Tuesday, May 2, 2017

In the Spotlight...Lucie Ulrich

Please join me in welcoming Lucie Ulrich and her newest release, Finding Hope

Book: Finding Hope – Though a standalone, this book is a companion or follow-up to The Rose Ring.

Genres: Inspirational, Romance, Family Drama

Blurb:
Nearly sixteen years after relinquishing the rights to his unborn child, Noah Cooper is stunned to discover his daughter, Hope, wants to meet him. With the love and support of his family, Noah sets off from Elk Flats, Montana to Albany, New York, having no idea what changes are in store for him.
Cancer survivor and widow, Beth Peterson, is more than a little nervous to meet her daughter’s birth father. Their initial meeting goes well, but things decline in a hurry when Noah invites Hope to spend time at the ranch without speaking to Beth about it first. 
Determined to meet her new family, a battle of wills ensues between Hope and her mother. While Hope longs for a connection, Beth fears losing her daughter to virtual strangers—strangers who live two thousand miles away.
Struggles and misunderstandings abound between Noah and Beth, despite their growing attraction for one another. Noah is ready to commit, while Beth can’t let go of the memory of her husband and the imperfections cancer has forced to live with. 
Will hope, patience, and prayer be enough to pull this family together?

Short Excerpt:  (385 words)
Noah Cooper brushed down his horse and left him in the corral. He strode across the expanse of property and entered the house through the mudroom. Removing his hat, he scrubbed a hand through his sandy-blond hair. It was time for a haircut. The aroma of beef stew wafted from the kitchen. “You in there, Annie?”
 “I am, and I washed the floors this morning, so take your boots off.”
 “Yes, ma’am.” Chuckling, Noah sat on a bench to do as ordered. In the five months since he’d discovered the woman he believed to be his aunt was actually his mother, Noah had experienced a new kind of love. They were still working out the kinks, but life was good. Noah stepped into the kitchen, kissed Annie on the cheek, and sat at the oak table that was older than he was. “I picked up the mail. Nothing but bills and junk.” He held up a square envelope. “Except for this.” Annie reached for it, but Noah pulled it back with a smile. “Sorry, it’s addressed to me.”
Annie wiped her hands on a dishtowel, her inquisitive gray eyes staring down at him. “Who’s it from?”
 “I don’t know. There’s no return address.” He tore open the flap and pulled out a floral note card. A small photograph of a young girl, maybe thirteen or fourteen, spilled out. She had golden-brown hair that fell past her shoulders, large green eyes, and a slightly crooked smile that mimicked his own. He turned the photo over to find the name Hope and age fourteen written on the back.
“Who’s this?” Annie took the photo from him and studied it.
 Tingles ran up Noah’s spine. “I’m not sure.” Could it possibly be? Before reading the note, he zeroed in on the signature at the bottom. The breath escaped his lungs in a whoosh. 
“You okay?” Annie sat next to him and put a hand on his arm. 
It took a moment before he could answer. He hadn’t heard from his first love in nearly sixteen years. Not since the day he’d signed the adoption papers relinquishing any rights to his unborn child. “It’s from Amanda.”
Annie let out a long, slow whistle while holding up the picture. “So this is…”
Noah took the picture from her. “My daughter.”
                              
Long Excerpt:  (579 words)
Over dinner Hope chatted on about school, her dreams to become a veterinarian, and the school play she was taking part in. “I have a really good part. Do you think you could come back to see me, Noah?”
“As much as I’d like to, I’m not sure I could get away so soon.”
“Honey, that’s a lot to ask. The play is only a month away, and Noah doesn’t exactly live across town.”
“Sure.” Hope swirled the mashed potatoes on her plate with her fork. “I understand.”
The downward bent of Hope’s mouth tore at Noah’s insides. He’d barely made contact and was already letting her down. He swallowed his final bite of meat. “Maybe you could spend some time at the ranch over the summer.”
Hope’s frown quickly turned to a face-splitting grin. “That would be amazing. I can’t wait to tell Jenny.”
Fire practically shot from Beth’s eyes, and Noah knew he’d put his foot in it big time.
****
            Beth asked Hope to clear the table and clean the kitchen. “I’m going to show Noah the garden. We’ll have dessert when we come back.”
“Sure, Mom.”
“The garden’s this way.” Beth walked past Noah toward the sliding glass door. She opened it with more force than necessary, causing the door to slam into its metal casing. Cringing at the racket, she was less forceful with the screen.
Noah followed her onto the deck. “Look, I know I spoke—”
“Not here.” She descended the stairs at a brisk pace and walked across the yard until she reached the gazebo. The walk and cool air did nothing to calm her nerves. Spinning around, she faced him. “You had no right to extend an invitation like that without speaking to me first.”
“I know, and I’m sorry. The words just came out before I had a chance to think about what I was saying.”
“Yeah, well, sorry isn’t going to help when I have to tell Hope she won’t be going. I opened my home to you so that you could meet your daughter, not for you to whisk her away at the first opportunity.”
He held up his hands. “Whisk her away? No, you’ve got it all wrong. I expect you to come with her. Hope has other family, which means you do, too. I think she’d enjoy a couple of weeks of ranch life, and you’re both going to love my family.”
“You assume a lot for someone who’s barely known me for twenty-four hours and my daughter half that amount of time. And, yes, I did say my daughter. You may have fathered her, but I raised her.”
“That’s a low blow, Beth.” Noah’s easy smile vanished. He leaned against the railing and crossed his arms over his chest. The mixture of hurt and anger in his eyes pained her. She knew she was overreacting but couldn’t help herself. He was moving too fast. Surely he realized that. “I think it might be best if you don’t stay for dessert. I’ll explain to Hope.”
“I’ll be the first to admit that my enthusiasm may have gotten the better of me.” He uncrossed his arms and pointed to her. “But you’re the one who invited me into Hope’s life. You asked if I was in for the long-haul, so I assumed you understood I’d want to bring Hope to Montana from time to time.”
“It’s too early for this to be about what you want.”                            

About the author: Lucie Ulrich is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction. Her books are filled with stories of faith, family and forgiveness. She was honored to receive a RONE Award for her second novel, “The Rose Ring.” 

A former performing arts director, Lucie now enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She continues to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.

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16 comments:

  1. I loved the excerpts, sounds like a great book.

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  2. I'm definitely going to read this book soon and look forward to it! I really love the cover!

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    1. Thanks, Becky. The cover is one of my favorites.

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  3. This will be my read Friday, when I can stay up late to finish it!

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  4. I love the cover on this one, and those excerpts get your attention. Definitely need to get and read this one.

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  5. Lucie's books always invoke many emotions in her characters and have a "real life" feel to them. I haven't read this one yet, but will.

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  6. Love reading your books. I hsve to say the blog is beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Deana, and I agree about the beautiful blog. :)

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  7. The excerpts are wonderful Lucie! The story sounds amazing and I can't wait to hear all about Noah, Beth, and if they can make it all work! Trdivincenzo (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks, Teri! I labored hard before birthing this baby. :)

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  9. Teri DiVincenzoMay 5, 2017 at 2:29 AM
    I remember! How lucky we are to get to go on the journey with you!

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