Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday's Author Spotlight: Denisea Kampe

Today I’m excited to have author Denisea Kampe on the Sunday’s Author Spotlight. Denisea Kampe is the author of several contemporary romance novels. Her latest novel ‘Bridge of Lies’ was published this year. Read more about this new book in the guest post Denisea wrote especially for Maureen’s Books. 

Guest Post: Denisea Kampe

Good Sunday morning, y’all! And thank you, Maureen for hosting me today on your Sunday Author Spotlight. I’m so excited to be here and share my inspirational military romance, Bridge of Lies, with you and all your readers.

Long ago and far away, I wrote under a pen name, which I’ve since abandoned going on three years now. Truth be told, that pen name girl, she wasn’t me. She wrote things I’m not particularly proud of now and swerved far left from what I originally set out to do: write contemporary romance. I didn’t know ‘Bridge of Lies’ would fall under the inspirational category until it fell under the inspirational category. It was the first thing that came to me after the switch from pen name to real me so it’s what hit the paper, and honestly I’m not sure if another true inspirational title will come to me, but if it does I’m at the ready. It’s not the first title published under real me, but it’s the first thing I wrote completely under my own name, so I’m pretty proud of it and its message. About 'Bridge of Lies'… 
With his father’s blessing, against his mother’s wishes, and without the woman he’d thought to someday call his wife, Eli Jackson left his hometown and the family farm behind in pursuit of a career beyond hay bales and cows. For ten years he’s served his country and served it well with multiple tours to the Middle East courtesy of the Marine Corps. In all that time, he rarely returned home and never for any great length of time, preferring not to hear the worst about himself through a rumor he in fact started. But after missing his ten year class reunion, something calls Eli back to the snowiest Christmas Missouri has seen in years. Never did he expect that literally in the midst of the storm, the girl he believed he could never have would slip back into his life. 

Calliope Barnwell never thought for a moment she was in Eli Jackson’s league. Sure, they mingled in the same social circles in high school, but she knew as well as anyone she was there by default. After hearing how he treated his girlfriend before leaving for boot camp, Calliope wondered if she ever really knew him at all, even if her contact with him had been limited to her observations from afar and she pushes him out of her mind. Well, for the most part. His fly by night visits home only serve to remind her of what she knew she could never have and the fact she actually misses him befuddles her. Yet one winter’s night, he manages to not only plant himself in her path, he figures out almost all her dirty little secrets in a matter of hours. 

Then in that voice as smooth as aged bourbon, Eli starts talking about the space that exists between being just friends and more. Calliope wants more. Eli’s plan to help her recover from her fall from grace seems sound, but sometimes more comes with a hefty price tag and after spanning that space with a bridge of lies which bows under the stress and threatens to collapse, they find themselves questioning if the cost is worth it.

I thought this morning I’d share a few behind the scenes facts about Bridge of Lies and how it came to fruition.

Marriages of convenience are nothing new. In fact, they’ve been occurring since the dawn of time when woman knew she needed the crème de la crème of the crop in order to survive. Love wasn’t necessarily as much a part of the equation as eating was. There are cases of military men and women marrying for convenience sake rather than love. It’s not condoned and can be a punishable offense if it’s discovered the marriage is a fraud with the only purpose being a fleecing of government monies and resources. While I’ve never known of a single case of fraud being proven, it does in fact exist at times. The occurrences of fraudulent marriages I’ve been privy to was the catalyst for the plot line 'Bridge of Lies' follows.

Although I never specifically mention their exact address, Eli and Calli live in the same base house MarshFox and I lived in when first arriving at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The housing area it was located in has since gone through some serious renovation and although it looks nothing like it did when I first set foot in it back in 2001, it will always be the tiny brick house where I planted my first flowers that someone else would inherit. And the mention of having to know exactly how to utilize closet space in those small homes, totally real!

Eli’s job is in the communications field. Although MarshFox started out as a heavy equipment mechanic, he spent some time with a comm unit because he knows how to work on the diesel run generators they use to light up field exercises. It was fun revisiting our days with “the wing” in my mind as I wrote Eli’s work scenes.

