Please give a warm welcome to Bethanne Strasser!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Bethanne Strasser] Lover. Army Wife. Friend. Mother. Impulsive. Rebellious. Faithful. Irish. Temper. Strong-willed.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Letters from Home?
[Bethanne Strasser] Letters from Home is a story of finding love where you least expect it. When Lena Rodriguez comes home from a deployment, she expects to meet the man of her dreams. Instead, the man who keeps grabbing her attention is Zachary Benson, the friend who has always been more like a brother. It’s a sweet [okay, not really sweet as in--a sensual rating. :P], poignant story about going beyond friendship to a love that will last a lifetime.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Bethanne Strasser] I imagined my heroine first. A woman coming home after a long absence. I knew she’d been getting letters from a secret admirer. She never recognized the admirer…until she started spending time with her brother’s best friend. [omg, that song, My Best Friend's Brother, will keep playing in my head now--FOREVER!] Originally, I had this up as a free read at maybe a couple thousand words. But, I took it down one day and started playing with it. And the characters began jumping off the page at me. I wanted to see so much more than the HEA I’d already portrayed for them. I wanted to see them fall in love…see the hero convince her that he was The One. I guess we all want that, don’t we? Someone who wants us badly enough to fight for us?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?
[Bethanne Strasser] Hmm. It would probably be country, because I lean that way. Miranda Lambert’s Small Town because despite all the moving around we’ve done as a married couple, we’re really just a small town couple, with small town hearts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xjy6EuMPGA Add to that Sara Bareilles’ Brave, because it’s taken a little brave to write and put out stories that don’t exactly match up with what people expect of me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUQsqBqxoR4
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.
[Bethanne Strasser] Too easy! I know people struggle over this question… for me? Insulin Pump. Hands down, dead if it doesn’t come with me.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Bethanne Strasser] Coffee. Sleep. Computer. [haha. I just revealed myself as the most boring person ever!]
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Bethanne Strasser] Can I be honest with you? Knock Your Socks Off is BIG. So big, that I think I can say, it’s been a while since I read a book like that… I might even have to go way back into my favorites pile. Since we’re not talking — the book that knocked off your socks the farthest, which is good because that’s would be hard, too[but would probably include Nora's The Reef--favorite book ever]. But the last series I can remember reading front to back with hardly a break in between to breathe was Christina Dodd’s Darkness Chosen books. I DEVOURED THEM. I couldn’t stop reading, for the life of me.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Bethanne Strasser] I didn’t start reading romance until I was about 24. But after I ended my college career [yes, that's me saying I never graduated--STAY IN SCHOOL!], I picked up Clive Cussler…and read every one of his Dirk Pitt novels. It was the adventure and excitement that turned me to other outlets, like romance. And though I don’t often pick his books up anymore, he will always hold a dear place in my heart.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Bethanne Strasser] Let’s face it. I’m a boring old home-body. I love to be in my kitchen. I love to watch Burn Notice with my hubby. We like to take the kids hiking and camping. And really…I write a lot. So, it’s often that, if I’m not writing, it’s because I’m making a meal, helping with homework, doing laundry, folding laundry, running errands… you get the idea. [I think this is where I was supposed to make up an exotic profile for myself in order to entice readers to buy my book. ;)]
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Bethanne Strasser] Keep in touch with me [please, I would love it!] through:
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
About the book:
Letters From Home by Bethanne Strasser
An Army doctor, Lena Rodriguez has always been too busy with school or the Army for romance. But the letters she received during deployment have captured her heart. Back home for the holidays, she awaits Christmas morning to meet the man who has turned her life upside down.
When Zack Benson watched his best friend’s sister Lena leave for Afghanistan, he knew he had to tell her he loved her. So he sent her anonymous love letters. Now that she’s home, he realizes he’s made a tactical error. Lena has fallen for the man in those letters but still thinks of him as a brother. He has to convince her otherwise because if he succeeds, he’ll get the best Christmas present ever. But if he fails, he could lose her for good.
About the Author:
I strive to live my dreams.
A couple of years ago, my husband took that step and joined the Army. An accountant by trade and finally fed up with a life that aggravated and frustrated…always reaching for the almighty dollar, he came to me and said, what if I join the Army?
Sure! Please, join the Army. I want my happy husband back. I took my cue from him. Though writing has been a part of my life for a long time, my drive had settled in to an easy-going 55 mph. Not too fast, not too slow, with an occasional burst of speed to thrill me.
I write romance–suspense, contemporary, and an occasional paranormal. My stories are full of life, family, and love. I write a lot. I have a lot to share. I love stories that encompass the world. You can find me reading just about any genre of romance, but my favorites are fast-paced suspense, where life is on the line and love is the only saving grace. I want a book that makes my heart pound and my pulse race.
Letters from Home Giveaway:
Dogtag necklace with the Hero and heroine’s name on it and 12.25.4ever.