Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Return to Love Blog Tour with Kathleen Shoop

Today on Shelf Full of Books I’d like to welcome Kathleen Shoop, author of Return to Love,  her latest book. She’s with me for an interview. Welcome Kathleen. Let’s get right to it, and then tell our readers about your newest book.

Author Interview:

What inspired you to write this book?
 I had written Home Again (book one) for an anthology of novellas called Bliss. Each author had to write about a different era, but all of our stories take place in the same house on the water in North Carolina. I fell in love with the characters, April and Hale, in Home Again and as soon as I finished writing it, I knew I would be writing more about them. In terms of inspiring the plot and character development in Return to Love I drew from the circumstances I created in book one. Hale needed to go back to Vietnam to fly
and April was left at home to carry on her life. I thought it would be fabulous if a baby brought Hale back home, but given that it's fiction, I needed some conflict… so, a story was born. It's uplifting and still light, but Return to Love explores loss and love as romance blooms again for April and Hale.

What parts of this book come from your own experiences?
Well… other than spending many vacations at the beach including the Outer Banks, I'd say, not much. I have dealt with loss and had depressed periods of time in my life so I took those feelings and situations and deepened them for the characters, added the needed drama for it to work in fiction. And there's love…there's always plenty of experience to draw from for that.

What was the most challenging thing about writing this book?
The most challenging part of writing this book was to keep a lightness to it, to have humor and softness and hope even when the characters are sad about their baby. Also, the sex was tricky for those same reasons. April and Hale are so thrilled to see each 
other when he first arrives home that they NEED to connect emotionally through the sex. I needed to try to balance passion with comforting one another so that it rang true. The fun type of sex that happens when all is well (or even "make-up" sex) seems so much more straightforward to me. I needed to be sure the reader didn't think it was strange that they were comforting each other physically as much as emotionally. Keeping the book light was important--I think humor rises out of sadness in real life, I wanted that here so readers would find it satisfying and HEA!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Just that in every bit of sadness life brings, there is hope and there is love and people can get through the dark times if they have support. There is nothing like those moments of new love (and though April and Hale are married, their love is "fresh" in that he has been away at war and every reunion brings a newness like new love does) and though those moments fade into a deeper love as time goes on, being able to recall them can strengthen a relationship. 

Have you ever travelled to any of the places in which your books take place?
Yes, I have!!  I love the beach and have spent vacations all over the United States at all different types of beaches. But, the Outer Banks remains a favorite. Part of the plot revolves around food and preparing meals and I have to say writing it, got me thinking I need a trip back there for the oysters alone!

What authors inspire you?
Melissa Foster, Geraldine Brooks, Elizabeth Strout, Kate Morton, Lucinda Riley

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
Unique??? I don't think so! I love to exercise, read, spend time with good friends… I do love making Christmas gifts for people, but they are more heart-felt gestures than hobbies!

Title: Return to Love

Author: Kathleen Shoop
Publisher: Oakglen Press
Pages: 261
Genre: Romance
Format: Paperback/Kindle

About the Book:

April and Hale Abercrombie’s love is tender and sweet. While he serves in Vietnam, their marriage is marked by trust and the belief that they will grow old together with a gaggle of grandchildren at their feet. But, their charmed marriage changes in the face of losing their newborn daughter.
On leave from his tour, Hale can barely wait to hold his wife and her help her heal. When he arrives, his embrace, his touch, and his love are as perfect as April remembered. Their reunion is passionate and their physical connection is strong and soothing. But, April’s heartache remains.
Hale stumbles through his attempts to prove to April that their future will be rich and full of wonder. His good-hearted, but take-charge approach causes her to retreat. Even in grief, April can see Hale’s earnestness, yet she finds solace in putting space between them. With a short time before Hale must return to war will they see that real love endures in the face of adversity, that their marriage can be strengthened even when it looks as though all is lost?
Set on the beaches of the Outer Banks, Return to Love is the second book in the Endless Love series. Book one, Home Again, was named a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. 

For More Information

About the Author:

Amazon Top-100 Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women’s fiction and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Her latest book is the romance, Return to Love.

For More Information

  • Visit Kathleen’s website.
  • Find out the latest book news at Kathleen’s blog.
  • Connect with Kathleen on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Contact the author here.

This tour was sponsored by:
Dorothy Thompson
Pump Up Your Book
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague Island, Virginia 23336

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