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Friday, December 12, 2014

Blog Tour - Idolizing In: Winter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown | Interview, Review, & Gift Card Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Kathy Fischer-Brown, who I interviewed about her novel "Winter Fire!!"

ALSO -- Be sure to check out Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post to be able to sign up for this blog stop's GIVEAWAY(s)!! [Blog Tour will run from December 5 - January 30, 2015]

My Q&A with Kathy Fischer-Brown :

Jess : Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Kathy : A product of the “Boomer” Age, I grew up on Long Island, but now call Central Connecticut home. I’m a wife, mother, and grandmother who’s been to Woodstock and traveled to a few other interesting places over the years. In college and grad school I majored in theater and taught for a while at a small all-girls college in the Midwest. But writing has always been my first love.

I write the sorts of books I like to read. When not writing, I take pleasure in reading the sorts of books I wish I’d written. I also enjoy an occasional romp in the yard (when it’s not too cold and snowy) with our dogs—Aimee, an ageless, adorable but bossy Cairn terrier, and Evie, a young rambunctious mutant springer spaniel. Cooking is one of my creative outlets, as is photography and transforming photos I’ve taken into paintings and greeting cards. I’m also an avid sports fan, especially New York teams and UConn women’s basketball.

Jess : Please describe Zara, from "Winter Fire," in one to two sentences.

Kathy : A young New York Dutch heiress—the product of two worlds, a part of both but accepted by neither.

Jess : Which of your characters would you most & least like to invite to dinner, from which book and why?

Kathy : Rufus Grey, Zara’s uncle in "Winter Fire" is the least likely to receive an invitation to my table. He’s a drunken bully with a mean streak, who’d probably break my favorite dinner plates (not to mention our lovely Prague crystal). Second on my “do not invite” list would have to be Arthur Darvey from "Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter." Although he’s refined, well-educated, and a decent conversationalist, he’s a sociopath with a nasty agenda. As for those who’d be welcome, I think it would be amusing to seat Tony Granville (from "The Partisan’s Wife") next to Mercy Van Allen from the same book. Tony is a self-deprecating, self-destructive man from an aristocratic family, who’s endowed with a wry sense of humor and a penchant for card tricks. Mercy is an eccentric, but very caring woman whose love of animals and the downtrodden would make an entertaining dinner guest.

Jess : Please describe "Winter Fire" in 75 words or less.

Kathy : Against all odds, in a time of violence and prejudice, two lost souls discover a love that will help them survive...if only they can learn to compromise.

Jess : Are there any differences and/or similarities between Ethan from your "Winter Fire" novel and Peter from your Serpent’s Tooth Trilogy?

Kathy : Their similarities lie in the fact that both are in love with the heroines of the books, Zara and Anne. Other than that, they are quite different. First of all there’s their physical appearance. While Ethan is dark and brooding, Peter is fair and whimsical. Ethan is more experienced in life and jaded by his past. He’s a “loner,” while the reader of "Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter" first meets Peter as a young idealist who has yet to address his disappointments and find direction in his life. Peter is gregarious and irresponsible...a result of his youth and having opportunity served up on a platter. Both undergo changes when they become “involved” with the women in the stories. Ethan puts his life at risk when he rescues Zara and protects her from the mob intent on seeing her hanged for Rufus Grey’s murder. Peter’s transformation from a carefree boy to a man with a dangerous mission evolves over the course of three books, both independent of and reliant on his relationship with Anne.

Jess : What sparked the idea for "Winter Fire?"

Kathy : I can’t put my finger on any one thing. Watching the Daniel Day-Lewis movie, Last of the Mohicans probably helped solidify an idea that had been germinating for some time. Further research into 17th and 18th century “captive narratives” definitely ignited the flame.

Jess : What is the saddest thing one of your characters, from "Winter Fire," said or did?

Kathy : After waiting out the winter for Ethan’s return at the home of his sister’s family, Zara comes to the painful conclusion that she can’t stay with him. She realizes that the cultural differences between them—not to mention that she’s wanted for murder—are too much to impose upon him. Her feelings for Ethan are too deep and pure for her to wish anything but happiness on him. She feels he’d never be truly content having to compromise so much for her sake.

Jess : What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write in a novel and why?

Kathy : One of many, but this stands out. I enjoyed writing the scene in the mapling cabin in the woods between Zara and Ethan’s sister Ellen. It’s an enlightening moment for both women as each slowly discovers that, despite their differences, they share a lot in common. It was also fun to add a little lightness and laughter into this dark story.

Jess : In regards to "Winter Fire," if you could write it all over again, would you change anything about it?

Kathy : Interesting... I don’t think I’d change anything. Maybe I wouldn’t include the two “graphic” love scenes. Some readers complained they weren’t necessary, but that kind of thing is subjective.

