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What to Read Wednesday & review

Happy Wednesday and thank you for taking the time to join me for another What To Read Wednesday.  I have a huge HUGE treat for you today.  I have a wonderful friend of mine joining us with her debut release…and she’s also doing a giveaway!  All you have to do to win a copy of Teresa Blue’s debut novella from THE WILD ROSE PRESS is comment and leave your email address.  Yep, that easy.

Before we get started I wanted to share my short review of Teresa’s novella NIGHT BIRD…then we’ll get on with the interview:

My review

I highly recommend this novella.  I don’t like to give away too much in any review I write, and I won’t make an exception here, but I can tell you that you will not be disappointed with this read!

From the very first paragraph I was invested in this story.  I was drawn into the mood and the characters.  Emma is the perfect heroine for this story and Travis is not only sexy and manly as the hero, but tender and vulnerable at the same time.

Teresa Blue has a wonderful way of weaving her words together to bring her characters to life and put the reader right into the scene.  Each word she used to describe what was happening was so well chosen, it made everything so crisp and easy to visualize.  Top it off with Emma’s emotion and caring attitude to her past, her present and her future and I was a goner.  I didn’t put this story down until I reached the end.

Beautifully written with twists and turns I didn’t expect, I loved following along with Emma and Travis as they revealed themselves to each other…and the story was revealed to the reader.  There were several times I was caught by surprise and that’s a real treat when reading a story.

I’m not a professional reviewer, but if I were, I’d give this 2 thumbs up, 5 stars and lots of satisfied sighs!

Now, on with our interview 🙂

Hi Teresa, thank you for joining us!  Please share a little bit about yourself and your writing journey.

I’m thrilled to be here, Christine and will start right off with telling you how I started writing early in the 90’s with mostly poems and children’s stories. Then in 1999 I joined RWA and by early 2000 had completed my first novel. I returned home from a writer’s conference to a yard full of people and several fire trucks. My house was a pile of ash and everything I had ever written along with it. That set me back a year or two while I put a home together.

Oh Teresa, that’s scary.  I’m glad nobody was hurt.  I’m one of those people that deals with stress (and that would be a stressful situation) by indulging in good eats.  Naughty me.  So, tell us what’s in your fridge right now. lol

Right now, homemade cocoanut cream pie, leftover rotisserie chicken and marinating venison steaks.

YUM…now that all sounds good.  But I know you are one awesome cook!  Tell us one thing you hate, one thing you fear and one thing you love.

One thing I hate is how quick the morning hours fly by. I’m barely settled into a scene then glance and the clock and realize I need to get dressed. What’s my biggest fear? To loose my sight or the use of my fingers. My totally passion is reading those wonderful old bodice rippers. I absolutely love anything by Kathleen Woodiwiss or Johanna Lindsey.

I have a secret addiction to those old bodice rippers too…can’t explain it, but I just love to read them.  What genre or genres do you write?

My first novel was a historical but the second one I started more a light hearted contemporary that I wrote in long hand while living in the camper. I was naïve in thinking contemp. wouldn’t require any research. At the moment I’m writing contemporary, but I like to write paranormal and romantic suspense, too.

Tantalize us with a blurb from NIGHT BIRD.

Travis Howland washes up on the shores of Lost Isle and into the arms of an angel. Known as the Night Bird, Emma Samson dedicates her afterlife to a solitary existence on Lost Isle, easing the passage of the dying. When she finds Travis weak and desperate, she gives him the only gift she has—a few more days to settle his affairs before his death. Sorely lacking in faith, Travis lives life with no thought for the future. When his lovely rescuer claims he has died, he can’t believe it. He must warn his father that their ship was plundered by a greedy business partner, but only a leap of faith can save him. Together, Emma and Travis use his last few hours to avenge the traitorous deeds that torment him, and along the way discover that love can be found in any stage of life…even after death.

I truly loved this story!  Share with us your favorite sentence from your book.

Hard to chose just one. 🙂  “Tell me, exactly what has transpired these past few days to change me from a man to a…monster?”

Very intriguing sentence!  Love it.  What’s the most exciting part of writing?

The most exciting thing to me about writing is the opportunity to be anywhere in the world with people I adore. After all, I give them the physical as well as characteristic traits that please me, even my villains. And when they begin talking to me, it’s a writer’s rush.

How did you come up with the title NIGHT BIRD?

The title actually came from the song, Night Bird, by Eva Cassidy. A haunting melody, filled with beautiful lyrics about a woman who found a man down on his luck in New Orleans and she took him in and taught him how to fly.    http://youtu.be/EU4OKZTlPI0

Love that Teresa!  Share an excerpt with us please 🙂

A crashing wave knocked Emma off her feet and plunged her beneath the water, grains of sand biting her skin as the gushing tide tossed her upon the shore. She struggled to break the ocean’s grip, her sodden skirt throttling her ankles as she tried to stand. Another rushing wave pushed her to her knees. A heavy object slammed against her side and drove them both aground.

     A man.

