Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Lost and Found Faith by Laurel Blount, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m delighted to have Laurel on the blog today to chat about her characters!
LOST AND FOUND FAITH
Author: Laurel Blount
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: August 24, 2021
Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance
A terrible tragedy nearly broke him. Can love put him back together again?
Widowed history teacher Neil Hamilton has lost his way—at work, with people and even with his faith. But Neil’s shut-down existence is disrupted when a small toddler and his would-be foster mother, vibrantly pretty Maggie Byrne, come crashing into Neil’s yard and his life. Can this absentminded teacher find himself again…and take a chance on love, too?
From Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.
Oh, story people—how I love ‘em! As a reader, I’ve always loved characters who feel “real” to me—and those are the characters I hope to create as a writer. When a reader tells me that my story folks felt like friends, that she felt she really knew them, that they lingered with her long after she closed the book—well. That’s a compliment that always makes me smile!
How to accomplish that is the tricky part. Personally, I think the best way is to get out of the way and let the character tell his own story to the reader whenever possible. Take Neil Hamilton, for example.
In Lost and Found Faith, Neil is a brokenhearted history teacher locked in his past. Ever since the death of his wife and unborn son, the once stellar educator has just been going through the motions at work. We learn about this straight from Neil himself as he ponders how he’s changed as a teacher.
“It had been a long time since he’d interacted with his students outside the classroom, three years since he’d looked at the kids and seen them as more than just names on a roster. Back when he’d been in his sweet spot as a teacher, that had been different.
Once upon a time, he’d gone to every sporting event, known about every triumph and failure, kept a weather eye on moods and relationships as well as grades and averages. He’d headed up after-school clubs and volunteered for field trips and extra bus duty.
He’d taught his classes dressed in period costume at least three times a year. He’d helped students build a working catapult, and once, when ever single one of his students had passed their midterm exams, he’d made good on a rash promise and ridden a borrowed horse into the lunchroom in full medieval armor.
That stunt had gotten him a half-hearted reprimand from the principal. It had also scored him a full-page spread in the yearbook, a page he’d signed for the over two hundred students who’d crowded around him when the books were distributed. Those kids hadn’t called him Iceman. They’d called him Prof, and they’d had his personal phone number, his ear and a big chunk of his heart.
For Prof, teaching had been more than a job. It had been a mission. A passion.
Laura and their soon-to-be-born son hadn’t been the only ones who’d died that terrible day. Prof had died, too. Neil just hadn’t fully realized it until tonight.
This was what had been keeping him awake. He’d had a private funeral of sorts. Then he’d booted up his computer, done a little internet searching and completed online applications for five potential jobs in five different cities.
None of them were teaching positions.”
Don’t you feel for this guy? Because now—just like that—we know Neil Hamilton. This snippet of backstory gives us a sense of who he is—and how far he’s drifted from the man God made him to be. Maybe he reminds us of others—people we know and care about—whose lives were shipwrecked by heartache, who lost their grip on the lifeline of their faith.
But of course, there’s a lot more to this story! Neil’s lonely life is turned upside down when a traumatized toddler appears in his yard, soon followed by the child’s frantic foster mom, warm-hearted Maggie Byrnes. Maggie, a cheerful baker who faces down life’s challenges with an apron pocket full of prayers—and plenty of fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies—is just the right person to nudge Neil out of his misery.
I loved seeing Neil and Maggie come to life in Lost and Found Faith—and stumble into a romance neither of them saw coming. I can’t wait to introduce readers to this sweet couple, little Oliver, and the rest of the people in the tiny mountain town of Cedar Ridge, Georgia. Or better yet—I’ll just let these folks introduce themselves. I’m sure they have plenty of stories to tell!
(1) winner will receive an embroidered dishtowel with Maggie’s favorite saying “The kitchen is the heart of the home” and a $25 Amazon gift card!
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight August 23, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on August 30, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
You can also enter to win a gift card from the author over on Instagram!
What about you? What makes you want to read Lost and Found Faith by Laurel Blount?