Character Spotlight + Giveaway: Bethany Turner’s Cadie and Will

About the Story:

After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn’t love her in the “forever” way she loves him, Cadie believes it’s time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing.

But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It’s a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Meet Cadie

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: Claire Foy

Physical Description: Fair complexion, dark hair, 5’4”, and a constellation of freckles across her nose.

Age: 34

Work: Head of Accounting for Prime-Time Programming at ASN (American Sports Network)

Loves/Interests: Cadie loves rom-coms…and pretty much all romance movies, actually. She’s a die-hard Barry Manilow fan, no matter how much she gets made fun of for it. And she loves living in New York City (Greenwich Village, to be exact). She lives across the street from Magnolia Bakery, and there are few things in life she loves more than Magnolia’s banana pudding.

Hates: She’s not a sports fan. Needless to say, that makes her a bit of an outcast at a sports network!

Favorite Romantic Comedy: If forced to choose, You’ve Got Mail. But Sleepless in Seattle is right up there.

Favorite Flower: Daisies are her favorite flowers—and not just because they are also the favorite of Kathleen Kelly in You’ve Got Mail.

Quirk: Apart from having the musical tastes of a housewife in 1976, her biggest quirk is probably her ability to put aside whatever angst she is facing in order to enjoy a pastrami sandwich from Sarge’s Deli.

Greatest Struggle: As Cadie says, “Cary Grant does not exist in my Millennial world.” She wants romance, but she is so focused on the unrealistic Hollywood standard of romance that she tends to miss the real-life romance playing out before her eyes.

Family History: Cadie is the only child of parents who are famous for being Christians. Her dad, Oliver McCaffrey, is a megachurch pastor. Her mother, Nessa McCaffrey, is the host of Love God, Love YOU! on the HTT (Holy Trinity Television) network. Cadie has a great relationship with her dad, who has always been there for her, but her mother is a piece of work, and Cadie has always felt like a disappointment to her. She grew up on Long Island, where her parents still live, in Syosset.

Best Friend: Cadie’s best friend is Darby, who works with her in the accounting department of ASN.

Meet Will

Image Credit: Pinterest

Resembles: John Krasinski

Physical Description: Cadie’s first impression of Will: “He was taller than me, but not as tall as most of the guys from The Field, who regularly made me feel like a Hobbit. No, he was just the perfect amount of tall. Okay…probably not an athlete. Although he was fit and muscular. At least not a star athlete. A golfer, maybe? His face drew me in—with its crinkly eyes and perfectly shaped mouth. But it was also just the tiniest bit…goofy. His nose was a little too big, as were his ears, and while he was handsome—without question—he was also blatantly imperfect. So probably not an on-air personality.”

Age: 35

Work: Researcher at American Sports Network. But he starts moving up the ladder when he breaks open a Major League Baseball scandal big enough to result in the cancellation of the World Series.

Favorite Sport: Baseball

Loves/Interests: Loves sports, obviously, but not playing them as much as analyzing them. Field of Dreams is his favorite movie. He’s a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan. His favorite music is 90’s rock—Pearl Jam and U2, in particular—but really anything is better than whatever Cadie is listening to.

Hates: He really hates Cadie’s taste in music.

Greatest struggle: He has a tendency to try and handle everything himself, and as a result he sometimes puts his relationship with God on the back burner.

What inspired him to become a sports researcher? In Will’s words, as he explains to Cadie why Joe Montana was his hero: “Montana was the best of all time. It didn’t matter what was happening on the field all around him—his head was always exactly where it needed to be. He could size up fifty yards of chaos in an instant, and zero in on exactly the right play at exactly the right moment. He made me realize that sports—when done right—isn’t just about strength and speed and agility and all of that. Yeah, Montana had an arm like no one else, but he’s in the Hall of Fame because of his brain.” That sums up Will’s passion for sports. It’s all about the brain side of it.

