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Friday, April 3, 2020

{FUN FACTS FRIDAY}: Sara Beth Williams

Fun Facts Friday is a brand new feature here on the blog where authors answer questions about their characters, and then share fun facts about themselves, and / or their books!

Today we have the lovely Sara Beth Williams and her contemporary Christian romance, A Worthy Heart.

Let’s start by learning a bit about you. Tell us who you are, where you’re from, what you write, etc.
I’m Sara Beth, I am from Sacramento, California, and I write Contemporary Christian Romance. I love creating. Throughout every job I’ve ever had, creativity is at the core of where I find enjoyment. I’m happiest when I can work in an environment where I can come up with and implement new ideas. I love playing guitar, reading, gardening as of late, teaching little kiddos, and being with my family.

Welcome, Sara Beth! We're thrilled to have you here today. So, let's get started, shall we? Who is your character’s best friend? 
I have two main characters, Joel and Serena – so I will be answering for both of them.
Joel’s closest friend is Matt, an older Christian who holds the position of college worship leader at their church. He acts as a mentor to several characters in my series. Their personalities are very similar. Many times he approaches Matt for advice, or just to hang out throughout A Worthy Heart, and you’ll notice the same trend of friendship in my 3rd book releasing next year.

Serena’s best friend is Lacey, Joel’s brother. They met in their first year of college at the campus coffee shop when they both began working there at the same time. 

FUN FACT: In my 20s, I applied to work at Starbucks at least 5 times with nothing to show for it :( Also bonus: all 3 colleges I attended (yes, I attended a junior college, a private university, and then a state university for one year afterward) have on-campus coffee shops with different names. I decided to create a generic one in my books. But they’re always very busy, and full of students eating, studying, socializing etc. At my private university, they had live music nights. Ironically, the state campus coffee shop was tiny in comparison to the one at my private university. *shrugs*

Is your character close with their family? If not, why? 
If you’ve not read book one, When Hearts Collide, this may present some minor spoilers, but I’ll try to minimize it. You should read #1 to find out more!

Joel and Lacey’s father leaves the family, and later their sister dies tragically and the repercussions of these events affect Joel and Lacey in vastly different ways. Joel attempts to pull the family together, while Lacey runs and hides and suppresses everything. Suffice to say, Joel is the glue that keeps the family from splintering in every direction for good.

Serena is close with her family for the most part – they are very involved in her life. However, she feels significant pressure to succeed throughout A Worthy Heart, and so pulls away from her family, who are all quite successful in their endeavors. She loves them however, and as you read, you’ll encounter memories she has, as well as realizations she has about the importance of family later on. 

FUN FACT: I’m close to my family and have lived WITH or within 5 miles of my family for close to a decade, except for the years I attended college in a different city. 

Is your character an introvert or extrovert? 
Joel is an introvert and excels in small groups or dealing with people one on one. Serena is an extrovert – talkative, loves to have fun, and isn’t afraid to be the life of the party.

FUN FACT: My husband is totally an introvert and excels in small groups or one on one interactions. I love being in a crowd, or being with people or connecting with people (online too!) I love watching kids play at recess (lots of running and screaming there) and I love a good party. A couple of my other introverted friends confessed to me that they would follow me if we were at a large gathering because I was the one who would talk for everyone.

What is your character’s fondest memory? Why? 
Joel’s fondest memories involve camping with his dad when he was a young teen. Serena’s fondest memories are of holiday get-togethers. One memory that surfaces in her mind in A Worthy Heart is the act of decorating their tree during the holidays. All her extended family would come together – uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents – and they would each bring an ornament to put on the tree at her parents’ house. 

FUN FACT: As a kid, my family used to have big get-togethers with my extended family on both sides. My mom’s side has a very large extended family, and there would often be large Christmas Eve parties. But after my husband and I got married, we did our own thing with his parents, and hardly ever visited my mom’s side because they lived too far away.

Bonus: I grew up going camping and that plays a big part in many of the scenes in A Worthy Heart, and my third book :) 

What is your character’s greatest fear? 
Joel is a protector to the core. He fears not being able to protect his family – his sister, his mom – from harm. Somehow, Serena unintentionally falls into that category real quick.

Serena’s fear is failure. Her entire family has succeeded in every aspect of their lives: Her twin brothers are football players in college, her older brother is in med school, her parents are wealthy and successful. Yet she’s landed at the end of her college years with little to show and indecisiveness to boot. 

FUN FACT: Joel’s entire character is based on real life experiences. He’s calm, collected, protective, introverted – that’s straight from my brother most of the time haha! – he’s a history and superhero nerd – that’s my husband right there. 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Joel Bennett has always known Serena Hayes as his sister’s gregarious best friend. In the three years since Lacey began college, Serena became a regular houseguest, but lately, she’s absent more than not. When Joel discovers she’s in an abusive relationship, protectiveness from within roars to life.

With only a part-time job to support her and nowhere to go, Serena fears leaving her current relationship would jeopardize her chances of graduating college. After a brutal attack leaves her no choice, she courageously moves out. On her journey toward regaining confidence, self-worth, and independence, Joel falls in beside her, encouraging her. The way he emulates Godly love and compassion draws her close—not just to him, but to the God who can satisfy her longing for love better than any man,

Attraction sizzles between them, but events from their pasts cast shadows of doubt. When the unthinkable happens, can Serena open her heart to a second chance at love, or is she destined to be alone?


Sara Beth Williams is a wife, mother of two daughters, and temporary caretaker of a lovable old lady
pit and a spunky Pomeranian-Shih Tzu mix. She lives in Northern California. When she's not held hostage by the keyboard, she enjoys music, teaching, reading and spending time with her family. She is all about connecting with readers! Find her on her website/blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Bookbub.

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