INTERVIEWER: Welcome, readers. This is Mae I. Askyou, and I'm sitting here with Ryan Ashton, hunky star of the time-travel romance trilogy, Moonseed. What a pleasure to meet you, Ryan.
RYAN: Same here, Mae. Thanks for having me.
INTERVIEWER: I must say, you are every bit as handsome as the story describes you. I confess, it's a little distracting. (Interviewer laughs lightly.) So, Ryan, you start out married to one woman and then fall in love with the woman who takes her place. What was that like for you?
RYAN: My life was in order. I thought I knew what I wanted, where I was going. I'd married a woman who fit that future. Victoria was beautiful, poised. Her family had rich friends who could help me in my architectural business. Call me selfish because that's exactly what I was. Aggressive. Self-absorbed. Then she came along and changed everything.
INTERVIEWER: Katherine, you mean.
RYAN: Yeah. I fell in love—okay, in lust—with Victoria's beauty, but it was Katherine who brought her beauty to life, as if she had been meant for Victoria's body all along. Like Fate had somehow righted itself.
INTERVIEWER: But the two women have to change back at the end of the year. Right?
RYAN: A lot can happen in a year, Mae. Or in a novel.
INTERVIEWER: I suppose you can't give our readers a sneak preview of how the story resolves itself? No? Well, okay, then let's talk more about you. Where did you grow up?
INTERVIEWER: California, where?
RYAN: A backwater place. It's not important. (He shifts in his seat.)
INTERVIEWER: Any brothers or sisters?
RYAN: One brother. We've lost touch.
INTERVIEWER: I see. Okay. I understand you were married once before and have a daughter.
RYAN: Stephanie. (His face brightens.) Yeah, she's great. She ice skates. Growing up way too fast.
INTERVIEWER: And your first wife?
RYAN: Not much there, Mae. We met at Berkeley, had some classes together. We eloped against the advice of everyone who knew us, all pumped up on hormones and ambition. I can't say Gina was a mistake because it gave me Stephanie.
INTERVIEWER: Did you always want to be an architect?
RYAN: Believe it or not, I always did. I knew it when I was a kid drawing sketches on the back of my homework. It's not only the creating but the orderliness of design that appeals to me. Renovating someone's house brings focus and beauty out of confusion. It restores promise. (He suddenly smiles, and my interviewer's heart flips in my chest.) I love the idea of building a structure where people can live out their dreams, whether it's a company or a family. Gina never understood that. She resented any passion that didn't have herself at the center.
INTERVIEWER: What about Victoria? Did she understand your passion for your work?
RYAN: Hard to say with her. Victoria kept so much to herself. (He shrugs.) To be honest, I didn't give her much to hold onto. We've both had our secrets.
INTERVIEWER: Secrets about your past?
RYAN: Yeah. (He sits forward and drops his hands between his knees.) See, that's the trouble with being in a novel. All the world gets to know your secrets. (He grins.)
INTERVIEWER: You've mentioned your need for order several times. Did that need grow out of this secret past you're hinting at?
RYAN: Aw, Mae, that would be telling. (His grin softens.) It's all there in the story. You should read it.
INTERVIEWER: That would be the Moonseed trilogy. Book 1, Bridge to the Past, and Book 2, Borrowed Promises, are available now. Book 3, Into the Mist, will be released next year.
RYAN: Let me know what you think of them.
INTERVIEWER: I will, Ryan. In fact, I could call you, maybe have coffee … well, perhaps not. Umm, well anyway, thanks for stopping by, Ryan. I've enjoyed our conversation.
RYAN: A pleasure, Mae.
Genre: paranormal romance
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: May 31, 2014
Number of pages: 249 pages
Word Count: 73,300 (approx.)
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee/For the Muse Designs
On the night of the new spring moon, a near-fatal accident propelled Victoria Reeves-Ashton over a century back in time to awaken in the body of Katherine Kamarov.
Now, after three months of pretending to be Katherine and laboring to repair relationships damaged by Katherine's brash and selfish personality, quiet and gentle Victoria finds that her heart is putting down roots in Katherine's world, in her family relationships, and especially in a deepening friendship with Katherine's winsome cousin Michael.
Hidden letters reveal the story of other moonseed-time travelers like herself-and Victoria realizes that she and Katherine will likely be returned to their own times the following spring. Tension mounts when a rich and handsome suitor applies to marry her, and Victoria must choose whether to accept him for Katherine's sake or to follow her own heart.
Ryan Ashton, the husband Victoria left behind, is baffled by the woman his wife has suddenly become. Unwilling to believe her story about an exchange in time, Ryan struggles to understand the stark transformation of his timid, remote wife into a sexually aggressive and captivating siren. Against his better judgment, he falls hard for this new woman who is a perplexing mixture of cruelty, sensuality, and tenderness, a woman who he suspects has the power to either break his heart or heal the aching loneliness he has lived with all his life.
