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Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Kindling by Brandi Schmidt Release Party

Yay, it's a party today!!! This is especially great, because it's Valentine's Day too. If you happen to be in or near New Orleans, then you have probably been to Mardi Gras, one of the largest parties ever!!
I have never been to Mardi Gras, but my older daughter had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans a few years ago before Katrina. She came back with loads of beads and told us stories of begging for beads on the street as the floats went by. Now with the show, Treme, I would really love to be down there in New Orleans to be part of Mardi Gras.

Anyway, we are having a party here and please bring virtual food when you comment. We will be taking comments through the weekend, so you all have a chance to win. First of all, I want to introduce you all to another MuseItUp author, Brandi Schmidt. She is the author of The Kindling which will be released in March. You are going to get to know her and also you will get a sneak peek at this very unusual paranormal romance.

Hi Brandi. We are all really excited about this contest and Happy Valentine's Day to you!! I hope you are enjoying the party. I baked my famous virtual chocolate chip cookies to start and also have virtual drinks!! Let's get to know you.

Getting to Know Brandi Schmidt:

  • What one thing helped you to decide to become a writer?
Reading the Twilight Saga...I know it's totally chiche - but I've never loved books more.

  • Were you influenced by anyone to pursue your writing?
My mother is a great influence. I can't remember a time in my life when she wasn't working on a novel.
  • What inspired you to write The Kindling?
I believe it was a few factors that brought THE KINDLING to me. I have to thank God for giving me the story, I never thought I would EVER be a writer. Also, my loving husband, our romance inspires me everyday.
  • Did anything cause you to write The Kindling as a paranormal romance?
I would call it a Paranormal Christian romance. It's a new twist on finding love and just maybe we aren't always in control.
  • Please describe a typical writing day for you.
What? People write everyday! LOL. I squeeze it in every chance I can, but with 3 kids, a full time job and keeping a happy house and husband, it's difficult.
  • In what other genres do you write, and which genre do you like the best?
I love to read YA and I have a YA book in the works called SINNERS. Hopefully one day it will see publication
  • How long did it take you to publish The Kindling?
FOUR YEARS! Yes, four years. I really thought "hey I can do this, no problem" (very naive). It was allot of work but more learning about myself as a author and the "business" of books. In the beginning I had no idea what I was in for, but it's been a great ride.
 Barbara: That's shorter than it took me to publish mine. It took me FIVE YEARS to publish mine with seven rejections!
  • What are some of your other hobbies and interests?
Well...I have children! 15 year old boy, 4 year old girl and a 2 year old girl, they keep me pretty busy. I also co-own a hair bow business called BB bows. We have two patents on our new interchangeable hair accessories. I love to read (of course). My husband and I have a "date night" each week, to keep that "spark" alive.
  • Do you base any of the characters in your writing on real people?
Yes and no, there are traits in my characters that can be seen in some friends and family.
  • Please let our readers know if you have any WIPS ready to be published.
THE FLAME book #2 of The Sparkler Series is in the works and hope to get it out this year.
  • How are you planning to promote The Kindling? Will you be doing any in person appearances?
I have a schedule of appearances...I will be at the Missouri Writers Guild in April, The RT Review Conference in Kansas City in May, and the RWA Conference in Atlanta in July.
In addition to my current blog tour. I have been featured in MORWA (Missouri chapter of RWA) this month in the Rumpled Sheets newsletter and will be featured in the RT review in April "New Author Section" . I will also be featured in WOW! (Women on Writing ) Feb 22nd, you can read all about how I have became The Accidental Author. March 1st I will be interviewed

  • Please tell our readers about your own sweet love story. I know we are holding a contest for the best sweet love story, so I would be interested in knowing yours.

I met Thommy in collage. We were in Chemistry class together and happen to be assigned lab partners and their certainly was "Chemistry". We became fast friends for almost a year. I remember telling my roommate, "Thommy will be a great husband one day, not to ME of course, but he'll make some girl very happy." She just nodded and smiled. I didn't see anything but friendship with him, others could see more growing in the background. Call me clueless!
One night I was at a local coffee shop studying Calculus III (oh-BTW I am a total nerd). Thommy called to see how it was going. I broke down, frustrated and exhausted. He hi-tailed it to the coffee shop to help me study. It was loud so we sat shoulder to shoulder huddled over textbooks and equations. I was nibbling on a banana nut muffin when it happened.
The entire coffee shop seemed to fall away, I could hear anything, and I all I could see was him. That was the MOMENT I completely fell in love with him. It was like a dream, a fairytale, and I was totally freaked out. I didn't know what to do or what to say, suddenly I loved one of my best friends. We hugged goodnight and went our separate ways.
It took a month of heavy duty flirting to get him to realize I was completely his. Sometime boys need a little more time to We went on our first date (no kissing) I met his family and we saw a movie and had subway. Our second date was March 28 almost eleven years ago. We went to the Powell Symphony and had our very first kiss in the lobby at intermission. I still remember every moment of that night. We have been together every day since.
Fast forward, I am still in love with him as I was that night at the coffee shop. He is my soul mate, my spark and I am blessed to have been "accidentally" paired up with my lab partner/love of my life.

