Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Hey friends, Butterfly Palace released today! If you read digitally, the Nook, Kindle, etc copy is only $4.99 for a short time so grab it while you can! I call it Downton Abbey meets Jane Eyre. It’s very atmospheric and has a bit of a gothic feel so I’m eager to hear what you think.
I’ve been immersed in the new Downton Abbey season, how about you? I have been gritting my teeth and shouting at the screen for Anna to just be honest. Her behavior is giving me a nervous breakdown. LOL And the dresses this season! Swoon! I’m a jeans girl, but I could be persuaded into a dresses like they’ve all been wearing.
What’s your verdict on the show so far this year? I was about to give it up after Matthew died, but I was quickly immersed into the show again. And I think Mary just made a big mistake in this past episode. :(
posted at 7:03 PM
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
|On Shelves Today! |
We girls are so excited that our final Smitten book is on the shelves today! This series was so special to us because in many ways it was an outlet for our friendship, and we had such a blast writing it together. You'd never believe the zillions of emails passed back and forth as we ironed out every last detail! We hope you'll love it!
But today is also bittersweet because our precious Diann isn't here to celebrate with us. I know if she's looking down from heaven, she's smiling joyfully and celebrating in her own way.
I think it's perfect that our last book together is about the very thing that connected us all to begin with--books. And just like the friendships in the story, it evolved into so much more.
We hope you're up for a celebration of books and friendship, Smitten-style!
Barnes and Noble
posted at 8:33 AM
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
I adore Robin Lee Hatcher's work. Her new book, A Promise Kep
t, is very personal to her so I wanted to share an interview with her.
interview with Robin Lee Hatcher,
When Robin Lee Hatcher’s marriage ended in divorce, she
was devastated. “I’d been so convinced God
had promised me that He would save our marriage,” the author says, but she
quickly learned that sometimes God answers prayer in the most unexpected ways.
In the following years, God used the pain of what appeared to be a failed marriage
to draw her closer to Him. In A Promise
Kept (Thomas Nelson/January 7, 2014/ISBN:
978-1401687656/$15.99) Hatcher draws on that personal pain to craft a story about a
woman married to an alcoholic, a woman who has to learn the value and
importance of surrendering everything to the Lord.
Q: Can you tell us a
little bit about A Promise Kept and
specifically how your own life inspired this story?
A Promise Kept opens as Allison
Kavanagh arrives at the house her aunt Emma bequeathed to her — a log home in
the mountains. Her marriage of more than twenty years has ended in divorce
because of her husband’s alcoholism. She was so certain God had promised to
save her marriage, but obviously she was wrong. Now she is moving from Boise to
Kings Meadow to start life afresh and find a way to heal from her heartbreak.
Allison, my marriage ended in divorce because of my husband’s alcoholism. I was
devastated because I’d been so convinced God had promised me He would save our
marriage. I had believed His promise through many difficult times, but it hadn’t
come to pass. I knew God didn’t lie. Therefore, I must have misunderstood.
God had many things to teach me in the following years, including that He
answers prayers in totally unexpected ways and in His own time, not mine. One of those unexpected ways was realized
when my husband and I were remarried more than five years later. God used the
divorce to save our marriage!
Q: How does your husband
feel about you using aspects of your lives in a novel and speaking openly about
it in interviews?
so much for asking this question. In order to honor my husband, I made certain
from the very beginning that he was on-board for me to write about and talk
about our marriage — which would mean talking about him and his battles with
addiction. His response was, “If my story can help someone else, use it.”
Q: How much
of your main character’s situation is based on your own and will readers see a
portrait of the author in your heroine?
my characters are never me — I allow them to be individuals and allow their
lives to unfold in their own way — there are always pieces of me in them.
Allison’s life is not the same as mine. I didn’t retreat to a mountain cabin
nor have an aunt whose journals helped me discover truths I needed to know, nor
did I withdraw from God during the depths of my grief as Allison does. But
every lesson God teaches me eventually makes its way into one of my stories.
That was certainly true of A Promise Kept.
