Bethany Turner’s Sarah Hollenbeck: character spotlight + giveaway


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I have been looking forward to reading today’s featured book for months! It’s sitting at the tippy top of my tbr… SOOOOON it will be in my reader hands! Also, I had the pleasure of meeting today’s featured author at CFRR and I just know y’all are going to enjoy her work, not only because she’s really cool but because I’ve heard so many great things about it from my most trusted book blogger buddies!

Meet Sarah Hollenbeck

Sarah Hollenbeck, as Raine de Bourgh, is the author of some salacious romance novels which have hit all the bestseller lists, made Sarah very rich, and made Raine a household name.

She wears designer clothes, disgustingly mixes quinoa with hot wings while writing, and tends to confuse the Bible’s Naomi and Ruth with Naomi and Wynonna…The Judds.

And, oh yeah…she just became a Christian. So let’s just say…things are complicated.


Five Favorites

Favorite books

Sarah: Persuasion by Jane Austen. Don’t tell Piper. She will probably officially cancel our friendship. In fact, I can’t go with Persuasion. She may actually kill me.

I used to really love The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, until it began cutting a little too close to home, so I’ll go with that.

Beth: Your friend Piper sounds intense.

Favorite word

Sarah: “Ben” has a nice ring to it. Don’t you think? Of course I’m also partial to “Applesauce” — but I can’t tell you why, in case you haven’t read the book yet.

Beth: Ben is a lovely name. *hangs head in bookish despair* No, I haven’t read the book yet. *sniffle*

Favorite quote

Sarah: Is it the dorkiest thing ever to give a quote from my own book? Well, I think it’s okay, because at least I’m not going to quote myself. I’m going to quote my best friend, Piper. When Ben and I were facing some challenges, she told me…

“You don’t have to have the answers. You don’t even have to know what to say to him. Just stay in the fight and let him love you.”

I love that quote because she was talking about Ben…but I know she was talking about God, too.

Beth: Book dorks are welcome here! Friend Piper has profound advice, I can see why you quoted her!

Favorite fictional couple

Sarah: Captain von Trapp and Maria from The Sound of Music, of course. For all sorts of valid, mature reasons.

For one, they’re a great tag team with the kids. You can’t have both parents always making play clothes from the curtains. Someone has to focus on discipline. And then with the staying out after curfew stuff, they’ve got good cop/bad cop mastered.

But mostly it’s about how gorgeous they both looked at their wedding. I mean, the Captain in his naval uniform? C’mon!

Beth: It is decidedly hard to resist a man in uniform.

Favorite recipe

Sarah: I make really good brownies. Like, bribe-people-into-liking-me good. So that’s definitely my favorite recipe. (They also happen to be the only thing I know how to make, so there’s that.)

Beth: Now THERE is a solid foundation to build your culinary skills on! Bring on the brownies!



Describe yourself in five words

Sarah: Quirky, Horrible at Go Fish

Beth: You’re quite good at that word counting, must be an author thing.

What do you want readers to gain from your story?

Sarah: Look, the fact of the matter is we all have things in our past that we would really love to disassociate ourselves from. For me, it happened to be a hugely successful career as a writer of steamy romances.

Maybe for you it’s that guy you pretended to like in high school because he let you copy his algebra answers, or the fact that you really don’t see Channing Tatum’s appeal, but you can’t face the scorn and judgment of your friends, so you keep rewatching Magic Mike with them every two weeks.

Whatever it is, we’ve all got something. The sooner we realize that nothing in our past is a surprise to God — and nothing is beyond his offer of grace — the better off we’ll all be.

Beth: That’s right! His grace covers it ALL!

Biweekly Magic Mike, huh? 😳 I feel compelled to help you out of that situation! As a more encouraging alternative, perhaps you could introduce your friends to Moana… That Maui is pretty handsome for a shirtless animated Polynesian demigod 😉

Thank you for joining us today, Sarah, it has been a pleasure to get to know you better!


About the Book

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany TurnerBecoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that’s obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she’s made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she’s chosen. She’s still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she’s not sure she can write anymore. She’s beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a “scandalous” book. And the fact that she’s falling in love with her pastor doesn’t make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn’t afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.

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About the Author

Bethany Turner is the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado.

A former VP/operations manager of a commercial bank and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned thirty-five), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she’s chosen to follow his call to write.

She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight. For more, visit her website.

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Bethany Turner has a paperback copy of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck PLUS a $25 Amazon gift card for one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader friend!

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner + $25 Amazon gc #giveaway on Faithfully Bookish

complete giveaway rules

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Your turn, reader friends! Do you share any favorites with Ms. Hollenbeck?


    1. // Reply

      This comment made me scratch my head until I realized my mistake in the Rafflecopter form. Sorry about that!

  1. // Reply

    Thanks for the fun interview! Need to read this book…..

  2. // Reply

    Mountain man Reese!! I mean, seriously, who would want a city boy when they could have a mountain man?!?!?!? 🙂

  3. // Reply

    IF I had to pick just one, it would have to be mountain man Reese. 🙂

    1. // Reply

      He would be a good fit for an Ozark mountain mama like yourself, Kay 🙂

  4. // Reply

    fun interview. oh my goodness, mountain man for sure. on my to buy list

  5. // Reply

    Mountain man Reese of course! Thanks for the fun interview and chance to win. This book is on my wish list!

