I’m welcoming Lisa Beth Darling, author of Sins of the Father. Lisa will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Be sure to enter her giveaway!
Welcome Lisa! Tell us about your book.
I should start by saying that the “Sister Christian” Series is not a religious series of books, although religion does factor in heavily. It never becomes preachy and there are no big conversions or spiritual revelations for any of the characters. The title actually comes from the Night Ranger song of the same name, and I picked it because it’s just so fitting to the overall series. The song is about a brother watching his sister grow up and go on her first dates. He worries about her but knows there’s nothing he can do to stop her from becoming an adult.
The same goes for Doctor Richard Mason who, in “Genesis” the first book in the series, discovers he was adopted and that a girl he knew in childhood, Hannah Rice, is actually his sister. Mason is a certified genius but Hannah, due to a very bad car accident some thirty years prior is regarded as physically and mentally incapable. She’s lived in one group home after another all of her adult life before coming to live with him, wherein he becomes her legal guardian. Mason’s life is far from perfect. Other than having his world shattered by finding out he isn’t who he thought he was, he’s a brilliant physician by day but by night he’s a borderline alcoholic and drug addict hiding in his tiny house away from the world and people he swears he doesn’t need.
As we get to know Hannah we come to understand that while, yes, she is physically and mentally damaged, she is probably not as incapable as everyone believes. This becomes very apparent when she insists on going to church as she’s done every Sunday of her life. Mason, ever the antagonist and staunch atheist, doesn’t want to let her go. He tries to convince her that there is no God, but Hannah won’t have any of it. Despite everything she’s been through in her life, her faith in God never waivers. After all, God has been speaking directly to her in her head for the last thirty years (or so she thinks). He’s gotten her through some very difficult times. Given the fact that they went to Catholic schools together, Hannah cannot understand how or why Mason turned his back on God. Against his better judgment, Mason allows her to go, but he does not go with her, he refuses to enter a church.
In “Sins of the Father”, the second book in the series, Hannah is recovering from emergency heart and brain surgery that took place at the end of “Genesis.” As the book progresses, long-buried memories begin haunting her day and night. The more she tries to repress them, the worse they become, until one day in a manic state she takes off into a horrible thunderstorm. Mason finds her broken and bleeding, lying on the altar of St. Anthony’s Church, where she collapsed on the doorstep and was taken in by the priest and two nuns. It’s there that inspiration strikes Mason and a miracle (of a kind) occurs. Of course, he doesn’t believe in miracles or signs from God even though they’re all around him. Instead, he credits himself and leaves God out of the equation.
This series is completed in two more books, “Mysterious Ways” and the upcoming “Prodigal Son.”
Blurb: As Hannah recovers from emergency brain and heart surgery, memories of the past overtake her dreams with such clarity they cannot be denied. As the last of the painful family secrets come to light it’s up to her brother, Doctor Richard Mason, and his unconventional methods to help her confront the ugliness.
Excerpt: Running a hand over the side of his close-cropped gray head Frank tried to keep his cool as he pled his case, “Look, I just want to see Hannah, are you going to let me in there or not?”
Mason seemed to think about it for a second even though he really wasn’t. “Ummm…not.” He said finally. “She doesn’t want to see you.”
“She told you that? I don’t believe it.”
“Well, you could go and ask herself…oh, wait, that’s right…you can’t go in there. Guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.”
“Yeah, like that’s worth anything.”
“Some people think it is.” Mason retorted as he held out his cupped hands, “Some people put their lives right here. Crazy, right?” From the look on the man’s face Mason thought he’d stand there and bitch all day long. “While you’re waiting for noon to come around, why don’t you do Hannah a favor?”
“Tell me about the two years between her accident and the birth of my pre-maturely deceased nephew.” He watched Frank’s mouth drop open. “Take a load off.” Mason said and gestured toward the chair opposite his desk. “In fact, why don’t you just tell me everything you know?”
“She told you about Little Ricky?” Frank asked as he leaned forward but the question was more directed to the air than anyone in the room. “She’s never spoken about him…ever.”
Author Bio: It was in the 4th grade when Lisa Beth Darling discovered she was a naturally gifted writer. For her very first creative writing assignment, the teacher asked the class to pen a story about a baby bird’s first flight and read them to the class. Putting pencil to paper, Lisa was instantly whisked away by a force she couldn’t explain. When they were finished, all of the children read their happy stories to the class. Not Lisa. She got up and told of how the baby bird flew too high, hit a plane, crashed to the ground and died. She told of how the mama bird and daddy bird cried of how even God was upset sending the rains pouring from the sky. The class was speechless when she finished all they could do was stare at her. The teacher kept her after class told her the story was very good but it was different from the others. She asked Lisa if she’d ever heard of Icarus and had she based her story on him. Lisa had yet to encounter Greek Mythology or hear a whisper of Icarus. As Lisa left the classroom the teacher again told her how good the story was but suggested she might want to write something happier next time. Perplexed, Lisa turned and asked her teacher: “Why?” The teacher had no answer. Luckily for us, Lisa never took that teacher’s advice.
Today she brings us complex multi-layered stories rich with the trials and tribulations that make up the world in which we live. Not one to be pigeonholed into any single genre, Lisa’s stories revolve around the intricacies of couples from range the intimacy of lovers, to mothers and sons, and brothers and sisters.
Lisa Beth Darling is 49 years-old, lives in her hometown of New London, CT with her husband of nearly 30 years, Roy. She is the author of more than fifteen novels along with several short stories and non-fiction books.