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Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The Moonlighters Welcome Rita Hestand

Please welcome Rita Hestand into the Moonlight. Rita is the author of Beyond the Dream Catcher, which was recently released by Decadent Publishing. Other books written by Rita are Love Rules, coming soon at Decadent Publishing, Always Remember is coming soon to Secret Cravings Publishing, Jodi's Journey is at Whimsical Publications, and Better Off Without Her is coming soon to Whimsical Publications, see all of Rita's contemporary romances at and

Now, it's time to create a little mayhem and get to the good stuff by revealing all of Rita's deepest darkest secrets in the moonlight. LOL Yeah, you wish! ;-D Grab your favorite wicked drink, sink your teeth into something decadent, sit back, relax and enjoy getting to know Rita Hestand.

MLM: The holidays are fast approaching and things always seem to get busier during this time of year. Do you have a relaxing technique that helps you de-stress? If so, please share, because this is advice we all need!

Rita: I like to listen to either soundtracks from musicals, or easy listening music. Have a cup of coffee, a muffin and sit back and relax for a few minutes. Sometimes I take a short nap to rejuvenate me.

MLM: Not everyone celebrates Christmas, but most of us still have traditions we participate in, such as attending holiday parties, decorating your house, baking cookies, etc. What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Rita: I am definitely into making cookies, in fact, some years I bake and put in cute little tubs and give gifts to friends. They always seem to appreciate it. We also put up the tree together an all day event because we have Santa dolls and all kinds of spaces to decorate. I like to get a Christmas Angel when I can and try to fill everything on their wish list. But the true gift is not telling anyone you are giving anyone anything. Only God knows.

MLM: In the south, holidays are centered around food, with huge meals and lots of baked sweets. Do you have a favorite holiday recipe you'd like to share with us? If not, how about an all-year-round favorite recipe?

Rita: Pecan Pie is a favorite here in the south and in Texas. Here's a quick and easy recipe, but the secret is the freshness of the pecans.
1 cup of white sugar
1 cup of Karo white syrup
3 eggs
Several pats of butter.
1 cup of either crushed or whole pecans
Mix it all up pour into a unbaked pie shell at 350 for an hour or until it is set (which simply means it doesn't giggle as much)
One of the best treats for Christmas or Thanksgiving

MLM: Ooo…yeah, we love pecan pie and make it every year as well. The holidays aren't the holidays without pecan pie! Have you ever made your own holiday presents and/or decorations? If so, what were they? Were they successes or failures? Did you have fun while making them?

Rita: One year we had an especially hard Christmas and the kids wanted to give their friends something but there was not enough money to go around for presents and so we made cookies and put them in mason jars and tied pretty little curled ribbons (that we curled by hand) onto the lids. Then the kids painted the jars and put names on them. Their friends thought this one of the most novel and nicest gifts they got. Mainly because some thought and work went into it. The girls never forgot that Christmas, it was truly one of the best. They had no idea their friends would love this…especially now days when gifts are rather expensive.

MLM: If "Santa Claus" could bring you any gift you wanted, what would be your ultimate gift? (Please refrain from saying "money" because who doesn't want more of that!)

Rita: Okay, this is a real secret, I am not a jewelry person, never have been. And admittedly I only own one piece of jewelry now. But if Santa brought me a beautiful necklace or bracelet I'd be thrilled. (Even though I believe in Santa, it'll never happen)

MLM: Odd question, but my 9 year old thinks Rudolph and the reindeers "guiding Santa's sleigh" have GPS navigation. So, if you could give Santa and his sleigh any one modern technology, what would it be and why?
Rita: I had no idea what to answer so I cheated and ask my grandson and here's his answer:
"Santa needs a cell phone, and the reason…(you won't believe this) if Santa were to get sick, he'd need a phone to call 911 and let them know, likewise if the reindeers were hurt or sick they would need immediate attention. " Don't you love kids?

MLM: Aww…what a perfect answer! I love it and yes, kids are the greatest! Now, let’s get to your writing, Rita(author name)...what genre do you write and what is the draw for you?

Rita: For years I wrote contemporary romances. I never thought I was good enough to tackle the historical. But then my husband died, and I went through a deep depression and couldn't write. Well, when I finally began again, it was a historical, and I've been writing them ever since. I love the research, it's so much fun to learn something new.

MLM: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.

Rita: Love of family, goodness, loyalties, that get down home fuzzy feeling that all is well.

MLM: With the current movement to encourage people to give books as gifts, what, in your opinion, makes your story unique? What makes it stand out among all of the other books out there?

Rita: My books concentrate on heavy family themes, of doing what's right even when it hurts, and I hope I instill that same down home fuzzy feeling after reading them. So when someone is depressed, lonely, or just not feeling well, they could pick up my book and get a little lift out of life.

MLM: Do you prefer throwing snowballs or serving hot cocoa? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?

Rita: I like the snowball thing, only Texas doesn't offer much snow. Entertaining isn't my cup of tea as I tend to be such a hermit, and get flustered in the kitchen if I cook for many people. But a game is always fun.

MLM: If you could give any of your characters a holiday gift, which character would it be and what would you give them? Why do they deserve this gift?

