Hope Lies Ahead Spotlight, Author Interview, and a Giveaway!

Welcome to the Celebrate Lit Blog Tour for Hope Lies Ahead, a book that serves as a source of hope for those families that have struggling family members, and how there is hope to get through their situation.

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Book:  Hope Lies Ahead

Author: James & Geoffrey Banks

Genre:  Christian non-fiction, Christian living, family and relationships

Release Date: April, 2020

No prodigal is beyond the reach of God

 Every inch of my body was in pain and my skin was crawling. I couldn’t think straight or even form coherent sentences . . . How did I end up like this? –Geoffrey Banks

Geoff’s situation seemed hopeless: a heroin addict going through a nightmarish detox on the floor of an overpopulated jail cell. He had made a mess of his life.

His parents felt their son slipping away. They loved him so much and felt so powerless. And so they prayed—through the hurt, the questions, the frustrations. And through it all, God walked with them.

Hope Lies Ahead shares Geoff’s prodigal journey and James’s perspective as his father. Each man writes his own story and candidly addresses the spiritual and practical challenges families with prodigals face. As someone who loves a prodigal, you’ll know you are not alone and that there is hope!

Click here to get your copy


Welcome to the blog Geoff! How did the facts in this book come together?

Through a lot of conversations with people from my life. I did my best to write down a timeline and remember a lot of events that happened throughout our life but at the end of the day, I don’t trust my own memory. So that left me reaching out to people, some who I hadn’t talked to in a  long time, and asking them to give me their memory of certain events. Lucky, my father remembered a lot of things better than I did. It was hard at times but being able to be on the other side of things and look at life circumstances from a different perspective was a gift.

I’m sure it was difficult, but thankful you were able to piece it together. What was your biggest hurdle in writing this?

Getting my dogs to leave me alone while I was trying to write. Just kidding. Reliving my most difficult memories was really difficult because of where it took my brain. I didn’t realize how much some of the things in this book affected me until I had to go back through them and write about them. Also, having to see how much I hurt some of the people in my life was difficult as well. Every person that is written about in this book has been incredibly forgiving and gracious toward me but it is still hard to be reminded of the person I once was.

I think it’s good for us to look back every now and then to see the person we were, and be thankful at how far we’ve come. Do you like to write in silence, or with background noise?

I have to have background noise. I am incredibly high energy and have trouble paying attention to one thing. Silence can be deafening to me. I always turn on lo-fi hip hop beats with no lyrics. It helps me get into my writing zone and focus on the task at hand.

Sounds like my daughter! She always has music playing. What’s your favorite writing spot?

I love writing outside in the sun on my front porch. It makes me forget that I am sitting in front of a computer and cancels out the blue light. I take my laptop out there, kick my feet up on the porch railing, and could stay there all day.

Now that sounds amazing. I love being outside! What are you working on next?

Right now I have been working a lot on message content for high school students at my church. I love speaking as much as I do writing so getting to combine those two things is my sweet spot. Other than that, I would like to start working on a devotional book for high school students. Helping students grow in their walk with Jesus is one of my favorite things in the world.

I look forward to seeing that devotional in the future! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your heart today. 🙂


James Banks_2017

Dr. James Banks is the author of Prayers for Prodigals, Prayers for Your Children, Praying the Prayers of the Bible, Praying Together, and Praying with Jesus. Through books, blog posts, and magazine articles, he regularly encourages people to pray. Dr. Banks has been a pastor and church planter for more than twenty-five years and lives with his wife, Cari, in Durham, North Carolina. They have two adult children.


Geoffrey Banks serves as the high school coordinator at Port City Community Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. He loves reaching students where they are and helping them walk with God. He is an avid surfer and skater. Geoffrey struggled with heroin addiction throughout his teens and early twenties before coming to know Jesus and having his life radically change. Now he is host of the podcast Too Many Christians, which explores beliefs in the pursuit of ultimate truth.


From James

My son, Geoff, and I chose to tell our story in Hope Lies Ahead because we believe it’s what God would have us do. So many families suffer in silence when their loved ones go down prodigal paths, and we want them to know they are not alone. God truly offers hope when it seems like none can be found.

