About the Book
“My Father’s House is at once a sweet romance and a page-turning thriller.” –Ann Tatlock, award-winning novelist. Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant – her father’s love. But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and the life she’s lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband’s sophisticated façade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets. When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices – abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house. “…had it not been for Annie Ruth, I would have ended up right there rocking on the front porch beside Mama. Annie Ruth took care of me. She and Mr. John drove up in his dusty pickup truck every morning at six o’clock. She got out and came in, bringing her life and soul into the house…We were her cherished charges, and I was like her own.” –My Father’s House
About the Author
My Father’s House is Rose’s first novel. Her devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments won the Georgia Author of the Year Finalist Award in 2014. It was also awarded the Selah Finalist Award in the same year. Rose enjoys writing for her blog, Write Moments with God and engaging with her readers. A native Georgian, Rose has lived in a suburb of Augusta for the last thirty years. Before retiring from Georgia’s public school system, Rose taught English, French, and ESOL. She is currently an adjunct English instructor at a community college. In addition to reading and writing, Rose enjoys cooking, sewing, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their growing families. And yes, sweet iced tea is her beverage of choice.
Interview With Rose
This is not my interview
1. Tell us a bit about how the story came about:
I wanted to write a story about a young woman who in spite of devastating hardships, disappointments, personal loss and mistakes ultimately finds happiness after reconnecting with family and faith. I wanted the reader to take the journey with her, go with her through some of the hardships, but I didn’t want the painful things to be the focus of her triumphant story. Lily Rose has an indomitable spirit and warm heart that is endearing to readers. Her father believed that she would be alright; the reader wants to know she will be too. With my roots firmly planted in Georgia, the setting had to play a critical part in the story. So, I modelled my fictional town after so many small southern towns and I set in some of my love of nature and gardening. Being a Southerner, I had definite ideas about elements I needed for this story to come alive. Besides fascinating characters and a distinctive setting, there had to be a little crazy, eccentric, and some downright mean, mixed with suspense, romance, and lots of southern charm.
2. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
As a child, when I was no more than eight or nine, I wrote plays for my two sisters and brother and I to perform in a large back room of our house. I can’t imagine why they always listened to my directions. My stage name was always the most beautiful actress’ name I could think up at the time – Sandra Blake. Later, in high school, I dreamed of being a writer one day and started writing in college.
3. How do you choose your characters’ names?
Naming a character is a big decision. A name has many associations, ethnic and national, to name a couple; therefore, I do put some time and thought into choosing names. But, basically, I go with what sounds suitable and fitting for the heritage and personality of the character. Lily Rose could have only been a southern girl named after the flowers in the spring.
4. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I’m still working on the greatest roadblock, which is managing my time to write. My family has always been my priority, so I have to work very hard to carve out time to write. Often I have to give myself permission to make writing time for me.
5. Tell us about the featured book?
One reviewer called it “a triumphant story of hope.” I think that describes it. I am reminded of the verse Psalms 27:13:
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
6. When readers get to the last page, what do you hope they take away from the story?
In spite of devastating hardships, disappointments, and mistakes, God has a good future in mind for each of us. I want my readers to feel the joy and hope expressed by Lily Rose.
7. What are you working on next?
I’m working on two projects – a devotional and another novel. The devotional is coming together nicely. It’s written in the same format as my devotional, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea. I’d put it aside for other more pressing demands, and now I’m ready to complete it. I’ve started doing the research for my next novel and developing my main characters. They have to become real to me; I have to know them inside and out, before I can make them come alive for my readers.
How and why did the Lord lead you to write your latest release?
When I volunteered to read and review My Father’s House I had no idea what the book was about. I assumed that the title was about God’s house. I was pleasantly surprised that I had been wrong! This was a great book!! Lily Rose is a sweet young woman who is trying to do right in God’s eyes. She meets a man and is transfixed by his attention and later, by his love for her. He wants to marry her and even though they’ve known each other for a short time, she agrees. She quickly agrees and is excited for her new life to begin. She decides to take Manny to meet her Mom and Annie Ruth. Annie Ruth had been the housekeeper and nanny to Lily Rose. She loved them both very much and wanted them to love Manny. Annie Ruth did not like Manny right off the bat. She was a wise character who only had the best intentions for Lily.
Lily Rose does not heed Annie Ruth’s warning about Manny and chooses to marry him anyway. She marries him secretly, which was a huge indicator of how things would be in the marriage. Needless to say, Manny is not a good husband. He is very verbally abusive and wants Lily Rose home all day. She goes from being an outgoing young woman to one who is being sheltered. Surprisingly, she is allowed to go and visit one of her married friends who lives out of the country. The two women begin plotting on how to get Lily Rose away from Manny. This is when Lily Rose’s father’s house comes into play. Her father had left her the house when he died and it had been taken care of by her “Uncle” Bill. Lily begins her new life in her father’s house. She makes new friends and begins to fall in love with the town’s Vet. All is perfect until Manny finds out where she is. I will let you read it to find out what happens at the end.
I was given a free copy of this book for an honest review.
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