Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Judith Ingram, author of Borrowed Promises, Moonseed Trilogy, Book 2, a paranormal romance. So cozy in and read a fabulous interview!
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: May 31, 2014
Number of pages: 249 pages
Word Count: 73,300 (approx.)
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee/For the Muse Designs
Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win one of the following: 4 signed paperback copies of Borrowed Promises with bookmarks, 4 ebook copies (.pdf or .epub) of Borrowed Promises, 4 sets of Moonseed notecards; each set of six cards features scenes from the story, sketched by artist Amy Wong, 4 Amazon gift cards at $25 each or 4 coffee mugs featuring the book cover for Borrowed Promises along with tagline, "The past isn't always behind you…".
On the night of the new spring moon, a near-fatal accident propelled Victoria Reeves-Ashton over a century back in time to awaken in the body of Katherine Kamarov.
Now, after three months of pretending to be Katherine and laboring to repair relationships damaged by Katherine's brash and selfish personality, quiet and gentle Victoria finds that her heart is putting down roots in Katherine's world, in her family relationships, and especially in a deepening friendship with Katherine's winsome cousin Michael.
Hidden letters reveal the story of other moonseed-time travelers like herself-and Victoria realizes that she and Katherine will likely be returned to their own times the following spring. Tension mounts when a rich and handsome suitor applies to marry her, and Victoria must choose whether to accept him for Katherine's sake or to follow her own heart.
Ryan Ashton, the husband Victoria left behind, is baffled by the woman his wife has suddenly become. Unwilling to believe her story about an exchange in time, Ryan struggles to understand the stark transformation of his timid, remote wife into a sexually aggressive and captivating siren. Against his better judgment, he falls hard for this new woman who is a perplexing mixture of cruelty, sensuality, and tenderness, a woman who he suspects has the power to either break his heart or heal the aching loneliness he has lived with all his life.
Time to Interview!
How did you come up with the title?
My time travel romance trilogy, Moonseed, began as one long book. Its title came from a happy coincidence of the moon's mysterious power over the characters and the true name of a Chinese drug that also figures into the story's mystery. When I restructured the story into three volumes, the titles for each came directly from the content of each volume. In Book 1, Bridge to the Past, a real bridge has a reputation of being haunted and serves as the physical link between the present and the past, or between Victoria's world and Katherine's. Book 2, Borrowed Promises, follows the two women through a summer season of putting down roots and finding love in those borrowed lives they may have to give up when their year of exchange runs out. The possibility of being thrown back into their own times looms large in Book 3, Into the Mist, where the "mist" symbolizes the uncertain future and features significantly in the final scenes of the novel.
What made you choose the main setting for your book?
My book has two main settings, and both are nearby favorite spots for me. San Francisco is a beautiful, magical city with a romantic history. I loved doing research into old San Francisco as the backdrop for Victoria's excursion back in time. Sonoma County is the other setting, in the heart of California wine country, and who could resist falling in love with a setting like that? The story begins at Fort Ross, on the northern California coast, which I visited as a child and never forgot. The rich heritage of Russian and Spanish and Native American cultures adds depth and significance to the story as it plays out—especially in Book 3, Into the Mist, which is scheduled for release next year from Vinspire Publishing.
If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
I would choose Ana, Katherine's Russian aunt. I would love to pick her brain about her home in old Russia that she left behind when she married Katherine's uncle and journeyed to California in the 1870s. My maternal grandmother also immigrated from Russia, and I've always been fascinated with Russian traditions, folk stories, and art. Listening to Ana's heavily accented English would be like sitting at my grandmother's feet, watching her hands busily crocheting doilies while she rocks to and fro in her chair and tells me stories, her head nodding rhythmically, her drop earrings swinging.
Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.
I'm very excited about the cover of Borrowed Promises! It's beautiful and illustrates a significant, recurring dream in which Victoria encounters a deer in the forest. The cover also depicts the mysterious coin falling through time, which began Victoria's time travel adventure. Artist Elaina Lee perfectly captured the mood of the novel.
How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?
I've been writing ever since I could hold a pencil. In first grade I wrote a short story about a poodle, and it got published in the school newsletter. My first published work! I've always written poems, newsletter articles, short stories, and some technical manuals. I enjoy putting words together. My first published book was a Christian nonfiction book called A Devotional Walk with Forgiveness, released in 2011. The Moonseed trilogy is my first published novel. I also publish a weekly devotional about forgiveness on my inspirational blog at JudithIngram.com.
What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you'd like to write in the future?
I like to write what I like to read: romantic suspense, historical romance, women's fiction, some literary stuff. I have a serious temperament, so I like to read about things that matter and write about things that will help people—especially women—live better lives. My Christian faith is central to my life, and my writing reflects those values that matter most to me.
Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas, or novels? Why?
I like to write novels because I can get deep into the layers of my characters. My short stories always turn into something longer. I also like to read novels more than I like shorter pieces, for several reasons: I get to delve deep into a character's mind and motivations; I have time to think about the characters and the story and play out in my imagination what might happen next if I were writing the story; and I get to spend some time living in the characters' world before I have to leave it. (Leaving always hurts if I'm enjoying the story!)
Do you write books in a series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.
