Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Power to Change Us by Robin Lee Hatcher

From a young age, I was a storyteller, a voracious reader, and a history buff. I am also a romantic and a follower of Jesus. Mix those traits together, and it should surprise no one that I write historical romances (as well as contemporary women's fiction) for readers of inspirational novels. And this month, November 2012, is the official release of my 66th book, Betrayal.

When I began writing my first novel in 1981, there was very little fiction published in the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association). Therefore, I wrote for the general romance market where I had 30 titles released. But after an unexpected change occurred in my own heart, I began writing stories about characters who sometimes wrestle with God and/or who are guided by their Christian faith. Only when I began writing these types of stories did I come into my own as a writer and find my true voice.

C.S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia series and many other classics (both fiction and non-fiction), said, “We read to know we are not alone.” I believe he is correct. Every book we read is filtered through our own beliefs and our own life experiences. What one reader takes away from a novel will be somewhat different from the next reader. Readers love it best when their life experiences and beliefs are confirmed in the fiction they read.

But stories have the power to change us as well.

Recently, I received an email from a reader who had this to say: "My husband was verbally abusive for [#] years. When I read [Beyond the Shadows] in May, I did so with sobs. I didn't quite realize why I could identify with the main character, her husband being an alcoholic, mine just angry … [but] for the first time I could relate to someone … God has provided a miracle for us and I am now living with a changed man. The man I thought I married. I am so hopeful! Throughout this process many people have asked me what made me seek change, and I say, 'God sent me a [novel] that desperately made me want to get beyond the shadows of the emotional pain.' So, I want to say how grateful I am."

The above quoted reader discovered she wasn't alone in her pain. Characters in a novel gave her courage to make needed changes in her life. This kind of response encourages me as a writer and keeps me going when I'm struggling with plot or character or revisions or my own discouragement.

And of course, I have never lost my love of reading and writing romance. There is something satisfying about watching a man and a woman find each other, work through their problems, and then face the future together, bound by love and a commitment for the future. For them to do so against the backdrop of an historical time period appeals to me, both as a reader and as a writer.

My new release, Betrayal, is about two people who've been wounded by those they should have been able to trust the most. Here's the official blurb:
It’s the turn of the twentieth century and drifter Hugh Brennan is a man well acquainted with betrayal. Hugh finds himself drawn to the attractive widow, Julia, yet when he looks into her eyes, he recognizes the same hurt that haunts him. 
Julia Grace has little reason to trust men, but she’s going to have to trust someone if she’s to keep her ranch from the clutches of her dead husband’s half-brother. Is it possible God had a hand in bringing Hugh to her door? 
The latest historical romance from award-winning author Robin Lee Hatcher and the second book in the Where the Heart Lives series, Betrayal will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of two seekers learning to trust God’s love no matter the circumstances.
I hope you'll discover that you, too, are not alone as you read Betrayal. And if so, I hope you'll write to me.

Robin Lee Hatcher is the best-selling author of over sixty-five books. Her well-drawn characters and heartwarming stories of faith, courage, and love have earned her both critical acclaim and the devotion of readers. Her numerous awards including the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Idahope Writer of the Year, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. For contact information or to learn more about Robin and her books, please visit her website at: http://www.robinleehatcher.com.

RT Book Club says: "Hatcher is a consistent 'must read' author. Her books are always engaging, and Betrayal [a Top Pick for November] is no different. The characters are very real, their trials and tribulations are easy to relate to and the setting is well researched. You’ll feel a warm, satisfying glow after turning the final page of this touching novel."

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