Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Author spotlight + GIVEAWAY - Rachel Hauck


"Everything is . . . story."
 
These words on Rachel Hauck's website reflect her imagination and creativity when it comes to storytelling, and you'll also see her passion for the Lord that shines through her writing. I am thrilled to welcome Rachel to The Power of Words this week and hope you will enjoy getting to know a little about the talented lady behind her writing.
 
Rachel is graciously sharing a copy of her newest release, Princess Ever After, with one of you. I thought Rachel did a great job at blending a highly entertaining story with an important spiritual message that everyone needs to hear. (See my review of Princess Ever After here). Entry details are at the end of the interview.
 
Now sit back and visit with Rachel . . .


Q:  First, tell us a little about yourself and how you got started writing, Rachel. Do you write full time?
 
Sure thing… I started writing fulltime in ’04 so this summer is my 10th anniversary. I’ve been writing most of my life – I kept diaries for 17 years – but I started writing in ’94 when I discovered the young but growing Christian fiction.
 
 
Q:  What are three things that would surprise us about you?
 
I wish I could say I was a secret ballerina or university softball player but alas, I am not. I’m sure there are things that would surprise you all about me but they don’t surprise me so… LOL. I’m not sure what to say. Um, I have a small tattoo on my right ankle. My sorority letters. I got it back in the day when no one but bikers and sailors were tatted. J
 
 
Q:  I'm a church musician, so I love that you lead worship at your church. Do you have a band? What type of music touches your soul?
 
        Oh, good for you! I love worship. I do have a band at church – faithful saints whom I love. I also have a band for a joint church prayer and worship project called MyHOP. The band is comprised of musicians from six different churches. It’s amazing.
        Music that moves my soul really and truly is worship music. I love live worship (even if it’s recorded) and there are so many great ways to get live worship sets online today.
 
 
Q:  I understand you love movies, Rachel. What are some of your favorites? Any "royal" ones you can recommend?
 
I’m a romantic comedy fan but I love thrillers like the Bourne movies or life stories like Remember The Titans. I can’t say there are many good “royal” movies out there but The King’s Speech is outstanding. See that if you haven’t.
 
 
Q:  Among your favorite things from your website, you list "a good prayer meeting." What is that prayer meeting like for you, and how has prayer played a part in your life?
 
        Prayer is the corner stone of my life. That and the Word which I combine together with worship. I read the Word, pray the Word (how fun to pray God’s Word back to Him) and then I love to sing the Word.
        A group of teens in our church challenged my husband, the youth pastor, to meet them at church for prayer at 6:00 a.m. before they went to school. We met for over a year and a half, six days a week, for prayer at 6:00 a.m. I was going through a hard time and those prayer times changed me, my thoughts, my emotional chemistry, my idea of who I was in Him.
        I’m a great believer in the power of prayer!


Q:  Tell us about The Royal Wedding Series and your newest book that we're featuring today, Princess Ever After. What is the inspiration behind it?
 
        The royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was the inspiration behind the series. Kate was so confident and poised I thought, “I have to write about this.”
        Princess Ever After, the second book in the series, is about an American girl who discovers she’s a long lost princess. I wanted to focus on commoners rising to royalty so I thought the “long lost princess” angle would be fun.
 
 
Q:  With so many of us fascinated by royalty - William and Kate, for example - how much fun was it to write these stories with a royal theme? And do you keep up with today's royals?
 
        I do keep up with the royals… but without being obsessed. I pray for them. They are positioned on the world stage to be great influencers. I pray they know the Great King and honor Him.
        I had to do a good bit of research, more than I thought I would, to get the tone of royalty right and figure out how to create my own royal family ruling a fictional country. I actually learned a lot. I enjoyed the research.
 
 
Q:  Tanner, Hessenberg's Minister of Culture, is described in the story as "existing but not living," and I suspect that's something to which many people can relate. How did change come about in Tanner's life and is this applicable to us?
 
Oh great question. Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out how he changes, but for me, the biggest catalyst for change in his life was the heroine, Regina. Her courage made him face his own fears and weaknesses. Love took over from there. J
 
 
Q:  The words of Tanner's dad, the archbishop, offer so much comfort: "We are nearest to him when we are in the wilderness." Is this something you have experienced personally, Rachel?
 
I’ve had my wilderness experiences, for sure, but we see that in scripture. Jesus was driven to the wilderness. John lived in the wilderness. The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness. It’s in those dry times we either turn to Him and encounter His presence of become bitter. The choice is ours. But the wilderness can be a place of great change and encounter.
 
