Rumors and Promises Author Interview & Giveaway!

About the Book

Book: Rumors and Promises

Author: Kathleen Rouser

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: October 10, 2023

She’s an heiress hiding a tumultuous past. He’s a reverend desperate to atone for his failures.

Abandoned by her family, Sophie Biddle has been on the run with a child in tow. At last, she’s found a safe life in Stone Creek, Michigan, teaching piano. But when a kind, yet meddling and handsome, minister walks into her life seeking to help, Sophie is caught off guard and wary. When her secrets threaten to be exposed, will be she able to trust the reverend, and more importantly, God?

After failing his former flock, Reverend Ian McCormick is determined to start anew in Stone Creek, and he’s been working harder than ever to forget his mistakes and prove himself to his new congregation—and to God. But when he meets a young woman seeking acceptance and respect, despite the rumors swirling about her sordid past, Ian finds himself pulled in two directions. If he shows concern for Sophie’s plight, he could risk everything—including his position as pastor of Stone Creek Community Church.

Will the scandals of their pasts bind them together or drive them apart forever?Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Kathleen Rouser is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical and contemporary Christian romanceShe is a longtime member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Faith, Hope and Love Christian Writers. She resides in southeast Michigan, a location which she often uses in her novels, with her hero and husband of forty-some years and two sweet cats who found a home in their empty nest.

More from Kathleen

My inspiration for Rumors and Promises came from the story of the Samaritan woman at the well and her encounter with Jesus. At the time, back in 2002, publishers weren’t looking for Biblical fiction. Instead, I felt the Lord put on my heart a story about a young woman who had to pretend her two-year-old daughter was her sister as she left behind dire circumstances at home. That was inspired by a story my mom told me about a girl she grew up who had a son out of wedlock and her parents raised him as her brother.

Since the town minister would have the most to lose if he became acquainted with her, kind-hearted Reverend Ian McCormick became the hero of the story. That’s where the comparison stops since a man with his own past failures can’t compare with our perfect Jesus. But like the woman at the well Sophie Bidershem is marginalized because of the suspicions of other less gracious individuals in the town of Stone Creek and must find her forgiveness from Jesus. And so does Ian, before they can find their happily ever after. My desire is for my readers to relate to their real-life struggles and the hope they find in Christ.

It was fascinating to see how the Lord provided for me as I researched the plight of the unwed mother at the turn of the century. I discovered that the Florence Crittenton Mission home for such mothers existed in Detroit in 1901, so that became part of the story. I even found the name of the superintendent at the time, nurse Mary Hartwell. Isn’t that the perfect name for someone who is working with young women in need?

Stone Creek is a fictional town loosely based on historic Brighton, Michigan where I live. Before 1900 it was called Ore Creek. It’s fun to include little details like the millpond or the Pink Hotel, but for the most part the small town of Stone Creek is a figment of my imagination. I hope you’ll feel as much at home there as I do.

Author Interview

  • What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I didn’t realize that Crittenton Hospital once in Detroit and since moved to the suburbs, had actually begun as a Florence Crittenton Mission home. There was a whole story behind how Charles Crittenton, who’d lost his daughter Florence when she was only four had a deep conversion experience afterward. This led to his vision for homes throughout the country taking in “lost and fallen” women, shelters for girls who were bearing children out of wedlock and for prostitutes. Here they would find hope and grace, be retrained in a skill and learn how to become good mothers.

Without giving too much away, I had been researching historical unwed mothers’ homes, because Reverend Ian McCormick visits the rather new Florence Crittenton Mission in Detroit. He looks for a model for the creation of an unwed mothers’ home he’d like to build in Stone Creek.

  • Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

A few of my readers have been so kind to encourage me, letting me know how much they appreciate my stories and want me to write more of them. One of the more touching things I’ve heard from a reader, was while the hero of Rumors and Promises, Reverend Ian McCormick, worked out false guilt over something beyond his control, it helped her work through something personal as well.

  • How do you overcome writer’s block? Do you have any advice for others in finding their process to overcome it?

It depends on what I’m stuck on. There are times that I can be paralyzed by fear—that’s not writer’s block. That takes prayer and telling myself the truth—that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

Sometimes I need to get away from the computer and do something else, letting my subconsciousness take over and a new idea will pop up and I can get  back to it. However, I find it most helpful to write out a summary of the next scene ahead of time so that I always have something I can write. It may be a sloppy first draft, but at least I get something written down.

  • Do you read the genre you write? Why or why not?

I do, probably because I’m a sucker for a sweet romance, especially it has faith elements, and also for a happily ever after outcome. Besides, it’s always good to learn from other authors. But I read and enjoy a variety of genres.

  • How did you come up with the title for your book?

I think my very first attempt at a title for it was Before the Promised Land, because of the theme of starting over and how Sophie and Ian were heading towards freedom together. It wasn’t a very catchy title or giving much of a hint about the story, so I changed it to As Rumor Would Have it, since it dealt with the harm judgment and gossip causes. When it was first published in 2016 my first publisher changed the title to Rumors and Promises.

Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog today, Charmy!

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

lakesidelivingsite, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 27

Artistic Nobody, October 28 (Author Interview)

Mornings at Character cafe, October 28

For Him and My Family, October 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 30

Guild Master, October 31 (Author Interview)

Exploring the Written Word, October 31

Holly’s Book Corner, November 1

Pause for Tales, November 2

Cover Lover Book Review, November 3

Connie’s History Classroom, November 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 5 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

1 comment

  1. Thank you again, Charmy, for having me as a guest on your blog, and for featuring Rumors and Promises during its Celebrate Lit tour. It’s a privilege to be featured on your blog today.

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