Character Interview with Samantha Randall from The Trucker’s Cat


Over the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Samantha Randall from The Trucker’s Cat. With an emerald green eye and a cobalt blue one, this vibrant young woman has the agility of a cat. Today, she gives us a bit of her background.

CHRISTINA: Thanks for joining me, Samantha. Let’s start with your family. Tell us about them.

SAMANTHA: Well, my mother divorced my dad when I was ten and then married Russian Ambassador Dmitri Demas. For now, I live with them at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. My father was a U.S. Army General, who advised the President. He passed away two years ago. I miss him, but I’d like to think he’s watching over me. His best friend, Bear, is like my uncle. He’s big and burly. Over the years, I’ve picked up many of his bad habits and mannerisms. He tells it like it is, and I try to emulate that.

CHRISTINA: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Have you achieved the goal?

SAMANTHA: I wanted to be a ballerina. I had an opportunity to audition for Julliard once, but a broken leg at my father’s funeral prevented it. Right now, I teach dance to grade schoolers at the local elementary. Someday, I’d like to own a dance studio.

CHRISTINA: It’s a silly question, but what would we find under your bed?

SAMANTHA: Nothing, not even dust bunnies. My mother’s a stickler for cleanliness. To avoid her wrath, I keep my room tidy. I don’t spend much time there though. I’m usually dancing in the embassy’s ballroom.

CHRISTINA: Do you have any pet peeves?

SAMANTHA: Oh yes, and it’s a doozy. I’m disgusted when people display torn and ratty American flags. I confront those culprits every chance I get. It’s a disgrace, and I think it disrespects all the men and women, who serve under it. My Uncle Bear would say, “That burns my butt.” I agree wholeheartedly.

CHRISTINA: Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying

SAMANTHA: Some men think there’s a choice between right and wrong. Great men know there is none. My father gave a famous speech at a military function and that quote was part of it. I’ve taken those simple words to heart. It’s pushing me to make some difficult decisions.

CHRISTINA: Like what?

SAMANTHA: Well, I uncovered vital information that affects our national security and I need to get trek cross-country to give it to the right person although I’m not sure who he is yet, but I’ll find him no matter the cost to me.

CHRISTINA: Be careful and good luck.

Don’t miss out on this patriotic adventure.



The Trucker’s Cat Blurb

“Some men think there’s a choice between right and wrong. Great men know there is none.”

~General Steven Randall

In The Trucker’s Cat, Samantha Randall and Major Logan McCormick believe in a common value that takes on extraordinary meaning.

At the Russian Embassy where she lives with her mother and stepfather, Samantha uncovers a plot to assassinate the President. Her father’s famous speech urges her to act. She treks cross-country to warn the driver that his cargo has the proof, but she finds herself stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Driving a truck on a special military assignment, Logan sees no choice and rescues Sam from a bloated lecher. Against protocol, he gives the wildcat a ride. With Russian soldiers searching for Logan’s cargo and another team chasing Samantha, they quickly realize they must work together. Making sacrifices for the greater good, they will do what’s necessary to prevent the unthinkable.

Some men think there’s a choice between right and wrong. Great men know there is none – General S. Randall


With a family history of military service, I wrote The Trucker’s Cat, a fast-paced romantic adventure with a patriotic theme.

After hearing the brave stories about my father and grandfather, I learned that believing in something greater, whether it’s the love of God, country, or each other, affects us in powerful ways. I enjoyed writing about the emotional workings of our mind and heart and the spiritual energy that taps into our passions.

In The Trucker’s Cat, Samantha Randall and Major Logan McCormick, inspired by General Randall’s patriotic speech, do what’s necessary to prevent the unthinkable—a Presidential assassination.

Leaving the Russian Embassy where she lives with her mother and stepfather, Samantha treks cross-country to warn the driver that his cargo has the proof, but she finds herself stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Driving a truck on a special military assignment, Logan sees no choice and rescues Sam from a bloated lecher. Against protocol, he gives the wildcat a ride. With Russian soldiers searching for Logan’s cargo and another team chasing Samantha, they quickly realize they must work together. Their belief in a common value takes on extraordinary meaning.

Although I’ve created these characters, I’m also inspired by them. That’s why I dedicated The Trucker’s Cat to the servicemen in my family:

Lieutenant Colonel John Bunyan Bennett, M.D., United States Army (WWI, WWII)

Parachute Rigger 1st Class LeRoy Stewart Thompson, United States Navy (WWII)

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Hershall Floyd Bennett, United States Marines (Korean War)

Senior Airman James Hershall Bennett, United States Air Force

Corporal Caleb Weyrick-Greene, United States Marines (Afghanistan)

Senior Airman David Stuart Thompson, United States Air Force

Do you know a military serviceman or woman who inspires you? Please share their name and rank. I would love to acknowledge them and their service. Thanks for stopping by today.

