Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Introducing B. Benfield | Author Interview

B. BenfieldIt is my honor and privilege to introduce a brand new Christian author to you folks. She is not only an amazing author, she is my best friend. I've known her since she was 5! We go wayyyyy back, and I am thrilled at the chance to help her promote her writing. I've been hard on her as she started her writing career because I wanted her to be the best she could be. Her first novel, Sophia Redeemed, blew me away. I haven't started her newest novel, Saving Taya, yet but I have high hopes! Without further ado, let me introduce you to my very best friend and author extraordinaire: B. Benfield.

Hi Brittney. Welcome to Faith * Love * Books! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is B. Benfield, otherwise known as Brittney. I’m a banker by day and writer by night, spending all time in between hanging out with my three year old son, husband, family, and friends! I also like to squeeze time in for a good book when I can!

Banker: that's an interesting career choice. When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I’ve always known I wanted to be an author I just always thought it was a dream that would never come true. I started working on a book a couple years ago and discovered self-publishing. My story transpires from there…

Tell us about your writing journey.
I started writing New Adult Romance in 2014 where I self-published four books. At the beginning of 2015, I had an idea for a Christian Romance story, so I started brainstorming. After I started writing the story, I had decided that I didn’t want to associate my name with both New Adult and Christian Romance, so I pulled all of my books from the shelves. I self-published Sophia Redeemed in October of 2015. A short while after it had been released, I had submitted the book to a publisher, not expecting anything to come out of it, but to my surprise, they signed me! Sophia Redeemed was just re-released on March 29th, 2016, and will be followed by Saving Taya and Mila’s Strength, which are the next two books in the series.

That must have been a hard decision. I'm glad you made the jump to Christian Romance and I can say that it has been an amazing journey! Where did the idea for Sophia Redeemed come from?
I’m not sure if it was something that was said in church, but I remember sitting at the table with my husband and son one Sunday evening eating dinner and the idea for Sophia just came to me. I was a little nervous and wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue the idea, but the character kept growing and I decided this story was one I had to tell.

I remember having several conversations with you about the main story line for Sophia Redeemed. Can you tell us a little bit about what your current project is?
I’m currently working on book three in the Faith and Love series which is Mila’s Strength. I have also started throwing around ideas for my next project once the series is complete, which I believe will be a standalone novel, but I don’t want to give too much of that away yet!

Thank you so much for joining us today Brit. It's been fun! 

Here's where you can find B. Benfield on the web:

Purchase your copies of Sophia Redeemed and Saving Taya:
Saving Taya: Amazon  CURRENTLY ON SALE FOR $0.99!! 
Sophia Redeemed: Amazon | B&N

Please provide an excerpt for readers of Sophia Redeemed.

It was a slow night. My short, red dress that was always so promising, had failed me. My long, brown hair hung in loose waves down my back, and my green eyes popped with the heavy make-up and dark liner. What was the deal tonight? This was bad, really bad. I was $500 short and things weren’t looking in my favor. I had two options: one, tell Jax I didn’t have the money and face punishment; or two, give him everything I had without taking my cut, pushing me back another week behind on rent. Another week behind, and another week closer to eviction. What to do, what to do.
“Here you go,” I heard a man say behind me. His voice sounded oddly familiar. I turned around to find a frail girl, wrapped in a torn, blue blanket. Thick grease molded to her hair and her face was smudged with dirt. She was holding a can with a sign: HOMELESS. ANYTHING HELPS. Oh no, I don’t think so.
“Take it back, Charlie. Take the money back, or I’m calling your wife,” I said.
“I said take it back!” I yelled.
He reached into the can and pulled out his five-dollar bill, mouthing I’m sorry to the girl. He glared at me before taking off. I marched over to the girl and propped my hands on my hips.
“What are you doing?” I snapped.
“What does it look like?” she scoffed.
“Go,” I ordered.
“Excuse me?”
“I said go. This is my corner.”
She looked around aimlessly and shook her head. “I don’t see your name on it.”
I laughed dryly. “No? But you’re getting ready to see my six-inch heel where the sun don’t shine if you don’t leave.” I pulled off my shoe and held it in my right hand with the left still propped on my hip. I wasn’t kidding. Determination seeped out of my voice and ownership covered my face. As far as I was concerned, this was my corner and others weren’t welcomed. My money depended on it.
“Fine, fine. I’m going.” She stood up with the blanket still wrapped around her. I noticed the brand of her jeans as she sloshed off. Abercrombie. Ha, I laughed to myself. It wouldn’t have surprised me if she dirtied herself up and parked on the street just to make some money. Lazy people. Some of us had to earn a living the hard way.
I didn’t have another hit the rest of the night. I contemplated what to do. I couldn’t be kicked out of my apartment, but I didn’t want to face another beating from Jax. The last one left me with a busted lip and a black eye. Needless to say, that wasn’t good for business.
He pulled up to the curb in his black Cadillac at three in the morning, the same time he did every time I worked the street. I got into the car and pulled the money from my bra.
“Here,” I said, tossing him the bills.
“That’s my girl,” he said, caressing my cheek.
“Take me home, Jax. I’m tired.” I wasn’t tired. I was stressed. I needed money for rent.
“You don’t want to talk?”
“I’m not much in the mood for talking.”
He took the hint, and we drove in silence downtown to my apartment. I gazed out the window the whole way, feeling distraught. I just wanted to be home alone.
“See you tomorrow, Sugar,” he said. I blew him a kiss and exited the car, rolling my eyes the whole way up the stairs to the door.
When I arrived at my apartment, I was greeted by a friendly note on the door.
Rent by next Friday or you’re out.
Ah, the man who owned this building, he had a way with words that was for sure. I lived in a rundown building, probably built in the 1800s. I found the occasional bug, and you could hear the softest of noises through the paper-thin walls. There were a few other apartments around me, if you could even call them that. Five hundred square feet including a kitchen with ancient appliances, a tiny bathroom enough for one, a small bedroom big enough for my bed, and a living room the size of a walk-in closet. On the lower level of the building was a furniture store. I paid $600 a month for this “home,” but it’s almost all I could afford. Housing in Atlanta, Georgia was hard to come by. At least for me!
Once inside, I tore the place apart. Surely I had some money around, some kind of stash I put away for emergencies. I flipped up the mattress, nothing. Tore through the closet, nothing. How am I going to make rent? I couldn’t get kicked out. I had nowhere to go. There was no way I was going to stay with Jax. I would just have to work really hard for the next week. Call me what you want, but you couldn’t call me a quitter.
I wanted a new life. There were so many times I thought about taking every penny I had, packing up my car, and just leaving. I’d drive until I couldn’t drive anymore, and I’d start a new life. There were only a few problems with this dream of mine. I wasn’t sure if my little Saturn would make it. That car was on its last leg, and I, of course, couldn’t afford a new one. The other problem, I had no idea what I’d do when I got there. Hard to find a job when you don’t even have a high school diploma. Does McDonald’s even hire without a diploma? Didn’t know, never tried.
I felt like I was dying a slow death, my past and present a pure hell. All my life I’d been a runaway. I had perfected the art of escape; running was all I knew how to do. Only now there was nowhere for me to go. Four years on the streets had done me in. I’d had enough, but escaping this life almost felt impossible. Life continued on, but I was stuck. Death almost sounded better than this game of survival I called life.

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