Wednesday, March 2, 2011

meet Deborah Kinnard

Deborah Kinnard started writing at age ten, frustrated because there was no preteen girl with a horse on “Bonanza.” From there she progressed to short stories and dreadful poetry.

In college, she gained two degrees in health care and spent time observing hippies, basketball stars, el-ed majors and other strange species.

While raising two active girls and cherishing a husband, she’s enjoyed a career that has encompassed Spanish translation, volunteer work at a crisis line, years in assorted ERs that don’t resemble the one on TV, and a day job at a big Chicago teaching hospital.

She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, serving as Midwest Zone Director, and confesses to being a loud singer at church. In 2002 and 2003, she sold her first and second novels, Powerline and Oakwood to Treble Heart Books. Angel with a Ray Gun, Angel With a Backhoe and Damages are available from Desert Breeze. Seasons in the Mist was released by Sheaf House in April ’10 and Aloha, My Love, a novella, in December ’10 from Desert Breeze.

When Deb’s not at the computer writing, she keeps busy with the SCA, reading, beadwork, and needlework. She loves to travel and meet new people, some of whom turn up later in her stories. So if you meet a short woman with a light in her eye…

You can find Deb online on Facebook,
at her website www.debkinnard.com,
and her blog www.justtellthestory.blogspot.com


Aloha, My Love
Adam Whitford hopes for True Love with his former best friend. When a church singles' trip to Hawaii goes awry, Delaine Bishop steps up. But is true friendship all she can offer?


Here's an excerpt of Aloha, My Love:

ALOHA, MY LOVE – CHAPTER ONE

"Got news. I’m thinking of going to Hawaii." Adam Whitford twirled the phone cord. His brother didn't call often enough, and he welcomed the distraction from work and all its intrusive thoughts.

"Hawaii? Great," said Noah. "High time you took some downtime and quit giving twenty-four seven to that monkey-boy non-job of yours."

"Bah. You're jealous because you work for The Man while I, myself, own my own business and younger than you besides."

"I don't call a two-bit telemarketing gig like yours a business. And for that matter, why aren't you on the phone signing up for this trip, instead of wasting time telling me about it?"

"My business doesn't do telemarketing. And I'm not sure." Adam ran a hand through his thick dark hair and shivered as the furnace kicked on. He stared out the window at a fresh swirl of snow. Its sleety sound against the windowpane made him feel colder.

Noah asked a good question. Why not jump at the chance? New Hope's singles trip to Oahu and the Big Island would cost, but not prohibitively so. Maybe for some of the other singles money would be an obstacle, but not for Adam. He'd already slipped Pastor Matt a 'scholarship fund' to ensure those without six-figure incomes might come along. "I'm still figuring it out."

"What's to figure out? The tropics in February? This is Chicago, bro. That's a no-brainer even for someone with no brain like you. Just go. Follow Doctor Noah's orders. All work and no play, you know? You haven't taken a real vacation in ages. Might make a human being outta you, but I doubt it."

Adam wiggled his stocking clad toes in the warm air stream from the heat register. Noah had a point. He needed a break. Since heading home to the Chicago area from his ill-starred sojourn in Florida, he'd kept his nose to the grindstone of his business. Oh, he kept up with sports activities, running every blizzard-free morning. He'd taken mini-breaks, skiing in Wisconsin with the guys and ice fishing when the lake froze over. No dating, though. Adam figured his broken non-engagement still burned somewhere inside him. He had little to offer just now and didn't need the stress a new lady might bring with her.

"Okay, okay. Quit nagging. I'll call and sign up as soon as you're done badgering me." Why couldn't he summon up more enthusiasm? Post-rejection doldrums? Vacationing helped with almost any type of blahs, didn't it? "Tell me what you've been doing. How's Sue?"

"Doing better."

Adam's sister-in-law remained edgy and emotional after the miscarriage. He prayed for healing, so Noah's reply was heartening.

He'd lost hope of someday dealing with these domestic issues himself.

Though he liked dating, he counted himself off the market for the time being. He’d been told countless times that he was greatly blessed with boy-next-door good looks and just enough charm. Adam Whitford heard yes, far more often than no. He liked it that way. Occasionally a relationship got out of hand, since women regrettably had a habit of developing expectations. If the M-word began to gleam in a lady's eye, if friends cast sly sidelong looks their way, he extricated himself and moved on. Painting oneself into a matrimonial corner? Maybe other guys, not Adam.

