Today’s exclusive interview is with author Khristina Atkinson, who hails from Charleston, West Virginia. Her most recent novel is titled “Hopelessly, Completely, MADLY in Love,” a Historical Romance/Suspense, available in eBook with the paperback edition to be available soon.
Sounds like my kind of novel, and what a terrific cover! Just read this:
Lexi Donovan leaves home to visit her grandmother in Louisville when her crush, Cooper Grayson, returns to Bardstown, Kentucky. He immediately asks her father's permission to court her after she's already accepted an engagement ring from her best friend, Silas Reilly. Silas hasn't yet found the courage to speak with her father, Heath. He's a brawny man with a fiery temper, who's extremely protective of his only child.
Lexi comes back to town with a new husband, Luke Weston, and is about to deliver the wonderful news he's going to be a father when a shot rings out. Is one of the men who claim to love her trying to murder her husband?
Khristina has originally announced the price of the eBook would remain 99 cents only until Christmas, but now she’s decided to leave it reduced until the end of Mystery Thriller Week in mid-February so here’s your chance to snap up a copy!
Here’s what Khristina had to say about the book and the writing life in general:
What was your favorite or most surprising comment/review about the book?
I haven’t had a lot of time for promoting. I have two sequels coming out in early 2017. After their completion, I’m going to slow down and devote more time to getting my books out into the world. I only have one review for this book so far. It’s special because of the 5 stars. “A story that leaves you hoping for love, wondering in suspense, and eager to turn the pages. Obsessive love story that's unpredictable. This story takes you to a different time frame and place, giving you an insight of love in the eighteen hundreds. Loved it and recommended read!”
If given a chance, which author (living or dead) would you like to meet (have met) and why?
William Shakespeare. I’d love to hear him read a passage from any of his great works.
If your book was made into a movie, who would you cast as which characters?
I already picture Chris Pine as Luke Weston in my head. Scarlett Johansson looks terrific with any color hair, so we’ll give her long, dark-auburn locks. I’ve been seeing a lot of Zac Efron in movies lately, so let’s put him in the role of Silas Reilly. I’ll darken Matt Boomer’s hair a bit, and he’ll be the perfect Cooper Grayson. I’ve loved Shia Labeouf since “Holes,” so he’s my choice for Jesse Dalton.
When and why did you decide to become a writer:
I’ve been writing poems and short stories since elementary school. I thoroughly enjoy expressing my ideas on paper, and now the computer. I have a vivid imagination, so about six years ago, I started jotting ideas down in an attempt for a full-length book. I ended up coming up with four stories that were all published this year.
What other jobs have you held?
I was the counselor at a college. All of the students who were receiving the grants from my department had to check in with me once a week. If they had a problem, I took on most tasks myself. I tutored them, helped them fill out financial aid forms, and typed them up resumes. They would sit at my desk and freely express details about their lives and relationships. Years later, I might recall one our sessions and add a fictional aspect to one of my storylines.
Do you have pets?
I have a cat that my sons named Charlene. In the spring of this year, my mom saw a bluebird attacking her, but she seemed to run and get away. She was lethargic one Saturday morning when we were leaving to take my youngest son to karate. After returning home, we couldn’t find her. She’s very spoiled and has a perch on our covered porch that she lays on during the day, like a queen. I call my mom “the cat whisperer.” She located Charlotte on Monday under a bush, and the poor cat couldn’t even walk. The bluebird had pecked her neck, and it had become infected. I had a really hard time getting the antibiotics down her, and she wouldn’t eat. I’d soak her cat food in water until it was basically mush and place it into her mouth. This went on for several weeks until she recovered. She killed numerous birds and placed them on our porch for nearly a month. We came home one evening, and she was posed on her perch. She reminded us all of Batman, leaning over top of a building, with her eyes glowing. I immediately mimicked words from the cartoon, “I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batcat.” My sons loved the comparison.
Are you traditionally published or self-published and why?
I’m self-published, because it gives me the freedom to make my own choices. I don’t care about the money. The books are my personal expression. I want to decide how they’re represented to the public. I’ve done research on authors who have been traditionally published for many years with little money to show for their efforts, and who are now switching over to self-publishing.
