About the Book
Book: Speak Now
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Fiction / Christian / Romance
Release date: May 30, 2013
Some say you only love once. They’re wrong.
Ask Jonathan Lyman. Still grieving for his wife, he walks into that wedding with no idea his entire life is about to change. It was just supposed to be a simple—oh, who am I kidding? It was supposed to be a typical, lavish, family wedding.
But there’s nothing typical about falling in love with a woman walking down the aisle. So to speak.
Cara Laas is falling hard and fast for a man whose heart doesn’t want to let go of the past and is rushing to meet her in the present. At the same time. That she’s half in love with his children doesn’t help, either.
Their attraction may be their undoing, but is either ready for “till death do us part?”
She’s a master at making others comfortable. He’s never comfortable talking, but if he wants her heart, he’s going to have to speak—now sooner than later, if you don’t mind.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
More from Chautona
All New Cover, All New Edits, Same Great Story?
The article condemned the overuse of dialogue. I did a bit of research, and my heart sank. It seemed dialogue was out. Lyrical prose was in. Great. Just what I needed.
I write a decidedly dialogue-driven story. Always have.
Every time I tried to shift character discussions into narrative, my prose took a nose-dive into a tank of boring info-dumping. Blech. Those characters wanted to talk. They didn’t want me to tell readers what they wanted to say. They wanted me to let them tell their story as they lived it.
Characters can be pretty demanding.
Then Jonathan stepped up. He didn’t talk—didn’t want to talk. In fact, he didn’t like it. Refused to do it. And yet… how could he hope to get to know a woman who fascinated him if he didn’t at least ask questions to get her to carry most of the conversation.
Research says that if you gaze into someone’s eyes for four minutes, you’ll develop a strong bond with that person. I suspect that’s what “love at first sight” is. Two people who foolishly keep gazing into a stranger’s eyes long enough to form that bond. Or something.
I also suspect that’s what happened to Jonathan that night.
So here I had a character who did not like to talk. And aside from self-absorbed people, most of us don’t like to carry an entire conversation alone, so the woman he met that night, Cara, wouldn’t enjoy chatting all by herself all night.
Look, I tried to make it less dialogue-driven and not all info-dumpy. I tried to keep it an engaging read without so much discussion. But the dialogue refused to go away. It wanted its place. It needed to be there.
So I caved, certain I was going to be a mediocre writer for the rest of my life.
I hated that book for so long. In fact, I never intended to publish it. Why would I put something out there so very bad? The articles, books, videos—all the things I’d read said I was doing something wrong.
Except one friend. Michele loved the story—begged for new installments. Pleaded with me to finish it. So, I did. For her. I published it, even. Only for her. And you know what? I still hated it.
Despite that book having the best scene I’ve ever written in it.
No joke. There’s a scene in there that I’m always amazed to realize that I wrote. It’s powerful and raw and oh, so poignant. And yes, there are words in it—spoken words by my characters.
A few years passed. I still didn’t like the book. In my mind, it was a failure.
Then someone said something to me one day. “You are so good at dialogue.”
Later, someone else said it again. And later, I heard it again. Here I’d spent all this time and frustration fighting against one of my biggest writing strengths. Because some article made me question the best way to write. When I did searches on writing good dialogue, guess what? I found rebuttal arguments that included references to books I loved. Oops.
To say my eyes opened, and I saw something new in that story might be overkill. If anything, I assumed that meant it was as bad as I thought.
I felt certain that was why I didn’t like that book. It didn’t have “my” dialogue. So I reread it, determined to figure out if I should rewrite the whole thing with more.
Know what I discovered? I like the book.
Okay, Speak Now may never make my top-ten favorites of the books I’ve written. In fact, I guarantee it won’t.
But it won’t make the bottom ten anymore, either. In fact, it’s closer to top than bottom these days. And now it has a new cover, which I’m sure my daughter is pleased about. As the photographer for my original cover, she hated how I blew out the highlights on it. I loved the effect for that book, but with new editing, a few dialogue changes, and of course, that scene I love so much (and one tiny subplot that I never explored well changed for something else), it needed a new cover. And so I have it now. Introducing Speak Now 2.0. I’m so excited to share this book with the world.
I like this story because it is a look at a couple who at times have trouble communicating. It isn’t unusual for one to be more talkative than the other, but in this case the man hardly speaks at all. The way the author uses facial expressions and eye contact is very intriguing. I started thinking about body language and how it can say a lot about someone without them saying a word. I was intrigued by where the author would take the two main characters and decided I would settle in for a day and get to know Cara and Johnathan .
Cara is an easy character to like with her simple tastes and knack for putting people at ease. I thought it was cute that Johnathan’s daughter was mesmerized by Cara at a wedding. She kept telling her dad that she was beautiful and is determined that they meet. I think it was an awkward moment for Johnathan but Cara quickly tried to put him at ease as they got to know each other. Now I don’t know if you can love someone at first sight, but there sure was something going on between these two.
Johnathan is a very quiet person and it bothered me at times. How was he going to have a relationship with Cara if he never expressed his feelings? What I learned as I read the story is sometimes words don’t need to be spoken to understand each other. Johnathan may keep things to himself but there were times when he felt it was important to let Cara know how he felt. I appreciate him reassuring her that she was perfect just the way she was. I didn’t realize how wealthy he was but as the story continues we find out just how powerful he is in his position at the company.
The most significant part of the story for me was how gracefully the author tackled the issue of intimacy before marriage. It is obvious that Cara and Johnathan are attracted to each other, but they want to honor God and do not let temptation deter them from their beliefs. Oh I know it was difficult at times for them but what a testament to their steadfast faith. The author takes two characters that are definite opposites and places them together in a relationship that goes through some rough times. Taking each day at a time, you can see how these two begin to communicate in sweet ways by a look or a gesture that says they are interested in each other. I think Johnathan had this gift of surprising Cara with plans that took her breath away. Okay I have to say ,“Actions speak louder than words.” There I said it. This book speaks loudly with actions of gifts, a sweet smile, a flower, compromises and most of all unconditional love expressed through the eyes of the beholder.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Speak Now!!