Steph: Regina, thanks so much for having me here today. Let me just share a little about me: I was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduating from Central High, I joined the US Army. I spent 11 years in the military, 7 in Germany. I left the Army in 1997 and settled in California, but my favorite football team is still the New England Patriots. I work for LAPD as a 911 dispatcher. I’ve been married for 19 years. I have two boys, Andrew, 8, and Joseph, 4. Little Odd fact: I visited Berlin in 1988, before the Fall of the Wall.
Regina: Thanks for visiting today, Steph. Tell us a little about “A Polish Heart.”
Steph: “A Polish Heart” is a sweet family/inspirational short story which can be found in the Victory Tales Press Spring/Easter anthology. It’s an international contemporary and set in Warsaw, Poland. When architect Darrin Riverton falls for his beautiful Polish interpreter, Sophia, will her faith give him his heart back?
Regina: How does religion play a role in the story?
Steph: Darrin is out of touch with his faith. His work is challenging, but its his family who drains him emotionally with unreasonable expectations that just tear at his person. Darrin is going through the motions with his life. He wants more, but he doesn’t know what that “more” is until he meets Sophia. She’s really the catalyst for him.
Regina: How important is the religious element in the story?
Steph: Religion, any religion, gives us a strong moral and ethical base. Darrin is missing that and his life is empty because of it. By letting God into his life, does he realize how full life can be.
Regina: How important is family in the story?
Steph: Our families are a reflection of our values and morals. Darrin’s family goes through the motions, living up to others expectation and not God’s. Sophia’s family lives their faith, putting it in motion every day. Darrin sees this and realizes this is what he’s missing in his life.
Regina: What draws you to writing international contemporaries?
Steph: I think my time in the military has a strong influence there. Also, I really love author Mona Risk’s international contemporaries. “French Peril” is one of my stories of hers.
Regina: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Steph: Learn everything about your craft. Be patient. Be willing to learn. There’s a a lot. F&W Publications has a great series of books that talks about plot, self-editing, dialogue, characters that I’ve read and referenced time and again.
Regina: What was the last movie you saw?
Steph: The King’s Speech. I loved it! It demonstrates the courage of a man. Colin Firth was amazing in the role of George VI.
Regina: Can you share a little excerpt from your new story?
Steph: Sure. Enjoy!
The Set up: Darrin and Sophia are finishing dinner at a local restaurant.
The waiter came and Darrin gave him his credit card.
“I’d invite you shopping with us, but I’m afraid you have a lot of work to do.”
Darrin frowned. He did, but he hated to miss the opportunity to learn about the Easter basket and go shopping for it.
“Why don’t you join us for mass on Palm Sunday?”
“Really? A mass? I haven’t been in months. I’d need a confession.”
“Do you want me to ask Father William if it would be permissible for me to translate for him? He takes confessions on Saturday afternoons.”
“You can work in the morning. I’ll call you in the afternoon. Do you mind taking the metro again?”
“What if he can’t take your confession?” asked Sofia.
“I’ll still go to mass with you, but I’d like to be able to receive the Eucharist.”
Her smile widened, warming his heart.
“I would like that. I’ll do my best to help get you a confession.”
The waiter returned and Darrin signed the bill. They left. Sofia’s car was parked in front of her house. The car ride back to his hotel was silent. She’d given him a lot to think about. How did he want to live his life? Falsely, trying to meet his parents’ expectations? Or did he want to let his heart breathe? He was twenty-nine. Wasn’t he entitled to let himself follow his own course? He had a good job, a nice apartment – he just had to live the way he wanted. And he had to guard his heart, turn away dishonesty and keep his eyes firmly on the path ahead, as the rest of the verse advised.
Sofia pulled up to the front of the hotel and put the car in park. Darrin turned to face her. The fringes of her lashes cast shadows on her cheeks, softening her expression. He reached out and gently took her hand in his. Her touch sent warm tendrils of desire through him. With the other hand, he cupped her cheek. She closed her eyes, and drew in a sharp breath before opening them again.
Lightly, he rubbed his thumb against her jaw.
“May I kiss you?” His voice was low and husky.
He leaned forward, his lips feather light, touching hers with tantalizing persuasion until she opened up to him. He kept the kiss slow, thoughtful, enjoying the hints of berries and currants that lingered from the malbec. He pulled away gently.
“That was nice,” she whispered.
“Call me tomorrow.”
Darrin opened the door and stepped out. He waved to Sofia and she waved back as she drove away.
Darrin went to his room and revisited his luggage, removing his travel Bible from an inner pocket. He always took it with him, just in case. Opening it up, he went to the book of Proverbs, sat up against the headboard of the bed, and began to read.
GOODIE TIME: Leave a comment and I’ll pick one lucky poster to win an autographed print copy of the anthology tomorrow.
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC6_397PerU
Blurb: When Darrin falls for his beautiful Polish interpreter, will Sophia’s faith give him his heart back?
Create Space: https://www.createspace.com/3579108
Lulu: (PDF) http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/a-springeaster-collection-sweet/15166166
Smashwords: (multiple formats) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/48682
The Anthology is also avail on Amazon as a Print & Ebook for Kindle.
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Thanks so much for visiting today, Stephanie and thanks to our friends at Dreamstime for the beautiful images!