Please welcome my author friend Teresa Tysinger to my blog today!
She's here to talk about her new story, Suddenly Forever. Teresa is also going to give away one e-copy of her book for the Kindle of the reader who wins the book giveaway contest!
Remember to enter the contest via the Rafflecopter widget toward the end of this blog post.
Enjoy your time with Teresa!
Interview with Teresa Tysinger about her book,
Suddenly Forever (Laurel Cove Romance):
Alexis: Describe the setting for your story, Laurel Cove. What makes it special to your characters?
Teresa: Laurel Cove is directly influenced by the hometown of my best friend from college. Burnsville, North Carolina sits tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains, just twenty minutes or so from where we attended college, so I made many visits to my best friend’s parents’ house there. It’s quiet, charming, and very “small town America” with little shops, family-owned restaurants, and lots of character. I believe the characters in my Laurel Cove Romance Series books find peace and comfort in this place. Much like I do when I get to revisit Burnsville.
Alexis: Why did you make your story’s heroine, Cora Bradford, an author? What genre does she write?
Teresa: Cora is a New York Times best-selling author of mystery/suspense novels. I wanted her to have a career that would be possible to step away from during her grieving process but also re-engage with without much trouble as she drew closer to healing. Her huge level of success as an author with a lucrative contract helped make this possible.
Alexis: In what ways does your real-life experience as an author play into this fiction story?
Teresa: Well, I’m most certainly not a New York Times best-selling author like Cora. But, I do know what it’s like to have to set writing aside when other parts of life take higher priority. At the beginning of the book, Cora hasn’t written since experiencing tragic loss. I took about two years off in between writing my first book and Suddenly Forever because my husband’s job took him on the road. I essentially became a single mom and it wasn’t time for writing. Both Cora and I had to find a way to rediscover inspiration and trust our talents weren’t too rusty to use again. That takes tapping into faith! I think I really connected to Cora in that way.
Alexis: What role does faith in God play in your characters’ lives in this story?
Teresa: Faith is Cora’s lifeline as she still struggles with the grief of losing a dear loved one. She prays often, asking God for mercy and healing. For Luke, faith is something he’s maybe always had a little bit of but never cultivated. When he finds his deceased mother’s prayer journal, it awakens within him the need for prayer and faith in his own life. And, Cora and Luke’s elderly neighbor Ina offers up a lot of wisdom based on many, many years of a fine-tuned faith that has seen her through many of life’s ups and downs.
Alexis: Why did you make Luke an award-winning journalist? How does his career affect his character and show his personality?
Teresa: Having lived a life as a photojournalist for nearly twenty years speaks to Luke’s nomadic life, not only literally but probably also emotionally. He’s never really been grounded by a close-knit family. Similar to Cora’s writing career, Luke has achieved great things with his job, so his financial security makes it believable that he can take some time off and move to Laurel Cove. I think his career also highlights Luke’s natural curiosity and ability to observe people. He sees a lot of Cora’s pain early on and I think it helps him be more empathetic.
Alexis: What – or who – draws Luke and Cora together, and what threatens to tear them apart?
Teresa: Literally speaking, their proximity as neighbors on the small lake just outside of Laurel Cove brings them together. Even though Cora isn’t interested in making friends, she keeps running into Luke. Eventually, she warms to him and an instant and much-needed friendship blossoms. I won’t give away any details of the challenges they face, but I think it’s safe to say that Cora and Luke have to find ways to work through their fear and past disappointments to trust in the hope of new love.
Alexis: Who is Ina McLean and what role does she play in this story?
Teresa: I absolutely adore Ina McLean, an elderly widow who is the only other resident on the small lake other than Cora and Luke. Having only recently lost her husband, Ina is grieving in a way much different than her younger neighbors. Her long years of experience with loss and disappointment, plus a deep and tested faith, give her the unique ability to be a voice of reason and comfort. She’s spunky, wise, and speaks her mind. She absolutely loves Luke and acts as a bit of a matchmaker between him and Cora, though maybe a bit clumsily. I think Ina adds a much-needed layer of humor throughout the story, too. She’s just great. In fact, most of my favorite quotes from the book belong to Ina.
Alexis: Why did you want to write about the themes of restoration, hope and love for this story?
Teresa: Even if every reader may not relate to the loss of a family member, everyone has dealt with disappointment, hurt, or hopelessness at some point. This side of heaven, we all need hope of being restored in our times of need. Love, at the root of Christ’s power to restore us, is the best way to show that. I felt so strongly about writing about loss in an honest, real way so that the restoration was also deeply real.
Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Teresa!
Teresa Tysinger is an author of Southern Contemporary Romance inspired by grace.
She writes on the fringes of being a wife, mom, and full-time communications and public relations professional. Her acclaimed debut novel, Someplace Familiar, released in 2017.
Teresa is a member of ACFW, the Association for Women in Communications, and the Religion Communicators Council. She loves coffee, traveling, and prides herself in knowing and loving almost every genre of music.
Born in Hawaii, raised in Florida, and educated in North Carolina, she now resides in Texas with her husband, daughter, and dog.
Book blurb for Suddenly Forever:
On the outskirts of Laurel Cove, North Carolina sits a quiet lake tucked into gentle mountains carpeted with the brilliant colors of autumn. Grief binds the lake’s only residents into an unlikely family, where old and new love build a bridge between loss and hope.
For years, best-selling author Cora Bradford has worked tirelessly to tread the unrelenting waves of grief in solitude. That is until a new neighbor moves in down the road and threatens to disrupt what she’s carefully preserved of the life she once knew. Will God ever answer her prayer for peace and calmer waters?
Following a scandal, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Luke Bassett escapes to the one place in the world he’s ever experienced peace—his mother’s cabin on the lake where he spent childhood summers. But the memory of her and the mistakes he made are hardly peaceful. To make matters worse, he gets off to a rocky start with his bitter, but breathtakingly beautiful, neighbor. Was running away from the life he’s always known the biggest mistake of all, or the beginning of something he never knew he wanted?
Spunky, opinionated, and recently widowed Ina McLean is alone for the first time in over ninety years. When Cora and Luke come together to care for their only other neighbor, Ina’s belief in God’s goodness through life’s ups and downs works to restore their hope in learning to live—and love—again.
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