A Time Traveler's Journey, guest author, Haunting Highland House, Hellfire and Handbaskets, historical, interview, Judith Sterling, Kathryn Hills, mystery, New England, paranormal, romance, time travel
I’m thrilled to have my fellow author and dear friend, Kathryn Hills, here with me today. Like me, she loves romance, mystery, and things that go bump in the night! We’re celebrating her recent release of Hellfire and Handbaskets (A Time Traveler’s Journey, Book 2), and I can’t wait to read it!
Welcome, Kathryn. Let’s get this interview started!
At what age did you write your first story? I’m a late bloomer when it comes to story-writing. Haunting Highland House – A Time Traveler’s Journey was my first writing endeavor aside from college and career projects. I spent many years in the technology sector, writing much of that time. However, my past life wasn’t nearly as much fun as writing romance.
I read Haunting Highland House and loved it! Which genre was the first to hook you? Definitely romance! I’ve been a fan since my teen years. Expanding, I’ll say I love historicals, especially those with Gothic and/or paranormal/time-travel twists.
So do I! What’s your favorite part of the writing process? I enjoy writing most. Although, as a dedicated history junky, research is a close second. (Outlining? Please…help me!) My books are set in New England, which makes it easy to traipse around historic homes, grand hotels, graveyards, and haunted locations. All in the name of “research,” of course.
To be sure, New England is a treasure trove of such things! Of all the settings you’ve used (or created!) for your books, which is your favorite? The setting for Haunting Highland House is my favorite because it was inspired by a real place – Highfield Hall in Falmouth, Massachusetts. I share the story on my website.
The gist? An unexpected visit to a Victorian-era mansion on Cape Cod inspired me to embark on a writing career. My imagination sparked with the history and beauty of the place, creating characters and a love story that spans centuries. And books! Readers return to my favorite haunted house in Book 2.
Have you ever dreamed about a character you created? Not a character as much as an essential element of a story. Rune stones! However, I will say there are odd synchronicities when I write. Fictional places and dates I create, falling perfectly in line with historic locations and events. Spooky. I LOVE it!
Cool! That happens with my writing too, and I love it! If you could travel any time and place, when and where would that be? Great question, and one I enjoy exploring with friends (typically, over wine). Now…if we had a magic rune stone we could go anywhere or when, but if I must choose… Thebes, Egypt, around 1923, when English archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the sealed burial chamber of Tutankhamen.
OMG! I would’ve LOVED to be present at that discovery! How amazing would it be to actually meet Howard Carter? Sigh…
Okay. Let’s learn some of your favorite things.
Sound: Ocean surf or crickets
Eye color: In a hero? Gray…like Robert Pennington’s. Or maybe warm whiskey-amber…like Rick Hauser’s. Haha I’m torn.
Song: Too many to choose, yet I’m inspired by music. How about I give you a song that fits this latest book, Hellfire and Handbaskets? “How We Operate” by the British rock band, Gomez. It’s a great representation of how Dr. Rick Hauser—an Army medic veteran—views his relationship with heroine, Amelia Pennington. Here’s a link to the band’s music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SOGwuJARHc
Cuisine: Tex-Mex or BBQ
Cookie: Chocolate Chip
Tea or coffee? Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee. This New England gal runs on Dunkins!
Cake or pie? Either, just make it chocolate.
Halloween or Christmas? Oh, jeez… Both, again. Autumn and Halloween are my jam. I LOVE FALL!! Yet my entire home switches over to twinkling lights and Christmas magic come mid-November.
Nancy Drew or Sherlock Holmes? Sherlock…with a side of Sam and Dean 😉
Yes, Sam and Dean from Supernatural are awesome! Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters? I’ll say Jane, because of her humor.
A mortal, vampire, ghost, or fae for a lover? Vampire. Is my dark side showing?
LOL. English gent, Scottish highlander, European count, or all-American guy? Must I choose? That’s the beauty of “book boyfriends,” after all. 😊
Nope. No need to choose. You can have it all! Thanks so much for joining me today, Kathryn. And now, here’s a little more about Hellfire and Handbaskets:
It’s hell in the ER, but Army veteran Dr. Rick Hauser wouldn’t work anywhere else. The hardened combat medic thinks he’s seen it all. Until she storms into his life.
