Our author friend Sondra Kraak and a few special guests (including a volunteer interviewer) from her third book in the Love that Counts series, Three Words and a Kiss, are joining us today to introduce themselves and next month’s release!
meet Samantha Klein
appearance: wispy, light brown hair, pale blue eyes, slender, 5’6″
disposition: compassionate, impulsive, friendly, outgoing, tender-spirited
what drives Cameron crazy: her unpredictability, her demonstrative show of emotion, her crowding of his personal space, her nickname (Sam) rhymes with his nickname (Cam)
what Cameron admires about her: how she loves others, her fun-loving, optimistic approach to life, her determination to make a difference
her greatest desire: to be noticed and appreciated
One of our special guests today has offered to interview the two main characters of Three Words and a Kiss for us! Thanks so much and please, tell us a little bit about yourself before you get started!
My name is Lark. I’m thirteen, and I know Samantha and Cameron because . . . well, you’ll have to read their story, Three Words and a Kiss. For now, you need to know that it was Samantha’s tender heart that saved me and my two sisters.
I asked Samantha and Cameron some questions so you can know them better. I’ll try not to interject my opinion too much, but I can’t help it. Samantha says I’m more bullheaded than a bull, but as a city girl, she has zero experience with bulls.
Lark: Samantha, tell us about your family.
Samantha: They value efficiency, good business management, social status, and formality. My older brother and his wife, and my older sister (twice-widowed) have embraced the image and lifestyle of high society, but I never felt understood by my family.
They provided an education and opportunities for me that not many people receive, and for that I’m grateful, but what I really wanted was to be understood and seen for who I was.
Lark: What did you use to do in Seattle while your family went about their frenzied ways?
Samantha: I snuck into Chinatown to teach English to the few women in their bachelor societies. I volunteered with Mrs. Maynard at the clinic. I petitioned to save the squirrels in Denny Park. And often, I went to the library to read.
Before I left Seattle, I’d started doing some work in my father’s office just to feel more a part of the family.
Lark: If you used to sneak around, why do I get in trouble for doing the same?
Samantha: Because I wasn’t sneaking around with a boy.
Lark: Point made. Let’s move on. In Three Words and a Kiss, you bought a blacksmith shop. Spontaneously. Why would a woman want to do that?
Samantha: I know it’s an unconventional business for a female to own, but I’m a Klein, and Klein’s invest. After I embarrassed the family name again (by accident), and my father decided I should visit my uncle across the mountains, I stumbled onto the opportunity to purchase the Pine Creek smithy.
As with most of my ideas, they come quickly, and they’re all I can think about until I act on them. Second thoughts? Those are called distractions in my opinion.
With the profits from the shop, I wanted to help the underprivileged who are ignored by many in my family’s social circle. Who was going to notice and help these people if I don’t? I felt so alone in my efforts.
Lark: What was your first impression of Cameron Wallace, the blacksmith in Pine Creek (and hero of Three Words and a Kiss)?
Samantha: He’s got deep eyes that study you intensely. I’ve never thought of myself as interesting, so having those eyes on me often was intimidating. But I’m not one to let intimidation hold me back. Not that I’m brave. Don’t give me that much credit.
Lark: You are brave, even if unintentionally.
Samantha: What I also noticed right away was how others in town loved him and sought him out for advice. He was dependable and sturdy.
And then I couldn’t help but notice how my emotions overwhelmed him. I tend to speak and show what I’m feeling, whereas he likes to pretend he doesn’t have any emotions.
Lark: I think falling in love taught him otherwise.
Samantha: Falling in love and falling out of woundedness. We have to face emotion to deal with it, right?
Lark: Sure. Why are you looking at me like that? Never mind. What lesson do you want to pass on to others?
Samantha: *wraps her arms around Lark* Don’t let pride make you feel like you are the only one who can solve a problem.
Lark: I am good at problem-solving, though. My sisters and I survived on our own for weeks.
Samantha: Listen up. The God who created all things knows you and loves you and is working out his kingdom through you.
Lark: That sounds like something Cameron would say, and speaking of him, I asked him a few questions, too.
