Born in northern Wisconsin as the middle child of three girls, I now call Northwest Indiana home, along with my loving husband, two beautiful children and several pets.
|From AJ's blog - the snow is beautiful!|
Kim: I imagine that your home in Northwest Indiana must inspire your writing. Can you share a favorite, sight, sound, and smell of America's midwest?
AJ: Without a doubt, the Indiana sky is a great source of inspiration for me. When I first moved here, after spending ten years living amid Chicago’s skyscrapers, I was awestruck by the sheer vastness of the view. A person can literally see ten miles in every direction. I’ll never forget the day I a storm approached from the West. My husband and I just stood outside, watching the rain come. The darkening thunderheads, the sheets of water, the approaching lightening…watching that storm roll in was a humbling experience. During the summer, if a person stands really still and just listens, the corn whispers, like it’s trying to share the secrets of the universe. And the winters bring incredible beauty. A world covered in crystalline sheets of ice that glimmer like God has scattered diamonds for our amusement.
Kim: I was charmed by your Christmas gift each year:
I can't remember a time when I didn't write. Either poetry, song lyrics or a daily diary entry, jotting down my thoughts has always come naturally to me. Each year I found a blank book waiting beneath the Christmas tree, and after I left home for college, I bought them myself.
Have you bought a blank book for your children ? Do you refer back to your journals for inspiration or ideas?
AJ: Yes and yes. My daughter, Lily Belle, has inherited her mother’s passion for words, and uses them to her full advantage. I figure about two more years and she’ll be able to negotiate her way out of pretty much any troubling circumstance. At just eight years old, she has already written and illustrated two of her own stories. She gets just as excited by the blank page as I do, so she’s gifted a journal every year for Christmas. As for reading through my old entries, something should be said about the unrequited yearnings of a sixteen year old. Nothing is quite as forlorn, so full of angst or deeply emotional. Every once in a while I stumble across the exact emotional element I need for a story. Those journals are a great reference guide for seeking the inner workings of the heart.
Kim: How did you break into publishing?
AJ: I sat down at my husband’s old hand-me-down laptop and wrote a story. Two months later I was done, but had no idea what to do with my manuscript. I spent a week at the library and searched out various publishers, submitting everywhere I could. But not until I finished JEZEBEL'S WISH did I find The Wild Rose Press, and I must say they have been a great house to work with. I love everyone there. Wonderful staff, supportive authors…really, I was truly blessed the day my story was contracted with them.
Kim: Tell us about JEZEBEL'S WISH.
AJ: Set in the wilderness of Northern Wisconsin, Jezebel’s Wish takes place predominately at her mother’s forty-acre horse ranch. Jezzy flees Chicago after a traumatic accident that has left her deeply shaken. Add in a dash of survivor’s guilt, a slice of dark secrets, a wish best left unspoken, and you’ve got the recipe for a great story:
Haunted by nightmares, tormented by guilt, Jezebel came to Redemption Ranch to escape the past—except now she's stuck in the middle of nowhere with no redemption in sight. When her mother pushes her into riding lessons with local veterinarian Matthias Saunders, Jezebel balks. Sure, the doctor is gorgeous, but he’s completely obnoxious and knows how to push every one of her buttons.
Only her deep connection with The Reverend, a gentle stallion who guards her darkest secrets, has her agreeing to spend any more time with Dr. Saunders. Caring for the stallion is the first bright spot in her life in months, and if being around the horse means she has to deal with Matthias Saunders, then so be it. Surely a city girl like her can handle one country vet—even one with disturbing blue eyes. Can't she?
Kim: What's next for AJ Nuest?
AJ: I currently have a contemporary romance under consideration at The Wild Rose Press, and am also finishing the last few chapters of an edgy inspirational entitled, Flicker. After that, I have three more stories planned. A romantic suspense, a fantasy series in three books, and then a bit of a period piece involving a unique love triangle I hope to collaborate on with my mother.
link and purchase it at this link. To learn more about AJ, visit her on the web:
Facebook: Tattered Pages
In honor of AJ's visit, I am giving away an e-copy of JEZEBEL'S WISH to one randomly selected commenter. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about the Midwest, journal writing, and/or horse ranches.
2. This giveaway is open to all readers.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, May 15, 10 pm in Hawaii. I'll announce the winner on Sunday, May 16.
Kim in Hawaii
Horsing around in Hawaii ....