GUEST POST, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Reclaiming Hope by Shell Taylor



reclaiminghopefsTITLE: Reclaiming Hope

SERIES: Home for Hope #3

AUTHOR: Shell Taylor

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press


LENGTH: 210 Pages

RELEASE DATE: October 14, 2016

BLURB: Sequel to Resurrecting Hope

Home for Hope: Book Three

Four years ago, Kollin Haverty’s best friend, Riley Meadows, dropped off the face of the earth. When he shows up out of the blue, armed with a flimsy excuse for disappearing and having nearly completed his transition from female to male, Kollin wants to pick up where they left off. But Riley’s unwillingness to be honest with Kollin prevents him from fully trusting Riley again. Despite Riley’s insecurities and Kollin’s abandonment issues, they quickly discover there’s something more than friendship between them.

When a ghost from Riley’s past unexpectedly appears with haunting memories in tow, Kollin’s anger about being lied to outweighs his desire to be the understanding boyfriend Riley needs. As Riley’s web of strategically withheld secrets begins to unravel, he must find the courage to pursue his own peace before he can move forward with Kollin, and Kollin must decide what’s more important—supporting his best friend or protecting himself.


Hi, everyone! First, I want to thank Because Two Men are Better than One for having me today! I wanted to share a little bit about writing the bad guy in a book, particularly Tony in Reclaiming Hope. Without giving too much away for anyone who hasn’t read, Tony is Riley’s ex… sort of. But he’s a huge jerk, and if he has any redeeming qualities, they definitely aren’t portrayed in this book.

There’s a certain satisfaction for me in writing the bad guy. I’m able to get all these icky feelings out of my system and put them into one person. For the most part, I try to write flawed characters who are trying their best. My characters do things we know they shouldn’t, and they make irrational decisions, and they don’t trust when they should, and they get angry when they shouldn’t… but man, they never stop trying.

But then there are characters like Tony or a Kollin’s parents (in Redeeming Hope) or Adam’s parents (in Resurrecting Hope) and they’re just foul, foul people.  Writing characters who seem to have no redeeming qualities can be fun, but at the same time there’s a recognition that even though my characters are fake, I’m able to write them because I know of people who behave like this. There are times I’ve read books and there will be a character so horrible that I think the author probably carried it a little too far because no one would ever possibly hold that much hate in their heart. But then I scour the comments section of a Facebook post and find out… yeah, maybe some people are that disgusting. So along with the evil joy of getting the ick out of my system with these bad guys, there’s also a heaviness attached that demands respect.

One thing I’ve learned—from reading and from being an author—is that sometimes we still want those bad guys to turn themselves around and do the right thing. It begs the question… are there truly bad people out there or only good people who do bad things? I’m one of the most annoyingly optimistic people on this planet, but I still think there are just some bad people out there. If there can be good people who do bad things, there can also be bad people who do something good every once in a while.

In Reclaiming Hope, Tony doesn’t get much page time, but it’s still pretty clear that he’s just an all-around terrible person. He embodies the pieces of humanity that I despise most… a falseness to get what you want, using your power to belittle someone you know is already hurting, he’s selfish and a liar and a manipulator… Ugh. People like that have a way of getting inside your head and settling there, even long after they’ve left your life. Riley’s survival after Tony is his biggest example of his strength, in my opinion. So even though I hate Tony, I’m grateful I was able to use him in this story to showcase how impressive Riley’s survival is.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Don’t forget to enter to win the giveaway for a chance to win an Amazon gift card or a book from my backlist. Or… if you’d rather, I also have an audio copy of Redeeming Hope (Home for Hope book 1) to give away!


Adam rolled his eyes to mimic her and then turned his attention toward Kollin. “Look who the cat dragged in.”

For some reason, Kollin’s heart fluttered. Waves of nervousness raced through his body as he tried to figure out why Adam thought he should know the stranger. He’d never told either of his parents about meeting the guy at the bookstore, and even if he had, Adam couldn’t have known he was the same person.

The man studied the ground, seemingly reluctant to look at Kollin, but Kollin knew he couldn’t identify him even if they were staring directly at one another.

Fortunately Adam saved him from further embarrassment. “I didn’t recognize Riley until he threatened to own me in Ping-Pong.”

Kollin sucked in a huge gulp of air. The nervous flutters, which had been nothing more than a curious enigma, ceased, and he suddenly felt as if a boulder had settled in the pit of his stomach.

He hadn’t spoken to Riley Meadows in over four years. When Kollin’s parents kicked him out, Riley had been the one who kept Kollin sane. He tethered him to reality when all he’d wanted was to escape inside himself. They’d kept in touch when Riley first went to college and somehow became even closer—until Riley seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. Phone calls, e-mails, texts… all unanswered. Kollin eventually took the hint and gave up.

Now Riley was back?


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Shell Taylor is a full-time mother of three exuberant and loving kiddos and one fur baby, a tiny but fierce Yorkie-poo named Rocco. As a Christian who practices love, grace, and humility, she tries her best to instill these same virtues in her rowdy kids. She is a huge fan of Marvel comics and will never stop loving Harry Potter (Hufflepuff pride, baby!) When Shell isn’t writing, she can be found binge watching Netflix or volunteering at her church and childrens’ school. Shell considers herself blessed to have married a strong, supportive man who works hard to allow her to continue to follow her dreams.

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2nd Winner’s Prize: E-copy of Redeeming Hope/Resurrecting Hope

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