The Trucker’s Cat on Amazon

The Trucker’s Cat on Goodreads

48fourteen Book Sale

48fourteen-book-saleIt’s officially FALL!!!

Pumpkin everything, hot chocolate, colorful leaves, and holiday season! The icing on the cake? BOOKS!

For the first time ever, ALL 48fourteen eBooks are on sale for $0.99. There’s something for everyone!

Our books on Amazon->

Share with all of your book-loving friends!

(Sale is exclusive to Amazon, and will end on September 29, 2016. Due to file size, there are two eBooks we could not price lower than $1.99.)

What Surrounds You?


I still tap into my holistic training with my writing. It’s a theme throughout my novels because the healing power of Love is incredibly profound. I’m constantly in awe of the mind, body, and spirit connection especially when our environment is involved. I’m talking about Feng Shui, one of the eight modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Feng Shui is the enhancement of the energy (Qi) in your surroundings to attract prosperity. Flowing through all living things, Qi is the spirit or vital force that carries your body—the way you appear, act, move, talk. When you’re healthy, your Qi flows gently within your body. Problems occur when the Qi is blocked or moves too swiftly along its pathways.

Your environment affects your Personal Qi. Has someone’s mean comment ever soured your mood? Qi becomes blocked. How did you feel after receiving praise from your boss? Your positive energy increases. Your Home Qi also affects you. When stressed do you ever reach for your favorite warm blanket, put on your favorite sweatshirt, or fix a cup of tea using your favorite mug? The things that surround you can either comfort you or stress you.

Are you skeptical? Is it too New Agey for you? Let me put it in another context. Professional sports teams rely on Feng Shui, paying millions of dollars to make improvements. What? I’m talking about Home Field Advantage. “The energy of the crowd …” “The cheers energizing the players …” If you’ve ever been to a home game for any sport, you know what I’m talking about. How do you explain it?

Well, with Feng Shui, you surround yourself with the things that make you feel good. Your favorite chair overlooking the backyard full of trees is calming and relaxing. Your child’s artwork on the refrigerator puts a smile on your face. On the other hand, do you still have a piece of furniture you bought with your ex? How do you feel when you see it? If you remember the good times, keep it. If it brings up feelings of bitterness and resentment, get rid of it, and then see how you feel. There’s an intangible reason we shove all our ex’s things into a box to give back. Negativity does not attract abundance.

You don’t have to rearrange your whole house or dangle chimes at an angle from your southeast corner. Surrounding yourself with those favorite things creates positive energy.

Look around. What do you see? How does it make you feel?

Awesome by Association

Kraig Awesome by Association

My empathetic husband, Kraig, is one of the few people in my world that sees daily the joys and struggles I have as a writer. To support me and all the other writers out there, he wrote the following blog post:

When I talk to friends, relatives, and co-workers, quite often the discussion turns to my wife and her novels. Many say, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” I reply, “It’s a lot of work and takes up a lot of your time.” However, I’m not sure it completely describes what I see every day.

Creating stories and characters is an amazing process. In 2005, I suffered a job loss with a company I was with for 22 years. I was depressed. Christina encouraged me to look for new opportunities, one of which was writing. I, too, thought I could do it. Cheering me on, she wrote down her ideas, while I jotted down mine. She embraced the challenge. I, on the other hand, wasn’t as into it as much as she was. With desire and determination, she continued writing. I realized how passionate she was when I suggested killing off one of her characters as a story twist. Dumb idea … I made her cry.

After making improvements with her story line and her writing skills, she finally sent queries to agents and publishers. Then, one night she woke me from a deep sleep. She received an offer from Juanita Samborski, the publisher at 48fourteen. What an exciting time! Her hard work was paying off. Her next step was learning about book promotion. Putting herself out there by writing, tweeting, facebooking, blogging, and book signing takes a courage I don’t possess. She pushes herself every day, so she can be the best she can be while I prefer my safe, quiet, and comfortable haven.

I, now, have a new reply for all those who want to write a novel. “Passion and courage are the #1 and #2 Must-Haves when writing.”

