Sunday, December 16, 2018

Falling for Books: Kristen's book

Interview with Kristen Terrette about her book, Morning Star:

Alexis: Congratulations on the soon release of your new contemporary romance story, Morning Star! Why did you write this story and how did you decide on the title?

Kristen: These characters—Shane and Addie—have been brewing for a while.

Helicopter rescue swimmers have fascinated me since I saw The Guardian with Ashton Kutcher years ago. I loved their bravery and figured they must have an addiction to adrenaline just to do that job, so I loved exploring what that job meant for Shane. And with Addie, I knew I wanted to restore an old Moanna Island home. So, the thought of her arriving on the scene and then a boy next door appears and is a distraction was a fun take on an old storyline. And the Moanna Island series has recurring families and the intertwining of their lives, so Shane and Addie fit seamlessly into the mix of the other two Moanna love stories.

The title was an early-on choice for me that I talked my publisher into after a little petitioning. The Bible refers to Jesus three times as the Morning Star, which of course reminds me of a sunrise. Both Shane and Addie are early risers (unlike me!) and so the sunrise is extremely important to them. In the story, there’s a special sunrise where Addie points out the significance of the Morning Star to Shane, who has turned away from God. It seemed fitting to name the story after such an extraordinary moment. And because of it glorifies our Savior.

Alexis: Morning Star is book three in your Moanna Island series. Will there be a book after this one? Why or why not?

Kristen: I do have at least one other Moanna story taking shape in my head, but I haven’t started writing it, so I’m not sure. We’ll see!

Alexis: The heroine of your story Morning Star is Addie McHenry. What is she like? Describe her looks, personality and heart of restoring homes.

Kristen: Addie has an alpha personality. A first-born, bossy and goal-driven woman in a man’s world. She even wears a tool belt well! Her auburn hair only reinforces the stereotype of feisty redheads. But her pretty green eyes soften her tough exterior and Shane sees that instantly. She grew up helping her dad renovate homes and it became “her thing.”

Alexis: How does Addie feel when she catches her big break when the House to Home Network contracts her to film a reality TV show focusing on how she brings homes back to life? Why is this a dream come true for Addie?

Kristen: Addie is excited, but hesitant. Her younger sister submitted an application to the uber popular House to Home Network telling about Addie’s success at bringing old homes from dilapidated to showcases. So, she was shocked when the network chose her but knows this could propel her company to a level not many achieve. She has a strong faith and tries to follow God’s path carefully, so she’s sure He’s brought her to this place but unsure of cameras and publicity. Plus, the home is on Moanna’s beachfront, a new area for her, so there’s a lot of unknowns. 

Alexis: What does Addie have to risk in order to restore one of the oldest homes on Moanna’s beach?

Kristen: Addie risks her life-savings in order to purchase the house. When the restoration is complete, if the home doesn’t sell quickly, there’s a big chance she won’t have the money to pay the mortgage. The cost of the project is very tight as well. She has no room for mistakes.

Alexis: Shane Armstrong is the hero of your story, Morning Star. What is he like? Describe his looks, personality and heart for his family.

Kristen: Shane is a Paul Walker lookalike who jumps into stormy oceans to save lives for a living. He’s in the United States Coast Guard, so there’s a soldier-style to him. His walk is more like a march, he keeps his light hair short and he’s in extremely good shape physically. But he’s not completely comfortable in social situations and puts his foot in his mouth quite a few times! His relationship with his mom and grandmother is terrific, but he and his dad can’t seem to find common ground.

Alexis: What happened to Shane that shattered his world? How did he survive?

Kristen: I don’t want to give it away, but he’s suffered a great loss and because of it may now lose his career as well.

Why does Shane think that his grandmother’s place will help him heal and in what ways does he think that a reality TV show will threaten his serenity?

Kristen: He spent summers at his grandmother’s Moanna beach house. They have the cutest relationship! He knows the island is quiet, especially in early spring. He needs to get away from the city and the memories he’s trying to forget.

