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Occasionally a new book by a new-to-me author catches my eye even before it releases. Lindsay Harrel’s new novel, The Heart Between Us, has done just that. I am intrigued by the story and the opportunity it offers to “travel” around the world. If you’re ready for spring break and a vacation (especially if one doesn’t seem to be coming in reality!), you’ll have to check this one out! Before we meet Lindsay, let’s take a quick peek at the story.
Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide and living with her parents in her small Minnesota hometown, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.
When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.
As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.
Welcome, Lindsay! We’d love to get to know you a bit. Let’s start with five fast favorites. What is your:
Favorite color? Hot pink
Favorite season? Fall
Favorite movie? Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version with Colin Firth)
Favorite ice cream flavor? If I’m at ColdStone, cake batter with Oreos and gummy bears (weird, I know!). If not, cookies and cream.
Favorite vacation destination? Hawaii
Tell us about The Heart Between Us. Do you have a favorite character from this story? Why is this character your favorite?
When I originally brainstormed this story, it was going to be solely about Megan, the character who receives a heart transplant and decides to fulfill her donor’s bucket list. Her twin sister Crystal was going to be in the story, but as more of an antagonist. However, when I told my agent about my story concept, she challenged me to write Crystal’s story as well. I think it surprised me how much I ended up connecting with Crystal—how much of myself I put into her. Her fears about becoming a mother. Her drive to achieve and tendency to define herself by those achievements. The way growing up with a sick family member affected her (my mom had cancer for many of my younger and teenage years). So I’d say Crystal is a favorite, if only because so much of my own experience and heart are part of her—and also because I didn’t see her coming.
What a great addition to the story! Why did you choose this particular setting, and have you been there?
This book is actually set around the world, which I think is what made it so fun to write (and hopefully, to read!). I have been to England, Ireland, Scotland, and Paris—but the other locations had to be researched.
I do think that will be fun to read! If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you most like to go?
Most of the places in The Heart Between Us are locales I’d love to visit, but my husband and I really want to go to Italy—specifically Rome, Venice, and Florence.
That would be cool. Authors are busy people. How do you juggle all of the demands on your time, so that you can maintain your sanity?
I depend heavily on family to help watch my kids (a baby and a toddler!) during the day when I’m on deadline. Crockpot meals are a lifesaver in the evenings when I’m zapped of energy. Also, I try to stay organized and use my kids’ naptime as prime working time. Finally, my house does not get cleaned very much. I mean, it’s not a pigsty, but it’s certainly not uber clean. For example, four baskets of laundry have been sitting in my living room unfolded for probably a week right now. I hate it, but something has to give!
At least it’s clean, right?! Can you give any hints about what you’re working on now?
I just submitted my next book, which will release in February 2019, to my editor. It’s a standalone about a broken woman who journeys from America to Cornwall, England—the setting of her favorite author’s novels—to find the courage to write her own story.
Oh, that sounds intriguing, too! Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, Lindsay!
Your turn! If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you most like to visit?
More about Lindsay:
Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years, and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time.
You can connect with Lindsay online:
The Heart Between Us Giveaway:
Lindsay has generously offered to give away a paperback copy of The Heart Between Us. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.