Guest Post/Virtual Tour with Giveaway ~ Wild Within by Christine Hartmann


The Inspiration Behind Wild Within

The idea for Wild Within came because I took an exercise class with a gregarious instructor and a nervous ex-wife. The background is a little complicated. The instructor knew I’d written a memoir, knew a woman in class who had a fiction-writing son and ex-husband, and this all led to my attending a father-son book reading at a local bookstore. Which I did mostly to support the ex-wife.

But during the question and answer, the son emphasized that fiction writers need to find experts to inform them about their chosen subjects. You need, for example, to find a professional football player to give you the inside scoop if you want one of your characters to play pro football. I left the bookstore inspired to try my hand at writing fiction. “But that business about finding an expert to match my interests…who has the time?” I thought. So I decided to flip his advice on its ear. Instead of finding an expert to match my interests, I would match my interests to the expertise of the most easily available person.

My husband, Ron Strickland, is a nationally-known long distance hiker, one of only two living founders of a national scenic trail. He has hiked numerous long trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail. I arrived home that evening and, ta da, I had my expert. Now all I needed was a premise, plot, and some characters.

I wanted to write a romance with suspense, so I quizzed Ron about isolated sections of trails. We settled on a particular section of the Pacific Crest Trail in California. I wanted a female main character, so I asked him about women he met on the trail and the reasons they gave for hiking alone. This led to the premise: “What happens when a woman hiking alone in memory of her brother meets a killer on a section of trail where there’s only one direction for both of them to go?” The characters and plot gradually took shape in my mind and on paper. Lone Star, the romantic lead, was one of the first I developed.

Looking back, the best piece of advice Ron gave me was to write a very detailed outline. But I still had a problem keeping track of where all the characters were along the trail at various time points. I eventually drew a map of the major peaks and populated it with stick figures. I moved them back and forth so I could keep straight who was ahead of whom.

I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve been on a long-distance trail. But spending months with my head buried in Pacific Crest Trail guides and grilling Ron on the details of hiking in the desert and the mountains, in snow and in rain made a part of me want to get out there and hike. Now if I could just get his bear story out of my head.

post-divider rightwildPublisher: Limitless Publishing, LLC (December 14, 2015)
Series:  Wild At Heart, Book 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
ISBN-10: 1680584197
ISBN-13: 978-1680584196
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


A year after a family tragedy, Grace Mori embarks on the journey of a lifetime…

Two thousand, six hundred miles of blistering heat, wilderness, and soul searching—that’s what Grace signed up for when she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s not a voyage for beginners, but with no husband and her family still recovering from her bother’s death, Grace is more alone than ever.

This trail meant something to her brother, and she’ll hike it in his memory, but she can’t do it alone. So with her brother’s gear and a small group, Grace takes the most important first steps of her life.

Grace finds something more than peace and magic on the trail…

When her first day of hiking ends in heat stroke, Grace is rescued by a handsome, red-haired hiker who calls himself Lone Star. Grace has an immediate connection with him, and their brief encounter leaves her fearing her soul mate has slipped through her fingers. Although he vows to keep in touch, Grace doubts she’ll ever see him again.

When fears become reality, the only people Grace can rely on may be killers…

Grace is surprised to find notes left at supply posts along the trail. Lone Star’s eloquent letters keep Grace going, clinging to the hope she’ll find him—and happiness—at the end of her journey. But as the trail becomes more perilous, menace grows within the group. And when Lone Star’s letters mysteriously stop coming, Grace fears the worst.

As tensions flare and a killer emerges, Grace must battle to survive…and reunite with the man she’s sure is her future.

post-divider leftchristineChristine Hartmann grew up in Ohio and Delaware and loves traveling to exotic, romantic settings. After a college semester in Kathmandu, her first three "real" jobs were all in northern Japan, where she lived for almost 10 years. She currently splits her career between her daytime occupation (improving the quality of veterans' nursing home care) and her night/weekend avocation (writing romance, romantic suspense, and women's fiction as well as non-fiction books). Her husband Ron Strickland is a well-known long-distance hiker, trail guide writer, and the founder of the 1,200-mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. Christine loves reading, pilates, bicycling, snorkeling, and health foods that taste like they're bad for you. You will often find her at a keyboard, a German shepherd at her side, and Ron whispering sweet edits over her shoulder. She's a member of Romance Writers of America.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

post-divider right


Christine is giving away 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards & 20 Wild Within Coffee Mugs!

