I just finished reading Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert. It is now one of my favorite books. I received this book from Water Brook Press, and I've become such a fan of Katie I'll buy anything she writes.
Bethany Quinn returns home after ten years of chasing her dreams. She doesn't plan to stay long in rural Iowa, but an unexpected chain of events takes the situation out of her hands.
Evan Price has lived with Bethany's grandfather and worked his farm until the day her grandfather dies. When the will is read Evan gets the farm, and Bethany inherits the land.
Bethany must face her past and learn to make peace with God and Evan.
I was pulled into this story from the first page and lost sleep because I didn't want to close the book at night.
I was so excited I contacted Katie for an interview, and she graciously answered my questions.
Katie, in Wildflowers from Winter, how hard was it not to cry as you wrote the story? Or did you keep a tissue box beside your computer?
So funny you ask this question! There's an interesting dynamic that occurs when a story gets published. You have to read through it so many, many times that by the end, the story feels so....blah. I remember reading through the galleys (which is the final edits) and telling my husband, "This so emotionless and dry!" He calmly reminded me that I was just desensitized to the story. And I remembered that I didn't feel that way originally. There were two scenes in particular that brought tears to my eyes when I wrote this story. One is toward the beginning of the book and the other is toward the end. It was a great reminder that I wrote this story from a place deep down in my gut.
Do you have a favorite cafe? What do you like to get there? In Wildflowers you describe the cafe in such a way, I wanted to go there myself.
Oh, I'm so glad you wanted to go there! And guess what, you sort of can! Willow Tree Cafe is the main setting of my second novel, Wishing on Willows, which releases March 19th. I created a special cafe page on my website so readers can listen to some music and get a feel for the cafe's atmosphere.
My favorite cafe or coffee house is Dunn Bro's Coffee. It's small and privately owned. There's a kid's corner where my little guy loves to look for this green frog. When he finds it, he gets to bring it up to the front counter in exchange for a free chocolate milk. I usually get a mocha or a vanilla latte. In fact, I'm going to be doing a book signing there on April 5th. Dunn Bros Coffee in Bettendorf, Iowa....just in case anybody's nearby!
Is your next story Robin's story? Tell us a little about it. Will we catch up on Bethany and Evan? If a reader hasn't read Wildflowers, can they read Wishing on Willows and enjoy is just as much?
Yep, it's Robin's story, four years after Wildflowers from Winter. There will also be a lot of familiar places and faces - including the farm and Evan and Bethany. With all of that said, Wishing on Willows definitely is a stand-alone novel. Readers don't have to read Wildflowers first. I personally think reading Wildflowers first makes Willows a little more meaningful, but it's not a prerequisite!
Here's the back cover blurb for Wishing on Willows:
Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?
A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa, she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.
So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.
As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.
With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances.
Have you always enjoyed writing, or when did you discover you liked to write?
I was that little girl in her bedroom, filling notebook after notebook with half-finished stories. I loved writing. Not only that, I loved sharing what I wrote with others. Bless my parents, they let me read every single one out loud to them. It's cool to see how God plants dreams and passions and gifts in our hearts, long before we ever know what will become of them.
Wildflowers from Winter is available now, and Wishing on Willows releases March 19. Anybody who pre-orders will receive a free dowanloadable devotional booklet written by Katie.
Here's the link for that:
Here's a link for Wildflowers from Winter.