Irish Encounter by Hope Toler Dougherty: Book Review, Tour, and Giveaway with Celebrate Lit.
About the Book
Book: Irish Encounter
Author: Hope Toler Dougherty
Genre: Sweet, inspirational romance
Release Date: May 7, 2015
After almost three years of living under a fog of grief, Ellen Shepherd is ready for the next chapter in her life, perhaps an adventure during a visit to Galway. Her idea of excitement consists of exploring Ireland for yarn to feature in her shop back home, but the adventure awaiting her includes an edgy stranger who disrupts her tea time, challenges her belief system, and stirs up feelings she thought she’d buried with her husband.
After years of ignoring God, nursing anger, and stifling his grief, Payne Anderson isn’t ready for the feelings a chance encounter with an enchanting stranger evokes. Though avoiding women and small talk has been his pattern, something about Ellen makes him want to seek her—and God again.
Can Ellen accept a new life different than the one she planned? Can Payne release his guilt and accept the peace he’s longed for? Can they surrender their past pain and embrace healing together or will fear and doubt ruin this second chance at happiness?
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I loved the Irish setting. The author was able to pull me into the surroundings, and the trips out to see the sheep and yarn operations were among some of my favorite encounters.
Ellen and Payne had an immediate connection. Just one small problem: Payne isn’t a believer. And he’s leaving for Africa while Ellen is headed back to the states.
There were times when Ellen’s kids got on my nerves a bit. I understand their reticence in seeing their mother have such a powerful attraction to a man three years after their dad’s death, but they were a bit selfish at times, and the rudeness of her daughter acting like she had the right to tell Ellen what to do…well, it ticked me off. I got over it though, as it was merely one of many hurdles that Payne had to overcome before he could find his happily ever after.
And, honestly, you have to love the kids for trying to protect their mother. They were only doing what they thought was necessary.
The instant connection and following drama really kept the story moving.
A sweet, contemporary romance with wonderful setting and characters who will make you laugh, sigh, and maybe even swoon.
I requested a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Hope holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Forever Music is her fourth novel. Residing in North Carolina, she and her husband enjoy visits with their daughters and twin sons.
More from Hope
Inspiration Behind Irish Encounter
A few years ago, I was staring at the first day of the rest of my life. My oldest daughter was set to graduate high school in less than a month. Two years later, her sister would march right behind her, followed in two years by their twin brothers.
Life as I’d known it for the preceding eighteen years was about to change enormously.
Throughout my tenure as a stay-with-my-children mom, I’d written for publications—sporadically—but I had a portfolio of articles with my byline in print.
That May afternoon, I decided to write something for Guideposts, a magazine filled with inspirational, faith-filled stories. I’d just completed “The Life of Moses” with Bible Study Fellowship, and I envisioned sharing wisdom and insight gleaned from thirty two weeks of study.
I penned What I learned from Moses on the top line of a yellow legal pad. As soon as I wrote this fascinating title, I immediately began daydreaming—about Ireland, not Moses.
In my daydream, a woman in an Irish café scribbled in a journal. A little old man in a tweed vest approached her, introduced himself, and began talking about his late wife. I saw the wooden buttons on his vest and the Irish cap clutched in his hands. Suddenly another man, dressed in dusty safari clothes, appeared to the woman’s left, lounging at his table and eavesdropping on their conversation.
This scene interested me infinitely more than the Moses idea. I turned the page to a fresh sheet and wrote everything I saw and heard in that Irish coffee shop.
Irish Encounter began that day. I didn’t know it yet, but God did. I just hurried back every morning to my desk to see what happened next. Before writing, I’d recite Bible verses from the Moses study, like Exodus 3:12 “And God said, ‘I will be with you’” and Exodus 4:12 “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (NIV)
I’d pray for guidance and help, and then I’d travel to Galway.
God led me onto this writing journey with a lot of prodding and pulling and nudges toward those interesting characters. I’m thankful every day He did, and I hope readers will enjoy the trip to Ireland with Ellen and Payne, too!
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To celebrate her tour Hope is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & a copy of the book!!