord truly blessed me with the desire of my heart—Maidie Cameron Munro.
My story is told in the novel by Brenda B. Taylor, A Highland Pearl. Secure your copy today while the e-book is on sale at most vendors. You will enjoy the adventure through the beautiful Scottish Highlands.
A Highland Pearl
A sweet romance blossoms amidst feuding and war. With her reputation at stake after being accused of practicing witchcraft and hated as a member of a rival clan, Maidie considers leaving Clan Munro and returning to the home of her birth in Clan Cameron. Fierce battles, a tragic encounter, and a handsome clan chief compel her to make crucial decisions in this haunting romance set in the16th century Highlands of Scotland.
The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.
Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.
Author Contact Information:
Transformed by Hope
By Tamera Lynn Kraft
In my Easter novella, my main character Vivian Klein had a life changing transformation happen in her life. I decided to interview her so she could tell you about it.
Vivian, what was your life like before you married Henry?
It’s a time in my life I really don’t like to talk about. The best was to describe it would be hopeless. My fiancée, the only man I’ve ever loved, was killed in the Great War. Then my parents and sister died of influenza. If that wasn’t bad enough, soon after they died, I found out that my father had gambled away our farm. One month after I buried them, the sheriff showed up with a foreclosure notice and told me I had one hour to gather my belongings and leave. I had to take a job at a hotel owned by the man who led my father to ruin.
That does sound hard. How did you handle the situation?
I wish I could tell you I trusted in God through it all, but I didn’t. The only thing I could manage to believe was God was angry at me. I felt He had deserted me. I decided my only option was to end it all, but before I did, I prayed one last prayer. I said, “Please, Lord, if there’s another way.”
You obviously didn’t kill yourself. What happened?
God sent me Henry. Henry was my fiancée’s best friend, and I always liked him. He showed up out of nowhere and offered to marry me. At first, I was shocked, but he assured me it would be a marriage of convenience only. I was going to say no. The whole idea was preposterous. I didn’t love him, but I couldn’t help but say yes. Hope began to shuffle back in my life. I can’t tell you how God transformed me through home because I don’t want to give anything away. You’ll have to read my story, Resurrection of Hope, to find out.
Resurrection of Hope
She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?
After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.
Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. Her first full length novel is due to be released in April. She’s been married for 38 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren. You can purchase her latest novella, Resurrection of Hope at most online stores including Desert Breeze. Join Tamera on her website at http://tameralynnkraft.net, her blog at http://tameralynnkraft.com, Facebook http://facebook.com/tameralynnkraft or Twitter http://twitter.com/tamerakraft.
Romans 12:2 talks about being transformed by the renewing of our minds to discern God’s good, pleasing and perfect will. My guest today, Drew McKinley, has lived through that transformation, but it didn’t come easy, did it?
Drew (shaking his head, eyes looking toward the ceiling): Oh, man, it was awful. God had to drag me through the muck, even blood, to get it done. But as I look back, it was the only way He could have transformed me.
What were you like before?
Drew: I had a perfect life. All the perks of a wealthy family with access to the best education. I married a wonderful woman who, to be honest, was a better person than me; she had a deep faith. My father intended me to inherit the family’s academic kingdom. He’s provost of graduate school education at UConn, and my grandfather taught economics there. Since my older brother is a psychologist, it was up to me to carry on the academic hood. I was okay with it. At first. I got my master’s in academic administration and set out to get my Ph.D. But my wife, Kendra, saw something in me that I didn’t. She encouraged me—strong-armed is more accurate—into taking a deanship at a Christian university in Omaha, Nebraska. I arrogantly assumed I would eventually be president there. But the Lord had other ideas. (Eyes mist, he clears his throat.) The transformation began when Kendra died—suddenly, needlessly. Losing her crushed my heart; crushed my ambition; crushed my faith.
I can’t imagine going through such a loss. How did you cope?
Drew (running a hand through his dark brown wavy hair): Barely. But God sent people to walk me through the grief and anger. My pastor challenged me to go after hope, not just wish for it or sit around waiting for something better. He insisted that hope was tangible and I had to pursue it. I rejected that concept many times. How can I pursue something that doesn’t exist? (sighs) I tried to focused on work, but failed. The Christmas after Kendra died was torture. My family tried to cocoon me from the hurt. I ended up insulting my dad, brushed aside my mother’s compassion, wanted to slug my brother, and kicked my Ph.D. work to the curb. I hated my job; hated the world.