Yes, my Moonseed trilogy is being released in series. Books 1 & 2 are available now: Bridge to the Past and Borrowed Promises. Book 3, Into the Mist, will be released next year. Aside from being released in three volumes, the story itself reads like two parallel stories: Two young women awaken in each other's lives and pursue a parallel existence over the same twelve months but a hundred years apart. Victoria and Katherine are about as different, physically and temperamentally, as two women could get. Yet they both suffer the anguish of a painful past and of not valuing themselves. Being thrust into each other's lives by a quirk of fate unexpectedly releases them to pursue love and discover hidden resources within themselves. Most women can identify with these issues, but we don't have the luxury of time travel to help us discover our true selves. I'm hoping that readers will find hope and encouragement through the story as well as a satisfying read.
I bit my lip, wanting to avoid any subject that could ruin the easy camaraderie of our afternoons together. Michael had been friendly and funny, teasing me gently, treating me with the easy affection of an older brother. Once or twice I'd caught him watching me with a fierce intentness that made my heart skip. But then he'd grin or offer a quip that made us both laugh, and the uncomfortable moment would pass.
I enjoyed the lightness of our friendship, grateful for the reprieve. In the rose garden at Summerwood and later on the trip to San Francisco, I had felt the slow but persistent budding of a new feeling that both thrilled and frightened me. The lightest touch of Michael's hand pricked up hairs along my skin like electricity; his boyish grin twisted a slow, sweet pain deep into my body. His clean, male scent in close proximity could stun me with unexpected waves of need, often forcing me to look away so he wouldn't see the flame in my eyes.
I couldn't allow Michael to guess where my heart was taking me—because of Raymond.
Although many things were unclear to me, one fact seemed certain—Katherine must marry Raymond Delacroix and have at least one child with him. If I gave in to my new feelings for Michael, and if I were cruel enough to let him see them, then I risked both hurting him and ruining Katherine's chances with Raymond when she came back to her own time.
And Katherine would come back. I was convinced of it, all my desperate wishes to the contrary. She would marry Raymond, give birth to Elise, and secure a future that would eventually lead to her daughter painting a picture of Katherine and me at the bridge over Two Trees Creek. By the same token, I would return to life as a lingerie model and a cold marriage with Ryan Ashton. Ryan.
"What?" Michael's voice made me jump and turn my head.
"You said 'Ryan' again."
Michael had removed his glasses, and he blinked at me from only a foot away. God, he has beautiful eyes, I thought. Soft gray-green depths that held me breathless, fighting a slow, aching pull to be in his arms.
"He's…nobody," I said.
Michael was studying me, his eyes so solemn and searching that I couldn't look away. He didn't speak, but in that moment my heart yearned toward him, and he saw it. His expression changed. His gaze moved slowly from my eyes to my mouth.
I turned my face away and shut my eyes over a sudden sting of tears.
"Kat?" he said softly.
His voice held a new, cautious note of intimacy. A moment later his thumb brushed my wet cheek, and the tenderness of his touch wrenched a low cry from me. I pushed his hand away and struggled to sit upright.
"Don't touch me!" Pain made my voice sharp. "You can't touch me, Michael!"
But his hand was already under my elbow, helping me to sit. He pushed a handkerchief into my hand.
"Here. Take it." He sounded bewildered and hurt. "Seems you'd rather do the job yourself."
He watched me wipe my eyes and blow my nose with his handkerchief. I couldn't look at him, and after a moment he reached for his glasses and slipped them on.
In a tight voice he asked, "Do you still want to visit Union Square?"
I pressed the soggy handkerchief to my lips and nodded.
Michael pushed himself to his feet and thrust out a hand to help me up. We folded the blanket between us, careful not to touch each other's fingers, and he picked up the hamper. As we crossed the grass in uneasy silence, a fresh roll of tears made me reach into my handbag for a clean handkerchief. A flash of copper tumbled into the grass.
I stopped quickly, but Michael was quicker. He scooped up the coin, examined it briefly, and gave it back to me.
"You still carrying that thing around?"
I looked up at him, my handkerchief arrested halfway to my face. "My coin? What do you know about my coin?"
He squinted at me and frowned. "You're kidding, right? I was with you when you paid a nickel for that worthless thing at the county fair. You said it was good luck, and you carried it around in your pocket for years." He stopped at my look. "What is it?"
"Michael, are you certain this is the same coin?"
I handed it back to him. His gaze lingered on my face, puzzled, before he examined the coin. He weighed it briefly on his palm, flipped it over, and gave it back to me.
"Of course I'm certain." He pointed his finger at the familiar nick in the rim. "There's where the wagon wheel ran over it, and you were so furious because you thought the magic was ruined." He screwed up his eyes against the sun and studied me. "What's the matter with you, Kat? You're looking at me like I've got two heads."
I shook my head in dazed wonder, suspended once again in that universe where Katherine's world and mine overlapped and where it made perfect sense that her lucky coin should have somehow come to me—twice.
About the Author
Judith Ingram weaves together her love of romance and her training as a counselor to create stories and characters for her novels. She also writes Christian nonfiction books and enjoys speaking to groups on a variety of inspirational topics. She lives with her husband in the San Francisco East Bay and makes frequent trips to California's beautiful Sonoma County, where most of her fiction characters reside. She confesses a love for chocolate, cheesecake, romantic suspense novels, and all things feline.