Welcome Hope Toler Dougherty to the blog!
She's here to talk about her book, Forever Music, and she's hosting a giveaway!
Remember to enter the book giveaway contest via the Rafflecopter widget that's located at the end of this blog post.
Interview with Hope Toler Dougherty about her book, Forever Music:
Alexis: Why did you write this story?
Hope: I’m intrigued with the idea of emotional affairs. Josie and Ches begin a friendship, but it turns into more even though Ches already has a girlfriend at the beginning of the book. They deny their feelings but won’t decline spending time together. Both of them justify meetings and training sessions with each other. People sometimes justify social media contact with old friends. That contact turns into flirtatious emails and calls and then turns into more. I wanted to explore that journey.
Alexis: How did you choose the title for this book?
Hope: There is, of course, a musical theme in the book with songs coming up throughout, and music is also a metaphor. Josie wants Ches to play music he likes instead of the music he had to play for piano lessons. She also wants him to live the life he chooses instead of the one his father wants for him because she wants him to be happy.
Alexis: Describe your story’s heroine Josie Daniels. What does she look like? Sound like? Act like?
Hope: Josie looks like a young Reese Witherspoon—long blond hair and green eyes. She’s mostly self-confident because she’s had to be—as the baby sister to three older brothers. She holds her own in a tag football game even when she gets knocked down. She has a heart for her community and for her brothers.
Alexis: What are Josie’s deepest dreams and greatest fears? Why?
Hope: She loves family and wants one of her own. She’s afraid of failure; therefore, she works hard at everything she does.
Alexis: Why does Josie act as the mother of her three brothers? What happened to their real mom?
Hope: Their mother is on a two-year mission trip with their father. Josie has moved into her family’s house to save rent money and to keep up the house while her parents are out of the country. She loves cooking and caring for her brothers.
Alexis: Why is Josie passionate about volunteering in her community?
Hope: She loves her community library and has fond memories of visiting it as a child with her mother. She wants the same positive experiences for the current young children of her neighborhood.
Alexis: How does Josie easily get over having a broken heart?
Hope: Getting over B.J. wasn’t easy, but time helped heal her broken heart. When the story opens, she’s several months into the healing process. Focusing on helping the library and mothering her brothers helped also.
Alexis: Describe your story’s hero Ches Windham. What does he look like? Sound like? Act like?
Hope: Ches looks like a young Victor Webster. He’s very uptight at the beginning of the story, but we see him loosen up as he gets to know Josie and her brothers. We see his carpentry/wood working talents at the community build. We see his musical talents at the piano. His humor grows through the story as his sadness begins to abate.
Alexis: What are Ches’s loftiest goals and most persistent challenges? Explain.
Hope: Before meeting Josie, his goal was to make partner in one of Charlotte’s biggest law firms to win his father’s approval. After meeting Josie, he begins to contemplate pursuing his own dreams which don’t include the law firm, but he hopes they may include Josie. Breaking free from his father’s expectations is his main challenge.
Alexis: Why does Josie make it her mission to help Ches find his true purpose?
Hope: Josie is a natural nurturer. She wants Ches to be happy. She wants to fix the problems she sees in his life. Although she doesn’t want to admit it, she’s attracted to him from the beginning.
Alexis: What is it about Josie that Ches loves? Why?
Hope: He loves her passion, her intellect, her humor, her food. He’s fascinated with her because she’s free and unfettered by other people’s expectations. She’s a good sport and rolls with most things that come along.
Alexis: Why does Josie try so hard to resist her growing attraction to Ches?
Hope: She resists her attraction because he has a girlfriend, and by all accounts it’s supposed to be a serious relationship. She also believes Ches has the same personality as her former boyfriend and doesn’t want to travel that path again.
Alexis: What drew Ches to a career in law and how does his livelihood affect his personal life?
Hope: Ches always tried to please his father who pushed him onto the law path. His father wanted Ches to succeed where he didn’t himself. Ches’s dissatisfaction with his career gives him the bleeding ulcer which leads to his career change.
Alexis: What role does family and tradition play in this story?
Hope: Family and tradition have huge roles in the story. Josie provides family meals for her brothers and schedules family calls with their out-of-the-country parents. She prepares favorite recipes for all the holidays.
Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about Forever Music?
Hope: I love the interplay in the Daniels’ family. I hope people remember a feeling of love among the siblings whether they’re in their home or together bowling or volunteering.
Alexis: If you could step into this story as a guidance counselor and speak to Ches, what would you say?
Hope: Play music that makes you happy. Go your own path, not the one others choose for you.
Alexis: If you were Josie’s best friend, what would you say to her about her relationship with Ches?
Hope: I’d try to get her to see how she justified their outings. I’d try to help her see how her feelings were growing for him. I’d try to protect her from another bruised heart.
Alexis: If you could treat Ches and Josie to lunch, where would you go to eat? Why?
Hope: Ches would want to eat at Josie’s house. He loves her cooking, and he loves being in her house. If I had to choose a restaurant, however, I’d choose the Lamplighter. It was a real restaurant in Charlotte when my husband and I were dating. He took me there for my birthday and gave me a gold bangle bracelet I still wear.
Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Hope! Would you like to share closing thoughts?
Hope: Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Alexis! I love hearing from readers and hope they’ll connect with me on social media or through my website.
Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master’s degree and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College.
Her novels include Irish Encounter and Mars…With Venus Rising, Rescued Hearts, and Forever Music. A member of ACFW and RWA, she lives in North Carolina.
She and her husband delight in visits with their daughters and twin sons.
Book blurb for Forever Music:
A battered heart needs healing.
A community needs rescuing.
A chartered course needs redirecting.
College history instructor, Josie Daniels is good at mothering her three brothers, volunteering in her community, and getting over broken hearts, but meeting aloof, hotshot attorney Ches Windham challenges her nurturing, positive-thinking spirit.
Josie longs to help Ches find his true purpose, but as his hidden talents and true personality emerge. Will she be able to withstand his potent charms, or will she lose her heart in the process?
A rising star in his law firm, Ches Windham is good at keeping secrets.
He’s always been the good son, following his father’s will to become an attorney and playing the game for a fast track to partnering with a law firm. Lately, though his life’s path has lost whatever luster it had—all because of his unlikely, and unacceptable, friendship with Josie. He struggles between the life he’s prepared for and the one calling to him now. Opposing his father has never been an option, and spending time with Josie can’t be one. The more he’s with her, however, the more he wants to be.
When a crisis tarnishes his golden future and secrets are revealed, Ches is forced to reexamine the trajectory of his life. Will he choose the path his father hammered out for him or the path that speaks to his heart?
Connect with Hope:
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