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AN INTERVIEW with Author BETHANY TURNER by Nicole Cook, plus #review

Nicole: I am thrilled to have author Bethany Turner join us today at Inkwell Inspirations to discuss her newest romantic comedy novel, Wooing Cadie McCaffrey, which was chosen as the June book club selection for the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group. Bethany recently led a live Facebook chat in the Avid Readers Group to discuss her book with the members of the group.
Nicole
Bethany, thank you so much for joining us today! 


Bethany
Bethany: Thank you, Nicole! I’m honored to be here. Inkwell Inspirations is such a great site!

Nicole: Wooing Cadie McCaffrey and your first novel, The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, both contain many pop culture references, including many of the readers’ favorite romantic comedies. What are your favorite romantic comedies of all time, or is that like having to pick your favorite child??!! My favorite is You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, although I love so many of the other romantic comedies mentioned in your books as well.

Bethany: You know, it IS a bit like picking a favorite child. Or, as my sister and I often say in our pop culture-obsessed way, “Don’t make me Sophie’s Choice that!” Having said that, You’ve Got Mail is my favorite as well, hands down. The late, great writer/director Nora Ephron is my biggest rom-com role model, and I’d probably have to put her “big three” romantic comedies at the top of the list—You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, and When Harry Met Sally. While You Were Sleeping is probably my next favorite. I’ll stop there. I could go on for days!

Nicole: Faith is an important theme in Wooing Cadie McCaffrey, and you realistically describe the struggles and temptations that Christians face when dating in the 21st century, while still trying to stay true to their religious beliefs. You definitely bring a needed voice to Christian fiction. What message or inspiration do you hope that people will get from reading Wooing Cadie McCaffrey?

Bethany: First of all, thank you for that. Here’s the thing: if we close our eyes and act like Christians aren’t dealing with these “worldly” issues as they attempt to swim upstream in a downstream world, we’re just fooling ourselves. Some Christian readers haven’t at all liked or approved of the way I address these realities in my books, and that’s okay. My writing may not be for them, but I’ve got to keep pushing forward as I believe God is leading me to. Because I believe we need to be having the conversations. The tough, uncomfortable conversations. The rest of the world doesn’t shy away from talking about these things, and I believe Christ’s church needs to actually lead the charge, and make sure we’re talking about it all in ways that point to the Lord. With Wooing Cadie McCaffrey in particular, I hope that readers walk away certain that there’s not a single thing they can do that will scare off, or even surprise, God. We’re so flawed, and 100% incapable of earning God’s mercy and forgiveness. I’m so grateful He doesn’t ask us to earn it—only to accept the gift He’s offering. And I also hope that Wooing Cadie McCaffrey shines a light on how important it is to communicate—with our loved ones, with the Lord, and even with ourselves.

Nicole: Where did you get your inspiration for your characters, and do you typically base their physical descriptions off of real-life people and/or celebrities?

Bethany: I typically have celebrities in mind pretty early in the writing process—either as a basis for their physical characteristics or for their personality. But I am such a pantser! I really don’t know anything about my characters before I start writing. I usually just let them introduce themselves to me on the page. That was very true with Cadie and Will in Wooing Cadie McCaffrey, but almost as soon as Will Whitaker started talking, I knew exactly who he was. I began seeing him as John Krasinski instantly—and not just John Krasinski, but specifically John Krasinski as Jim Halpert in The Office. And from then on, I wrote him that way. By the time Cadie described his appearance in the Prologue, I was describing John Krasinski! It doesn’t always happen that strongly for me, but it sure made it fun this time. And then, though I didn’t realize it at the time, I think I actually got a lot of inspiration for the workplace setting of the book from the old Aaron Sorkin TV show Sports Night. It wasn’t until I was completely done writing WooCaM that I realized just how much my love of Sports Night had impacted me!

Nicole: I love being a member of the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook group, organizing the book club, and participating in so many wonderful discussions within the group.

As a reader, I get to share my love of Christian fiction with the other members in the group, and I have discovered so many new-to-me authors who have become must-read authors.

From an author’s perspective, what do you like best about participating in the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group, and what has been your favorite part of having Wooing Cadie McCaffrey as the book club selection this month?

Bethany: You know, what I love most about being part of the group, as an author, is witnessing how passionate and devoted readers of Christian Fiction are. It’s such an honor when a reader lets my characters and words into their heart, and of course those characters and words are in my heart, too. So I like to think it creates a bit of a bond, and being able to interact directly with the readers is an immense privilege!

As for having Wooing Cadie McCaffrey as the book club selection for June, my favorite part was, without a doubt, the live book club discussion on Facebook Live. Getting to chat about books and Jesus and all these things that I’m so passionate about with such a fun and engaging group…what an amazing experience!

