Interview with Mary Manners about her book, Hope’s Promise:
Alexis: Why did you write this book?
Mary: I wrote Hope’s Promise because I wanted to help share hope in the face of what seem to be hopeless situations.
Alexis: What or who inspired your story’s title?
Mary: Since the heroine’s name is Hope, I thought the title Hope’s Promise had a nice double-edged significance.
Alexis: What is the theme of this novel?
Mary: That’s an easy one! The theme is…hope. Hope in the face of a hopeless situation.
Alexis: Hope Donnelly is the heroine of your story. Describe her looks, personality and heart. What makes her special?
Mary: Hope is a dark-haired thirty-year-old widow who is a fighter mired in a period of depression following her husband’s death. She has a huge faith and a great heart that just needs a little polishing.
Alexis: Jace Callahan is the hero of your story. Describe his looks, personality, strengths and weaknesses. What is his motivation?
Mary: Jace is a tough and tender cowboy with a plan that’s quickly derailed when he’s faced with putting Hope’s needs ahead of his own. She’s his weakness, and he’s not at all sorry for that!
Alexis: Hope has survived heartbreak. What can you tell me about her loss?
Mary: Hope’s husband died merely a month or so following their cross-country move from the city to a remote slice of open land. She knows nothing about ranching, and is now faced with raising her teenage son, alone.
Alexis: Paint a picture of words to describe how Hope’s country dream house looks.
Mary: Oh, wow…I’m not sure I’d say the house is Hope’s dream, at least not at first. It’s a sweeping whitewashed two-story with a somewhat dilapidated wrap-around porch. Missing shingles give the look of a bad case of chicken pox, while a drooping shutter or two add a touch of sleepiness. Let’s just say the house is a sort of diamond in the rough, with potential to become a home. Readers will just have to wait and see if the country dream house finds its happily-ever-after!
Alexis: Where is this story set? What makes the setting special to your characters?
Mary: Hope’s Promise is set in Atascosa County, Texas. This area is special because it’s fairly remote compared to Chicago, which is Hope’s hometown. The contrast provides for some interesting conflicts.
Alexis: What gave Jace a love for the rodeo?
Mary: Jace is a bit of a daredevil. He likes to think out of the box and felt constrained by the responsibility of his family’s ranch, so the rodeo was his way of bucking (both literally and figuratively) that responsibility.
Alexis: Why did Jace leave the rodeo to work on his family’s ranch? What’s next for him? Does he have a game plan?
Mary: Jace left the rodeo when an accident made it to dangerous for him to compete any longer. His game plan is to head home and expand his family’s ranch by snatching up the land of his new neighbor, Hope. But things don’t quite go as planned.
Alexis: What were Jace’s first thoughts about Hope?
Mary: When Jace first met Hope, he honestly thought she might be a little crazy. She was muttering to herself as she got into her car to head to school to pick up her son who’d gotten into trouble, and she had on two different shoes!
Alexis: What was Hope’s first impression of Jace?
Mary: Well, to say Hope wasn’t impressed with him is sort of an understatement. Jace had his work cut out for him!
Alexis: How do Jace and Hope form a friendship? Does anything or anyone stand in their way as their friendship blossoms into a romance? Explain.
Mary: Jace and Hope’s friendship is forged through Hope’s teenage son, Garrett. Garrett’s sort of a wayward mess following the death of his father, and Jace takes him under his wing. But trust doesn’t come easily for either Garrett or Hope, so the path to romance is winding and full of ruts.
Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about this story?
Mary: I would like readers to remember to trust God even in the darkest time. His plan is perfect, and His love never fails.
Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Mary! God bless you.
Mary Manners lives on a mini-farm in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and their rescue dog Axel, cats Colby and Jack, a flock of chickens, and an aquarium teeming with fish.
Mary writes small-town family romances laced with faith, hope, and humor. Her books have earned multiple accolades including two Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, the Aspen Gold, the Heart of Excellence, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.
Mary loves long sunrise runs, Smoky Mountain sunsets, flavored coffee, and chocolate…lots of chocolate.
Book Blurb for Hope's Promise:
Can a broken promise be restored?
Hope Donnelly lost her husband only months after moving into their country dream house on his promise of working the two-hundred-acre plot of land into a profitable future. Left alone to raise her teenage son, Hope’s heart is barren and raw as the unworked earth that surrounds her.
Jace Callahan gave up his quest for the perfect eight-second ride after a rodeo accident nearly claimed his life. Now, Jace works his family’s ranch with the intent to acquire rich and untapped land from elusive new neighbor Hope Donnelly.
An unexpected turn of events leads Jace to Hope's doorstep, where he's forced to choose between turning his back on her or bypassing the lucrative sale he desires. Will a troubling secret draw them closer, or shatter any hope they might have for a future, together?
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