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Author Interview,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Author Interview with Kendra Broekhuis & a Giveaway

My husband and I got married in 2011. We lived in Guatemala for three years as teachers in an English immersion school, then moved back to the suburbs of Chicago for two years, and are now living and working in a low-income community in the city of Milwaukee where we’ve been for the past eight years. We have five kids, four who are living.

In kindergarten, I wanted to be a gymnastics teacher when I grew up. This is especially comical to me now because I’m 6’1” and have never mastered a somersault. Obviously I had an active imagination, and that serves me well as an author.

I wrote Between You and Us through a Christ-centered worldview that starts with the theme of lament. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my own sorrows, it’s that our wounds need space to grieve because grief reminds us why we need the hope of Christ in the first place.

So, in my book, I was gentle toward my main character in the thick of her grief and “what if?” questions, not rushing her through it or forcing her to tie a pretty bow on it just because she’s a Christian—a pressure that’s painfully present in the church at times.

And then, while my book has some heavy themes and content, I wanted to cushion those aspects of the story with humor, a genuine love between the main character and her husband, as well as support through other relationships.

Moments of joy and loving community can act as the hands and feet of Jesus to sustain people through their grief. Life can be brutal, and it can be stunningly wonderful and funny too, so I tried to capture that tension.

Between You and Us is inspired by my own grief of losing a baby, though the exact events in the book are not my story. In 2015, I was pregnant with our second child and we found out at the twenty-week ultrasound that she wasn’t expected to live due to a long list of issues with her internal organs.

We named her Aliza Joyce which means “joy,” praying her short life would encourage us to choose joy in Christ no matter our horrific circumstances. Aliza died at 33 weeks and was stillborn. Later, we learned she had a chromosome abnormality called Triploidy.

When I first started writing Between You and Us, it was set in a fictional city called Bridgeview based on where I live in Milwaukee. I thought using a fictional city would make it easier to talk about the setting’s ugly truths. (Milwaukee is a beautiful, fun city, but there are also strong economic and racial divides.) As I went through rounds of edits, it became clear that it would be best to place the book in Milwaukee after all.

Instead of talking about Milwaukee behind her back, I would be forced to confront her and think about what I would say to her face in real life. This was a good process for me because it made me think about the very real neighborhoods I was writing about and how my characters might be making wrong assumptions about them. Or, not fully grasping the nuance of those neighborhoods.

On a lighter note, I also enjoyed making the switch because it gave me the chance to highlight real landmarks, businesses, restaurants, and places I love that are pieces of home for me.

I have a long list of baby names that my husband rejected over the course of birthing five children. Now, that list is saved in a document called “Character Names.” Leona, Vera, Rose, and Eden—a few prominent characters in Between You and Us, were all on that list.

I recently put a desk in my bedroom that allows me to have a quiet space for writing and virtual meetings. However, as long as I’m given the time to write, someone to watch my young kids, and a set of earplugs, I can write wherever I have space to set my laptop. Preferably, a space with coffee and muffins.

Two readers come to mind. One reader who I have personal connections to from where I grew up has sent our family monetary support to bless others in our neighborhood. I’ve been able to use those funds to buy groceries for neighbors, help pay toward neighbors’ medical bills, and put quality books in my Little Free Library!

Another reader is an internet-stranger-become-pen pal who’s mailed me typed letters over the past couple years to encourage me as an author and a mom of young kids. I appreciate readers who acknowledge the work behind my life as an author, and make a point to encourage me with kind words.

I’m working on another contemporary novel whose working title is Nearly Beloved. It’s about a woman who finds out on the day of her dad’s funeral they aren’t biologically related. It’s set to release with WaterBrook in September 2025!

Comment on Kendra Broekhuis’s author interview by March 19 for a chance to win her new release, Between You and Us!

#contemporarychristianfiction #giveaway


Click the book cover for purchase link

When a grieving woman unexpectedly steps into a different version of her life, she must choose between the husband she loves and the daughter she lost in this brave, gripping novel.

Two possible lives to live. One impossible choice to make.

When Leona Warlon heads across the city to meet her husband, David, for a rare dinner out, she hopes they can share a moment of relief after their year of loss. But Leona quickly realizes this is no ordinary date night. She hasn’t just stepped into an upscale ristorante; she’s stepped into a different version of her life. One in which her marriage is no longer tender, in which her days are pressured by her powerful in-laws, and in which her precious baby girl lived.

Now Leona must weigh the bitter and sweet of both trajectories, facing an unimaginable choice: Stay in a world where tragedy hasn’t struck but where the meaningful life she built with David is gone? Or return to a reality that’s filled with struggle and sorrow but also deep and enduring love?

Kendra lives in the city of Milwaukee. For her day job, she stays home with four of her children and drives them from one place to another in her minivan. She’s written, spoken, and created non-fiction content for over a decade, and now, she’s excited to be publishing two novels with WaterBrook.

You can find most of her sarcastic ramblings and serious encouragement—including the grief of losing a baby at 33 weeks pregnant—in her newsletter and on social media. Between You and Us is her first novel.

Connect with Kendra: Website / Facebook/ Instagram

Kendra Broekhuis head shot

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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