Monday, October 17, 2016

Interview with Contemporary Romance Author Charissa Stastny

Charissa Stastny hails from Las Vegas, Nevada, but has never pulled a handle of a slot machine and can't shuffle cards to save her life. Her hobbies include reading, writing, painting, spending time outdoors, and savoring good food (especially sushi and chocolate...but not together). She resides in Salem, Utah with her husband, children, and lazy English Cream Retriever (where shuffling isn't required, thank goodness). She has written four books: The Bending Willow Trilogy and Between Hope & the Highway.

Welcome to my blog. Please tell us about your novel, Between Hope & the Highway.

This is a heart-warming redemption story with a forgiveness theme. Here’s the blurb:

Sometimes things get so messed up you have to pick up and get the heck out of Dodge. That’s what Liz Ruthersford does. Memories can be weapons, and hers have become incoming missiles. Fleeing home and her parents’ pity, she seeks refuge on a remote ranch in Montana where no one knows her tragic past. When she meets Bentley and Rawson Law, brothers with wounds of their own, life veers off course from her plans. Embers of hope and love flicker to life, but will Liz let them burn bright enough to warm her heart? Or will she hit the highway and run once again?

Some of your books are suspense/romance, but this one is different. Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

My first three books were contemporary romantic suspense. This one doesn’t have the danger and intrigue those had; it’s a lighter romance set on a Montana ranch with cowboys, horses, cattle, and lots of heart. Part of my inspiration came from this quote I heard on Oprah. It’s by Lily Tomlin: Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past. My characters have some issues they are trying to heal from so their past mistakes don’t define the present.

My husband is a real fan of your works and talks about them quite often. What kind of research did you do for this book?

In comparison to my first three suspense works, I felt this book only required ‘mild’ research. I didn’t feel like I would alert the FBI by my search terms of drug cartels, torture methods, and guns like last time. For this book, I researched the workings of cattle ranchers, horse trainers, different horse breeds, and stuff like that. It was fun.   

That was what grabbed me. I loved the setting for this book and I loved the lightheartedness of the characters. You had me laughing so much. Do you consider your female character to be feisty or meek yet spirited?

Liz Ruthersford is sweet and strong, but very vulnerable. She’s been verbally beaten down all her life by a hen-pecking mom who has never seen eye to eye with her, but she’s still resilient and kind-hearted despite that obstacle. She harbors deep insecurities because of her upbringing though, that she has to overcome over the course of the story.  

I agree, and she sure can be strong and sassy when she wants to get even with Rawsom. Haha. Where can my readers find you online?

My website’s the best place to go. It has all my social media links, as well as Amazon links, blurbs, and trailers for each of my books. If you sign up for my newsletter there, I will send you a free book as a welcome gift.

Thank you for this interview, Charissa. I hope my readers will check out this book. Here is my review for this book below.

I truly enjoyed this story. It’s done in first person and each chapter is from a different person’s viewpoint: Liz, Rawson, and Bentley. Liz is an adorable young woman and I love both her innocence and spunkiness. Bentley is a 12-year-old boy who is physically disabled and has a heart of gold. Rawson is very masculine and has a great sense of humor. He is the complete opposite from Liz. He had me laughing so much, simply because of his love of Star Wars and his flirtatious attitude toward Liz. I loved how he gradually changed to be a better person throughout the story. This book is done in 4 parts and I love how the author slowly develops the love story between Liz and Rawson. It did not take long for Rawson to realize that respect of Liz’s values was the way to win her heart. They were an adorable couple. This story is one that I would read again.” Review written by Linda Weaver Clarke


Charissa said...

Thanks so much for the post and kind review, Linda. I appreciate you helping me spread the word.

Nancy Luebke said...

This looks interesting. Thanks for this opportunity.

wall-to-wall books said...

Sounds like a great story!
I had my eye on this one, but just didn't have time to read it. It will go on my wish list!

jean602 said...

Great review I can't wait to read

jean602 said...

Great review I can't wait to read

Linda Moffitt said...

Thank you for sharing with us on your blog today Linda it looks like a great book and thanks for the chance to win my email iamabho (@) gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed the interview and sounds like an entertaining book that I'd love to win. My email

Anonymous said...

This sounds so good - I can't wait to travel to this ranch and meet these characters. I have a copy so no need to throw my name in for the contest.

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a winner!

Sonja said...

This sounds really nice. I'd love to win it! sonja dot

Library Lady said...

What a great cover!
My granddaughter is a cowgirl at heart and loves to read.
If I win, she will be the recipient of this book.
Janet E.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations to LiveLaughRV. You are the winner of this wonderful book. I know you'll enjoy it.