Coffee with Hope Toler Dougherty

Spring is in the air here in Michigan, and so is love. Let’s take a little break with our favorite warm beverage (because it’s still on the chilly side), sit down with the authors we love, and get to know them better.

Today, I have Hope Toler Dougherty visiting to talk about about her new book, Forever Free, what inspired the story as well as any advice she might have for aspiring writers.

Welcome to Back Porch Reads! Thank you for joining me, Hope. It is so lovely to chat with you.

To start, I’d like to ask about your writing process.What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

The most difficult part about writing for me is the marketing aspect. I love interacting with readers. I enjoy public speaking, too, but I hate having to make the call to ask people if they need a speaker. I don’t like trumpeting about my writing. I also have trouble writing conflict. I want everybody to be happy!  

I understand that one all to well. It goes against everything we are taught as kids when it comes to talking about ourselves. BUT books don’t write OR promote themselves. I guess…

I have many followers who dream of writing their own book someday, what advice would you give a new writer or someone just starting out in the industry?

Read, read, read — in your genre and writing craft books. Write every day. Connect with other writers. Ask for real critiques from people other than friends and family. And, of course, pray, pray, pray for guidance. 

Again, I most definalty agree. 

 Let’s talk about Forever Free and what was the inspiration for the story?

Heath Daniels is the fourth sibling in my Forever Series to get his own story. I didn’t know him very well when I began Forever Free because he kept to himself. He was very closed mouth about his background and didn’t interact too much with his family in the other books. Discovering his backstory with addiction and his thoughts on singleness propelled the trajectory of the story.

Those are some difficult topics to handle. 

What is a key theme and/or message in the book?

Forever Free has a subtheme about singleness being a gift from God. It’s an interesting idea especially since I write romance, but I feel strongly about this topic. A dear friend of mine became a widow in her early 50’s. She doesn’t have a lot of positive stories about her experience as a widow in churches. She says churches love families but don’t always know what to do with widows, divorced people, or people who are single adults. I’d like readers to see single people in their churches and other groups and include them. 

That is a sad fact about our churches. I have a friend who has been single her entire adult life, and not necessaraly by choice. I’ve heard similar stories as I am sure your friend encountered.  

Many readers ask me this question, so I thoughth I would ask for them. How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

Forever Free is my seventh novel. Choosing a favorite is like choosing a favorite child, and I have reasons why each book holds a special place in my heart. The reason I love Forever Music so much is that the Daniels’ clan is loosely based on my four children. I love the smack talk and teasing between the siblings and the unconditional love and support between them. At the same time, they’ll call you out if you need to be—just like my four.

I love when authors write banter among siblings. It adds a layer of relatability for readers that some stroies are missing.  

Thank you again, Hope, for joining me today. I hope this tour blesses you. I look forward to seeing more from you. 

Readers, please be sure to keep reading and enter the giveaway. 

About the Book

Book: Treasured Keepsakes

Author: Rachel Skatvold

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: March 26, 2024

It doesn’t always end with a happily ever after.

Feeling unappreciated by her husband and burnt out at her job, Leah Kamuela needs to clear her head. Traveling to Laumua Island, she stays with her cousin, Sabrina, for a fresh start and to finally heal old wounds she’s covered up for years.

Jayson Kamuela has spent his life climbing the corporate ladder and his upcoming promotion will give him the life of his dreams, but at what cost? His wife has left him. He’s hit rock bottom. Maybe it’s time for him to change.

When Jayson is forced to go on sabbatical, he goes to search for his wife. Leah, however, after seeing Sabrina’s business success, believes she could also have a successful business on the Suamalie Islands.

With Leah needing to start on a new path and Jayson finally seeing the errors in his ways, how will the two of them work it out to finally have a happily ever after?

Take a trip to the Suamalie Islands where palm trees sway, the sand and sea pulse with life, and the people will steal your heart.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Rachel Skatvold is a Christian author and stay-at-home mom from the Midwest. She enjoys writing Christian romance and devotionals. She has published over a dozen novels, including books in the Hart Ranch and Whispers in Wyoming Series. Other than writing, some of her hobbies include singing, reading and camping in the great outdoors with her husband and two young sons.




More from Rachel

Have you ever lost something you treasured?

A few years ago, I had an unexpected surgery and had to take off my wedding rings before the procedure. Everything went fine, but after I came home, my fingers were swollen, so I could not put my rings back on right away. I put them away for safe keeping, but several weeks later, when I started feeling better, I went looking for my rings and couldn’t find them. I panicked at first. Could I have forgotten them in the hospital and just thought I brought them home? All kinds of scenarios ran though my head.

Have you ever done this? Put something treasured away for “safe keeping” and then forgotten where the safe place was? I have to admit, I do this a lot.

To make a long story short, after some searching, I finally found my rings in a jewelry box in the bottom of my sock drawer. I was so relieved. While my rings are a material possession, the meaning behind them is what was most troubling when I thought they were lost. They symbolize the special relationship my husband and our promise to each other. My engagement ring is also a family heirloom from my husband’s side of the family, so it really was a treasured keepsake for me.

In my new book, Treasured Keepsakes, Jayson Kamuela doesn’t realize what he’s lost until it’s almost too late. He has been too busy climbing the corporate ladder to reach his dream job to realize his marriage has slipped through the cracks.

Leah still loves her husband, but through the years, they have become more like strangers. When she comes to her breaking point and realizes Jayson has no intention of changing, she feels trapped. Leah escapes to the only refuge she can think of— her cousin’s home on Suamalie. Will this couple be able to recover the treasure of their marriage before it is lost forever?

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, April 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 22

Back Porch Reads, April 23 (Author Interview)

Sylvan Musings, April 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 25

Simple Harvest Reads, April 26 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, April 27

Holly’s Book Corner, April 28

An Author’s Take, April 29

The Lofty Pages, April 30

Karen Baney Reviews, April 30

She Lives to Read, May 1

Stories By Gina, May 2 (Author Interview)

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 3


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

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