2019 Carol Award Finalists Q&A (and a Giveaway!): Heidi Chiavaroli & The Hidden Side

Posted September 23, 2019 by meezcarrie in 2019 Carol Awards, Author Interview, awards, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Heidi Chiavaroli, historical / 53 Comments

Happy Monday! Starting today and continuing through Saturday (culminating with a list of winners), I have the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2019 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m covering the contemporary category, including Heidi Chiavaroli and her nominated book The Hidden Side! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.

FYI – There will be several posts per day, and a week-long giveaway, so make sure you catch them all!

Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring places that whisper of historical secrets. She is an ACFW Carol Award winner and a Christy finalist. She makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. Visit her at heidichiavaroli.com

GENRE: Inspirational Dual Timeline Fiction
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House
RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2018
PAGES: 448

New York, 2016
Natalie Abbott offers answers for hurting listeners on her popular radio program. But she struggles to connect with her teenagers, with her daughter in an unhealthy relationship and her son uncommunicative and isolated. When one member of the family commits an unspeakable act, Natalie is forced to uncover who she truly is under the façade of her radio persona.

New York, 1776
Mercy Howard is shocked when her fiancé, Nathan Hale, is arrested and hanged as a spy. When she’s asked to join the revolutionary spy ring in Manhattan, she sees an opportunity to avenge Nathan’s death. But keeping her true loyalties hidden grows increasingly harder as the charming Major John Andre of the King’s Army becomes more to her than a target for intelligence.

Mercy’s journals comfort Natalie from across the centuries as both women struggle with their own secrets and shame, wondering how deep God’s mercy extends.


amazon affiliate link used

Hi Heidi! Welcome back to the blog!

Q: Why do you write fiction? And, why specifically Christian fiction?

Heidi: I write fiction because I can’t imagine not writing fiction! It’s a creative outlet that I truly believe God has knit within me. Even when I’m enjoying a “break” after a deadline, I find myself imagining new stories and dreaming up characters.

All fiction is powerful, but Christian fiction played an important part in my own faith walk. I witnessed firsthand how the gospel message woven within a story can impact a person—because I was that person. I longed to touch the hearts of readers with my own stories.

Carrie: Oh how I love that personal testimony! ♥

Q: Other than the Bible, what are a couple of your most cherished books and why?

Heidi: Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers were two books that impacted me early on in my walk with Jesus. Wow. These stories gripped me like nothing I’ve ever read before. They changed me and challenged me. They showed me true hope. And I will always be grateful for them.

Carrie: Yes!!! So many people have been eternally impacted by Francine’s books. What a gift!

Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?

Heidi: They’d probably say I’m a pretty lenient “parent”, letting them take over and walk off the path of any “planned” storyline. 😉

Carrie: haha – and it sounds like they take full advantage of that 😉

Q: Which of your main characters (either in the nominated The Hidden Side or over all you’ve written) is most like you?

Heidi: While I can definitely see some of my Mom-self in Natalie (The Hidden Side), I can especially identify with Sarah, the heroine in my newest time-slip novel, The Edge of Mercy. She not only lives in my hometown, but I find myself dealing with hard situations in a similar manner she does (by seeking distraction and purpose with a historical story!). 😉

Carrie: I know a few readers (myself included) who can identify with Sarah too!

Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote The Hidden Side?

Heidi: Oh, this book stretched me in ways I hadn’t anticipated!

God totally challenged my empathy with this one. I had to put myself in the shoes of those that I, quite honestly, never wanted to relate to. But He gave me the grace to go there, to walk with these characters and see them through to the end. And in doing so, He gave me a bigger view of humanity. Never again will I be able to have the same small, comfortable view of the world. With this research and with these characters, I walked a hard, even dark road, but because God was there I found light and grace at the end. And I’m so thankful.

Carrie: He is so faithful to stretch us, isn’t He? But also faithful to always be waiting with grace.

Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from The Hidden Side & why do you love it?

I looked up at my Mom through blurry eyes. We’d grown closer these past several months. Being a family—it wasn’t all Hallmark cards and Cheerios commercials. It was tough—especially for the Abbott family. But looking at her now, knowing she was by my side, I felt that it was the first good physical thing to poke through the ashes of our tragedy.

I handed her the shovel, wondered what she really thought about my crazy theory. She was only digging to show me she had my back, that she believed in me. She didn’t really think Mercy had buried something here, something that would change things for us, give us hope.

But none of that really mattered.

She was digging.

I love this (rather long) quote because it shows two broken characters, a mother and daughter, both who have become very dear to me, clinging to one another and growing alongside one another in the face of beyond difficult circumstances. This is part of the light that was at the end of this book for me, and I think it speaks of what it means to be a real family today. There’s a lot of the hard. Sometimes a lot of the ugly. But there’s always hope—not just eternal hope, but if we choose to lean on one another and God now, hope for this life as well.

Carrie: All my yeses to this!

I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2019 Carol Awards! (open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your address) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What about you? What interests you most from Heidi Chiavaroli’s Q&A or the contemporary Carol Award finalist The Hidden Side?

Tags: , , , , , ,

53 responses to “2019 Carol Award Finalists Q&A (and a Giveaway!): Heidi Chiavaroli & The Hidden Side

  1. I was blessed to meet Heidi at my first ACFW conference. It’s been so wonderful to watch her writing career blossom and to celebrate all the honors she has received (and those to come)!

  2. Haley Resseguie

    I have read Freedom’s Ring and loved it. I also own The Hidden Side, but I haven’t read it yet. Moving it up to the top of my TBR planet!

  3. Carrie Turansky

    So excited for Heidi! She’s a wonderful writer and I can’t wait to see what she’s writing next!

  4. Pam K.

    I’ve read all of Heidi’s books and liked them all. She tackles such difficult subjects with grace and hope.

  5. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for the interview with Heidi Chiavaroli. Love the quote she picked and the reason why. Such truth is those few lines.
    Love dual timelines stores. “The Hidden Side” sounds like a fabulous one and one that I would greatly enjoy having the opportunity to read.

  6. Winnie Thomas

    Lovely interview, Carrie and Heidi! Congratulations and happy birthday, Heidi! I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book! I need to read it soon!

    Thanks for featuring these authors and books, Carrie!

  7. I am most interested in the book because of the dual timeline, especially to read about the 1776 era and culture. Hope to win a print copy! Thanks for the opportunity to enter a giveaway!!

  8. MJSH

    I love her books. Love the dual-timeline aspect of all of her books. I actually bought this one and it’s been sitting in my Kindle for a while now…..need to get to it soon.

  9. Perrianne Askew

    I loved the fact that she felt like she had stepped into the shoes of her characters and lived a reality that we all hope to NEVER have to face. This is a tough book to read but she wrote with such grace. Happy Birthday Heidi. Are you going to San Antonio for ACFW?

  10. Faith Creech

    I read this book and loved it! The history of the time came alive for me and the romance just added to it! Thanks Heidi for writing such a good book that gave me hours of reading pleasure!

  11. Becky D.

    Thanks for sharing the interview! I like how the time periods are stretched wide, yet the struggles are still the same. Sounds like a interesting read.

  12. Judy maharrey

    i too loved Francine Rivers books of faith. your books that i have read, are good too, i am glad you answered your calling.

  13. Oh man, The Hidden Side was my first read by Heidi Chiavaroli and it instantly added her to my “must read author” list and also resulted in her being the first author interview I had on my blog <3

  14. Trixi

    I love historical so Heidi’s books are of great interest to me! I haven’t read anything by her yet but really want to.

    Thanks for the fun author interview and giveaway chance Carrie.

Leave a Reply