Monday, September 8, 2014

Guest Post: Kathleen Bittner Roth


Years ago, I founded a successful wellbeing center where I taught self-empowerment. I stressed the importance of perseverance in attaining one’s goals. I developed seminars, produced meditation CDs, and gave talks on the “how to” of successful living. I taught that if you wanted to shake up your ego so that self-realization could take its rightful place, move someplace where you don’t know anyone. But if you really wanted to give the old ego a twist, try relocating to a place where you don’t even speak the language. Little did I know that while I instructed people on how to replace ego with self-realization, that I would end up living in not one, but two post-Communist countries, or that I would settle in the one where the language is considered to be the second most difficult in the world to learn. How could I know that my beliefs would be tested to the marrow of my bones? 

 Let me backtrack a bit. I met my late husband, Hans Roth, in Texas. Hans was a romance-cover-handsome German who spoke six languages, and flirted audaciously in every one of them. It wasn’t long until his flirting worked. A year later, we were married in a castle in Scotland. A few years passed, and Hans itched to move back to Europe, so we settled in Croatia. While I had to locate the country on a map, Hans had vacationed there as a child with his family when the country was still Yugoslavia, and under communist rule of Marsal Tito. Oh, my gosh. I had no idea what a beautiful country Croatia was. 

We settled in Opatija (Google it for a glimpse of the city’s grandeur). Here was a postcard perfect setting founded by Emperor Franz Josef back in the 1800’s as a spa town for lovely Empress Elizabeth. Life by the sea was idyllic for Hans and me. We played in the clear-blue Adriatic and dined on fresh-caught seafood. Hans, an artist and builder, renovated old stone farmhouses as vacation homes for the Brits while I began doing what I’d been aching to do for years—write. I studied the craft, wrote a book or two, and began entering writing contests. And winning. I was filled with enthusiasm. Then life took a sudden turn. Hans became ill. We rushed him to a specialized hospital in Hungary where he passed away. 

Devastated, I found myself alone in Budapest. I cannot tell you the legal hoops I had to jump through amidst a burden of grief. I used every tool I’d ever taught others about self-empowerment. I persevered. Three months later, I began writing A Duke’s Wicked Kiss. I entered the manuscript in the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart Contest where I became a finalist. In the meantime, I caught the attention of my wonderful agent, Jill Marsal, of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Things fell into place like so many pieces to a jigsaw puzzle. I now have five books under contract, four of them releasing this year, the fifth in 2015. Currently, I am working on the sequels to A Duke’s Wicked Kiss and The Seduction of Sarah Marks as well as a WWII novel. 

If I were to narrow to one word what it took to get where I am today, that word would have to be: Perseverance. 

Author Bio

Kathleen Bittner Roth creates passionate stories featuring characters faced with difficult choices, and who are forced to draw on their strength of spirit to overcome adversity and find unending love. Her own fairy tale wedding in a Scottish castle led her to her current residence in Budapest, Hungary, considered one of Europe’s most romantic cities. However, she still keeps one boot firmly in Texas and the other in her home state of Minnesota. A member of Romance Writers of America®, she was a 2012 Golden Heart® finalist. 

 You can find Kathleen on FacebookTwitter, Goodreads and Pinterest; among the authors at Dashing Duchesses, and The Firebirds, or by visiting her website.

Kathleen's lastest book is A Duke's Wicked Kiss

Miss Suri Thurston knows the pain of abandonment. Intent on confronting the grandmother who tossed her to the lions, she travels from England to her birthplace in India. Her plans run afoul when she encounters the man who, ten years prior, left a mark on her soul with one stolen kiss. But he is a duke, and far beyond the reach of even her dreams.

The duke of Ravenswood, secret head of the British Foreign Service, has no time for relationships. His one goal is to locate and eliminate key insurgents involved in an uprising against the British East India Company before it’s too late. But when Suri appears in Delhi, his resolve is tested as he finds his heart forever bound to her by the haunting kiss they shared once upon a time.

With Suri’s vengeful Indian family calling for her death and insurgents intent on mutiny tearing their world apart, can their love rise above the scandal of the marriage they both desperately want?

You can purchase A Duke's Wicked Kiss at the following retailers:

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