Q: What would you say to
someone who feels like God has abandoned him or her or forgotten His promise?
onto Him no matter what. We only see such a tiny scrap of reality. God sees the
whole picture. He knows you intimately, and He loves you extravagantly. He hasn’t
isn’t about feelings. We cannot trust our feelings. The Bible warns us that the
heart is deceptive. If you are feeling abandoned, get into God’s word and do a
study on His character. When you know His character, you will cease to fear
that He might leave you alone in your trials.
Q: What is the most
important thing God taught you during your own period of refinement?
the most important but certainly the most surprising was when I realized I had
reached the place where I could thank God for my marriage to an alcoholic and
mean it. Because of what happened in my marriage, my faith was deepened and strengthened.
I learned to hold onto the foot of the cross so tightly that I could feel the
splinters in the palms of my hands. No matter what comes, I’m holding onto the
Lord, from where my help comes.
consider my life lesson to be this: Nothing, absolutely nothing, enters my life
that isn’t caused or allowed by God, filtered through His loving hands, for the
purpose of making me more like Jesus.
happens in an instant when we trust in Christ. But sanctification is a lifelong
journey. We travel it one day at a time, and the refining process is always
part of it. None of us wants to step into that fire so the dross can be burned
away. We don’t want to be pruned with those spiritual clippers. But it is for
our eternal good that we submit to it.
the end, I want to be like Jesus more than I want to avoid the discomfort of
the refinement process.
Q: Is there anything in
particular that your heroine, Allison, clings to that helps remind her of God’s
Allison’s case, the end of her marriage caused her to let go of the cross
rather than cling tighter. So her journey had to be one that brought her back
to that place of trust. What she learns in her aunt’s journals helps her begin
and continue on that journey, as do the friends she makes.
Q: An important question
raised in A Promise Kept is, “Am I
surrendering everything to the Lord?” What is the significance of this question
and how do you determine the answer?
thing I’ve learned through the years is that I make a very poor substitute for
the Holy Spirit. When I try to control situations or people rather than trust
in God, it never turns out for the best. It is human nature to try to hold
things back from God, whether we don’t fully trust Him or whether we think He
might just be too busy to notice. Human, but not wise.
ago, God called me to write another book about alcoholism in a Christian home (Beyond the Shadows). I thought it was
because He wanted me to offer hope to those who were sitting in the pews,
trying to look like they were holding it all together, while at the same time
they were dying on the inside because of the addictions of loved ones. I wanted
them to know they weren’t alone. God has, indeed, used the book in such a way.
I know because I’ve received many letters saying so. But writing that book also
taught me, the author, a whole new level of submission to the Lord. Who am I to
answer back to God and ask Him why He made me this way or why He made my life
Q: When things don’t work
out the way we want them to, it’s easy to blame God. What would you say to
someone wrestling with these feelings, and how can we avoid the bitterness that
sometimes accompanies them?
the importance of forgiveness. When God helped me learn to forgive as an act of
will, it changed me to my core. It has kept me free of bitterness, despite the
trials and disappointments. I count myself blessed.
God for things not working out the way we want is a fruitless action. And it
means we still believe that life is about us. Me and my happiness. You and your
happiness. But it isn’t. Not in the way we think, anyway.
ten or so years ago, I was standing in my office, weeping over my husband and
our marriage. Big crocodile tears that splattered loudly when they hit the
floor mat. I asked God, “Why?” What I meant was, “Why me?” And after a long period of time, I felt God speak to my heart,
“Why not you, beloved?” It quieted
me, stopped me cold. Yes, why not me? Did I think I was so special that I could
avoid what Christ told me would be true? Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation,
but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Q: God never seems to
answer our prayers the way we expect or even in the timing we wish for. What
advice do you have for people who are in the waiting period?
is hard, especially for those of us in the Western world. We want and expect
immediate gratification. Dinner from the microwave. A mug of coffee in seconds
from a single serve K-cup. Buy something on the Internet with a credit card and
get it delivered tomorrow. Sometimes we treat the almighty, holy God of the
Universe as if He were our personal Santa Claus that we give our wish list to
and expect Him to fulfill it immediately. And even if our wish list is full of
good things that God wants to give us, His timing can remain a mystery to us.
God has a beautiful promise for those who learn how to wait on Him.
