I am excited to share this new novel! Hope In Every Raindrop is a new adult, clean romance. I also have a guest post from author Wesley Banks about small towns. To see what’s going on at the rest of the tour stops, visit the tour schedule.
Title: Hope In Every Raindrop
Author: Wesley Banks
Release Date: May 2015
Length: 201 pages
Genre: New Adult, Romance
“Small towns have big stories.” That was a lesson Katie’s father taught her years ago. A lesson she’s taken to heart. And right now, Katie is desperate for a big story. Reeling from the recent loss of her father and with her agent breathing down her neck for the next book, the twenty-one-year-old writer picks a spot on the map and finds herself bound for a middle-of-nowhere town called Bishopville, South Carolina.
Taking a chance on the words of a local grocer, Katie stumbles upon a rare breed of dogs raised by the town doctor and his nephew Kyle. The only problem? Kyle isn’t interested in telling stories—especially not to a big-city girl who can’t seem to sit still. In an attempt to win him over as the clock winds down, Katie finds herself immersed in Kyle’s world, doing everything but writing.
When inspiration finally strikes, Katie is faced with an unforeseen catastrophe and a truth she can no longer ignore. While she has come to love the dogs, the real story may be about Kyle Walker.
***** Guest Post *****
10 Reasons to Live in a Small Town
Small town life isn’t for everyone. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. However, in the case of Kyle Walker and Hope In Every Raindrop, small town life is the only life he knows. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here are 10 reasons to live in a small town.
1. Everyone knows everyone. This means your name matters. You’re not just another teacher, doctor, or engineer. You’re the teacher, doctor, or engineer. And everyone knows it.
2. Life doesn’t move so fast. Have you ever heard the saying, “Stop and smell the roses?” In small towns there’s no need to say it. You’re not walking down the street nose in your cell phone, or rushing to your next big meeting. You’re living life as it’s meant to be lived. Enjoying every moment.
3. Family matters…a lot. It’s not that family doesn’t matter in larger cities, it’s just that it’s typically more of a priority in smaller towns. It’s a great environment to raise a kid.
4. The great outdoors. Have you ever noticed how many people leave big cities to go on vacation? To get back to the peace and calm and wonder that is nature? Small towners have a greater focus (daily) on the outdoors.
5. Do it yourself is an actual thing. How many do it yourself (DIY) blogs do you follow? Seriously. There’s not a good explanation for this, but in small towns the answer to “Can I fix this?” is always “Yes.”
6. Fun has a whole new meaning. Movie theater? Shopping downtown? Bars and clubs? Nope. Playing cool, and completely made up games with friends? That’s a small town.
7. Stars, stars, and more stars. I’m not talking about Zac Efron or Jennifer Lawrence. I’m talking about the stars you see at night when you look up. There’s no skyscrapers or smog blocking out the starlight in small towns. And it’s amazing.
8. There’s always parking, but no parking lots. You just kind of drive where you need to go and then stop when you get there.
9. Peace and quiet. If you’re a writer or a reader you will absolutely love the peace and quiet.
10. The simple life. Somehow in big cities we get too caught up with things that aren’t that important. Small town life is simple. Food, shelter, a good book, fun with your friends and family, your health. Those are the things that matter. Oh, and of course your dog.
***** Review *****
This novel is a blend of new adult, romance and literary fiction. The writing is done so seamlessly it’s hard to realize how to place this novel into a genre.
Katie is a young writer – a young, repeated bestselling writer in a single year – but she has lost all inspiration for writing. Her agent is chomping at the bit for the next book’s draft Katie has said she’s been working on. When faced with an ultimatum, Katie follows in her father’s footsteps to find her next story.
A stroke of fate lands Katie in Bishopville, South Carolina with an old-fashioned, country doctor, a strong, guarded young man and a pack of dogs that have an interesting history…and do even more interesting things.
“How did I ever write a New York Times Best Seller?” she said out loud.
Katie – Katie is grasping at straws to keep her agent and publisher off her back, but she doesn’t have a story at all. She doesn’t feel the inspiration to write. She’s young – only 21 – and skyrocketed into the big leagues of the publishing world. She takes matters into her own hands and follows in her father’s footsteps to get her story.
It was like his eyes judged her as a person even as his words judged her as a writer.
Kyle – Kyle is a strong, silent young man who formed a bond with a new breed of wild dogs – the Carolina grays. He lives in the barn out at his uncle’s place and is constantly
dealing with ignoring tourists and passers by who want to see the dogs and the extraordinary work he does with them. Kyle is very hard to get a read on, and quite aloof.