So since we are sharing sweet love stories, I will share my own, but I am not in the contest.:)

I met my husband at a party the summer before I went to college. I was only 17 and he was two years older than I was. He had just enlisted in the Army and was stationed nearby. He was my friend's sister's friend and she was having the party in her room. When I met him I hated him. I thought he was obnoxious and loud and he barely paid attention to me. Fast forward to New Year's Eve of that same year and my friend set me up with him for New Year's Eve. However, I had a date already with a boy from Harvard who knew my cousin. So I told Hal, my now husband, that I had to babysit for my brother, who was only 6 years old. He believed me, but he wanted to go out with me during the week. So we had three dates and he told me he wanted me to write to him. He didn't even kiss me, except on the cheek. I had been impressed by how he had treated me, so unlike the boys I had been dating. So I wrote to him for three years and the summer before my Senior year he returned back to the United States. He had been stationed in France. This was the '60s so we were just getting into the Viet Nam War. When he returned I met him at the door and after we had talked a little while sitting on my mother's sofa, he kissed me. I had never been kissed like that before and I realized I didn't want him to leave. He went up to my school and enrolled there. We were inseparable while he was there and after a semester he had to leave to go to work. We continued nightly phone calls and he came up to visit me on weekends. By spring we were engaged. He asked me to marry him on the horse path in Central Park by going down on one knee. We got married in August and we have been together over 47 years through good times and bad, sickness and health. Just like the marriage vows say. We have two children as most of you know from reading this blog and I hope that they can find the love we have had for so long!!

Now let's find out about Brandi's book: THE KINDLING

Tru Darling is a Sparkler. She didn't choose to be almost electrocuted, inherit otherworldly powers, and fall for the hottest evil guy in St. Louis—but that's exactly what happened. Her power to see true love spark in the eyes of strangers, to watch it flicker with excitement, fuse with it's perfect match, or witness it burn out from despair, is a wonderful curse that drains her emotionally and physically. But she can't afford to be weak while she's hunting down soul mates, saving others' faith in love, and contemplating if her new hot boyfriend is her guardian angel or the angel of death. Being a Sparkler may have its perks; enhanced vision, intuition, and physical beauty. But what of the personal costs that come with Tru's destiny? Constant danger, unbearable pain, and lost souls she just can't save. Tru must choose between a normal life without love or a birthright that comes with great passion, danger, and responsibility.

Mini Excerpt:

"We are like these branches. They kindle the flame and allow the fire to grow. When the fire can sustain itself, they disappear into the ashes. You can try to start the fire by holding a flame to the logs, but it's a difficult and timely process, if you complete it at all. Most of the time you would give up, exhausted and frustrated." He paused to look deep into my eyes. "You can try to force a fire, pretend it's there, but eventually you will come to know the truth. A pretend flame doesn't have any heat." He stood and moved toward me with his beautiful blue eyes sparkling in the light of the fire that had already begun to blaze beside him. As he neared me, I could feel my heart race and my face flush.

He knelt at the couch and continued, "You see, we are the kindling for love. We facilitate the fire that burns between two people." He was whispering now, only inches from me. "Can you feel the heat?"

About the Author:
Brandi Schmidt lives outside St. Louis with her husband, three beautiful children, and one lovable Golden Retriever. She is in love with love and admittedly cries at anything sappy. She graduated from Washington University with a BA in Biomedical Engineering Science, but soon found statistics and facts were too confining for her creative mind. Thus, writing became her release into a new and wonderful world of words. 

Sweet Love Story Contest:
Brandi is planning to give away a box of chocolates to the person who has the best sweet love story.

To be in the contest all you need to do is leave a comment. Please leave your email so we can contact you if you are the winner. 

Also, since we are having a party to celebrate the release of The Kindling, please bring all the virtual food you can find or make. 


  1. Christain lit. Such a breath of fresh air. I'll definitely be buying this one. As for the chocolates, I'm on a diet.

  2. Thank you for visiting. Since you didn't identify yourself and you didn't tell us your own sweet love story you are not in the contest. So no worries about breaking your diet:)

  3. I have a sweet love story. :) I met my husband, Mike, on the online dating site OKCupid 7 years ago. I was just coming out of a long-term relationship and was not looking for love. In fact, I found Mike because I was moving back to the area where I'd grown up, and I wanted to find a friend to go to concerts with. I did a search for "folk-rock," which is the kind of music I enjoy most, and there was his profile...a nice Jewish boy, and it said he was 0 miles away!

    When I contacted him, he was on the verge of closing down his OKCupid account, which he'd only opened in order to "vet" potential dates for his best friend. As it turns out, he and I had grown up in the same town but had never crossed paths, even though we had several mutual acquaintances (including some of my former neighbors!). Before we even met in person, we were finishing each other's sentences on online chat because we had so much in common. It was crazy.

    We eventually met at a diner that we'd both been to many times before. We wound up sitting at the diner and talking until 3 AM. I thought he was very special, but I really wasn't looking for another commitment just yet. My previous relationship had been 4 years long, and I felt like I needed some time to enjoy the single life. However, as my friendship with Mike grew stronger, I realized that I shouldn't give this one a chance to get away. ;) We started dating just a few months after we met.

    We have now been married 4 and a half years. We've been through some very hard times together - when we first started dating, my father was very ill and dying, and Mike was always there for me. We've been through family hardships and financial troubles together. I think our love will stand the test of time, and I still adore him as much as ever.

  4. Beautiful love story, Alexis!! Thank you for sharing it with us. Looks like you're the only one who shared a story so far:) Good luck!!!


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