Jess : Out of all of the secondary characters within Winter Fire, do you have one or two favorites so far? If so, who are they and can you tell us why?

Kathy : Bear, the dog...just because I love dogs. Abby, the little girl, Ethan’s niece and Bear’s best friend, was a change of pace to write. Being so young and impressionable, she presents a view of the other characters from a unique vantage point.

Jess : How many books have you written? Which is your favorite and why?

Kathy : I’ve written around ten over the years, but only four have been published. The others remain hidden away or on my hard drive or on various by-now-unreadable-disks, awaiting time for me to pull them out and dust them off. Of the published books, "The Partisan’s Wife" is probably my favorite for no other reason than having experienced deep feelings of loss, emptiness, and being “out of time” after I submitted the final edits to my publisher.

Jess : Do you have any other projects in the works? If so, can you share a little of your current work with us?

Kathy : Of course, there are the aforementioned books languishing on my computer and assorted disks. One in particular is a time travel, tentatively titled "From Time to Time." Every few years or so the characters begin chattering in my head and it’s all I can do to silence them. It’s a fun story, about a Revolutionary War era British officer who finds himself in the modern age, smack dab in the middle of a re-enactment of the battle from which he was mysteriously whisked away. The heroine is an American History professor and part-time town historian. When he realizes that somehow, history has been changing—ever so slowly, they must go back in time to get it back on the “right” track. My original idea had them involved in Benedict Arnold’s treason and one of its many convolutions, including a plot to capture George Washington. One of these days I hope to return to it.

Then there’s my “eternal” epic fantasy, "Sword of Names," which I hope to finish sooner than later. I’ve been writing it off and on for a number of years, as it continues to grow more and more epic. This is also a fun book, with pretty much everything one would expect of an epic fantasy: a cross-dressing heroine under a spell, a bumbling sorcerer, a young ne’er do well who finds purpose and friendship while on an impossible quest, a beautiful queen and her betrayed king, her enchanted son and his enchantress, some nasty bad guys…and a magical sword.

Jess : Do you have a favorite aspect of winter or tradition in your family during winter/Holiday season that you’d like to share with us?

Kathy : Actually no. It’s sad, but since both my parents are deceased and my sisters have their own families and we don’t live near each other, there haven’t been any “traditions” upheld around here in a long while. For the past couple of years, since my son and daughter-in-law bought their own place, we’ve been traveling up to Massachusetts to spend Thanksgiving with them. Christmas is quiet around here, although we do try to spend a few days out on Long Island with my husband’s almost 93-year old father, and the members of his family still living out there. Otherwise, I’m not a big fan of winter and prefer warmer weather.

Jess : What cartoon character best represents your personal philosophy?

Kathy : Charlie Brown comes to mind ☺

Jess : If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

Kathy : I can’t see anyone wanting to undertake such a thankless and boring task. If so, I think it would be called, "A Great Waste of Time" ☺

Jess : List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?

Kathy :

About the Author :

As a child Kathy wanted to be a writer when she grew up. She also wanted to act on the stage. After receiving an MFA in Acting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts and playing the part of starving young artist in New York, she taught theater classes at a small college in the Mid-West before returning home to the East Coast, where over the years, she and her husband raised two kids and an assortment of dogs. During stints in advertising, children’s media publishing, and education reform in the former Soviet Unions, she wrote whenever she could.

Her love of early American history has its roots in family vacations up and down the East Coast visiting old forts and battlefields and places such as Williamsburg, Mystic Sea Port, and Sturbridge Village. During this time, she daydreamed in high school history classes, imagining the everyday people behind all the dates and conflicts and how they lived.

Claiming her best ideas are born of dreams, Kathy has written a number of stories over the years. Her first published novel, "Winter Fire," a 1998 Golden Heart finalist in historical romance, was reissued in 2010 by Books We Love, Ltd., which also released "Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter," "Courting the Devil," and "The Partisan’s Wife."

When not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, photography, playing “ball” with the dogs, and rooting on her favorite sports teams.

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Paperback - Pages: 294; Kindle Edition - File Size: 2980 KB | Expected Release Date: November 6, 2010 | Publisher: Books We Love Ltd. | Obtained: Goddess Fish Promotions

"Winter Fire" by Kathy Fischer-Brown

Author's Book Description : When Ethan Caine pulled the unconscious woman from the half-frozen creek, he had no idea that his world was about to explode. Dressed in quilled doeskin of Iroquois design, she stirred up dark secrets from his past. At the same time, she was everything he desired. But she was more Indian than white, and on the run for murder. He needed to know the truth.