Best Friend: Will’s closest friends are Kevin Lamont (former NBA star/Will’s boss) and Ellis Haywood (former NFL defensive lineman/on-air host).

Other:

Will is from Boston. He moved to New York to attend graduate school at Columbia, and never left. He still lives in the same Morningside Heights apartment, near the campus of Columbia.

He became a Christ-follower in college.

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About the Author:

Bethany Turner is the author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck and the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former bank executive and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned 35), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she’s chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.

Connect with Bethany through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Excerpt: Moments We Forget by Beth K. Vogt

I had half an hour, no more than that, to get my life in order so my sisters would never suspect how unprepared I was for this morning.

I kicked the back door shut, dumping the plastic grocery bags onto the kitchen counter, easing the ache in my arms. If Johanna were hosting this morning, she’d have something homemade baking in her oven, the appealing aroma filling her immaculate kitchen.

Well, one thing was for certain—I was not Johanna.

Winston’s frantic barks sounded from upstairs. Seconds later, he was scampering around my feet, his sudden appearance meaning I’d forgotten to lock him in his kennel. Again.

“Bad dog.” A halfhearted reprimand. “You’re not supposed to be down here.”

I pulled items from the plastic bags. Please don’t let me have forgotten anything during my mad dash through the grocery store.

Cream for Johanna’s and my coffee—although she was going to have to make do with my Keurig coffeemaker, not French press.

A small box of sugar so Payton could enjoy her coffee with the preferred three heaping spoonfuls per cup.

A premade fruit salad.

Blueberry muffins.

Keurig pods.

Nothing fancy. But at least I wouldn’t look like a complete failure.

I suppose to a casual observer, Johanna, Payton, and I—the three remaining Thatcher sisters—appeared successful. And yet, while we might claim certain professional and romantic achievements, we still struggled to find our way as sisters.

At times Pepper’s words—the ones Payton had shared with Johanna and me several months ago—seemed more of a taunt than an encouragement.

“Sometimes you just have to forget all the other stuff and remember we’re sisters.”

Shouldn’t a role you acquired at birth be simple? Something you learned to do, along with walking and talking and navigating adolescence?

But then Pepper’s death at sixteen splintered our already-precarious bonds.

I selected three mugs from a kitchen cupboard. This was no time to try to unravel the complicated dynamics between me, Johanna, and Payton—not when they’d be here any minute. And not with so much riding on this morning.

It’s funny how much hope people put into a cup of coffee.

Social media—Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and Pinterest and even millions of people’s text messages around the world—overflow daily with memes and GIFs lauding the miracle qualities of coffee.

Coffee is the gasoline of life.

All I need is coffee and mascara.

Behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee.

I drink coffee for your protection.

Drink coffee and do good.

And now . . . now coffee would be the glue that bonded the three of us together.

Coffee and a book, if Payton’s latest “we should do this!” idea succeeded.

Despite our determination to try to be better sisters—to overcome the damage to our relationships caused by Pepper’s death . . . and secrets . . . and not knowing how to even relax with one another—it was all too easy to succumb to a lifetime of bad habits.

Of course, I knew my given position in the Thatcher sisters, volunteering to have our first Saturday morning book club meeting at my house. There were times I doubted that I’d ever get my “Is everybody happy?” theme song out of my head.

It didn’t matter that I had a full-time job. That I battled unrelenting fatigue. That Geoff and I were starting renovations on our house next week. I laughed and brushed off their multiple “We can do this, Jillian,” offers with lighthearted responses of “I’m good. Really. This isn’t a problem at all.”

And then I’d resorted to a last-minute trip to the grocery store for premade options for this morning’s breakfast.

“A girl has to do what a girl has to do” was fast becoming my mantra. Only I was doing less and less and hoping to get by.

Winston scratched at the back door leading from the kitchen to the yard, distracting me from my musings on the power of caffeine mixed with a heavy dose of self-doubt.