I’ve also learned that sometimes you don’t realize how hard conveying a sentiment is until you try to write it …

Written by Kraig Thompson, husband of an author, which makes me Awesome by Association

You can find me on Twitter



The Gratitude Box

Gratitude box

As a writer, I work hard to focus on the positive aspects and less on the frustrations. It can be daunting. To be more aware of the great things going on in my life, I have a gratitude box on my desk. I started it two years ago. At least once a day, I write on a post-it note something I’m grateful for and then I stick it in the box.

For example, I’m thankful to my husband for surprising me with takeout after I’ve written past my cutoff time, to readers for buying my books that day, to my adult children for sending me a random text out of the blue. Some days are harder than others, and I become grateful there was enough toilet paper on the roll or there weren’t any bills in that day’s mail. These acknowledgements lift my spirit and keep me writing.

What are you grateful for today?



TGC event banner-001

For The Garden Collection, I took a single defining moment from my childhood to create a story with an important message about the energy of words and how they affect us. Love doesn’t require perfection. Its healing power is incredibly profound. ~ Christina Thompson

Grab your copy of my sweet romance, The Garden Collection, on sale now for $0.99


“The heartwarming story of struggle, determination, heartache, and true love kept me reading …”

“Tender and hopeful, painful and sad … all make a sweetly intriguing story…”

“I do believe that positive and encouraging words can change a life.”


A few words of encouragement can stay with you for a lifetime. Robert and Brianna’s childhood friendship grew into respect for each other and their ideas. Robert gave her the confidence to stand up for herself. Brianna helped him see his artistic potential and encouraged him to travel for his inspiration. He found it in the letters she wrote.

After her mother abandoned her at sixteen and her stepfather beat her at eighteen, Brianna Carlson now struggles to care for her six-year-old half-sister, Chloe. The day before her twenty-first birthday, Brianna receives news that her stepfather will be released from prison. Half blind from a head injury and still limping from a once broken leg, she’s terrified he’ll come back to hurt Chloe this time. She decides to leave town.

Waiting for their five-year age gap to diminish, Robert Donovan purposely stayed away. While traveling for his family’s jewelry business, he designed The Garden Collection, his newest line of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Returning home, he discovers Brianna had lied in every letter she sent. She never received any of his. Before he can demand answers, she disappears without Chloe.

As Robert learns about Brianna’s life during his absence, he sets out to find her and convince her to trust him again. He hopes the innocent love of their youth is strong enough to heal her injured heart and fulfill his need for a home.





A Glimpse Where Past Meets Future

David's Salute 1Our son, David, will be on leave next month. It’s been a year since we’ve seen him. As you can imagine, this mum misses him. It brought to mind this post I wrote a few years ago about a moment in my life I still hold close to my heart.

David had just graduated basic training in the Air Force, so we attended the four-day festivities at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. The celebration included the Airman Run, the Retreat Ceremony, the Coin Ceremony, and the Parade Ceremony. While the pomp and circumstance was all proud parents could ask for, the moment I observed was a quiet unassuming one.

During our private family visit late in the day, David sat with me, my husband, and our daughter in the empty bleachers away from the crowds. We enjoyed his animated stories about his first arrival as an anxious 0-Weeker (the group also known as Rainbow Flight since they were still in their street clothes) and then as a fearful early-Weeker (known as Baby Flight) with their endless running, kitchen duty, and lack of sleep.

All of a sudden, preamble music sounded over the P.A. system. David said, “Excuse me, mum.” He stood up, faced the center of the base toward the flag, snapped to attention, and saluted just as the Star Spangled Banner started playing.

As I watched and listened, I remembered him as a newborn. I had wondered back then what kind of man he would become. I thought about his birthdays, his high school graduation, and all the other firsts. The flood of emotions overwhelmed me, and I cried.

As a writer, I strive to project integrity, loyalty, bravery, honor, and selflessness into the heroes and heroines in my novels. That day, I saw those traits first-hand in my son. My children are my heroes. They inspire me. That moment gave me a glimpse where his past met his future.



Straight Paths or Squiggly Tracks

fun pad

Do you remember the activity books we had as kids for those long car rides? The entertaining devices before video games, cell phones, laptops, and eReaders? The variety of pages had Connect the Dots, Color by Numbers, Find the Item, and Word Searches. Well, my least favorite pages were the ones with three squiggly lines like a big ball of tangled Christmas lights. You had to track each line through the maze a swiggles to find the treasure at the other end. I wanted that straight path to the prize. I thought those tracks needed to be smoothed out, which made more sense to me.


