So we are just a few hours from the release of book 16, “A Father’s Heart” and I am excited, but also nervous. This book takes the family in a little bit of a different direction and it’s something I have been wanting to do with for a while. All of the issues they have all faced have been incredibly trying and it has taken a lot out of each of them. There comes a time when the stress and constant worry gets to be too much and something has to give.
I ended book 15 with a turning point for the family. The accident involving Bill and Josie was, in a way, the result of the built up guilt that plagued Jack and as a result, hurt Tommy and Julie. The aftermath of this tragedy spurs changes in the family that need to happen. Things reach a boiling point, and this time, the evil isn’t coming from the outside.
The issues that must be faced come from within.
The benefit of writing a series that has gone on this long is that we have been able to watch this family grow. We know who they are deep down and we know what makes them hurt. We also know the truth behind the walls they put up. We know their vulnerabilities, their fears and their insecurities.
We know that Jack feels a sense of fear that he isn’t truly a member of Tommy and Julie’s family. It isn’t anything based in any truth, but it’s a nagging issue Jack has always suppressed. Certain things have happened in the last book that will push Jack and Tommy and Julie to the breaking point and it isn’t a foregone conclusion that they will be able to get past it.
We also know that Julie will need her family; now more than ever. The rift between Tommy and Jack has hurt Julie in a way she didn’t see coming. She is a strong woman, but everyone has their limit. What she has been through in the past few books would challenge anyone’s sanity, and with this latest crisis and her brothers not supporting her the way she needs, her world begins to fall apart.
We see Stephanie dealing with a personal crisis that stems from her own medical issues as well as the devastating news about her Uncle. That, mixed with her husbands issues have caused a lot of her old insecurities to resurface. There is a lot more to the story that will come to light in book 16 and it is more than Stephanie could have ever imagined.
Mike and Jade are at the highest point of their romance. They are heading down the aisle after so many setbacks and it’s a time for love and hope. They are incredibly connected and excited about the journey they are taking and the impending arrival of their twins. Their story takes center stage in this book and what happens to Jade comes out of left field. Mike finds himself dealing with an enemy unlike any he has faced before.
Brittany is the wild card. She has been through more than any other character in the series and there is a large part of Brittany that I have always glossed over. It has been a point of pride and admiration to others how Brittany has made such a success out of her life after such a horrific assault. That is true, but there is a lot to Brittany that she has never dealt with. The time has come for her to figure out what happened to Barbara, and if there is a way to somehow merge her past with her present. That is a story I have been waiting to tell and it will soon begin to unfold.
There is also Evan and Elizabeth and their impending arrival. Book 16 pushes them to the forefront and they are thrust back into the center of the story. We are revisited by Jason and Amber as Evan and Liz will need their family.
The story is evolving and growing and I’m more excited than ever to show it to all of you. Please enjoy “A Father’s Heart” and know that you all have my deep appreciation for your support!