(Slight smile) In the meantime, God placed a remarkable woman, Allison, in my life who could relate to what I was going through. Her father had died suddenly, which like me, crushed her heart and her future. But she was determined to get an education by working two, even three jobs at a time to pay her tuition and expenses. Allison had the hope I rejected; it was tangible, a decision, action. She began to challenge and inspire me.
Did you ever think of giving up?
Drew (snicker): Almost every day. I won’t lie to you; my anger was ugly. And I inflicted it on others. I actually told God that I hated Him. I’m surprised I wasn’t struck by lightning for that. I was so despondent at one point that … (voice lowers to a whisper) well, I won’t go into the details.
How did you turn the corner toward transformation?
I lived the verse in First Peter about being tested by fire to be refined like gold. God painfully opened my eyes to the harshness and unfairness of life, not just to me and the people I loved, but those outside my realm of experience. He showed me ways to alleviate the suffering of the “least, last and lost”; to give them hope, which in turn gave me a glimpse of hope. He also gave me the strength to dig deep in my heart and take steps to forgive people who hurt me, and forgive God for taking my wife. And my faith grew, my hope grew, my mind was renewed and finally, I experienced His good, pleasing and perfect will.
And what is His perfect will for you today?
Drew (a growing smile): I’m still in higher education, but not day-to-day administration. I’ve heard it called God’s Administration. I also jump-started my Ph.D. work. I don’t know all the details of what lies ahead, but I’m where God wants me to be for now—living the Big Three of First Corinthians Thirteen: Faith, Hope and Love.
Love? For a woman, as well?
Drew (eyes again misting): Yes.
“Embracing Hope” Book blurb
Christian college dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring. He stumbles on a desperate journey to understand God’s motives for her tragic death. Crossing his perilous path is Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office. Even as she deals with financial hardships, she recognizes Drew’s unresolved grief from her own loss. Putting up a roadblock is Chris Whitney, the handsome but egotistical student senate president. He carries the secret burden of a dysfunctional family and a below-the-surface temper. The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart, substance and domestic abuse, a violent assault, and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares, and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?
Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. It’s no surprise that she has spent her entire 30-year career in writing, including journalism, Christian higher education public relations, and local government public information. She is a freelance writer/editor, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Janell and her husband, Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota.
Tags: author, character interview, contemporary romance, Embracing Hope, fiction, guest blogger, Janell Butler Wojtowicz, Julie Arduini, s Drew McKinley, transformation, Transformation Interview: Embracing Hope
Julie’s note: Yesterday I featured SAPPHIRE SECRETS by Dawn V. Cahill as this month’s Don’t Miss This feature. Today Dawn shares an interview with the two main characters from her novel. Take it away, Dawn!
Two amazing young women are visiting us today. Please help me welcome identical twins Livy and DeeDee McCreary, singers and dancers extraordinaire, who star in my new novel, Sapphire Secrets.
Dawn V. Cahill: Livy, since this is your story, why don’t we start with you? Tell us why you want to share your story with the world.
Livy: Picture this–a spooky graveyard at midnight. Howling wind. And a strange old man who tells me to seek the truth about my mother’s death. Wouldn’t you be curious, too?
DVC: Indeed I would.
Livy: Sapphire Secrets is basically my testimony. And what an incredible journey. Not only did I find out the truth about my mother’s death, I also found God. Now, I just want the world to know that God loves them. So many people have never experienced His love. They don’t know what it’s like when God grabs ahold of you and pulls you into His arms – so unlike anything you’ll ever experience.
DVC: But you weren’t raised to believe in God. What made you change your mind?
Livy: I met someone who wasn’t afraid to share Christ with me. At first, I was resistant. Our parents and grandma raised us to be suspicious of organized religion. But then, one day everything changed. I had an accident and…
DVC: Spoiler alert!
Livy: Whoops. Anyway, as a result, I might never dance again. But without the accident, I might not have found God.
DVC: DeeDee, what do you think about Livy’s conversion?
DeeDee: She’s always spouting religious mumbo-jumbo. Not my thing. But ask me anything about dance. I can get into that.
DVC: Okay, dance it is. One of my readers wants to know, were all those dance lessons growing up a pleasure, or a chore?
DeeDee: I won’t lie and say they were a piece of cake. Dance lessons are grueling. If I hadn’t had Livy to learn and practice with, I’m sure I would have given up a long time ago. But now, I marvel at what my body can do. I’m pumped that we get to pay it forward by teaching other little girls the beauty of dance.
