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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An interview with author Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy

Grab your coffee or tea, sit back and relax for a few minutes, talented writer, Lee Ann, is going to tell us how A Time to Love, her brand new release was born.
To reach Louisiana from my little corner of Missouri it’s necessary to travel the length of Arkansas.  Since my husband and I both have ties to the Pelican State, we’ve spent our share of time riding through Arkansas from the Ozarks through the Ouachita Mountains into the Ark-La-Tex.  We were doing this back when our kids were small and as every parent knows entertaining small children on long car trips can be, well, difficult at best. 
          One late Sunday afternoon as we made the long haul from Shreveport back to Missouri we encountered a major thunderstorm near the small town of Mena, Arkansas.  Mena sits at the base of Rich Mountain, the second tallest mountain in the state and I believe the highest in the Ouachita range.  That day, Mena and the mountain were wreathed in clouds and that sparked my imagination.  I’ve always enjoyed time travel stories and the kernel of one involving a woman who walked out of a thunderstorm into the future was ready to pop into a story. 
          My original idea involved a beach but I decided that the rugged and wild environs of the Ouachitas would be ideal and so the story that became A Time To Love was born.  I remember telling a basic version of the tale to the kids to entertain them as we traveled the two lane winding road that remained the major highway at the time and they liked it.
          So back home I began writing what I called “Rich Mountain”.  On a later trip, we spent our anniversary at the beautiful Queen Wilhelmina Lodge on top of Rich Mountain and the history fascinated me so it got woven into the story too.  A trip down a narrow, unpaved rocky lane leading down the southern slope of the mountain added more detail for the novel as well.
          Now, in advance of what I thought would be the publication date, A Time To Love is out from Champagne Books as an eBook and selling for just $5.99.   The lovely cover pegs my heroine, Annie, to a “T” and was the work of cover artist Trisha FitzGerald.  

 Here’s the blurb:
          Reclusive songwriter Samuel Baird lives on a remote Arkansas mountain drinking his life away. The last thing he wants is a woman to complicate things but during a spectacular thunderstorm, a woman arrives just in time to save his life. She says she comes from the late 1800's and he thinks she is crazy but Annie still manages to gain his attention and affection. To reach a happily ever after, Samuel and Annie must overcome several obstacles, past and present, but in the end, they find the happiness that they seek.

          And an excerpt:

Her speech tinged with uncharacteristic bitterness. She turned away, arms wrapped about her body to contain old anguish as she walked over to the very edge of the turnout
Quick eagerness fired his curiosity and he thought he might unlock the enigma she represented. Her emotions were so profound that he almost believed she had come through time. Willing to consider the possibility, he asked the first of many questions crowding his mind. “What did you do when they all left home?”
She spun to face him, scowling. “I went to work at the Queen Wilhelmina Inn.” Her clipped tone guarded secrets. “And I’ll answer no more prying questions.”
She whipped around to face south with so much force that the barrette that held her hair slipped.
“I apologize. I didn’t mean to be nosy.”
“Don’t be mad, Annie.” The pleading note in his voice was real and she turned around.  He wasn’t sure if she wanted to avoid him or just admire the view.
Her feet were at the edge of the sheer drop to the thick vegetation below and when she moved, she lost her balance and teetered. She struggled to gain solid footing but failed, going to her knees in an effort to keep from falling. Her hands flailed out with panic.
He grasped her beneath each arm and stayed her. She clung to him and he jerked her away from the brink. Without time to analyze his actions or emotions, he acted on instinct and gathered her to him. She trembled in his arms and he tightened his hold to reassure her.
“It’s all right now.” He made the phrase a mantra by repeating it three times. Her breath slowed as she stopped shaking. With the danger past, he felt an intense awareness of her body against his. Every pliable curve was a fit against his frame. He knew the cadence of her heartbeat and smelled the fragrance of her hair. His body quickened as she moved against him, verification that she felt it too, and the strange pull that could make strangers into lovers.
Annie put her mouth to his. He could not move for one long moment as he felt her warm, sweet mouth moving over his and he kissed her back. The act restored something that had been dormant within and he was the old Samuel, healed and unharmed. He was free of the dark animal lust that once carried him to strange beds, a man reborn and made whole.
No embrace had been so intimate since the early years of his marriage and his senses marked each nuance, each sweet facet of the kiss. His loins engorged and his soul ached to fill its hungering need. Before he lost his ability to stop, he checked himself. He took his lips from her mouth and pulled away, leaving her to stare at him with haunting pain.
“I can’t do this.” He choked out the sentence with anguish and shame. No words existed to explain to this woman that he did not dare risk his heart again. He could not tell her that he was a coward. That would require courage, which he lacked and so he withdrew.
Available at

Coming soon to and other retailers

Find me at

 A Page In The Life

My website:
Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Twitter @leeannwriter

Here is another cover of a new release from this enormously talented writer, Lee Ann:

1 comment:

Kathleen Ball said...

loved the interview!!