 
Q:  What is the most important message you hope readers will take away from Princess Ever After?
 
For me, the prevailing message is when we find out who we really are – beloved of God, kings and priests in His kingdom – we can’t really go back to our old ways, to being in control of our own lives. There’s always a level of dissatisfaction once we’ve met the One who loves us with His life.
 
 
Q:  What's on the book horizon for you?
 
I’m finishing up How To Catch A Prince, the third book in the series, which is Prince Stephen’s story.
 
 
Q:  How can we, as readers, support and encourage you, Rachel - both personally and as an author?
 
Oh how sweet! Thank you. I love letters from readers. Also, five star reviews. Ha! Seriously, good reviews mean so much to writers. Above all, pray for me. I’m writing because He’s called me and I want to honor Him, put Him first, in all I write and do.
 
 
Q:  Is there anything else you would like to share?
 
Stop by my Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/rachelhauck. Leave a message and I’ll respond. I appreciate you all.
 
And visit my web site to sign up for my newsletter: www.rachelhauck.com/blog.

Thanks for having me on your site!

____________________


Rachel, we appreciate you taking the time to be with us today and hope you will come back. Readers, please consider leaving reviews when you enjoy a book because, as Rachel said, this means a lot to authors. But most importantly, pray for Rachel as she follows her calling and writes the stories God puts on her heart.
 
GIVEAWAY
 
To enter the drawing for Princess Ever After, simply leave a question or comment about Rachel's books or something you found interesting in this interview, along with your e-mail address in a safe format. If you're willing, it's also helpful to share about this giveaway on Facebook.
 
And I'm always glad to have new followers on my blog and "likes" on my Facebook page, The Power of Words Book Reviews.
 
The fine print:
 
  • E-mail required, one entry per person. Odds of winning are based on number of entries.
  • Contest ends at midnight on Sunday, May 25. No purchase necessary.
  • Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by e-mail on Monday, May 26. Respond within 48 hours of notification or another winner will be chosen.
  • Eligibility: US residents, 18 and older

79 comments:

  1. a wonderful posting/interview...thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you, Karen! We're glad you stopped by today.

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  2. I really enjoyed 'Once Upon a Prince' and am really looking forward to 'Princess Ever After'. I've enjoyed a good bit of contemporary Christian fiction lately and Rachel's books are certainly a part of that.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. So glad you enjoy Rachel's books, Patty. I'm eager to go back and read Once Upon a Prince so I'll be ready for Rachel's next book. Thank you for visiting today.

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  3. We have your books in the church library. Sabrina sends back to you her greetings. Yesterday was her birthday. Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Janet, we used to have a church library, but no more. Christian fiction is a great way to touch people, so I hope your library keeps growing! Thank you for visiting today.

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  4. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed your interview. Your new books sounds wonderful. I started out reading Amish fiction but I am slowly adding to my genre. I always make sure that it is Christian reading. It is a blessing to know that there are wonderful authors who write in this category. I have not read one of your books as of yet but I have added you to my list. I also have liked your fb page. Thank you for this chance to win your book. ~ Blessings to you ~ lisastifler(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Lisa, I enjoy Amish fiction, but read a pretty good variety overall. Relationship drama with good character depth is my favorite, and that describes Rachel's writing. Hope you get to read one of her books soon. Thank you for visiting, Lisa.

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  5. This book has been on my wishlist for quite a while now. It looks so good! Thank you for the chance to win a copy. The interview was great!
    i_lovenuk(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the interview, Anne! I've enjoyed Rachel's writing for quite a while and loved getting to know more about her through this interview process. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Neat interview and thanks for the chance to win this book.

    I wonder if the commoner finding out that they are truly the long lost prince/princess
    ever happened in real life?

    seventysevensusieq[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. Good question, Susie! It makes a great fictional plot, but maybe Rachel will know if it has ever really happened. Thanks for asking.

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    2. Susie, that is a great question. Maybe in centuries past someone found out they were a long lost royal perhaps. Anything is possible. ;)

      Rachel

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  7. I haven't had the chance to read one of Rachel's books yet. Would love to win this one and dive in! :)

    ckbarker at gmail dot com

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    1. Cheryl, it's hard to get to every author we'd like to read, isn't it? I hope you get to discover Rachel's writing soon.

