From the acclaimed author of Like Sheep Gone Astray and Secret Place comes a riveting new series with twists and turns to the end.
Social worker Sienna St. James is a woman with a complicated past and a confusing Tuesday morning.
In one single day, every advance Sienna has made in getting over her long lost globe-trotting husband unravels in unexplainable fashion. From a mysterious package that hails from another continent to a new teen client who claims to have a missing sister, Sienna finds herself in the middle of a city-wide scandal, all while sorting out the painful details of her personal life. At the center are two suspicious foster parents, a mega-church ministry leader, and Sienna’s own fragile emotions over a man who changed the direction of her life. It’s a race against time as Sienna seeks closure from a love she never understood and answers about whether a little girl named Hope ever existed. And if she did, where is she now?
In this first installment of the suspenseful Sienna St. James Series, finding hope in the midst of questions and chaos becomes essential when life takes an unexpected turn.
About the Author
Leslie J. Sherrod is a wife, mom, writer, and a therapist in Baltimore, Maryland, where she lives with her husband and three children. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland at College Park with a B.S. in Family Studies. She also studied writing at Johns Hopkins University before completing her Masters in Clinical Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she specialized in Child, Adolescent, and Family Health.
Leslie is the author of three novels, Losing Hope (coming September 2012); Secret Place (Urban Christian, 2011); and Like Sheep Gone Astray (Grand Central Publishing, 2006), which earned a Starred Review from Booklist and was featured on AOL’s Black Voices. She is also a contributor to a couple of women’s devotionals in the bestselling A Cup of Comfort series (Adams Media). A short story, “The Jericho Band,” is available on Kindle.
Through suspenseful and thought-provoking stories, Leslie offers readers hope and encouragement to live out their God-given dreams and purposes. One of her favorite Bible verses is Ephesians 3:20, which states that “[God] is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” It is this message she carries to book signings, bookstores, workshops, and church events both in her neighborhood and across the nation.
Q & A with Leslie Sherrod
What is your favorite genre of books?
I read across many genres, so trying to narrow down to one is difficult. I enjoy suspense, some historical and literary fiction, and, of course, Christian fiction! Good writing across any genre that keeps me turning the page with layered characters and breathtaking plots draw me in every time.
Are you and avid or occasional reader?
When I was younger, I read ALL of the time. Now, trying to balance a full-time job, a husband, three children, and a writing deadline, I am not able to read as much as I long too. As a writer, it is important to keep reading other work. Whenever I do have some down time (rare), I’ll get a book in. Having my Kindle helps, but there is nothing quite like holding a battered paperback in your hands and getting lost in the pages.
If you could interview one of your favorite writers, who would it be? and Why?
Hmmm…. That’s a tough one, but I guess I’d have to say Walter Mosley. He is a masterful writer, able to capture the entire essence of a character in a single sentence. His pacing is perfected and the themes he covers are expansive. It would be interesting to talk to him about how he develops and plots his novels.
If you could make a movie from one of your books, which one would it be? That is another hard question because with all my novels, I first visualize each section as a scene in a movie to help me write it. Keeping a moving picture in my head helps as I describe settings, engage characters in dialogue, and keep the action moving. Sometimes I imagine that in the future I would like to tackle the art of screenwriting. I would be comfortable trying that with any of my current novels – or coming up with an entirely different premise.
What new projects are you working on?
I am continuing work on the Sienna St. James Series. The next book is entitled Without Faith and I am excited about it already. I want to have at least three books completed in the series, and then go back to a number of other manuscripts I have started over the years. I have many ideas and stages of books stored on flash and floppy drives (yes, I said floppy). My prayer is that I will continue to be a writing ambassador for Him, and will continue to put out stories as long as He allows.
Where can readers find you?
I love to hear from readers and can be found at a number of places online.
Sienna St. James is a social worker who takes her job very seriously in Losing Hope by Leslie Sherrod. Sienna is working through some personal issues involving her absent husband when she is assigned a case that changes her life. Sienna is in a race against time to help her client unravel the truth about her family.
After a while Sienna starts questioning her abilities as a social worker as she continues to delve into the lives of two foster parents and a church leader related to her case. While searching for the truth Sienna learns how to deal with disappointment and how to move on with her life. However, Sienna is shocked when she learns the truth about her client and the family she has been working with.
Losing Hope is a mystery based on a family secret. This was a suspenseful book with unsuspected twists and turns. I really enjoyed the chaos within this family and how it started to spill into the Sienna’s life. This book expresses how social workers really involve themselves at a personal level with their cases. I recommend Losing Hope to others.
This book was provided by the author for review purposes.
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