Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Healing Heart and Author Interview with Melissa Hanson

Cover image
A Healing Heart by Melissa Hanson
On a bitter cold winter night Bailey Walsh’s family was killed in a traffic accident. Two years later as she lives with her aunt and uncle in Southern California, Bailey is still plagued by the nightmares of that terrible night. Everywhere around her are reminders of what she lost. Even her aunt, in a cruel twist of fate, is not just her mom’s sister, but her identical twin.
Babysitting Riley, a spunky two-year old, is a sweet distraction and one constant light in her life. One day as she takes Riley to the park she meets Collin McKenna, a senior at her high school and her life is changed forever as he helps her find herself and realize her life is worth living.
As the romance between them grows her broken heart begins to heal. However, still nagging in the back of her conscious is the fear that her new found happiness could come crashing down and she could lose everything she loves, yet again.
Outside forces begin to tear them apart and Bailey must learn to trust in herself and realize that she is worthy of happiness. That sometimes love and healing comes in unexpected forms.
About Melissa:
Melissa A. Hanson lives in Southern California, with her husband and two sons. She attended Cal Poly Pomona and obtained her Bachelor of Architecture degree while working and starting her family. Aside from working as a professional architect, she is a scrapbooker and avid reader. “A Healing Heart” is her first completed novel.
Our Interview:

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
A Healing Heart, is a story about first love, life’s unexpected tragedies, and the miracles that make it possible to move forward. Geared for teens it will also appeal to twenty-something women.
Bailey Walsh is a junior in high school, living with her aunt and uncle after a terrible traffic accident two years earlier killed her entire family. Nightmares and constant reminders of what she lost plague her. Her one sweet distraction is babysitting Riley, a spunky two-year old. 
One day as she takes Riley to the park she meets Collin McKenna, a senior at her high school and her life is changed forever.
When outside forces begin to tear them apart Bailey must learn to trust in herself and realize that she is worthy of happiness.
--How did you get the idea for the story?
Brainstorming ideas for my book I tossed the question out to one of my babysitters, asking her what I should write about.  She offhandedly said “Why don’t you write a story about Cole (my youngest) and all his babysitters.”  And while the story is indeed a work of fiction, that one statement gave me a direction to move forward.  
I also used my hometown as inspiration for the city of "Riverview", and a few little quirks that little Riley have are based on my youngest son and some of the things he did with his babysitters.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
I’d like to have dinner with Mia, she’s a minor character but one of Bailey’s best friends.  She’s always supporting, fun to be around, and not afraid to tell it like it is.

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
I like a wide variety of books my favorite authors being Mary Higgins Clark, Sidney Sheldon, Kay Hooper, and Catherine Anderson.  I was persuaded to read the Twilight books after almost every single one of my babysitters read them, and most recently my oldest son encouraged me to read the Hunger Games set. 
I read when I can, I have a kindle and the kindle application on my iPhone and that makes it easier to read on the go.
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
I have some preliminary ideas for a new book, but nothing solid right now.  

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
My favorite books are often filled with tragedy and obstacles. Where the main character either endured in the past or endures in the book and they have to fight their way through.  While I enjoy reading the stories and trying to figure out the ending or cheering on the character I’m not sure I’d like to live the story. 

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
Drinks; usually diet chocolate coke, yes I know it’s weird but one of my favorites!  Music is a must!  When writing I realized I can’t have words playing in the background it was too distracting and sometimes I found myself typing the words of the songs instead of the words in my head.  I actually downloaded the musical scores to the Twilight movies and those were great to write to.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
The ability to see into the future.

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Scrapbooking and reading

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
In High School I was headed in a creative writing/journalism direction.  I always wanted to write books and did finish a short novel, handwritten in notebooks during high school and then spent hours typing it on a computer.  But there it sat, and I never did anything with it. 
At the end of my junior year I decided to go into architecture and become an architect. My writing went by the wayside.  One day late in 2010 I just had this inspiration hit me to start writing again and slowly late at night and on the weekends “A Healing Heart” took form.  It’s never too late to fulfill a goal!
Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate? - Chocolate
Edward or Jacob? - Edward
Hockey or soccer? - Soccer
Ebook or paper? – E-book
Salty or sweet? - Sweet
Beach or mountains? - Beach
Phone call or email? - email
Early bird or night owl? – night owl
Dog or cat? - Dog
Messy or neat? - Neat
Ninjas or pirates? - Pirates

1 copy ebook giveaway; for either kindle or nook, open internationally and 1 copy paperback open only to US contiguous 48 states.
Ends 7/2
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  2. Poor Bailey, this is a good book. I liked the interview but unlike the author I'd actually like to go through some of the obstacles my fave characters face in books because I've seen them become better for it. Just my opinion.

  3. this looks like a really emotional read I am definitely putting it on my TBR list

  4. What a sad start to the story. I sounds like it would be an emotional roller coaster to read,


  5. I am an Indie Junkie and always enjoy finding new authors so I was excited to find what sounds like a good story with real characters. I enjoyed the either or Questions as an interesting part of the interview no one ever asked those and I thought is was cute! iteachfl@aol.com


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