With love, betrayal and grief disrupting her perfectly peaceful life, will she fight for the happiness she deserves?
After the violent death of her husband, Rebecca Holmes is content leading a quiet life spending time with her sisters and niece. When her younger sister Hannah asks her to plan her wedding, Rebecca discovers her friends and family all think her life is empty. Determined to prove them wrong, Rebecca takes up salsa lessons where she meets the charismatic salsa teacher, Gabriel Rodriguez.
Falling in love is the last thing Rebecca wanted to do, but she is inexplicably drawn to Gabriel. Opening her heart again is terrifying, especially after what happened with her late husband. With the help of the local vicar, Rebecca starts to believe that maybe she deserves a happy ending after all.
Just when she’s decided to give her heart to Gabriel, a betrayal brings back demons from the past. Heartbroken, Rebecca closes herself off again, but when disaster strikes her family, she is forced to confront her past actions. Can there be redemption for her and can she forgive those who betrayed her?
The Calm I Seek is a heartbreaking novel about forgiveness and redemption.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Christina Lourens has always been passionate about writing, but life got in the way of her writing career. She’s never given up and can be found writing in the evenings and on weekends, often accompanied by her pug. When she’s not writing, Christina keeps busy at the day job (until her writing career takes off) or snuggles up on the couch with a book. She loves crocheting, but because of her busy life, crocheting projects tend to take a long time to be finished.
Christina has lived in three countries, but is currently living in the UK with her husband of 20 years, their two children, pug, canary and pheasant.
The Calm I Seek is her first novel.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
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Someone clinked their fork against their wine glass, and it took me a few moments to realize this was done to draw our attention. A short inspection around the table showed us the culprit: Michael. We all groaned. Now was not the time to regale us with speeches.
He stood. “I’m sorry to break into your daydreams, but I wanted to say a few words.”
Hannah smiled as her cheeks reddened. What did she have to blush about?
“As you all know, I dearly love your sister Hannah. We’ve been together for two years now, and we feel as if we’re made for each other.”
What was this? A public declaration of love? I could really do without that after stuffing myself full of turkey.
“Since we’ve been together for that long, we thought we’d make it official this year. If you permit us, that is.” He bowed slightly at Laura, who looked as confused as the rest of us. When he beamed at her, she realized a reply was expected.
“Sure,” she mumbled, although I doubted she knew what she was assenting to.
“Wonderful. Then it’s decided.” Michael now beamed at Hannah. Too much beaming going on for my liking. Hannah stood up as well, and he put his arm around her. “The wedding will probably be over the summer, although we haven’t set a definite date yet.”
“You’re getting married?” Emily hadn’t eaten that much and was clearly more with it than the rest of us.
Michael’s smile faded slightly. “Yes, that’s what I was telling you.”
“Well, congratulations.” She moved around to Hannah and hugged her.
I was still trying to get my turkey-fogged brain to accept the new reality.
“A wedding? Well, that’ll be something to look forward to.” Laura’s smile seemed a bit strained, but that could have been indigestion. She also got up and hugged Hannah.
I got to my feet too, and since Michael was closest to me, I hugged him instead. Robert followed with manly shoulder claps and vigorous handshaking.
What was my inspiration for The Calm I Seek?
I always find this a very hard question, especially since I first started writing The Calm I Seek about four years ago. In the years since I wrote the first draft, a lot of the story changed to become the final novel.
Initially, The Calm I Seek was a love story. I wanted to explore how a woman who had been in an abusive relationship could find love again. Rebecca was the one constant throughout the many different revisions of the novel. I loved her as a character. Her struggle with her faith hit close to home, although fortunately, I haven’t experienced the same struggles as her.
Gabriel didn’t change that much either. I loved the idea of a man who was basically kind and good, but who wasn’t completely honest and open about himself. My writing process is generally based on exploring how people would react to certain situations, rather than finding a ready-made story. It was like that with The Calm I Seek. My notebooks from drafting the novel have a lot of “What if?” questions in them.
The sisters in the story are very loosely based on a combination of some of my own sisters. I have six sisters and the relationship between siblings—especially siblings who are quire different from each other—has always fascinated me and I wanted to explore that more in this novel. Laura, the oldest sister, isn’t particularly likeable, although I do hope she’s relatable.
Characters don’t necessarily have to be heroes or villains. They can just be people. People are flawed. Some more than others. What’s important in fiction is that characters are believable. And that they develop and grow throughout the novel, while staying true to themselves. While writing The Calm I Seek, I always made sure that my characters didn’t act out of character for them. The story largely came about because of my curiosity about how people would react in certain situations.
My inspiration for The Calm I Seek wasn’t one event or a brilliant revelation. The Calm I Seek is the result from an exploration into family relationships. It’s a novel full of sadness, but also hope, with a happy ending.