Today, we visit with Hope Toler Dougherty about her book Forever Home.
About the Book
Book: Forever Home
Author: Hope Toler Dougherty
Genre: Sweet Romance/Christian Fiction
Release date: August 16, 2022
With a fulfilling job and a home of her own, former foster child, Merritt Hastings, relishes her stable, respectable life. Dreaming for more is a sure way for heartache. When a contested will turns her world upside down, she must reevaluate what’s important to her, what’s worth fighting for, and what’s worth sacrificing.
Patience has never been Sam Daniels’ strong suit with his history of acting quickly and asking questions later, and he’s ready for changes in his life…now. Too bad the plans for acquiring a radio station didn’t include a contract. Now he’s out of a job, out of a radio station, and out of prospects.
While his life is in flux, at least he can help Merritt steady hers, or will he rush in and overstep …again?
Will the sparks flying between these two opposites lead to a happily-ever-after or heartbreak for both?
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Hope Toler Dougherty holds a master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Her novels include Irish Encounter, Mars…With Venus Rising, Rescued Hearts, Forever Music, and Forever Home. Her recent novella, “A Hatteras Surprise,” appears in Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams and is also available as a standalone novel. She and her husband delight in visits with their two daughters and twin sons.
Let’s welcome Hope. So happy you are with us today.
Q: What advice would you give your pre-published self?
A: If I could talk to my pre-published self, I’d tell her not to pitch your first novel so soon. Work on establishing relationships with writers and learning the business of writing better. Read more books about writing and write more. Don’t be so nervous at conferences. Don’t focus on getting published. Enjoy the journey—meeting people and learning.
Q: Do you have a favorite setting? Is it a real location or fictional?
A: My first book, Irish Encounter, is partially set in Galway, Ireland, one of my favorite cities. My second takes place near Pittsburgh, PA, somewhere that still holds much of my heart. My latest novels are set in Charlotte, North Carolina. I met my husband there and have wonderful memories of being a young, single, professional woman in that fun city.
What fun and diverse settings. I would love to visit Ireland.
Q: If you are multi-published author, which book was the hardest to write? Why?
A: Each book has had its own challenges for different reasons. In the first one, I was figuring out what I was doing. In the romantic suspense, Rescued Hearts, I had to learn about law enforcement and guns, but my latest one, Forever Home, gave me a fit. I began making notes for it in 2018. I had several chapters written in early 2020, but the pandemic stymied me. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I put it away and wrote a novella, “A Hatteras Surprise,” which is the second story in the Forever Series. Once I wrote Ben Daniels’ story, his brother Sam’s became easier to tell in Forever Home.
I think a lot of us got stymied by the pandemic. It’s interesting how writing one story flows into another.
Q: What is your favorite part of your newest released book?
A: This story has a foster child component, and I’m happy to highlight that important part of our society along with the idea of creating your own family with people you love. I’ve always been intrigued with radio stations, and I love that Sam’s is a true local station with community programs and music from local musicians. The radio station from the old TV show “Northern Exposure” is one of the inspirations for this story. Music is a fun element of Forever Home, too, from piano lessons and duets to sending messages through song. Sorry I chose three parts instead of just one!
Three great parts! I’d almost forgotten about the radio station from “Northern Exposure.” I can’t wait to read how you incorporated sending messages through song.
Q: Are you at work on a new novel? Can you tell us a little about it
A: The Forever Series is based on the Daniels family. Heath is the final brother from this family, and I’m working on his story now. The siblings, Josie and Sam, will probably show up, but I’m not sure about Ben. He’s enjoying living his best life on Hatteras Island!
I can’t wait to read the entire series!
Thank you, Hope, for sharing with us today, including the yummy recipe below.
More from Hope
When I introduced the Daniels family in Forever Music, the first story in the Forever Series, I wrote about Josie, the little sister. I wanted to write about her brother Sam next, but after about eight chapters, the words stopped flowing and then the pandemic struck. Instead of writing during lockdown, I cleaned out closets, crocheted mask bands, and perfected a killer sourdough loaf.
I wanted to write. I tried to write. I loved Sam and wanted to discover his story, but…nothing.
When my publisher offered a slot in a novella collection, I pushed Sam to the back of my mind and wrote about his older brother, Ben. Ben’s story is set on the beautiful Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Check out his romance in A Hatteras Surprise.
Sharing Ben’s courtship with Ginny Stowe freed me to get back to Sam and Merritt in Forever Home. Their story highlights foster care, music, friendship, and radio stations.
Impatient Sam usually acts first and thinks second. His happy-go-lucky personality chafes Merritt’s stick-with-a-plan attitude. Too bad she needs his help with her livelihood. They don’t hit it off at first, but both are definitely intrigued with each other.
Readers can find subtle Italian references throughout the story. Here’s a favorite recipe friends might find in Merritt’s kitchen. I hope you like it and the story, too!
Orange Pistachio Biscotti
2 C plain flour 1 egg white
1 t baking powder 2 T orange zest
¼ t salt ½-1 C chopped pistachios
1 C sugar 1/2 C candied orange bits
2 eggs orange juice, if needed
Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a mixing bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs and egg white together, then add to flour mixture. Stir in orange zest, nuts, and orange bits. Mix until dough is smooth. If the dough is too dry, add orange juice a tablespoon at a time.
Flour hands and scoop half the dough onto one side of the cookie sheet prepared with cooking spray. Shape the dough into a 15×3-inch log. Repeat with remaining dough. The logs should be several inches apart.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Tops of the logs should be firm.
Remove to wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Cut logs on a diagonal into ½-inch-thick slices. Place the slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.
Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack. They will harden as they cool. Yields about 48 cookies depending on size
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To celebrate her tour, Hope is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, one signed copy of Forever Home, and book swag!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.