  6. // Reply

    Oh, tough question as I can see benefits to both. Reese can build me a fire and keep me warm but Alex can show me the sights and treat me like a queen.

    1. // Reply

      Ah and THIS is one of the many reasons we love fiction… we can have them all! 😉

  7. // Reply

    Hi y’all! Sorry for the Rafflecopter confusion and my sincere apologies to Ms. Hollenbeck for the slight! Sarah, I’ve not read any of your books so I missed the step of changing the comment question to refer to your characters… and now I’m the one blushing.

  8. // Reply

    I’m thoroughly confused about the question, so I’ll just put it out there that I think this book should be really good. Ms. Hollenbeck has herself in quite a pickle! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  9. // Reply

    I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since I first heard about it months ago. And I must say I’m happy I’m not the only one who doesn’t understand the appeal of Channing Tatum.

    1. // Reply

      Hehehe! We love Maui’s little buddy Tiny and Hei Hei the chicken… and no, I don’t watch many movies made for adults (well besides the Avengers)

  10. // Reply

    The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck keeps popping up all over the internet, must mean I should read it. 🙂

  11. // Reply

    I agree about Channing Tatum and about Moana. That’s a great movie! 😁 Thanks for the giveaway! This sounds like a great book. I’ll definitely have to check it out!

  12. // Reply

    I’ve read great reviews of your book, I’m excited to read it myself! I love the cover design! It’s so eye-catching. Thanks for the generous giveaway!

  13. // Reply

    Every time I think about humanity and how God created everything, my mind gets “blown away” that God has always existed. My human brain can’t wrap itself around this fact and I find comfort in this–God is all-knowing, all powerful, and knew I was coming into the world from forever. God knows everything I’ve done and waits for me to come back to him. I think I’m going to love this book especially after reading this interview.

  14. // Reply

    I loved this book! Bethany is an amazing author with a great sense of humor and it shows in the story! I haven’t read any of Sarah Hollenbeck’s books, so I can’t really comment on those. I really don’t think they’d be appropriate for me to read. 😀

    1. // Reply

      Winnie, I am thinking you are right! I’m looking forward to Bethany’s book!

  15. // Reply

    I enjoy books that have some humor in them. This book sounds like a perfect book for me: humor, romance, but still some truths about God. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

  16. // Reply

    I would like to share some of Sarah’s brownies! This one looks quirky and fun. Would love to win.

  17. // Reply

    Sounds like a good read. I will check it out! 🙂

  18. // Reply

    This is on my to-read pile!

  19. // Reply

    Captain von Trapp and Maria! Totally agree! One of my absolute favorite couples too! (My sisters and I watch this show all the time!)
    Elly -Indiana-

  20. // Reply

    haha Sarah sounds like a HOOT!! I can not wait to get my hands on a copy of this book!!

    P.S. I’ve got my Bethany-signed copy of her book swag hanging on my fridge *fan girl moment at CFRR* 🙂

  21. // Reply

    I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since I saw it up for pre-order. Hoping to read it soon!

  22. // Reply

    Loved this review, laughted some about the author, just a real fun read, will be on my TBR list, thanks.

  23. // Reply

    I can’t wait to read this book! I love the cover. And the book sounds adorkable, humorous and all-around fantastic. Sarah Hollenbeck sounds like a character I will love.

  24. // Reply

    I don’t share any “likes” with Sarah, per se, but I have always wanted to read a saga like The Thornbirds, just to say I did.

    1. // Reply

      I am definitely a fan of sagas although I haven’t read the Thornbirds.

  25. // Reply

    I enjoyed this interview! Brownies are fun to make and super yummy but Nestle’s chocolate chip cookie recipe is probably my favorite. I am excited about this book. I love the cover!

  26. // Reply

    I don’t know that I have much in common with Sarah! I’m a big fan of brownies but all of mine come from a box! Lol

  27. // Reply

    What a fun and creative interview! I share Sarah’s love of brownies … one of the world’s most perfect foods. LOL

  28. // Reply

    Bethany is a new author to me. I really like the sound of her book and I’m looking forward to reading it. I’m not sure what answer you are looking for, but I share Bethany’s love of the book “The Thorn Birds”.

  29. // Reply

    I really love the premise of this book since I’ve seen it come out….how can you keep writing the kind of story you are used to when you give your life to Christ? How would it change you? LOVE IT! 🙂 I’ve read author testimonies where God took them to that exact place and how He has turned their writing around to glorify Him! And the blessings that come because of it, and I’m not talking material either.

    I thought I had entered this one before, but I see I didn’t. Thank you for the interview/chance to win this book!

  30. // Reply

    Bethany is a new author to me, and I would love to read this book and learn how Sarah resolves her problem. I’m sure it would not be an easy transition.

  31. // Reply

    oooh I want to know your brownie recipe, Bethany! 😀 lol

  32. // Reply

    I have been wanting to read this one 🙂

  33. // Reply

    Brownies…YUMMY! I really, really want to read this book!
    I cannot believe I’ve waited till now to fill this out. Life’s been busy.

  34. // Reply

    I love Persuasion, too, and the book sounds brilliant.

  35. // Reply

    this is the type of book me and my daughter can read and discuss together.

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