Livy: Our mom’s passion for dance rubbed off on us. I couldn’t have quit if you paid me. The downside of dance for me was the memorization. Not only the choreography, but all the French terminology. Like pas de bourres and ronde jambs…
DeeDee: The competitions…
Livy: Outgrowing our favorite leotards…
DeeDee: Hardly ever any boys in class to tease or flirt with.
DVC: How times change! A couple of single fathers brought their daughters into your studio for lessons.
Livy [giggling]: Don’t forget to mention how cute they were.
DVC: And now you’re dating one of them, aren’t you?
Livy: Spoiler alert!
DVC: My lips are sealed. Let’s let the readers find out for themselves, shall we?
DeeDee: Don’t forget to tell them about your prequel, When Lyric Met Limerick, a short story about a fateful meeting…the day our amazing and talented parents met.
DVC: Readers, just click on my Amazon author page to find both books.
Check my webpage, dawnvcahill.com, for future giveaways and updates on Livy and DeeDee’s continuing saga. And thank you, ladies, for letting my readers get to know you today.
Livy and DeeDee [in unison]: So long, lovely readers.
DeeDee: You have to come back for Book 2, because this crazy author is going to put me through an even worse ordeal than Livy’s. I have no clue how I’m going to get out of this mess…
About SAPPHIRE SECRETS:
Filled with mystery, romance, and unforgettable characters, Sapphire Secrets is the story of a Seattle woman’s relentless pursuit of truth and God’s power to heal and transform broken lives. Twins Livy and DeeDee McCreary open a dance studio in honor of their late mother, whom they lost when they were six. Problem is, Livy remembers nothing of the day her mother died. The more she questions her family about that awful day, the more she suspects she’s been lied to all her life. While she’s seeking answers to what really happened, she keeps crossing paths with handsome engineer Scott Lorenzo, who compels her to question the New Age philosophy she was raised on. What if there is a personal God out there who cares about her? Before Livy can discover answers, a brutal accident interrupts her search. Her life flips upside down as she faces a future she is not prepared for. Yet the unanswered questions continue to haunt her. Can she find the strength to keep on with her quest, even if it means losing the two people most dear to her—her twin, and the man she loves? 2015 Finalist, ACFW First Impressions Contest
Dawn V. Cahill’s bio:
Author Dawn V. Cahill pens “Stories of Victorious Faith for the 21st Century,” nearly always with a crossword puzzle, sudoku, or dark chocolate nearby. “The characters in my stories face situations that would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago. We live in a vastly different world than our parents did, and that’s the world I write about.” Seeing an unfilled niche in the Christian market for edgier fiction, Ms Cahill birthed Hot Topic Fiction (HTF) at an intensive four-day writers conference. HTF isn’t afraid to explore the question, how does God want us Christians to live out our faith in this not-so-brave new world? Without insulting the reader by offering pat or easy answers–because there aren’t any–HTF tells stories of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in a world of terror and violence, of upside-down morality, of hostility to Judeo-Christian values. HTF’s first book is due for launch in June 2016.
It’s been a blessing to not only have Entrusted out for the public to find, but for colleagues to share it. Entrusted has been a few places lately, and I thought you might like to visit those places and leave a comment.
As always, I have a link for all the places that featured Entrusted on my books page.
Thanks to Fay Lamb at Inner Source:
Thanks to Peggy Blann Phifer at Peg’s Bookshelf:
Thanks to Novel Reviews:
This week I’ve had fun interviewing the characters from my Adirondack romance, Entrusted. Today you have the opportunity to meet bad-boy Kyle Swarthmore.
I visited every weekend during summers. My dad bought a summer home outside Speculator Falls.
Do you call Speculator Falls home?
Yes. Well, during the week I stay in Newark. But lately I’ve been working on acquiring some Adirondack property so I’ve stayed in the summer home. I’m not sure.
Who’s your hero?
My dad. He had nothing and built something of an empire. I love following in his footsteps.
Some Adirondack property isn’t for sale.
Everything’s for sale if the price is right. Do you mean that little grocery store, JB’s?
You and Ben don’t get along, do you?
Ben’s a bit uptight. He doesn’t think I’m a true resident. He’s nervous I’ll take his property because I’ve done it before.
Trish Maxwell was his high school sweetheart. He was certain they’d marry. But they were on-off and when off, I pursued her. Then she up and left for New York City. He was devastated.
What do you think about Jenna Anderson?
I think her many talents are wasted here. She’s a good businesswoman. What she sees in Ben boggles the mind.
What about romance in your life, Kyle?
No time. Father has an ambitious plan and I’m going to fulfill it. Or else.
Get to know Kyle and all of the friends in Speculator Falls by purchasing Entrusted here.
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