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Occasionally I come across a book that is SO hard to put down! Author Kristi Ann Hunter’s ‘A Noble Masquerade’ is one of those… 😉 I will post my review for you tomorrow, but today I have the privilege of introducing you to Kristi! (Can you tell I’m excited about that too? lol) Kristi is also offering to giveaway a signed copy to one US winner. First, here’s a summary of the story for you.
Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, the Duke of Marshington. Since she’s never actually met the man she has no intention of ever sending the letters and is mortified when her brother’s mysterious new valet, Marlow, mistakenly mails one of the letters to the unsuspecting duke.
Shockingly, this breach of etiquette results in a reply from the duke that soon leads to a lively correspondence. Insecurity about her previous lack of suitors soon becomes confusion as Miranda finds herself equally intrigued by Marlow, a man she has come to depend upon but whose behavior grows more suspicious by the day. As the secret goings-on at her family’s estate come to light, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.
Welcome, Kristi! What inspired you to write this particular novel?
I feel a real kinship to Miranda and wanted to explore that feeling of belonging and yet not belonging at the same time. The idea of meeting the same person in two different ways at the same time was also a fun concept to explore. Both ideas fit together to create A Noble Masquerade.
You certainly put Miranda in an awkward (but comical!) spot. What do you hope your readers will take away from this story?
Aside from having a few hours of entertainment, I hope they come away with a surer sense of self. If they close the book and feel a bit more confident that they can be themselves as God made them to be, then I’ll be happy.
Trying to fit someone else’s image of who we should be is such a common struggle, unfortunately. What time period in history intrigues you the most? Why?
There’s a reason I write during the Regency and it’s because I find it so fascinating. So very much was changing during that brief section of time that it seemed like anything could happen. Technology was creeping into everyday life, the classes were in upheaval, and a more missional evangelism was emerging in the church. All of this makes it a wonderful time period to play in.
I was introduced to the concept of Christian fiction in college by a roommate who had an entire collection of Lori Wick novels. I was fascinated because up until that point I’d only read general market romance novels and Lori Wick’s books were so different, so much more relatable for me. I still read a mix of Christian and general market novels, including Julia Quinn who has had a significant influence on my style and story structure. I adore Karen Witemeyer’s books but I’ve also studied them because I greatly admire the way she weaves the faith elements into her stories. One day I hope to be as skilled.
Those are some great authors to follow. Can you give any hints about what you are working on now?
The next book in the series, which I am so excited to share with everyone. Georgina’s been lurking in the background with some questionable behavior but she’s got an interesting motivation behind what she does that I think will really resonate with a lot of people.
I was hoping she would have her own story… What is one thing you wish you had known before you started writing/publishing?
The time. Oh my goodness it takes so much time. You think all I have to do is write the story, but that is such an arduous process at times that can really take a lot out of you. The results have their own rewards and I’d do every bit of it again, but the amount of time everything requires took me off guard.
I can only imagine, especially with a historical novel where so many details would have to be checked! On a completely different note, what is your favorite dessert? Would you be willing to share the recipe?
This is a very difficult recipe, so hold on tight.
- Get in your car.
- Drive to the nearest Publix.
- Get a slice of chocolate ganache cake.
- Decide you really need two pieces.
- Check out.
- Scarf one down in the car.
- Take the second one home and make everyone think you have great restraint by putting it in the fridge to save for later.
Alternatively I’m a big fan of the basic chocolate chip cookie. My aunt makes some amazing ones, but I have no idea what recipe she uses other than that it includes Ghiradelli chocolate chips.
That would be a particularly challenging recipe for those of us who live nowhere near a Publix. I suppose we’ll have to settle for chocolate chip cookies, although Ghiradelli doesn’t sound much like settling, does it? Do you have a favorite Bible verse? Why is that one special to you?
Romans 8:26: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
This verse is planted in a section of the Bible that talks about a believer’s place in the overall glory of God. Knowing how often I miss things and how wrong I can be at times, it is a great comfort to me that God is praying to Himself on my behalf. He knows exactly what I need because He can see the ultimate glory. Knowing that the perfect prayer is going up on my behalf is very encouraging.
How true! Even when words fail us, He understands and intercedes. What a comfort! Can you share (briefly) about something you feel the Lord has been teaching you recently?
A little over a year ago I was attending a conference and the speaker taught on how everything is to be to God’s glory. This earth shattering revelation came mere days before Bethany House made me an offer to publish the Hawthorne House series. I do a lot of Bible study and personal reflection on the spiritual aspects of my books, but I keep coming back to the deceptively simple idea that everything is for God’s glory. When you really start thinking about it, you see everything in a new light from the way you drive your car to the way you speak and even how much attention you give to the Sunday morning sermon.
Do we do everything for His glory? That’s a great question, Kristi, and one we each ought to seriously consider. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us!
Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is an RWA Golden Heart contest winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com, https://www.facebook.com/KristiAnnHunter, and https://twitter.com/KristiAnnHunter.
A Lady of Esteem (free ebook novella)
Prequel to A Noble Masquerade and the Hawthorne House series
Miss Amelia Stalwood may live in London at her absent guardian’s townhouse, but she’s never actually met any nobility, and instead of aristocrats, her closest friends are servants.
Quite by happenstance, she’s introduced to the Hawthorne family and their close family friend, Anthony, the reformed Marquis of Raebourne . They welcome her into their world, but just as she’s beginning to gain some confidence and even suspect she may have caught Anthony’s eye, she’s blindsided by an unexpected twist in her situation accompanied by nasty rumors.
Will she lose her reputation when the world that has only just accepted her turns its back on her, or will she rest in the support of the friends who’ve become like family and the man who’s shared his faith and captured her heart?