Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Book Spotlight: The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel


This book releases today! To celebrate the release Lindsay is hosting a Facebook party this coming Thursday March 15th. I am looking forward to participating in the fun. To join in click here. 
 
Launch Party March 15
 
About the Book:
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Releases: March 13, 2018
334 pages
Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.

When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.

As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

Goodreads / Amazon / Christianbook

About the Author:

Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd with a B.A. in journalism and M.A. in English. She lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. Lindsay has held a variety of jobs, including curriculum editor for two universities, medical and business writer, and copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Now she juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with working freelance jobs, teaching college English courses online, and—of course—writing novels.

When she actually has time to do other things, she loves to sing, read, and sip passion iced teas from Starbucks. She loves to watch God work in ordinary lives to create something extraordinary, and she writes to bring hope to those who may have lost it along the way.

Connect with Lindsay via:

 Website  / Facebook  / Instagram  / Twitter 

 

Fast Facts About Lindsay:

  • Graduate of Arizona State University (B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication) and Northern Arizona University (M.A. in English)
  • Winner of 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for unpublished authors
  • Finalist in 2017 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award for published authors in the contemporary category (for her book One More Song to Sing)
  • Represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management
  • Debut novel, One More Song to Sing, released December 2016
  • Contracted with Thomas Nelson (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) for two books releasing in 2018 and 2019
  • Second novel, The Heart Between Us, set to release March 2018
  • Resident of Arizona since 1991
  • Married with two children

 

Q & A with Lindsay:


How long have you been writing?

I’m one of those I’ve-been-writing-since-I-was-a-kid people. I remember creating “books” by folding over a stack of papers and stapling them together, then writing and illustrating them (although the writing was much better than the very poor illustrating!). I took creative writing in high school but decided there was too much competition to consider writing books as a career. I decided to pursue journalism instead, which ended up being a great route, since you learn how to “write tight” in journalism school. I went on to receive my master’s as well, but during my program, something happened. I took a fiction class as an elective and remembered how much I loved creating stories. At the time, I also worked with several people who were writing fiction on the side. We talked about writing all the time, and it got me excited about trying my hand at it. So when I finished my degree in 2011, I began to seriously pursue publication.

What has your publication journey looked like?

Like almost every author, it’s been paved with rejection. I wrote my first book quickly in 2011—it’s now something I lovingly refer to as The Book That Must Not Be Named (Harry Potter reference, anyone?). Once I pitched that book at a conference and figured out it was not very good, I attended several retreats and other conferences and read a ton of books to strengthen my craft. I wrote another book and landed an agent, who asked me to rewrite the book because “the premise [was] flawed.” Double groan! But I did it, and I learned a lot in the process. Then, when nothing came of pitching that book, I wrote another book, and it was finally contracted by a small press (Ashberry Lane) in 2016. I wrote yet another book, and it began to look like I might never land the “big contract” I’d always dreamed about. I even took a break from writing for several months and prayed about whether to set aside my proverbial writing pen for a season, since I had a toddler and was pregnant with my second son. But God had other ideas. In late 2016, I was offered a two-book contract with Thomas Nelson (an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing), my dream publisher. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with such a well-known publisher and to improve my craft with the help of the amazing team of editors there.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I look for inspiration everywhere, but the main spark for my books is often something I hear on the radio or read in the news. And while I don’t write people I know into my stories, characters sometimes will have personalities or quirks similar to people I’ve observed. I usually end up putting some of myself in every main character I write as well, though not intentionally! In addition, some of the themes I’ve dealt with in my novels have been things I’ve experienced personally. For example, in The Heart Between Us (2018), Crystal deals with a family member who has had a long-term illness. My mother fought cancer for many of my formative years, and that’s something that left a lasting impact on my life. It’s always interesting to delve into these types of topics within a story. I always learn something new about myself in the process.

Why do you write?

To become a millionaire! Kidding, kidding. I do know some authors who say they simply have to write or they’ll burst. That’s not really me. Telling stories is difficult. Being original takes energy, vulnerability, and lots of emotion. In other words, it takes a lot out of you. It’s far easier in some ways to NOT write. But I know it’s what I’m meant to do because it’s so challenging. Nothing else requires me to rely on God and to be part of something bigger than myself like when I write. I also love knowing that my stories touch others’ lives. To be able to offer encouragement and hope to people who have great need of it makes my job as a writer priceless.

Who are your favorite authors?

Oh man, this is a tough question. Like many readers of Christian fiction, the first book I ever read in the genre was Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love. It’s a powerful book about God’s deep abiding love for his people and the forgiveness he offers each of us—even those we’d see as the “least deserving.” Other authors whose works constantly challenge me include Susan Meissner, Katie Ganshert, Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, and Melissa Tagg in the fiction realm, and Lysa TerKeurst, Ann Voskamp, and Shauna Niequist in the non-fiction realm.

What advice do you have for others who want to write?

Keep writing. It sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. If one book keeps getting rejected, move on to a new project. It will bring a fresh perspective and an opportunity to strengthen your craft. Also, join a writing organization; if you’re writing Christian fiction, American Christian Fiction Writers is the best! My Book Therapy is also an amazing organization that helps writers learn the craft. I would not be published without what I learned from both of these groups. I’d also say to attend conferences and get online—and network! Get to know others in your industry and never stop learning. Finally, stay focused. Redefine success. The writing industry can be slow-going and it can be difficult to feel like you’re making traction. Keep your eye on the prize and remember that forward progress is exactly that—progress.


Other Books By Lindsay:
One More Song to Sing

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