Have you ever read a book that keeps you guessing right up to the end? Have you ever finished a book yet thought about it for days afterword?
It's no secret, I read a lot of books. I love to read, yet I'm a pretty critical reader. Rarely do I give out a five star rating, because, honestly, my criteria for five stars is pretty high. And, in my opinion, not many books can hit the mark...
"Gifted," by Karey White, is a rare find and an absolute five star read!
About the book:
Susan and Brent Weller have been married for several years and have been unable to have children. They adopt Anna, a beautiful baby girl orphaned in a terrible car accident. As Anna grows, Susan and Brent discover that she’s blessed with unusual gifts that both bless and complicate their lives.
I was so riveted by this book, I read it from cover to cover in one sitting. I was so enamored by not just Anna, but by Susan as well. The connection and genuine love between mother and daughter radiates through every page. Anna is truly "gifted" both on a physical level and a spiritual one. And, because I want you to read it, that's all I'm going to tell you about it. I will warn you though, you may want to have a box of tissue near as you approach the end!
Because I loved this book so much, I invited the author, Karey White, to answer a few questions for me. Obviously, she obliged my curiosity, or I wouldn't be writing this. :)
Steph: Where did you get the idea for Gifted?
Karey: Our neighbors, an older couple, were the guardians for their grand-daughter, a wild teenage girl who was pregnant. Just before her baby was due, she was drinking and driving with friends and was killed in a terrible car accident. They were able to save the baby. I went to bed one night, worried about my neighbors and the difficult situation they were now faced with--finding a home for this baby. That night I had a dream about the baby. It's actually the dream that Susan has in the book. When I woke up the next morning, I couldn't stop thinking about the dream and how that baby would affect those around her.
Steph: Is any of the story based on real-life experiences or is it complete imagination?
Karey: While most of the book is completely fiction, there are a few things that were based in my reality--my children had a piano teacher just like Mildred, the house Kelsey lived in was just like the house of a girl my daughter knew, and I love Enstrom's toffee. There are probably a few other little tidbits but I can't think of them at the moment.
Steph: Authors typically write characters they are familiar with, either basing them on people they know or by giving them some of their own characteristics. Was Anna's character based on anyone in particular? Is there a character you relate most to? Who and why?
Karey:While most of Anna isn't real, there are parts of her personality and talents that are similar to my two daughters. I probably related most to Susan, her desire to be a mother, her mama-bear instincts, and her frustration with Stan. I could really relate to those feelings.
Steph: They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but in this case, the cover is as wonderful as the story. What was your reaction when you saw the beautiful cover art?
Karey:Incredibly relieved and thrilled. I had paid a lot of attention to covers in the months leading up to seeing mine and I'd seen some I thought were truly awful. I was so worried I wouldn't like mine. I couldn't have been happier with it. Dani, at Cedar Fort, did an amazing job.
Steph: Is "Gifted" the first book you've written? What are you working on now?
Karey: Gifted is my first published book. I have one coming out later this year. It's a romance, very different from Gifted. I called it For What It's Worth, but I'm not positive they're keeping that title. I'm working on a third book, another romance, called The Husbandmaker. A lot of my time right now is being spent getting class plans together for the creative writing classes I'm going to teach this summer. I'm going to offer some writing classes/camps for 5th grade up to high school. Helping kids get inspired to write has me really excited.
Steph: If there was one thing you wanted us to know about you, what would it be?
Karey: Wow, that's hard. I hope the things I'd want you to know about me would be obvious when you get to know me so I wouldn't even have to say them, but since many of your readers won't know me, I'd want people to know that I love my family, I try to be a good friend and I'm so grateful for my blessed life.
Steph: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Karey: Read, read, read and write, write, write. And don't give up.
Thank you so much Karey. You are such a talented story teller, I can't wait to read more from you.