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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Author Interview with Alisha Guenzel

Today, we have a special guest with us. My good friend Alisha Guenzel is here. She's a romance author and she'll be talking about her latest release Absarokee Whispers.

Alisha, thank you so much for being here and congratulations on the release of Absarokee Whispers. If you could tell us about the book and the inspiration behind it?

A: Thank you for having me Carol. I always love coming to your blog. Absarokee Whispers was actually a three book series that I turned into one book. But what really inspired it was a very short story called A Cowboy’s Tango.  I wrote it when I was eight. And thought two pages about a man named Jason and a woman by the name of Haley would be a wonderful story.

But as you know I’ve been a published author for three years now and I have learned a lot. And so when I decided to make one character into three (Jason, Jesse, and Jude) something just didn’t feel right. So I took some time to ponder over it. Why was Jason so territorial over Jonas? Why was Jesse so different? And most importantly. Why did Jude feel the need to prove himself?

Now I won’t give the whole story away. But I will tell you it’s not just a love story. It’s a rich family story. About loyalty and what one family does to keep their loyalty to their father (Jonas McGregor) even after they find out he’s not as perfect as they thought he was.

In the story Jason, Jesse, and Jude find their true loves in three special women. But it takes time and patience and a little faith to give them their happy ending. If you love cowboys,  romance, and horses Absarokee Whispers (Book 1 of the Whispers series) is for you.

The McGregors are the focus of Absarokee Whispers, what makes this family special?

A: The McGregors are the heart of the Whisper series and in book 1 you meet all of them. Jonas, Anna, Jason, Jesse, and Jude. What makes them so special is their morality. They live by the code of ‘Yes, ma’am and No sir’. They strive to keep the past alive as they work their horse ranch. Jonas was raised as a traditional cowboy who believed in the buy, train, and sell moto. They are a family of value even in a world that is surrounded by technology. As you know there are scenes that take your breath away of what the McGregor brothers do to keep their horse ranch going. And the magic of that is what makes them special.

Jason, Jesse, and Jude are the brothers in the book and each one has a different personality and role in the family. Can you  explain the importance of their roles?

A: Hm, let’s see Jason is the mold cut from Jonas. He wants to be just like his father. He’s the true horse whisperer. He was raised to see inside a horse’s soul and he takes his job very seriously. He is Jonas’ right hand when it comes to doing the chores right and running the ranch.

Jesse on the other hand is anything but country. He is completely different from his brothers. Polo shirts and khaki’s not wanting to get dirty. But he will if he has to. Because all though he feels like he’s an outsider without the ‘crazy horse gene’ he takes being a McGregor very seriously. As you know Jason jokes with him about being adopted which gives Jesse a drive to prove he is a McGregor at heart no matter how he looks.

Jude, is the youngest. And as many children that are born last they get special treatment. At least that’s how Jason and Jesse see it. Since they pull most of the responsibility of the ranch on their shoulders. Until Jonas becomes ill. And Jude tries to take over everything.

In the story, the McGregor brothers find love. What can you tell us about these women and what attracts the brothers to them?

A: Oh, the women of the Absarokee Whispers. (Sighs) They are the true heroines of the book. Even thebrothers mother Anna has a part in what unfolds. Again I don’t’ want to give any spoilers. So back to the main question. The women Jason, Jesse, and Jude lose their hearts to. Haley, Charlotte, and Isabelle. 

Haley’s lost soul attracts Jason at first. The fact that she was snippy and had the courage to fight with him fed into that attraction. Out of all the women I would have to say Haley is my favorite. Because as hard as Jason pushes her away in his time of need she’s right there for him. Never losing faith that he will see what is in front of his face. Because it takes a heart breaking event to open his eyes to their love.

Charlotte is also a prize though. When she meet’s Jesse he is very forward and she tells him the truth from the start. Never lying or doing anything she doesn’t want to. Although she knows she’s falling for him she’s cautious. What really attracts him to her though is how despite her past she is happy. And she knows how to see the real him. Not the side kick or Carrot Top. But Jesse McGregor the man. Even in book 2 Whispers of the Heart. She is his rock. 

