February 3, 2014

"It Had To Be You"
Susan May Warren

 Eden Christiansen is a cheerleader.  Oh, not the cheerleader that does cartwheels, somersaults and hand stands, but the kind that let's her younger brother, Owen, know that she's his number fan and is there for him.  Of course she's enjoyed looking after her NHL rookie brother, even if he is reckless and seems to headed the wrong direction, but she never imagined that would be her whole life.  Since taking care of Owen is pretty much a full time job, she has little time to invest in her own career as a reporter.  

She needs help taking care of Owen and trying to keep him out of trouble.  The only one around, who might could possibly have some influence on him, is the team captain, Jace Jacobsen, which in Eden's mind is totally and completely out of the question.  

Jace seems to have the wrong kind of reputation and Eden doesn't let him forget it.   Still, he is the team captain and Owen's idol, but Eden doesn't think that Jace is responsible enough and has no problem letting him know that.  Jace is at a crossroads in his life, but not sure what direction to go.   Maybe he should be more responsible, like Eden says he should be. 

Jace and Eden can not get along, let alone work together, but may be forced to after Owen's carelessness could cost him his career.

I really enjoyed "It Had To Be You".  Even though it's the second book in the series, and I didn't get to read the first one, I still read this one without being totally confused.  Filled with romance, fun, suspense, drama and lessons about faith, this book is a keeper!  Susan May Warren tugs on all of your emotions through this book!   I definitely can't wait to read the rest of the series!  Also included in this book is a prequel that tells how it all started!  (That was really good too!)    


http://www.tyndale.com/authorphotos/amazon/705/pic_full_warren_susanmay.jpgAuthor Q & A
Susan May Warren
   It Had to Be You

1. This is the second installment in a new six book series. Can you give us a bit of background on this series?
The Christiansen Family series is a spin off of the bestselling Deep Haven collection, stories about the 
townspeople of Deep Haven, Minnesota, a tiny resort town on the north shore of Lake Superior. 
The original series started with a book titled Happily Ever After and grew to include six titles.  
However, one family began to stand out,and we decided their story needed to be told. We wanted a series 
about a family with adult children learning what it meant to carry on the legacy of faith into their lives. 
And I wanted to write a series that would really let readers dig into the family, feel like they were a part of
their journey.
2. This Christiansen Family series is set in Deep Haven, Minnesota. Tell us about this setting.
It’s a gorgeous place to set a story on the rocky shores of Lake Superior, in a tiny town where everyone knows 
your name. It’s a town with a rich heritage, strong ties, and a place where people want to escape in fiction and
in real life (as it is modeled after my town of Grand Marais, Minnesota ).  You’ll find people from all walks of life 
here and most importantly, Evergreen Resort, run by the Christiansen family for four generations.
3.  What is your hope for this series?
Of course, I hope people fall as much in love with the Christiansens as I have. They’re a great bunch all led by 
John and Ingrid Christiansen, who have tried to in still their values into their children. But each child has their own path to 
walk, and part of the series is just watching as they walk that path through the good and the bad, trying to figure out where 
their faith and their parents’ legacy fit into their lives. It’s a contemporary epic family series set in the wilds of northern 
Minnesota with romance, suspense, and lots of great family drama!
4. What was your inspiration for this particular book and the main character
 Eden Christiansen?
Eden Christiansen came from a number of places. Watching the siblings of movie stars and 
athletes, watching my own daughter cheer her athlete brothers, even watching my friends, 
parents who feel on the sidelines of their children’s lives, maybe even a little left behind as 
they leave for college. I began to wonder what if you had an amazing sibling, and your
entire family focused on his or her successes, and you felt left behind, void of your own
amazingness? This is Eden who feels like she hasn’t accomplished anything and is sitting on 
the sidelines of her life. She feels like she needs to “get into the game” but doesn’t know how 
or where to start. And she feels like she really has nothing spectacular to offer
But God has different plans...
5. Did you base the character of Jace Jacobsen on anyone in particular?
Jace was loosely modeled after famed Minnesota Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard, who died, 
in part, due to the many concussions he suffered as a hockey player. The problem of 
concussions with today’s athletes, especially in hockey and football,can be life threatening 
for athletes, and although hockey (and football!) is played much differently today, it’s still an 
issue.  I wanted Jace to have the opposite problem from Eden he is only good at one thing. 
In fact, he’s spectacular at it, but he believes if he walks away from it, he will be nothing. 
So same problem different perspective. It gave me a good opportunity as an author to examine 
our “worth.”  Of course, adding the John Doe element only rounded that theme out with yet 
another perspective. I loved how these three angles came together.
6.  What lessons or truths will your readers find in the pages of this novel?
I think we all need to see our worth not in relationship to our external successes but in how we
work out the task God has for us. How we love one another, how we use our gifts and talents. 
How we abide with God in our daily lives.  Hopefully readers will begin seeing their worth in a 
new way.
7.  How do you expect this new series to resonate with your audience?
How do you want your books to make them feel?
I am hoping readers walk away from this book and this series with hope.  The sense that 
they belong to something to God, to family and the feeling that our lives are not chaotic or 
out of control, but that God has a unique and amazing journey for each of us, and it’s lived 
out within our relationships. I want them to feel as if they’d found a new set of friends.
8. Have you received any feedback from your fans on this series? 
What are they saying?
People fell immediately in love with Darek and his sweet son, Tiger, in 
Take a Chance on Me, and I think readers will really enjoy Jace and Eden’s romance 
in this story. I’m thankful that people enjoy the work I put into developing my 
characters and the romance, and I have loved diving into these multilayered stories 
about people with realistic, everyday struggles.
9.  As a writer, what did you particularly enjoy about crafting this story?
I loved writing about Minnesota in the winter. And I loved the story of JohnDoe and 
uncovering who he might be. (I plotted it like a mystery, so it was fun to revisit my 
mystery plotting techniques). I especially loved the layers of Jace, the hero, and how, 
with every turn, he became more intriguing.
10.What is the best advice or encouragement that you have received?
Try to up your writing game with each book, and just keep writing.  Not every story
appeals to every reader, but I try to write a story I would enjoy and then hopefully 
my readers will also.
11. In your writing career, what are you most proud of?
I think I’ve stayed true to who I am and the kind of story I’m supposed to be 
writing. I’m very blessed by my reader friends and their constant encouragement. 
I am very blessed to spend my days with the Christiansen family!


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