**You can earn up to 6 entries in this giveaway. Read below for details**
Today author Anne Elisabeth Stengl is telling us about her new book, Heartless (Tales of Goldstone Wood series #1). She has offered a copy of her book to one lucky commenter. She will also be stopping by throughout the week to answer your questions! So if you have anything you want to ask her, you can include it in your comment for entering the contest. If you are only leaving a question in the comment and not entering the giveaway please say so.
Welcome, Anne! Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a tea drinker. Not that coffee doesn’t have its place in this world. But tea flows in my veins. I read somewhere that “Tea is the drink of the wise,” so I drink it every day hoping that someday it will take effect. Speaking of . . . (puts the pot on to boil).
I collect cats. The current count is three: Molly Boots, Minerva Louise (aka: The Evil One), and Marmaduke Chuffnell. The first two are rescue kitties, but Duke is a purebred Abyssinian whose beauty is so far beyond that of mere mortals that he must be something close to a demigod.
I teach art classes part-time and paint portraits as well. I also play classical piano and a tiny bit of a jazz! I love art and music, though writing will always be my chief pleasure.
Tell us about your salvation experience.
I was brought up in a Christian home, but made a personal decision to live for Christ when I was nine years old. My faith has always been the most important facet of my life, and I know God has been guiding my steps as I’ve pursued publication of these stories of mine.
Prone to tears, or yelling?
Tears. Though I try not to show it.
Stubborn, or compliant?
Stubbornly compliant, perhaps? I like my own way, but I’m also a people-pleaser. It’s a bizarre combination . . . .
How do you handle disasters/BIG problems? Do you have a funny or interesting story showcasing how you handle them?
Prayer. And laughter! A few years back, when a big disaster came my way, I sat down and wrote a comedy novel, one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever written, and excellent therapy for a bruised heart! Laughter is good for the soul. It always helps to find one’s close friends and have a good laugh about life in general, to look for the funny side. Not that this is a cure-all, but it certainly helps.
I do find that writing is a great salve as well. Heartless was written just after a big disappointment in my life, and it really was a blessing to have something so creative to focus my energies on. Sometimes it is easier to work out my own thoughts and emotions on paper than to work them out in my head.
In your opinion, what is your best trait? What is your worst?
Hmmm, my best trait . . . I suppose it is that I love people. I know that’s a bit nebulous, but it’s true. My natural inclination is to like a person, and I collect friends easily. I try to be a good listener. People always need someone they know they can turn to when they’re in trouble . . . even if that someone can’t do a blessed thing for them, she can at least listen!
My worst trait . . . ha! There are so many! But I actually know this: worry. I am a chronic worrier. I get very anxious about situations I cannot control, and struggle to trust God the way I should at these times. Not a great trait at all and one for which I would appreciate prayer!
Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
Due to the fencing scenes that cropped up in Heartless, I decided last autumn to take up fencing classes. While in class, I happened to notice a remarkably handsome young man (wearing a fine fencer’s jacket with silver buttons . . . very sharp), but decided that he was too handsome to possibly be single and ignored him. At the end of the term, however, we were assigned to fight each other in the tournament. Now this handsome young man is a far superior fencer than yours truly . . . so, I decided to even the score by scaring him a little.
I sidled up to him before the bout and said: “I want your blood! You will not survive this night!”
Then I beat him.
(Insert evil laugh here.)
After that he asked me out, and we are now engaged to be married this September! If that’s not surprising, I don’t know what is.
If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in your books?
I write in a classic omniscient narrative style reminiscent of George MacDonald and C.S. Lewis. My stories are also classic fairy tale in tone and allegories, also very like MacDonald and Lewis. This is my favorite style to read and also my favorite in which to write . . . it creates a flowing, story-telling style that suits the fairy tale genre remarkably well.
The romance is very mild in this Heartless. I would even call it G. Now, there are some scary images and scenarios that are definitely not G rated, but the romance is definitely tame. But sweet and even poignant, I think.
What are you working on now or going to write next?
I just finished the rough draft of the sequel to Heartless which is called Veiled Rose. Once the rewrites are complete on that project, I will move on to the third book in the series, which resolves storylines from both of the previous books. The third book has the working title Moonblood at present.
How can readers get in contact with you?
I have a facebook page that is easy to find, and I sporadically write on a blog. I don’t mind if readers want to contact me at my email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org
Una, smitten instead with a more dashing prince, refuses Aethelbald's offer—and ignores his warnings. Soon the Dragon King himself is in Parumvir, and Una, in giving her heart away unwisely, finds herself in grave danger. Only those courageous enough to risk everything have a hope of fighting off this advancing evil.
Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
I don’t actually envision movie stars as characters in my books. I like to keep even the written descriptions to a minimum, leaving readers to imagine the characters as they will. Characters are shaped through their actions and personalities, and I find that a strong mental image will come to me without a physical description. I get a kick out of asking various readers to describe how they envision my characters. Often it is spot-on to the way I see them . . . sometimes, it is surprisingly different! The important thing is that the characters become real to their readers.
Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter of this book or an excerpt?
**USA residents only, please**
Okay readers, here is your chance to win a copy of Heartless!TO ENTER:
*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win). The comment is mandatory. You will not be entered unless you leave a comment AND your email address.
*If you leave a comment you will be entered unless you specify that you would not like to be entered.
*Here are the ways to get entries:
(First entry) The mandatory comment saying you would like to be entered with your email address.
+1 Become one of my followers OR subscribe to my blog by email.
Read and leave a comment on one or more of my recent book reviews.
+2 Blood Ransom
**You can earn a total of 6 entries if you do all of the above entry options. Make sure to tell me in your entry comment on this post which of the things you did to get extra entries.**
*The contest will run from today (August 6) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (August 12). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 13th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.
Good luck! Thanks for visiting.