Please help me welcome back author TJ Kline to the blog. She’s answering a few questions about herself and then sharing her release CHANGE OF HEART!
If you haven’t met TJ before, you’re in for a treat. She’s fun and funny, so get ready to enjoy. And, please, don’t forget to enter her giveaway at the end of our chat 🙂
Let’s get started …
What books/authors have influenced your writing?
I’ve always been an avid reader. I was reading while other kids were playing outside. I loved falling into a fantasy, a different realm, a new world. When I was young, it was books like Charlotte’s Web, A Wrinkle in Time, Nancy Drew and The Wizard of Oz. And then I discovered Tiger Eyes and Sweet Valley High. It opened my eyes to romance and I was hooked. Graduating from there to sweet teen romances, moving on to Harlequins (my grandmother had hundreds!). It was there I discovered so many authors I loved – Danielle Steele, Nora Roberts, Johanna Lindsay. I’ve never looked back. Francine Rivers taught me a new appreciation for inspirational romance. But I’ve been influenced by every genre – from Stephen King to Jodi Picoult, from Tolkien to Harper Lee to Shakespeare to Bradbury. There are far too many greats to ever encompass all of those who have had influence on my writing because every book influences me – teaching, touching, guiding and inspiring.
Tell us something you hate doing. Why?
I absolutely HATE cleaning bathrooms. Not just toilets but the entire room. It seems like such a waste of time. I mean, it’s a room that literally gets more dirty the more sanitary you are. Take a bath? Dirty tub. Wash your hands? Dirty sink. See?
However, I’m such a stickler for a clean house that I’m usually the only person I trust to do it right (I have two teen boys here.) Unless my husband offers, which he usually does knowing how much I hate it. He hates dirt and germs more than I do, so it’s a win. He also does laundry, cooking and shopping…yeah, that’s right, ladies, be jealous. 🙂
Share a funny incident in your life.
Well, I’ve already shared the one about the rodeo clown messing with me (it actually ended up in a book…thank you, Dwayne Hargo!) And I have a ton of stories where I thought I was pretty smart, only to end up looking like an idiot. but there was one day, running sprints at the park with my golden retriever who is sixty pounds of bouncing energy.
Unfortunately, I am not and while I was dying, he thought we were playing. I took off at a dead sprint. I mean, full on, Olympian speed (okay, maybe not quite that fast but it felt that way) and he ran with me, literally circling me and jumping up and down. Until he landed on the back of my feet. Before I realized what happened, I saw the ground coming at me and knew I was going down.
Years of horseback riding came back and the one rule to remember: When going down, tuck and roll! I immediately did as everything slowed. In my mind, I saw myself rolling on the grass, coming back to my feet and leaping up again, ninja-style. What really happened was that I rolled, and rolled again, ending up on my chest, face-down on the grass, dirt in my mouth, with a dog licking at my face and leaping around me with what appeared to be a smile on his. My one consolation? The park was empty so no one saw!
What’s your pet peeve?
With most things in life, I’m pretty easy going and I don’t get too worked up about things people do in general. However, inside my own house, I’m kind of a fanatic, especially in the kitchen for some odd reason. I don’t like for the paper towel holder to be away from the backsplash. I get irritated when people leave dishes on the counter rather than putting them into the sink. But my absolute biggest pet peeve (okay, maybe I’m more OCD about it) is that the glasses are in the cupboard correctly. By this, I mean, it has to be organized by type of glass. That means, no mixing plastic cups with glass tumblers, or coffee mugs with water bottles. Ugh, what are we, savages?
When you are in writer mode, music or no music? If music do you have a playlist?
This is a yes/no answer for me. While in “writer” mode during the first draft, no, I can’t listen to music unless it’s new or something I don’t know, because I find myself singing along and then become distracted while I do my best version of Kelly Clarkson. (Yes, I am that good!) Pretty soon, I’m looking at lyrics, finding songs to play on my guitar and no writing gets done. However, when I’m in “editing” mode (which is once the first draft is done, when I add in more details, elaborate on scenes, etc.), yes, I listen to the music that inspires me. When I start singing along at this point, it’s not distracting because I know what’s happening already and where the story is going. For this, I have a playlist for each series, if not one for each book as well. You can follow me on Spotify to see them if you want (but no judging my eclectic genius)! https://open.spotify.com/user/1268560600
fifth and (for now) final book in TJ Kline’s Healing Harts series.
but bad luck in her life, with the exception of her dream job, working as a
therapist for at-risk youth at Heart Fire Ranch. But when her car breaks down
on the side of the road and she finds herself stranded, the playboy who shows
up to help, seems like the last person she can count on.
circumstances of his youth, enough that people believe he has the Midas touch,
especially in business. But when one costly mistake could send his reputation
and his company into ruin, he needs some time to get his head on straight
before he makes a decision that could affect hundreds of lives and heads to see
his brother, near Heart Fire. The last thing he expected to find was a feisty
therapist who needs his help, even if she won’t admit it.
only one person she let close – her high school counselor and the mentor who
not only took her in but changed her life, and then she died. Leah doesn’t want
that kind of hurt again so it’s easier to remain distant. But Gage is making it
difficult. And finding out that he staying next door at Heart Fire Ranch isn’t
making it any easier to avoid the kind man who is worming his way into her
adamantly to hide but neither can help the attraction that begins to develop as
they rescue two abandoned kittens and find they have far more in common than
they believed. Gage helps her to move past her nightmarish past and she helps
him realize that one mistake doesn’t define his worth.
“We should start over.” Gage held out a hand. “I’m Gage Granger, your neighbor. It’s nice to meet you.”
Leah bit the corner of her lip as the horse nudged her hand. “Don’t do that,” she said quietly. She rubbed her hand over the animal’s face the way Jessie had told her they liked. “We’re both old enough that we don’t need to pretend we get do-overs in life.”
“Ah, another cynic.” He reached out and patted the horse’s neck. The second horse seemed to take notice and ambled slowly in their direction.
“A realist,” she corrected. “Another?”
“Like my brother, or at least, he used to be one.” Gage shrugged but looked back at her, curiosity clear in his dark eyes. “So, you don’t think you can forgive and forget? There’s no starting over?”
“Not really. You can forgive, but it’s a conscious choice. Forgetting something ever happened? That’s impossible. It’s like saying there’s such a thing as love at first sight.”
“Next you’re going to tell me you don’t believe in happily ever after either.” He clucked his tongue and shook his head with a grin tugging at the corners of his full lips. “What kind of therapist are you?”
She didn’t return his smile. “A good one. One who knows what I’m talking about and uses hard facts to get through to people who’ve see far too much reality in their daily lives to believe in fairy tales.”
She leaned one elbow on the railing and faced him. “The people I work with don’t need illusions. They need coping skills because life isn’t some kind of fantasy. Most people you meet aren’t good, and they don’t want to help you.”
Gage narrowed his eyes, trying to see more than what she would allow anyone to see. Leah wondered for a moment if she should have just kept her mouth shut. There was something about this man that made her usual calm, reserved demeanor take a vacation and made her tongue run away without her brain. If she wasn’t careful, she’d end up telling him her life story, and no one deserved to bear the weight of that nightmare.
since the age of 14, She has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the
culture involved. She has had several articles about rodeo published in the
past in small periodicals as well as a more recent how-to article for
RevWriter. She is also an avid reader and book reviewer for both Tyndale and