Alexis A. Goring is a writer at heart and a journalist by profession. She loves the art of storytelling and is especially delighted to have released her first book, an inspirational romance novella called Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, in Sept. 2013. When Alexis is not working on her next book or chasing down the next big story for the newspaper where she works as a freelance reporter, she can be found listening to songs by her most admired musicians, enjoying the food in cafes/restaurants, shopping at her favorite malls and spending quality time with loved ones (family and friends).
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Overview of Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories:
We live in a broken world in need of hope. So, I thought it was a good idea to write a collection of stories that revolved around characters in need of hope!
The three stories that comprise my inspirational romance novella were not written in order of publication nor were they written within the same time frame. These are simply three of my best stories at the time when I was thinking of pursuing publication (May 2011). I’d say it took on average, about three to four months for me to write each one of the three short stories in my book.
Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories was published in September 2013. Two of the short stories are set at Christmastime so it makes the perfect holiday gift! The stories, though printed within the same book, are not related.
I’d love to tell you about the “story behind the story” of each of my short stories inside the book…
♦ Story behind the story of “Love Unexpected”:
A car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.
This story was founded on the idea of how love sometimes shows up when you least expect. It wasn’t based on anyone I know personally. But I must admit that I got my inspiration for Sebastian’s good looks from “The Rock” (pro wrestler and actor Dwayne Johnson). Many ladies think he’s hot, that’s why Sebastian resembles him! ;)
Sebastian and Chandra are the two main characters in “Love Unexpected.”
Chandra is a career woman who excels in the workplace but doesn’t date. She keeps up a “Miss Independent” front but deep in her heart, she desires to be loved. Chandra is well-liked in the workplace because she is an excellent employee who is talented, dedicated and diligent. However, when it comes to love, it takes the natural matchmaking instincts and caring nature of Chandra’s boss Esmeralda to help Chandra emerge from her fortified shell.
Sebastian is a personal trainer for celebrities and he’s seen his share of attractive women. He’s used to making their hearts melt with his good looks and award-winning smile. What he’s not used to is the opposite of that reaction. So when he meets Chandra and finds that she is 100 percent resistant to his good looks and charms, he’s intrigued and he wants to know more about this woman. He must know why she’s not like the others.
I believe there are real-life “Chandra” and “Sebastian” types in his world and I hope their story brings encouragement to those people.
♦ Story behind the story of “The Best Gift”:
Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.
I thought it would be nice to write a Christmas story that centers on the lives of three main characters: Christina, Jordan and Joshua.
I drew inspiration from my own life story when I created Christina because much like Christina, I too struggle with my weight. I upped the ante by giving Christina a desire to lose her extra pounds in time for her sister’s Christmastime wedding. I enjoyed writing her character and watching her fall in love (because you simply cannot leave that element out, especially when her only sister is getting married)!
I based Jordan on a few female peers who dated many different men, kind of like having a new flavor of ice cream every month. So I thought it would be fun to tell Jordan’s story through that lens, combined with some dramatic traits from a few “types” of females that I watch on popular television shows.
I did not base Joshua on anyone I know personally or even watched on television. But his “type” marinated in my mind until I thought it was a good idea to tell a fictional story about that type of man who loves passionately and does not want to give up on his dream girl, even after she breaks his heart. I threw in a few plot twists and before I knew it, the story ended in a way that I knew was best for Joshua’s mind and heart—just not in the exact way his type would want it, at least at first.
♦ Story behind the story of “Peace and Love”:
Three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately earching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.
Another story that is set at Christmastime, “Peace and Love” revolves around three characters: Eric, Kristine and Elle.
Eric’s A-story is that he’s a family law attorney who wants to move past his personal drama of witnessing his parents’ separate and go through a heartbreaking divorce. But his B-story is based on the idea of how one day, someone will come along that will make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else. I think my readers—especially the hopeless romantics—will love Eric’s story!
Kristine is adopted. She is engaged to her college sweetheart Derek and she wants a missing piece of her heart (her birth mom) to be at the wedding in the New Year. So she hires a private investigator, hoping he will help her find her birth mom before Christmas.
Finally, there’s Elle. She’s the creative type, a “starving artist” who desperately needs steady work with steady pay. She drives down from Michigan to the Washington D.C. metropolitan area because she’s attending three local interviews and she hopes that one of those will be her dream come true.
Elle’s story is a lot like mine because I too am a “starving artist” who needs steady work with steady pay. Just like Elle, I’d like the opportunity to use my God-given talents in a capacity that is secure and pays well. I think readers will enjoy Elle’s journey and be surprised by the plot twists and timing of events. They too will wonder if her dreams will come true.
♦ Closing thoughts for Peg’s blog readers: I hope you better understand the stories within my first book now and I’d be delighted to hear that you’re buying my book for yourself or someone else this Christmas!
♦ Purchase links:
♦ Social media links:
- Author page on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlexisAGoring
- Blog, “God is Love” - http://capturingtheidea.blogspot.com
- Twitter handle, @pennedbyalex
Thanks for hosting me on your blog today, Peg! God bless you and Merry Christmas!