Hi Friends, today I’m delighted to highlight Terri Gillespie and her new contemporary novel, Sweet Rivalry. I had the privilege of reading an early copy, and I loved this story! Here’s my endorsement:
“With a well woven plot and wonderfully unique characters, Sweet Rivalry grabbed my heart from the first page! Terri Gillespie skillfully combines, realistic faith elements, with challenging family dynamics, romance, and a touch of mystery in this moving story about twin sisters who were separated when they were young and reunited in their twenties. Those who enjoy meaningful contemporary stories with heartfelt family themes will love this novel. Well written and highly recommended.”
I invited Terri to answer a few questions about herself and the story. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her and discovering more about Sweet Rivalry!
- What inspired you to write Sweet Rivalry? How did you come up with the idea?
I’m always fascinated and inspired by stories of redemption and reconciliation—our relationships with God and each other—which build unity and community around us.
The “What If” for Sweet Rivalry? What if twins were raised separately—one has a loving environment, the other a horrible one. Who has the most to overcome? Can they truly become a family after being apart for so long? Is redemption and meaningful reconciliation possible with such different life experiences?
- Which character do you identify with the most?
Raven. I understand coming from brokenness and having a certain amount of success, but never quite feeling I deserve to fit in. That somehow, I was too broken to belong.
- How does this book compare to your previous novels? Will this launch a series?
LOL! Don’t tempt me, Carrie. I finally finished the Hair Mavens trilogy in the Spring.
Sweet Rivalry was intended as a standalone. However, when I love characters, it’s difficult to say, “Good-bye.” I left a few loose ends in Sweet Rivalry, so it’s possible to build on those.
The readers would be the ones to convince me to write a sequel or series. Or perhaps a couple short stories would be enough.
The trilogy and Sweet Rivalry do have similarities. Each story centers around an ensemble cast of characters. I can’t imagine only being in the point-of-view of one or two characters. Not sure what that means.
- What are you working on next?
Ahh. Recent peer-pressure has me sticking a pinkie into the cozy mystery genre. The working title is: The Casserole Ladies. You know those ladies that materialize at your doorstep with a 14” x 8” glass pan of some homey, fattening dish?
Not sure how to make it a mystery, except . . . well, you’ll have to stay tuned.
- How does your faith inspire your writing, and what is one lesson you’ve learned while working on this book?
My relationship with my Heavenly Father is foundational to my writing. Understanding that I wouldn’t have that relationship with Him without His Son’s sacrifice is both humbling and compelling.
The lesson I continually relearn is that I’ll never earn the Father’s love—I’ve had it since before creation.
As a people-pleaser, I keep thinking I must prove my love to Him, so He’ll love me better. Really, it’s all about relationship. Relationship means we work at remaining in gratitude and to keep trying to live a Biblical life.
You know, as parents, our love—hopefully—is unconditional for our children. Still, don’t we melt into a puddle anytime our child does something nice just because they love us?
- What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t force creativity. But do force yourself to sit your behind in the chair and write.
- How can readers stay in touch with you to learn about your upcoming books?
The best way is my newsletter. I love to pamper my subscribers with giveaways, recipes, award-winning author interviews, and inspirational devotions. Plus, updates on my upcoming books.
Right now, new subscribers get two free gifts—a sneak peek into my latest release, Sweet Rivalry, and a surprise gift a few days later. Here’s the link for your readers: https://prodigious-writer-65.ck.page/5b1d484ce0
Then there’s a wide choice of social media:
BookBub Profile: https://bit.ly/3DHVfCx
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Terri-Gillespie/e/B002BMCBL6
Terri Gillespie is a wife, mother, grandmother, and award-winning author and speaker. Her books include: Making Eye Contact with God—A Women’s Devotional; The Hair Mavens Trilogy: She Does Good Hair, (Book 1), winner of the 2013 LYRA AWARD for Best Women’s Fiction; CUT IT OUT! (Book 2); Really Bad Hair Day (Book 3); Sweet Rivalry winner of 2019 Phoenix Rattler Contemporary Fiction. Terri lives with her hubby outside Atlanta.
Until Next Time ~ Happy Reading,