Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Tari Faris’s newest book, You Belong with Me.

Winner will be announced in the next Author Spotlight feature. Congratulations to Tera Ritchey Weaver for winning a copy of Lynn H. Blackburn’s One Final Breath.

Please email my assistant Christen to claim your prize. Note: This post contains affiliate links meaning I will get a small commission if you click and buy from that link.

Debut author Tari Faris invites you to Heritage, Michigan, a historic small town with its share of romance and secrets. Let your heart find a home in You Belong with Me, book one in the Restoring Heritage series.

Realtor Hannah Thornton loves the historic community of Heritage, Michigan. Unfortunately, selling houses is not one of her fortes. She sees each house and the larger town of Heritage as something to be valued, not sold off to the highest bidder. When a business mogul wants to exploit the land and build a strip mall, Hannah is determined to stop him from bulldozing her town’s past. Will she and the town of Heritage be able to win the money needed to save the history of their small town from being reduced to rubble?

Even though Luke Johnson grew up in Heritage, as a foster child he never truly felt like he belonged. In an attempt to earn his place in the town, Luke applies for the job of assistant fire chief. He does not anticipate how his relationship with Hannah will set into motion events that will lead to the truth of his past being revealed. Can Luke face his past and pull down the walls he’s erected around his bruised heart?

Author Spotlight with Tari Faris

What is a Bible verse that inspires you to keep on writing? 

Philippians 3:12 – Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

This verse has really become something I have clung to since I came to the decision that writing was more than a hobby or even vocation, but truly my ministry.

When I see it that way, I want to always strive to make the next book better. To make sure I am faithful to write all the stories God has laid on my heart. To be the best writer I can be working as if for God and not for man.

Describe the moment that you knew you were born to write.

Very early on as I was typing out my first story, an excitement and peace came every time I wrote. But I didn’t really have the confidence to pursue it. I was terrible at English in school and felt greatly under-qualified. Then I was going through the Book of Esther with my church. I felt so convicted by the words of Mordecai to Esther in 4:14, “If you remain silent at this time deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place.” I really felt as if God was saying, “I have given you a calling and I have stories for you to write. But if you refuse, I will choose someone else.”

What’s your strategy for coping with bad reviews?

Until recently I didn’t have a strategy, and the first bad review I read was a bit of bump. However, after time in prayer and council of friends, I come to a few conclusions.  This is not the best book I will ever write. I hope that each one will be better and that every book will show growth in my writing. But, at the same time, it is the best I could write this book. I put all I had into this book and gave it my best effort. I have to be okay the fact that it will connect with some and not connect with others. I have had to trust God with the whole publishing journey and bad reviews are just a part of that journey.

If for some reason you couldn’t write anymore, what would you do with your gift of communication? 

I love to teach and share my joy of what God is doing and has done in my life. I have had the privilege of speaking at a few retreats and events and I really value any opportunity to share about my faith in such a way.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

To strive to make every book better than the last. I was a member of My Book Therapy for years before I joined the staff and this idea is repeated over and over by Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, and Beth Vogt. I always want to challenge myself and to grow as a writer. I am not foolish to believe that because I received a contract that I have “arrived.” I am simply stepping into the world. And as all artists strive to better their skill, I always want to strive to be a better writer.

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Tari Faris has been writing fiction for more than ten years. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy, she works for My Book Therapy, manages www.learnhowtowriteanovel.com, and is a 2017 Genesis Award winner. She has an MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary and lives in the Phoenix, Arizona, area with her husband and their three children. Although she lives in the Southwest now, she lived in a small town in Michigan for twenty-five years.

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