I’m happy to have Stephanie here today! She’s an awesome writer but also a great person to know. By the way, if you didnt catch my review of her book, The Hungarian, be sure to click on the title to read it. It’s a wonderful historical romance. If you leave a comment, you’ll be entered in my Nov. 30th drawing, and be sure to check out Steph’s goodie time at the end!
STEPH: I’d like to thank Diane for having me on her blog today. I love Diane’s writing and my favorite story of hers so far is “Whitney in Charge.” Two thumbs up!
DIANE: Thank you, Steph! I loved writing about Whitney and her two sisters.
STEPH: Just a little about me: I was born and raised in Manchester, NH. When I was 18, this New England Patriot fan joined the US Army for a great adventure and spent 7 years overseas in Germany. I met a fair-haired California boy and we were married in Denmark in 1991. Little odd fact: I visited the Keukenhof in The Netherlands. Now, the adventure over, I work for LAPD as a 911 Operator.
DIANE: You have such an interesting biography. Can you tell us a little about your background?
STEPH: I am an unique mix of Polish, French, and Ukrainian heritage. I was a young girl in the 1970’s and a young woman in the 1980’s. I never appreciated my Polish heritage until I read a book called, “Push Not The River,” by James Conyrod Martin, and I realized just how rich my Polish heritage was. Now I get my boys excited about Pierogi days (It’s an all day affair in the kitchen) and my husband’s family involved. My boys like to cook and watching them get excited about experiencing a part of their Polish heritage warms my heart. My grandmother (Bopshie, Polish for grandmother) would have been proud of them.
As for the French part of me, I have always wanted to learn more. I took 3 years high school French and visited France on several occasions while in the Army.
I grew up in NH, spent 7 years in Germany, traveled Europe, was stationed in Romulus, NY and Ft. Irwin, CA in the US. I’ve now settled down in CA.
DIANE: California sounds great to me right now. The weather has gotten colder here in Ohio. How did you and your husband meet? Did you fall for him first or was it the other way around?
STEPH: Believe it or not, we celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary on 14 NOV! We met in October 1990 in Butzbach, Germany at a military leadership school known as PLDC (Primary Leadership Development Course). We were in the same squad. I thought he was drop dead gorgeous and he thought I was drop dead cute. The school was only 4 weeks long, but when it was over, we both went back to Bad Hersfeld, where we were stationed at and began dating. Within a month we were in love. He asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve. I think we mutually fell at the same time.
DIANE: Congratulations on celebrating your 19th anniversary. That’s so romantic how you two met and how you both fell in love so quickly.
Tell us about your story, “Christmas in Bayeux,” which is in A Christmas Collection, Stimulating.
STEPH: It’s a contemporary romance. Aiden Seward is an Iraq war vet who has lost his parents while in Iraq. His grandfather was a World War II veteran who always encouraged him to see the beaches of Normandy. Aiden thinks by going it will help heal his wounded heart – that and meeting Noel again.
DIANE: What a great story. What other genres do you write in?
STEPH: I try not to limit myself. I’ve done a “sweet” military romance, a children’s book, horror, paranormal romance, sci-fi romance, and now I’m working on an inspirational for VTP’s spring anthology.
DIANE: Do you outline, wing it, or something in between?
STEPH: Something in between. A rough outline keeps me straight, but allows me to detour if my characters go that way.
DIANE: What’s your favorite pizza?
STEPH: European style: shrimp pizza. American style: Pepperoni. When I tell people that I like shrimp pizza it usually grosses them out, besides I haven’t had it in years. I eat my pizza with a knife & fork still, European style.
DIANE: I’ve never had shrimp pizza. If you could wish for anything, what would it be?
STEPH: For my son, Joseph, to understand and manage his Sensory Integration Dysfunction better. I hope he’ll be able to mainstream with other children next year.
DIANE: That’s a wonderful wish and I hope it comes true. Parting Comments?
STEPH: I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and fun filled holiday season! Joyeux Noel!
Annabelle returned with warm drinks and her pastries. Aiden walked in with his box of new ornaments and Noel started rummaging through her box of old decorations.
“What do you want to put on the tree first?” he asked.
She held up a string of white lights. “It will be easier if we get the lights on first.”
Aiden held the string and Noel walked around the tree, laying the lights on it. Once the lights were set, she plugged them into the wall and they came alive with light.
Aiden smiled. “Time for bows and balls.”
Noel put silver and gold balls on the tree while Aiden decorated the branches with red ribbons.
“I never had bows on the tree before,” said Noel.
Aiden paused and sipped his drink. “Seward family tradition.”
His happy disposition warmed her heart. The sun grew low and Noel put the entranceway lights on so they could see.
They worked in silence as they finished hanging wooden ornaments on the tree, nibbling on their pastries.
Aiden plucked a silver star out of Noel’s box. “Are we ready for the finishing touches?”
Noel smiled. “We’ll need a chair.”
Aiden took a wooden chair from the entranceway. “Will this do?”
“Be gentle. That’s an heirloom from the 1600’s.”
He nodded. “You should put the star on. It’s your house.”
“You should. You’re the guest.”
He pointed to the chair. “I don’t want to damage the heirloom.”
Noel grabbed a blanket from a nearby closet and put it on the seat cushion. “I want you to put it on, Aiden.”
“Are you sure?”
“I want you to have a nice Christmas.”
Check out the Story Teaser on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-muZ0dhOvSE
Victory Tales Press: http://victorytalespress.yolasite.com/online-store.php
Goodie Time: Leave me a post and I’ll pick out two winners to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. Tell me your favorite Christmas story and I’ll pick a winner to receive a mousepad of the cover of the anthology. I’ll come back on 30 NOV to pick the winners.