My littlest sister, Charis Joy Jackson, asked me to join her in a “Blog Tag” game! So . . . she just tagged me, and now I’ll tag a friend. But in the meantime, these are the questions I’m supposed to answer.
So . . . here goes!
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Well, I’m actually excited to share! I’ve been working on the sequel to OUT OF THE ASHES from my Chicago Fire Series titled INTO THE FIRE. It's a story of Nathaniel's brother, MICHAEL. He's a brooding, hot-tempered character who falls head-over-heals in love with the feisty, God-loving heroine, NICOLETTE.
Want a sneak peek? Here’s the opening to Chapter One:
Nothing would stop her. Not the midnight sky that suffocated her with its weight of death. And certainly not her stepmother.
“I’m not alone,” Nicolette whispered between the hay and manure as she crept into the dark stall, the words choking her as tears streamed down her hot cheeks. “Right, Lord? You’re with me?” She secured the bit into the horse’s mouth, and her fingers trembled on the reins as she mounted, the emptiness of her life crushing against every strained breath. “I’m not alone.” Perhaps the more she said the words, the more she’d feel them?
Ducking, she kicked the horse into a gallop and charged through the opening and into the dark, empty Chicago street, its shadows engulfing her. “Go before me, Lord,” she said as the hooves beneath her clattered against the cobblestones leaving her father’s elite townhome behind. “Why did he have to go? Why did You take him from me?” She sobbed as the wind ripped back her cloak, revealing the red party dress to any onlookers. Thank the Lord no one was out to witness her escape.
Why would her stepmother force her to go to a party when her father was so weak? How could she be so unfeeling? Callous? The pounding of Nicolette’s heart reverberated against her father’s heavy ring as it rested against her chest. Just moments ago it had been on his finger, but in desperation to hold on to some part of him, she wrenched it off.
Flying down the street, she ran away from the truth, the truth that chased her heels, mocking her with the horrifying reality. Her father, her protector, her confidant … was dead.
Knuckles bleeding and swollen from the last fight, Michael Ward strode up the dark street. What a great match. A bundle of cash from his winnings bulged in his pocket. He breathed in the night air, filling his lungs. A full moon lit his path along the road that led to the Goldman suburbs. They were nice homes, and it sure beat living in the slums in a dingy shanty closer to town … or in the streets.
He’d been off the streets for quite a while now, but the streets weren’t off him. Not yet, anyway. With the city behind him, he stepped into the shadows, learning from a youth to stay hidden, unnoticed.
In the distance, sounds of a galloping horse echoed through the night air. He glanced over his shoulder. A silhouette charged from the direction of the city.
The rider, low in the saddle, urged the horse on. It came toward Michael at a reckless pace, and as it flew by him, he caught sight of a woman, a cloak lifting like wings off a red gown. The scent of rose wafted in her wake, and Michael’s feet suddenly shot roots into the boardwalk.
She yanked on the reins and rounded a corner, a corner that was usually rife with drunkards near the saloon. It didn’t take long. A scream rent the air, and Michael sprinted toward the commotion. The woman, reining in her horse, tried to get around several hoodlums. They jeered and catcalled. One grabbed the horse’s reins, yanking the animal toward him. The horse kicked one of the men and he went rolling in the dirt. The mount yanked then bucked, tossing the woman into the street, a mass of black hair, cloak and red fabric landing in a pile on the road.
Michael charged toward the thug nearest him and cracked him in the jaw with his bandaged fist. He hit so hard, his knuckles hit bone, despite his padded fingers.
“It’s the Arab!” one of them shouted . . .
HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN YOUR GENRE?
This is a series of light historical romance novels, all with a Christian worldview. My other novels are predominately historical with a small romantic element, of course, they are also Christian based.
WHY DO YOU WRITE OR CREATE WHAT YOU DO?
I love helping others overcome, and I love putting a smile on the faces of my readers. I’m a storyteller, and I love to entertain. So, if I’m going to entertain, I’d love to do that while revealing bits and pieces of my God and Savior and who He is, and showing readers how they can overcome difficulties in their lives.
HOW DOES YOUR WRITING/CREATIVE PROCESS WORK?
I used to be able to write in chaos. But ever since my battle with cancer, I have a hard time focusing if my kids are around. I’m not wiling to miss any of the precious moments, no matter how minor, so my writing doesn’t get done very easily around my children. So, if I want to get any writing done, it has to be done in the evening after everyone goes to bed (and usually by then, I’m too tired), or I designate a day to go to the library, a coffee shop, or a bookstore. Usually I’ll take care of my kids first, and when I can see there’s a moment to get some writing done, I write. But I’m very easily distracted if my kids are around. It’s been quite a juggling act, and one thing that helped me to get my last book, OUT OF THE ASHES, written was that I was invited to a writing retreat that gave me the jumpstart I needed. I can only hope that’ll happen again this year.
Okay, so now I’m supposed to TAG someone else... it's my friend and fellow writer:
TAG, you're it!!!
TAG, you're it!!!