Today I’m excited to welcome author Kristen Terrette as she shares about her latest release, Safe Harbor.
Title: Safe Harbor, Moanna Island Book One
Kristen Terrette has been an avid reader since childhood, a self-confessed book nerd, and always had characters running through her mind- completely made up of course. She went back to school years ago to obtain a Master’s degree in Theological Studies because she felt God’s tug towards ministry, but she didn’t know then what God had in mind. After five years on staff at her church, she followed God’s leading to a different kind of ministry- one with words, love, pain, and real-life characters. She now stays at home during the day while the house is quiet, writing stories she hopes will bring readers to a stronger understanding of how God works and His love for sinners like us. She always has contemporary romance characters and plots running through her mind and considers romance her first love…but she has a few literary and women’s fiction novels up her sleeve as well. Both genres fight for time occupying her mind.
Author Interview Questions:
- What do you enjoy doing for relaxation?
Writing. Truly writing is something that relaxes me. I believe it’s because, for me, writing is a joint effort between me and Jesus. Most of the time I feel like my brain is running a million miles a minute, and I always have something “to do”– you know- the laundry, dishes, floors, dinner, lunch, drop kids off at practices, pick kids up at practices, make a grocery store run, fold the laundry… literally it seems the “to-do” lists go on forever, right? So sitting down to write, to be still and quiet, relaxes me. I enjoy getting lost in a scene. I enjoy brainstorming about what could and should happen with my characters. I enjoy knowing where the scene will end, but not knowing how the characters will get there, and allowing God to guide their words and actions.
- What can your readers expect from you next?
The second book in my Christian Contemporary Romance series, comes out July 11th. The setting in the series, Moanna Island (a fictional island off the coast of Georgia, near Savannah), remains the same. Therefore, the book still has a small town feel, but a different hero and heroine, though the main characters from the first book make a few appearances! I think that’s the fun part about a series. We get to show the future of the previous characters, who the readers have grown to love, while at the same time introducing a whole new love story.
My love stories are not just between the hero and heroine either, but also a love story between the characters and Jesus. The salvation story of anyone is beautiful to watch, and it brings me joy to weave it all together. The second book holds a special place in my heart because Chad, my hero, comes a long way. He is not raised in a Christian home, but is drawn to the joy and peacefulness he finds in Ryan (my heroine- I know- she has a funky name!). We watch him realize the reason she is joyful through the struggles of life is because of Jesus. It’s amazing to read such a profound “come to Jesus” moment!
- What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
I’m still a newbie when it comes to all things writing related, but I will say this whole process has helped me realize how important book reviews are to authors. I’m the first to admit I never left reviews before I began to pursue writing. My Kindle would prompt me to say something, and I’d “x” right of it without a second thought, even when it was an author I loved! No one has time for that, right? But I see now how important those reviews can be for a writer’s career. Even reviews that are less than stellar help a writer out when it comes to their reach and book promotion. I will ALWAYS leave a review now for a book I read, and I hope my readers feel spurred on to do the same for me.
First page of Safe Harbor
After seven hours, we’d crossed the bridge onto Moanna Island. I wanted to celebrate that our car ride was almost over, hoping it would coerce my mind into believing the move was a good idea. A quick check in my rearview mirror told me Willow was still asleep in her car seat, so the war inside my head would rage on.
I reached to turn the radio station, habitually clicking from one station to the next. My brain registered the guitar rift of my favorite jam before my fingers did, and I scrambled to turn it back. My fingers itching to turn it up as the strum of the bass thumped with my heart.
I whispered along to the song as it weaved words of second chances and choices through the speakers. But this time they only made me want to turn the car around.
Get it together Eva. “You can’t change your mind now. We’re here.”
I slowed as we entered Ocean Oaks; the gated community took up the whole southern tip of the island. Our community now, since Mom had bought a house here. The guard saw the owner’s decal I’d already stuck on the bottom left corner of my windshield, and waved me through. According to the information we were given, and from what I remembered as a child, the gate stayed open during the day and closed every night between 9:30pm-8:00am. During those late and early hours, everyone had to stop and check in with the guard. The gated community gave me some level of security.
The childhood memories of vacationing here came flooding in as I drove further into the heart of Ocean Oaks, helping to ease my mind some. It looked exactly how I remembered, with its main drag branching off to quaint streets lined with homes. I knew the streets to the left dead-ended at the beach, and the streets to the right dead-ended at the bay. There were also two incredibly fancy golf courses, and even a little marina with shops and restaurants, and a bigger harbor with a lighthouse. Over half of the community residents were retirees, and Dad would have been one of them if the heart attack hadn’t taken him. Mom wouldn’t have seen him any more than she did while he was working. Golfing would have become his day job.
The ringer on my phone went off and I knew it was Mom before I looked. I sang along softly to one more line in my song before I answered.
“Hey, Mom, it’s coming up. It should be the next street on the left.” The GPS was speaking to me as I spoke to Mom. I put my cell phone in the crook of my neck, so I could maneuver the traffic circle.