The Flower Angel, by Katrina Hart

This post is dedicated to Katrina’s lovely nan, Jean, who sadly passed away yesterday. Jean was an avid reader and a quiet encourager of writers everywhere, but especially of Katrina’s writing, and also my own. 

Today I’m featuring Katrina Hart’s latest novella The Flower Angel.

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The Flower Angel is an imaginatively written contemporary romance which also features elements of fantasy. Here’s a brief description of the story:

The Flower Angel: Two strangers. One past. Can the Flower Angel help Lara and Chris find love? Lara and Chris are strangers when they meet at Forget-Me-Not-Inn, the place where lost and lonely souls come to find love. Drawn to one another from the start, Chris soon realises that they have a traumatic secret in common – something that Lara will find challenging to forgive… Will the Flower Angel be able to work her magic and help Lara and Chris find true love together? Anything’s possible at Forget-Me-Not- Inn.

But I thought that, rather than tell you my thoughts on the story, I’d let you read a little of it for yourself. So, without further ado, here’s an excerpt:

One Year Later…

Chris swung his bag over his head and waved to his friends who’d insisted, a week ago now, that he take up their offer of a weekend at Forget-Me-Not Inn. They’d told him its secret: that all who entered fell in love with their soulmate, destined to find forever love. Of course he’d not believed either of his friends as they’d followed him about his bar reading the brochure out loud. He’d thought it most likely seemed that way because couples took romantic nights there together or something.

He knew his friends were only being kind and believed he should relax and stop working every hour at his country club. They never stopped reminding him that he should get back to looking for love after his break up with a girl who’d never really loved him in the first place, no matter how much he loved her. In truth he’d been hoping that every moment he was working he’d heal from the dreams that consumed his sleeping hours. The night the accident happened not only left him broken hearted, but with a tortured soul and many questions he might never have answers to.

He turned to face the huge stone inn and started walking through the tall grass towards the building with stained glass windows and flowers around the door. As he got closer he noticed that all the flowers were blue and open in the sunshine. A flash of those flowers landing on the chest of the young woman he’d crashed into a year ago had him clutching his chest struggling to breathe.

Katrina Hart has also kindly agreed to answer a couple of my questions about the story and the writing of the novella.

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Welcome, Katrina!

Thank you for having me on your blog Kendra.

Firstly, where did the inspiration for this story come from?

Well, The Flower Angel started after I completed Love in Little Snow, my first novella. I was inspired to write my new novella by the publisher who had published my first one (Love in Little Snow). However, while writing the story of Chris and Lara, I found that I was also inspired by my boyfriend–those feelings of new love and the idea of two people colliding in a life changing way. Also how one moment can impact on a huge part of one’s life be it in a good way or not.   

I’ve always been fascinated by angels ever since I was around seven. I think they watch over us when we need it most, in a spiritual way. But also there are people in life who try to help each other and bring love and peace into each other’s lives. They kinda remind me of earth’s angels, a bit like Sally and George at Forget-Me -Not Inn.

Where did you get the idea for a flower angel? I love this idea.

I’ve always loved the idea of angels and believed in them ever since I was around seven, because at that age I believed one flew into my window and she transformed into my mum’s nan who died that night. I didn’t actually know that my mum’s Nan had died until I told my mum about the experience. But ever since then I believed that angels watch over us from just out of our eyes’ view, unless they choose to let us see them of course.

So, when writing The Flower Angel I imagined all kinds of angels and that’s how The Flower Angel came about.

How have you found the publishing process? I understand that the novella was initially going to be produced by a publisher who unexpectedly stopped trading.

I’ve found the publishing process very interesting. It was exciting working on the cover with the cover designer and then having the book formatted for both Kindle and paperback. I think it was a great experience getting to grips with how the whole publishing process works and it’s possibly something authors should consider trying at least once, to get to see how it all builds up and turns into the finished book.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about this story or the writing of it?

