Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Romantic Reads: Know You More

Welcome Jan Thompson to the blog! 

She's here today to talk about her book Know You More

Enjoy the interview!

Interview with Jan Thompson about her book, Know You More: Christian Coastal City & Beach Town Romance (Savannah Sweethearts Book 1)

Alexis: Why did you write this book?

Jan: I wrote Know You More in part to show that multiracial and multiethnic Christians can worship God together in peace and harmony in a Christian church. In fact, Riverside Chapel somewhat mirrors the first century churches that the Lord led Peter and Paul to start. For example, in Acts 2:5-11, we saw a list of believers from many countries coming together to hear Peter preach at Pentecost. Also, back in the day, cities like Ephesus and Corinth were trade crossroads in which people from all over the known world congregated to do business and meet one another. Those were the places Paul planted churches.

Alexis: Describe the setting of this story. Why did you set it in a coastal city and beach town?

Jan: Know You More is the first book in my Savannah Sweethearts series (not counting the prequel, Ask You Later), and sets the tone for the entire series about a community of multiethnic Christians who attend Riverside Chapel, a church housed in a riverboat that’s docked on the Savannah River in Savannah, Georgia. The churchgoers live in the area, in the coastal city of Savannah, and also on the beaches of Tybee Island across the bridge.

I grew up on a tropical island, and my family lived about ten minutes (depending on traffic) from the bay and beaches. Many of my contemporary Christian romance books gravitate toward beach towns, and I find that my experience of having lived on an island and in a coastal city enables me to describe life by the ocean. I love the coasts and beaches, and so I write about what I love and have experienced in my own life.

Alexis: You’ve described this story, Know You More, as a “multiracial romance.” What is the ethnicity/racial makeup of your main characters Diego Flores and Heidi Wei?

Jan: Diego Flores’s father is a Hispanic-American pastor who is now the part-time counseling pastor at Riverside Chapel. The semi-retired senior Flores doesn’t want to do it full time because he wants to spend half his time traveling with his Italian wife, Diego’s mom, to Italy where they like to spend the summer. However, Diego still talks to his dad regularly to get pastoral advice on church and love.

Heidi Wei is a Chinese-American Christian who is an active member of Riverside Chapel, as is her brother, Ming, who happens to be Diego’s best friend. They all attended the University of Georgia some years ago before Diego was called into the pastoral ministry and went off to seminary. They all met again years later in Savannah, when Ming invited Diego to pastor their church. Know You More begins over a year after the friends have reunited.

Alexis: Describe Diego’s church, Riverside Chapel. What makes it special to him?

Jan: Diego has been an associate pastor in the previous churches he worked in. This is the first time Diego is the senior pastor of his own church. Needless to say, he is quite nervous about shouldering such a heavy responsibility. As with any growing church, finding space to house Sunday morning services becomes a challenge for him. Diego sees how God comes through for his church every time they have a need. As his church grows in number, God provides for them a bigger space. Even though it’s on a riverboat, it’s rent-free. Diego is thankful to the Lord that Riverside Chapel continues to grow without getting into financial debt.

What role does faith in God play in the lives and hearts of your main characters?

Jan: As the senior pastor of Riverside Chapel, Diego not only preaches the Word of God, but he also has to live what he is preaching. As they say, he has to “walk the talk.” Diego sees that his friend Heidi Wei has a strong faith and wants to do everything she can to help their church grow. Together, they learn to minister to their congregation, while God works in their hearts about their relationship with each other.

Alexis: How does your real-life faith in God impact your fiction storytelling?

Jan: My Christian faith plays a very integral role in my storytelling. I have to understand what God is saying before I can write it in my books through the eyes of my characters. That is to say, if I don’t understand a Bible passage, I cannot explain it. In some of my novels, I allow the characters to study and learn more about the Scripture, and sometimes it becomes clear to me as I write out the scenes and chapters.

Savannah Sweethearts is more involved because all eleven books are about members of the Riverside Chapel church community, starting with their pastor. Diego and Heidi show up in every book, so I do have to remember what their theology is. After all, Diego is their pastor. In fact, he is also a counseling pastor to several people in my spinoff series, Vacation Sweethearts.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Jan! Do you have closing comments?

Jan: Thank you very much for inviting me to Romantic Reads for this interview. I appreciate it. I’m happy to write the books I enjoy reading, and I hope that there are readers out there who also love to read the types of books I like. My publishing imprint has a verse that has been an anchor for me in the process of publishing and marketing my books: “That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works” (Psalm 26:7). 

Ultimately, to God be the glory!

Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson writes clean and wholesome multiethnic contemporary Christian romance with flavors of women’s fiction, Christian romantic suspense with elements of mystery, and inspirational international thrillers with threads of sweet Christian romance. 

Her books are for readers who love inspiring stories of faith, family, and friends.

Blurb for Know You More:

He loves her… He loves her not… She’s waiting for him to decide.

A young pastor of a growing church in a thriving coastal community, Diego Flores has to come to grips with God’s will for his pastoral and personal life as he falls in love with his best friend’s sister.

If you enjoy reading clean and wholesome Christian beach romance, you’ll enjoy USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson’s Savannah Sweethearts series set in the coastal city of Savannah, Georgia, and the neighboring beach town of Tybee Island on the Atlantic Ocean. Savannah Sweethearts begins with Know You More, the multiracial romance of Pastor Diego Flores and Heidi Wei.

Diego’s Disquiet…
Diego Flores has been interested in his best friend’s younger sister since their college days, but his calling to grow Riverside Chapel takes up most of his time. 

When Heidi Wei becomes his strongest supporter in his church ministry, how does Diego show his feelings for her without giving her the wrong idea?

Does she see him as potential husband material or just the pastor of their church?

Heidi’s Hurdles…
Heidi suspects that Diego is sweet on her, but he seems to believe that his divine calling prevents him from acting on it. If it isn’t meant to be, she’s not going to push for it. Yet every time they are together, something happens between them. Have they moved beyond the platonic relationship they have enjoyed all these years to something more personal?

When a crisis hits Heidi’s family, Diego has to balance pastoring his congregation and ministering to Heidi without losing either one. Being in love while pastoring a church is difficult for him to juggle. Which path is more important? Which one should he focus on?

If you like Know You More, you’ll want to read the rest of the Savannah Sweethearts series. The next book is Tell You Soon, a romance with suspense featuring Heidi’s brother, private investigator Ming Wei. In this second book, there’s romance, there’s intrigue, and there’s a beach house for sale. Have some tea, settle in a comfortable reading chair, and enjoy these sweet celebrations of faith, hope, and love in Jesus Christ.

Buy Know You More on Amazon

Connect with Jan:
Website: JanThompson.com
Book News: JanThompson.com/newsletter
Amazon USA: JanThompson.com/amazon
Goodreads: JanThompson.com/goodreads
BookBub: JanThompson.com/bookbub
Facebook: JanThompson.com/facebook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thompsonauthor

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

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  1. Thank you very much for the interview! Happy reading!

  2. What a wonderful interview This book sounds so amazing! Thank you for the chance!


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