Friday, November 30, 2012

Interview with author Stephanie Guerrero

By Jeff Reynolds

Can you believe Christmas is right around the corner? If you're in the mood for a seasonal story, you might try three, in the anthology Christmas Romance at Dickens on Main. I have the honor of interviewing one of the collaborators, Stephanie Guerrero. She also has written … oh, I'll let her tell you.

Jeff Reynolds: Tell us a bit about the anthology you're involved in, and especially your contribution.

Stephanie Guerrero: Thanks, Jeff. The anthology is written around a real life event in Boerne, Tx the weekend after Thanksgiving called the Dickens on Main Event. The event itself involves a town wide, Charles Dickens theme (think Tiny Tim and Mr. Scrooge). There are arts and crafts, wassail-making contests, costumed re-enactments and more. With this as the backdrop, I was tasked with creating a romantic mystery that would weave in the events of the weekend. It was a lot of fun, in fact, the real-life event is coming up in a couple of weeks. Wish I could be there.

As for my story, I had so much fun rocking Gabe and Angelika's world. These two FBI partners are jerked out of vacations that never get off the ground when the FBI uncovers a terrorist plot going down in Gabe's home town the weekend of the Dickens Event. Thrown undercover as a couple out to enjoy the event, the plot thickens as, unexpectedly, the Secret Service show up with President-Elect and his V-P, a vital piece of intel left out of the FBI's briefing. Amidst the jolly Christmas event, someone is not who he seems. Gabe and Angelika must uncover the mole, stop the terrorist plot and sort out their untimely feelings for each other all while learning to practice that we are not to worry about tomorrow. Impossible, right? You have to read it to find out! :)

Shh! (Inside scoop, I had a little fun with their names. It's Christmas, so Angelika is for "Angel" and Gabe is for "Gabriel"!)

JR: How did you get invited to contribute to an anthology? Also, did you have much interaction with your partners-in-crime (i.e. fellow contributors)?

SG: I am part of a writer's email loop and was told of an opportunity to submit a novella. I sent in a sample chapter and a synopsis and, to my delight, was given the opportunity. One of the authors was the lead author and main editor, but we all editted each other's work for technical errors. It was fun to read the different approaches we had taken. One story is definately more romance, one is a balance, and mine leans toward a more complex, suspense plot with the romance intertwined.

JR: Normally, I don't think of Christmas and suspense together. How did you come up with your idea?

SG: It was a difficult jump for me as well, so I tried to pull from current events or rumors to make it believable. There has been a lot of buzz lately, that terrorists are planning events within the heartland and recruiting people who look more like Americans to pull it off. We are also in an election year. It occurred to me that hitting our government officials during their Christmas recess in their home towns would really shake us up. I hope such a thing never happens, but if it does, how would a believer in Jesus Christ cope with such a senario? Once the idea blossomed, the story began to write itself.

JR: Earlier this year, you also had a novel published. Could you tell us about that? And is there a sequel in the works?

SG: Yes, thanks for asking.
Shades of the Orient is an action packed suspense where no one is who they seem... It's classic tale of good versus evil:spies, smugglers and betrayal. Here is the back cover:
The Smuggler
Black Jade is many things… Hiding behind a prominent name by day and a Chinese mask by night, he can be anyone, just not the man he wants to be. Trapped in an ever tightening web of deceit, and pursued relentlessly by the White Dragon (Major Montero) he must choose which man he wants to be. When a way out is offered from a surprising source, will he choose power or let it go?
The Spy
A Spanish officer, a black market dealer, a shipping executive…
Intelligence officer Philip Montero is skilled at wearing masks to defeat the enemy, but this time he must face the enemy within. When his body betrays him with night terrors, he must unlock the past in order to survive, but time is running out and Black Jade has targeted the woman of his heart.
Betrayed by his family, his fiancé, and his fears, WHO can teach him how to trust again?
The Senorita
Shipping heiress turned missionary nurse, Francesca McRae is a target everywhere she turns. Desired as an heiress by power-hungry men and hated by the Chinese Boxers for her interference in the culture… she is surrounded by betrayal and hatred. None of her suitors are who they seem, yet one has stolen her heart. When loving others becomes more than she can handle, WHO can she trust?
Where do you turn when life is too much to handle?
There is a God… Who is waiting to be your answer…
The sequel to Shades of the Orient will be coming out in 2013! I'm so excited!!

JR: How do you approach the faith element in your stories? Did you write with a specific theme in mind, or did the theme enter as you developed your story?

SG: I always write with a specific theme in mind, and more often than not, it is something I have personally come through. I LOVE a good book, but for me, it has to have a great message too. Reading is the area I allow my mind to let down it's guard for a while. Knowing that I can write a great plot, real characters, heart-pounding yet God-centered romance, all rolled into a message is my goal.

With Shades of the Orient, the topic of how to experience betrayal as a Christian and yet move beyond the anger, the bitterness to being able to actively love my enemies, is a real topic I've dealt with in my life. It's one thing to say we forgive and another to act on that forgiveness and continue to love. An added undercurrent in the story is the contrast between romance God's way and the world's way. Purity before marriage is not a lack of passion... it is a valuing and saving of our passions for something beautiful waiting for us inside God's plan of marriage. Passion God's way is the most beautiful, rich blessing. The world's way is always a poor shadow of the real thing.

In Time for Christmas, ( my novella in the anthology Christmas Romance at Dickens on Main), I address being in the middle of overwhelming events and walking moment by moment without worry. Why? Because, I have a tendency (I'm getting better) to want to plan out and fix tomorrow. I love when Jesus says that each day has enough trouble of its own, but seek God first and He'll take care of things.

In the next few weeks, I have another new novella coming out: The Christmas Village of Joy, in the anthology Christmas Village Miracles. The topic is how God takes can trade our sorrows for comfort and JOY! I'm usually the calm, collected one. Shouldn't I be writing about peace or hope? LOL Those two villages were already taken in the anthology. To write about joy was a God-given challenge. He makes me smile, and I'm so glad for the chance to write about it.(My love of fruitcake comes through!)

JR: Thank you very much for your time. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas. (Though I try to have a Joseph Christmas instead of a Merry one.)

SG: LOL, Isn't God amazing! That He would give up everything and be born as a baby, live a sinless life that I can't achieve no matter how hard I try, take my punishment by dying on the cross, resurrect, and turn around and offer me eternal forgiveness and life with Him... I'm blown away by His love! Have a very Merry Christmas! God has blessed us, everyone!
Feel free to follow my blog: or find my author page on under Stephanie Guerrero. God bless you. Thanks, Jeff.

JR:  You're welcome. And I'd like to thank the Hoosier Ink staff for allowing me to post this extra slot so I can get this interview posted in a timely manner to help with your Christmas shopping. (And Stephanie's books would be a better Christmas present than a T-shirt saying "Sarcasm is another service I offer.")


  1. Jeff and Stephanie, thanks for this great post. Liked your names, Steph, for your characters!

    1. Thank you very much for your comment, Jude. Hope you had a great day. And I hope somebody catches my little inside joke at the end of this blog.

  2. So glad you like the fun with names, Jude! I had so much fun writing the story. Check out my author page at under Stephanie Guerrero to see my lastest Christmas anthology: Christmas Village Miracles as well.
    Thank you, Jeff and Hoosier Ink for the opportunity!
    Merry Christmas!

  3. As soon as I read this yesterday, I immediately purchased the Kindle "Shades of the Orient" because it's approximately the same China time setting as my "Hungry River: A Yangtze Novel." Looking forward to reading it! :-)