Thursday, May 7, 2015

Love is in the Air: Author interview with Kimberly Rose Johnson

If you like beautiful seashore scenery, five-star-chef quality food, Bed & Breakfasts located in quaint and oh-so-adorable towns then you are going to LOVE Kimberly Rose Johnson's latest book!

Island Refuge is novel about forgiveness, faith and unexpected love. It's also a story about how God can take your broken dreams--and heart--and make something beautiful.

I hope you will enjoy my interview with Kimberly, author of Island Refuge! My questions are written in bold, Kimberly's answers are not in bold.

Enjoy and keep reading to the end for your chance to WIN a Kindle copy of Island Refuge


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Alexis: What is the meaning behind your new series Wildflower B&B Romance?

Kimberly: Zoe had a rough childhood that extended into her adult life. Even though she had it together, she was hurting because she was hanging on to hurt and unforgiveness. This book deals with forgiving yourself as well as others.

Share your inspiration for the title and story settings for your new series.


I didn’t come up with the title. I think my husband suggested it and my publisher liked it. We were going for an island theme and each book in the series will have the name island in it. My working title was “A Place to Call Home.” Book two is called Island Dreams and book three is Island Christmas.

The setting was inspired by a trip I took to Leavenworth, WA. I was doing research for another series that released with Love Inspired Heartsong Presents. Anyway, I took a train to Leavenworth and the train runs along the water, which got me to thinking about the many islands off the coastline of Washington. While in Leavenworth I visited a bed and breakfast, which got my mind working overtime. Within a week of visiting, I think I had the framework for another story in my head and Island Refuge was born.

I stopped writing my Leavenworth series to write this book. I had to get it out.

Your first book under the series is called Island Refuge. Tell me about it.

My editor did such a fantastic job writing the back cover copy, I’d love to share that with you.

Five-Star-Chef Zoe Griffin walked away from her dream job. Did she make a mistake? Her engagement off, Zoe Griffin retreats to tiny Wildflower Island in the Puget Sound. Hiding out as a cook and maid at a shabby bed-and-breakfast seems crazy for a chef who’s used to running her own five-star kitchen. And just as she starts to feel at home, her klutzy mishaps make Zoe fear her handsome new boss will fire her.

Dr. Nick Jackson is done with medicine, and owning a B&B is as far from doctoring as he can get. He needs help, but his only employee’s mistakes give him doubts. As Zoe lets her defenses down, Nick begins to see a competent and caring woman. One whose wounds are as deep as his own. But as they fall for each other, Nick and Zoe must learn the hardest lesson of all—to forgive. Only then can they heal the past and embrace the future . . . together.

Zoe Griffin, your leading lady in Island Refuge, is a five-star-chef who walked away from her dream job. Why?

Although we don’t see it happen, we learn that Zoe walked in on her fiancĂ© and best friend together. They also worked at the restaurant where she was the executive chef. Rather than deal with them, she fled to Wildflower Island to work as a cook and housekeeper.

What makes Wildflower Island special to Zoe?

At first, nothing. In fact, when she get to the B&B she is afraid she may have made a horrible mistake, but the island quickly grows on her and the slower pace and peacefulness of the island draw her to the place making her want to stay.

Share insight into Zoe’s fictional life. What does she do for fun? When did she discover her passion for cooking? What does she look for in a man she wants to date and marry? 


Zoe cooks for fun—cooking is the core of who she is as a person and she finds her identity in cooking.

As a child Zoe would retreat to the kitchen and developed a passion for preparing meals for her family.

As far as what she looks for in a man, I’m not sure she knows. After being burned by her fiancĂ©, getting involved with another man is the furthest thing from her mind. But the Lord has a way of surprising us when we least expect it.

Share details from Nick’s fictional life. Why did he choose a career in medicine? What caused him to hate his career? What is the one habit he cannot break? What does he look for in a lady love?


Nick never says why he chose medicine; at least I don’t remember him stating the reason. I think he likes helping people and needed the challenge. He is a driven man. I wouldn’t say he hates medicine, but he lost confidence in his ability to treat his patients due to the death of his wife. He blamed himself that she died and after that he didn’t trust his own judgment.

As far as habits go, I’m not really sure. Nick’s a pretty cool dude. He wanted a fresh start, so he sold his medical practice and bought a B&B that needed a lot of love. Maybe he has a habit of trying to help people but when he lost his confidence he poured that part of his personality into fixing up the B&B.

