Guest Blog: Teresa Smyser: Capture A Heart of Stone Free Book to WINNER: Rebecca Altman
Updated: Nov 19
Dear Blog Friends,
Please join me in welcoming Teresa Smyser, another Christian Fiction writer...
Hi everyone, I’m Teresa Smyser. Born and raised in Kentucky, I now live in Alabama with my Godly warrior husband, Keith. I’m a wife, a mother, an accountant, a super-fun Mimi, a cat-lover, and a Bible-study teacher. When I’m not writing, you’ll find me reading, traveling to historical sites with my husband, or loving on my grandbabies. I recently purchased a five-foot tall, wooden Doll House for my granddaughters (and me) to play with at our home. Assembly has been challenging. One thing people say about me is that I’m friendly and easy to talk to. When I show an interest in a person, it’s not long before they open up and share their heart. I find out if they have any prayer requests for me to lift to the Lord, and then I pray for them on the spot if possible. Doing this blesses me and hopefully them as well.
Tell us about your book—title and back cover blurb.
When you open one of my books, you will find thrilling adventures, unexpected danger, and captivating romance. Swept back in time where good overcomes evil and chivalrous heroes abound, you’ll finish the read with a contented sigh.
CAPTURE A HEART OF STONE, Warrior Bride Series Book 3, was a joy to write.
A mercenary . . . A desperate heir . . . A hard choice . . . As William McKinnon hunts for his father’s kidnappers, unexpected events hurl him down a treacherous path fraught with danger and deceit. With a hardened heart, he runs toward revenge.
After her father’s murder, Philippa Emma Gail Fairwick is the sole heir to his estate. Faced with a damaged castle and a starving people, she exposes her secret defense in order to obtain the help she requires.
Will this unlikely pair set aside their own desires to embrace God’s best for them? Follow William and Pippa as they traverse a twisted path to discover how self-sacrifice and obedience brings blessings.
Share one thing that you found difficult or challenging about writing this book.
As I map out each novel in my mind, I want to incorporate true facts and actual landmarks in the area where the story takes place. At that point, my research becomes fascinating as I weave fact with fiction. With this particular plot, I needed an obscure place where wicked men could hide while plotting their evil deeds. With great diligence, I located Coldingham Shore. Later in the 19th century, it was renamed St Abbs in honor of the legend of Aebba by a local laird, Mr. Andrew Usher.
Aebba was a 7th century abbess of a nunnery founded on Kirk Hill, just north of the village of Coldingham. Legend says Aebba was a daughter of King AEhelfrith of Bernicia, the first leader of a unified Northumbrian kingdom. When her father was killed, she fled north into the Scottish kingdom of Dalriada, where she converted to Christianity.
Decades later her brothers re-established themselves on the Northumbrian throne, and she was free to found a monastery on the clifftop known now as Kirk Hill. This abbey housed both monks and nuns for about 40 years. The monastery is thought to have been destroyed by fire in 683 A.D. I intentionally left the date out of my story. The ruins remaining after the 683 fire would have been insufficient to accomplish what I needed for my story in the year 1627.
Share an excerpt?
Enjoy a short excerpt from CAPTURE A HEART OF STONE.
Trying to maneuver the stairs in a dress caused Pippa trepidation. Awkward came to mind several times during her quest. Each foot was placed with caution as she held her dress above her ankles—unladylike, but she cared not. As she rounded the last curve in her path, a great commotion erupted in the grand hall. “Now what?” she muttered.
Henry met her at the foot of the stairs. “M’ lady, there are travelers requesting entrance for the night.”
Her back stiffened. “Who’s doing the asking?”
“Lady Hamilton and her escort.”
“Matilda Hamilton or her mother?” she asked in a hushed voice.
Henry looked uncomfortable. “Lady Matilda Hamilton.”
“Heaven preserve me. Can this day get any worse?” Her agitation filled the air. “How many are in her party?”
“At first glance, I wager twenty-five or so. I suggest we tell the majority of her men to camp outside our gates and house the rest.”
Not only did her ribs ache, now her head joined in the game—the soothing bath forgotten. With eyes closed, she pinched the bridge of her nose. She looked up and sighed. “Allow her maids and two guards to enter. Send Gwendolyn to me at once.”
Pippa shook her head as she watched Henry hustle away. She looked upward. “Help me,” she whispered. When her face tilted down, there stood William with arms behind his back.
“I couldn’t help but overhear. More guests to add to your home this night?”
“Yes. You heard correctly. Is eavesdropping one of your specialties?”
He offered the crook of his arm and ignored her question. “Allow me to escort you to the dining room. The fare is quite tasty. A bit of meat on your bones would serve you well.”
She placed her hand through his arm. “Are you always rude to your host?”
He shrugged. “Truth. Nothing but truth.”
All eyes latched onto the pair as they entered the grand hall. Clinking of bowls and mugs came to a quiet end as they stared at the two shuffling toward the dais.
William leaned next to her ear. “If our entrance causes such a stir, it would appear your people lack amusement.”
She smiled sweetly. “No, your reputation precedes you. They’re waiting to see if I stick one of my knives in you before we reach our destination.”
His hand covered his heart. “You wound me, m’ lady.”
“Truth. Nothing but truth.”
Ask the blog reader a quirky question or two?
As we near the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, what is one of the wildest or funniest things you’ve ever done with your family?
The one that comes to my mind is our whitewater rafting trip. It was one of our last family trips before our oldest got married. A guide took the four of us, my husband, my son, my daughter, and me toward the dangerous churning waters. We were to hold tight to our paddles lest we get injured. When the raft kept swirling around in the deadly whirlpool, our daughter tipped toward the edge of the raft. I feared she might fall out and be pulled under by the swift current. So, as any mother might do, I reached for her arm to pull her toward the center of the raft. At the release of my paddle, the grip at the end of the shaft smacked my face and knocked me crazy. Thankfully, I survived with nothing more than a huge black eye. I’ve never gone whitewater rafting again!
As we think about Christmas, what is your favorite family tradition? Funny or Serious.
Ever since Keith and I married, we’ve held an advent celebration in our home at Christmas. We light the appropriate candles, read the scriptures, and sing Christmas songs. It’s the one time all the kids and grandkids are quiet and focused on Christ. It’s a sweet time.
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