Hello, reader friends! Join me in welcoming author friend Michelle De Bruin! She is visiting us today as part of a JustRead blog tour celebrating her historical novel, Hope for Tomorrow and answering a few quick questions!
about the author
Michelle De Bruin is a worship leader and spiritual services provider. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two teenage sons. A romantic at heart, Michelle is always looking for glimpses of God’s love through the window of a good story. Visit her website or connect with Michelle on Facebook or Twitter!
What is your favorite activity or hobby not related to books?
M: Reading is my biggest hobby, but in addition to that, I like to garden, spend time with my family, and kayak.
B: I’ve always wanted to try kayaking!
Share your inspiration behind your current release.
M: This book is a tribute in a way, to my family and the community that has shaped me. The heroine of the story, Karen Millerson, is a school teacher. She is from Chicago and has the training to teach English at a high school level. This character is based on my grandmother, Elizabeth Van Zante. She grew up during the 1920’s and then accomplished the completion of her college education during the depression, earning her a bachelor’s degree in math and Latin. She went on to teach math at two different high schools before marrying my grandfather in 1947.
Grandma Elizabeth made the statement in an era when women had fewer opportunities than they do today that women could pursue a college education as well as a career, and she did it in a time when finances were challenging.
She also knew her Scriptures and spent time teaching them to me. We worked together on learning how to memorize using The ABC Memory Plan published by the Bible Memory Association International, copyright 1969. This plan was geared toward children through the illustrations in the book and the system they used that matched a letter of the alphabet with Bible verses in which the first word of the verse began with that particular letter. I believe this early instruction in the Word of God is what aided my discernment to a call to ministry in my high school years, and the eventual completion of my religion major, earning me a bachelor’s degree at the same liberal arts college my grandmother attended so many years before.
The hero of the story also has significance. He embodies my Dutch heritage and portrays the values my family and my Dutch community hold of living out our faith in the world while doing the work of our vocation. I saw this play out in my childhood as my dad, grandfather, and uncles were both farmers and church leaders. They cared for the land and lived out their faith. The loved their families and loved the Lord. I owe much to them, so it is the least I can do to write stories that bring their values and the essence of their characters to life.
B: What a wonderful tribute to your loved ones and heritage!
What book(s) are you reading right now?
M: I enjoy reading both inspirational fiction and non-fiction. I’ve had several fiction books going at the same time. These titles include A Tender Hope by Amanda Cabot, More Than Words Can Say by Karen Wittemeyer, At First Glance by Susan L. Tuttle, and Carolina Dream by Regina Rudd Merrick. I’ve finished the first three, but I am still working on Carolina Dream.
I’ve also recently completed reading some non-fiction titles including Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser, Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton, and The Soul Winner by Charles Spurgeon.
I like reading fiction on my kindle, but for non-fiction, I need to have the actual book.
B: You’ve been a busy reader!
What is your next release and what are you working on now?
M: My next release is a sequel to Hope for Tomorrow. The sequel is titled Promise for Tomorrow. It will be releasing with Mantle Rock Publishers in November. The book I am working on right now is the third book in the series titled Dreaming of Tomorrow. I am half finished with the manuscript for this book.
B: Wonderful! I love series reads!
What’s your writing style?
M: I like to stay organized in the creation of a new story. Before writing the opening sentence of a first chapter, I’ve already done research on the era and any other subjects of historical significance that affects the story, I’ve created the outline so that I know what the major plot points are throughout the story, and I’ve developed the characters enough to have a sense of their struggles, fears, and areas of spiritual growth. It’s fun! Then I get down to writing and can get a manuscript finished in a matter of a few months.
I have a piano studio-turned-writing-studio in my basement where I have my fiction library and part of my non-fiction library, my desk, and a cabinet stuffed full of historical artifacts I’ve collected. My favorite step in the process is the actual writing when the characters come to life on paper.
B: Having a quiet place to work surrounded by some of your favorite things sounds perfect!
about the book
Title: Hope for Tomorrow
Author: Michelle De Bruin
Publisher: Mantle Rock Publishing
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction
When Logan De Witt learns of his father’s sudden death, he returns home to the family’s dairy farm. During his stay, he discovers his mother’s struggle with finances and his younger sister’s struggle with grief. Concern for his family presses Logan to make the difficult decision to leave his career as a pastor and stay on the farm. As a way to make some extra money, he agrees to board the teacher for their local school.
Karen Millerson arrives from Chicago ready to teach high school but her position is eliminated so she accepts the role of country school teacher. Eager to put her family’s ugly past behind her, Karen begins a new career to replace the trust she lost in her own father who had been in ministry when she was a child.
Logan and Karen both sense a call from the Lord to serve him, but neither of them expected that one day they would do it together.
Can Karen learn to trust again? Will Logan lay aside his grief in exchange for God’s purpose for his life?
(1) winner will receive a prize pack that includes a print copy of Hope for Tomorrow and a $25 gift card plus a set of handmade quilted hot pads and Dutch chocolate.
Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight August 5, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on August 12, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Say hi to Michelle in the comments and share your thoughts on our chat and her story, Hope for Tomorrow!