My Father's House by Rose Chandler Johnson -- Book Tour Review + Author Interview + Giveaway
Genre: Christian, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Publication date: March 13, 2016
Number of pages: 314
Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to her one constant – her father’s love. But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning with her father’s sudden death. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and a life she thinks is gone forever.
Marriage to her prince charming promises fulfillment, but their happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Beneath the sophisticated façade lies a brooding man who hides dark secrets. When all Lily’s illusions of happiness shatter, she must make hard choices – abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. . . .
In spite of heartbreak and regrets, will she find the strength to survive whatever comes? Or will her husband find her and shatter all her hopes . . . again. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to faith and who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.
My Father’s House is Rose’s first novel. Her devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments won the Georgia Author of the Year Finalist Award in 2014. It was also awarded the Selah Finalist Award in the same year. Rose enjoys writing for her blog, Write Moments with God and engaging with her readers. A native Georgian, Rose has lived in a suburb of Augusta for the last thirty years. Before retiring from Georgia’s public school system, Rose taught English, French, and ESOL. She is currently an adjunct English instructor at a community college. In addition to reading and writing, Rose enjoys cooking, sewing, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their growing families. And yes, sweet iced tea is her beverage of choice.
Check out the interview with the author HERE.
How and why did the Lord lead you to write your latest release?
I wanted to write a story about a young woman with an indomitable spirit who in spite of devastating hardships, disappointments, personal loss and mistakes ultimately finds happiness. The story begins with a quote from the 23rd Psalm: goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. I wanted the reader to take the journey with her, but I didn’t want the painful things to be the main focus of her triumphant story. Lily Rose finds herself in an abusive marriage. I know from firsthand experience how devastating that can be. The question is: Will she survive it? Lily Rose’s warm heart endears her to the reader who wants to know that she’s going to be all right, as her father had said she would. When Lily Rose reconnects with family and her faith, hope is restored and we get a glimpse of the bright future God has in store for her. The setting needed to play a critical part in the story as well. So, with my roots firmly planted in Georgia, I modelled my fictional town after so many small southern towns, and I set in some of my love of nature. Being a Southerner, I had definite ideas about elements I needed for this story to come alive. Besides fascinating characters and a distinctive setting, there had to be a little crazy, eccentric, and some downright meanness, mixed with suspense, romance, and lots of southern charm. One reader wrote that the story “made my heart smile.” I’m happy to accomplish that with this story.
Favorite book: Jane Eyre
Favorite scripture: Proverbs 4:18
Favorite ice cream: Pistachio Almond
Favorite flower: Daffodils
Favorite season: Spring
Favorite musical: Les Miserables
Favorite T.V. series: Downton Abbey
Favorite country you want to visit: France
Favorite Restaurant: Augustino’s Italian Eatery and Steaks in Augusta, GA
Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving
1. Writing the story was a process of discovery. More than once an unplanned element burst onto the page.
2. Memories from my own life and travels informed the settings in the story.
3. I explored small towns in order to create my own.
4. While poking around a small town, I spied an old DeSoto in a ramble shack car shelter.
5. The novel was four years in the making. I put the manuscript away for a year when writing the story reopened some old wounds.
6. I laughed out loud writing parts of the story.
7. I always wanted to travel cross country in a big rig. I’ve never had the opportunity, so I gave one of my characters the ride I never had. YouTube videos were a go-to resource.
8. My Aunt Frances and Grandma Bronnie were front “porch dwellers”, who offered kindly words of wisdom while we spent many a serene hour rocking on the porch and sipping sweet iced tea.
9. My daddy had a trunk from his WWII days, and he loved to tell stories about his childhood, just like Lily Rose’s daddy.
10. In the South, hospitable folks always offer guests a glass of sweet tea. So, you’ll see lots of it being served in My Father’s House.
This is one of those stories that grips your heart and emotions from page one. Rose Chandler Johnson has written a tragically beautiful story of idyllic Lily Rose Cates. Lily has always thrived on her father’s love, but after he dies all that changes. Lily meets and marries rich lawyer Manuel Valenti, but after her marriage and her honeymoon, Lily’s world comes crashing down. With the help of a friend, Lily chooses to flee her abusive husband and to make a new life for herself using her inheritance and living in her “Father’s House.” Lily Rose and her story truly come to life in this well-crafted story and emotional journey. Readers will feel compelled to read this beautiful story cover to cover. Themes of love, loss, pain, and survival are prominent in this novel.
Genre: Christian, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication date: March 13, 2016
Number of pages: 314
Content Rating: PG, mentions of domestic abuse and spousal rape, divorce, nothing graphic
Book Rating: 5 stars
A review copy of this book was provided by SLB Tours.
Enter the giveaway HERE.
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