Sunday, January 3, 2010

Blog Tour: Sweet By & By

Editor's Note: Looking for a way to start 2010 off with a bang? Why not check out the newest release, by the writing team of Sara Evans (country music star) and Rachel Hauck: Sweet By & By, the first of the new Songbird series, published by Thomas Nelson. In honor of the release - set for this week, Hauck took time to answer a few questions about the novel.

What happens when you combine a hippie mother, a daughter who has always tried to be the "responsible" one, a wedding in Tennessee and a whole cast of characters?

The result is the newest release, Sweet By & By, by the writing team of Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck.

The pair teamed up after the publishing house Thomas Nelson, approached Sara about doing a fiction project.

"When she agreed, they paired me with her to write the story," Hauck said. "The partnership was a blend of Sara explaining what she loved in a story and what she wanted to see in the characters and me offering back ideas and character/plot developments."

Hauck said it was fun and easy to work with Sara.

"She's very down to earth and creative," Hauck said.  "We pretty much agreed on everything!"

The pair named multi-book series "Songbird," in part because of the appearance of a bird within the first two books.

"I [also] suggested Songbird [as] a reference to Sara, a lovely and amazing singer," Hauck explained, "plus one of her most popular songs is 'Born to Fly.'  It just absolutely described her and the story."

The first novel focuses on the slightly dysfunctional relationship between Jade and her mother, Beryl, and is filled with a lot of drama and conflict.

"Jade is a strong woman but gazing through life through the lens of heart ache," explained Hauck. "[She is] fixed but not whole. She wants love and stability."

On the other hand, Hauck continued, Beryl is a wild child - a 'Summer of Love' hippie who "never really left
Haight Ashbury.

"She's selfish to the core, but fun and carefree, full of life, willing to challenge the norms."

Hauck said the themes of conflict, found within the first novel, are relevant to today's society, although Jade and Beryl are purely fictional characters of their imaginations.

Through out the novel, both Jade and Beryl have to face things they would rather forget.

"We  all have a past," Hauck said. "Many times, we bury issues - both good and bad - without acknowledging the impact on our lives. Many times it takes reckoning with the past to realize our future. That's what Jade and Beryl had to do."

Hauck said they hope that readers will walk away, after reading the novel, realizing that "God is willing, able and loving enough to bring us through any situation and strengthen us. And that it's never wise to ignore the past. But deal with it in love and forgiveness."

The next novel - a continuation of Jade's story (as well as Beryl's) is set for a January 2011 release. Jade's mother-in-law, June, will also take center stage in the drama.

"Sara and I have to talk about the rest of the books, but I know for sure they will be exciting," Hauck said.

What I Thought....
When the book arrived in my mailbox, I was ready for an easy read. In a way, this novel fit that bill - the writing style of Evans and Hauck really flows.

While it's an easy read, the book is filled with a variety of meaty topics.

I'll admit, I had trouble putting the book down - and I definitely wasn't ready for the story to end. (Is it really going to be a whole year before I know what happens next?).

I think, if you chose to pick up this book, you'll find a unique story that you will enjoy.

Want to find the book on-line?
The book is available from three on-line vendors: Barnes & Noble,, and Christian Book Distributors.

Want to read more about Rachel and Sara?
Check out Sara's website by clicking here.
Visit Rachel's website by clicking here.

Take Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Rachel Hauck. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much Kaylea! I appreciate you taking the time to post about the book!

    Happy New Year!



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