I am so pleased to introduce you to Erin Bartels & her debut novel We Hope For Better Things (Revell, Jan 2019)!
Erin Bartels has been a publishing professional for seventeen years, most of that time as a copywriter. She is also a freelance writer and editor and a member of the Capital City Writers and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Erin lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, Zachary, and their son, Calvin. We Hope for Better Things is her first novel. Find her on Facebook @ErinBartelsAuthor, on Twitter @ErinLBartels, or on Instagram @erinbartelswrites. Her weekly podcast, Your Face Is Crooked, drops on Monday mornings.
When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request–that she look up a relative she didn’t know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos–seems like it isn’t worth her time. But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time.
At her great-aunt’s 150-year-old farmhouse, Elizabeth uncovers a series of mysterious items, locked doors, and hidden graves. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding. And as Elizabeth soon discovers, the past is never as past as we might like to think.
Debut novelist Erin Bartels takes readers on an emotional journey through time–from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War–to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.
Hi Erin! Welcome to the blog!
Erin: Apples. I’m from Michigan, so what would you expect? ?
Carrie: YUM. I’m from northern IL originally so me too!!
Erin: Winter. You can always put more clothes on if you’re cold. You can only take so many off…
Carrie: Yes! My thoughts exactly…
Erin: Music. Growing up, music was an integral part of our family life. And you can’t sing along to an audiobook.
Carrie: Very true. LOL!
Erin: PRINT! I look at screens for work and writing all day. I can’t look at them when reading for pleasure. Plus print books never run out of battery.
Carrie: Another very good point haha
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Erin: The ability to speak, read, and understand any language.
Carrie: that would be amazing – i think Heaven will be like that ♥
Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Erin: I have so many writer friends, that I always check the front table to see who’s on it. Then I snap a pic, post it on Instagram, and tag it. Authors love to see their books out in the wild.
Carrie: i love that!
Q: Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
Erin: I was on a hiking trip with my sister in the remote Porcupine Mountains that just wasn’t going well. Torrential rains had made a miserable mess of the trail and the mosquitoes were absolutely unreal. Since we hike to have fun (and we clearly weren’t having much of that) we had to decide whether to stick it out for a few more days to finish the loop or hike out of the woods and hitchhike back to the car. We chose the latter.
Carrie: See…. thinking that hiking is fun is your first mistake 😉
Q: Which of the main characters in We Hope For Better Things is most like you?
Erin: If you put Elizabeth, Nora, and Mary together, both the good and the bad in them, that’s basically me. I write, I garden, I sew, I quilt, and I don’t shirk hard physical labor (even while pregnant). But I can also be self-centered, resentful, judgmental, and a little bitter at times. It’s something I have to keep chipping away at.
Carrie: Ugh. I hear you. Life is always a refining process, isn’t it?
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote We Hope for Better Things?
Erin: It’s not my business to judge the hearts or actions of others. That’s God’s business. It’s my job to love others.
Carrie: Amen ♥
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂
I am giving away a $5 Amazon gift card to celebrate Erin’s debut novel! Open internationally as long as you can accept electronic gift cards from US Amazon. Void where prohibited by law. This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here.
To enter, comment on this post!
Love learning about family’s prior history – novel sounds very interesting.
Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.
I’ve seen this book before and really want to read it, especially since I live in Michigan and can learn more about the history of where I live.
This is a great interview. I so agree about judging others. Sometimes it can be difficult, but in those times I try to remind myself that I dont know their situation but God does. So for me it is, dont judge but be kind and let Gods light show through my actions.
This sounds like a great book
Sounds like a really good book, I can’t wait to read!
Thanks for the chance to win. Would love to read this book.
Love the interview! This sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you.
This story sounds fascinating and I love Erin’s observation about what she learned writing this book. Truly our job is to just love!
Sounds like an interesting story! Would love to win a print copy! Thanks for the opportunity!
I love finding new authors! Especially when it’s their debut story! Very exciting.
Oooh, I’ll have to check this book out – it looks like something I might like!
Oh! A New author to me! Thank you! 😀
This sounds great! I loved your last thought, Erin! “It’s not my business to judge the hearts or actions of others. That’s God’s business. It’s my job to love others” So true! Sometimes I think Jesus is looking at us, shaking his head, saying, “I gave you one job . . “
It sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway!
I love hearing and learning about family History. Thank You for the giveaway.
Thanks for the interview, Carrie and Erin. This sounds like a book I’d enjoy. Putting it on my wish list now! 😀
I’m so happy to see Erin featured on your blog so more readers are aware of her debut novel. It is an AMAZING book and especially important now for the important issues challenging Americans.
This sounds like a wonderful book! I’m interested in family history, so this would be an enjoyable read.
Loved reading this book. It’s even better than To Kill a Mockingbird.
Interesting interview and the novel sounds captivating and special
I’ve heard good things about this book! And I grew up in MI and am quite familiar with Lansing where Erin lives, so I would love to read a book by a Michigander.
Oh! I want to read this book! I want to know about the old camera, old photos, and the family mystery (or is it mysteries!?) MS
We Hope For Better Things sounds like a good read. Thank you
Wow, sounds like a great story. Would love to read it.
Sounds so good! Thank you!
Interesting, cool interview.. and book
Interesting Title! I’m intrigued…
I really liked the interview and I can’t wait to read the book.
I love the author’s answer to the question about print vs. e-book: Print books never run out of battery! 🙂
This sounds wonderful! I love the plot line; it contains some of my favorite topics!
It sounds like an incredible book.
The cover alone makes me want to read it.
Thanks for the post!
I love stories with old house mysteries. This book sounds really good!