Terms & Conditions:

By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

 Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Card & twenty winners will be chosen to receive one Wild Within Coffee Mug

 This giveaway starts April 4 and ends June 30

 Winner will be contacted via email on July 1.

 Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

post-divider leftExcerpt ~


Later, after sharing a hearty dinner with the RV couple, Lone Star and Grace pitched their tents in adjacent campsites. For Grace, tent poles went into wrong grommets, stakes came loose, and clips misaligned. Lone Star set his up in a flash and sat in the entrance, watching her struggle.

“I wouldn’t mind a little help here, if you’ve got the time.”

“I’ve got the time. But you have to learn this for yourself, darlin’. Soon it’ll be as easy as pie. But not if I do it for you. Besides, I enjoy watching you. You clean up real nice.”

“Thanks.” Grace curtsied. Her foot caught in a tent line and she fell. Lone Star chuckled so long he had to hold his sides.

“From where I’m sitting, Lone Star, you’re not living up to Southern gentleman standards.” She brushed herself off. “What’s the Texas expression for go jump in a lake?”

“What I think you’re trying to say is that you think I’m about as fine as cream gravy.”

Grace used a rock to pound in her final tent stake and attached its guy-line. “Yes, that’s what I meant.” She tossed a pine cone at his head. “You’re as fine as clean gravy. So is my tent. Not bad for a first try.”

“Not clean gravy. Cream gravy. And it’s a fine tent indeed.”

Once inside her shelter, Grace was too tired to crawl into her sleeping bag. She pulled it over her like a blanket, thought for a second of Lone Star’s blue eyes, and fell asleep before the cover reached her chin.

Cheerful whistling roused her when dawn was still a light orange glow on the horizon. She pushed the tent flap aside and made out Lone Star breaking camp.

“Didn’t mean to wake you, darlin’.”

“You’re leaving? Already?” Sudden anxiety prickled in her.

“Sure am. Today’s supposed to be cooler, they say. Still, it’s good to start early in the desert, no matter what the prediction.”

“Wait.” Grace scrambled out. “I can pack up and go with you. Quick as a caterpillar in heat. Or whatever you’d say.” She wrapped her arms around herself to keep warm in the crisp morning air.

Lone Star’s face shone with affection. “Just Grace, your coming with me is a sweet thought.” He took gentle hold of her shoulders and turned her around. “But you crawl right back in your bag. You’re staying put today.”

Her attention focused on his hands as he gently pushed her toward her tent. Warm, firm, comforting hands. A sudden longing enveloped her. She struggled out of his grip. “I don’t need any more rest. I’m fine.”

“You don’t know how tired you are.”

“I’m okay. Really.” She jumped up and down. “See?”

“No arguing.” He again ushered her to the tent and waited until she was tightly wrapped and zippered inside. His thighs appeared at the entrance as he folded his long body until his head was level with his knees.

“I loved hiking with you yesterday, Just Grace. My heart is saying stay here with you. But I’ve got 2,600 miles to hike before snow lands in Canada. And my law practice isn’t going to be there forever if I don’t get back to it as soon as I can. I’ve just got to skedaddle.”

He cares more about his work than he does about me.

She fought back tears and willed her voice not to crack. “Okay. I understand. You’ve got your…priorities.”

Lone Star reached for her chin but she jerked it away.

He let his hand drop. “Don’t be that way, Just Grace. You’ve got to have a little faith.”

“Faith in what?”

“Faith in us.” He rubbed his hand against her cheek. This time she leaned into it.

“There’s an us?”

post-divider rightTour Schedule


Monday, April 4 – Interview at Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, April 5 – Book Featured at The Writer’s Life

Wednesday, April 6 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Wednesday, April 6 – Book Review at Books, Reviews, ETC.

Thursday, April 7 – Book Featured ta The Literary Nook

Friday, April 8 – First Chapter Reveal at As the Page Turns


Monday, April 11 – Book Review at Laura’s Interests

Tuesday, April 12 – Interview at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Wednesday, April 13 – Book Featured at Extreme Bookaholics