I bit my lip, wanting to avoid any subject that could ruin the easy camaraderie of our afternoons together. Michael had been friendly and funny, teasing me gently, treating me with the easy affection of an older brother. Once or twice I'd caught him watching me with a fierce intentness that made my heart skip. But then he'd grin or offer a quip that made us both laugh, and the uncomfortable moment would pass.
I enjoyed the lightness of our friendship, grateful for the reprieve. In the rose garden at Summerwood and later on the trip to San Francisco, I had felt the slow but persistent budding of a new feeling that both thrilled and frightened me. The lightest touch of Michael's hand pricked up hairs along my skin like electricity; his boyish grin twisted a slow, sweet pain deep into my body. His clean, male scent in close proximity could stun me with unexpected waves of need, often forcing me to look away so he wouldn't see the flame in my eyes.
I couldn't allow Michael to guess where my heart was taking me—because of Raymond.
Although many things were unclear to me, one fact seemed certain—Katherine must marry Raymond Delacroix and have at least one child with him. If I gave in to my new feelings for Michael, and if I were cruel enough to let him see them, then I risked both hurting him and ruining Katherine's chances with Raymond when she came back to her own time.
And Katherine would come back. I was convinced of it, all my desperate wishes to the contrary. She would marry Raymond, give birth to Elise, and secure a future that would eventually lead to her daughter painting a picture of Katherine and me at the bridge over Two Trees Creek. By the same token, I would return to life as a lingerie model and a cold marriage with Ryan Ashton. Ryan.
"What?" Michael's voice made me jump and turn my head.
"You said 'Ryan' again."
Michael had removed his glasses, and he blinked at me from only a foot away. God, he has beautiful eyes, I thought. Soft gray-green depths that held me breathless, fighting a slow, aching pull to be in his arms.
"He's…nobody," I said.
Michael was studying me, his eyes so solemn and searching that I couldn't look away. He didn't speak, but in that moment my heart yearned toward him, and he saw it. His expression changed. His gaze moved slowly from my eyes to my mouth.
I turned my face away and shut my eyes over a sudden sting of tears.
"Kat?" he said softly.
His voice held a new, cautious note of intimacy. A moment later his thumb brushed my wet cheek, and the tenderness of his touch wrenched a low cry from me. I pushed his hand away and struggled to sit upright.
"Don't touch me!" Pain made my voice sharp. "You can't touch me, Michael!"
But his hand was already under my elbow, helping me to sit. He pushed a handkerchief into my hand.
"Here. Take it." He sounded bewildered and hurt. "Seems you'd rather do the job yourself."
He watched me wipe my eyes and blow my nose with his handkerchief. I couldn't look at him, and after a moment he reached for his glasses and slipped them on.
In a tight voice he asked, "Do you still want to visit Union Square?"
I pressed the soggy handkerchief to my lips and nodded.
Michael pushed himself to his feet and thrust out a hand to help me up. We folded the blanket between us, careful not to touch each other's fingers, and he picked up the hamper. As we crossed the grass in uneasy silence, a fresh roll of tears made me reach into my handbag for a clean handkerchief. A flash of copper tumbled into the grass.
I stopped quickly, but Michael was quicker. He scooped up the coin, examined it briefly, and gave it back to me.
"You still carrying that thing around?"
I looked up at him, my handkerchief arrested halfway to my face. "My coin? What do you know about my coin?"
He squinted at me and frowned. "You're kidding, right? I was with you when you paid a nickel for that worthless thing at the county fair. You said it was good luck, and you carried it around in your pocket for years." He stopped at my look. "What is it?"
"Michael, are you certain this is the same coin?"
I handed it back to him. His gaze lingered on my face, puzzled, before he examined the coin. He weighed it briefly on his palm, flipped it over, and gave it back to me.
"Of course I'm certain." He pointed his finger at the familiar nick in the rim. "There's where the wagon wheel ran over it, and you were so furious because you thought the magic was ruined." He screwed up his eyes against the sun and studied me. "What's the matter with you, Kat? You're looking at me like I've got two heads."
I shook my head in dazed wonder, suspended once again in that universe where Katherine's world and mine overlapped and where it made perfect sense that her lucky coin should have somehow come to me—twice.
About the Author:
Judith Ingram weaves together her love of romance and her training as a counselor to create stories and characters for her novels. She also writes Christian nonfiction books and enjoys speaking to groups on a variety of inspirational topics. She lives with her husband in the San Francisco East Bay and makes frequent trips to California's beautiful Sonoma County, where most of her fiction characters reside. She confesses a love for chocolate, cheesecake, romantic suspense novels, and all things feline.
Website, blog & free weekly devotional: http://JudithIngram.com
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