I am so pleased to welcome the author Beth K Vogt to The Overweight Bookshelf during the promotion tour for her bold and engrossing new book Somebody Like You. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for your chance to win a copy.
About the Book
Haley’s three-year marriage to Sam, an army medic, ends tragically when he’s killed in Afghanistan. Her attempts to create a new life for herself are ambushed when she arrives home one evening—and finds her husband waiting for her. Did the military make an unimaginable mistake when they told her Sam was killed?
Too late to make things right with his estranged twin brother, Stephen discovers Sam never told Haley about him. As Haley and Stephen navigate their fragile relationship, they are inexorably drawn to each other. How can they honor the memory of a man whose death brought them together—and whose ghost could drive them apart?
Somebody Like You is a beautifully rendered, affecting novel, reminding us that while we can’t change the past, we have the choice to change the future and start anew.
Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an air force physician who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.”
How did you develop the idea for this unorthodox romance story?
I should have kept notes on that mental process. I was writing the draft of another story, and playing the writer’s game of “what if?” about another idea. I have a fraternal twin sister and I’d always wanted to write a novel with twins as central characters. I tossed a military element into the “what if?” because my husband was in the military for 24 years. After a few weeks of mulling and twisting and turning the question around, I came up with Can a young widow fall in love with her husband’s reflection?
Describe your heroine’s strengths and weaknesses.
Haley Ames grew up with three older brothers who taught her: No tears. No tattling. Keep up or go home. She’s tough and can take care of herself – and this is both Haley’s strength and her weakness. Independence is admirable, but we all have times in our lives when we need to learn to say “I need help.” And Haley doesn’t know how to do that.
Describe you hero’s strength and weaknesses.
Readers like Stephen because he’s a man with a heart to help Haley – and he’s persistent in a quiet kind of way. But he struggles with past regrets – how much responsibility does he bear for the years of silence that separated him and his twin brother, Sam?
This story is emotionally immersive and profoundly moving. What were the challenges navigating around traumatic issues like mourning and regret?
The greatest challenge was honoring my friends – several women who were widowed at young ages, two military wives and one married to a civilian, as well as another close friend whose son was killed in Afghanistan almost 2 years ago. I wanted the emotions to be true-to-life because I’ve walked with them, experienced their grief up close. The estrangement, which was a carefully plotted out aspect of the storyline, took on a new depth when I faced estrangement with my own family. This is an unexpected heartache – and yet, I wanted to write about this with honesty too.
What is the message you hope readers take away from this story?
I write contemporary romance, but I don’t ignore the reality that relationships are messy. And God is a God who stepped into the messiness of this world – he overcame it. Life is not perfect, people are not perfect – but there is still reason to hope, to fall in love, to look for and believe in beauty.
What books or authors have influenced you, both as a writer and a reader?
I read both nonfiction and fiction. Right now I’m reading and underlining The Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus. The Beauty of Broken by Elisa Morgan is another book I read and then promptly gave copies to my friends. I’m blessed to be mentored by the amazing Rachel Hauck – and yes, I read all her books – as well as Susan May Warren. It was through Susie’s My Book Therapy writing community – her writing retreats specifically – that I started to learn both fundamental and advanced techniques of writing. I also enjoy Cathy West, Melissa Tagg, Denise Hunter and Jenny B. Jones.
Thank you so much for answering my questions Beth and for sharing a bit more about your book!