Fun: Meet My Friend, an Award-Winning Author!


One of the biggest benefits of being a writer isn’t the money.  

It isn’t project completion.  

It’s the opportunity to say “way to go!” to writer friends who are ahead on the path and to cheer them on. In the mid-80s, God allowed Rachel and I to meet while attending Tallahassee Community College. Miraculously through the years we have been able to remain in touch.  

Rachel's latest work is The Sweet By and By.


So now, I’d like to introduce you to Rachel Hauck, a woman who loves Jesus and uses the gifts and abilities He’s given her to write. Her latest project is a collaboration with Sara Evans, who is an award-winning music artist!  


– Cheryl  

Jade Fitzgerald left the pain of her past in the dust when she headed out for college a decade ago. Now she’s thriving in her career and glowing in the light of Max Benson’s love.  

But then Jade’s hippie mother, Beryl Hill, arrives in Whisper Hollow, Tennessee, for Jade’s wedding along with Willow, her wild younger sister. Their arrival forces Jade to throw open the dark closets of her past–the insecurity of living with a restless, wandering mother, the silence of her absent father, and the heart-ripping pain of first-love’s rejection.  

Turns out Beryl has a secret of her own. She needs reconciliation with her oldest daughter before illness takes her life. In the final days leading to the wedding, Jade meets the One who shows her that the past has no hold on her future. With a little grace, they’ll meet in the middle, maybe even before that sweet by and by.   


“…heartwarming collaborative debut.” – Publishers Weekly  

“This Southern mother-daughter story is refreshingly well written and will easily engross readers of women’s fiction.” – Library Journal   

Best selling, award winning author Rachel Hauck is known for well-written stories that paint real-life characters facing

Rachel (left) with Sara Evans, with whom she collaborated.


real-life challenges. She writes with depth and humor. As an author, worship and prayer leader, it’s Rachel’s heart to spread the love and fragrance of God to those she meets. In person or on the page. His plans for each individual are vast and good. “I have one goal in life. To seek His face. Everything has come together for me because of seeking Him. Even in my weakness, He is strong. I’d like others to know the same success.”  

 Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband, a teacher and pastor, and their ornery pets.  

Multi-platinum recording artist Sara Evans has garnered such honors as ACM’s Female Vocalist of the Year, CMA’s Video of the Year, named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” and she was the first country star to compete in ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. This is her first novel. Sara has said that the redemptive message always attracts her to a given story. It’s the story she’s cares about most in the songs she records and sings; it’s the story of her life; it’s the story she looks for in the faces of those she meets.  

“I’ve been a Believer since I was 21. My faith has been everything to me in my life since then. In my marriage, my motherhood, my career, and just dealing with everyday life, God is my constant companion and friend. I find myself praying constantly prayers of gratitude and guidance. As a mom and a career woman, my life is filled daily with choices and decisions to make that will affect lots of people. So I rely on God to guide me!”  


Q: How did this collaboration come about?  

RH: Really? God. Thomas Nelson approached Sara about a fiction project, then approached me about writing with/for her. My career was in a place of make-it or break-it, and I’d just prayed one of my “surrender prayers” to the Lord and was ready to go anywhere, do anything. Not having children, I am pretty much 100% available to pick up and go whenever and wherever. Knowing the Lord would take my husband and current writing and worship commitments into account, I was ready to go! It was very freeing to say, “God, I have nothing. What do you want to do? I’m 100% available. You’re so good, whatever it is You want for me, I’ll love it.”  

 I’ve loved this journey writing with Sara. I struggled in some of my weaknesses from time to time, but this was one of the easiest books I’ve ever written even though I’d never written women’s fiction. Never written flashbacks. Never written a continuing character series.  

 Q: What was Sara’s part of the process?  

RH: She cast the vision. We sat down and talked about what she wanted in the book, what kind of story she wanted to tell, and hashed out an overview. I went home and added the details and did the writing. If I was unsure about something, I’d email her and ask for her input. For example, we ended up dealing with a controversial social issue in this book and I wanted to know she was ready to assign her name to it.   

 Q. What do you want readers to take away from this story?  

RH: God is good. There is always hope and redemption. While our past can impact our present, we don’t have to carry the burden of pain and sin into the future. God truly does work all things together for our good.  

 Q. What’s next for you and Sara?  

RH: The second book, Softly and Tenderly, is written and releases January 2011. We are collaborating on two more books to be released January 2012 and 2013. They will be a continuation of the series. Book two is really exciting. Hit’s the ground running.  

Q. As an author, how did this book impact you and your work?  

RH: I learned a lot about myself. Going back to the original prayer of surrender, I had to see that when God brought something to me to do it might not center around me! Maybe He wanted me to use my gifts and talents for others. At the same time, what amazing grace and peace He gave me.  

My writing had to take on a different flavor and tone. I learned to write about two women instead of a romance with a hero and heroine. I had to develop back story that worked on stage instead of through dialog. This project forced me to work on a much deeper emotional level. I was exhausted when it was done. But I loved the process.  

 Q. Who is your favorite character?  

RH: Well, Jade, the protagonist, of course. But her sister Willow really captured me. We had to back her up a bit or she’d steal the show! I also really had an affection for the character Dustin.  

Q. What’s next for you? Any solo projects?  

 RH: Yes! I have a late 2010 release from Thomas Nelson, Dining With Joy, about a cooking show host who can’t cook.  

 Amazon link: com/Sweet- Sara-Evans/ dp/1595544895  

Rachel’s web site: http://www.rachelhauck. com  

Sara’s: http://www.saraevans. com  


8 thoughts on “Fun: Meet My Friend, an Award-Winning Author!

  1. Cheryl, thanks for running this article with Rachel. She’s a sweet woman and a friend from conferences. I also want to say thanks to YOU for the sweet card you sent me. I looked for your email but couldn’t find it, so this was the next best thing. That card with its “Live, Laugh, Love” cover was perfect! What you could never have known is, that’s the theme in my house. I have a large plaque in the kitchen with “Live, Laugh, Love” and a wall hanging in the living room with “Live, Laugh, Love.” It’s also very close to my tagline: “Love, Laughter and Happily Ever Afters!”

    Perfect! Thanks for the sweet note. You’re a peach!


    • Janice: You are welcome. I’m glad you got the card and isn’t that just God’s way for me to send you THAT card! How cool. I’m glad you told me about it! I love your tagline. Please keep me posted on your writing. Currently I’m a middle school creative writing teacher, but you never know what God has in mind. – Cheryl


    • Thank you sonicrafter: You sound like a creative person! Please help me recruit teachers for the upcoming project I mentioned in my latest post! They can live anywhere in the world as long as we can communicate online/email. – Cheryl


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