The Flower Angel is a mixture of a moment that changed two people’s lives and their inner strength to try again.

Thanks so much for sharing your lovely novella with us and for answering my questions. Best of luck with The Flower Angel and with all of your writing!

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The Flower Angel is available as an ebook and a paperback. You can obtain the paperback from Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flower-Angel-Katrina-Hart/dp/1540629341/

The ebook is available from Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flower-Angel-Katrna-Hart-ebook/dp/B01N579TF6/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Flower-Angel-Katrna-Hart-ebook/dp/B01N579TF6/

To check out more of Katrina’s novels and novellas, visit her Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Katrina-Hart/e/B013KPPUGK/

You can catch up with Katrina by visiting her blog: https://katrinamarie25.wordpress.com/

Checking out her website where you can also read her short stories: http://katrina134.wixsite.com/muses/books

Follow her on Twitter:@KatrinaHart2015

Like her page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Katrina-Hart-1785712648319624/

 

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Interview with Katrina Hart, author of Love in Little Snow (Snow Globe Christmas Collection)

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Christmas? But it’s barely summer, I hear you say. Of course, you’re right, and while I’m not quite ready to skip ahead either, I did want to take this opportunity to speak to the very talented young author Katrina Hart about the recent publication of her novella, Love in Little Snow, published by Lovely Christian Romance Press earlier this month. Love in Little Snow is currently available as an ebook and will be released as a paperback during July (full details to come later).

Katrina Hart is also the author of the fantasy novel Finding Destiny which was published by Pilrig Press last year (you can read my interview with her about her debut novel here: https://kendraolson.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/author-interview-katrina-hart-author-of-finding-destiny-fantasy-ebook-just-released-by-pilrig-press/ ).

My review of Love in Little Snow follows the interview.

Welcome, Katrina! Thanks for coming by to talk with us today about your writing, especially Love in Little Snow.

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Firstly, could you describe the story for readers?

Thank you for having me back.  Love in Little Snow follows Dr Bailey Cartwrite who is devastated when his girlfriend, Lucy, is killed. However, in her last act of love, Lucy appears to Bailey as an angel and sends him to the world of Little Snow – the snow globe world for Christmas. Now he must open his heart to the new woman in his life and find his way back to God before the end of Christmas day.

The novella has a Christmas feel to it, but it also speaks of new beginnings and helping one another and that in turn helps Dr Bailey while he gets used to his life in Little Snow. Also this novella has a lot of love to it. Love in Lucy and her gift to Bailey, and love in Holly and her devotion to Bailey in his new life.

How did Love in Little Snow come about?

I did a bit of reviewing for Lovely Christian Romance Press and the publisher asked if I’d like to take part in her Snow Globe Collection. I love Christmas, not just the lights and snow and happy music, but the feeling of love for family and friends and being together sharing in the magic. So of course I wanted to give it a go and I thoroughly enjoyed writing Dr Bailey Cartwrite’s story.

With summer creeping up on us here in Britain, how did you manage to get in the Christmas spirit while writing your story? Did you carry out any special, pre-writing rituals to assist you, such as drinking hot chocolate or playing Christmas music? If so, could you tell us about them?

I listened to a lot of Christmas music and had my snow scented Yankee candles burning while writing Love in Little Snow. I also drank hot chocolate and cold chocolate and just felt the spirit of Christmas. For me, Christmas can never come quick enough and I think those emotions of the holidays are always there with me when I’m around loved ones; I just feel that love and joy.

What is your writing process like?

For this novella I started with a synopsis and then just began to write with my music on and my candle lit. I love to just follow characters and see where they go and where the story really ends. I did a lot of thinking and day dreaming too on this story…  After I wrote it I sent the story out for editing and then back to the publisher. 

What inspires you?

Authors like yourself inspire me to write, reading great books really gets your mind all in dreamy land ready to write your own stories. My boyfriend also inspired me a lot while writing Love in Little Snow.  Love and the magic of being able to write about snowy lands always has me in a magical world of my own.