Nick was not looking for a wife at all. He felt so guilty about his late wife’s death, even though it wasn’t his fault, finding another woman was the furthest thing in his mind.

What did you love the most about writing Island Refuge? What did you like the least?

I love the creative process and this book in particular piqued my creativity. I LOVE this story. I wish Wildflower Island existed. I want to go there! Anderson Island is the inspiration for Wildflower Island, but it’s too small, so I made up my own island.

The least? I always struggle with endings. This book was no exception. So I’d say writing the last five to then thousand words was what I liked least about this story.

What is your favorite scene from Island Refuge? What makes it special to you?

There is a scene where Zoe and Nick have a pillow fight and that puts a smile on my face every time I think about it. I think it’s special to me because it was a turning point for their relationship-at least to my way of thinking. I may be forgetting something since I wrote this story two years ago.

What do you want your readers to take away from your book?

I hope readers will see that regardless of the hurt we feel, the Lord is able to help us forgive, and if we don’t forgive we can’t live a full and happy life.

If you could spend a day on Wildflower Island with two of the characters from Island Refuge, who would you spend that time with? Why? What would you do?


Zoe and Rachel for sure! Nothing against Nick, but I would love to have a girls day with my female characters. It would be fun if Zoe prepared a tea for us or we could sit out in the yard overlooking the Puget Sound and visit. A simple, relaxing day would be perfect.

As a writer, what is your go-to food or drink when you’re on deadline?

Chocolate. I can’t have caffeinated coffee or that would be my choice. My brain works so much better on caffeine, but my body can’t handle it. I know chocolate has caffeine, but it doesn’t bother me.

What do you love the most about being a writer? What do you like the least?

I really enjoy the creative process. Seeing the story in my head come to life on the page is a thrill.

I also enjoy visiting with fans. This past Christmas I met with a book club. One of the members put together a Christmas Tea and we discussed my very first published book, The Christmas Promise. It was a blast! I haven’t had so much fun in a long time. Those ladies blessed me beyond words.

I don’t care much for marketing. That part is hard for me. I’d much rather sit at my computer and dream up stories.

What are your hopes and dreams for Island Refuge and the other books you will release in your Wildflower B&B Romance series?

I would love to see this book take off. It has a special place in my heart and it’s one of those books that stays with you. My dream for this series is that it will do well so I can continue adding books beyond the currently contracted three books. I see a lot of potential for this series.

Complete this sentence: At the end of the day, I____________________ because___________________________.



At the end of the day, I feel blessed because I get to do what I love.

Thanks for the interview, Kimberly! 
Thank you for offering to giveaway one Kindle copy of your book Island Refuge! Please leave a question for my readers to answer which, along with their entries in the Rafflecopter tool box below and subscribing to your newsletter, will qualify them to WIN! *Visit http://kimberlyrjohnson.com/ and fill out the box form on the right side of the website in order to subscribe to Kimberly's "author newsletter."

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Kimberly's question for you to answer: Have you ever stayed in a Bed and Breakfast? If so what was your favorite thing about your stay? If not, where was the last place you visited?
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Author Bio: 
Kimberly Rose Johnson, soon to be empty-nester, lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their yellow lab. 

Island Refuge is her sixth published book and the first in a series of three. 

Kimberly enjoys long walks, chocolate, and mochas, not necessarily in that order. 


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Blurb for Island Refuge: 
Five-Star-Chef Zoe Griffin walked away from her dream job. Did she make a mistake?


Her engagement off, Zoe Griffin retreats to tiny Wildflower Island in the Puget Sound. Hiding out as a cook and maid at a shabby bed-and-breakfast seems crazy for a chef who’s used to running her own five-star kitchen. And just as she starts to feel at home, her klutzy mishaps make Zoe fear her handsome new boss will fire her.

Dr. Nick Jackson is done with medicine, and owning a B&B is as far from doctoring as he can get. He needs help, but his only employee’s mistakes give him doubts. As Zoe lets her defenses down, Nick begins to see a competent and caring woman. One whose wounds are as deep as his own. But as they fall for each other, Nick and Zoe must learn the hardest lesson of all—to forgive. Only then can they heal the past and embrace the future . . . together.

~*~

Buy Kimberly’s book:
Amazon - http://amzn.to/1IlZqmD
Barnes & Noble - http://bit.ly/1F1RmGC

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Connect with Kimberly:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/KimberlyRoseJohnson
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/krose1990/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/kimberlyrosejoh
Website - http://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

29 comments:

  1. This is a good story I enjoyed reading. I can't wait for more in the series.

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  2. Thanks for hosting me, Alexis. I thoroughly enjoyed your interview!

