A House Full of Hope – Character Interview & Giveaway

I first met author Missy Tippens at a conference a few years ago and she’s as sweet as her book. In addition to being a wonderful writer, she’s the mother of three, wife to her pastor husband and an adjunct instructor at a local technological college in Georgia.

I’ve invited Missy here today to share an interview with Hannah Hughes, the heroine of A House Full of Hope.

1. What’s the most important thing in your life?

Without a doubt, the thing most important to me is my four beautiful children. They’re my pride and joy!

2. What do you like to do with your children?

I love to play hide-and-go-seek with the kids. And to read to them. I don’t have much time for free time, but if I did, I’d love to take them for a day at the beach.

3. What are you afraid of most in life?

I fear not being able to provide well for my children. Since I’m a widow, it’s tough to provide for them in the way I’d like. I want them to have a nice home with lots of room. I’m working toward owning a home to help give them a place to feel secure.

5. Beside your kids, what is the most important thing to you, personally?

Feeling secure and loved. Feeling like I’m important to someone. I guess it’s part of my “baggage” that I continually have to deal with. 🙂

6. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

Who has time to read?! 🙂 Right now, my favorites are the books I read to my children.

7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d worry less and trust God more.

8. Do you have a pet?

We have a pet on our rental property that the kids have pretty much adopted. A black Labrador retriever named Blue. He’s into everything and about drives me crazy! But I’m growing more and more attached to him.

9. What’s your favorite childhood memory?

I’d have to go way back to elementary school–before my parents started having trouble and my sister got involved in the wrong crowd. I have good memories of laughing a lot with my dad (teasing my mom about being so uptight). And great memories of family vacations at the beach.

Wow, I can so identify with Hannah, right down to the dog that drives me crazy. LOL. Is it any wonder I enjoyed the book so much? One of the things that drew me to Christian fiction in the first place and inspirational romance in particular was seeing the characters face similar circumstances to what I was facing or circumstances I feared (losing a spouse) and overcoming. They inspire and give hope. 

Your Turn: How has a book inspired or given you hope in your circumstances or fears?  

Btw, A House Full of Hope is now in stores or you can order it directly from Harlequin. Use this link and coupon code SAVE10AFFO to receive an extra 10% discount off its already discounted prices before 3/31/12. 

I’m also giving away a copy on Friday to one of my commenters from Monday’s or today’s post. Be sure to check back on Friday. 

Talking about A House Full of Hope

This past weekend, I read Missy Tippens’ newest Love Inspired release, A House Full of Hope. I became a fan of Missy’s after reading her 2011 release, so I snatched this latest book up the day it hit the shelves. Best of all, it has lots of great questions for discussion. But first let me give you a description of the story: 

From black sheep to father of four…

Before becoming a Christian, Mark Ryker ran with a bad crowd and broke hearts. Including his father’s. Now a successful businessman, Mark has come home to Corinthia, Georgia, to make amends. But no one will forgive him. So when the widowed mother of four renting his dad’s run-down house needs help fixing up the place, Mark gets to work. Pretty Hannah Hughes and her sweet kids have him longing to be part of the clan, but Hannah isn’t ready to let go of the past. Still, they are working together on a house full of hope—and that’s all Mark needs.

First off, I want to let readers know that writers don’t usually get to write their own back cover blurbs. Moreover, the person who writes them has usually only read an early synopsis of the story and perhaps the first two or three chapters. I mention this, because although I’ve included the blurb above, I think it failed to nail the vast scope of the conflict, not to mention the first line gives away the ending! Of course, we always know the hero will get his HEA, but the hurdles in Mark’s path seem utterly insurmountable.

First of all, he’s returned to seek forgiveness for causing his brother’s death and then walking out on the family, cutting off contact so that they couldn’t even find him when his mother died. His father is not about to forgive him.

Mark starts fixing up the house, because he wants to stick around long enough to make sure his financially-struggling dad is okay, and because he wants his dad back in their family home, not renting it out to the heroine and her four kids while his dad lives above the garage.

If that weren’t enough to worry the widowed heroine, as a youth, Mark destroyed her sister’s life and as a consequence their family’s, and while the heroine may come to realize he isn’t a monster, her mother will never forgive him. As a single mom, the heroine relies on her mother to help with childcare and can’t afford to alienate her. Moreover, Mark’s home and business is three thousand miles away–not exactly condusive to an ongoing relationship. 

I love getting half way through a book and wondering how the hero and heroine could possibly ever end up together. But…onto today’s question…

Your Turn: Mark wanted to achieve success before coming home so he’d earn respect. What pitfalls do you see in striving for material success, or in striving for affirmation in other ways? Have you ever fallen into that trap?

Giveaway: I’ll mail a copy of Missy’s book to a randomly selected commenter from today and Wednesday’s blog. You DO NOT have to leave your email address. I will announce the winner Friday along with a real-life romance story that you won’t want to miss!