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Author Interview,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Author Interview with Teresa Smyser & a Giveaway

By Deena Adams

Please welcome Teresa Smyser to the blog this week as she shares about her writing and her Historical Romance, In His Embrace. She’s offered a digital copy as a giveaway, so be sure to comment on this post by Tuesday, December 21, for a chance to win!

Welcome, Teresa! Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

Born and raised in Kentucky, I now live in Alabama. My Godly warrior husband, Keith and I have been married forty-three years and have a deaf, rescue cat, Spock. I’m a wife, a mother, an accountant, a super-fun Mimi, a cat-lover, and a Bible-study teacher. We have a married son in MS with two children and a married daughter in KY with two children. Those four young ones are such joys!

My son’s family, which includes my two youngest grandchildren, just moved to Alabama. The kiddos are definitely a joy. Tell us how and when you started writing.

As a young girl, it was quite common to find me in my bedroom reading the latest Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden books. Years down the road while rocking my baby girl to sleep, she asked to hear stories about a picture hanging on the wall or about her toys. She desired new fairytales each time we sat in the rocker for a nap. Actually, I believe it was her stall method.

However, not until my daughter was in college, did I consider penning my first novel. After reading several uninteresting books, my daughter said, “Mom, you could write better than this.”

Challenge accepted! It was 2009 at the age of fifty-two!

My passion for writing Christian fiction sprouted from her challenge. You will find adventure, bizarre plot twists, flawed characters, and believable romantic friction in my novels.

Wonderful! I, too, started writing in my fifties. What is the setting of your current novel? If it’s a real location, have you visited? Tell us about it.

The setting for In His Embrace is at the Scottish border. I used maps, charts, and other records to orient me to the landscape but it’s not an actual town. Since I’ve never been to Scotland, I must rely on extensive research. I make sure my explanations create an accurate visual whether it’s the scenery or the distance between locations.

I would love to visit a Scottish town and explore one of their castles in the future. Maybe stay in a Bed n Breakfast Castle!

That would be fun! Writing historical fiction, especially in unfamiliar locations, must take lots of research. How long do you spend on research before you begin writing a book?

Oh my. Since I’ve never traveled to Scotland, I do a mountain of research. I have to pace myself, or I’ll spend too many hours reading about my location, plants, animals, dress, dialect, food, etc. I try to use my time wisely. If I’m waiting on my laundry, or food to cook, I’ll research one or two areas, write it on notebook paper and later add to my file. 

How did you select the names for your characters?

Since I’m writing historical, I google names for 1600 Scotland and look at several sites. I scan the names to see which one feels like a hero and heroine name. Then I choose my secondary names. Some names I select remind me of a former friend or enemy, and I use them accordingly. Giggle! My daughter-in-law did a cross-stitch picture that says: Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel. So true! 

That’s great. LOL. Do you have any pets? Do they find their way into any of your stories?

I have a deaf, rescue cat, Spock. He’s solid white with blue eyes. Those baby blues often save him from punishment when he’s bad. I also enjoy horses and puppies.

Warrior Bride Series: Book 1 has a special horse, Book 2 has puppies, and Book 3 will have a very important wolf-dog companion to my heroine. Maybe Spock will find a place in one of my books if he’s sweet. 

Sounds like Spock might need an agent. What did God teach you through the writing of In His Embrace?

Life doesn’t always turn out the way I dream it will. Sometimes I have unhappy consequences that are a result of my own poor decisions or a result of stepping outside of God’s will for my life. 

In the life of a Christian there will be times when God allows painful events to occur, but I know He has a reason or a lesson for me to learn if I’ll pray and search His Word. Nothing God does is wasted. Even terrible pain will remain only long enough for God to accomplish His purpose in my situation. 

Amen! What do you hope your readers take away from In His Embrace?

They might find themselves identifying with Brigette’s predicaments. It’s not uncommon for us to make poor decisions based on anger, jealously, or bitterness. Just as Brigette experienced, when she tried to do things her way, she ended up with forever consequences. 

I hope my readers will realize that God oftentimes gives us more than we and handle. Why? So we will depend on Him for guidance, advice, wisdom, and strength. Like Brigette discovered, God can take a messy life and turn it into something beautiful.

Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

That’s an important message. What’s next from you?

I plan to finish my edits on Capture a Heart of Stone and hope to release it near Valentine’s Day. Then I’ll finish Book 4.

I’m also researching my non-fiction, Women of God: Believe which is book 2 of my non-fiction work. Recently, a time-travel came to mind. Who knows? I might have a couple of split-time novels in my future.

Either way, I will keep writing inspirational fiction and non-fiction books until God says enough.

Thanks so much for sharing about your writing, Teresa. I pray God will continue to bless you as you follow His guidance in publishing the stories He puts on your heart.

Join the conversation. Have you ever been to Scotland? Do you enjoy reading novels set in international settings? What about stories with animals included?

Be sure to comment by December 21 for a chance to win Teresa’s book.

In HIs Embrace book cover

In His Embrace by Teresa Smyser

Click book cover for purchase link

A tarnished past . . . An arranged marriage . . . A devastating mistake . . .

After a detrimental blunder that stains her future, Brigette hopes to live out her days in her beloved England. With her tainted past forever haunting her steps, her brother forces her into a marriage with a Scotsman. At only 16, she is unprepared for what follows.

Hiding his own shameful secret, Daniel is pleased to make an alliance with an old rival by marrying his sister. What he doesn’t expect is her skewed views of marriage.

Will this union of two imperfect people survive when disaster strikes?

Never underestimate the power of God when a defining moment crosses your path.

Author Photo

Teresa Smyser lives in Northern Alabama with her minister husband and their deaf cat, Spock. They have two married children, two grandsons and two granddaughters. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University and now works as an accountant and divides the rest of her time between family, friends, church activities and writing.

Teresa’s prayer is that not only will her novels entertain, but they will point people to the love and the hope found in her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

She loves hearing from her readers. Send questions or comments to

Connect with Teresa: Website / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest

Please share this post on social media to spread the word about Teresa and her books!

If you missed last week’s interview with Janyre Tromp, find it here.

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Mary

    I love that your prompt to write fiction came from your daughter. More so, that God used that to move you forward. Great story! God’s blessings on it, Teresa!

  • Teresa+Moyer

    I learned my own lesson by stepping ahead of God in 2018 and suffering the consequences of that. The book sounds good! Also split time stories are fun to read too. I will say time travel with a Christian aspect would be an interesting read.

    • Deena Adams

      I think we’ve all learned some lessons the hard way, Teresa. I’m so glad we have a patient and loving God. A Christian time travel novel does sound like a fun read! Thanks so much for stopping by.

    • Teresa

      You are so right, Teresa. I’m thankful God can use those consequences to grow me spiritually. He is our refuge and strength! Thank you for taking time to read about my books. I do have a couple of time travel ideas roaming my thoughts!
      I hope you have a blessed Christmas season!

  • Erma

    Hi Teresa and Deena,
    I can relate to Brigette’s doing things her way and then learning through the consequences!! Not the best way to learn but God lovingly brings things about for our good and His glory!! He is a good good Father!!! God bless you as you continue to write for Him! 🙂

    • Teresa

      Erma, You are so right. Consequences do tend to get my attention, but it would be so much better if I’d listen to God before jumping ahead of His plan for me. Thank you for reading about me and sharing your insight. I do love writing my stories! Blessings to you!