Last year, however, he'd found the lady he'd thought was Miss Right. He'd viewed Stephany Mathison as tailor-made, the ideal partner to share his life and hopefully begin a family. As a prospective bride for an up-and-coming businessman, she had it all. Ginger-haired, shapely, low-key, devout, she had exactly what he admired in a woman. From the first meeting he'd wooed, pestered and even resorted to gentlemanly bullying. To the end, she'd remained obdurate, constantly singing the same theme song. We don't know each other well enough.

He'd learned her dress size and her middle name. How well did you have to know a woman, for pity's sake?

Then Stephany's job promotion transferred her to Jacksonville. Foolishly he'd followed, quitting a lucrative broker's position in Chicago for the tropical unknown.

Through a humid Florida autumn, he'd continued to press for marriage, even bought a ring. Over dinner at an expensive restaurant on the Intracoastal Waterway, with the sunset as a romantic backdrop, Stephany had gently and firmly declined it.

Her reasons, calmly stated, made sense. It upset him that he had to admit the truth. Yeah, he was a bit reticent when it came to his emotions. Well, maybe he withdrew completely at times. Not emotionally available? Okay, that might be true. In the past, he'd occasionally broken off
with women who warmed to him first. That didn't mean he couldn't open up! All it'd take, he felt, was the security of a permanent relationship. Marriage would provide that security. Just because a guy tended to stay detached, didn't make him bad marriage material. Adam didn't see himself as the type who craved only the unavailable woman.

She hadn't been swayed by his assessment of his own nature. To cap it, she'd invoked the name of Delaine Bishop. "You and Delaine were the best of friends, long before I came on the scene. I do care about you." She'd taken his hand as she'd voiced the death knell to Adam's dreams. "But not the way you need. We're not a match. You need someone who'll just open up, all there, nothing held back. Maybe you won't reciprocate till you feel safe. So wait for someone like that, honey, so you can open up. I won't wait and see whether you'll ever give yourself. It's just too much risk. And you know, if you're looking for a wife, maybe you shouldn't look any further than your best friend."

He'd scowled his darkest. "You and I are best friends."

She shook her head. "Not quite. We're friends, but we'll never be as close as you and Delaine were. Take my advice and hightail it back to Chicago. Grovel a little." Stephany's pleasant blue eyes softened in amusement. "If I know anything about women, she'll let you sweat for a while, then forgive you."

His jaw had set stubbornly. "It's you I want to marry, not her."

"I don't think so. You think you do, but you have the right to make a mistake." Stephany had withdrawn her hand with advice to seek the Lord more fervently. "Just not with me. In time, with God's grace, it'll become clear. You're a good man, Adam. You deserve to wait for the right woman. And I deserve to wait, too. In time you'll see it's true."

And no amount of argument could persuade her. She'd stood firm in maintaining they would never be a match, in spite of what he thought he wanted.

They'd parted friends, somehow. When he dropped her back home, she'd gently kissed him. Adam called it good night, but Stephany called it farewell. He'd spent two days ranting in his sterile bachelor's apartment, at times fighting for control. Stephany simply wouldn't marry him. Adam had to re-form his dreams. He'd even let out a couple tentative cuss words. Nowadays they tasted foreign on his tongue.

Ranting wore out real fast. Adam took himself in hand to straighten out. First item on the straightening-out agenda: get home to Oakwood. Gritting his teeth, he'd packed up and driven north through a moonlit early-autumn night. Twenty hours from the humid heat of Jacksonville to the northwest suburbs of Chicago, not counting pit stops and the odd hamburger. On arriving, he'd crashed at Noah's place, accepting his brother's hospitality until he bought a home of his own.

Remembering stung. He fussed with the phone cord. "Bring Sue down here. You probably never take her out. Come Saturday night, and we'll do pizza and a movie."

"As long as you're not cooking the pizza. I don't like my food carbonized."

"Pontino's will take care of that."

"How about I bring a date for you?"

"Uh-uh." Adam repeated the invitation before he hung up and booted his computer. He listened to its wake-up noises while gazing out the window on a snowy January morning. Hawaii. Palm trees. Crystal seas. Chilled fruit juice drinks with little umbrellas in them. Go? Pass?