     Foamy bubbles gathered in a small pool of water where his body lay indented in the sand. Her heart roared in her ears, drowning out the pounding surf. In the past, she’d witnessed countless felons jump ship rather than face the adversity of chains, starvation, and brutal prison beatings. Many saw the island’s wide cove as a passage to freedom and often died trying to swim across.

The dark shape lay unmoving beside her. After only a brief glance she knew he was different. He had strong, classic feature and a think robust body. She couldn’t squelch her curiosity. Who was this man? A ship’s captain, perhaps? Or a meager fisherman with a run of bad luck? Maybe he’d ignored the dangerous winds and threatening clouds, driven by the greed she’d seen in eyes of other men. Fishing boats of all sizes had been destroyed upon the deceptive coral reefs, led on by the tempestuous sea witch that lured them beyond the next horizon.

      Emma pushed aside the drenched charcoal locks covering the man’s eyes and revealed thick brows and a strong forehead. His cheeks bore stubbles of whiskers.

The white tailored shirt, although frayed and worn, was that of a whaleman sailor, its hem floating up to expose heavy, coarse trousers. Suddenly, his fingers caught the fabric of her bodice and gave the slightest tug to draw her near.

      “Help me,” he pleaded, his voice barely more than a whisper as his arm dropped to his side.

       Moisture blurred her vision at the helplessness she’d heard, the desperation that filled his eyes. She blinked back tears. How much longer must she witness death? Emma was unable to actually save life, but could offer a brief reprieve for the tormented lost one. Usually the men she encountered were the blackest of the lot: convicts, murderers, and thieves were among those needing her most.

         But this man’s appearance didn’t seem to be that of a weak or starved convict. Instead, his body looked firm, reasonably fit. Perhaps the made his living on the water. Lately, she’d witnessed many Yankee whalers drawn to the Pacific, all eager to fill their casks with valuable sperm oil.

     His breath came out weak and unsure as his chest labored and fell. A strong will to survive etched deep across his face and the vulnerable expression played on her heart. He was someone’s son, perhaps a father, but clearly a man unable to let go. With each painful gasp, his eyes pleaded, asking the impossible.

    But she knew…death was inescapable. It was the after life she hoped to change.  Already the icy water had stiffened his body, his breathing faltered. Emma measure each one his last. Even if she did manage to warm him, he would die of fever, the life-taking chill never leaving his body.

      He’d asked for her help…but was his need to survive strong enough to carry the burden to eternity?

    Precious seconds passed. The uneven rise and fall of his chest warned her it was nearly too late. Is she didn’t decide soon, he’d be left to face the judgment he’d earned in life without having the chance to reconcile whatever desperate burdens were holding him back.

     Emma lowered her head. No breath came from his lips, his eyes faded as death stole over him. Swiftly, she pressed her lips against his neck; a metallic taste filled her mouth when she pierced his skin. It took only seconds to exchange his blood with the substance flowing in her veins. The wind howled in protest and sprayed them with a mist of salt-drenched water while the waves crashed around them.

     It seemed forever and then…he moved.

     “My crewman. Where is my crew?” he whispered.

    Although his eyes shone with gratitude, would he still be grateful after learning the conditions of his survival?

Your excerpt was awesome…puts the reader right there!  Using only 5 words, describe Travis, your hero.

Travis is handsome, strong, loyal, courageous and persistent.

Now your heroine Emma.

Emma is a nurturer, tender-hearted, faithful, sincere and obstinate.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part is getting into a new story. It takes me awhile to convince myself I’m not wasting my time and ignore that pesky gremlin whispering in my ear. My first drafts tend to be kind of skimpy.

The easiest?

I find the easiest part of writing to be dialogue, once my characters come together they never stop talking. Which is pure joy.

I like dialogue too!  I think it flows smooth when you really know your characters.  When is your favorite time to write, morning, afternoon, or nights?

In the morning, sitting down at the computer with my coffee and still in my pajamas. Once I get dressed it’s official I’ve got ‘other’ things to do and usually can’t switch back to the creative mode as easily.

I feel the same way.  What’s your current WIP?

I’m working on a contemporary romance, the second in a series that’s kind of been put on the back burner while I promote Night Bird. It’s proving to be a fun story and I’m anxious to get back to it.

Please share some writerly wisdom with any new authors out there or anyone just beginning their writing journey.

Take all the so-called rules you hear with a grain of salt. For everyone who says not to do it this way, they’ll be another who proves them wrong. Don’t be afraid to blaze your own trail; originality sells. And don’t sweat the small stuff. Cliché’ for a reason.

Great advice and so true.  When you first start out it’s so hard to know what to believe and what to go against the grain with.  Teresa, where can we find you and your debut release?  

Teresa Blue: author The Wild Rose Press  here’s the link to NIGHT BIRD on The Wild Rose Press Site & AMAZON

Visit me at my blog: http://tereasa-thingfinder.blogspot.com/

Friend me on Facebook: Tereasa Bellew, twitter: @teab123Blue, Goodreads

I’m so glad you took the time to visit!  And everyone, please remember, one lucky commenter is going to receive a copy of Teresa’s novella NIGHT BIRD!

Thank you so much for having me Christine! I love What To Read Wednesdays and it’s so exciting to be a guest.

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