About the Book
Book: When Hearts Collide
Author: Sara Beth Williams
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Release Date: September 10, 2018
A reckless mistake landed Jacob “Jay” Mathews behind bars, but it was his inescapable guilt that led him to God. Upon his release, with the help of a spiritual mentor and friend, he strives to move forward with his life. Determined to graduate college, get a job, and follow God’s word, the last thing Jay needs or wants is a girlfriend. Until he meets Lacey Bennett.
When fervent prayers for reconciliation between her divorced parents go unanswered, and her older sister tragically dies, Lacey questions how God could allow such tragedies to befall her family. Turning her back on her past and God, she focuses on her future. College and theater are her ultimate goals; falling for the one type of guy she swore to avoid—a Christian—is not. No matter how much she wants to resist, Jay is irresistible.
As their relationship deepens, Jay struggles with Lacey’s unresolved anger and her unwillingness to even discuss faith. All he wants to do is reveal how God changed his life, but doing so would mean revealing his status as an ex convict. Finally, as she begins to rekindle her faith, past secrets collide, threatening to destroy everything they’ve built. Now, Jay must rely on his faith more than he ever has before. Can they learn to forgive—or is their relationship fractured beyond repair?
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Sara Beth Williams is a wife, mother of two daughters, and temporary caretaker of a lovable old lady pit and a spunky Pomeranian-Shih Tzu mix. She lives in Northern California. When she’s not held hostage by the keyboard, she enjoys music, teaching, reading and spending time with her family. She is all about connecting with readers! Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Bookbub and AllAuthor.
More from Sara Beth
I’d had the beginnings of the story that is When Hearts Collide, in my mind for many years after I graduated high school. There are a number of personal experiences both from high school and after, which have influenced this story. Attending a memorial service for a fellow high school student who died in a car accident heavily influenced the early drafts of my novel; however, over time the accident itself, and the surrounding circumstances morphed into something else entirely.
The more books I read, no matter the genre, the more I am drawn to authentic, broken characters, who long for (and hopefully achieve) a second chance – both in love and in life. This is the essence of When Hearts Collide. Both Lacey and Jay long for a second chance in many aspects of their lives.
One of the key components in my writing and storytelling is creating authentic characters who experience real life challenges while embarking on a journey of faith.
I hope you truly enjoy this story of romance, faith, forgiveness, and second chances.
Mindy Houng’s Q&A with Sara Beth
Which part of the book was the most difficult to write?
My goal as a writer is to craft authentic characters going through realistic difficult experiences. Characters with layers. Difficult backgrounds. Not the cookie cutter characters you used to find in romance novels back in the day. Writing about an ex con was challenging. How gritty do you go for a Christian audience? How does their background affect who they are now? How did serving time affect who they are now? Did I go deep enough? Did I create a believable Christian character? That aspect of the storyline was challenging for me.
What inspired this book?
I’d had the beginnings of the story that is When Hearts Collide, in my mind for many years after I graduated high school. It was partially inspired by a YA book I read in high school that I cannot remember the name of, and it’s almost Romeo & Juliet-esque. (You’ll have to read it to figure out why.) I recall reading a handful of contemporary YA Romeo & Juliet retellings and being inspired by those.
I remember, junior year in high school, sitting in the balcony at a memorial service for a young high school kid who died in a car accident; many of my early drafts began with recreations of that very event. The car accident, the memorial service, how the family reacted, who might have been involved. Even now, in the final draft, you’ll see images and references of the memorial service. Over the years, the car accident itself morphed into something much different.
Which author influenced the you most?
The moment I picked up the first book in the Jewel Series by Hallee Bridgeman, I began to entertain the idea of actually publishing the stories taking up so much space in my head. I felt at the time (2013) that we had a similar writing voice and style. Now the more I’ve written and honed my craft, the more stories I’ve drafted, I think I’ve finally found my own unique style and tone. But all her books have been and continue to be inspirational to me – they seem to act as an unvoiced encouragement to me to keep going.
What are you reading right now?
I’ve just finished up Knox by Susan May Warren and I’m thrilled. I can’t believe it took me this long to get into her books. What a fabulous read. I’m currently reading any CF book with a musician as a main character in preparation for my next two book projects. One which comes out in 2021. Both have musicians as heroes.
If you could have one book or piece of art or music on a deserted island, what would it be and why?
Ok this is going to sound so cliché, but I would love to have a good, solid hardback Bible with me. I’d love to have absolutely no distractions and poor myself into reading the Bible. From every single angle – spiritually and historically, it’s fascinating to study all the stories and verses through the Bible and to see how they all connect in the bigger picture of God’s plan. The Bible is not only a spiritual guide for my life, but a beautiful piece of literature in so many, many ways.
Thank you, Sara Beth, for letting us get to know you better!
Inklings and notions, September 9
Remembrancy, September 10
Simple Harvest Reads, September 11 (Author Interview)
Godly Book Reviews, September 12
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 13
Artistic Nobody, September 14 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Texas Book-aholic, September 15
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 16
A Baker’s Perspective, September 17 (Author Interview)
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 17
For Him and My Family, September 18
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 19
Sara Jane Jacobs, September 20
Blossoms and Blessings, September 21 (Author Interview)
Cultivating Us, September 21
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 22
To celebrate her tour, Sara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the winner’s choice of one of Sara’s books!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.