ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Humor, Hope, and Happily Ever Afters! Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing, Harvest House Publishers, and B&H Publishing. She holds a Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, is a former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, and currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is a full-time academic advisor and part-time college composition instructor for Bethel University.
Kaye Dacus (KAY DAY-cuss) is an author and educator who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there. She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is an academic advisor and English Composition instructor for Bethel University.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, Follow the Heart is a “sitting-room romance” with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.
Kate and Christopher Dearing’s lives turn upside down when their father loses everything in a railroad land speculation. The siblings are shipped off to their mother’s brother in England with one edict: marry money.
At twenty-seven years old, Kate has the stigma of being passed over by eligible men many times—and that was before she had no dowry. Christopher would like nothing better than to make his own way in the world; and with a law degree and expertise in the burgeoning railroad industry, he was primed to do just that—in America.
Though their uncle tries to ensure Kate and Christopher find matrimonial prospects only among the highest echelon of British society, their attentions stray to a gardener and a governess.
While Christopher has options that would enable him to lay his affections where he chooses, he cannot let the burden of their family’s finances crush his sister. Trying to push her feelings for the handsome—but not wealthy— gardener aside, Kate’s prospects brighten when a wealthy viscount shows interest in her. But is marrying for the financial security of her family the right thing to do, when her heart is telling her she’s making a mistake?
Mandates . . . money . . . matrimony. Who will follow the heart?
Interview with Kaye:
How did you become a writer?
Even though I started writing when I was twelve or thirteen (writing down the stories I’d been playing out with my Barbies so I’d remember the next day), it wasn’t until I was sixteen or seventeen when I really felt like writing was what I wanted to do with my life. I just didn’t have anyone around me who knew how to direct me. My parents encouraged me, but they weren’t sure how to give me guidance. I had a wonderful Creative Writing teacher in high school and that was when I knew for sure that I wanted to be like him—I wanted to be able to teach others how to do what it was I loved doing so much. But it wasn’t until much later in my life, at the age of thirty when I attended my first writers’ conference, that I truly realized I wanted to pursue publication.
What’s the takeaway/what do you hope will stick with people when they finish reading the book?
Women, especially, tend to look at our choices as a series of obligations—we do what we feel we are obligated to do for the sake of our families, not necessarily what we feel our hearts are telling us to do. I believe, and it’s the theme of this book, that we spend too much time worrying about how we can fix/help/support our families (or those around us at work or in friendships) and not enough time listening to and trusting God. When we pray, we tend to tell God what’s wrong and ask him to fix it. But do we ever really take the time to just be still and listen to what God is trying to tell us? And can we really let God take care of those we feel responsible for and let go of that burden of responsibility that may not, in truth, be ours to bear?
I’m currently finishing up editing the second book in this series, An Honest Heart, and writing The Heart that Waits, which is the third and final book in the Great Exhibition series. After that . . . who knows?
Can you share a Genesis 5020 with my readers?
My 50:20 moment was when I broke my ankle in 2010. I was already late turning in a book (THE ART OF ROMANCE), I was self-employed with my main source of income (freelance editing) on the wane, and I had no health insurance. And I’d been writing at a library and didn’t have my cell phone with me when I fell and broke both bones in the ankle and dislocated my foot. My right foot. I was maybe 20 yards from my car, and of course, even if I could have gotten over to it, I would never have been able to drive. Did I mention this was my RIGHT foot/ankle? Thank goodness for the kindness of a stranger who hadn’t forgotten his cell phone at home and called 9-1-1 for me. I’m a single woman who lives alone in a house that has a few steps up to the doors, no paved sidewalk/driveway, and being unable to drive, so my semi-retired parents drove to Nashville from Arkansas to pick me up and take me home with them. I had surgery there and spent the next almost four months with them. And it turned out to be one of the best times in my adult life. I reconnected with my parents in a way most adult children never get a chance to. I didn’t have to worry about anything. I had very few responsibilities. And I had encouragement and support from two people who love me unconditionally as I finished my book and recuperated. I also had showers of blessing rained down on me from fellow writers and publishing industry folks that I never would have expected. God took what could have been the bleakest, darkest time in my life and used it to refresh and revive me.
What’s your favorite romance novel/ist?
I’ve fallen in and out of love with so many writers/books over the years. I’d have to say, though, that the author whose books most affected me was Willow Davis Roberts. Her Sunfire romance Victoria was the book that led me to start writing (I loved it so much I tried writing a sequel). I also loved Caroline (Sunfire). But the one I continue to read at least once a year was a stand-alone YA gothic romance, White Jade.
What was/were your favorite book(s) growing up?
I loved the Little House on the Prairie books (still have the original yellow-cover copies from childhood). As a ’tween, I discovered the Sunfire YA romances, and I was hooked!
Where can my readers find you on the web?
Thanks for sharing with my readers today, Kaye.
Readers, I am giving away a copy of Kaye’s book Follow the Heart. I am reading it and can tell you it is great, a book I don’t want to put down. Kaye draws you into the drama of the story from the first page.
Just leave a comment by May 28th at 5:00 pm to be entered.
Book has been provided by the publisher in exhange for an honest review.