Today, I am pleased to welcome Sara Beth Williams to I & R. Sara Beth is a wife, mother of two daughters, and temporary caretaker of a lovable old lady pit, and a spunky Pomeranian-Shih Tzu mix. She lives in Northern California. When she's not held hostage by the keyboard, she enjoys music, teaching, reading and spending time with her family. She is all about connecting with readers! You can find her on Twitter and through her website.
Today, Sara Beth is going to talk to us about her latest Contemporary Romance, Anchor My Heart. Welcome Sara Beth!
How many books have you written?
Anchor My Heart will be my third published novel in my contemporary Christian romance series. The first two are When Hearts Collide and A Worthy Heart. Both are free on Kindle Unlimited!
Do you travel to the places you write about?
I sincerely wish I could take writing research trips! But sadly, I haven’t yet been able to. Anchor My Heart takes place where I live – easy enough. So I blended elements of the different colleges I have attended and the different types of churches I have attended over the years.
Tell us about Anchor My Heart.
Anchor My Heart tells the story of Matt Lawson and Tara Pierce. Matt has lost everything. In the wake of a life-altering tragedy, anxiety from his childhood rears its ugly head, making it difficult to cope with reality. Tara has walked this road before and refuses to let Matt walk alone. Unexpected attraction flares, but Tara senses Matt’s not ready to give himself away again. Can she risk her heart and their friendship and let God step in to heal where she can’t?
Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
The message of this story is that God is our Anchor. And especially in this age filled with so much uncertainty, we must always refocus our minds to remember that God is our Anchor. I chose Anchor instead of Rock because an anchor keeps a ship in place even through the storms. We often use other people or things in our lives as anchors for our souls, but God is the only One who outlasts the world around us.
Amen to that! Which character do you like the most?
I fell in love with Matt in When Hearts Collide. I fleshed out his back story later on after finishing book one and had to go back and add some elements for consistency’s sake while I worked on books 2 and 3 simultaneously. He’s the strong, silent type and has a soul-deep love of music. I absolutely love that about him. Music touches me deeply. Though I don’t play professionally or even past the intermediate stage, Christian music, and Christian worship music is how I stay connected to God and has the power to greatly encourage me when I’m going through rough times.
Do you have any other books in the works?
I am currently working on a handful of other projects. The one I am pitching to agents is about a pop star who has one summer to pull himself back together or risk ruining his lucrative career—and he’s not about to let his sister’s roommate derail his last chance.
What authors have inspired you?
I’ve been blessed to interact with a lot of wonderful authors in the last several years. Hallee Bridgeman’s contemporary and romantic suspense books, and she as a person, have inspired me to continue to pursue this sometimes stressful ambition of writing professionally. Becky Wade has been so friendly and is such a fabulous author. She’s one of those authors who will reply to your email the same day or the next day, and she’s so easy to talk to. It blows me away. Janine Rosche is a dear and fabulous new author who is friendly and fun, and full of innovative ideas in writing and marketing.
Which do you enjoy more – reading or writing?
That’s really a trick question. Reading inspires me to write more things. Writing inspires me to read all the things!
What is your favorite Scripture verse, and why?
My favorite verse ties into Anchor My Heart and is Hebrews 6:19
In March of 2020, I was reading through my mom’s old journal, which has a nautical theme, and one of the verses highlighted at the bottom of a page was Hebrews 6:9. I hid that in my heart, and the more I dwelled on it, the more I began to realize how perfectly and beautifully this book and this verse go together. I actually didn’t come up with a title until I found this verse. Hebrews 6:19 gave me strength and peace throughout the unfolding of the pandemic. It has helped me re-anchor my thoughts (pun intended).
Thank you for sharing with us today, Sara Beth!
In the aftermath of tragic loss, worship leader Matt Lawson is grappling debilitating anxiety. The blessings he’d taken for granted—a dream job, a woman he couldn’t wait to spend the rest of his life with, and his God-given musical talent—have crumbled at his feet, leaving him reeling in despair, unable to face the wreckage of the life he’d envisioned for himself.
Tara Pierce is ready to put past hurts behind her as she prepares to graduate college and take a leap of faith in her career. When Matt’s grief causes him to isolate himself from everyone he knows, she refuses to stand idly by and do nothing. She has traversed similar terrain before. No one deserves to travel that road alone.
Unexpected attraction flares as Tara reaches into the sea of Matt’s grief and helps ground him in reality. But Matt’s not ready to give himself away again. Can Tara risk her heart and their friendship and let God step in to heal where she can’t?