I bent down and ruffled his white ears before opening the door. “Sorry to leave you sitting there.”

A knock at the front door signaled the arrival of one sister—most likely Johanna, who was always early.

She greeted me with a quick hug, setting her leather purse and her book on the small oak table Geoff and I kept by the front door. At least she’d brought her copy of the book we’d chosen. The question was, had she read it?

“Good to see you, Joey. How are you?”

“Tired.” Johanna slipped off her leather sandals, looking trim in black capris and a red flowing top with cutout shoulders. “Between my work and Beckett’s schedule at the academy, life’s crazy.”

“Still, it must be nice having him in the same state at least.”

“He might as well have kept his original assignment in Alabama. The superintendent at the academy keeps him so busy dealing with speeches and briefings and I don’t know what else, we barely see each other.”

“But you see him more than you did when he lived in another state, right?” And not seeing each other was the norm for Beckett and Johanna.

“I’m not keeping track of hours and minutes.”

“One thing I know is you and Beckett can do this. You’ve managed a long-distance relationship for years, which means you can manage crazy hours with both of you living in the same town. I remember how excited you both were the weekend he drove into the Springs.”

“You’re right, Jilly. I’m still getting used to this new phase. It was so sudden.”

“Why don’t you go make a cup of coffee? I apologize that it’s from a plastic pod and not your preferred French press. But I do have cream . . .” Had I taken the time to put it in the fridge? Payton pulled up in front of the house as I started to close the door. “I’ll wait here for Payton.”

“Sounds good.” My oldest sister disappeared in a light cloud of her Coco perfume.

Payton released her long auburn hair from its ponytail as she half ran up the sidewalk. “Hey!”

“No need to run—you’re not late.”

“I lost track of time.” She shook her head, strands falling around her shoulders.

“Well, come on in.” We shared a quick hug. “Do you want coffee or water?”

“Both sound great. I’m dehydrated and undercaffeinated—a bad combination, especially if I want to get along with Johanna this morning.”

“Don’t start.” I resisted the urge to shake my finger at Payton.

“It was a joke.”

In the kitchen, Johanna had arranged the fresh-from-a-plastic-container muffins onto a plate. The premade fruit salad now sat on the counter in a white ceramic bowl.

“Thanks.” I retrieved a serving spoon from the drawer. “I could have done that.”

“I figured I would make myself useful while I waited for my coffee.” She gave Payton a slow once-over. “Did you just come from the gym?”

“Technically, yes, but I was coaching, not working out. I met one of my JV girls for a private lesson. She wanted to work on blocking.” She raised both hands, waving aside her explanation. “Sorry if you’re offended, big sister. I couldn’t shower if I wanted to be here close to on time.”

Johanna hadn’t commented on my casual attire of relaxed jeans and a navy-blue Broncos T-shirt—a well-loved gift from Dad. But Johanna and Payton would find something to bicker about even if they’d taken a vow of silence. And me? I would always be the designated driver of the emotional vehicle that carried our merry little trio.

Taken from Moments We Forget by Beth K. Vogt. Copyright © 2019. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

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About the Author:

Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind doors marked Never. Beth’s first novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, released in May 2018. Moments We Forget, book two in the Thatcher Sisters series, releases May 2019.

Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA Award finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Weddings series by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us.

An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Academy and The Write Conversation and also enjoys speaking to writers’ groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories.

Connect with Beth through her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Spotlight: On a Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher

About the Story:

Sometimes love hurts–and sometimes it can heal in the most unexpected way.

Camden Grayson loves her challenging career, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. “Moving on” is Cam’s mantra. But there’s a difference, her two sisters insist, between one who moves on . . . and one who keeps moving.

Cam’s full-throttle life skids to a stop when her father buys a remote island off the coast of Maine. Paul Grayson has a dream to breathe new life into the island–a dream that includes reuniting his estranged daughters. Certain Dad has lost his mind, the three sisters rush to the island. To Cam’s surprise, the slow pace of island life appeals to her, along with the locals–and one in particular. Seth Walker, the scruffy island schoolteacher harbors more than a few surprises.

