Thursday, June 07, 2012

A debut novel that reads like a pro...

I knew Katie Ganshert was going to be a hit the minute I first met her at a writer's conference. She was young, cute, overflowing with enthusiasm and hope and faith, and was sweet enough to buy my novel there and have me sign it.

Now, she's still young, cute, and overflowing with enthusiasm, hope and faith, but she's also become a successful author with a contracted series. I could be biased and say she deserves it because of how sweet and fun she is as a person - but that's just not true. She does for those reasons, but trust me when I say her writing style is what goes the extra mile. It's rare to find writing this lyrical and beautiful, and with characters so relatable and well-developed. Add in a solid plot and ta-da! Fantastic book.

Here's the info:

Wildflowers from Winter

A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.
For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not even sure exists?

Some reviews I've seen on Amazon have complained about heroine Bethany's attitude and heart during the story making her unlikable. I think Ganshert did a fantastic job though with the character arc, bringing Bethany into a well planned 180 that leaves her lingering in a reader's mind and fingering pearls of wisdom in her wake.

The hero was hunky and a cowboy and all things a hero should be - charming, sinful, humble, arrogant, stubborn, generous, sweet, hard, and honest - in other words, real. No perfect people here, folks. And that's how the best stories are told.

I have to admit, I cried about 4 times during this story. It's not a light read, nor one you'll quickly forget. It covers hard topics and was told so realistically that I would have thought Ganshert lived through the experiences herself if I hadn't known better. Rarely has a novel gutted me so thoroughly! But in a way that inspired and uplifted, as hard as that is to believe. Just read it and you'll understand ;)
Congrats, Katie, for a debut novel that reads like it was your 100th book. I'm already ready for the sequel!! :)

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