I’ll admit, I’m not super crazy about Halloween, but I LOVE October. Cooler temperatures, playoff baseball, football in full swing, beautiful leaves…and some AWESOME new releases to keep me turning pages in front of a fireplace that’s finally getting some use!
This October, I’m thrilled to introduce you to debut novelist Laura Conner Kestner and her awesome historical romance, “Remember Texas.” I’ve not had the privilege of meeting Laura personally, but I’ve seen her name atop the finalist and winner’s lists for practically every contest for unpublished writers. After reading “Remember Texas,” I have no doubt those accolades will continue, this time in the published realm! Here’s the blurb:
Abigail Horton’s life is turned upside down during the last night of a week-long revival when her father—believed dead—shows up in the custody of a Texas Ranger. Abby is thrilled to see him, and equally devastated to learn he’s been living the life of an outlaw.
Texas Ranger Caleb Calhoun stops in Moccasin Rock to let his prisoner, Bob Horton, visit briefly with family before transporting him to Austin for trial. Caleb takes a room at the family’s boarding house, planning to be in and out of the small town by morning. But within hours he’s kissed Abby Horton, made an enemy of her naïve suitor, and let his prisoner escape.
As Caleb searches for the missing outlaw, and Abby struggles to keep the man’s whereabouts a secret, they also battle a growing attraction to each other.
Throw in a Calhoun family mystery, an elderly preacher on a mission, an old flame of Caleb’s, a secretive spinster, a team of surveyors, and Abby’s mother and brother—and you have a compelling story of faith, family and forgiveness.
Howdy, Laura! Welcome to the blog!
Thank you! I’m thrilled to be here!
What was your inspiration for Remember Texas?
For many years I wrote for small-town newspapers. My favorite stories to research were the historical features—the stories of an area’s earliest settlers. Gun-toting preachers who presented the gospel in brush arbors and tabernacles, train-robbing outlaws, once-thriving towns where there’s nothing left but a cemetery. I didn’t want to use those specific stories, of course, (and most of the time there wasn’t much information available, anyway). So I asked myself two questions when I read something interesting: What if? and What Now? Then I let my imagination run wild.
What did God teach you during the writing/publishing of Remember Texas?
That I work better when I keep my eyes on Him. And that prayer, specifically for my writing, makes a huge difference in my daily work.
What does your writing routine look like?
I write every day, but because I’m a panster (I’m trying to retrain myself to be a plotter) and I have a short attention span, that doesn’t always equal usable words. Some of my best dialogue comes when I’m washing dishes. Or driving. I’ve been known to pull over to a safe spot and jot down whole scenes.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I most enjoy spending time with my family. My husband and I have two daughters, two wonderful sons-in-laws, and five grandchildren. No matter what we’re doing, even if it’s just having dinner together, there’s so much laughter. They are truly the lights of my life. I also enjoy photography, researching and writing non-fiction articles about Texas history, watching old black-and-white movies, and doing genealogy research.
If you could have coffee/tea/gratuitous amounts of carbs with any author, living or dead, who would you choose? What would you talk about?
Wow. This is so hard. But I’ll narrow it down to two. First, author Tina Radcliffe, who reaches out to beginning writers with advice, encouragement, prayer and virtual coffee. I’ve not yet had the privilege of meeting Tina in person, but I would love to sit down over a real cup of coffee and just visit. My other choice would be the late Harper Lee. I’m not sure what we would talk about. Not sure it would even matter—I’d just listen to her talk. Perhaps I would ask her to recite some of my favorite lines from To Kill a Mockingbird.
Thanks so much for being here today, Laura. One last question: How can we pray for you?
Please pray that I never confuse my wishes with His will.
I think that’s something we all need prayer for!
As I mentioned earlier, one randomly selected reader will receive a free ebook copy of Laura’s debut, “Remember Texas.” To enter, just leave a comment on the post telling me your favorite thing about October, or your favorite thing you learned from Laura’s interview. Winner will be selected and notified one week from today, October 25, and we’ll post it in the comments!
Laura Conner Kestner is a seventh-generation Texan who spent 25 years in community journalism before deciding to pursue a career in fiction. She’s a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Laura’s won several writing awards, including the 2016 ACFW Genesis Award for contemporary romance, the 2017 Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery/suspense, and the 2016 RWA SARA Emma Merritt award for inspirational romance (for Remember Texas). She was a 2017 RWA GOLDEN HEART® finalist, and a double GOLDEN HEART® finalist in 2018. Laura loves to connect with readers on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.