Christian fiction author Ann Marie Bryan is back with the third book in her Encounters of the Heart series, A Place For My Heart.
Tell me about your book, A Place For My Heart.
A Place For My Heart is the much-anticipated third installment in the Encounters of the Heart series. It is an emotionally gripping account of a most unexpected love between Chandler Peynard and Sabrina Benjamin. The central theme in this compelling story is God’s grace. In his darkest moment, Chandler discovers the Lord of all creation and becomes a witness that grace wins every time. Sabrina learns to place her confidence in God because He will keep His promises. Life-altering struggles are often the pathway to new beginnings, and A Place For My Heart demonstrates this.
Here is the back cover description:
Crushed by heartache and desperate for an escape, he makes a life-changing choice.
When Chandler Peynard staggers into Sabrina Benjamin’s life, he is desperate for an escape route. Battling feelings of isolation, he has erected barriers around his heart, often times leaving a trail of broken dreams behind him.
Sabrina’s happily-ever-after was ripped away months ago, but she hasn’t given up on finding love. Still, she is caught off guard by her feelings for Chandler, a man who could hardly be described as a model man of God. As an unexpected bond develops between them, she wants more—a lot more than Chandler is prepared to give, because falling in love and putting down roots are not a part of his plan.
Touched by Sabrina’s kindness and faith, Chandler makes a life-changing choice; however, complication is inevitable when the past he’d thought was long buried, pushes him to confront matters he would have given anything to forget. As he struggles to release himself from his past and embrace the future, he offers Sabrina a place in his heart, but she demands all of it.
In a season that has brought so many changes, Chandler longs for peace in his soul and yearns for love. Will he trust God with all of his heart in order to overcome his past? Will he be able to testify that God’s grace wins every time? Will he find the strength to take a chance at life and love with Sabrina?
Why did you decide to write it?
I am a member of the Tallahassee Authors Network Christian sub-group and we decided to write an anthology about the consequences of sin. As I wrote my short story for the anthology, the story took on legs of its own and became the first book in the Encounters of the Heart series. The series is based on Proverbs 4:23 (KJV) –“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Book 1—Shades of the Heart is a novel about the courage to love in the midst of broken promises, and ultimately about the healing power of forgiveness.
Book 2—Mirrored Hearts: Sealed By Fire is a stirring and deeply satisfying new addition in the series. It details the struggles of two broken hearts, mended by enduring love and sealed by fire.
Book 3—A Place For My Heart is an emotionally gripping account of a most unexpected love.
Although the books are in a series, they are also standalone novels.
What do you want readers to learn from the story?
I hope readers will realize that there is usually more to a person’s behavior than what meets the eyes. There are usually innate circumstances in an individual’s life that impact his/her behavior and disposition. However, having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ makes a difference. Jesus Christ transforms lives and brings hope in the midst of despair.
Further, I hope readers will be reminded that love is a beautiful emotion, and it is okay to love passionately, very passionately. However, loving someone is never as easy as we would like it to be. Keep in mind that, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:4–6).
Importantly, all our actions and choices are driven by the desires of our hearts. In light of that, we need to stay connected to God through prayer, meditating on His Word and then applying His Word in our daily living. God is all powerful and there is nothing that will happen in our lives that will surprise Him. We will be victorious in all our situations if we continue to rely on Him and seek help to overcome difficult situations.
What do you want readers to learn from your life?
It has been an interesting journey to get where I am today. A journey mostly of learning to follow the footprints that God has laid out for me, of letting go of fear and wanting affirmations from others and above all, a journey of learning to be my authentic self and to love me—the good, the bad, the quirks and all. Today, I have not arrived, but I am working the gifts that God has deposited in me and I am abiding in Him. Now, instinctively, I go to God first and let Him lead me.
I am fully persuaded that God has given each of us a distinct purpose. I enjoy walking in my purpose. I am at my best when I do. Purpose brings significance, value and stability to my life. It has literally set me free. The amazing thing is that God continues to multiply what I have surrendered to Him.
Above all, I would encourage readers, not to put God in a box. God will come through in due season. Sometimes, God takes us out of our comfort zone to stretch us and show us that we can accomplish far more than we think. He blesses us to reach and empower others.
Who is your favorite character from A Place For My Heart and why?
I admire Chandler Peynard because in his darkest moment, he was brave enough to change his lifestyle. His life story reminded me that there is nothing too hard for God to do.
What has been the most surprising thing about your publishing career?
Writing a book was not on my list of things to do, so I learned that God will use you when you make yourself available. In addition, I have discovered how much I like writing. Writing is a natural way for me to process my emotions and a conduit to inspire those around me. Most surprising and delightful are the connections that I continue to make with amazing readers, authors and many others. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
What’s next for Ann Marie Bryan?
I am excited about my writing journey, and I am thankful for the opportunity to share with others. I believe in working together, the exchanging of ideas and sharing of resources, so I hope that my writing adventures take me all over the world to share at conferences, seminars and workshops.
Currently, I am writing the fourth book in the Encounters of the Heart series. This novel will detail the story of Tyler and Madison. It will be released in early 2018.
Do you have anything you’d like to add?
Thanks, Chandra, for this wonderful opportunity. All the very best in your future endeavors.
About the Author
Ann Marie Bryan is a dedicated, graceful, multitalented leader with a passion for excellence. She is the CEO and founder of Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing top-quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations.
A Christian fiction author, Bryan writes to educate, inspire and empower others. She desires to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. Her most recent novel, A Place For My Heart, is the third installment in her bestselling Encounters of the Heart series.
Bryan’s greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed her with, Bryan is determined to make her life a ministry for the Lord.
Learn more about Ann Marie Bryan and connect with her:
Newsletter (monthly): http://eepurl.com/bOw6sr
Facebook Readers’ group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/authorannmariebryan
Facebook Readers’ Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/authorannmariebryan