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About the Book
Weddings are the last thing beekeeper Huck Anderson wants to be associated with, considering his past. So when he inherits a building occupied by a bridal boutique, he aims to evict the failing business and open a sporting goods store. That is until his tenant ends up being Arianne Winters, a woman he’s indebted to from a mistake made years ago. When a life-threatening injury derails Huck entirely, Arianne offers a compromise to keep her boutique and her life out of bankruptcy—she’ll aid in his lengthy recovery if he’ll allow her to remain in his building. But nursing her adversary proves challenging when her adolescent crush resurfaces. Amidst a battle-of-wills, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways, providing opportunity to overcome their pasts and start anew. Will this confirmed bachelor consider holy-matrimony, or will Huck’s choices sting them a second time?
When I first saw the title to this book, I was unsure if it would be something that would interest me. Then I read the book summary and became intrigued. Once I started reading I was hooked. I knew by the end of the first chapter that unless something weird happened, this would be something I would enjoy. It struck my odd that the author included bee references throughout. I didn’t understand until late in the book why it was even relevant at all. I thought maybe she was just trying to teach me about bees! I am glad that I paid attention to them – and you will be too so don’t skip them!
I really liked the flow of the book. Quite often I find storylines that are too quick and totally predictable and I do not like reading them. While I will admit parts of this story were predictable, what story isn’t to some extent, I didn’t feel like I was being rushed through anything. Sure, there were some times where I want to smack Arianne and Huck, but that was merely the authors way of holding my attention and dreaming about where the storyline would go.
I enjoyed every bit of this story. I especially enjoyed having Christ in the storyline as well. What a great way to bring Him to the book – thank you Ms. Patterson! I hope you’ll give this story a shot. I cannot wait to see what the next installment brings. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
A Note from the Author
If you follow authors for any length of time you’ll probably hear a repeat of things, such as:
“This book was a labor of love.”
“Writing a book is much like raising a child. You raise it, nurture it, and send it out into the world, terrified how it will do out there on its own.”
“I would die of embarrassment if anyone ever saw my first draft.”
“I hate writing a synopsis.”
All of the above ring true for me. How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart really was a labor of love. A painful one. From the day the story took root in my mind to the day it was contracted through my publisher, three years had gone by. In those three years, I wrote draft after draft, endured rejection after rejection, and learned some hard personal lessons. There were discouraging days when I wanted to burn the manuscript and never look at it again, but no matter what happened with it, I couldn’t let it go. This story had to be told. That still, small voice was not my own. It was God’s. The day I stood at my kitchen sink washing dishes as my mind whirled with plot ideas, He promised me if I told the story HE wanted told, I would see it published.
God always follows through on His promises.
It took me a while to work the novel’s plot around so certain areas reflected the Israelites journey through the wilderness. It seemed like I’d never get Huck to be flawed and likable. This manuscript was like the giants in the Promised Land that Joshua and his men reported to Moses. “I can’t inhabit the publishing land, it’s too big,” I’d whisper to God. He chuckled, I’m sure. Size has never been an issue for Him. “Show me what I’m missing, Lord. Help me understand this story,” I prayed.
Ever heard the phrase “be careful what you wish for?”
Shortly after, a personal tragedy rocked my world.
As I looked around at my life, which seemed to be crumbling down around me, I felt the miserable heat, the despairing loneliness, and miles and miles of unknown wilderness stretching out before me. Of course, I wasn’t alone and my future wasn’t really a barren wilderness, but that’s how I felt. Each day I prayed for enough strength to make it to the next day. Some days my prayers were nothing more than, “God help me.”
At times the journey was grueling. I had moments of absolute mental and physical exhaustion. I went back and forth between wanting to give up and believing, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” All the while I worked on my novel, if nothing more than to escape for a while. Writing is my therapy.
As I neared the precipice, finally able to see the end and almost taste the triumph of survival, I understood what God was teaching me.
We all experience a wilderness journey. Everyone’s is different, some are harder than others, but we all have one. Like my hero, Huck, it may be that someone is lost in their sin, wandering a barren life without God. Or as in the case of my heroine, Arianne, one may have trusted the Lord for salvation but isn’t fully giving God every aspect of his/her life, hindering the showers of blessing God longs to bestow upon them to intermittent sprinkles. And sometimes it’s merely unforeseen circumstances that knock us on our backs, making us as vulnerable as a turtle on its shell in the middle of a bustling interstate.
No matter what your wilderness journey may be, trust God every step of the way. Don’t get discouraged and become ungrateful for what the Lord has given you, as the Israelites did. Don’t become impatient and turn to idols (which, by the way, come in many forms, not just a golden statue). Follow Him and “He shall direct thy paths” [Proverbs 3:6].
I’ll leave you with some food for thought from Habakkuk 3:17, 18: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Step out of the wilderness and enter your promised land.
Thank you Ms. Patterson for visiting me today and sharing how this book came about! Reader friends, I hope you’ll give it a try 🙂