Please give a warm welcome to my guest Alisha Guenzel. Today, Alisha’s stopped by to talk about her new book Jason’s Duty and what’s ahead in The McGregor Series.
1. Alisha, thank you so much for being here. To start off tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing?
Thank you so much for having me Carol. I always enjoy being on blogs. A little about me: well I’m a mother of five kids and married to the love of my life. I got into writing as a child. But never took it seriously until two years ago. I found an old manuscript of a story I wrote when I was fifteen called “Unspoken Dreams” I published it with Mountain Springs House. But I pulled it from Amazon when I became an Indie Author two years ago. My husband John was the one that made me make the first step to being published and through all the up and downs I have to say it’s been a wonderful experience.
2. Congratulations are in order, your book Jason’s Duty was recently released, what inspired you to write the story?
The McGregor Saga is actually a spin-off of an old short story I wrote when I was eight years old. Back then it was called “A Cowboy’s Tango”. And there was only one story. But after learning how serials are so popular I decided to separate the personality of the “original” Jason. It’s actually quiet more than the original thought process of a cowboy falling in love with a city slicker. As you know there are also horses that are main characters and Runner, Lexi, and Star are real horses. I based them off of my horses I had at one time. But Runner’s real name is Ranger, Lexi is really Lilly, and Star was my paint Peanut. One of the reason’s I will hold this story dear to my heart is because they are in it.
3. Jason and Haley’s relationship proves the adage that opposites attract is true, do you find it easy to write an opposites attract love story and why do you think they’re popular.
It was so much fun writing Jason and Haley’s love story. JI really grew to love the dynamic of the traditional cowboy falling for the modern day damsel in distress. Every story has its challenges but with Haley and Jason it was how they were going to meet in the middle. Because their love was always there. They just had to find a way to be in each other’s worlds without being lost in the others way of life.
As far as popularity, I think it’s because opposites still have the love they just have to find a way to show it. Even in book 2 Jesse’s Choice. Haley is pulling tricks to get Jason off the ranch as they get ready for their wedding. Jason knows why she’s doing it but unlike in the Jason’s Duty he doesn’t complain because he wants the same thing.
4. Jason’s Duty is the first book in The McGregor Saga; can you give us a hint at what’s to come in the series?
Hmm. . .Let’s see what can I say without spoiling the series? Well as you know there are two more books. Jesse’s Choice and Jude’s Dream. In book two it’s about Jesse of course. The middle son, the numbers nerd and how he deals with life as being different from his brothers. Each book has a purpose really. Jason’s Duty was kind of like a sample of a cake. To get the my readers appetites ready for book 2 and 3. Every story needs a happy ending in my book but I leave a lot of things open in Jason’s Duty that leaves the McGregor brothers scrambling to get Jason married and still take care of Jonas in Book 2 Jesse’s Choice. Which in the mix some new characters come in as Jesse gets himself in a pickle with two girls and Jude finding love interests at Twister that goes into his story Jude’s Dream.
5. When can we expect the next book in The McGregor Saga to be released?
Jesse’s Choice will hopefully be released Winter of 2015. It all depends on him really. To be honest out of all three books Jesse’s Choice has been the hardest to write because he is so different from the country boy image that his brothers are. But as I write his story I fall in love with him and his love story of life and how to be more part of his family’s life. I think once Jason’s Duty is popular people will want to read about Jesse and his story.
6. Aside from The McGregor Saga do you have any other books you’re working on?
Yes I do. I am working on another serial. It’s called the Unspoken Series. I plan on re-releasing my first novel and renaming it Unspoken Promises. It’s about two friends that grew up next store to each other and they lose contact after Samantha Sharp (MC) tells Jonathan Carson (LI) that she is pregnant with his baby her senior year of college. It takes eight years of separation and eight years of Samantha raising an autistic child to make them realize their love was still within their hearts. It will be different than the McGregor Saga because although it’s going to be a serial a reader could pick up book four before reading book one and get into the story. It will be interesting because I plan to write a love story for each child that the Samantha and Jonathan have. Oops Spoiler alert. But it will still be a good collection of mine to put on a reading list. I also have this sci-fi romance cooking in my head but I’ll leave that one for another interview. It’s still a working progress in my head.
7. What does your family think of your writing career?
My family thinks it’s cool. They all have a part of my success.
My eldest daughter is my onsite beta reader. I let her read scenes to tell me if they are good. And when I make teasers she actually helps me with colors. My other four kids just brag that I’m an author.
My husband helps me with ideas and when I need to confirm on info he’s my go to guy. The only thing he won’t do is read my books. He told me when I was trying to improve Unspoken Dreams once that “I would rather gauge my eyes out. I’m proud of you honey, but please don’t’ make me read another page.”
8. I heard you’ve had a lot of positive feedback about your books, is there a special fan encounter or story you’d like to share?
Wow that’s a hard one. Because for a new author (I’m still considered new), I’ve had a lot of good feed back. Because I have learned you are considered new until you are in the industry at least three years and a lot of books later. But back to the question feed back and stories…Hmm well there is this one review I received just the other day.
Jim Goodman: Great read, Alicia Guenzel!! Can’t wait to see what happens to Jason in the next one.
