Last year I introduced to you a new-to-me and our blog author, Heidi, Chiavaroli with her new (at the time) book, Freedom's Ring. Today Heidi returns with her latest release, The Hidden Side so please welcome her back!
An Unexpected Treasure in The Hidden Side
This is what the power of story gives us, and as my latest novel, The Hidden Side, is released into the world, I can’t help but dwell on the unexpected treasure it brought me.
Truth be told, I did not at first want to go to the places this story would take me. After my editors gave me the green light to write about a family torn apart by the unspeakable actions of one of its members—a teenage son who would not only bring a gun to school but use it—I was in a bit of shock. I didn’t know how I’d get through it emotionally. How would I write from the point of view of a mother whose son faced the possibility of life in prison because of his horrific actions? If I were honest, when I viewed these stories in the news, I wrote off the parents as unfit, the children as unloved. But reading the memoirs of mothers who had gone through similar situations proved that my presumptions were not always valid.
Both the research and the writing of this story stretched my humanity, my empathy, and my faith. So often I look at a situation, or a person’s actions, and judge it. And while some things are, quite simply, plain wrong, I think it’s worth peeling back the layers of things unseen . . . things we may not even want to see . . . the hidden side, the gray area of those difficult trials and the people who are enduring them.
There lies the treasure I found in The Hidden Side. This story grew my empathy and my compassion. It expanded my view of Atticus Finch’s admonition to climb in someone else’s skin. It was hard to go here, but finding this treasure was absolutely worth it.
The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli
New York, 2016
Natalie Abbott offers answers for hurting listeners on her popular radio program. But she struggles to connect with her teenagers, with her daughter in an unhealthy relationship and her son uncommunicative and isolated. When one member of the family commits an unspeakable act, Natalie is forced to uncover who she truly is under the façade of her radio persona.
New York, 1776
Mercy Howard is shocked when her fiancé, Nathan Hale, is arrested and hanged as a spy. When she’s asked to join the revolutionary spy ring in Manhattan, she sees an opportunity to avenge Nathan’s death. But keeping her true loyalties hidden grows increasingly harder as the charming Major John Andre of the King’s Army becomes more to her than a target for intelligence.
Mercy’s journals comfort Natalie from across the centuries as both women struggle with their own secrets and shame, wondering how deep God’s mercy extends. Available at Tyndale & Amazon.
What a lovely testimony, Heidi. It always amazes me how God uses tough situations to grow US up spiritually. Thanks for sharing. Good luck and God's blessings to you.
Heidi Chiavaroli began writing eleven years ago, just after Jesus grabbed hold of her heart. She used her two small boys’ nap times to pursue what she thought at the time was a foolish dream. Despite a long road to publication, she hasn’t stopped writing since! Heidi won the 2014 ACFW Genesis contest in the historical category. Her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, was a 4½-star Romantic Times Top Pick and a Booklist Top Ten Romance Debut, and her latest novel, The Hidden Side, is scheduled to release in May 2018. Heidi loves exploring places that whisper of historical secrets, especially with her family. She loves running, hiking, baking, and dates with her high-school sweetheart and husband of fourteen years. Heidi makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Howie, her standard poodle.
Hope you enjoyed today's guest and that you'll drop by each week for Tuesday Treasures, Thursday Thoughts and Saturday Spotlight.
Until next time, take care and God Bless.