It's finally here! It's finally here!
Well, it will be tomorrow, anyway. Faith & Hope has been a long time coming, but I have a copy in my hand, and soon you can have on in yours, too.
If you were able to pre-order, I know Amazon is going to be zipping copies to your home this week. I can't wait to hear what you think about my new book.
To help celebrate the release, here's what all I have going on over the next few weeks, if you'd like to keep up. I will be on various blogs of other authors and groups for the rest of the month, and will post those links each day on my Facebook author page here. On Thursday night, April 18th, I'm having an online Facebook party to celebrate the release. I wanted to do a real life one, but this being Easter week, it was just too much to add to an already full schedule, so we'll have to party from the comfort of our homes instead. I'll be giving out prizes and even going live to read a couple of pages to you guys, so be sure to drop by and "bring" a friend or two. On Wednesday, May 8th, I'll be doing a book signing at the Linebaugh Library in Murfreesboro, TN from 10 to 1. I will have copies of both of my books available for buying just in case you haven't already gotten one. I'd love to see any of you local fans there. Stay tuned as I will continue to try and add even more.
Are you as excited as I am? Who is ready?
We're less than two weeks out from the release date for Faith & Hope. You've met the main characters, the sisters, in previous posts. Now, let's bring in a few more. After all, it would be pretty boring to only have two characters in a story, right?
SAM is Faith's husband. He works at a Christian academy in Austin, Texas and helps coach basketball. He also volunteers to help with youth group events. And he loves Faith like crazy--to the point of maybe being a bit overprotective at times.
JOE is probably one of my favorite characters in this book. He's a grown-up boy, one of Faith's best friends, and Hope's co-counselor at camp. He loves working with the first-grade boys. He's also an associate minister at church with a heart for missions. He goes out of his way to be a friend to all. He's the one I think of when I see the picture above. Notice there's no head? I couldn't find one that made me think exactly of him. If I were to cast a movie, maybe the same actor who played Jacob in the Twilight movies?
MARIA is Joe's mama. She, too, works at camp. She's a hugger, an adviser, and a fierce protector when it comes to those she loves. She still has a bit of a Mexican lilt to her speech from when she lived there as a little girl.
CASSIDY is Hope's roommate in Mississippi. She tells it like it is, but is also great to have around when you need someone to commiserate with. And she's always good to share a tub of ice cream.
MAYSIE is Faith's best friend. She's been a listener and prayer warrior for Faith through most of her infertility struggle, and is super excited to be able to plan a baby shower.
HANNAH, aka MOM, is Faith and Hope's mother. She wants the absolute best for her girls, although they don't always approve of her methods of getting there. They both love her, but they also know she's going to push for her way, no matter what.
Any of those characters sound like someone you could relate to or be friends with? I hope so! I can't wait to hear if you love Joe as much as I do, or if you have your own favorite. It won't be long now before you can join them on their journey!
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Heather Greer. She's one of my "sister" writers over at Mantle Rock Publications, and I've enjoyed getting to know her through that group in the last year. I am very excited because I think we're going to get to meet face-to-face in June at the Writers' retreat I am attending. :-) Heather's just had her second book release a few weeks ago and is here to chat about those stories as well as a few other things today.
Welcome, Heather. Interestingly enough, we're both preacher's kids. Do you find that your background finds its way into your writing? I catch quite a few of my characters being related to preachers and wondered if I was the only one.
I’m not sure. My books do have a main character who is a pastor. But since I’ve not written any beyond my first series I don’t know if that’s the beginning of a trend or just a happy accident! It would be interesting to write from the perspective of a preacher’s family though. It might give those who have never dealt with it new insight into the way the calling plays into family dynamics.
What first inspired you to start writing? Is it something you've always wanted to do, or did it come later in life?
I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I’ve always enjoyed reading, and it intrigued and inspired me to see all these worlds and people authors created. The impact they can have on someone even though they’re fictional is amazing.
Congratulations on your second book coming out. Can you tell us a little about the series?
Faith’s Journey is the story of Katie McGowan’s path back to the faith she thought she outgrew when she left home after high school. Betrayal and the heartbreak it brings, a contentious relationship with an injured parent, and her own confusion about what it takes to live out God’s purpose for your life all play a part in her hesitancy to embrace a relationship with God again. A friendship that teases the possibility of new love seems to help her on the right path, but Katie has to decide if staying on that path will mean giving up the man she’s beginning to love.
