When I’m not reading parenting books or researching cast-iron cookware, I’m usually reading faith-centered books or action-packed thrillers. My friend, Kristen Hogrefe Parnell, has released her first romantic suspense book, Take My Hand, and I just have to share it here with you.
Here’s the hook from the back cover:
Don’t find us. We’ll find you.
Trauma therapist Kaley Colbert needs a vacation from her job, and a ski trip with her church singles’ group seems like the perfect way to unplug. But while in the mountains, she learns that her last client was murdered hours after their meeting, and she wonders if the notes she’s receiving from a possible stalker hold a more sinister warning.
On the trip, ex-boyfriend and entrepreneur Reef Mitchell wants to give their relationship another chance, but Kaley questions if his past and priorities could ever mesh with her life. When her client’s underworld connections catch up with her, she has no choice but trust Reef to help her stay alive, solve her client’s mystery, and bring the killers to justice.
As you can tell, Take My Hand has plenty of action and lots of heart. In celebration of this book’s recent release, Kristen agreed to answer a few questions.
1 – Who was your favorite character to write in Take My Hand and why?
It might sound a little cliché, but I loved writing my heroine. One reason is that I was able to use my personal experience of learning to ski and write that painful learning curve into her story. When you transplant a Florida girl into a snowy mountain setting, it’s going to be awkward. For Kaley’s story, I added the romantic tension of her ex-boyfriend teaching her to ski, which made for scenes that were delightful to write.
2 – Take My Hand is your first romantic suspense novel, but you’ve also written young adult fiction. What led you to write in this genre?
“Life happening” led me to write romantic suspense. While I still enjoy writing young adult fiction, I also felt a tug to write for women as I navigated my dating years, then marriage, and now family life.
3 – You have an adorable little boy now! How do you balance writing and new motherhood?
I do and I don’t. For the release of Take My Hand, I spent many of my baby boy’s naps writing blog posts or guest interviews. In the evening when my husband was home, I managed to record some podcast episodes. I am so thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had to share.
As far as new writing, I haven’t found the time yet. My little guy still struggles with consistent naps, and I also teach online, but I’m trusting that once we settle into more of a routine, I’ll find some spare moments to start writing again. I remind myself that this season is temporary, and I want to enjoy the newborn days, because they will soon be gone.
4 – What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
My character Kaley learns that although she can’t control what happens to her, she does get to choose her response. I hope that message encourages readers in whatever circumstances they find themselves.
5 – Can you share what’s next for the Crossroads Suspense series?
Yes! Book two in the Crossroads Suspense series is scheduled to release this November. I’m so thankful I was able to finish writing it before our baby boy arrived. It will follow the same church group of single adults but focus on a different couple. Book two will follow Liam Bracken, the undercover narcotics cop readers met in Take My Hand, and a new unlikely heroine named Jayna Scott, a travel blogger who finds herself at the epicenter of more danger than she could ever have imagined. If you love Kaley and Reef from Take My Hand, you’ll be glad to see them as secondary characters in book two as well.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Take My Hand and look forward to the second book in the series. (I’ve even had the pleasure of reading a few pages through our critique group, so I know it’s going to be good!) Take my word for it, you’re going to enjoy Take My Hand!
(Book links are to Bookshop.org. As an affiliate, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase—so thank you!)
Kristen Hogrefe Parnell writes suspenseful fiction from a faith perspective for women and young adults. Her own suspense story involved waiting on God into her thirties to meet her husband, and she desires to keep embracing God’s plan for her life when it’s not what she expects. Kristen’s books have won the Selah Award and the Grace Award, among others. An educator at heart, she also teaches English online and enjoys being a podcast guest. Kristen lives in Florida with her husband and baby boy. Visit her online at KristenHogrefeParnell.com.