Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Blog Tour/Review Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Walrus Publishing
Publication date: April 4, 2017
Number of pages: 296

A mother's love never ends--not even when her life does.

Longing for her family after her sudden death, Maggie becomes a lingering spirit and returns home where she helplessly witnesses her family's downward spiral in the aftermath of her passing.

Her husband is haunted by past mistakes and struggles to redeem himself. Her teenage daughter silently drowns in her own guilt, secretly believing she is responsible for her mother's death. Only her five-year-old, full of innocence, can sense her presence.

Although limited by their grief and lack of faith, Maggie is determined to keep a sacred promise and salvage her family before her second chance runs out.

A tender portrait of a mother whose love reaches beyond possible, WAITING FOR BUTTERFLIES will embrace your heart and not let go.

Karen Sargent creates characters whose imperfect faith collides with real-life conflicts, taking readers on a journey through grace and redemption to discover enduring hope. A romantic element is woven within each story. In addition to writing inspirational novels, she blogs at The MOM Journey, where moms aren't perfect and that's perfectly okay. Her writing has also been featured in Guidepost’s Angels on Earth magazine. When she's not writing, Karen teaches high school and college English and resides in the beautiful Arcadia Valley with her husband and two daughters.

1. This story was inspired by the death of my mother-in-law, who died suddenly and too soon at 61. I wondered, “What if a mother is taken from her family before she is ready to go?” The answer became Waiting for Butterflies.

2. My protagonist is a “lingering spirit,” which some Christian readers might question. After all, we go to Heaven when we die. But…what if God decided to allow a person (like Maggie) to return for some reason? Does the Bible clearly state that is not possible…if God wanted to allow it? I couldn’t find a clear answer, which left just enough wiggle room for my imagination to play.

3. It took me 11 years to decide to write Waiting for Butterflies. When I finally started, writing was easy because I had been imagining the story for so long, and it was fun to finally meet the characters who had been living in my head.

4. The original title of the book was Her Children Shall Rise Up, in reference to Proverbs 31. Then I saw a quote on a journal in a bookstore that inspired the new title. Waiting for Butterflies adds a layer of symbolism and meaning, and without it, the story would not have been the same.

5. I enjoyed naming the minor characters because I borrowed a first name or a last name from people I know. However, the characters have their own identities and personalities. I can’t wait to see if my friends, family, or former students recognize my “shout out” to them!

6. Some of the best twists in the story weren’t planned. I would be busy with something other than writing, and then an idea would suddenly pop into my head. It was always such a surprise!

7. Although it’s not the usual practice, my publisher agreed to let me submit a cover for consideration. I shared my vision with a photographer friend of mine, which inspired her even-better vision. She snapped the photo of the adorable cover model, who is the daughter of a former student. Then I sent the photo to another former student who worked her graphic art magic. I call my cover “a work of heart.” (By the way, the publisher loved it!)

8. My husband hasn’t read my book and probably never will since it’s women’s fiction, unless an ESPN sportscaster recommends it on TV. However, nobody is more proud of my book than he is.

9. People often ask if the characters in my book are similar to my family. In some ways, yes. In many ways, no. Maggie’s fear of losing a child—or being taken from her family while they still need her—are my deepest fears. Sam’s occupation and the sense of responsibility he feels to protect his family are similar to my husband’s. Rachel is an eclectic mix of my daughters—Randi’s creativity, Kelli’s perfectionism—colored by my experience with teens in crisis that I’ve encountered throughout 23 years of teaching high school students. Otherwise, the characters have their own identities, virtues, and flaws.

10. I thought I’d feel like an author once I held Waiting for Butterflies in my hand. But it doesn’t feel like my book. It just feels like I’m holding a book—someone else’s book. (I still can’t believe it.)

This is the story of Maggie, who tragically dies in a car accident. Her husband, Sam, and two daughters, 14-year-old Rachel and 5-year-old Olivia are devastated. Much to her surprise, Maggie is able to stay around her family but the only one who can sense her presence is Olivia. Sam and Rachel are each dealing with their own demons and guilt over things that happened, and become a bit lost.

I lost my mother as an adult and it was tough, so I can't imagine how difficult it would truly be to lose your mother at such a young age. My heart went out to these girls, as well as Sam, as they tried to figure out how to cope with their loss and transition into their new normal. There were several times I was in tears as I felt Maggie's desire to help her family before things spiraled out of control.

This family undergoes major changes throughout the course of the book. There are hard times, as well as tender moments. The family is easy to relate to and faith plays a role in their ability to heal. It's the type of book that will stick with me for a while, and I absolutely loved it!  

My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy via Singing Librarian Books, which did not affect my review in any way

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Karen Sargent said...

What a wonderful review to wake up to on book launch morning! Thank you so much for sharing BUTTERFLIES and helping me celebrate my debut today!I'm so grateful for the kind words you shared!

Kay Garrett said...

Thanks for your review. It sounds like an awesome book that I'd love to read. Great to have a chance to win a copy!

Melanie said...

You're welcome, Karen!

Melanie said...

You'll love it, Kay! Good luck--I hope you win a copy!

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