Grasping Hope continues Katie’s story. Often the hurts we go through leave residue in our lives. Though Katie’s return to faith has strengthened her, that residue comes to the surface in the form of uncontrollable fear. Katie is determined to handle it herself, but ends up pushing away those she cares about most. Tragedy pushes Katie to her limits, and to find peace, she must learn where real hope comes from.
Was it easier or harder to write the second book than the first?
I think they were about the same. I can remember times of struggling with both books. But I also remember times in each where the words flowed quickly and freely. To be honest, book three is the one I’m struggling with most. There are so many things I want to tie up for readers regarding Katie’s life but getting there is not as easy as it was with books one and two.’
When you're not working on your own books, what do you prefer to read? Anything in particular? Any favorite authors?
I prefer fiction most of the time, though I do read plenty of non-fiction too. Almost everything I read is Christian or clean reading except for books on the craft of writing. I’ve recently been introduced to Laura Frantz and I love the two books I’ve read. She has such a beautiful way of telling a story. But my all-time favorite is and will probably always be Kristen Heitzmann. In every series she’s done, I’ve found out things about myself through her characters. I’ve read and re-read all of her books more times than I can count.
Your website says you love to bake. Do you have a specialty or just like to bake anything? My grandmother used to be known for her crescent rolls. :-)
I usually avoid yeast breads, but my dad makes great cinnamon rolls! I’ve baked and decorated cakes as a side business/hobby for years. One of the most requested things I make is cake balls. One Christmas a woman ordered 10 dozen decorated cake balls for her family Christmas dinner. But the thing I enjoy most is my personal Christmas baking. Back in high school and the early years of my marriage I’d set aside a week and do nothing but bake. I can’t do that anymore, but I still try to get several dozen cookies and candies made each year. There have been a couple years I’ve only managed six to ten dozen, but even then I’ve refused to let the tradition go by the wayside.
To finish this up, can you leave us with one fun fact about you that very few people know?
This is an incredibly hard question. I’m not sure it’s a fun fact, but I guess one thing people might not know about me is that back in high school, my brother and I would drive my family crazy by quoting The Princess Bride at dinner. One of us would start with a line and then we’d just go back and forth through the movie until one of us messed up. We knew the movie very well so it could go on for a while.
I love that movie, too. That's really fun. Thanks so much for stopping by to talk to us today, Heather.
If you'd like to know more about Heather or check out her books, see the links below.
Sometimes it’s the unexpected path that leads you on your journey back to faith.
Katie McGowan left her parents and their faith behind years ago. However, when faced with a devastating betrayal, Katie is ready to go back to Carbondale, Illinois to help her elderly parents despite their tempestuous relationship. Drained by the constant friction, Katie finds emotional support and encouragement in Austin. His practical, simple faith speaks to Katie, and she finds herself yearning for a new connection to God. As their friendship grows, so does the attraction between Katie and Austin.
Before her fledgling faith and thoughts of romance have a chance to take root, Katie’s cheating fiancé returns, remorseful and promising change. Can her tentative faith strengthen their past love? And if her heart breaks again, will Katie’s journey to faith end before it has really begun?
When dreams turn into nightmares what’s left to hold onto?
Katie McGowan knows her fears are irrational. They’re also beyond her control. Her mind says her fiancé is faithful, but the betrayal of her past love ignites a fear stronger than her trust. Attempts to overcome it are unsuccessful. Nothing banishes her panic attacks for good. Dreading Austin’s response if he finds out about her struggle to trust, Katie hides the truth nearly destroying their relationship.
It takes a lesson in hope to start healing. Katie is released from the nightmare holding her captive to enjoy the blessings God has given. But when tragedies change her life forever, Katie’s understanding of hope is challenged. Unresolved anger and disappointment leave Katie doubting the sincerity of her beliefs. Desperate to prove her faith and minimize her failure as a believer, Katie buries her feelings beneath all the right words.
Heather Greer grew up as a pastor’s kid in rural southern Illinois. Though completely unexpected, she became a pastor’s wife thirteen years ago, when her husband answered the call to preach. Heather has had the opportunity to minister to all age groups, but teens and women tend to be where God most often leads her. When she isn’t writing or working with various ministries, Heather loves to bake and spend time with her husband, children, and grandson. Of course, she’s always willing to sit down with a cup of cocoa and watch the latest Hallmark channel movie too!
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