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  3. Island Refuge is a wonderful story of two people starting over. I got to read the book early on since I'm one of Kimberly's critique partners, so I can assure you it's a good story.

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  4. I'm not going to enter the drawing because I already own the book--and I highly recommend it. And excellent read for any romance lover.

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  5. I haven't stayed in a bed and breakfast but the last place I visited was Atlanta GA.

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    1. Hi Rachel, I suspect a lot of people haven't stayed in one. I haven't either, but a relative of my husband owns and runs one and that's the B&B I was able to visit and see how things are done. It was pretty cool. I'd LOVE to stay there as a guest. :)

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  6. I have never stayed in a B & B, but have recently married, so maybe my husband and I will do it sometime. My last trip was my honeymoon, and we went to Gatlinburg in the Smokey Mountains... we stayed in a cabin. My husband made breakfast several times, so a bit of a taste of a B & B!

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi, patty, congratulations on your recent nuptials. Do you live in that part of the country or did you have to travel. I always find it interesting to see how far honeymooners travel. My honey and I only went a little over an hour away.

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  7. I have not stayed at a b & b. I have gone to our quilters Christmas party and our annual luncheon at b&b's.. they are beautiful & really were wonderful hosts! The last b&b I visited was in Cambridge, NE beautifully restored ..
    dkstevensneAT outlookDotCoM

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    1. Deanna, that sounds lovely. The B&B in Island Refuge is an old Victorian house in need of restoration. Nick the new owner works at restoring it. Your comment reminded me of that. :)

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  8. I have never had the opportunity to stay at a bed and breakfast, but have always wanted to. The last place we visited for a vacation was Gettysburg.

    amylsmith at Bledsoe DOT net

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    1. I have never been to Gettysburg, Amy S. Actually the farthest I've been away from the NW was Orlando, FL a couple of years ago. Gettysburg sounds like a place rich in history. I hope you had a great time. :)

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  9. Never stayed in a B&B, but would love to someday. Informative interview - thanks!

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  10. One if the most fun B&B's w gave stayed in was a real caboose! There are full Pullman cars there as well! Next time we want to stay in one of those!

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    1. How cool, Joyce! I've never seen a train repurposed as a B&B. Once when I was a kid I went to a birthday party that was on a train. :)

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  11. We stayed in a B&B that was a caboose! It was fun! Next time we want to stay n one of the Pullman cars!

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  12. I absolutely love the cover of your book. It looks so relaxing. I have never stayed at a bed and breakfast unfortunately. My husband and I have 12 children so overnight trips anywhere are out of the question. The last day trip I went on was to Gettysburg, PA which is an hour and a half from our home. I love Gettysburg because I am such a lover of historical places and the Civil War is one of my favorites. I loved the interview and reading about this new to me author.

    DeanneCnnamongirl
    Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Deanne! I get to turn an "art facts sheet" to my publishers, but this time my new publisher gave me a lot of control with the cover and final approval. A first for me. :)
      You must be one busy lady with 12 kids.
      Thanks for stopping in and commenting. :)

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  13. I would love to stay in a B&B, it is a someday dream! The last place we stayed was at a Ranch cabin in Louisiana for a family reunion last summer.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  14. Hello ladies. No, I have never got to stay at a Bed and Breakfast. I have not traveled very much. Last place to really visit was Georgia, for a family reunion. Would love to win Kimberly's new book. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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  15. Hi Maxie, I think it takes a certain personality to enjoy a Bed and Breakfast. I haven't stayed in one either, but have visited one. It's such a romantic idea that it sounds like fun, but my very bad allergy to cats has me shying away from staying in one. I hate asking people if they have a cat and I can't risk staying in a house with one.

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  16. I have always wanted to stay in a bed and breakfast. I never have though yet. One of these days! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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    1. Hi, Martha A. thanks for stopping in. I hope you get to one day stay at a bed and breakfast. :) I'm sure it will be an interesting experience.

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  17. Fantastic review and insights into this charming story - TY!
    I do luv staying at B&B's and have become friends with each of the proprietor's when I have.
    Favourite thing about your stay? - The meeting and making of a new friend. Stepping into a different and personable new world where I've been welcomed.. TY for writing and offering this lovely new to me book and author!

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    1. That is so cool, Faith. You are the first person I've "met" that has stayed in a B&B. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  18. ps- the cover is perfection! LuV it!

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