I have been looking forward to reading The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck for months! It’s sitting at the tippy top of my tbr… SOOOOON it will be in my reader hands! Also, I had the pleasure of meeting Bethany Turner at CFRR and I just know y’all are going to enjoy her work, not only because she’s really cool but because I’ve heard so many great things about it from my most trusted book blogger buddies!
Meet Sarah Hollenbeck
Sarah Hollenbeck, as Raine de Bourgh, is the author of some salacious romance novels which have hit all the bestseller lists, made Sarah very rich, and made Raine a household name.
She wears designer clothes, disgustingly mixes quinoa with hot wings while writing, and tends to confuse the Bible’s Naomi and Ruth with Naomi and Wynonna…The Judds.
And, oh yeah…she just became a Christian. So let’s just say…things are complicated.
Sarah: Persuasion by Jane Austen. Don’t tell Piper. She will probably officially cancel our friendship. In fact, I can’t go with Persuasion. She may actually kill me.
I used to really love The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, until it began cutting a little too close to home, so I’ll go with that.
Beth: Your friend Piper sounds intense.
Sarah: “Ben” has a nice ring to it. Don’t you think? Of course I’m also partial to “Applesauce” — but I can’t tell you why, in case you haven’t read the book yet.
Beth: Ben is a lovely name. *hangs head in bookish despair* No, I haven’t read the book yet. *sniffle*
Sarah: Is it the dorkiest thing ever to give a quote from my own book? Well, I think it’s okay, because at least I’m not going to quote myself. I’m going to quote my best friend, Piper. When Ben and I were facing some challenges, she told me…
“You don’t have to have the answers. You don’t even have to know what to say to him. Just stay in the fight and let him love you.”
I love that quote because she was talking about Ben…but I know she was talking about God, too.
Beth: Book dorks are welcome here! Friend Piper has profound advice, I can see why you quoted her!
Favorite fictional couple
Sarah: Captain von Trapp and Maria from The Sound of Music, of course. For all sorts of valid, mature reasons.
For one, they’re a great tag team with the kids. You can’t have both parents always making play clothes from the curtains. Someone has to focus on discipline. And then with the staying out after curfew stuff, they’ve got good cop/bad cop mastered.
But mostly it’s about how gorgeous they both looked at their wedding. I mean, the Captain in his naval uniform? C’mon!
Beth: It is decidedly hard to resist a man in uniform.
Sarah: I make really good brownies. Like, bribe-people-into-liking-me good. So that’s definitely my favorite recipe. (They also happen to be the only thing I know how to make, so there’s that.)
Beth: Now THERE is a solid foundation to build your culinary skills on! Bring on the brownies!
Describe yourself in five words
Sarah: Quirky, Horrible at Go Fish
Beth: You’re quite good at that word counting, must be an author thing.
What do you want readers to gain from your story?
Sarah: Look, the fact of the matter is we all have things in our past that we would really love to disassociate ourselves from. For me, it happened to be a hugely successful career as a writer of steamy romances.
Maybe for you it’s that guy you pretended to like in high school because he let you copy his algebra answers, or the fact that you really don’t see Channing Tatum’s appeal, but you can’t face the scorn and judgment of your friends, so you keep rewatching Magic Mike with them every two weeks.
Whatever it is, we’ve all got something. The sooner we realize that nothing in our past is a surprise to God — and nothing is beyond his offer of grace — the better off we’ll all be.
Biweekly Magic Mike, huh? ???? I feel compelled to help you out of that situation! As a more encouraging alternative, perhaps you could introduce your friends to Moana… That Maui is pretty handsome for a shirtless animated Polynesian demigod ????
Thank you for joining us today, Sarah, it has been a pleasure to get to know you better!
About the Book
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner
Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.
With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.
About the Author
Bethany Turner is the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado.
A former VP/operations manager of a commercial bank and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned thirty-five), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she’s chosen to follow his call to write.
She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight. For more, visit her website.
Bethany Turner has a paperback copy of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck PLUS a $25 Amazon gift card for one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader friend!
Your turn, reader friends! Do you share any favorites with Ms. Sarah Hollenbeck?