I hope you enjoy getting to know more about Contemporary Romance author Becky Wade and her new release, Turn to Me. Comment on this post by May 17 for a chance to win a paperback copy! (US residents only)
Welcome, Becky! Let’s jump right in and talk about your favorite aspect of writing Turn to Me.
The pairing of its two main characters! As a romance writer, I always strive to place just the right hero opposite just the right heroine. If their personalities complement one another (and often create friction with one another, too) an indefinable zing happens between them.
That zing sprang to life early between Luke and Finley. He’s gruff and wounded and — dare I say — just a little bit grumpy? She’s optimistic, persevering, and idealistic. Together, they had me laughing and swooning as soon as I started writing their story.
Sounds like a great match for some sparks to fly. Can you tell us a little about Turn to Me’s premise?
Sure! In the final moments before Finley’s father passes away, he tells Luke that he left the first clue in a treasure hunt for Finley in his will. He worries that the treasure hunt might put her in danger and so he begs Luke to protect her. Luke says that he will. However, that promise turns out to be extremely difficult to keep — especially because he’ll have to risk his heart in the process.
What is the novel’s theme?
Embracing new beginnings. The subject of redemption is one that I never tire of exploring. Luke has made mistakes in his past and has carried crushing guilt nearly all his life. During the course of the story, he must confront all of that as he wrestles his way toward freedom. Turn to Me’s theme verse is Isaiah 38:17, “…in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.”
Beautiful. Did you do any research for this book that was particularly enjoyable?
I had a ball researching numerous real-life treasure hunts! Some treasure hunters have successfully tracked down amazing historic finds. Others have recently hidden treasure and then publicly shared clues regarding its whereabouts. Fascinating!
Finley runs a non-profit dog rescue center and I also thoroughly enjoyed reading about the challenges and joys of animal rescue. So much of what I learned inspired Finley’s character. Also, it’s always a good day at the office when I can add darling puppies to a scene!
Treasure hunts are so fun! And who doesn’t love puppies? Where did you set this novel and why?
I set Turn to Me in a small mountain town in northern Georgia because I love the Blue Ridge mountains, as do many of my readers. There’s a mystery and beauty to that part of the country. The hills are marbled with waterfalls. The foliage glimmers bright in Autumn. The sky’s moods change by the hour. That location provided exactly the charming backdrop I wanted for this particular love story.
Wonderful! I grew up in Northwest Georgia, so I love that your novel is set in northern Georgia. Thanks so much for sharing about your new release and for providing an excerpt for readers to enjoy.
Excerpt from Turn to Me:
She considered Luke, lining up what she saw before her with what she knew of his past.
Once upon a time, a group of middle school kids had survived more than a week buried in the rubble of an earthquake that had struck while they were on a mission trip in South America. They’d become known as the Miracle Five, and they were Misty River’s best-known and best-loved sons and daughters.
Luke was one of the five.
Almost twenty years had come and gone since that fateful earthquake. The former middle school kids were all adults now, and Luke remained the most reclusive of the five. After their rescue, he’d immediately retreated from the spotlight and never consented to interviews or public appearances.
The other four had gone on to become successful. Natasha MacKenzie, an attorney and mother. Genevieve Woodward, Natasha’s sister, a Bible study author. Ben Coleman, high school teacher. Sebastian Grant, pediatric heart surgeon.
The day Luke had turned eighteen, he’d dropped out of high school and left home. He’d worked for a chop shop in Atlanta until he’d been arrested for stealing a car and sent to prison.
It didn’t take much intuition to discern why Luke had gone off the rails while the other four were living constructive lives. The earthquake had resulted in two thousand fatalities, but only one Misty River resident had died.
His name had been Ethan. He’d been twelve years old. And he was Luke’s younger brother.
Finley had moved to this town after college, so she’d had no interaction with Luke when he was young. But everyone who’d known him then agreed that he’d been a golden boy before his brother’s death. The natural disaster had ripped from Luke both his brother and his promising future.
And now she was struggling to absorb the realization that this injured, complicated, infamous man knew about her birthday treasure hunt. Even though Luke was hard as slate, he was also, apparently, compassionate enough to grant her father’s dying wish. Which was that Luke . . . protect her?
She’d been envisioning the hunt as a very personal journey between herself and her father. Perfectly safe, just like all the prior hunts. Resistance was pushing upward inside her at the idea of embarking on this hunt with a stranger.
Gradually, though, an opposing force matched and then surpassed her resistance.
The tug to rehabilitate.
Luke Dempsey was a tragic and thorny case. Many would say he was a lost cause.
Thing was, she had a soft spot for lost causes. It ran contrary to her nature to abandon any creature to its lostness. Over the years, she’d come face to face with numerous ferocious animals. Dogs who’d been beaten. Feral cats. Unbroken horses. There’d even been the memorable case of one very angry raccoon.
So many times she’d sensed, at the deepest level, that God had entrusted a certain wounded creature to her care.
That’s exactly how she felt now. About Luke.
Not a single one of her past “lost causes” had remained a lost cause. No one—no animal or person on earth—was beyond redemption. If she and Luke worked together here at Furry Tails and on her treasure hunt, she’d have double the opportunity to assist in the Restoration of Luke.
Becky, this peek inside Turn to Me has whet my appetite to read more! Congratulations on this new release, and God bless you as you continue to write stories that bring Him glory.
Join the conversation. Are you a Becky Wade fan? Which of her books is your favorite? Does the treasure hunt in Becky’s new book sound fun to you? Have you ever participated in a treasure hunt? What questions or comments do you have for Becky?
Be sure to comment by May 17 for a chance to win a paperback of Becky’s book. (US residents only) Keep scrolling to find the comments section.
Turn to Me by Becky Wade
Click the book cover for purchase link
His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.
Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey’s life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke’s release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he’s hidden. Worried that she won’t be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke’s promise to protect her until the end of her search.
Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke’s help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return–by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he’s long denied himself.
As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He’ll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who’s going to shield him from losing his heart?
Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas with their three children and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She loves writing emotional Christian contemporary romances laced with mystery! She’s the Christy and Carol award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, the Bradford Sisters series, and the Misty River Romance series.
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If you missed last week’s interview with Penny Frost McGinnis, find it here.