Only a few weeks of Summer left….sad! But I am looking forward to the fall, and the release of my first novel, Callum’s Compass! Today’s guest for the Summer Spotlight Series is author Kristen Terrette.
Kristen has been an elementary school teacher, real estate agent, stay-at-home mom, and a small business owner, proving she has eclectic tastes even in her career choices. But her latest day job has nestled inside her heart and won’t let go. She has been typing the stories that play out in her head for a couple years now. The idea these stories are a ministry God can use is still new to her, though the typical ministry life is not. She has a Master’s degree in Theological Studies and was on staff at her church for over five years (yet another career), but her staff and leadership responsibilities did not stop there. She currently serves on the Ladies Leadership team and Prayer team, and she has been lucky enough to mentor many youth over the past ten years. With the support of her husband and two children, she currently stays at home and sits at her computer making up fantasy places and characters, allowing God to take the story where He needs it to go. This is her favorite creative outlet, though she does enjoy pinning thousands of things on Pinterest she’ll never get around to actually doing.
The second book in her Moanna Island series, Time and Tide, is available on Amazon now.
Addictions destroy lives. Chad Cusher’s own dependencies change everything he thought he knew about his future.
After almost killing himself and someone else, Chad’s legal problems, addiction recovery therapy, and physical therapy if he ever wants to walk normally again, are a part of his everyday life. He believes there is no chance at true happiness, certainly not love, and only hopes to become a better man than he was, to find redemption somehow.
Chad moves to Moanna Island, a small island close to Savannah off the Atlantic coast, to begin a job with his family’s real estate empire, a job he was supposed to have taken years ago.
Free-spirited Ryan Mason is a Moanna local girl from a blue-collar family. She’s dropped her own dreams to help her father care for her schizophrenic brother.
Their paths first cross at a Rehabilitation Center where Chad attends therapy and Ryan’s brother lives. Chad can’t believe his luck when he finds her on Moanna Island, forty-five minutes away from the Center, only days later.
Chad is drawn to Ryan’s joy, even through the pain and grief life tries to throw her way. His lonely void begins to dissipate with every island adventure spent with her. He soon finds out what her secret is. But is it possible to start over and be restored? Even so, can Ryan accept Chad’s horrible, even criminal past? Can their crazy worlds ever fit together once she finds out he is the sole heir to the Cusher Empire?
Tell us a bit about your books please!
The books I have out now are the first two in my Moanna Island series. Though the previous characters make appearances in each book, the setting in the book is what remains the same and makes it a series. Moanna island a fictional location resembling Hilton Head Island off the coast of South Carolina. It’s smaller but, like Hilton Head, is known as a low country island because of the large trees that expand over the roads and homes which are draped with Spanish moss. The beach has extreme high and low tides, which fishermen love. It is a perfect example of the beauty in God’s creation.
The characters in my series have all made mistakes or are living a fractured and painful life stemming from their past tragedies or heartbreaks. Some have already found Jesus as the One who saves them from their brokenness, and those characters serve as God’s instruments to help Him bring about healing and change.
Do you have a favorite author you like to read? Or a favorite book of all time? If so, who or what or both?
I love any of Susan May Warren or Becky Wade’s stories- so I’d have to say they are my favorite authors. But my favorite book… man, that’s tough! I will always love Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and Hidden Places by Lynn Austin- which is truly astonishing because I am mostly drawn to contemporary romance stories, not historicals, but those both have stuck with me over the years and are major reasons I began reading Christian and inspirational fiction.
If you could tell your readers one thing about you they don’t already know, what would it be?
I have a hard time living a clutter-free life. When I was working in ministry and had office hours, my desk was usually horrendous. Of course, I always knew where everything was (that’s what we all say). I had hopes when I transitioned to writing from my home office, I’d have a clean desk. It would have color-coordinated notebooks, a desktop calendar, and a coffee mug next to my computer- free of all the stacks of papers, books, and who knows what else. But I failed miserably. I barely have room for my computer some days! Parts of my house are like this too even though I feel like I am always trying to remove the clutter from my life. I have heard creative people are known to be clutter-y, so…I’m hoping it makes me a better writer. J
What’s next for you writing-wise?
I’m a third of the way through the book three in my Moanna Island series. It’s about a woman who recently signed a deal for a reality TV show focusing on her restoration of old homes. She only has one shot to make the show a success and knows she needs an incredible house to make it happen. She sets her sights on one of the first homes built on Moanna. They start the renovation and the very first day she meets the boy next door, who happens to be a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. He’s on leave because of a family tragedy that he can’t shake free from. Can they both break free from their fears and move forward? Maybe find love even though they aren’t looking for it?
I am also querying a young adult historical manuscript that I’m very excited about. I am hoping it will get into readers’ hands one day!
Book three sounds fun and exciting too! I hope you all will check out Kristen’s books on Amazon! You can also find her here:
Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter by August 13th to receive a bonus from Kristen–a chapter 6 excerpt from Time and Tide.