If there is one word to describe Christian Romance Author, Rhonda Kulczyk, it would be genuine. Although quiet in nature, her love and devotion for those around her is very obvious. Thankfully for you and me, she also brings this quality to her writing. When you read her books, not only do you get to know her characters, you get to know Rhonda. How nice is that for us!
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I was introduced to historical fiction by my grandmother. For my eleventh birthday she gave me ‘Love Comes Softly’ by Janette Oke and I fell in love with the time period. In 2001 I decided to try writing my own book. What began as an inquisitive adventure became the development of a lifelong dream as friends and family compelled me to publish Freedom to Love. It was released in 2009, followed by Freedom to Live, Freedom to Surrender, and Freedom to Forgive. I am presently working on the fifth book in the series, Freedom to Endure.
For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
Freedom to Love is set in 1858. And each book thereafter is set just a few years later. My books portray the hardships of the rugged west. I invest much of myself into the main characters of my books. Many of their struggles were my own at one time. Their experiences, good and bad, are experiences I myself have faced during my own life. I’m most assuredly a romantic at heart, a trait inherited from my grandmother on my father’s side of the family, so my books definitely reflect this.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Candice (Andi) from Freedom to Live is most definitely my favorite. I based much of Freedom to Live off of my own life and it was a difficult book to write, and yet at the same time liberating. Andi finds herself forced into an unhappy marriage. She desperately tries to make the best of it, while every day dying a little more inside. What do you do when the man of your dreams is not the man you have married?
A little of my current work:
Taken from Freedom to Forgive, which released just a couple weeks ago.
They rode in silence for quite some time, enjoying the peaceful evening. Even the wind was still. After circling the town of Sheridan once, Jude found himself riding toward his place. He purposefully took the trail bypassing the houses and they rode up the hill where he finally stopped. He studied her expression as she took in the scenery below. The full moon allowed more light than usual and the cattle grazing below were noticeable.
“You’ve done well,” Katrina said, her voice full of feeling. She turned her head but not before he saw the tear drop to her cheek.
“Does that make you unhappy?” Jude questioned.
“Of course not,” Katrina replied. “I couldn’t be happier for you.”
“Then why the tears?”
“This all confirms my reason for leaving. You were better off without me.”
“What good is all this without someone to share it with?” He turned his horse and followed the trail into the trees. Is that why she left? Did she honestly believe he was a better man when she wasn’t a part of his life? If that were the case, she had no idea how lonely the last two years had been. Sure, his cattle business had thrived because he had poured his entire life into making it a success; working had helped him live without her. He heard her horse following. A few minutes later they ran into the stream and he followed it upriver. Finally he stopped and dismounted.
“The waterhole?” she hesitantly voiced as her eyes adjusted to their surroundings.
“Our waterhole,” he replied huskily.
“Are you going to throw me in there?” She wore a smile on her face.
“Now there’s an idea,” Jude replied with a lopsided smile. He tethered his horse and walked toward her, stopping just beneath her horse.
“I’m not sure if I should make an escape or not,” Katrina stated.
He reached out his hands for the reins. “I want to show you something,” he said softly. She placed the reins in his hands and stepped down. Her horse secured next to his, she followed him closer to the stream. He stood in front of a big oak tree waiting for her to join him. When she stepped up next to him she could see what he was staring at. The bark had been stripped away from part of the tree. In the wood were tally marks, so many it would take her several minutes to count them all.
“It’s marked for every night you’ve spent away from me,” he finally spoke. “Seven hundred twenty-five if you count tonight,” he stepped toward the tree with a sharp-edged rock intending to scrape another mark into the tree.
“Please don’t mark it,” she wept.
The rock fell from his hand into the dry dirt below and he turned to face her. Tears streamed down both her cheeks, her eyes searching his for acceptance. He strode toward her and cradling her face in his hands, he kissed her gently on the lips. “I love you,” he whispered against her mouth and then he kissed her again, deeply, passionately. Tasting the saltiness of tears he stepped back and realized they were his own. “Why did you leave?” The question had haunted him for two years. He wouldn’t be able to rest until he knew.
Where can readers find more information on you?
For more information about my books please visit: