Monday, October 31, 2011
The Baker's Wife and Interview with author
Title: THE BAKER’S WIFE
Author: Erin Healy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Audrey was the pastor’s wife. But then false accusations took away her husband’s career, and suddenly their hobby had become their life and she was now the baker’s wife.
Audrey is driving the car to the bakery when her she drives through some fog. She is slowing down, but runs through an intersection and her car hits something. The motor scooter half under her car belongs to the local math teacher. Blood is everywhere. But…there’s no body.
Jack Manfield is the local police detective. And the man who ruined Audrey’s husband’s life. He is also the husband of the woman who owns the motor scooter. And he is positive that Audrey is behind Julie’s disappearance.
THE BAKER’S WIFE is the first book I’ve read by Erin Healy, but it probably won’t be the last. The story seems to have some paranormal beings in it, a spiritual warfare going on. And Audrey is at the center of it. I knew some how the story would play out. There were things mentioned in the book that would apparently have no bearing, no importance, yet they showed up—again—and again, providing clues.
I have to admire the way Ms. Healy wove together a story, from start to finish, with all the intricate details included in such a fascinating way. I can’t imagine the planning that must go into a novel like this. If you are looking for a good suspense, then THE BAKER’S WIFE is a book that you’ll want to read. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $15.99. 345 pages.
I received this book from the publicist for purpose of review.
What's been some of your favorite feedback from readers?
This week I got a phone call from a long-distance acquaintance who was reading The Baker's Wife. We are friends, but the distance prevents us from frequent contact. She said, "I could really use an Audrey to talk to right now." (Audrey is The Baker's Wife's protagonist, an unusually compassionate woman.) My friend had just lost a beloved pet rabbit to a brain tumor and didn't know I'd also lost a pet rabbit years ago, as well as other dear animals. I was in a unique position to comfort her and couldn't help but feel like this was a divine appointment. Since writing The Baker's Wife I've become more aware of opportunities to comfort people, opportunities I might have missed before. It was meaningful to have a reader want the kind of connection a character like Audrey has to offer.
· What advice can you give to aspiring authors?
Succeeding as a novelist isn't only about writing a great story. These days you must also have business savvy--an understanding of the industry, of the marketplace, of your responsibility to the successful marketing of the book. The publisher's role is changing as traditional methods of distribution and retail models shift. Audiences are fragmenting and target readers are harder to find. Authors carry a heavier and heavier workload in this Facebook age where they are expected to be accessible and transparent. So while you master the craft of storytelling, master the business too.
· How do we see evidence of the supernatural in daily life?
In his wonderful book Rumors of Another World, Philip Yancey writes: "For the Christian, the greatest disorder of the planet is that it disguises the true nature of things. The natural world, so evident to our senses, draws a curtain across spiritual reality. Those who believe in another world keep pointing ... and still skeptics cannot see past the surface." And later: "It does not surprise me ... that some disbelieve the reality of an unseen world, especially in an age that excels at mastering the visible world, an age dominated by images. For many, God cannot possibly exist unless he makes himself visible--and God does not perform on our terms." I see evidence of the supernatural world in my daily life because I believe it exists. I believe this because the Bible is saturated with awareness of God's active role in the world, and I believe the Bible is not merely a piece of ancient literature. I also believe the spiritual world exists because trying to understand my own humanity, my own human experience, without a spiritual component is impossible for me. It makes no sense. I believe God is still active in our world today, and in my life, and so I look for Him in it. I interpret events in light of the possibility that there might be a supernatural component to them. "Seek and you will find," Jesus said. My sightings of the supernatural might not measure up as "evidence" in the legal forensic sense that we use today. And it might look different from someone else's experience with the spiritual world, but for me, none of these things negate its reality.
Talk about “thin places” and how that concept works itself out in The Baker’s Wife.
Thin places is a Celtic Christian idea that there are actual locations in the world where the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is so thin that you can see through it. So far in my novels, thin places are metaphors rather than locations. (But in my next novel, House of Mercy, I explore a fictional place that might be described as "thin.") In The Baker's Wife, the thin place is Audrey's capacity to help another person through suffering by sharing that suffering. In Christian circles we talk about these kinds of things almost glibly, as though we're waxing poetic about helping each other out. For Audrey, however, she actually physically experiences the suffering of another person. It's hyper-empathy, and it's pretty frightening. But it's a powerful gift that ultimately saves lives.
How do the principles in this plot ring true for you? What lessons can we take away from The Baker’s Wife?
My amazing editor, Ami McConnell, stated the takeaway value of this novel best: “Empathy is a gift; we ignore it at our own peril. We follow it at a cost to ourselves.” I hope readers will find The Baker’s Wife to be a memorable exploration of what it means to love your enemies by sharing in their suffering and experiencing it as your own. In this story, the protagonists avert tragedy and save lives because they are motivated by compassion rather than by the need to be justified. This is a terrific challenge to me. Sometimes I am guilty of "compassion exhaustion" and fail to actively lift the burdens of friends and strangers--they don't even have to be enemies for me to fail them! So I was writing about compassion that I have often received but have been stingy in giving. I hope my capacity for compassion will only expand.
How do your novels differ from others in this genre?
Many of the supernatural suspense novels today are authored by men, and I hope I bring a feminine intuition to my works that these might not have. I'm interested in layering the exciting elements of adventure, mystery, and paranormal with themes that soften the hard edges: compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and so on.
Your novels tend to have strong female protagonists. Why is that important to you?
I suppose I am working out through my protagonists some aspirations about the person I would like to become: flawed but strong, wounded but resilient, capable of maturing. I think male and female readers alike admire strong women who are transparent about their flaws. Somehow this makes them more godly, more inspirational.
About the book:
To save her husband and son, Audrey Bofinger must rescue her enemy.
The Bofinger family has lost their church ministry in a scandal exposed by Officer Jack Mansfield. Hoping to heal and to restore their reputation, Audrey, Geoff, and their son Ed take over a failing bakery in the small community.
Driving to the bakery one morning, blinded by fog, Audrey hits a motor scooter owned by Jack’s wife, Julie. The mangled scooter is crushed and bloody. But Julie is nowhere to be found. Her disappearance coincides with a sudden illness that nearly cripples Audrey.
Jack believes the Bofingers have hurt Julie to take revenge on him, but the evidence dries up and her trail goes cold. At a breaking point, Jack takes the tiny bakery and its patrons hostage, issuing only one demand: Audrey has six hours to return Julie to him, or lose Geoff and Ed forever.
With only an excruciating and intuitive gift, an ex-con, and Julie’s estranged daughter to help search for clues, Audrey starts the search of her life for a woman who has vanished like the fog.
About Erin :
Well-known to critics and reviewers, Erin Healy has established herself as an award-winning editor and a best-selling co-author with Ted Dekker. Healy received wide acclaim for her two debut novels Never Let You Go and The Promises She Keeps. Her work focuses on the psychological and spiritual, driven by high moral stakes. She lives and writes in Colorado with her family.
For more information please visit www.erinhealy.com.
Link to buy the book:
About the contest: Enter to win a KitchenAid Mixer and RSVP for Facebook Party on 11/10!
Let the flour fly! Beginning October 24th, Erin's celebrating the release of her latest page turner, The Baker's Wife, with an outstanding KitchenAid baking prize package giveaway that includes a brand new KitchenAid Mixer, cook books, and all you need to whip up some fabulous bread or sweets! Then and on November 10th she'll be wrapping up the release of The Baker's Wife with an Author Book Chat Party on Facebook! Don't miss a minute of the fun!
One grand prize winner will receive:
Empire Red 4.5 QT Ultra Power KitchenAid Stand Mixer
Black & White Kitschy Apron
Black Silicone Oven Mitt
Black OXO Rolling Pin
Wilton 9X5 loaf pan
At My Grandmother's Knee Cookbook by Faye Porter
Second Helpings with Johnnie Gabriel Cookbook
The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy
Enter today by clicking the icons on the sidebar. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 9th. Winner will be announced at The Baker's Wife Author Book Chat Facebook Party. Erin will be wrapping up the The Baker's Wife celebration with a book club chat and giving away a bunch of "sweet treats"! So grab your copy of The Baker's Wife (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Erin on the evening of November 10th for a book chat, some "baking" trivia and lots of "sweet" giveaways (books, and Amazon, iTunes & Starbucks gift certificates)!
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends. Hope to see you on the 10th!
Blog Tour Schedule: http://litfusegroup.com/blogtours/text/13434589)