As far as Isabelle, well she’s the heart of Jude. She brings him to God and the fact that she deals with death every day and still smiles attracts him to her. And when he is pig headed she doesn’t put up with it. You also see more of that in book 2.

The women Carol, are just as important as the brothers. Because without their love of these young men. They wouldn’t survive what they endure. Change, life, and loss. Each woman is their rock they need when Jonas, the family rock that they’ve had for most of their life leaves. Haley is the heart, Charlotte the strength and Isabelle brings the hope to the story. And despite the outcome the McGregor family will leave a legacy that Jonas would be proud of. 

There are a couple of emotional moments in the story; did you find yourself tearing up as you wrote the scenes?

A: That’s a tough one Carol. The whole story touched me one way or the other. But as far as tearing up, I had a difficult time with the outcome of the loss of Jonas. He was a hard man but deep down all he wanted was love. And he found it when it was too late. He had a wonderful family, but never had the chance to tell them or show them. So I would have to say when Jonas took his last breath I was balling. 

Is there a character in Absarokee Whispers you can relate to the most?

A: I have to say Carol, these are some great questions. But I can’t choose just one. They are all a part of me. Jason (My need to do things right), Haley (My kind heart of needing to be the shoulder my kids need to cry on when they need it). Jesse (My need to fit in), Charlotte (My strength I found after my first husband died). Jude, (my wakeup call that what is important) and Isabelle (My faith). As far as Jonas and Anna well they are my regrets. Of the things I can’t change.

Absarokee Whispers is a fictional book about love, loyalty, and family. But what makes the characters so real are my emotions. I write off of them. And to say one character touches me more or even relate to would be to put a limit on them. Because they are all part of me. I think that is why I always find it hard to let go.

For example. I created Absarokee Whispers as a standalone. But to go into the next question. Absarokee Whispers is only the beginning.

Have we seen the last of The McGregors or do you have more planned for the family?

A: The McGregor family has much more to tell. There will be at least 8 books in the Whispers Series. Each one full of romance and conflict. But always having Jonas’ Legacy to live on.

Aside from Absarokee Whispers, what other projects do you have in the works?

A: Well as of right now I am multi-tasking. I am working on Book 2: Whispers of the Heart. That is told mainly by Jason and Haley’s daughter Mary Beth (Beth) McGregor. We get to see inside the life of what happened with Jason after his father’s death. And see how the next generation evolves and helps their fathers deal with their past.

But I’m also working on a story that is a standalone called Behind Skyler’s Eyes. It’s a soft romance that has to do with a troubled youth that has Autism and feels that no one understands him. It takes his mother and the help of his family (Grandparents/Aunt and Uncle). But it’s also a story of finding love after being scorned. Harper, Skyler’s mom thinks she must do everything on her own until she meets Trent an old friend from high school. 

Behind Skyler’s Eyes. Is a spinoff of my debut book Unspoken Dreams. It was pulled off the shelf three years ago and after reading it, I realized the story wasn’t finished. I also plan to get Book 3 of The Whispers Series,The Whisper in Edward started. 

Last question, if Absarokee Whispers was made into a movie, who would you cast in the roles?

A: (Laughs) That would be wonderful if it was. Let’s see who would make the perfect cast for Absarokee Whispers?
Jonas McGregor: Tom Selleck
Ann McGregor: Melissa Gilbert
Jason McGregor: Daniel Lissing
Haley Sheridan: Kathrine Heigl
Lindsey Sheridan: Sandra Bullock
Edward Sheridan: Christopher Hemsworth (Make-up added of course. Since he’s really not the right age)
Marcus McGregor (Jonas’ Brother): Damin Lewis
Jesse McGregor: Liam Hemsworth
Charlotte Duffy: Julianne Hough
Jude McGregor: Martin Cummins
Isabelle Tares: Cote De Pablo
Andrew Manchester: Eddie Cibrian

My Links

Twitter: @alguenzel

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