Love in Little Snow is a romance, and your first novel, Finding Destiny, is a fantasy. Having read and enjoyed both, I feel that they each contain elements of both fantasy and romance. How important is the idea of genre to your writing? Do you begin a story intending it to be in a certain genre?

Honestly, when writing, I normally just follow my characters and the worlds they are in, not really focusing on genre. I think I often discover where my story fits instead of picking either to fit it in. Although with Love in Little Snow I wrote it intending to create a Christmas romantic feeling.      

Your first publication was a novel. How did you find the experience of writing a novella?

I really enjoyed the experience. I love writing short stories and the novella felt a bit like an extension of writing a short story. It’s lots of fun and can be written in between writing novels.  

The novella seems to have had something of a comeback recently. How do you feel about the form? Do you think that novellas offer new opportunities for writers?

Yes, I think novellas offer other opportunities for writers to do what we love–write stories. And with a novella one can finish it within a week or so then spend time on editing and making it as perfect as one wants it to be. 

I understand that, in addition to Finding Destiny, you’ve also written other novels for which you’re currently seeking a publisher. Could you tell readers a little about these?

Sure. I’ve written two other novels since Finding Destiny. My second novel is called The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing. It follows Suzy and Bill from Finding Destiny on their adventure in a whole new town. Suzy, along with her friend, Bill, find themselves in The Lost Town of Man’s Crossing, a land to which the chosen few are transported by their personal Crossing Creatures to a second chance at life. On arrival, Suzy receives twenty coins and a mission she must complete before her coins run out, in order to move on to a new land – or everyone will die.

My third novel is called Thawing Hearts. It follows Courtney as she travels to Snowlight City and while there she sees that everyone is frozen until she meets Miss Snowglow, child of Lightcity, who sends her on a mission to stop Xaviershadow, a monster of the water. However, this leads her to find more of herself and her heart than she’s ever imagined.

I’m also working on The Awaking Spark of a Dying Man, so I’m looking forward to seeing where this story leads…

Thanks so much for taking the time to come and speak with us about your work. Best of luck with Love in Little Snow, and with all of your writing!

Love in Little Snow is available from Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01FL4SAPQ/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Little-Globe-Christmas-Collection-ebook/dp/B01FL4SAPQ

Finding Destiny is also available from Amazon. In the UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Destiny-Katrina-Hart-ebook/dp/B00U1WUFSE/

In the US: https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Destiny-Katrina-Hart-ebook/dp/B00U1WUFSE

Find out more about Katrina’s writing by visiting her blog: https://katrinamarie25.wordpress.com/

Like her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Katrina-Hart-1785712648319624/

Follow her on Twitter: @KatrinaHart2015

Kendra’s review:

As with Katrina Hart’s debut novel, Finding Destiny, this too takes place in a magical world which parallels our own. Of course, not everyone is a fan of Christmas—that one time of year when everything is meant to be perfect, but never quite is. And the main character in this story, Bailey Cartwrite, is no exception.  Since losing his girlfriend, Lucy, in an accident, his life hasn’t been the same. He’s lost faith in everything: love, life, God and himself. But when Lucy appears to him holding a snow globe, his life changes forever. Yet will he be strong enough to take the second chance she’s offering him?

A lovely romance containing all the Christmas touches: there’s hot chocolate, gently falling snow, carollers, snowmen in abundance and (perhaps most importantly) love—not only of the romantic persuasion but also love of family, friends and the less fortunate. While listed as a Christian romance, Love in Little Snow can also be enjoyed by non-believers as it is a story which heartens, and heartening is exactly what is needed at Christmas-time.

By the time you’ve finished reading this, you too will feel that all truly can be made right, and not just for the one day, but year-round, if we’d only let a little of that “Christmas magic” into our hearts every day.

Love in Little Snow is the perfect story to get you in the holiday mood, whatever the month!