My newest book, Not Until The End, released last week! It’s the final book in my Hope Springs series, and I have to say that I didn’t expect a lot of my own real-life experiences to find their way into this book. After all, it’s not like my life is super exciting…and by book 10 of the series, I figured I had mined all I could from it. Turns out, I was wrong. As I was writing, I was kind of astounded by the things from my own life (things that I hadn’t thought about in years, in some cases!) that bubbled to the surface and showed up in some shape or form on the page.
But I’m not going to tell you what they are. At least not outright. Instead, I thought we’d play a little true or false game. I’ll list some statements based on the book below that may or may not have been inspired by real life. Your job is to decide if they’re true or false. If you’ve already read the book, you’ll know exactly where each of them came from…and if you haven’t, maybe you’ll be intrigued!
1. I have been attacked by chickens. True or false?
2. I have five children. True or false?
3. I have passed out. True or false?
4. I have gone skydiving. True or false?
5. I’ve had a surprise party thrown for me. True or false?
6. I’ve broken a toe. True or false?
7. I’ve had to wait a week for the moving truck to deliver my things. True or false?
8. I’ve taken riding lessons. True or false?
9. I like to do jigsaw puzzles. True or false?
10. I’ve been involved in a pizza-dough food fight. True or false?
Keep scrolling for the answers!
1. I have been attacked by chickens. False.
BUT…this did happen to a close friend of mine. A few years ago, she started raising chickens, and she was in the chicken run with them when her dog scared the birds. The chickens flapped and squawked—and one even landed on her back and held on tight!
2. I have five children. False.
Close though! I have four, but I decided to let Owen one-up me. His are ages 9-20, while mine are ages 11-18. I had so much fun giving each of his kids a unique personality, just as I see unique personalities in each of my kids.
3. I have passed out. True.
Back in college, I gave blood at a blood drive but decided not to eat any of the snacks they give you afterward since my roommate and I planned to go right down to dinner. Bad idea. I made it down to the cafeteria line and remember saying, “I’m just going to rest here a minute.” Next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor with people hovering over me.
4. I have gone skydiving. False.
This has never really been a dream of mine, but I have to admit that researching and writing about it made me almost want to try it…but I’m not sure that almost is enough to push me to actually do it. Still, that scene was intense and exhilarating to write—and I hope it’s just as exhilarating to read!
5. I’ve had a surprise party thrown for me. False.
And I’m glad! I like surprises in some areas…but a surprise party might be a bit much for this introvert to take!
6. I’ve broken a toe. True.
More than once! Even writing about it made me wince!
7. I’ve had to wait a week for the moving truck to deliver my things. True.
When we moved from Wisconsin to Texas, it took a week—a very long week!—for our stuff to arrive. You never realize how much you take for granted until you don’t have it!
8. I’ve taken riding lessons. False.
I wish! I think I gave Emma stables way back in book 1 of this series to fulfill a dream of younger me! I’ve been riding a few times in my life and have loved it every time, but I’ve never had a chance to take riding lessons.
9. I like to jigsaw puzzles. True.
My husband and I started doing jigsaw puzzles together a few years ago. We just finished putting together a 2,000-piece one in one week. But before you get too impressed by that, I have a feeling that our current 1,000-piece puzzle is going to take much longer.
10. I’ve been involved in a pizza-dough food fight. False.
Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever been involved in any type of food fight. So maybe writing them is my way of vicariously participating…without the mess!
So how did you do? Let me know in the comments! If you’ve already read the book, did you guess any of these things were inspired by real life as you read?
And if you haven’t read Not Until The End yet, here’s a little more about it:
Before Owen lost his wife to cancer, he promised her that he’d find someone new to love someday. It’s a promise he never plans to keep. He’s busy enough trying to get his new skydiving center in Hope Springs up and running, not to mention raising his five kids. He doesn’t have time for love. And even if he did, how would he ever find someone who could measure up to the love he lost?
Though she used to long for a large family, Emma has to admit that it doesn’t look like that’s in the Lord’s plans for her. After all, she’s 42 and has never been in love. Besides, after surviving cancer, she has other priorities now. Like checking things off her Life List. And serving the Lord with each moment he gives her. So when Owen and his children move in next door, it’s only natural that she wants to be a good neighbor to them. A good neighbor—and nothing more.
But when being a good neighbor turns into helping Owen’s family pick up the pieces after another heartbreaking loss, neither can deny that their feelings are becoming more than neighborly. But is Owen ready to open his heart again? And can Emma admit that maybe God has put a family in her future after all?