Hi all! Lindi here.
Today, we are all going to fall in love with a good book! Are you ready?
But first I have a question. Have you ever had a book on your TBR pile for a while? A long while? And then when you read it you want to kick yourself for not reading it sooner?
Okay, that happened to me recently. There was a book that was published in March of 2015. I knew it was published then because I know the author. She’s a friend of mine. I wanted to read her book. But this and that and who knows what happened and I didn’t get around to it. (Hanging my head!)
A couple of weeks ago I had a friend in from out of town and we laid by the pool and I said, “Hmm, I’m going to read that book.”
Not only was the story intriguing and really great, the writing was beautiful. The setting came to life, the word images grabbed me. The dialogue was superb. Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about this book.
So, what does one do when one has waited this long to read an amazing book? (Besides posting 5 star reviews, of course!) I emailed the author and asked for an interview. We met at IHop and had a blast. (On her husband’s birthday—she met me! How cool is that?—It’s okay though, she went home and made him steak tacos.)
Now, I’m introducing you to contemporary romance author, Brandy Heineman, author of Whispers in the Branches. ( Awesome book!)
Here is a blurb from the book.
Tending a void in her heart that demands to be filled, Abby Wells uproots her life in Ohio to move into the ancestral home in Georgia. Now that her mom is gone, it’s her best chance to connect with the last of her family, and she can’t deny the pull of the supposedly haunted house. The seductive comfort of believing that ghosts could be real drives her search, but Aunt Ruby’s plans for Abby don’t include revealing secrets kept for seventy years. Oh, there’s dirty laundry she’d like to air—just not her own.
Indulging in the attentions of the house’s handsome caretaker helps numb her pain, but Abby’s ex-boyfriend won’t let go of the past. He hounds her about his newfound religion in hopes of reconciling, but why reach for him or the God who couldn’t or wouldn’t spare her mom? In the stillness of the old house, the spirit world feels so close she can almost touch it.
But she doesn’t know yet that there’s more than one way to be haunted.
Lindi: Where did you get the idea for the story?
Brandy: The seed came from my family genealogy. My great grandmother, Orilla, gave up my grandfather for adoption in the 1920’s. She never had any other children, and Grampa’s parentage was kept secret until he was an adult. A line from one of my grandmother’s letters to him really stuck with me. “If anyone knows about not getting what they want, it’s me.” I wanted to write a story about that—finding faith when we don’t get what we want.
Lindi: What prompted you to write about a ghost?
Brandy: I like stories with a creepy factor, but I knew it’d be tricky to write a Christian ghost story. I prayed about it and Whisper in the Branches is the result of that prayer.
Lindi: I was blown away by your writing. Tell me how writing came into your life.
Brandy: I’ve always known that I was a writer. I remember in the 2nd grade I received kudos from a teacher regarding my writing, and I try to pay that forward. It’s so important to encourage kids when they’re doing something well. Another milestone came in the 9th grade when I took a creative writing class. Learning to give and take feedback at an early age was so valuable. During college writing went on the back burner, but when I was hitting 30, the parable of the talents got under my skin. Was I burying my talent in the ground? I started working on my first novel—you know, the one that ends up under the bed! Since then, the journey has been a process of growing in commitment to use the talent God gifted to me.
Lindi: Do you have a goal for readers as you are writing?
Brandy: I pray for my readers, that they’ll receive a blessing and that God will use what I write in people’s lives. He doesn’t waste anything. Everything we go through, even painful experiences, can funnel their way into stories. In fiction, I can find the good in them—the lump of coal that becomes a diamond.
Lindi: Do your stories have a theme?
Brandy: Yes! I love past to present connections. I like to examine how people deal with their personal histories, how we grow out of our hurts and move forward to victory, and how God molds and shapes us, especially when it comes to family.
I asked Brandy what she was working on next and the title will hook all of us for sure. Like Honey for the Bones. In this romantic suspense, a century-old cold case brings Kyle and Solveig together, but their terrible secrets have the power to tear them apart. She’s working on it now, and it sounds great.
Brandy does have a short story out, His Pepper Heart.
I want to thank Brandy for taking the time to meet with me and chat about writing, reading and stories. Please welcome Brandy and ask her any questions you’d like. She’ll be hanging out today with us. And we are giving away a prize! 1 copy of Whispers in the Branches, E or print, winner’s choice. Just comment to be in the drawing.