"Ironic," he told his PC, "to imagine going now, with a bunch of buddies. Whoopie-wow. Wanted to go in October with a bride. Life's weird."

His 'new mail' icon lit up. He ignored it. He always had lots of traffic, since his brokerage service had taken off in Chicago even better than in Jacksonville. Everybody in his old network utilized Parts Prospector, Adam's web site, to find components with such esoteric specifications that only one manufacturer made them. Such was the nature of his prosperity. Skepticism and a healthy business instinct suggested that there was only a couple years' profit in this. Eventually his biggest customers would figure out that they could part-hunt for themselves, using the Web just like he did. No matter, Whitford always rolled with the punches. By then he'd have a new business plan in his head ready to implement.

Too bad he couldn't jump-start his personal life as effortlessly.

The second thing he'd done on returning to Oakwood, Illinois, once he got over being plain old mad, was to take Stephany's advice. He'd looked up Delaine Bishop, in the most innocuous way possible: at church. He'd spotted her on his first Sunday back. She still occupied the third row on the left side of the sanctuary. Funny, she looked thinner. He remembered she'd struggled to control her weight, but had apparently won that fight. She'd grown her hair out, too. It looked really pretty braided like that.

Okay, so she was easier on the eyes these days. What of it? She waved hi from her pew, sitting as usual with Sherril and Ellen, Aubrey and some new folks. Six months in Jacksonville on a fruitless wife hunt made him eager to play catch-up. Brad sat with the singles pack, as readily accepted among the single ladies as Adam himself had once been. Brad seemed glued to Sherril's side. Easy to predict wedding bells in that corner.

His PC hummed to his bidding. So why? Why is it working for Brad and Sherril, and not for Whitford? Why isn't there a nice guy joined at the hip with Aubrey or Ellen? Why hasn't Del found…

He squashed that thought flat. Four months since he'd come home, and he was still waiting for Del to thaw. She offered only cheerful Sunday morning greetings in church. No 'Welcome home, Whit' phone call, no casual drop-in at his new house. He'd rejoined the singles group, but during outings and Bible study she invariably found someone else to hang with. Not Whitford.

So much for Best Friends, Stephany honey. Got a Plan B?

He fought pique. How to figure a woman? Del would barely speak. Eighteen months ago she'd sat on the edge of his sofa and mumbled about falling in love with him. After his clumsy attempt at a gentle letdown, they'd remained friends after a fashion. Of course, he'd just met Stephany then. He hadn't let fun times with Del interfere with the important relationship.

Now it seemed he hadn't salvaged anything from either one. Stephany was happy in Jacksonville with her needlework and her construction contracts. Del looked happy in the New Hope singles group, singing in the choir, working her hospital job, successfully having moved on past a tentative love for Adam Whitford. Apparently also past needing his friendship.

He found nothing personal in his e-mail, merely an order from SunSoft for a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of parts. His commission would be something to party over. Better still, he could fund another Hawaii scholarship or two. Wondering what his customer needed such obscure parts for, Adam punched the specs into the program he called his 'hunter-killer' and set it to search. The furnace kicked back on, having failed to warm the room. He raked both hands through his thick hair and shut his eyes.

Hawaii. He could smell tender sea-scented breezes. In his mind he trod warm white sand, ate pineapple and fresh fish. Swimming and diving and sightseeing. He got out his back issues of Sport Diver to check out likely diving venues. They looked great. He'd take his custom-made mask and his pro-style fins. He could rent the rest of the gear at a local dive shop. He imagined hiking or maybe trekking down into one of the volcanic craters he'd read about. Maybe he and the other guys in the group would make a party of it.

Great plans for the honeymoon he couldn't have.

He snorted. Maybe he was emotionally constipated like Stephany claimed, but he wasn't dumb enough to forego a good time just because he couldn't have it all his own way. Deciding on the spot, Adam snatched up the phone and dialed from memory.

"Hey, Kim, how you doing? Listen -- the Hawaii trip. There's still a slot or two open in the men's guesthouse, right? Great. Mark me down. I'll pay up at Wednesday night service."

As he hung up, he decided Noah was right. Ten days of ocean play and soft trade winds could only do him good. He'd enjoy fellowship with friends. He'd suggest a weenie roast on the beach. He'd spend time alone seeking God in prayer and worship along with the fun. Besides, he'd always dreamed of visiting some west-facing coast and watching the sun set into the ocean. Okay, then. He'd do just that.