Geoff and I could only write this book because of God’s kindness to us. Like the father in the parable of the prodigal, “My son was lost and now is found,” and I’m still celebrating. Geoff is so much more than his past sins and mistakes. He is a new creation, made stronger in the broken places by God’s amazing love. Today God uses him to reach people in ways that would not have been possible had he not been down such difficult roads. God wastes nothing—redemption is a precious, priceless thing.

God never gives up on us. He goes to lengths that defy reason to save us and love us back to Himself. Even when our children make choices that break our hearts, God doesn’t abandon them. He loves our prodigals even more than we do.

Jesus is still “a friend of sinners.” No one is beyond God’s reach. When answers to prayer are long in coming, He Himself is the best answer. In the rough and raw places where we feel numb or even nothing at all, God is able to meet us with help and healing as we cast our cares on Him.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation, keep loving, keep praying, and keep the lines of communication open. God can empower us in love beyond what we think is possible, and give us the wisdom and direction we need to face each day.

From Geoff

Substance abuse is so prevalent in our world right now. There is no specific socioeconomic class, community, or age that struggles with it, it is everywhere. With that being the reality, there is a lot of negative stories out there. All over the news you hear of overdoses, arrests, and other things related to this topic going on. My heart behind writing Hope Lies Ahead is that people will find some hope in the midst of an incredibly difficult time.

It is an up close and personal book for both my father and I, and that is on purpose. We looked at both of our failings, our strengths, and where we could have done things differently. For us it was an honest dialogue about what our journey through substance abuse as a family was like and how we came out on the other side. I hope that it can be the start of an honest dialogue for a lot of other families as well that will point everyone involved toward our one hope—Jesus.

As you read through Hope Lies Ahead, you will see a little bit of yourself in both of us. At times I am pretty hard on my father for some of the things that he did. The thing that I want to remind the reader of is that even when he made mistakes, it was done out of love. He wasn’t the religious Bible thumper I sometimes make him out to be but rather was driven by a deep love for his kids that sometimes got expressed in the wrong way. I think that his perspective is so unique because now he recognizes those moments for what they are and is able to help other people not fall in those same traps. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my parents, and this experience ended up sharpening both of us.

Based on what we learned going through this experience, I would say to a parent of a prodigal  above all else, maintain relationship. Let them know you love them even when they make huge mistakes. Let them know that if they ever want help you are right there waiting. Make sure they are aware of their options as far as treatment goes and when the opportunity arises to get them there, jump on it. Do it immediately. Don’t wait.

I think we often find ourselves wanting to preach. Addiction can be an infuriating disease to experience, whether you are the one who is addicted or a family member is. In the midst of that anger and frustration, we need to be reminded that our battle is not against flesh and blood. Your war isn’t with that person, it is with the sin that is dominating their life. Don’t exchange your relationship with them for an off handed comment or a sermon about their behavior. It isn’t worth it.

My prayer is that people reading this book will be encouraged in their situation and that they turn first to Jesus. I believe that ultimate redemption looks like Jesus on the cross. It is when something meant for evil gets turned around and used for good. There are many stories of people going through addiction and then using their experience to help others out of it. There is nothing more beautiful than a giant struggle becoming an incredible strength.


Texas Book-aholic, April 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 25

Andrea Christenson, April 26 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, April 27

For Him and My Family, April 28

Genesis 5020, April 29

For the Love of Literature, April 30 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, May 1

A Baker’s Perspective, May 2 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, May 3

Simple Harvest Reads, May 4 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 5

Through the Fire Blogs, May 6

Artistic Nobody, May 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)


To celebrate their tour, James and Geoffrey are giving away the grand prize package of Hope Lies Ahead, Prayers For Prodigals and $10 Amazon Gift Card!!

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


6 thoughts on “Hope Lies Ahead Spotlight, Author Interview, and a Giveaway!

  1. Thank you for being part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour for “Hope Lies Ahead”.

    Enjoyed reading the guest post. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read the book.

  2. This is a very interesting interview. It’s fascinating to see how different we are–I wouldn’t be able to handle music playing when I was writing!

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