Genre: paranormal romance
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
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.
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.
When did you first consider yourself a "writer"?
When I was in first grade, I wrote a short story about a poodle, and the story made it into the school newsletter. My first published work! I don't recall a definitive moment when I decided I was a writer; I just always felt like one.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
My first book was a nonfiction Christian book entitled A Devotional Walk with Forgiveness. I completed the manuscript in December, and the following March I was offered a contract. The paperback was released seventeen months later.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
My publisher is Vinspire Publishing, operating out of Ladson, South Carolina. Dawn Carrington, editor-in-chief, and her staff support and encourage especially the new authors through the process of polishing and preparing a manuscript for publication. I was thrilled to have my work picked up by this talented team of publishing professionals!
What can we expect from you in the future? i.e., More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I am currently working on a new novel I would call contemporary women's fiction. A young woman who has just lost her mother to cancer and her husband to infidelity learns that she has a birth twin and determines to bring this stranger into her life. On my inspirational blog I post weekly devotionals on forgiveness, which I plan to pull together for a Christian inspirational nonfiction book.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
My favorite human character has to be Michael. He is so honest, tender and quirky, I enjoyed every scene I wrote for him. In so many ways he reflects my husband, whom I definitely adore! My favorite non-human character is Henry the cat. I love all things feline, and Henry is a perfect blend of lofty indifference to the world and endearing loyalty to Katherine's shy little brother, Robbie. Henry holds a few surprises for readers in Book 2 of the trilogy, Borrowed Promises.
How long have you been writing? and who or what inspired you to write?
My first efforts at writing call to mind my Aunt Elsie's old Underwood typewriter. In a way, that old typewriter was my first inspiration because I adored the physical process of slapping the keys through an ink ribbon and leaving a trail of neat type across a white page. It didn't matter what I typed; it just looked so cool to see those rows of type making sentences and then paragraphs and then chapters. Seated on two phonebooks at first and one as I got taller, I would peck away the afternoons while my sisters played under the leafy magnolia in my aunt's backyard. When I finished typing, I stapled the sheets together down one side to make a "book." I wish now I had kept even one of those "books" so I could peek into that child's mind and see what ideas were burgeoning.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, I do read all the reviews I can find. Even though the harsh reviews hurt, I appreciate when people take the time to comment, and many times a criticism will point out a flaw that I need to fix in my writing. We can be so blind to our faults and need to be prodded out of our limited mindset to see the writing from someone else's perspective. The trick is to sift through a review for valuable feedback while dismissing groundless rants or viewpoints with which I flat out disagree.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I play with titles all through the process of writing. I change the title umpteen times. Until the book is finally published, I consider the title a working title, subject to change. Sometimes we get to the end of a project, and the product is very different from the idea we had at the outset. The title should reflect the final product, not necessarily the germinating idea.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Like titles, I am always playing with names. I notice names in everyday conversations, in news media, in books I'm reading. I try first and last names together to see how they fit, what feelings they generate. However, once I settle on a character name, I rarely change it. The name is so important that my concept of the character roots itself in the name, and they become permanently bonded. Hard or soft consonants, the rhythm of syllables, the look of the name printed on a page all reflect the personality of the character I'm creating. I can't think of any character trait more significant or persuasive than a person's name. Place names are also very important, but I choose them to reflect the needs of the characters. For example, Summerwood Cottage—the little house Victoria loves and decides to restore—suggests the warm summer season when growing things flourish and ripen, much like her life in Katherine's world. Rosswood House has a more commanding sound to it, and as "Ross" is another word for "Russian," it reflects and personifies its arrogant builder, Katherine's father, Alexander Rostnova.
Do you decide on character traits (i.e., shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I know from the beginning what personality traits my characters will have. These traits play so strongly into the fundamental story conflicts that I can't leave them to whim. I get those ironed out as I'm hatching who is the protagonist, antagonist, etc. With all that said, characters do tend to correct me as I'm writing, and I need to listen to them. For example, when I began to write Moonseed, I had a clear idea of Victoria as my protagonist. I imagined Katherine to be merely her shadow side, essentially selfish and corrupt, necessary to the plot only to help tell Victoria's story. Katherine herself, however, had different ideas. She refused to let me write her as a mere shadow side of Victoria but revealed herself as a passionate and complex personality in her own right. As a result of Katherine's persistence, Moonseed evolved into a narrative of two complete and parallel stories told in three volumes: Bridge to the Past, Borrowed Promises, and Into the Mist.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books?
An underlying message in Moonseed says, When life opens a door, don't be afraid to walk through it. Adventure and fulfillment await those willing to take a risk and follow their hearts.
Which format of book do you prefer: e-book, hardback, or paperback?
I like hardcover best, even though some bigger books get heavy. I like to hold a book in my hands and smell the pages and browse through the front and back matter. When I read a book on my Kindle, I tend to forget the title and the author's name and later cannot recall where I saw a particular passage. That's so annoying when I want to go back and reread something or clarify a point.
Do you think that books transfer to movies well? Which is your favorite/worst book-to-movie transfer?
Yes, I am a big fan of movies, and I think the transfer can be done well. Star Wars is a good example of a movie that was actually better than the book. I thought Lord of the Rings did a good job of translation. That story is so big that the movie had to compromise on scenes and ended up combining concepts, but still it kept the mood and characterization right, and the essential story came across with beauty and strength that reflected well on Tolkien. When I think of poor translations, the 1940 Hitchcock rendition of Rebecca comes to mind, with Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. The movie version of the story was twisted and stilted and left out so many essential details. The remake with Jeremy Brett and Joanna David was a little better. Perhaps I am not the best one to judge because I adore Daphne du Maurier, and reading her is such pleasure that probably no movie would satisfy me.
Your favorite food is?
A really good cheesecake. I don't think oatmeal would qualify as a favorite food, but I do have a bowl for breakfast nearly every day of my life.
Your favorite color is?
Blue, especially a soft ocean blue.
Your favorite Author is?
You guessed it! Daphne du Maurier. Her writing is exquisite, her stories compelling, and she is magnificent at creating atmosphere.
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.
Website, blog & free weekly devotional: http://JudithIngram.com