Rita: I would give Maggie a beautiful dress and home. Because Maggie was an escaped slave who survived only by her wits during the civil war. She was courageous and bold and did what she had to do, but she survived on very little and didn't complain. She certainly would have deserved better. Maggie is the heroine in Love Rules.

MLM: Who decides what your characters do, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one stuffing the stocking?

Rita: My voices lead me all the time. If I try to get out of line with them, they always correct me telling me, this won't work. I listen, because usually they are right. Be true to your characters, it's a rule with me.

MLM: What character did you have the most fun creating and why?

Rita: Jeb and Hoot in my short story, The Far Side of Lonesome. And I'll tell you why. Jeb and Hoot are two black men, but not just any two black men. They are Christian black men, who know right from wrong, it's built into them. They are put in a dangerous position in The Far Side of Lonesome, which is also a historical short story set in the 1800's west, and I got a kick out of figuring out how to get them out of it. It seems the Indians stuck them with a white captive woman and her Indian baby, and they were in a hot spot to figure out how to get out of that one. Well…just check it out on One of the best pieces I've ever written.

MLM: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why?

Rita: Not one but four, brothers, The Travers Brothers series. It's contemporary but these four boys know right from wrong, good from evil and are true examples of what a man should be. Honest, loyal and all great looking. But then….most of my men are like this…aw….that's a hard one.
Nick Leonetti in Nick's Baby, Coop Johnson in Wandering Heart, Chase Rivers in Beyond the Dream Catcher, and the list goes on….I love all my heroes.
Find them on

MLM: Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?
Rita: This one is easy, Victor Frank. Victor Frank is a villain in Better Off Without Her. He is a serial killer with a mission. He has no future only a past, and he'll kill anyone who gets in his way. Victor Frank was extremely hard to come out of when writing him. He had been so tortured through his life. He had his own voice and he left a mark on me that I won't forget.

MLM: If you were interviewing yourself, what is the one question you would ask yourself and please give us the answer to that question?

Rita: What makes you think you can write a good story and sell it?
I've spent 40 years trying to write the best books, it has taken me this long to be able to write where I have confidence in my writing, as a storyteller. I have learned so many things because I started at the bottom. With little education, I self educated myself, and although I still have much to learn, I feel that now I can hold my own with most storytellers. Although I might not be able to verbally communicate as well as some, I can write them. I'm finally comfortable with my style of writing.

MLM: Proof you should never, ever give up on your dreams! Thanks so much for joining us, Rita Hestand(author name)! It's been a treat getting to know you better!

Buy Link:
Any other links/sites you wish to offer readers so they can find you on the world wide web, such as buy links for other books, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc.!/rita.hestand

Thank you so much for having me, and hope I haven't bored anyone to death. Happy Holidays everyone!


At nineteen, Katherine Hightower is orphaned in the Texas wilderness, with no one for company but her brother and the rough characters trying to eek a living out of the harsh landscape. With her parents lost to the fever, Katherine tries to run the Butterfield Stage Station as her folks had done. Beaten down with grief and endless grueling work, she wonders if things could get worse. And they do, when soldiers try to attack her. Her rescuer is an unlikely hero--a half breed prisoner.

Chase Rivers is on a mission to bring the woman who haunts his dreams back to his people. With the spell of the Shawnee's Shaman pushing them towards each other, Katherine and Chase succumb to the magic bond that will carry them through danger and doubt together. Will Katherine be able to accept her own mixed heritage? She must decide if her love for Chase and her belief in her own abilities can bring the vision of the Dream Catcher to fruition. If her love fails, the Shawnee people will perish.


Her lips trembled as she touched her mouth to his. Warmth like summer sunshine stunned his senses. A sweetness never imagined whispered his name, as she pulled away and stared into his confusion. Had he imagined her actions?

"Who are you…. ich-que? Your kiss is like mon-nit-to a-ta-wa-chie, heaven," Chase Rivers demanded, his voice bold, and his eyes boring into the figure of the woman with silent appreciation. "What do you want with me, why do you look into my soul as though you know me?"

"We will soon know each other, I am Katherine…" She gasped, her eyes searching his in wonderment. Golden flecks in fawn brown eyes softened on him, her tender smile spreading and radiating her face. Long limbed and graceful, she stood poised. Her long brown hair fell past her waist, her serene smile radiating a sunshine all her own.

Now his glance filled with amazement and awe as she opened her arms to him. He wanted to go into her arms, but Chase knew nothing of this woman. His cynical nature held him back, but it took more effort than relenting.

"Where are you from?" he murmured as he came closer, wanting assurance of her reality. "I have never seen you before."

"I come from Texas,” she said breathlessly. "I'm on the Butterfield's Stage Line." Chase pondered the information, intrigued by her proud nature. It made no sense to him. The Butterfield Stage Line, created by a dreamer, Mr. Butterfield, was a death trap the Comanche intended to destroy.
"Why are you here? Why do you invade my dreams?" He asked in a hushed whisper, not wanting to scare her off, but still skeptical of her.

"I have not invaded. I wait for your welcome. It's your dream, not mine. You called my spirit…" Her shy smile filled his heart.