Describe Samantha Klein (heroine of Four Dreams of You), but don’t get mushy with me.
Cameron: *laughs* Don’t worry. You know I’m not the mushy type.
Lark: Since you married her? I know no such thing.
Cameron: She’s about 5’6” with light brown hair and pale blue eyes. If she sees a need, she’s going to try to meet it in whatever way she thinks of first, even if it’s not the wisest.
She’s emotional. You don’t have to guess what she’s feeling. On the other hand, I’ve tried to guess what she’s thinking multiple times, and it’s difficult. What man can really understand a woman?
Lark: Good question. I’ve yet to meet such a man, and no offense, but maybe if men were more trustworthy, we’d let them understand us.
Cameron: I was teasing, Lark. I’ve learned to understand Sam, and I’ll keep learning. About men being trustworthy—
Lark: I’m not here for one of your sermons, as good as you are at giving them. Tell me what bothered you most about Samantha when you first met her?
Cameron: Everything. I thought I was in control of my life, but she waltzed into my routine with these crazy ideas. It put me on edge. But what bothered me most was her lack of understanding about a proper distance between two people.
Which is also something that bothers me about you and David.
Lark: We’re not talking about me and David. And you don’t have anything to worry about with me. You know I like my own space.
Cameron: She drifted into my space many times a day. In fact, once . . . *rubbing a hand over his beard* . . . never mind. I don’t want to give you any ideas.
Lark: Oh, please. Samantha told me she had trouble keeping her hands—and her mouth—to herself. I would not do such a thing. Last question. Why did you fall in love with her?
Cameron: *smiles* She sees the world differently from me, and it brought me freedom. Her love is extravagant. It knows no boundaries, and I don’t deserve it.
And now that we’re married, that issue with her drifting into my space isn’t an issue. What man complains that his wife can’t keep her hands off him?
Lark: Probably no man. And this is a good place to stop before I get sick.
Cameron: Now who’s blushing?
Lark: I don’t blush.
Cameron: Seriously, Lark. I want you to understand something about men–
Lark: Not now. Our time’s up. I think I hear my sisters calling.
about the book
Three Words and a Kiss (Love that Counts, book 3) by Sondra Kraak
The daughter of a wealthy businessman, Samantha Klein possesses more compassion than her father possesses dollars. Feeling pushed aside by her busy family, she spends her time aiding the underprivileged, but when her latest escapade lands her in the newspaper—again—her high society family sends her to visit an uncle across the Cascade Mountains. But a spontaneous decision to purchase a smithy detours her to small-town Pine Creek where she settles into her charitable endeavor with hopes of saving the world. Or at least a few troubled friends left behind in Seattle and an injured duck.
If she invaded his personal space one more time, he’d . . . he’d what? Blacksmith Cameron Wallace has no ideas for how to deal with the impulsive boss that turns his structured life upside down, forcing him to face the chaos of his past. He had everything he wanted with his simple job and unexpected position as the community’s pastor. He doesn’t need a tenderhearted debutante stirring unwanted emotion in him and distracting him from quelling the rising discontent in the congregation over his preaching.
But maybe the greater issue is discerning what to do with the surprises Samantha Klein brings into Pine Creek. Some of which carry potential for serious trouble.
Love that Counts series
about the author
Sondra Kraak is a Pacific Northwest native stuck in the mountains of North Carolina.
Along with her mountain man and two elementary-aged children, she lives on a street called Orchard, tries to keep the fuzzy yellow bugs off her bush beans, and plays lots of animal Yahtzee.
An English major who went on to get her masters in Biblical studies, Sondra delights to write historical romance that not only entertains but nourishes the soul.
She has three books out that take place in Washington State. Someday she’d like to write Bible studies. Or children’s books. Or music (she plays the piano at her church).
One thing she does not wish to write: her own life story. She’ll leave that to Jesus, who will do a far better job than she could.
Wasn’t Lark’s interview entertaining?!
Ah, thirteen is an exciting age, such blossoming personality!
Be sure to add Three Words and a Kiss to your tbr, reader friends!