The commissary… There is a point in the story one of the secondary characters has a run in with a wife who spreads rumors like wild fire, you guessed it, at the commissary. If you do your marketing on base, it is inevitable you will run into a few people you know. The Corps is a small world. Some of these people will be friend and some foe. Lesson learned—be mindful of what you say to anyone you encounter who might know a friend of a friend of a friend.

Eli and Calli have known each other since childhood. When they reunite, it’s in and around their childhood hometown. I never mention a specific name of that town, but it is based on my hometown in Missouri. And, no. Neither Eli nor Calli are based on me and a long lost boy, nor anyone I know from that town, although Eli embodies the values many of the boys I grew up with had instilled in them from their fathers.

Now that you know a bit of the back story behind the story, here’s a short snippet from the book…
“Where’s Calliope?” Eli asked, grabbing the ticket before anyone else could and standing to pull his wallet out of his back pocket.
“Punching out,” Gail answered, taking the crisp bills Eli offered and turning toward the front, presumably to collect his change.
“Keep it,” Eli tossed her way as he darted toward the door where he could see their canary yellow cab just pulling in as Calliope made her way across the parking lot. He waved over his shoulder toward the table he’d just left. “You guys go ahead without me. I’ll find a way home.”
In the least, he owed the woman an apology. An offer of dinner wasn’t out of the question either, since somehow a mouthful of words didn’t seem enough to make up for picking a scab off what was clearly a still festering wound.

By the time Eli pushed the door open and stepped out onto the pavement, which had only grown slicker with the new round of wintery mix now falling, Calliope was slowly making her way down the sidewalk toward town. Bundled in nothing more than a heavy sweater, her face was buried in the collar as she took tiny, metered steps into the freezing darkness. He imagined her legs must be aching from exposure as her uniform skirt ended just above her knees and bare skin gleamed between there and the tops of her boots which ended mid-calf.

“Calliope, wait,” Eli shouted against a wind strong enough to take his breath and steal his words before they made it past the end of the building. If she was afraid to drive home in the weather, he’d make sure she got there safely. That is, if she’d believe him when he said he was sobered up sufficiently to accomplish that. What the coffee hadn’t taken care of the knife sharp blade of winter air had. “Calliope Barnwell,” he tried a bit louder, sprinting as quickly as the glassy ground would allow. “Wait.”

Her steps halted as she turned her head and peered from beneath the sweater’s collar at him half jogging, half skating toward her. Without a word, she returned her gaze toward town and set off again, teetering a bit before finding sure footing again.

Between her wobbling along and his slightly quicker pace, Eli caught up to her in no time. He in fact passed her then turned and stopped so she’d be forced to either stop as well and acknowledge him or go around. Neither scenario materialized though as she gasped and stumbled, her eyes growing wide with fright and her arms flapping in circles as she tried to regain balance. Her purse slid to her wrist before stopping and hanging precariously.

“Oh, man,” Eli groaned as he scooted forward just in time to keep her from hitting the ground. He ran his arms around her middle and held on for dear life, spreading his stance to ensure they both kept their footing. “I’m so sorry. Seems I’m not doing a great job in the I’d like to get reacquainted department tonight.” As they steadied, one of Eli’s hands strayed from just under one of her breasts and eased down the gentle swell of Calliope’s belly to rest at her side where a minute tic caressed his palm. “Oh my God,” he breathed. “Are you pregnant?”

“Don’t worry, it’s not a contagious condition,” she answered in a wavering voice over chattering teeth. “You can turn loose now.”

Again, thanks for hosting me today and thanks readers for coming by and spending a few minutes with me. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have, just leave them in the comments. If you’d like to keep up with me, you can find me at my Blog and on Facebook. 'Bridge of Lies' is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Happy reading!