Perhaps a few inches over six feet, his legs were like tree trunks against his jeans, and his forearms looked more like calves as he wrapped his hand around a large walking staff that stopped just past his shoulders. He had a neatly trimmed white beard and his hair was pulled back in a ponytail that hung barely above his shoulders. Every facet of him seemed imposing. Until he smiled.
Doc – Doc is a good ol’ Carolina man. He’s the local doctor and at times gets pulled away from the farm. He welcomes Katie with open arms and sets her up to work. He is Kyle’s uncle and sometimes has to assert that authority over his standoffish nephew.
Kyle swiveled around in his chair as the back door opened and Katie walked through. Earl followed, talking all the way.
“…four common whales in California? The gray whale, the humpback whale, the blue whale and the fin whale. The blue whale can be over one hundred tons!”
“Earl! How many times do I gotta tell you the customers don’t want to hear that nonsense?”
Earl looked at Pearl with a straight face. “Everyone likes whales.” Then her turned back around and walked right out the door still talking. “I mean, there is a whole television station on whales…”
Other than these three, there are two characters in town that are quite charming. Pearl’s Place is where Kyle and Doc get their supplies, but Pearl, the proprietor, is like a “wise grandmother” and Earl is a technology guru. Earl is eager for conversation and engagement. He cracked me up – like a little old man tinkering away but ready to strike a conversation with anyone while under Pearl’s thumb. Pearl and Earl point Katie in the right direction to get her story.
And then there are the dogs. There are many of them, paired up like sled dogs, but the one who takes prominence in the story is King. He was the first dog, whom Kyle discovered as an orphaned pup. They have an exceptional relationship that is tested in the book.
Brilliant plan, Katie. Write a book about a bunch of dogs and the least talkative person on the planet.
Katie was a very well-rounded character, and I appreciated all of the facets to her as a daughter, writer, and woman. I could understand her frustration with stoic and silent Kyle, but also how she turned some of that into humor on her own part. Doc is like the proverbial Santa Claus. Who doesn’t love Santa? He has the patience of a saint to put up with Kyle, but he is gentle as a lamb. Kyle, on the other hand, rubbed me the wrong way for the longest time…until more of his story was revealed.
Doc leads both Katie and Kyle in a journey of understanding one another. He creates the buffer between the two until they are comfortable enough for Kyle to open up and Katie to write the story she has come so far to write.
At first I had no idea what I was doing with this book. I admit it was a relationship purely based on cover love. Intriguing covers always get me!
Kyle is a lot more than meets the eye, but it’s hard to understand that by his natural hardened exterior. There is much more to this young man than Katie could ever have guessed, and she slowly discovers this piece by little piece as she whittles away life in Bishopville while working with Doc and Kyle. Kyle is so in sync with the dogs, which is why he works so well with them.
“Often times when a person looks at a dog they forget that the dog doesn’t look back at them the same way. When she sees you she doesn’t see a pretty brunette girl that loves to write. She sees the way your shoulders are slightly angled towards her. She notices the few strands of hair not tucked behind your ear. She watches the subtle part in your lips. The dogs see everything. The way you walk, the lightness or heaviness of a single step. The way you look at things, with curiosity or insecurity. Even the way you breathe. They take the time to notice the details that we often take for granted. All their decisions are based on these details.”
I thought this was a very powerful moment in the book, and also provided a turning point for Katie. It sure opened my eyes, that’s for sure!
The title comes from writings of Katie’s father. Kyle grew up with these sentiments, never knowing they came from anyone other than Doc. It was an interesting connection that linked them all together and showed just how perfect Katie’s search for her story is.
The writing of this novel is so relaxed in the writing style, yet controlled in what is revealed and how it is revealed. It is an interesting dynamic that suited well for the relationship between Katie and Kyle, as well a reader with the writing itself and the story that Katie eventually comes to write.
This is a book with many complexities, which is always welcomed to my shelves. There is a depth to this book that has such strong and touching moments – and lessons – to share with others.
***** About the Author *****
Wesley Banks was born in 1983 and grew up on the west coast of Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. After spending over 7 years building movable bridges from Florida to Washington he decided to focus on his true passion: writing.
Wesley recently moved from Florida to Oregon to get back to the great outdoors that he’s love so much. He lives with his wife Lindsey, and his two dogs Linkin and Story. Most of his time these days is spent writing, with as much rock climbing, hiking, or skiing as they can fit in.
***** Giveaway *****
The author will be giving away $25 Amazon Gift Card and 2 ebook copies of “Hope in Every Raindrop” to the winners of the below Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends July 7th.