Welcome back, dear readers! Through September 19th (culminating with a list of winners), I have the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2020 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m continuing with Irene Hannon and her Carol Award finalist book Driftwood Bay! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.
FYI – There will be 2-3 posts per day, and a series-long giveaway, so make sure you catch them all!
Irene Hannon is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than fifty contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. She is also a three-time winner of the RITA award—the “Oscar” of romance fiction—from Romance Writers of America and is a member of that organization’s elite Hall of Fame.
Her many other awards include National Readers’ Choice, Daphne du Maurier, Retailers’ Choice, Booksellers’ Best, Carol, and Reviewers’ Choice from RT Book Reviews magazine, which also honored her with a Career Achievement award for her entire body of work.
Millions of her books have been sold worldwide, and her novels have been translated into multiple languages. Visit her at www.irenehannon.com. She enjoys interacting with readers on Facebook and is also active on Twitter and Instagram. Her next novel, Point of Danger, releases October 6.
SERIES: Hope Harbor #5
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 2, 2019
A springtime of second chances and new beginnings . . .
After tragedy upends her world, Jeannette Mason retreats to the tiny Oregon seaside town of Hope Harbor to create a new life. Vowing to avoid emotional attachments, she focuses on running her lavender farm and tearoom–until a new neighbor with a destructive dog and a forlorn little girl invades her turf. But she needn’t worry. Dr. Logan West is too busy coping with an unexpected family, a radical lifestyle change, and an unruly pup to have any interest in his reclusive neighbor.
Yet when Jeannette and Logan find themselves pulled into the life of a tattered family fleeing persecution in war-torn Syria, might they discover that love sometimes comes calling when it’s least expected?
Come home to Hope Harbor–
where hearts heal . . . and love blooms
Hi Irene! Welcome back to the blog!
Q: How has Christian fiction impacted you personally?
Irene: It changed my life—and launched my writing career. Back in the dark ages when I wrote my first romance novel, the category wasn’t even around. (Yes, it was that long ago!) This was in the era when romance novels were morphing from traditional sweet to hot and spicy—which wasn’t what I wanted to write. So it took me a long while to find a home for my first book. When I did, it was a fluke. My brother noticed a small article in the newspaper about a Christian publisher that was launching a line of romance novels. I thought my book might fit, so I submitted it—and within a very short time they bought that book—and two more. Sadly, they were ahead of their time and the line didn’t last—but my involvement in Christian fiction did!
Carrie: I love how God put that small article in your brother’s path!
Q: When you’re not writing your next award-nominated book 😉 who are your fave authors to read & why?
Irene: I don’t really have a favorite author, as I read widely—but here are a few of my favorite Christian novels that feature nuanced stories with layered characters and compelling plots:
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
The Justice by Angela Hunt
One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury
Larkspur Cove by Lisa Wingate
The Memory House by Linda Goodnight
The Hearts We Mend by Kathryn Springer
We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels
My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
The Guardian by Dee Henderson
Carrie: Several of my faves on your list!
Q: Which of your characters has really stretched you as a writer?
Irene: The villains in some of my suspense novels have been the most challenging to write, since I always take readers inside their heads—which can be a very dark and scary place. Trying to understand how their minds work sometimes sends shivers down my spine. Writing the villains in “Trapped” and “Thin Ice” was particularly difficult because they were so complex.
Carrie: Not coincidentally I’m sure, those are two of my faves of your books!
Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve googled lately while researching a book?
Irene: I usually google at least one weird thing every day in the course of my research. Recently I’ve been googling Rainbow Gatherings in national forests. That’s a whole different world I knew nothing about!
Carrie: that’s intriguing!
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Driftwood Bay?
Irene: While Driftwood Bay is a contemporary romance, this book—like all my romances—also has a strong secondary storyline that’s woven into the romance plot. In this case, it focuses on three people representing three generations of the same family. They’ve just fled from Syria after the persecution of Christians led to tragedy in their lives. The plight of Christians in that part of the world is terrible, though it doesn’t get much press coverage in the U.S. My heart went out to this struggling fictional family, and writing their story made me realize how very blessed we are in this country—despite all its problems—to be able to live in freedom and to worship as we please. Freedom of religion is not respected or honored in many parts of the world.
Carrie: so true. This is something God opened my eyes to over the 10 years I worked with international adults in my community.
I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2020 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.
What about you? What makes you want to read the romance Carol Award finalist Driftwood Bay by Irene Hannon & what did you enjoy about Irene’s answers?