Do you belong to any writer’s groups? Which ones and how have they helped you?
I belong to several on Facebook. I’ve been chosen to be featured on Writer’s Rave for the group Write of Passage, which encompasses and encourages all art forms. I had the opportunity to showcase some of my artwork (which I normally would never do), shorts stories, poems, and even a joke. The poets encouraged me to starts writing poems again, and I now have a book of poetry on Chanillo.com.
A friend of mine started Indie Author Support group. We have writers from several different genres, who are always available for sharing their experiences and answering questions. The members freely express their failures and successes in topics such as marketing and reviews. They’ve taught me so much.
If you were going to dabble in a different genre, what would it be and why?
Paranormal. I’ve loved vampire shows and movies since as far back as I can remember. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Charmed” are two shows on television that I watched every single episode. I have several ideas floating around in my brain for this genre. I want to write a book of short stories, so perhaps I can combine the two.
Please join me in wishing Khristina great success with this book, its sequels, her poetry and any paranormal books she puts out in the future! And here's an excerpt from “Hopelessly, Completely, MADLY in Love," that she was kind enough to share with us, describing an interaction between Lexi and yet another admirer, Damon, who kidnaps her and forces her into marriage:
Damon left early the next morning and informed Lexi that he would be gone most of the day. He’d made his expectations clear to her. She was going to be his wife, whether she wanted to or not, and responsible for the meals and care of their home.
Lexi had taken to Bea after her mother died, and she had actually let the woman start teaching her how to prepare their meals. Being around another woman helped keep her mind off of her loss, but later she realized that she despised cooking.
Lexi made Damon a list of items necessary for their meals during the week. Bea had a special recipe for a sauce that included mushrooms. She’d given Lexi detailed instructions on how to tell the poisonous variety from the ones she needed as an ingredient. Certain mushrooms could be deadly, and thanks to Bea she knew exactly what she required for her plan to work.
She journeyed outside and began to search. The ground was damp from a recent rain, and she quickly found what she was looking for. She gathered the mushrooms she would eat, and also the kind that would take care of Damon. When she arrived back at the house, she went to work on the evening’s dinner.
Damon returned early that afternoon with the supplies and a preacher. Lexi was afraid not to go along with him. The couple repeated their vows and were pronounced man and wife. While her new husband stepped out the front door to pay the good reverend, she was busy starting their meal.
Damon came back inside the house and ordered her to postpone dinner until after she had performed her wifely duty. She sweetly reminded him that he was going to need his strength for the bedroom. She claimed to be starving and wouldn’t be pleasant company until she was properly fed. He gave in to her reasoning. Waiting an hour or so for his honeymoon night wouldn’t hurt his plans.
Lexi made sure she gave Damon the plate that contained the poisonous mushrooms first. When he’d dug in, she sat down with her meal. He ate every bite and made a big deal about how the dish was delicious. Lexi ate slowly. She waited patiently for the mushrooms to take their effect. She prayed she would not end up having marital relations with the man.
Lexi suggested they toast their new marriage. Damon concurred and opened a bottle of wine. She’d once vowed never to drink again, but was hoping alcohol would give her courage for what she concluded was going to be inevitable. The thought of being intimate with Damon was making her feel sick to her stomach. Two glasses of wine had gone down her throat by the time he finished his first drink.
Damon had waited long enough and took Lexi’s hand to lead her into the bedroom. She laid back on the bed and closed her eyes tightly when he entered her. As his body pressed against hers, she was revolting. She wanted to scream for him to stop. Her suffering didn’t last long. A groan escaped his throat, and he stopped his movements.
When Damon fell asleep, Lexi got up from the bed and stared at him. She had a sudden pang of regret. She wanted so badly to be reunited with Lucas, but another way must have been possible. Tears began to form in her eyes as the thought of taking this man’s life overwhelmed her mind. Visions of his lifeless, cold body replaced his now breathing form. She did not want to be a murderer.
Copyright 2016 Khristina Atkinson. Reprinted with permission.