Reader friends, this post is jammed packed with info for you. Below you will find a short interview with Author Elizabeth Maddrey, the cover reveal of her new book (which is adorable), a snipped and a giveaway! So, sit back with your favorite beverage and prepare to spend some time with me for a bit.
She renovates old houses. Can he restore her heart? Deidre McIntyre didn’t exactly purchase the gorgeous old home in the Shenandoah Mountains on a whim. The building had seen better days, but she had the skills—and the time—to fix it up. And maybe it would provide the fresh start she was looking for. Local handyman Jeremiah Crawford has a soft spot for Peacock Hill. When someone from out of town purchases it, he swings by to offer to help fix it up…and investigate the new owner’s plans for the property. The pixie-like Deidre isn’t at all what he expects, but he’s happy to hang around and enjoy the view. When Deidre’s ex-boyfriend, a popular TV house flipper, shows up demanding a piece of the action, Jeremiah must decide if Deidre—and Peacock Hill—are worth fighting for. Falling in love wasn’t on the blueprints, but it might just be worth the change in plans.
Elizabeth Maddrey is a semi-reformed computer geek and homeschooling mother of two who lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace on their way to their own romantic happily ever after.
What or whom inspired you to become an author?
It’s probably a combination of loving to read (I’ve been a voracious reader my entire life) and having an active imagination. When you throw those two things together, you end up sort of inevitably (I think) writing down stories of your own.
Who are some of your favorite authors? Do these authors inspire your own writing?
I have so many favorites it’s hard to narrow it down. I’ll stick with Christian authors this go-round and …it’s still hard. Um. Stephen Lawhead is a huge favorite. Chuck Black is another. More recent favorites include Valerie Comer and Heather Gray. And I’ll stop there or we’ll be here all day.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Did becoming an author ever cross your mind?
When I started seriously thinking about a future career (vs. the younger President/Princess/Pediatrician/Astronaut phase), I wanted to teach programming at the college level. And I did that for many years. I would say, yes, being an author crossed my mind, but I didn’t really take publication seriously until I was a stay-at-home mom.
What does your writing process look like?
I’m not a plotter – so the process is kind of “sit down and write.” Then, when it’s finished, I do several read throughs before it goes to my beta readers and then editors.
What inspired the idea for A Heart Restored?
My sister and I took a road trip with my boys on a sunny summer afternoon and ended up touring Swannanoa Palace in the south western part of Virginia. It’s so pretty—and yet also in need of some TLC. So while I was imagining what I’d do if it was mine, Deidre started to take shape as well.
What do you want readers to take away from reading A Heart Restored?
Ultimately, in addition to having spent some enjoyable time relaxing, I guess it would be that second chances and grace are a good thing to have in our lives.
And now, the cover followed by a sneak peak just for you (insert drum roll here)….
Deidre slipped her phone into the pocket of her jeans before backing up to view the front of her new…well, it wasn’t a home yet. The house sat on fifty acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Mountains rose in the distance to the west. Though she couldn’t see it, the tiny town of Butler’s End sat at the bottom of the hill the house perched on, and civilization wasn’t too much farther down the road in either direction. But from here, she could’ve been in the middle of nowhere. This place was going to be something amazing. It had been, once, and it could be again, with a little bit of love and a whole lot of know-how. She happened to have both.
The front of the house needed to be cleaned. And several sections of the stone blocks that made up the facade repaired or replaced. She might have to hire that out. She dug out her phone and opened her note-taking app. She circled the house, tapping away as she saw things that needed attention. The landscaping, such as it was, would have to wait. The house was her first priority.
She rounded the corner, returning to the front of the house, and scowled at the dinged red pickup parked in the circular drive. She snapped a photo of the sign on the truck’s door that featured an enormous cartoon frog wearing a straw hat and chewing on a piece of grass. There had to be someone who belonged to that heap.
“Aha.” A man in jeans and a cream Henley that stretched over broad shoulders and well-defined arms jogged down her front steps and avoided the missing tread with ease that spoke of practice. “I heard someone bought the old girl. That you?”
Deidre kept her phone in her left hand, her finger hovering over the emergency number speed dial, and nodded.
“Pleasure to meet you, ma’am. I’m Jeremiah Crawford.” He gestured to the truck and extended his hand. “I own Bullfrog Home Services.”
Deidre took his hand, remembering her father’s advice to have a firm grip and make eye contact. “Deidre McIntyre.”
“Ms. McIntyre, I was just wondering what you planned to do with the place. She’s been a fixture ‘round here. A lot of the locals would be torn up if she got knocked down and turned into condos or something.” He flashed a bright, toothy smile.
If the locals loved the place so much, why hadn’t anyone taken better care of it? Sure, the previous owner was old and in a nursing facility now, but she had family. Family who’d seemed well pleased to be rid of the thing. “I have no plans to tear it down.”
He cocked his head to the side. “Then what will you do?”
She crossed her arms. “I’m sorry, why do you care?”
“Well now, ma’am. If you plan to fix her up, I thought I’d offer my services.” He dug in his pocket and produced a business card.
Deidre took the card and offered a tight smile. “I think I’ll be fine. But thanks.”
He nodded. “All right then. I’ll leave you with that, in case you change your mind.”
Deidre tucked the card into her pocket. She wasn’t going to be able to do everything herself, but she’d planned to bring down some of her contractors from D.C. “I don’t suppose you do stone work, Mr. Crawford?”
“Jeremiah. And, as it happens, I do.”
“Have any references?”
“In the truck. Hang on a second.” He crossed quickly to the vehicle and pulled open the door. Deidre caught a glimpse of a passenger foot-well littered with food wrappers. He took a binder off the seat and brought it back. “Here you go.”
Lips pursed, she flipped through the pages. The photos were good. But you could edit images. “Any way I could visit some of these sites? Check them out?”
“Course. Why don’t you give me a call in the morning and I can take you around?”
She opened her mouth to protest then shrugged. She’d find them faster if she was with him. And even if he was there glad-handing the client, she could see the work. It would speak for itself. “I’ll do that.”