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  8. I love that Rachel and her husband have met for over a year with the youth for morning prayer. That really is inspiring in so many ways. First, who wouldn't find it a blessing to see teens so in love with the Lord but to have it encouraged so strongly by their leadership. That is awesome! When I was a teen and in youth group we wanted to meet in addition to our usual Friday night get together at church, but none of the adults were willing to join us.

    Great interview all the way around, but that was incredible. :)

    KellysShining(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Kelly, thank you for such meaningful comments! When I saw "a good prayer meeting" on Rachel's list of favorite things, I just had to ask about it. So many of us grow up loving the Lord, but are never mentored in the area of prayer so it doesn't come naturally to us. Thank you so much for reading Rachel's interview and please come back.

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    2. Kelly, thank you! We also had a season where the youth wanted to meet over holidays and school breaks. It was a bit tiring at times but we always met with them, let them have their meeting because we loved their enthusiasm and we had a really great band! Those were fun nights to gather and worship!

      Later, one of those youth grew up and volunteered as a youth director at her church in her new city. And she had a whole new understanding of being an adult, working woman and volunteering. She was very grateful for "nights off" from youth church. LOL. She sorta jokingly apologized for making us "work" over Christmas break.

      But it was a great time for us. :)

      Rachel

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  9. So wanna read this book! I read The Wedding Dress and loved it! It was so incredible. Thanks so much for interview and giveaway. I really enjoyed getting to know Rachel through this interview. This series sounds amazing!
    Carole, you are my interviewing mentor :-)! You ask the best questions and I am determined to learn from you!! Thanks for being so dedicated to truly sharing the author with us.
    my email amylsmith at bledsoe dot net
    And I know I just won a book not too long ago... But Oh how I hope I win this one too LOL

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    1. Amy, you'll never realize how much your comments mean to me, but you are doing fine yourself in that area. Getting to know authors through this process has become my favorite thing.

      I love the royalty theme, but Rachel also has a unique style that I really enjoy. I'm glad the numbers generator determines the winner!

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    2. Thank you for your comments on The Wedding Dress.

      Rachel

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  10. I have not read your books but will put them on my TBR list! It is inspiring how you and your husband met with your teens EARLY to pray!
    jarning67athotmail.com

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    1. I totally agree, Joan! Love to see young people growing in intimacy with God through prayer. Thank you for visiting today.

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  11. I haven't read your books, but found it interesting that Kate's poise throughout her ordeal made such an impression on you. It amazes me that anybody can live under such scrutiny? Would you want to be royal? I know I wouldn't...even with perks! :) looking forward to reading one of your books.

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    1. The Royals are certainly in a position of influence, as Rachel mentioned, and I love her idea of praying for them. I don't envy their position of being watched by the world, though. Glad you stopped by, R Merr, and be sure to leave your e-mail if you want to be included in the drawing.

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    2. R Merr, I think Kate's poise was incredible considering the scrutiny. I think I'd like to be royal but I'd not like to be under the world's microscope and criticism!

      Rachel :)

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  12. Hello Carole. Thanks for the great interview with Rachel. She seems such a sweet person whom I'd like to meet. This series sounds like a fun read. Hello Rachel, I am a subscriber of yours and a fan on Facebook. I hope to win your book. Thanks to you both for this give-away. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Maxie, it's good to see you here, and you are very welcome! I have enjoyed getting to know a little about the Rachel behind the wonderful books she writes, and hope you have also.

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    2. Hi Maxie, thank you!!

      Rachel

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  13. Thanks for the interview, Carole. :)
    Rachel, I LOVE worship music, too! I play the keyboard at my church and I'm the one who picks the new songs we learn. It's so much fun...Love your books (and the covers -- they are among some of my favorites).

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    1. Jennifer, I haven't had time to read all your posts, but you were really committed to the "No More Frumpy Mommy Challenge"! And I didn't realize you play the keyboard. I've been a church pianist for almost 50 years - wish you, Rachel and I could get together sometime!

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    2. Thank you Jennifer. Have you heard the album You Make Me Brave from Bethel Music? It is phenomenal!

      Rachel

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  14. Sorry, forgot email! jennismith1983@gmail.com

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  15. I love rachel's books and her wonderful writing...it totally captivates me as the reader - would love to win this one...truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. There's certainly something special about Rachel's writing, isn't there? Thanks for visiting, Eliza.

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    2. Eliza, sweet words! Thank you!

      Rachel

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  16. Hi Carole! This was such a great interview. I loved when Rachel said, "It’s in those dry times we either turn to Him and encounter His presence or become bitter. The choice is ours." This is so true and such a profound statement. I have found myself in the "wilderness" many times but He always pulled me through. God is amazing and, yes, He loves us just that much!