Banished by the Seneca Indians who had adopted and raised her, ostracized by the whites in the settlement, Zara Grey wanted only to be accepted. “Ethancaine” treated her with kindness and concern. It was easy to trust him. But her Indian ways disturbed him, and in her heart she would always be Seneca.

Newly Re-edited with a New Cover by Michelle Lee

My Book Review : 5 out of 5 stars!! Born from the same world but raised differently due to circumstances beyond their control two lost souls find themselves drawn together and fight for what is right no matter the cost.

Wow! This touching, deeply moving historical romance throws its readers for a loop by sticking to what would have been true for that time period yet still keeping its "happily-ever-after" too. I liked how Zara (Jiiwi) & Ethan (Ethancaine) came into their romance and fell in love with each other. Also, while over the course of the novel they both make many compromises, neither compromise their beliefs and I liked how they respected each other for their beliefs too.

While I did love Zara & Ethan, this novel is full of POVs from its dynamic secondary characters as well. Those POVs leave you feeling an understanding from a majority of all "sides" in this novel so while you may hate some of the characters' choices (as I did) you can at least see where they are coming from in regards to their actions.

I HIGHLY recommend this novel to those who like historical American romances.

Purchase This Book Here : Smashwords : Winter Fire | Alibris : Winter Fire

Author's Novel Extras : Winter Fire - Overview | A Few Lines from…Kathy Fischer-Brown | Freebits Friday | Friday FreeBits–Winter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown | Friday FreeBits–Winter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown | Friday FreeBits–Winter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown | Friday FreeBits–Winter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown | Friday FreeBits–Winter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown

Author's Book Trailer :

Book Teaser(s) :
Not until he was nearly in sight of the opening did complete mindfulness overcome him. His heart leapt in a renewal of hope. It was all he could do to contain the urge to rush inside. He entered warily, rifle at the ready.
At the sound of his approach, someone—or some thing—had taken cover in the shadows of the entryway. He sensed a lurking presence, heard its shallow breaths amid the hissing crackle of the flames. “Zara…?” He spoke softly, his pulses racing.
Cautiously, the shadowy form stepped into the light, a club-like stick raised in its hands as if to strike.
“Ethancaine!” All at once, her look, a combination of resolution and fear, transformed into one of overwhelming delight. The stick slipped from her hands. With the impulsiveness of a child, she rushed toward him, and flung her arms about his neck.
Unprepared for such a spontaneous show of emotion, Ethan clumsily tried to rid himself of the bundle and his rifle. Before he could, she recovered herself and pulled away.
“So happy you come!” A shy smile fluttered over her mouth, pale in the wavering shadows as she averted her eyes. “I think maybe you are hurt. Maybe they find you.”
Despite her show of modesty and concern, the restrained emotions thrilling inside her gripped him with the intensity of their energy. Soft as it was, her voice could not hide it. Her eyes burned with it. Her entire being seemed to exude a force of bright light and its accompanying heat quivered around her.
It touched him as well, a fiery stirring deep inside him. Inspired by more than the simple joy of beholding her or relief that she was safe, the strength of her energy infused him with an overpowering urge to hold her close, to savor the lithe strength of her arms encircling him. ~ within Chapter 10
For more information on this book and/or any other books by Kathy, then please check out her website.

Book Excerpt :

The buzzing of voices had grown steadily into a boisterous clamor of laughter and friendly banter punctuated by the banging of tankards and table thumping. Only gradually did the din penetrate Ethan's thoughts, compelling him to tear his attention from the road and the image that had branded itself onto his thoughts.

When he turned once again and the room came harshly into focus, he saw that the little gathering by the hearth had been transformed into a minor celebration. Those who had been seated now stood, hoisting their mugs amid toasts and playful teasing.

Slouched against the hearthstones, young Jabez Grey looked pale and confused, his vacant smile giving off an appearance of mild enjoyment. His father had taken a place at the table between the McLaren brothers and swilled ale from two tankards at once, while the others laughed and urged him on. When he had finished, Rufus held the tankards triumphantly over his head, and, staggering slightly, his chin and shirt front glistening with spill, he bellowed for Engles to bring ale for all. Even Jabez was provided with a portion, as the next round of toasts and good wishes resounded from all sides of the table.

“To Jabez, and good fortune!”

“To the bride and groom!”

“Here's to Rufus's new mansion!” Levi Sparks playfully slapped Grey on the back, and they all laughed and drank, conversing loudly among themselves.

“To his coach and four!” another man teased.

‘To his servants! You'll be having servants then, won't you, Rufus?”

One of the men clapped Jabez on the shoulder. “So when's the joyous event, Jabez?” The boy smiled absently and shrugged.

