Welcome author Joni Keever
After raising four children and spending two decades in corporate management, Joni decided to pursue her real passion–writing. Most of her characters come to Joni in dreams, demanding their stories be told. She’s happy to oblige. Joni focuses on developing characters and spends hours researching the historical elements of her books to add interest and integrity.
When she’s not writing, Joni loves spending time with Joe. They enjoy a wide range of activities — traveling, music, sporting events — and are always ready to indulge in a great steak and good wine or a juicy burger and cold beer.
Between them, Joni and Joe have six kids and eight grandkids. Family and friends will oftentimes find their names popping up in Joni’s books, though she promises that any similarities to the characters are purely coincidental!
Tell us about your book
SCARS OF THE HEART is my Kindle Scout winning book.
This historical romance is set on the western frontier in 1865. As hostilities rage between the native Indians and the white settlers, two strangers find they must reluctantly journey together in pursuit of their own objectives.
KADE ROBERTS must return to Texas to reclaim the ranch of this birthright. But the road also leads him back to face the jaws of justice, a white man’s version of equity that could see him swing at the end of a rope for the death of his stepfather. During his journey home, emotional claws from Kade’s childhood pull him off his path when he witnesses the whipping of a young boy in an alley. Before rational thought regains control, Kade sets into motion a scheme to win the lad in a poker game and eventually finds himself promising to help get the boy to safety.
CARLY DAWSON was plucked from her genteel life in Virginia to trudge across dry, desolate country in search of “The Promised Land”. Shortly after arriving in Kansas, both of Carly’s parents are dead. She’s kidnapped by a renegade Indian and traded as a mere possession. When anted up in a poker game, Carly decides that luck may finally be on her side. The dark, brooding stranger who won her thinks she’s a boy. If she can maintain
this guise, perhaps she can forever put this savage, loathsome land behind her and return to her beloved Shenandoah Valley.
As this half-breed Indian outlaw and spoiled eastern debutante reluctantly travel together on the turbulent western frontier, they face many obstacles and dangers. They’re forced to rely on one another for survival. Pushed to discover strengths within, they must learn to deal with past injustices and to trust one another. Their journeys of self-discovery may also lead them to appreciate each other’s differences and find love, despite their Scars of the Heart.
What are three things we’d find if we looked under your heroine’s bed? How about the hero’s?
Since these two are traveling the frontier, they rarely have a bed beneath them. Typically, their bed is hard ground, harder rocks, perhaps some prairie grass. At one point, Carly does share a seedy hotel room with a horrible brute of a man and another with a mouse (preferring the latter to the former). If they did have normal beds in normal rooms, you’d find nothing beneath Carly’s. Her room would be immaculate. Kade may have a pair of dusty cowboy boots beneath his bed. . . and a pair of smaller satin slippers if some lucky lady as been able to persuade him to share his bed for the night. 😉
What is the theme of this book?
The theme of SCARS OF THE HEART is acceptance and tolerance of others, acknowledging the differences and embracing their strengths and potential contribution. In so doing, one promotes personal growth and enlightenment. It’s a journey toward busting through boundaries created by preconceived notions and prejudices.
Why do you write this genre?
Honestly, I never wanted to write historical fiction. I didn’t enjoy history in school. I blame uninterested, uninteresting coaches that were forced to also teach academics. (No offense to teacher/coaches in general. I’m sure there are dedicated professionals out there that excel in both areas. It was simply not our destiny to cross paths in my formidable years.)
What inspired this story?
These characters and their story came to me in a dream and then continued to needle at my consciousness until I threw in the white towel and agreed to write their story. Ironically, my second published book, BIRTHRIGHT, is also a historical — as is the one I’m currently crafting. I’ve come to enjoy the research and delving into history, though I have to admit, it feels like I’m not being productive. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s crucial to the story; the book will be better for it.
Do you write any other genres?
I have notes, outlines, chapters written on a few contemporary romances and on a series for teenage girls as well. They’re all simmering on the back burner.
Any tips to share with fellow authors/aspiring authors? What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
To fellow authors, especially successful ones, I say remember that once upon a time you weren’t. . . successful. You were learning, struggling, being rejected, overwhelmed. Someone, somewhere offered you encouragement, a chance, some help. Pay it forward.
To aspiring authors, I say if you’re thinking about writing and that’s all you’re doing, that’s not enough. Write! And then write more. Even if it’s bad. Take a creative writing class at your local community college or online, or both. Surround yourself with writers. Join a local writers’ group. Go to the meetings. If you can find one, join a critique group. Be brave. Be bold. Put your work out there to be critiqued and then take that well. Learn from it. Grow. Improve. Don’t shrivel up and quit over one or two negative comments. Make your writing better. Do the work.
Kade caught and held the prize in his free arm. His gun remained steady as the pair backed through the room toward the swinging doors. Once outside, he threw the reluctant youth atop a huge black stallion that stood tethered near the saloon entrance. In a single movement, he gathered the reins and leaped to the back of the mighty horse. Bracing his companion between his arms, Kade wheeled the animal around and raced down the dusty street.