Please welcome Lucie Ulrich to my slice of the webisphere today. She’s here to tell us about her favorite books as well as her own new release, Finding Hope.
Lucie Ulrich is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction. Her books are filled with stories of faith, family and forgiveness. She was honored to receive a RONE Award for her second novel, “The Rose Ring.”
A former performing arts director, Lucie now enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She continues to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.
Here’s what Lucie has to say about her favorite books:
I don’t read nearly as much as I used to, and I’m not one to keep books forever. I realize that may be a sin to many of you, but if I know I won’t read a book again, I prefer to pass it on to somebody else to enjoy. That said, there are some books that I will never get rid of.
One such book is, Divided Loyalties by L.K. Malone. It came out in 2001, but I picked it up several years later. It’s full of intrigue and so well-written that I couldn’t put it down. I loved it so much, I sent a message to the author—something I had never considered doing before. Through the course of a few emails, I sort of invited myself into her small online critique group. I had no clue what it took to write a novel at the time. Long story short, we became friends and critiqued of lot of each other’s work for many years. Sadly, L.K. hasn’t written anything in a while, but I keep hoping she’ll get back to it soon.
At one time, I was a huge Ted Dekker fan. He hooked me with his book Three—a psychological thriller—then sucked me in with The Circle Trilogy (Black, Red, White). It’s a fascinating retelling of the Bible, leading to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. I’m not much of a fantasy reader, but these books were amazing, taking the reader into parallel universes. It did take me a little while to get into the first book, but once the story got going, it never stopped. Dekker added the book, Green, ten years later. I hated it! Sadly, this was when my love for Ted’s books started to fade.
I read mostly Christian fiction, but for years I read every book I could by Dick Francis. Mr. Francis was a British novelist who wrote suspense stories that revolved around horse racing—primarily steeplechase. The mysteries were never gory, and the bit of romance is just the right amount that it never overshadows the basic plot.
There was something special about his British voice, interesting characters, and the world of horses and racing. I’m not a horse person, though I find them to be beautiful creatures. I sometimes wonder if all those horse stories is why I’ve incorporated horses into several of my own books.
Dick Francis died in 2010 at the age of 89. In his later years, he co-wrote several books with his son, Felix, who has since continued in his father’s footsteps. I haven’t read any of Felix’s books. Perhaps one day, but for now, I prefer to cherish the memory and stories of the master.
Since I read mostly on my Kindle these days (long-gone are my hardback book days), I’m more willing to give new authors a try. It’s an inexpensive way to look for the next Francine Rivers or Ted Dekker (the old Ted).
Book: Finding Hope – Though a standalone, this book is a companion or follow-up to The Rose Ring.
Genres: Inspirational, Romance, Family Drama
Blurb: Nearly sixteen years after relinquishing the rights to his unborn child, Noah Cooper is stunned to discover his daughter, Hope, wants to meet him. With the love and support of his family, Noah sets off from Elk Flats, Montana to Albany, New York, having no idea what changes are in store for him.
Cancer survivor and widow, Beth Peterson, is more than a little nervous to meet her daughter’s birth father. Their initial meeting goes well, but things decline in a hurry when Noah invites Hope to spend time at the ranch without speaking to Beth about it first.
Determined to meet her new family, a battle of wills ensues between Hope and her mother. While Hope longs for a connection, Beth fears losing her daughter to virtual strangers—strangers who live two thousand miles away.
Struggles and misunderstandings abound between Noah and Beth, despite their growing attraction for one another. Noah is ready to commit, while Beth can’t let go of the memory of her husband and the imperfections cancer has forced to live with.
Will hope, patience, and prayer be enough to pull this family together?
Short Excerpt: Noah Cooper brushed down his horse and left him in the corral. He strode across the expanse of property and entered the house through the mudroom. Removing his hat, he scrubbed a hand through his sandy-blond hair. It was time for a haircut. The aroma of beef stew wafted from the kitchen. “You in there, Annie?”
“I am, and I washed the floors this morning, so take your boots off.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Chuckling, Noah sat on a bench to do as ordered. In the five months since he’d discovered the woman he believed to be his aunt was actually his mother, Noah had experienced a new kind of love. They were still working out the kinks, but life was good. Noah stepped into the kitchen, kissed Annie on the cheek, and sat at the oak table that was older than he was. “I picked up the mail. Nothing but bills and junk.” He held up a square envelope. “Except for this.” Annie reached for it, but Noah pulled it back with a smile. “Sorry, it’s addressed to me.”
Annie wiped her hands on a dishtowel, her inquisitive gray eyes staring down at him. “Who’s it from?”
“I don’t know. There’s no return address.” He tore open the flap and pulled out a floral note card. A small photograph of a young girl, maybe thirteen or fourteen, spilled out. She had golden-brown hair that fell past her shoulders, large green eyes, and a slightly crooked smile that mimicked his own. He turned the photo over to find the name Hope and age fourteen written on the back.
“Who’s this?” Annie took the photo from him and studied it.
Tingles ran up Noah’s spine. “I’m not sure.” Could it possibly be? Before reading the note, he zeroed in on the signature at the bottom. The breath escaped his lungs in a whoosh.
“You okay?” Annie sat next to him and put a hand on his arm.
It took a moment before he could answer. He hadn’t heard from his first love in nearly sixteen years. Not since the day he’d signed the adoption papers relinquishing any rights to his unborn child. “It’s from Amanda.”
Annie let out a long, slow whistle while holding up the picture. “So this is…”
Noah took the picture from her. “My daughter.”
If you’d like to stay in touch with Lucie:
Follow me on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lucie-Ulrich/e/B00K6NC2H0/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1491669701&sr=8-2-ent
Finding Hope is available wherever ebooks are sold, including Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ptnC4H
and Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-hope-lucie-ulrich/1126230185?ean=2940157307264