Rufus Grey hoisted his mug. “To the old patroon! To Henry Van Gelder—may he rest in peace—for bequeathing his bounty. To my niece for making this possible. To General Sullivan for finding her when we'd given up hope, and for returning her safe and sound to her loving family. To General Washington for sending Sullivan on his glorious mission to deliver us from the heathen's hatchet. Here's to Zara Grey, gentlemen…my new daughter! My Jabez’s wife!”

Ethan's stomach squeezed into a knot. The woman was promised. To Jabez! He imagined that callow boy sharing her bed, touching her, feeling that silken hair upon his face. The image tore through him like a knife.

You've been living alone far too long, he thought, and he smiled in spite of himself. He swung his legs out from under the table.

“Caine! Ethan Caine!”

Rufus Grey's voice stopped him before he reached the door. He turned, even though his better judgment advised him to continue on. The men at the table fell silent, watching. The entire room pulsed with a strained silence.

“Ain't you going to join us, Caine? Offer your good wishes to my Jabez?” Grey smiled, but his voice held an edge, cold and sharp as an icicle.

Ethan considered Grey's words, and nodded with forced politeness. “I thank you for the invitation, but I've already stayed too long.” He called to Engles, “You'll deliver my goods, won't you, Samuel?” The man nodded grimly.

“Not jealous, are you?” Grey baited him, his voice tinged with a taunting inflection. “Or, can it be, gentlemen, that Mr. Caine is afraid to drink with us?”

Summoning his self-control, Ethan slowly turned back to the gathering. “Have I reason to be afraid?”

“Rumor has it that you're a coward.”

Ethan bristled. It took all his concentration to keep his hands from balling into fists at his sides. “A man of integrity should know better than to believe everything he hears.”

Rufus snorted. “Rumor has it you ain't got no integrity!”

A few of the men laughed uneasily.

Ethan forced a smile. “As I said, I do not subscribe to rumor.”

Grey stiffened, drawing himself up to his full height. “You calling me a liar, Caine?” With his broad shoulders, thick arms, and barrel chest, he presented a daunting sight.

“I'm saying you're misinformed.” Ethan fixed his gaze on Rufus's eyes. Rufus returned the look with an air of smug satisfaction.

The silence rippled with a palpable tension as Grey stepped out slowly from behind the table and approached Ethan with a swaggering gait. A few of his party began to murmur among themselves in discomfort.

“The Coward of Clarkson’s Mill. That's what they call you, Caine. Said you refused to fight. Said you cried like a baby and ran.”

Grey’s words struck Ethan like a fist to his middle, depriving him of breath. The massacre at Clarkson's Mill had happened fifteen years ago, but its very mention triggered off a lightning train of images in his mind. The smell of burning lodges, the acrid odor of sulphur smoke and blood in the snow, overcame him in a wave of nausea. The night of horror was upon him again, ringing in his ears with the screams of the dying.

Ethan pushed back the images, pushed back the nausea and met Rufus's smirking smile with a hard stare. “Whatever you say, Rufus. Now let me be.” At that, Ethan turned on his heel and made a move toward the door. Grey was upon him in an instant, whirling him back around with a large hand to the shoulder, reversing their positions. Grey now stood between Ethan and the door.

“They said you ran, Caine….”

Ethan straightened himself up so that his eyes were level with Grey’s. His muscles tensed. “I never ran from anyone.”

“…like you're running now!”

“You're drunk, Rufus. Get out of my way.”

“Coward. Traitor.”

“I don't want to fight you. Now, let me pass.”

Hands on his hips, Rufus glanced back over his shoulder at the other men. “He says he don’t want to fight!’

“I have no reason to fight you.”

“No. You're too spineless, Caine. I wouldn't waste my time with you anyway.”

Rufus stepped aside, leaving the path clear to the door. With a mocking gesture, he waved Ethan out with a flourish.

Ethan continued to hold him fast with his gaze. “Don't push me, Grey,” he whispered so the others could not hear. “One of these days you'll go too far.”

“Is that a threat, Caine?” Rufus bellowed with laughter. “You threatening me? I believe this coward's threatening me!”

“I don't make threats,” Ethan said softly. “And I never make promises I can't keep.”

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  1. looking forward to getting some of your books :)

  2. Replies
    1. Deanna, The Interview was fun and thought provoking. Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Thank you for hosting me today...and for the fabulous review of Winter Fire.

    1. You're welcome! I enjoyed your Q&A answers! =0)

  4. I enjoyed reading the Q&A. It's fun to learn more about the author.

    1. Thanks, Rita. It's always rewarding and fun to bring a little enjoyment :-)

  5. Replies
    1. Hi Mary, I'm glad you liked the trailer. I did it myself :-)

  6. Excellent promo presentation! I hope it helps bring mega sales.

    1. Thank you for that great complement! Have a great day!


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