Alexis: Addie is known for being “tough as nails, challenging and superbly bossy.” Does her getting to know Shane change any of that? Why or why not?

Kristen: Shane doesn’t change her bossy nature, in fact, he may bring it out more! They both have dominant personalities so, in a way, they drive each other crazy. Though even their teasing becomes something endearing, and I love seeing them flirt through their joking and joshing.

How does Addie’s relationship with God affect her relationship with Shane?

Kristen: Truthfully, Shane is hard to like at first. But because Addie views the world and its people through a filter of love, she’s able to see a different side of Shane behind his snarky-ness. She sees how he treats his grandmother, his eagerness to help (even though he says otherwise) and the sacrifice and courage it takes for him to be able to save lives every day on the ocean.

Alexis: What do Addie and Shane admire about each other? Why?

Kristen: Shane loves Addie’s strong work ethic, the way she treats her employees like family, and how she loves to get her hands dirty by doing manual labor. But, he also watches her live selflessly and take risks, so he knows she’s brave. He loves her kindness and how she makes him laugh. Ironically, these are some of the very same things Addie loves about Shane.

What do you want readers to remember most about this story?

God heals. Tragedy will strike, but He is faithful, and therefore never leaves you, even if you try to leave Him. You don’t have to fear, He’s fighting on your behalf.

The Bible says in Psalm 46:1-3 (NIRV): “God is our place of safety. He gives us strength. He is always there to help us in times of trouble. The earth may fall apart. The mountains may fall into the sea. But we will not be afraid. The waters of the sea roar and foam. The mountains may shake when the waters rise. But we will not be afraid.” 

Thanks for the interview, Kristen! Do you have closing comments?

Just a big thanks to you for allowing me to have a little fun talking about Morning Star!

Author Bio:

Kristen holds a Master's degree in Theological Studies and served as a Children's Ministry Director for five years.

She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. 

With the support of her husband and two children, she stays at home writing Christian fiction, striving to let God take her stories where He needs them to go.

She also enjoys serving on the women's leadership and teaching team at her church and writing for Crosswalk and Wholly Loved.

Blurb for Kristen’s book, Morning Star (Moanna Island Book Three):

Addie McHenry, restoration home builder extraordinaire, catches her big break when the House to Home network contracts her to film a reality TV show focusing on how she brings homes back to life. She sets her sights on one of the oldest on Moanna’s beach and has to risk everything just to get it.

Shane Armstrong moved from Savannah to his grandmother’s Moanna oceanside house when his world shattered five months before. He went on leave from his job as a Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer, hopeful his grandmother’s peaceful street will help him heal. The reality TV show’s arrival threatens this serenity.

But the construction and camera crews are nothing compared to Addie herself. She’s tough as nails, challenging, and superbly bossy as she works to get her way. But she’s also kind, hardworking, and has a relationship with God Shane can’t begin to understand.

With each encounter, Shane’s walls start to crumble as Addie brings more than just the historical home back to life, but him as well. Addie tries desperately not to enjoy spending time with the irritable and scowling boy from next door. He hides his heartache well, but she sees it there behind his prickly exterior. Soon she begins to uncover the sacrificial hero underneath the fa├žade.

With both of them only temporary residents on Moanna Island, their thin ice relationship crashes to a halt. Can Shane return to his risky job with the Coast Guard? Does he even want to? And can Addie let him go and follow her dreams even when tragedy strikes?

Buy Kristen’s book Morning Star when it goes LIVE on Amazon in Jan. 29, 2019. You may pre-order Morning Star in a few weeks prior to its release date.

Connect with Kristen:
Amazon Author page:

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  1. I love this interview, and wonder why I have never read Kristen's books! What interests me most is that Kristen wants the readers to take away the message from the book that God heals. What a wonderful message! I am excitedly looking forward to reading these books!

  2. The story of their relationship, healing of old wounds, and their courageous careers interest me. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com


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