"I called no one." Chase watched her with curiosity and trepidation. And yet, she somehow beckoned him. He didn't like what she did to him.

She turned away slightly at his remark, a tear in the corner of her eye almost spilling. Instant sadness surrounded him. Her smile faded, the sunshine replaced by darkness now, as though night had descended. But it could not be. How could light ebb so quickly in the middle of the day? He'd just eaten; it was barely past noon. Loneliness engulfed his heart. He stared at her, bewildered. What kind of prophet caused the sun not to shine?

"Then I must go." Her sadness engulfed him, as though his rejection had caused her hurt. But how could he hurt her? He did not know her.

Chase felt her pain as if it were his own. Her loneliness, too. But even more, her hopelessness. What manner of vision could this be? He refused to carry it, rejecting it. Yet because he had glimpsed it, he knew he would not forget it. He would carry it forever in the deepest, darkest part of his being.

17 Moonbeams (comments):

Redameter said...

Well, I finally got here but looks like there is no rush. LOL
Did everyone go shopping?

Maureen said...

Very nice interview! Sounds like your feet on the ground and you know what you write and why.


Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Rita - great post - your book looks awesome!!

Unknown said...

I want that book for Christmas. :) Wanna find it Christmas morning on my Kindle. Great interview, Rita.

Redameter said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by you know this is the time of year that we are all so busy, but don't think I take this for granted. You guys rock. Merry Christmas to you all.

Hey Ginger, wish I had a Kindle in my stocking.

Love and blessings

Anne Patrick said...

Great interview and excerpt, Rita! Can't wait to try the pecan pie recipe. Good luck to you. I wish you many sales!

Redameter said...

You guys are terrific. I'll remember you!

Love and blessings

Markee Anderson said...

You did a GREAT job with this interview on a beautiful blog! And the pe-can pie (I used to live in the south and they don't say peCON, they say PE-CAN) looks delicious!!!

Thank you for sharing. Your grandson sounds adorable! And your excerpt is fantastic!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I remember one day talking about your villain, Frank Victor. I love a good villain. Your book Beyond The Dreamcatcher looks awesome, Rita. I haven't read it yet but I will get to it. Great interview.

Gracen Miller said...

Thanks for joining us today, Rita! It was a joy getting to know you! And thanks to everyone for showing up and supporting Rita. I know it means a lot to her.

Hey, Markee, I'm southern, live in Alabama, and some southerns say "pecan", but not all of us. I prefer "pecon" pie as opposed to "pecan". BUT my mother is a yankee, so maybe that's why I resist the southern lingo. LOL The first time my MIL asked me if I needed a "pillar" to travel with, I was like what the heck is that? She was talking about a "pillow". LOL Southerners and their lingo are unique though.

Thanks again to everyone for stopping by and to Rita for joining us today!

All the best of success, Rita.


Markee Anderson said...

Isn't that the truth, Gracen! I'm from PA, originally, but lived in NC for 10 years. I had to learn mighty darn fast how to speak their lingo. But it was fun, too! I'm up here in snowy WI now, and they have weird words and a weird accent, too...I think I'd rather be in the south! HA!

I call it 'peCON' too...but then again, I'm a northerner. My kids were born in Raleigh, but they talk like my husband and me. He was born in upstate NY.

I just love hearing southerners talk, though. :) I really miss it.

Redameter said...

Thanks for having me today, I enjoyed it and had so much fun with the ones that stopped off.

Love and blessing and a very Merry Christmas to you all

Rebecca J Vickery said...

HI Rita and Gracien,
I just had to stop by and say congrats on all your releases and wish you success and happiness in everything you do. I knew Beyond the Dreamcatcher was destined for great things from the first time I read it. A powerful story. Merry Christmas and health and happiness to everyone.

Kathleen said...

Your interview was beautifully written. I love the theme of your stories.

If I could give Santa something from today's technology, I would give him a Kindle. This way he could read Decadent Publishing's books when he finishes his long journey.

Laura Shinn said...

Rita, I SOOOO loved the interview. I'm with you in my favorite characters are Jeb and Hoot from The Far Side of Lonesome. Great story! And I have several of the Travers books, but want them all!! *G*

I have a weakness also for pecan pie, also being a Texas girl. *g* I think I love it because my dad loved it. He got me hooked. LOL

You're doing so well on your writing and from your various publishers. I'm so proud of your accomplishments! I'm not sure I would've had your grit in your place. You're an outstanding woman, Rita, with incredible storytelling ability. I can't wait to see what you have in store for your next book (or series). *g*

Laura Shinn

Diane Craver said...

Hi Rita,
I'm sorry I'm late - I'm on digest and my daughter is in the hospital so been gone today.

I loved your story, THE FAR SIDE OF LONESOME. I agree with Laura - Jeb and Hoot are wonderful and endearing characters. The whole story was unique and refreshing with lots of substance. I also enjoyed your RUNAWAY BRIDE. I'm looking forward to reading more of your stories.

Great interview!!!

Jacquie Rogers said...

I'm so glad I read this interview, Rita. You're such an interesting person! And I just know your books will be fabulous--and just in time for Christmas gifts!