About the Book
Book: Catching Hope
Author: Kathy Cassel
Genre: Young Adult, action/suspense
Release date: February 1, 2021
Catching Hope—a pursuit fraught with danger.
Newly adopted Lexi Michaels is taking her first real vacation as she, twin brother Levi, adoptive brother Chad, and new cousin Jen head to Haiti where their dad, a pediatrician, will be volunteering in an island clinic. But who is the man who displays such hatred for the Michaels when they arrive at their resort? Is an attempted burglary as random as it appears? Will Jen ever accept the newcomers to the family? When the four teens set out to explore Haiti’s sights and history on their own, an unexpected encounter and natural disaster plunge them into adventure and danger. With their very survival at stake, can the four teens work together or will Lexi’s dream of a “forever family” end in tragedy?
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About the Author
Kathy Cassel lives in the Florida panhandle with her husband and four of their eight children, five of whom are adopted. She is a motorcycle rider, scuba diver, and loves spending time with her family. Her debut novel, Freerunner, was published by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. in 2019.
More from Kathy
My Experience with Haiti
Prior to the 2010 catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake that caused immense damage to the country of Haiti, many people would not have been able to tell you that Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola just a two hour flight from Miami.
I knew where it was because our family had adopted a child from Haiti in 1997. At the time the earthquake took place, my husband and I were in the process of adopting twins from a different orphanage in Port au Prince Haiti. It had been over three years and our adoption was not yet complete. During those three years I visited the twins at the orphanage five times. Other family members went with me on some of those trips, and at one point, all of our children still living at home went to visit the orphanage.
This was an eye opening experience for my family. In fact, I volunteered us to do the daily wash. That meant hand washing clothes and sheets for 135 orphans using large metal tubs and harsh soap, then rinsing the clothes in other tubs before hand wringing them and hanging them on clotheslines. Once home, my children no longer complained about unloading the dryer!
Cooking was done in large pots over open fires and mainly consisted of rice and beans, or red sauce over rice. The cooks originally prepared the food in a wooden shack, but more than once one of them would get so hot she’d pass out, so an outdoor area was set up for food preparation.
After the earthquake, there was a mountain of paperwork to be done to get refugee status for children in the orphanages who had families waiting for them. Finally the children were brought to the United States, although some of the orphans went to other countries too, to be united with their forever families. Sadly, many were held in the airport for days before being released. For our family, the long wait was over January 25, 2010. Now our family is complete with three birth children and five adopted children, three of whom are from Haiti.
Some of the places mentioned in the book resemble real places in Haiti, although they have been fictionalized. I hope you will not only read Catching Hope, but will also take time to learn more about the country of Haiti.
When/how did you decide to become a writer?
I always enjoyed writing but never thought it could be a career, so I went into teaching. But moving around with my Air Force husband meant trying to recertify in different states, so instead of teaching, I parented and worked on my writing. I had several devotion books published before feeling a passion to write issue-based teen fiction.
Which author has most influenced your own writing?
James Scott Bell. I reread Write Your Novel from the Middle and Plot and Structure quite often, especially when starting a new project.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I want to understand my characters, their hobbies, interests and so on. This had led me on some interesting adventures such as whitewater rafting, certifying in scuba, and getting my motorcycle certification. I never know where my writing will lead me.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I have to grab a little time here and there to write. But if I need to get a lot done and have time free, I head to the library where there are no distractions.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A pantser with a few key points in mind. I have a vague idea of where the story is going, but write it as I go. I really need to learn how to create an outline.
Do you have a favorite or special place to write?
I have a home office I’ve fixed up, but more often I simply set on the living room couch with my computer.
Is there a particular literary period that you’re drawn to (Regency, Victorian, Romantic, Modernism, etc.)? Why?
There are some really amazing authors who write historical fiction in an authentic way. I’m not one of them. I want to reach today’s teens by tackling the issues they face each day in order to provide hope and healing.
Describe your book in five words.
Despair gives way to hope.
Which one of your characters speaks most to your heart? Why?
Lexi. She so badly wants to fit in with her new family, yet she’s afraid to hope for that coveted happily ever after.
Do you ever hide things in your stories for readers to find?
No. I just want them to identify with the main character, be riveted by the story, and find a sense of hope for themselves.
What are your hobbies?
Scuba diving, photography, traveling with my family and finding new places to visits and things to try.
Who was/is your biggest inspiration?
Don’t really know.
What is your favorite book?
No one book, but Mary Higgins Clark is my favorite author. I like her style and sense of story. I like her Under Suspicion series.
Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?
I drive a lot, so I listen to books much more than read them.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?
I really like the key verse for this book, I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NLT. My other favorite is Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
If you could live inside a book, which one would it be?
That’s a tough question. I know I would not want to live in one of Mary Higgins Clark (favorite author) books for fear I’d be the victim!!
If you could meet one author, living or passed, who would it be?
Mary Higgins Clark. Unfortunately she passed away, so that won’t happen.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Study your craft. Invest in the James Scott Bell books I mentioned earlier or other writing books that appeal to you. Read the kind of books you want to write—but don’t copy them. Find your own voice.
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 25
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 26
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 27
For the Love of Literature, February 28 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, March 1
Inklings and notions, March 2
For Him and My Family, March 3
Wishful Endings, March 4 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, March 4
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 5
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 6
Artistic Nobody, March 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 8
deb’s Book Review, March 9
Simple Harvest Reads, March 10 (Author Interview)
Lots of Helpers, March 10
To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Books-A-Million Gift Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.