Guest Interview: Lilia Birney

Dear Readers,

It is sometimes my great honor to get to read books by up-and-coming authors before they hit the shelves. And it was certainly an honor and a great pleasure to read From Air to Eternity by the wonderful Lilia Birney. It’s part of the Summer Loving Series (look for more titles later this summer!) – a series of novellas by different authors, all having to do with summer romances. But I’ll tell you more about the book later…first, I’ve asked Lilia to answer a few questions so we can all get to know her better…

1)   What was the most interesting trip you have ever taken? Why?

I lived on the eastern coast of North Carolina for two years, in a little town called Bayboro. My experiences there gave me the fodder–and the backdrop–for my first novella, “From Air to Eternity.”

2)   What is your favorite breakfast food?

Flaxseed granola with nonfat yogurt. Boring, I know. I used to be able to get away with eating a chili cheese omelet and donuts, but no more.

3)   If you had a million dollars how would you spend it?

I’m a follower of Dave Ramsey so I would pay off all my remaining debts first. Then I would make sure I could retire well, and pay for my daughter’s college. Then I’d buy a cottage in Bayboro and go back there to write for a few months every year. I’d have my own plane at my beck and call–why not?

4)    Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what’s currently in your   playlist?

I usually can’t listen to music and write at the same time. I have to have silence, I’m afraid. If I need to get pumped up for a scene I might listen to songs on my ipod, but then the ipod goes back in the drawer and I set down to write.

5)    If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?

Well, I always loved Scarlett O’Hara and went through a phase as a teenager where I tried to look like Vivien Leigh. I grew my hair long, tried to do my makeup like hers, the whole bit. I think now I might change and want to be more like Ellen O’Hara, her mother, who was a bit more mature.

6)    If you were a can of soup, what variety would you be?

Tomato. Who wouldn’t love a nice basil and tomato soup with grilled cheese?

7)    What did you want to be when you were 12 years old?

I wanted to be a fashion designer more than anything in the world. I made clothes for my Barbie dolls that were very, well, sculptural in nature because I couldn’t sew. I sketched and I even made my own logo. I tried making a shirt for my little sister once, but she refused to wear it in public. That was the end of my fashion career.

About From Air to Eternity

Katrin O’Connor ekes out a lonely existence in the beachfront village of Beaufort, North Carolina, after her husband’s death in a helicopter crash five years ago. Determined to stay grounded and avoid further heartache, Katrin has stayed out of the dating scene–until Mike Williams breezes into her life during one fateful summer day.

Mike Williams makes a living as a flight instructor, going from military base to military base. But the bachelor life loses its appeal the moment he meets Katrin O’Connor. Determined to win her over despite her aloofness and her fears, Mike finds he may have to choose between two passions–his love for flying and his love for Katrin.

Will Katrin relinquish her fears and fly once more? Will Mike have to give up one passion to satisfy another?

Lilia, thanks so much for being here today! Lilia’s novella is available now for Kindle and Nook!


Meet Amy De Trempe and win a free book!

Today, I’d like to welcome my good friend, and Inspirational Regency author, Amy De Trempe!

Jerrica: Hi Amy! Thanks so much for joining me today. I’m excited to talk to you about your books because I think you have quite a unique blend of Regency historical and Inspirational to your stories. I haven’t read a ton of Inspirationals, but what I appreciate is that the “faith” aspect is there, but not shoved down the reader’s throat. Did you plan your books this way? Is this the trend in the genre? Or do you see it as an extension of your own life, in a way? The kind of “lead by example” thing?

Amy: I am happy to be here, Jerrica. Thanks for having me.  I didn’t necessarily plan how my books would turn out. I knew I wanted them to be Inspirational because faith is very important to me. And I wanted to write a historical that I would want to read. By the way, I’ve been reading secular regencys and other historicals for more years than I will admit.  So, I decided to write the regency I always wanted to write and and made at least one of my characters a strong Christian so I could write the type of inspirational I’ve been looking for but have found few of.  Are my Christian charactes perfect? Far from it.

I do think there is a trend of Christian romances being less preachy and more edgy. In fact, there is a group who write what they call Edgy Christian Fiction.  I haven’t read any of their books yet, but from what I understand, they break the rules and so do I.  I am not sure what all of the rules are anymore, but when I began writing my inspirational the Christian character could not drink, dance, be in the bedroom with the hero/heroine, and a few others I can’t think of right now. I broke all of those listed.  My story called for it.  So, is it a true Inspirational? I don’t know.  Is it a Regency or a Georgian Romance? Yep.

Jerrica: Well, I personally love a rule-breaker, so maybe that’s why I liked your books so much. What’s a rule your hero or heroine broke that might be controversial in the industry, and what would the book be like without it?

Amy: Well, Loving Lydia opens with the hero, Lord Alexander Wake, in the middle of a physical fight with a few gentlemen because he is trying to take a scantily clad woman from a brothel. This isn’t the last time you will find Lord Alex in a brothel. He vists them a few more times, even after he is married.  But, don’t be too quick to judge him ;).  As for Lady Lydia, she decides to kiss a number of gentlemen in society, though none of them are Lord Alex. I did touch on one taboo subject, but it happens at the end of the book so I can’t give that away.

In The Healing Tree, my heroine, Lady Lilain Bliant, knows nothing about God, faith or the Bible, so she was able to get away with a number of things early on, including the threat of castration, and more than one lie.  My hero, Lord Maxwell Warrick has always been very clear and strong in his faith.  But, that doesn’t keep him from getting drunk one night, and like a number of people, regretting it in the morning.

And in my novel, soon to be released, Pure is the Heart, my heroine, Elise LeNoir, has intentionally sinned and fears this will keep her from God, but I can’t let you know what that is either without giving the book away. As for our hero, also strong in faith, he is betrothed to one woman and in love with another.  He does everything in his power to break the engagement, and some of his attempts are not so Christian-like.  He also visits our heroine in her bedchamber and kisses her, while still engaged to the other woman.

These are just a few examples but to tell you more would be to give away the stories.
Jerrica: You’ve really done a great job of making your characters sound human. Nobody’s perfect and to portray them as such just wouldn’t be realistic. So, brava! 🙂

Okay, now, a la James Lipton of Inside the Actor’s studio, I will have you answer the famous 10 Questions that he makes all his guests answer…

1. What is your favorite word? Scrumptious
2. What is your least favorite word? Disappointed
3. What turns you on? Thoughtfulness
4. What turns you off?  dirty odors
5. What sound do you love? A baby’s laugh
6. What sound do you hate? Dentist drill
7. What is your favorite curse word? Bullocks (I tend to get stuck in the Regency and Georgian Period at times)
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? History Teacher
9. What profession would you not like to do? Coronor
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?  Welcome home. 

Thanks for joining me today, Amy! And best of luck with your fabulous novels!


Amy is giving away digital copies of The Healing Tree to 3 lucky commenters today. [They will be in Kindle format, but Kindle is available free for almost everything: iPhone/Touch, iPad, PC, Mac, Android or Blackberry.] Just leave a comment and you’ll be entered in the drawing!