Yet those who wait for
They will mount up with wings
They will run and not get
They will walk and not
Q: Allison moves into the
cabin she inherited from her self-reliant aunt Emma and uncovers a side of the
woman she didn’t know existed. Is this wise woman inspired by someone in your
Aunt Emma is a character straight from my imagination. But whenever I think of
older women of faith, whenever I need to be reminded how I should live, I
always think first of my mother. She went home to be with the Lord at the age
of 96, and she is who I would first emulate as a Christian woman.
Q: You have an important
group of women who have influenced your life. Tell us the most valuable aspect
of these friendships.
of the greatest gifts God has given me was to introduce me to the group of Christian
writers who gather together each summer to “plot, play, and pray.” The first
year we met, most of us were complete strangers. I shudder when I remember I
almost declined the invitation, uncertain if I would fit in with people I didn’t
know. But God knit together something unique that first year, and the bonds
have only continued to deepen over time.
most valuable aspect is that these women love and trust the Lord with their
whole hearts, and because of that we can trust one another with our deepest
secrets and our true selves. When I was in such anguish over the death of my
marriage, there were days I couldn’t even form a cohesive prayer in my
thoughts. But I knew these friends were praying for me, and that gave me
strength to keep moving forward.
the years, every single one of us has suffered some kind of hardship or pain.
The death of a mother or father or spouse. Cancer of a loved one. Personal
health issues and broken bones. Addictions of a loved one. Loss of a job. Financial
struggles. Loss of eyesight. What a difference it has made to know we can turn
to one another and not have to pretend to be strong or act like we have all the
Q: In your letter to
readers, which appears at the end of A
Promise Kept, you talk about how your divorce felt like a failure. How did
God turn that failure around in your life?
we were first married, my husband and I promised until death do us part. We
meant it. So it felt like failure when God told me to “let go” of him after
nearly a year of separation, even though I was acting in obedience. What I
couldn’t see or understand at first was that God needed to get my husband off
by himself so the two of them could work on his life without me being there as
a safety net, as the strong one. I believe my husband would have died if we
continued on the way we had been, but I didn’t see it that way at the time. I
had to stand back and let God be God.
Q: Alcoholism played a
large part in your marriage and eventually your divorce. What gave you the
strength to continue to pray for your spouse even when no answer seemed to come?
comes from believing deep down in my soul that God is in control and that He
wants the best for both me and my husband. I don’t always know what that “best”
is, but He does.
Q: There are many women
in our audience who are married to someone who has struggled with addiction,
and though they have prayed for them, the answers have not yet come. As
Christians, we know that divorce is a last resort, but is that ever possibly
the answer to prayer? How did you come to that painful decision?
is a very painful choice. I don’t care what the reason. It is painful and
shouldn’t be entered into lightly. It is especially painful for Christians who
are trying to walk in faith and please God. It would be a mistake for anyone to
look at me and my situation and say, “If it was OK for her, maybe this is what
God wants for me too.” That said, I do not believe divorce is always a sin. And
if it is sin, it isn’t an unforgiveable one. The only unforgiveable sin is
blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
divorce ever be an answer to prayer? I can’t answer that with any certainty. I
don’t even know that it was God’s answer to my prayers. But He allowed divorce
to happen and then used it, first to save my husband’s life and second to help
him embrace a life of sobriety.
I instigated “tough love,” my husband walked out the door, which started our
separation. But I still believed God would save our marriage, so for me, the
separation had one purpose: to reconcile us. But my husband got worse instead
of better, and the day came when God told me to let go of him. It was a
terrible, devastating moment. I didn’t understand it. I didn’t want to do it.
There were some Christians who counseled me one way and some who counseled
another. All I could do was obey and trust the Lord as best I could.
Q: A Promise Kept is such a personal story; what do you hope each
reader takes away from it?
hope readers will be encouraged to keep walking forward. I hope, if they are in
a troubled marriage, that they will seek God with their whole hearts and not
act out of selfishness but out of obedience. I hope reading A Promise Kept will deepen their faith
in a God who answers prayers, in His own way and His own time.
Robin Lee Hatcher will be
hosting a Facebook party on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM EST to chat
with readers about A Promise Kept,
give away copies of the book and reveal the grand prize winner of a social
media giveaway. More details will be available on her Facebook
posted at 10:19 AM