Wednesday, April 13 – Book Review at Fascinating Quest


Monday, April 18 – Book Featured at Confessions of a Reader

Thursday, April 21 – Guest Blogging at Mythical Books


Monday, April 25 – First Chapter Reveal at I’m Shelf-ish

Tuesday, April 26 – Book Featured at The Bookworm Lodge

Wednesday, April 27 – Guest Blogging at The Noise Beneath the Apple

Thursday, April 28 – Book Review at Book Babble

Friday, April 29 – Book Review at Deal Sharing Aunt


Monday, May 2 – Interview at The Writer’s Life

Tuesday, May 3 – First Chapter Reveal at As the Pages Turn

Wednesday, May 4 – Book Featured at My Bookish Pleasures

Thursday, May 5 – Guest Blogging at What Is That Book About

Friday, May 6 – Book Featured at E-Romance News


Monday, May 9 – Book Featured at Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews

Tuesday, May 10 – Book Review at A Word at a Time

Wednesday, May 11 – Book Featured at Jody’s Book Reviews

Thursday, May 12 – Character Interview at Pimp That Character


Monday, May 16 – Book Featured at Bound 2 Escape

Tuesday, May 17 – Interview at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic

Wednesday, May 18 – Book Featured at Write and Take Flight

Thursday, May 19 – Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book


Monday, May 23 – First Chapter Reveal at The Book Rack

Tuesday, May 24 – Guest Blogging at Book Cover Junkie

Wednesday, May 25 – Book Review & Guest Blogging at Queen of All She Reads

Thursday, May 26 – Guest Blogging at Just Romantic Suspense

Friday, May 27 – Interview at Examiner


Monday, June 6 – First Chapter Reveal at The Dark Phantom

Tuesday, June 7 – Book Review at Our Family’s Adventure

Wednesday, June 8 – Book Review at Live Love Book Blog

Thursday, June 9 – Book Featured at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews

Friday, June 10 – Book Review at Ashley’s Bookshelf


Monday, June 13 – Interview at I’m Shelf-ish

Wednesday, June 15 – Book Review at Sara’s Organized Chaos

Thursday, June 16 – Interview at Sexy Between the Sheets


Monday, June 20 – First Chapter Reveal at Beyond the Books

Tuesday, June 21 – Book Featured at A Title Wave

Wednesday, June 22 – Interview at The Review From Here


Monday, June 27 – Guest Blogging at Literal Exposure

Wednesday, June 29 – Interview at The Literary Nook

Thursday, June 30 – Book Review at The World As I See It

Thursday, June 30 – Interview at Around the World in Books


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  1. Linda Kish says:

    Have you made that trek yourself? I have heard of it. I am in awe of anyone who completes it. 

    Here's to Grace meeting Lone Star at the end of the trail (or before). 

  2. Rita Wray says:

    Great excerpt, thank you.  Sounds like a good read.

  3. Rita Wray says:

    I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.  Sounds like a good read.

  4. This sounds like an inspiring book. Adding to my TBR list. Great giveaway, thanks.

  5. Sally Schmidt says:

    Sounds simply fascinating.  Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. BookLady says:

    Great excerpt!  I'd love to read more.  How many books do you have planned for this series?

  7. Mary Preston says:

    A great trailer.

  8. sherry butcher says:

    Thanks for sharing.  What's next?

  9. Thanks for the excerpt of the book. I will be checking it out.

  10. Criss Dimla says:

    Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

  11. Della Williamson says:

    If he left notes for her he probably is her future. Can't wait to find out for sure. Thank you for a great post.  And a great giveaway.  This is one you can't beat.  A GC with which to buy the book.  A mug to sip tea from as you read the book.

  12. Christine, what part of Delaware did you grow up in?  I can't wait to read your book!

  13. Connie R says:

    Great to know there is a writer with roots in Ohio.  Awesome giveaway. Keep the stories coming.

  14. Brenda Robinson says:

    How do you find time to write?

  15. Sarah L says:

    Do you ever write outside?

  16. SHELLEY S says:


  17. emily l says:

    I'm curious what your favorite place to visit in Japan is!

  18. Julie Waldron says:

    This looks like a great book, I love the trailer.

  19. Barbara Brooks says:

    This sounds like an awesome book and maybe one of my summer reads. So exciting with just the synopsis!      O-H-!

  20. Nedra Whittemore says:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. Linda May says:

    I can't wait to read this book, Thanks for this generous giveaway.

  22. Conie Kline says:

    I have a friend who really wnats to hike the Appalachian Trail, I'll have to pass the book on to her when I finish reading it, Sounds like a great book!

  23. Jerry Marquardt says:

    I would like to thank you for sponsoring this really great giveaway, and for giving us all a chance. I can't wai to read Wild Within. Keep up the good work in the future.

  24. Lily Kwan says:

    What is your favorite food?

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