Even if he had to do it alone.



You can purchase Aloha, My Love from Amazon.

Deborah is giving away a copy of Aloha, My Love. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

30 comments:

lgm52 said...

Sounds very good..would love to read this book!
lgm52@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would very much like to win this book!
Sunny

Marianne said...

i would love to be entered into the drawing. Thankyou for the interview and the chance to win!
mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

Elaine Cooper said...

Deb;s book sounds like a winner. And we share experience in health care! :-) Please enter me in the drawing!

elainemariecooper@yahoo.com

Deb said...

Hi, all. Thanks for posting a comment!

Just a reminder that ALOHA is an e-book -- so the winner has to do a couple of things: (1) be e-book friendly; (2) let me know what format she'd like to win the book in. I have .doc and .pdf formats I can send you.

Thanks for having me on the blog!

Linda Glaz said...

Had the honor of meeting Deb at the conf two years ago. She was so uplifting and encouraging. Great post for her work. Angel With a Backhoe was delightful.

Teresa Slack said...

Thanks Deb for the info and the excerpt. Love hearing about new books, esp by writers who have become friends on the Midwest loop.

Nike Chillemi said...

The article gives me that lazy tropical feeling I love so much.

JoAnn said...

Oh man, Deborah... your bio left my head spinning. You're so BUSY and accomplished. I'd love to know more about what you did with the Spanish translation.

Best wishes for much success on this release and your others!

Blessings~

Linda said...

I had to chuckle when you were upset about Bonanza not having a pre-teen girl with a horse. I watched that show for years and never gave it a thought. I guess that's the difference between a writer and a reader!

Deb said...

@JoAnn -- I would go from my hospital office to the patient care floors, the OR, the delivery rooms, the ER, anywhere they needed a Spanish translator. This was before they got the phone translator service installed at my hospital. I do miss doing it.

@Linda -- I wouldn't have known then what "testosterone overload" meant, but "Bonanza" had it. My folks and I never missed that show. Mom and I once calculated that the life expectancy for anyone thinking of marrying Ben Cartwright was about a year; just long enough to have the (male) baby.

@Nike -- what are you waiting for? There's a virtual pineapple cooler in this book with your name on it.

Jordan said...

Looks good!

lizzielaura17(at)yahoo(dot)com

Joanne Sher said...

Oh, enter me! Thanks.

joanne(at)joannesher(dot)com

Lisa Lickel said...

I love Deb Kinnard books.If you haven't read her Seasons in the Mist if you're a medieval history lover, you're missing out. And her Angel books are so great - modern day romances despite the funky titles. Really nicely done.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Charity said...

Sounds neat! I would love an eBook copy. Thanks!

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Anonymous said...

Please include me in this giveaway.
sonflower277 at gmail dot com
Karen B.

Jackie S. said...

Please enter me....thanks for the giveaway!!!
jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

Leanne said...

I'd like to read this!

leanniegehrke at hotmail dot com

Kait said...

Please enter me! Thanks!

Kait
momiswayweird(at)gmail(dot)com

Courtney said...

This books sounds great! Great interview! Thanks for the chance to win it!

kcmelone[at]yahoo[dot]com

Trinity Rose said...

Sounds like a fantastic book. Thanks for the giveaway.
Trinity Rose
wandaelaine at gmail dot com

splashesofjoy said...

Thanks for letting us meet Deborah, and the book looks wonderful, would love to read it. Thank you for offering a copy for give away.
Blessings.....Joy Hannabass
ibjoy1953[at]yahoo[dot]com

Meredith said...

The cover's gorgeous, and while I'm in Florida with sunsets and palm trees, I'd love to be in Hawaii watching a sunset!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

windycindy said...

What a beautiful book cover! I would enjoy reading this book...
Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Nia for Jesus said...

Sounds a very good book!

Enter me !

niastrong21(at)gmail(dot)com

Sheila said...

Sounds like a great read, would love to win. Carmen sent me.

Erica said...

Sounds like a great read! :)

Erica :)


zambiaparrot(at)gmail(dot)com

Nia for Jesus said...

would be nice to read a romance about Hawaii.. :)



niastrong21(at)gmail(dot)com

Nia for Jesus said...

I'm a follower.
niastrong21(at)gmail(dot)com

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