Granted he spelt my name wrong..Lol..but it was still awesome because a guy wrote it. As far as experiences with my fans. There was this time with a guy from Tractor Supply I won’t ever forget. I was walking around with my husband getting horse feed, because at the time I still had my horses. And he came up to me and said: “You’re that new Author from the flyer from the bank. I got your book for my daughter and she loved it. When will your next one coming out.”
Granted that experience was from after I wrote Unspoken Dreams but I feel that The McGregor has equal great reviews because the reviews it has had have been great. For example:
Great read, great price, what’s to lose?
By Badger on February 19, 2015
I bought this book for my wife and she really enjoyed it! So much so that she had me read it too, I must say it was a great read. I really look forward to the next book in this saga.
Or even this review by Brenda Perlin:
5.0 out of 5 stars Jason’s Duty!, March 18, 2015
This review is from: Jason’s Duty (The McGregor Saga) (Volume 1) (Paperback)
Jason’s Duty by Alisha Guenzel is a smooth read and a great start to the first book in The McGregor Saga. A down-home story that read clear and inviting. This is an touching tale that both touched me and captured my interest. The characters are interesting and quirky in their own ways. Easy to get involved in the drama and emotional turns that were entertaining and unpredictable.
The love of horses and family is quite evident as the author writes with great passion.
“The day had been great, but as soon as Andrew called her guard was up again. Jason wanted the Haley that laughed and smiled. Not the one that was prickly and icy. Even when he stole a look at her he noticed her chin a bit higher and more rigid. Like she was trying to hide behind the glare of those blue laser-like eyes.”
But there are also my fans that I see every day; like a friend from the local laundry mat has been so involved in Jason’s Duty that she went down to our local library and she recommended me for the annual Literacy Reading Convention that the Library has. I was so surprised it touched my heart.
You see I have a theory: It’s not about the numbers at first it’s how you reach your audience. Now I know my numbers aren’t where they need to be but they will be with the right exposure and word of mouth. Because with every person who has picked up my book Jason’s Duty they fall in love with not just the story but the family. That was my goal.I want my readers satisfied enough but coming back for more. And so far with the help of my street team “Cowboy Up” and my wonderful friends and fans I think my goal is being reached.
9. What do you find challenging about the writing/publishing industry?
Hmm…I would say getting the right exposure. Don’t get me wrong I love promoting and I think that is part of the business if you want your book to survive the rat race of popularity. But to find people who can help you with that and get your book out to the public is hard. I’ve been out of publication so long since my first book was published it’s taking time to get noticed again. But with all the good things that have happened with The McGregor Saga, I think it will put me on the map per say.
10. When you’re not writing what do you like to do in your downtime?
Spend time with my family and work as a cashier. I have a day job at a grocery store that I love. I cashier and bag and it’s so much fun. But when I’m wanting down time. I love spending time with my kids and watching movies or T.V. shows with my husband.
11. Do you see yourself writing other genres or is romance your main focus?
I want to venture out but slowly. I like to challenge myself so I’m thinking sci-fi or super heroes. I have two boys and I want write something that they would read.
12. Out of all the McGregor boys, which one is your favorite?
I would say Jude. Because out of all three brothers I feel he’s the one that grew the most. In Jason’s Duty he is in his late teens and fighting to be himself and by the end of the saga in Jude’s Dream he is a man of integrity. You start to see how he’s grown up in Jesse’s Choice but in his story Jude’s Dream you see his thoughts and dreams and how he achieves them is a breath taking. Because he deals with his own issues with the family but learns how to adjust what he wants and helps his family deal with the cruelty of what happens with the McGregor’s.
Just for fun:
Last book you read? Divergent
Favorite meal? Susi
Favorite dessert? Coffee Ice Cream
Favorite type of romance? Historical
Favorite cowboy? Traditional Cowboy like Tom Selleck
Celebrity Crush: Nathan Fillion, Theo James, Frank Sinatra
Which is better books or movies? Books
Alisha Guenzel The Author
She is a native to New England although she was raised on the plains of West Texas. She has always loved to write stories. But it wasn’t until she married her husband did she take a chance on her dream to become a published author. Although writing is her passion, she also loves to spend time with her kids and husband on their five acre ranch.
Author Web Page: http://alishaguenzel.wix.com/authorwebpage
FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RomanceNovelistAlishaGuenzel
The McGregor Saga Book Page: http://www.facebook.com/TheMcGregorSaga
A Cowboy and his Duty
Jason McGregor was a country boy raised on a horse ranch. His daddy taught him the meaning of family responsibility but that didn’t teach him anything about the rules of love. In Jason’s eyes it was all about the horses and keeping the McGregor Ranch going. When Haley Sheridan came to visit, Jason’s world gets turned upside down. He could no longer see black and white anymore.
Haley Sheridan was far from home and lost without her father. Her emotions were all over the place. She only came to Montana out of duty to her mother. She didn’t understand how Mrs. McGregor took care of all the house hold chores from cooking, cleaning, and making sure her husband and sons were taken care. But when she looked at Jason there was something in his eyes that made her want to understand.
Could a cowboy love a city slicker? Or a city slicker love a cowboy? Neither one knew how to communicate what they really wanted. Come follow Jason and Haley in Book 1 of The McGregor Saga. See how two hearts can become one with enough faith.