About the Author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than thirty books, including Mending Fences, as well as the Nantucket Legacy, Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, among other novels. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California.

Connect with Suzanne through her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Spotlight: Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

About the Story:

In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper: a rallying cry for hope, purpose . . . and rocks. Send me a rock for the person you lost, and I will build something life-giving. When the poem spreads farther than he ever intended, Robert Bliss’s humble words change the tide of a nation. Boxes of rocks inundate the tiny, coastal Maine town, and he sets his calloused hands to work, but the building halts when tragedy strikes.

Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when she learns her Great-Uncle Robert, the man who became her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is now the one in need of help. What she didn’t anticipate was finding a wall of heavy boxes hiding in his home. Long-ago memories of stone ruins on a nearby island trigger her curiosity, igniting a fire in her anthropologist soul to uncover answers.

She joins forces with the handsome and mysterious harbor postman, and all her hopes of mending the decades-old chasm in her family seem to point back to the ruins. But with Robert failing fast, her search for answers battles against time, a foe as relentless as the ever-crashing waves upon the sea.

About the Author:

Amanda Dykes is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. Give her a rainy day, a candle to read by, an obscure corner of history to dig in, and she’ll be happy for hours. She’s a former English teacher, and her novella, Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale, was met with critical acclaim from Publishers Weekly, Readers’ Favorite, and more. She is also the author of a novella in The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection. Whose Waves These Are is her debut novel.

Connect with Amanda through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Interview: Joanne Bischof

Favorite place to write:

One of my favorite places to write is in my upstairs bedroom. There are a bunch of windows so the sun is always streaming in there, and with our home set within the woods of a Southern California mountain range, there are trees all around which makes it feel like being in a treehouse!

Go-to writing snack or drink:

My favorite go-to drink these days is usually Kombucha. There is a yummy apple flavor that I love, and sometimes I mix it with sparkling apple juice to make a cidery-bubbly drink that’s one of my new faves!

Something you must do or have to write:

Having music playing from my writing mix, and having my story Pinterest board open is typically a must for me. Both help set the mood and tone of the project I’m working on, and depending on what songs I select, or what images I choose to keep nearby, both really help to define the scene, and get the words flowing!

Hard copy, e-reader, audio book:

I adore having books in hand only because my eyes and fingers get tired with having to be on my cell phone (and sadly, I don’t have a Kindle!). So when it’s a paperback, I’m all set, and audiobooks are just as much of a favorite. I adore having a great book read by a talented narrator . . . it just seems to bring everything to life!

Favorite part of writing Daughters of Northern Shores:

My favorite part of writing this novel was getting to visit beloved characters again. To pick up where their lives left off in Sons of Blackbird Mountain, and to revisit that setting, and these vivid personalities again, was so incredibly special. It was just like coming home.

Hardest part of writing Daughters of Northern Shores:

The hardest part was definitely working on Haakon’s scenes when he is at sea. Writing about life aboard a tall ship in the 1800’s, and about the various tasks needed to be done, as well as describing the different ports was all a great challenge. A lot of this had to do with his voyage being on a timeline that I was trying to accurately portray within the novel. It had me checking winds, currents, and distances between various ports to make sure that he always got to the right place at the right time in an accurate and believable way within the story!

What is next?

Currently I have a few top-secret projects in the works, including fiction and non-fiction! As I type away on those—leaning in on God’s provision for the words and direction—I’m excited to see what might be coming next. All the books-in-progress are dear to my heart and I hope that for whichever one lands on the docket next, that it will be an encouragement to readers!

About the Story:

Sequel to the critically-acclaimed Sons of Blackbird Mountain

Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.

Having fled the farm after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s which is already at stake through a grave illness brought to him as the first prick of warfare.

Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

Connect with Joanne through her website, Facebook, and Instagram.