Rachel and her publisher have graciously offered to give away a copy (US ONLY) of this new release. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends May 18, 2018. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.)
The story behind the story...
I adore Becoming the Talbot Sisters because so much of my real life is threaded into this book! I love to write stories about hope, courage, and connection with a hint of romance and a dash of whimsy, all set in beautiful locations around the world that are meaningful to me.
The main themes of the story -- infertility, miscarriage, and the exploitation of women are all deeply personal. While living in Budapest we lost our first baby through miscarriage, so I really connected on an emotional level with Waverly's struggle to have a baby. For years I've wanted to write a story about the very common but often unspoken struggle with infertility and miscarriage that so many women endure.
I also worked with many women in trauma while in Central Europe. Some of them had been trafficked and all had endured sexual trauma of some kind. Hearing their stories gave me authentic insights for the plotline involving Charlie's past trauma and her dilemma about helping these vulnerable women. I always planned to write a story that addressed this issue in a relationally, woman-centered way, and am thrilled to have finally done so!
I set the story mainly in Central Europe where I lived and worked for five years with a faith-based organization. It's a beautiful, somewhat undiscovered region of the world, rich with history, culture, and delicious food! It was a total delight to allow sisters Waverly and Charlie to experience so much of what I encountered there. My love for the region and the wonderful memories of life there definitely contributed to my desire to write this book!
The overarching them of the story, women being every day brave, is one I am deeply passionate about. As women, we face so many challenges in life, and I wanted to write a story that encouraged women everywhere to be "every day brave," that is to face each challenge with hope, courage, and strength. This theme of bravery resonates strongly with me, and I hope it will encourage all readers to be every day brave!
Back cover blurb...
Twin sisters Waverly and Charley Talbot have drifted far apart as they pursue opposite dreams of stardom and service to the poor. On an astonishing journey across Central Europe, they must come together to face their fears, find their courage, and fight for what they love.
Celebrity chef Waverly Ross has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Yet she and her husband, Andrew, have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly's heart: to become a mother. Meanwhile, Waverly's twin sister, Charlie Talbot, buries her bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worker in Budapest, Hungary.
When the beloved aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy.
But soon the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, seemingly putting their dreams on hold once again. When Waverly shows up unannounced in Budapest with a plan to rescue Simply Perfect, the sisters embark on adventure across Central Europe that could save them both from occupational hazards. Though the twins haven't had to rely on each other since childhood, an unforeseen dangerous turn in their journey across Europe forces them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other.
Link for my RT Bookreviews Magazine review
(I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.)
Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures living and traveling in fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her stories. She holds an MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College and a BA in Literature from Huntington University, and she studied creative writing at Oxford University during college. Currently, Rachel lives in beautiful Seattle, Washington with her husband and two young children. Rachel enjoys creating stories about hope and courage with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy
Where you can find Rachel online...
a Rafflecopter giveaway