Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Interview with Christian fiction author Keleigh Crigler Hadley

Today’s special guest is Christian fiction author Keleigh Crigler Hadley. I have her in the hot seat to tell us about her newest book, What You Won’t Do for Love

Welcome, Keleigh. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
If I were to define myself in one sentence, I would say, "I'm a girl who loves to see God working."

I write soul-stirring fiction, with real characters that stay with readers long after they have closed the book, (or turned the e-reader off.)

I contributed with Reshonda Tate Billingsley, to the award-winning anthology, The Motherhood Diaries, and have written the best-selling YA series, Preacher’s Kids and the stand alone novel, Revenge Inc.

Please tell us about your current release.
What You Won’t Do For Love is the story about how love forces us to make difficult choices. Eden Price has finds herself in the midst of a heated love triangle. One man connects with her soul and the other with her heart. She chooses one, (it would spoil the fun if I told you which one), but the honeymoon period is cut short, because he falls deathly ill and asks her to him out of his misery.

What inspired you to write this book?
Actually, it was a ‘who’ not a what for me. Two real-life women who wrestled with assisted suicide because of their conditions. Kara Tippetts and Brittany Maynard.

Excerpt from What You Won’t Do for Love:
Chapter 1

“A hard head makes a soft behind.” That was the second to the last thing, Edward Price said to his only child, Eden. “So make wise choices using your heart, soul and mind.” The last thing he said, as his lungs rattled and he struggled to breathe was, “Take care of people, especially your mother.”

Back then, those were two difficult tasks to place on Eden’s fifteen year old shoulders, and eighteen years later, she was still struggling to comply.

Now, Eden stood, dressed in her favorite green scrubs in front of the vending machine, next to the triage station at New Mercies Hospital and contemplated her father’s dying advice.

She tapped her chipped fingernails against the glass. She had achieved part of her father’s dying wish – she had become a nurse and lived to help people.

But she seemed to fail in the second part, since she was behind in her payments to the run-down convalescent home her mother was living in.

As for the second to the last thing…

Should she get the Kit Kat or the Mars Bar? Tough choice. They both would give her a softer, bigger, behind which she didn’t need. God had already given bountifully in that area. It’s the reason Eden wore a medium scrub top and a large scrub bottom. Her blessing and her curse. Eden sighed, blew a stray strand of curly auburn hair out of her face and slid a dollar into the machine. She keyed in E6 – the granola bar.

Happy daddy?

But before the proper choice could fall, the emergency room doors glided open with a hiss and a young woman stumbled in with a semi-conscious older woman.

“Help me!” Before the young woman collapsed onto the yellow tile floor, she locked eyes with Eden and conveyed such a look of unknowable fear, Eden’s palms began to sweat.

Eden’s body became a cauldron of tension. Her heart revved into overdrive, adrenaline flowed and her hunger forgotten as she scrambled to get a gurney.

“The Pit is hopping tonight!” Another nurse exclaimed in response to the unusual number of critical cases, they had seen that night.

“Can you tell me your name?” Eden helped the young lady onto the stretcher as the rest of the team assembled. Working swiftly and at life-saving speed, they placed both women on separate gurneys.

As nurses checked her heart rate, blood oxygen, and breath sounds, Eden tried to get some information from her.

“This wasn’t supposed to happen.” The young woman ran her fingers through her greasy and stringy brown hair. Her words spilled lazily out of her mouth. “Today’s my birthday. See?” The woman tried to point to a button in the middle of her shirt, but her aim was off and her finger landed on her chin. The button read, ‘Keep Calm, It’s Michelle’s 21st Birthday.’ “This isn’t right,” she slurred. “It’s my birthday!” She squinted her eyes as the bright overhead lights swung into place and the medical team began to poke, pull, prod and place things.

Eden leaned closer and was almost knocked over by the pungent smell of alcohol. It was so strong it made her eyes water.

Eden turned to look over at the older woman, still unconscious on the gurney and saw another nurse scrunch her nose at the smell coming from her. In the pit of Eden’s stomach she knew death was close.

“Michelle, is that your name? Can you tell me what happened to your friend?”

The young lady wobbled her head back and forth. “Not my friend. That’s my mama.” Michelle stretched her hand out. “Mama!” She wailed.

Eden exchanged a glance with her best friend, Kym Chan, a Physician’s Assistant. Kym held up a blood alcohol meter that read .092, several points higher than the legal limit. Eden glanced over at the mother, whose skin has a light blue tinge, on the other gurney. Her alcohol level was .291. Her body was drowning in alcohol.

“Alright, what happened to your mother? What have you been drinking?”

“Her name is Grace,” Michelle’s red eyes began to water as her face contorted into pain, “and she’s amazing!” Then, her face morphed again and Michelle smiled and blinked slowly. “That’s the line she always gave cute guys.”

“What do we have here?” An attendee walked in as she applied gloves to her hands.

A resident piped up, “The patient presented with blue tinged skin, hypothermia, and traces of vomit around her mouth. It looks like a case of severe alcohol poisoning. The older woman’s blood sugar levels are non-existent, and she’s non-responsive to pain stimuli.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
A Christmas novella, The Million Dollar Christmas Kiss, and a novel, The Reluctant Mistress.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Not until I published my first book in 2006.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Gum. Must chew several pieces all day.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A doctor. My degree is in Biology. Still love the intricacies of the human body.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Connect with me. Let me know what you’re reading. I am an avid reader and I am always searching for a good book.


Thank you, Keleigh! Happy writing!

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