Monday, July 28, 2014

Story Characters Don't Have to Be Human - Guest Post & Giveaway with Judith Ingram!

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing, LLC 
Date of Publication: May 31, 2014
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.

ISBN: 978-0-9890632-4-1 | ASIN: B00JD0H2ZE | 249 pages

Story Characters Don't Have To Be Human
by Judith Ingram

Yes, Moonseed is a paranormal romance trilogy, but no, we're not talking vampires or aliens here. The fantasy aspect is time travel—two women, Victoria and Katherine, escaping into each other's lives over a century of time—and the non-human characters we're highlighting are cats and cottages, clocks and cars. These elements rise above mere setting and become supporting characters because each is personified and in some way develops our understanding of the main characters.

The Cat
Henry the cat makes an appearance in the same scene that introduces Robbie, Katherine's shy younger brother. We learn that Henry is not only Robbie's self-appointed guardian but also a shrewd judge of character. Both Robbie and his cat disliked Katherine, but when Victoria takes Katherine's place and tries to make friends with Robbie, it's Henry who opens the door, as this excerpt from Book 1, Bridge to the Past, illustrates:
(Robbie is playing with a puzzle on the floor of the playroom. Victoria suggests moving the puzzle downstairs, where they will be warmer.)
Robbie watched uncertainly as I scooped the pieces into the wooden box. Neither of us spoke. I retrieved a piece that had strayed close to Henry, and the cat rose with a languorous yawn. After stretching each of his hind legs in turn, he sauntered over, heedless of the puzzle pieces he stepped on, and rubbed his body against my skirts. I held myself still, allowing the cat to show me this unexpected favor, and I glanced at Robbie. His expression of surprise bloomed into wonder as we both heard the unmistakable rumble of a friendly purr.
"He's never done that before," Robbie breathed. His eyes rounded as he looked at me with new respect. He hesitated a moment and then sank to his knees beside me. "Here, Katya," he said, and his smile was shy. "You missed a piece."

The Cottage and the Clock
In the therapeutic world of dream analysis, a house symbolizes a life. For example, when we dream of discovering unused rooms in our house, it can mean we have opportunities or potential that we have not yet explored. For Victoria, Summerwood Cottage—the abandoned house she decides to restore—represents her underdeveloped personality that begins to flourish in Katherine's world. Read how she describes the cottage as a knowledgeable companion in this excerpt from Book 2, Borrowed Promises:
It seemed as though Summerwood and I stood together outside of time and shared secret knowledge of what was to come in later years. We knew what was important to preserve—the roses, the dogwood tree, the oak in back presently grown to only half its future size, the pinewood sideboard collecting dust in the dark hallway, the beautiful banisters.…In my entire life, I had never had a place of my own. Always I had lived under the forbearance of others, dependent upon them, needing to please in order to ensure their goodwill toward me. But at Summerwood I was my own mistress. I knew what had to be done, and I gave the orders or accomplished the work myself. It was as if Summerwood had always existed, in my mind or in my dreams, and I had simply—inevitably—come home to it.
In like manner, Victoria describes as "a quiet sentry" the tall grandfather clock, which has measured time for over a hundred years in Rosswood House and silently observed the lives and events in Katherine's family. Both the cottage and the clock help Victoria to feel anchored in reality as the three of them bear witness to two different centuries.

The Car
Lastly, Ryan's Jaguar features as a character who gives us insight into Ryan's personality. The car is a metaphor for the sort of woman Ryan wants when the novel begins—elegant and expensive eye candy. This shallow attachment to his wife—the beautiful Victoria—changes over the course of the story as he falls deeply and hopelessly in love with Katherine, the woman who takes her place. Because the Jaguar so closely personifies that old, self-serving attachment, it will be no surprise when the car figures significantly in the climax revealed in Book 3, Into the Mist (to be released in 2015).

 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.

Website, blog & free weekly devotional:

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."
"I did?"
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.

Tour Wide Giveaway

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.

4 coffee mugs featuring the book cover for Borrowed Promises along with tagline, "The past isn't always behind you…".


jmcgaugh said...

This sounds like a very intriguing story.

erin said...

congrats to Judith on the new release! Thanks for sharing!

gemiinii said...

Sounds really good, thanks for the giveaway

Anonymous said...

Aya - Ohhh, sounds like a fun read, so many possibilities!

Judith Ingram said...

Thank you so much for hosting my book, BORROWED PROMISES. I appreciate the beautiful presentation on your Web site. All the best to you as you continue to bring authors and readers together! --Judith Ingram

Mary Preston said...

BORROWED PROMISES sounds like such a wonderful read.

Melinda Dartmann said...

Ahhhh two friends falling in love! wonderful!

Steph F. said...

Love the sound of the book, very intriguing. Definitely going on my TBR.

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