I love order. Lists are a joy. They give me purpose. As a planner, my goals were set from an early age…college and career with love and a family in the far distant future…but then I met Kraig (Hizzah!). My life path was starting to look like that activity page. Suddenly my nice straight path started to curve.

Well, I married shortly before I graduated from Nazareth College in Kalamazoo. My husband, Kraig, (Hizzah!) had always been an avid reader. From an early age, he visited the local library often. Reading was a big part of his life.

I didn’t start reading until I married him. In grade school and high school, I read the required books for reports. (Blah!) In college, I concentrated on my text books. (Ugh!) I just didn’t read for the enjoyment of it.

I remember after only a week into our marriage he had picked up his book after dinner and read it on the couch next to me while I watched TV. Every time I tried to talk to him, he’d sigh, set his book on his lap, answer my question, then pick up the book again ignoring me. I thought, “What the hell? I haven’t seen you all day, and you’d rather spend time with your book than with me?” I didn’t get it.

We sat a foot away from each other, but he was in another world. Well, I joined his world by reading his favorite series, The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, thus starting my twenty-seven-year love affair with reading. From then on, books became a mainstay … an escape from the bills, the mother-in-law (ooh), and sometimes the husband.

Years later, the kids didn’t need my constant attention. I realized I had a little more time on my hands to read, but I also had an idea for a book. I wondered if I could write a story. I had only written research papers in college. Could I really write an interesting novel? As excited as I was to start, I had my inner critic. “You’re not good enough; you’re not smart enough. You didn’t go to school to be a writer, what makes you think you can do this?” Nudging me to try, Kraig (Hizzah!) helped me squelch that noise in my head.

I loved the process of researching, outlining, and writing. I was a demi-god who could make these characters do anything. (Waahaha) I learned quickly that like my children they didn’t listen. These fictional people were following their own squiggly path.

In my story, Taylor Valentine, who had her life planned out since kindergarten, meets the love of her life (Hizzah!) and her plan crumbles. What’s that adage? Write what you know?

As Taylor learns in Their Rigid Rules, plans are okay as a template, but sometimes you just have to embrace the journey no matter where it takes you because the lessons learned are priceless. My path lead me right here, right now with you. Thanks for stopping by.

Are you looking for a fun summer read? Check out Their Rigid Rules, the 3rd book and prequel in The Chemical Attraction Series. It can be read first or last in the series.


B & N



The Aha Moment


Even before I started writing, relationships have fascinated me, especially the married ones. I love hearing the How We Met stories. Couples enjoy sharing their unique history. Some say, I knew right away. Others laugh and say, I hated him at first. A husband once told me that he chased after his wife for a year before convincing her he was the one. The stories may seem similar, but none are the same.

Whether you’ve just met or you’ve known each other for years, there’s that single defining moment ─ the Aha Moment ─ when you realize you’re in love with this person. Your perspective suddenly changes, and you think, Why didn’t I see that before? Women have mentioned a small gesture from their one that fills them with pure joy. Warmth washes over you, goose bumps appear from a light touch, or your heart flutters with knowing.

My mom said she knew fifty years ago when my dad placed his hand at her back as they walked along a busy sidewalk. At a dinner party, Kraig held my hand under the table as we ate … an intimate gesture in a crowded room while reassuring me with his smile and dreamy blue eyes. ((sigh)) Oh, um, uh, what was I saying? Oh, yeah.

I think it’s one of the reasons romance novels are extremely popular. Who doesn’t want to feel that newness and excitement of meeting the one? It gives us hope that the unlimited possibilities are out there just waiting to happen to us.

In Their Rigid Rules, Stuart and Taylor share an initial attraction in a lecture hall. As Stuart struggles with his PTSD, he’s drawn to Taylor’s empathetic nature.

In Chemical Attraction and Chemical Reaction, Joe and Madeline felt an immediate connection at her Aunt Sylvia’s B & B. After a rocky start, they learn that their scars make them who they are and what they love about each other. The healing power of Love is incredibly profound.

Even after ten years of marriage, Matt and Eva Connor, another couple from Chemical Attraction and Chemical Reaction, are still crazy about each other. Soon, I’ll share their unique history of love, sacrifice, and devotion from their beginning in The Kindred Code.

In The Garden Collection, Brianna and Robert have known each other since childhood. However, they fell in love with the other at different times during their friendship. When Robert saved Brianna from her fifth grade bully, Brianna knew she loved him, but Robert didn’t realize he loved her until she was sixteen.

I truly believe there is nothing ordinary about any relationship. Do you remember that Aha Moment when you knew you found your one? Care to share? Or are you saving it for your own romance novel?

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