Nicole: I heard that you have a book tour coming up in July to promote Wooing Cadie McCaffrey. What can you tell the readers about your book tour, and do you plan to have additional locations added to your tour?

Bethany: I do, and I’m so excited! I live in a small town in Southwest Colorado, and while I love it, it sometimes feels a bit isolated. I grew up in Kentucky, so I’m delighted to be heading back to the Midwest for a couple of stops. I’ll be at the amazing Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 11th—and trust me when I say visiting Baker Book House should be a bucket list item for anyone who loves to read Christian fiction or non-fiction. It’s immense, and they are always hosting such amazing events. And on July 16th I’ll be appearing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Crestview Hills, Kentucky—which is just down the road from where I grew up, and where my parents and sister still live. It’s a huge, wondrous store than sells every sort of book imaginable.

I am very open to additional locations being added! I may be making a stop in Toledo, Ohio, and there are few other possibilities still being ironed out. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!


Nicole: I would love to visit Baker Book House someday! It looks absolutely amazing from pictures I’ve seen. I live about 30 min south of Columbus, Ohio in the middle of farm country, and Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Crestview Hills, Kentucky is about 1 ½ hrs. away from me. I am working on finding childcare for that evening, so I can hopefully make the trip to visit you at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. It would be so fun to meet you and get to chat in person!

Nicole: Without giving away any spoilers, can you share any information about your 2020 release, Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish? Will readers get to see more of their favorite pop culture references in this book? I am already looking forward to reading it!

Bethany: My editor is in the process of reading Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish for the first time, so I’ll be getting edits back soon…and then we’ll see what this book really becomes! It’s the story of two celebrity chefs who endure a painful scandal together, and are forced together in ways neither of them would have chosen as they both, in different ways, fight their way back from what happened. In many ways it will be similar to my style in The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck and Wooing Cadie McCaffrey, but in other ways, it’s very different from anything else I’ve written. I’m really excited to introduce everyone to Hadley and Max!

Nicole: Bethany, thank you again for joining us today! I love your sense of humor, and this has been so fun chatting with you. I can’t wait until next summer to read Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish!

Bethany: Thank you so much, Nicole. It was a joy to chat with you, and I’m just so appreciative of all your encouragement and kind words, and all the work you put in to help spread Christian Fiction to the masses!

Author Bio:
Bethany Turner is the award-winning author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, which was a Christy Award finalist. When she’s not writing (and even when she is), she serves as the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.

Author links:
www.seebethanywrite.com
www.facebook.com/seebethanywrite
www.instagram.com/seebethanywrite

Nicole's Review:
Bethany Turner’s latest novel, Wooing Cadie McCaffrey, will have readers falling in love with the irresistible Will Whitaker as he tries to win back his girlfriend Cadie by using inspiration from many of her favorite romantic comedies. Bethany Turner takes readers on a fun, humorous journey of romance and second chances with numerous pop culture references sprinkled in throughout the novel. Fans of romantic comedies, such as You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Dirty Dancing, Serendipity, and so many more, will love the references to their favorite movies. Readers will laugh out loud at the antics of Will and his athletic football friends as they watch the romantic comedies and try to help him win back Cadie.

In Wooing Cadie McCaffrey, Bethany Turner realistically describes the struggles and temptations that Christians face when dating in the 21st century, while still trying to stay true to their religious beliefs. Other Christian fiction novels often gloss over these issues or do not mention them at all, but Bethany Turner continues to bring a needed voice to Christian fiction. This book is very highly recommended for readers of Christian fiction who love romance and humor.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine. After reading the ebook from NetGalley, I enjoyed the book so much that I also purchased my own paperback copy. 




Back Cover Blurb:
After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn't love her in the "forever" way she loves him, Cadie believes it's time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing.

But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie's favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It's a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Bethany Turner is back with more of the heart and humor readers love. Anyone who enjoys a good romance or binges romantic comedies on Netflix will devour this delightful story.


Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and Audiobook:
Buy Wooing Cadie McCaffrey at Amazon
Buy Wooing Cadie McCaffrey at Christianbook.com

The Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group is a wonderful discussion group for book addicts to talk about what they are reading. Members can also choose to participate in the book club within the group. The group is made up of many Christian fiction authors and readers and is very well moderated. Any readers interested in joining the group can click on the following link and answer a few questions to be added. The questions are easy and are meant to keep out spammers. https://www.facebook.com/groups/AvidChristFicReaders/

The July book club selection for the Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Facebook Group is The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith.

Comments

  1. I missed the facebook part but I did listen to Bethany on a recent podcast! Having met her in Maryland this spring, this interview was an extra special treat! Thanks, ladies!

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  2. Hi Bethany *waving wildly*! Thanks to you and Nicole for a fun interview! I loved this book!

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  3. This interview was so fun to do! I told Bethany that it’s been awhile since I’ve laughed as much as I did during the live chat!

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