Tell us about your book.
Eliza’s Mistake is a book that was published as Eliza by Barbour Publishing in 2004. It is the second in a series of Brides of Cedar Creek, set in Southern Missouri in 1836. I recently rewrote both Eliza and Cora, book one of the same series. They now have new scenes added, brand new book covers, and a new name. Eliza is Eliza’s Mistake while Cora is Cora’s Deception. Both can be found by clicking Amazon.com
Eliza Jackson has moved to Springfield, Missouri with her father and younger brother where she takes on the job of caring for their small family after her mother’s death. She was especially close to her mother and is still grieving her loss, so becomes concerns when her father seems open to the attention he receives from an unmarried woman. She makes the mistake of introducing him to one woman to keep him away from another only to have him fall in love and remarry. But her biggest mistake takes place in her own love life. She loves her father’s employee, James Hurley, but believes his interest in her is an effort to please her father. So she takes up with Trennen whose intentions are questionable. The result of that mistake changes her life.
Can you give us a sneak peek?
The sled rushed down the packed snow. Eliza laughed with the thrill of it. Trennen’s arms remained around her. Then, almost at the bottom, another sled came too close to theirs, and Trennen jerked the rope to avoid it. The sled careened crazily on one runner. Eliza screamed, and Trennen held her close as they landed in a snow bank.
Eliza lay in Trennen’s arms, her back against him, struggling to get her breath.
“Are you all right, Eliza?” His voice rumbled near her ear.
She nodded. “Just had the breath knocked out.” Slowly she pulled herself to a sitting position and turned toward Trennen.
He lay on his back, a slow smile crossing his face. Before she realized what he had in mind, he grabbed her arm and pulled her back to him. A handful of snow covered her face. She sputtered and struggled to free herself.
“How dare you.” She grabbed some snow, but he turned his face away, so she rubbed it on his neck.
He yelled and sprang up, pushing her on her back. “I’ll get you for that.”
He leaned over her, one hand holding her down while the other reached for more snow.
Eliza’s laughter froze when he looked intently into her eyes. He moved closer to her. “You look like an angel in the snow.”
He was going to kiss her. Did she want him to? Eliza turned her head, looked beyond Trennen, and squealed.
James looked down at Eliza and Trennen on the ground. The scene stabbed him as a knife to his heart. From the top of the hill he’d seen their sled crash. It’d taken an eternity to reach Eliza all the time thinking she might be hurt. Now this.
He spoke past the ache in his heart. “I guess you’re okay.”
Trennen helped Eliza up and kept her hand in his. She barely glanced at James. “I don’t see where that could concern you, unless it’s part of your job. In that case, you may report back to my father that I am uninjured.”
“Eliza?” Her voice chilled him more than the cold air. Without thinking, he reached out to her.
Trennen intercepted his hand. “Sorry, old man, but Eliza’s with me. You’ll have to find yourself another girl.”
What inspired this book?
Actually, Eliza’s story came from Cora’s. Cora’s Deception is based on the early Southern Missouri settlers in 1832. Since Eliza is Cora’s sister, after I finished Cora’s Deception, I had to write Eliza’s story. I’m planning a third book in this series, Rebekah’s Scorn. This one has never been published before and I hope to have it available later this year. Rebekah Newkirk is Eliza’s best friend back home near Cedar Creek.
What has been your most challenging experience writing a book?
I’m a plotter, and that’s probably the hardest part of writing a book. Getting all the details figured out before I start with the actual writing.
What is your favorite thing to write about, (i.e., forgiveness, rebellion, etc)?
I usually don’t think about the theme of a book before I have it plotted, but usually it’s clear before I start writing. Most of my books deal with forgiveness and trust. A book I’m currently writing touches on the theme of appearance, as in God looks on the heart while we look on the outward appearance.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
First, I hope readers will find an interesting, story that will keep them turning the pages to find out what happens to Eliza. I’d like for them to close the book with a contended and good feeling. Eliza’s Mistake has a spiritual message, as do all of my books, but the message may be stronger for some readers than it is for others.
What is your favorite color?
That would probably be red in all the various shades.
Do you have a favorite recipe?
My children would say Oatmeal Drop Cookies, but I don’t make them much anymore.
If you could travel back in time when and where would you go?
What an interesting question. I love to read time-travel romances. My favorite time to read about is late 19th Century, but if I could choose, I think I’d stop in the 1950s.
What project are you currently working on?
I never seem to work on only one project. I’m currently writing a western romance which is very light-hearted set in 1890s Kansas titled The Preacher’s Outlaw Bride. I’m also rewriting an Oregon Trail story, Mama’s Bible, which has been stuck in my files for years. I expect it to be available as an e-book within the next couple of months. And I’m in the editing stage for a contemporary romance titled This Child Is Mine. This is a story of babies switched at birth. It is the first book in my Kansas City Romance series and will be available as an e-book on Amazon.com and SmashWords.com in April.
Mildred has offered to giveaway a free ebook of Eliza's Mistake OR Cora's Deception. At least 10 people need to leave comments with email addresses in order for there to be a contest. OR you can email me at email@example.com and put "contest-Eliza" in the subject line. Winner announced April 4th.