    Thank you so much for the interview and giveaway. This book sounds so good and I can't wait to read it!

    Wanda Barefoot
    flghtlss1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Wanda, it seems like you've had more than your share of wilderness experiences, but the peace you always exhibit is a testimony of your faith. Rachel's right, though, because so many people pull away from God during those hard times. I'm so glad you came by and appreciate your thoughtful comments.

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  17. Thanks for the enjoyable interview Rachel and Carole!!

    Rachel sounds like a lady "after my own heart"!! Music and writing move me in a way that few other things do - except the Holy Spirit, and it's often the Holy Spirit that is moving me through the music and writing. I wouldn't want to ever be without either of them. Movies are a love of mine also.

    I'm also a believer in prayer for ALL things, large or small. Prayer has literally worked miracles in my life, and my numerous wilderness experiences have drawn me closer to God. There is a lesson for someone in every trial.

    I would love to read "Princess Ever After" and am praying for Rachel's writing ministry!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Bonnie, I love seeing you here and appreciate the way you've shared this event. In all my years of playing for worship, I have no doubt that God's Spirit moves through music - a vehicle for our praise. I also appreciated what Rachel shared about prayer and wish our churches had more prayer meetings like she described. Thank you for being here, Bonnie, and please come back.

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    2. Bonnie, we have like minds and hearts! :) Thanks for stopping by!

      Rachel

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  18. Really enjoyed this interview. I like the Cinderella idea!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, and please leave your e-mail if you'd like to be entered in the drawing.

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  19. Rachel I just want to say that I think it was a really good thing that your husband and you did meeting with the youth at church in the mornings . Loved the interview . Would love to win a copy of your book . Thank you for the chance .
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Miss Liz, it's so good to see you here! We'll never know how many lives were changed as a result of those prayer meetings, but God does. Thank you for visiting and please come back.

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    2. Elizabeth, thank you! I think we were as hungry for the Lord as they!

      Rachel

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  20. What a wonderful interview, ladies! Rachel ~ I think we could all say we wish we were university softball stars or secret ballerinas. ; ) I happen to love that you write about princesses -- it makes reading so much more enjoyable! Plus, I LOVE the connection to prayer. I wonder sometimes - how much do authors pray for their readers? "How many times has an author prayed over the words that I'm reading and being blessed with right now?" It's a powerful thing. We'll all keep praying for you. Just keep following Him in writing the stories that bless us! <><

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    1. Kristy, what a surprise! It always frustrates me when I see reviews that criticize a book for being "too Christian" because Christian fiction really should inspire and bless readers. And I really like to think that authors pray for their readers!

      It's not long until your debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, releases. I have prayed and continue to pray for you and your words that will surely bless readers, Kristy.

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    2. Hey Kristy, thank you! You're so right about the power of prayer through and in our words.

      Rachel

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  21. looks like I have found a new author to try, Will have to check out the Library to see if they have this. jolen@bright.net

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  22. I love her books!!! Can't wait to see what she write next!!! :)
    Deiselbuffs@gmail.com

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    1. I always anticipate Rachel's books, Lisa! Thank you for visiting and please come back soon.

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  23. I would love to win this giveaway and love singing too and I would love to own this book and it looks like a book that I would love to read
    lisahoward70@yahoo.com

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    1. Music is a great way to praise, Lisa! Thank you for visiting.

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  24. Yay!! Another new author! SO excited:) I love finding new authors!

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    1. We love new readers! :)

      Thanks!!

      Rachel

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    2. I love to discover new authors also, Sierra. Thanks for visiting and please come back soon.

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  25. Oh I forgot to add my email!
    sierrafaith327(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. Love the book cover, I always enjoy reading Rachel's books.
    sonflower277 at gmail dot com

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    1. I'm always drawn by book covers, and this one certainly calls out to me!

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  27. I haven't read any of Rachel's books yet, but I plan to. Glad there are more and more Christian books these days.

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    1. You're so right Patricia! So many good books!

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    2. I hope you'll try Rachel's books, Patricia. This is a good series to start with - also try The Wedding Dress.

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  28. Entry #1, Karen K, is our winner! Congratulations, Karen! I hope you will enjoy "Princess Ever After" and post a review if you do. I sent you an e-mail.

    Rachel, getting to know you through this interview has been a joy. We appreciate your time and willingness to share - and I hope you will do this again soon. May God bless you as you continue to write the stories He puts on your heart.

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