I recently finished reading a fun contemporary romance by Charissa Stastny called Between Hope & the Highway.
Sometimes things get so messed up you have to pick up and get the heck out of Dodge. That’s what Liz Ruthersford does. Memories can be weapons, and hers have become incoming missiles. Fleeing home and her parents’ pity, she seeks refuge on a remote ranch in Montana where no one knows her tragic past. When she meets Bentley and Rawson Law, brothers with wounds of their own, life veers off course. Embers of hope flicker to life, but will bias, bitterness, and misunderstanding smother them before they burn bright enough to warm her heart? Or will she hit the highway and run once again? For readers who crave a clean, yet heart-pounding romance and redemption story, this one’s for you.
This page-turner by Charissa is filled with emotion. I loved the characters and the growth that all of them experienced. The love story was sweet and complicated, like all good love stories are, and having a younger brother (Bentley was my favorite) rooting for them, just made it all the sweeter. The characters are flawed and real, making this a compelling story. This one kept me up late reading.
A great read!
Charissa is a talented author and all-around kind, sweet person. You should follow her (see links below) because she’s great. If you follow my March Book Madness posts, she’s offered her great insights on writing here on the blog in the past. You can check those out here.
Today, she has kindly answered a few questions about writing and this newest book.
How did you get started as an author?
Charissa: I’d always wanted to write a book, but never seemed to have time between being a mother, a caregiver, and then a preschool and art teacher. As my children matured, I suddenly found myself spending lots of time waiting for them at sports practices. That’s when I started bringing notebooks and hashing out a story (which ended up being my Bending Willow Trilogy). That hooked me on the writing process…and now I don’t want to stop.
If you could have lunch with any character from a book (other than your own), who would it be, where would you eat, and what would you discuss?
Charissa: I would dine with Dumbledore from Harry Potter. We’d eat sushi at Sakana’s (my favorite eating joint) and talk about anything he liked. Seriously, I can’t even think of a good enough question to ask the most powerful wizard ever. If he wanted to discuss Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans…then so be it.
Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
Charissa: After my husband read my first book, he commented, “It would have been better with a zombie in it.” Since then, the Search and Find feature on Word has become my best friend. I always use it before I send out drafts to readers, because unfortunately, my husband is skilled at sneaking zombies into files. There is nothing worse than when the masculine hunk in my story tells the girl of his dreams that ‘he wants to eat her brains.’ Ugh!
What kind of trials do your main characters in your newest book have to endure?
Charissa: Liz has been brought up by a hen-pecking mother who has always belittled her because her dreams didn’t align with hers. This has caused internal strife with regards to her self-esteem that she has to overcome (once she realizes it’s there). Liz has also just lost her fiancé in a terrible automobile accident. That’s why she leaves home to escape painful memories. Rawson and Bentley Law are dealing with survivor’s guilt from an accident they were involved in five years ago as well. They each have secrets that have the power to destroy their present happiness.
Rebecca: If you love sweet cowboy romances with characters who have to struggle to figure out this thing we call life, check out her newest book, Between Hope & the Highway.
Thanks for sharing with us, Char!
Charissa Stastny is married to her high school sweetheart and has four children who are the light of her life. She’s an avid reader, happy writer, BYU graduate, and lover of irises, clouds, chocolate, sushi, and nature. Though born and raised in Las Vegas, she has never pulled a handle of a slot machine and can’t shuffle cards to save her life. She shuffles kids, laundry, and church responsibilities rather well though. She currently lives in Utah with her family, where shuffling cards isn’t required.