Denisea Kampe

Other Books by Denisea Kampe:


'For His Country' 


Twenty-seven years, more than a dozen deployments, five kids…and one missing wife. twenty-seven years of marriage and service to his country, Gavin McIntyre returns from what he hopes will be his last deployment before either reaching the highest attainable enlisted rank in the Marine Corps or retiring. But what he returns to leaves him flat aback with a busted mast and broken rudder. His wife is a no show for the homecoming. Using the ages old adage of improvise, adapt, and overcome, he makes his way home only to discover, she hasn’t simply forgotten to pick him up from the bus, she’s gone. In her wake, Gavin finds his home set up boot camp style and twenty dollars in the cookie jar, but any evidence he’s ever had a wife or five children with her is deplete.

Pregnant at sixteen and married to a marine in a less than romantic ceremony courtesy of the local Justice, Raylyn McIntyre has spent almost three decades playing the dutiful patriotic wife, catering to the whims of the military. She’s lost track of how many places she’s lived, how many deployments she’s endured, and how many tears she’s shed. But most of all, she’s lost track of herself. With a husband who’s so wrapped up in saving the world he can’t see he’s losing his family, Ray resorts to the one tactic he might understand…a full frontal attack with extreme prejudice, which proves to get Gavin’s waning attention.

Nothing good ever comes easy, though, and just when her choice of battle plan seems to be working, tragedy befalls their family. As Ray and Gavin struggle to find center, they also struggle with the notion that forgiveness of self is often the only path to forgiveness of another, and that path is not only bumpy but filled with pitfalls.

'The Executive Officer's Wife'

Target: Libby Calhoun. She's independent and strong-willed, the daughter of a near infamous Marine Corps sniper. Libby's been raised by the resident housekeeper, has learned to take care of herself over the years and doesn't take crap off anyone. She's also sassy and pretty darn cute. After one failed
marriage she's not in the market for love, a husband or any semblance of children. One night of hot sex should do it but that pesky situation with her father is making that near impossible. Security Agent: Chase Wayland. He's not looking for love either but his golden-eyes sure can lure a girl in. Chase is a former Marine turned owner of his own security firm. He also has a failed marriage under his belt and trust isn't in his vocabulary. There's only one way in Chase's world and that's his way, whether anyone else agrees or not. Can these two live under the same roof after the incident? Chase seems to think so, as long as they ignore each other, play by his strict 'business only' policy and he makes Libby hate him. Libby thinks so, too, but she wants to do things her way. And her way means Chase's resolve to be a good guy will be stretched to its limits, especially when she takes to the town in her red boots...

'One Tear'

Sometimes mourning the loss of one life while rejoicing the discovery of another requires more than one tear...

Living just outside an Army base in the Midwest meant Madison Melbourne grew up around soldiers by the thousands. While they were a constant in her life, she never envisioned herself filling the role of Army wife. Until Gage came along. Over the course of a few months, Madi knew two things. She might be head over heels and she was definitely pregnant. Against the advice of friends and family, she jumps over the state line and into a marriage that would later be defined by the secrets it held rather than the truths she thought it was based on. Upon his death in combat, Gage leaves Madi with more questions than answers and more debt than money forcing her from her Kentucky home and right back where she started. She may be at square one, but Madi's determined to move forward and never to be left destitute and heartbroken again.

Seeing how difficult the Marine Corps is on marriages and families, Rafe McCarthy has sentenced himself to a life of hard time as a bachelor, living for the moment and never staying with any woman long enough for the grass to grow beneath his feet. In fact, Rafe has a reputation as the unit player that follows him everywhere he goes with a vengeance. But it seems biological time clocks aren't just a female thing. In fact, Rafe's biological alarm goes off one afternoon and like a man possessed, he falls into a wife seeking mode akin to the heat seeking missiles he's watched zipping over the Middle East for the last several years. It's only a matter of hours before he has Madi in his crosshairs and a matter of days until he realizes he's sighted in on one tragically broken woman. But instead of listening to every single male instinct he possesses and running, Rafe digs in his heels, determined they can work and hell-bent on making her happy.

And then the tears come...

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These and more books by Denisea Kampe are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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  1. I think I've just discovered a new author! Can't wait to read your books, Denisea!!! Write On, girl!!!


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