Interview by Ashley Eastman
Featuring Beautiful Star of Bethlehem
When Memories Are Lost, Only Love Remains
How did Arlene Santana—happy wife, successful business owner, young grandmother—get here, a rehabilitation center surrounded by old people? Her new friends make her laugh, and the days speed by, marked by holidays on which her two sons and their wives come to visit her. But when will her husband, whose love she feels every moment of every day, come to see her?
Then one Christmas the confusing pieces of Arlene’s life start to click into place, but will she and her sons like the reality they face?
Readers will treasure this poignant novella from bestselling author Lori Copeland.
“Lori Copeland’s Beautiful Star of Bethlehem is a Christmas book I will never forget. From the stunning—and surprising—opening to the lovely and perfect ending, I fell into the tale and didn’t want to leave the friends I made there.”
-Kathleen Y'Barbo, bestselling author of Firefly Summer and The Secret Lives of Will Tucker series
Lori’s light as a powerful story continues in this latest novel; Beautiful Star of Bethlehem. A story that will grip each reader and make us more appreciative of the holidays and the moments with our family that surrounds.
Ashley: What inspired you to write Beautiful Star of Bethlehem?
Lori: The older I get the more time I spend visiting the elderly in nursing or assisted living facilities. The seed for this story sprouted many years ago and grew until I knew this was a story I needed to share. One of sadness, but encouragement, one of loss but having known a true, solid love of family and children but most of all, a story about how life can change swiftly at any age. Beautiful Star of Bethlehem is poignant, thoughtful—even humorous at times but isn’t all of life that way? Most of the book is a reminder that when something precious is taken another gift is given.
Ashley: Who are Arlene and Jack Santana?
Lori: Arlene Santana is a vibrant, loving mother-- and now first-time grandmother. She has a solid marriage, co-owns half of Santana Toys with the love of her life, her husband, Jack Santana. The late fiftyish couple has reached the pinnacle—the point in their life they can set back, enjoy the fruits of their labor and still be healthy, happy and alive.
Ashley: What is unique about them?
Lori: The unique angle is their world will end in less than two hours.
Ashley: What is one fact about Jack and Arlene no one else knows?
Lori: Jack loves chunky monkey ice cream.
Chocolate gives Arlene hives.
Ashley: In three sentences what is Beautiful Star of Bethlehem about?
Lori: This book is about hope. This book is about survival. This story could happen to anyone.
Ashley: How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?
Lori: I can’t think of many readers who have not lived or cannot relate to this story. The book is poignant, honest, will make many flinch when they see themselves in this story, but the reader will come away with renewed faith and a sense of “doing better” toward the ones who sit in God’s Waiting Room.
Ashley: How do you strike the right balance of themes in your book?
Lori: I wanted to hit the balance of humor and humanness in Beautiful Star of Bethlehem. Only the reader will be able to tell me if I achieved my goal.
Ashley: Can you give us a hint at the next book in the series?
Lori: Well, I haven’t sold the book yet, but I would like for the title to be “God’s Waiting Room.” The story that I have in mind has nothing to do with living—or assisted living; rather the day we will all sit in God’s Waiting Room and listen to the conversations taking place around us. The incredulous and sometimes sound reasons the new arrivals feel they’ve made it thus far.
Author Website: LoriCopeland.com
Author Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Lori-Copeland/49638671412
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