Letter Perfect by Cathy Marie Hake
softcover, 2006, Bethany House Publishers
Cathy Marie Hake introduces Ruth Caldwell in an unforgettable story filled with humor, tears, and love.
Ruth is an obedient daughter - at least she tries to be. Her mother wishes her to attend a school for young ladies and to grow up properly. But Ruth’s innocent mishaps at the latest school sends her home once again. Once home, Ruth realizes that her mother is dying. She concedes to her mother’s dying wish that she live with her estranged father on his ranch in California.
Ruth’s arrival to California not only causes uneasiness in her own heart, but in the lives of those she meets. She arrives in town only to discover that her father passed away several years ago and part of his ranch is now hers.
Joshua McCain and his father own the other half of the ranch. But until they can settle who the rightful owner is, with the help of a circuit judge, Ruth has nowhere to go. Joshua and his family invite her to stay at the ranch and she finds an instant friend in Josh’s sister, Laney.
Life settles into a bit of a routine, albeit unpredictable as it seems Ruth has a wont for finding trouble. But the outhouse door falling on her and falling off of the sidewalk weren’t really her fault - they were accidents. Joshua struggles between trying to protect her from herself and finding her humorous charm irresistible.
When Ruth’s accidents turn into foul play, she and Josh learn to trust in their heavenly Father in a whole new way.
Cathy Marie Hake writes a wonderful story that will keep you turning the pages!
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS WITH CATHY MARIE HAKE
Paula: Ruth, the main character in Letter Perfect, has a habit of finding herself in humorous situations. Did you create her based on someone you know?
Cathy: Truth be told, I'm a lot like Ruth. I'd love to say that I'm graceful and poised, but it would be a terrible lie. I have a knack for getting myself into crazy situations. As a result, I have to concoct creative ways of solving problems.
Paula: What do you hope readers take away after reading Letter Perfect?
Cathy: That we don't have to be perfect; God loves us and accepts us just as we are.
Paula: One of your newest books, Bittersweet, is a play off of Letter Perfect. Are there more books to follow?
Cathy: Bittersweet is a sequel to Letter Perfect. After that, I've skipped over to Texas and have started a new series there. The first book in that series just came out. It's entitled Fancy Pants. In it, a proper English lady winds up masquerading as a boy on a cattle ranch. The hero sure has his hands full dealing with Sydney!
Paula: We’ll be reviewing Fancy Pants later this fall. It looks fantastic! On your website you mention your need chocolate to survive. (I’m glad there’s more of us out there!) White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark?
Cathy: DARK!!!! Better still, dark with caramel or nuts.
Paula: You’ve authored or coauthored more than twenty books. What is one writing technique that you’ve learned since your first book that has impacted your writing the most?
Cathy: WOW. That's a tough question. Perhaps it is the Goal, Motivation, Conflict concept Deb Dixon teaches so brilliantly. Every character has a specific goal, there is a motivation driving him/her to achieve that goal, and there is some kind of obstacle or conflict that they must resolve. Without those three components, no character or story works.
Paula: You juggle family, a ‘real job’, deadlines . . . When do you find time to write?
Cathy: LOL! It's a quarter to two in the morning as I'm answering these questions. I'm a night owl, so when everyone else sleeps, I click away on the computer keyboard.
Paula: Your being a ‘romance writer’ makes me wonder how you met your husband?
Cathy: OH! You'd all love Christopher! I met him at church when I was thirteen. It was the very first time he'd ever attended church. He's the first guy I ever dated. My first kiss. *sigh* how romantic is that? For a time, we drifted apart and dated other people--but I came home from college for the summer, and the usher seated me next to Christopher. He walked me to my Sunday school class after the service and asked me out. There's something irresistible about a man who loves the Lord. Gorgeous blue eyes are terrific, too. We've been married for 27 years now.
Paula: How did you teach one of your dogs to moo?
Cathy: Skylar already mooed when we adopted her. All three of our dogs have come from the Humane Society. She had an Oreo cookie face (White stripe between the eyes and down her muzzle, black ears and eyes) One look, and we *had* to have her--even if they labeled her as "old" because she was eight years old. For nine years, she shadowed me everywhere. Last year, we lost her. Neither of our other dogs moos, but they team up every night to go on "possom patrol."
Paula: Every book an author writes has a special place in their hearts. Is there one of your books that holds first place? Why?
Cathy: OUCH. That's like asking if I have a favorite child. Each book is a labor of love, and the characters end up feeling like friends. I guess my favorite book is the one I'm working on--probably because those are the characters I'm focused on. It's like have dear friends who come to visit--you drop everything and relish the time you have to share together. Other friends are just as valued or treasured, but you can't help lavishing your love on the one who's sitting at your table, sharing a cup of tea with you.
Paula: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Cathy: Italy. Definitely Italy. I was there very briefly twenty-five years ago, and it was a wonderful, fun place. The day we were in Rome was the one day out of the year that the Sistine Chapel is closed. I want to go back and see that!
Thanks so much for popping in to visit with us, Cathy!