Check out a Q&A with the author... Catching Hope by Kathy Cassel (Interview & #Giveaway) #yalit @celebrate_lit

Welcome! Check out an interview with the author and enter the tour giveaway below...

Catching Hope
By Kathy Cassel
YA Action/Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 178 Pages
February 1, 2021 by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.


Catching Hope—a pursuit fraught with danger.

Newly adopted Lexi Michaels is taking her first real vacation as she, twin brother Levi, adoptive brother Chad, and new cousin Jen head to Haiti where their dad, a pediatrician, will be volunteering in an island clinic. But who is the man who displays such hatred for the Michaels when they arrive at their resort? Is an attempted burglary as random as it appears? Will Jen ever accept the newcomers to the family? When the four teens set out to explore Haiti’s sights and history on their own, an unexpected encounter and natural disaster plunge them into adventure and danger. With their very survival at stake, can the four teens work together or will Lexi’s dream of a “forever family” end in tragedy?

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What inspired you to write Catching Hope?

The idea of writing a book set in Haiti began back in 2007 when we visited an orphanage to meet twins we were planning to adopt. I knew it would involve a kidnapping, but I knew it had to be more than that. I needed a main character who was struggling with many of the same things today’s teens struggle with. In Lexi’s case, she struggle with acceptance, fitting in, and having hope for a better future.

Would you tell us a little more about the main characters?

Four teens are kidnapped together while in Haiti. The main character, Lexi, and her twin brother Levi, had only recently been adopted, and this was their first real vacation. Along with them is their brother Chad who was adopted by the same family when he was young. The fourth teen is the snooty cousin, Jen, who is on the trip very reluctantly.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

Lexi. We all need to feel acceptance and the need to fit in.

What one piece of advice/tips would Lexi give?

Don’t be afraid to hope. God can take anything and make something beautiful out of it.

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

The interactions between Lexi and her new dad. There is one point where they are walking on the beach that kind of sums up the kind of life Lexi has had:

We walked, leaving two sets of footprints side by side, his larger than mine. A rare sense of peace washed over me. I looked back to see how far back I could see our footprints, but as I did, a huge wave washed ashore, erasing any sign we had walked that way moments before. I sighed.

I think we’ve all had those times when we think all is well, and then the footprints wash away.

What challenged you about writing Catching Hope?

One thing that was hard was making the book authentic, but not wanting to show Haiti in a bad light. There are a lot of kidnappings. Our adoption facilitator and another orphanage worker were kidnapped near the beginning of our adoption process. It happens. But I didn’t want to make it sound like Haiti is a horrible place. It’s not. But it has those who are honest and upright and those who aren’t like in most places.

What’s one of your hobbies or something we might not know about you?

I want to understand my characters, their hobbies, interests and so on. This had led me on some interesting adventures such as whitewater rafting, certifying in scuba, and getting my motorcycle certification. I never know where my writing will lead me.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Study your craft. Invest in the James Scott Bell books I mentioned earlier or other writing books that appeal to you. Read the kind of books you want to write—but don’t copy them. Find your own voice.

When you reach for a book to read, what genre do you grab and what are some of your favorites in that genre?

Young Adult. I just finished The Silence of Murder by Dandi Mackall. It’s a secular book but written by a Christian author, so it’s a great story with no swearing.

What are you working on next?

I have two projects going. One is a young adult book about a teen girl who finds out that she’s not who she thought she was. The other is an underwater crime scene book that I am struggling with.

About the Author

Kathy Cassel lives in the Florida panhandle with her husband and four of their eight children, five of whom are adopted. She is a motorcycle rider, scuba diver, and loves spending time with her family. Her debut novel, Freerunner, was published by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. in 2019.

More from Kathy

My Experience with Haiti

Prior to the 2010 catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake that caused immense damage to the country of Haiti, many people would not have been able to tell you that Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola just a two hour flight from Miami.

I knew where it was because our family had adopted a child from Haiti in 1997. At the time the earthquake took place, my husband and I were in the process of adopting twins from a different orphanage in Port au Prince Haiti. It had been over three years and our adoption was not yet complete. During those three years I visited the twins at the orphanage five times. Other family members went with me on some of those trips, and at one point, all of our children still living at home went to visit the orphanage.

This was an eye opening experience for my family. In fact, I volunteered us to do the daily wash. That meant hand washing clothes and sheets for 135 orphans using large metal tubs and harsh soap, then rinsing the clothes in other tubs before hand wringing them and hanging them on clotheslines. Once home, my children no longer complained about unloading the dryer!

Cooking was done in large pots over open fires and mainly consisted of rice and beans, or red sauce over rice. The cooks originally prepared the food in a wooden shack, but more than once one of them would get so hot she’d pass out, so an outdoor area was set up for food preparation.

After the earthquake, there was a mountain of paperwork to be done to get refugee status for children in the orphanages who had families waiting for them. Finally the children were brought to the United States, although some of the orphans went to other countries too, to be united with their forever families. Sadly, many were held in the airport for days before being released. For our family, the long wait was over January 25, 2010. Now our family is complete with three birth children and five adopted children, three of whom are from Haiti.

Some of the places mentioned in the book resemble real places in Haiti, although they have been fictionalized. I hope you will not only read Catching Hope, but will also take time to learn more about the country of Haiti.

Tour Schedule

For the Love of Literature, February 28 (Author Interview)
Wishful Endings, March 4 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, March 4
Artistic Nobody, March 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Simple Harvest Reads, March 10 (Author Interview)
Lots of Helpers, March 10

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Books-A-Million Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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