Amelia Pennington is not just a pretty face. She’s a time-traveler. A medical student from 1895, forced to flee a madman. She’s been in trouble before, but this time everything she loves is at risk. Can a reluctant hero be the key she’s searching for?
What’s left of Hauser’s heart is still on the battlefield. Last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a mystery woman. But when he finds Amelia on the streets, he ignores the warning shots firing off in his head and takes her home. In less than twenty-four hours, she’s upended his self-protected world. Even his dog, Rocky, is in love.
Here’s a peek inside the pages:
Hauser looked up from his work station. The blonde from the waiting room was in the ER corridor, looking crazed. Without thinking, he headed straight for her.
She rushed forward when she saw him and threw herself at his feet. “Please, Doctor, help me.”
Rick grabbed her under the arms and hauled her back to standing. She looped around his waist before he could stop her.
“Security,” someone else yelled.
An alarm code sounded.
“I got this,” Rick relayed. He captured her face and made her look at him. Wild blue eyes shot from side to side. “Hey. Eyes on me. Only me. There ya go.” His voice calmed when she complied. “Tell me what’s going on.”
“Please,” she begged in a low tone meant only for his ears. “Something dreadful happened in the tunnels.”
He recognized it then, the ghost of real trauma. She’d been through something bad. “All right. You’re safe with me.” He relaxed his hold and felt her tremble in his arms. Her head came to rest against his chest. With a ragged sigh, she nestled into him.
A shudder of unfamiliar emotion shot through him. He hadn’t held a woman in years. Heck, he hadn’t even been this close to another human unless they were injured or dying.
“Tell me your name,” he insisted. Still, he held her.
Bo Peep felt good. Damn good. Slim but strong, all curves and sweet, sexy woman pressed full against him. Rick’s sex-starved body surged to life as if he’d been hit with paddles. Her blonde head rose, and she met his stare. Trust had replaced the fear. When she moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue, his resolve took a nosedive.
Sweet Jesus, what the hell? Rick cleared his throat and untangled himself from her. “I can’t help unless you work with me. What’s your name? I’m Hauser. I mean…Dr. Rick Hauser.”
She stood straight. “Amelia Pennington, and I need your help, Doctor.” Her voice had turned steady. Steadier than his.
“That’s why I’m here. Tell me what happened.”
“There’s a man,” she began. Her gaze snapped to those entering alongside them.
Rick held up one hand to stay the guards, twitching to haul her away. “What happened with the man?”
She didn’t answer. Her laser focus remained on the others.
“Well then, Amelia Pennington…” He took her hand and drew her back to him. “You sure know how to make an entrance. But security is gonna need to ask you a few questions before I can help.”
“No…” she moaned.
“Yes,” he commanded.
She looked to the other men again, appearing to size them up. With surprising strength, she shoved Rick and darted past the guards. And she fled into the night as if the devil himself chased after her.
A bit more about Kathryn:
The rich history and many mysteries of New England are the perfect backdrop for Kathryn’s books. Winding roads lined by old stone walls, forgotten cemeteries, grand homes with shadowy pasts… All sparks for her imagination. Whether it’s a quaint seaside town or the vibrant city of Boston, it’s easy for this “hauntingly romantic” author to envision the past mingling with the present.
Taking it further—to have her characters experience the past or present, opposite to “when” they belong—is the fun part. No surprise, some of Kathryn’s favorite stories involve time travel. And ghosts! Sprinkle in some magic, and you’re off on a great adventure.
When not writing, she’s exploring history and taking photographs of the beautiful landscape that surrounds her. Kathryn shares her colonial home with those she loves most—her wonderful husband, daughter, and three crazy dogs.
Where you can find her and her books:
The Wild Rose Press Author Page: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2221_kathryn-hills
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kathryn-Hills/e/B01LBDCVVU