Shannon here: Sherri Stewart shares insight into her latest Historical Romance, What Hides Behind the Walls. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for winner’s choice of e-book or print, U.S. only. Deadline: Jan 28th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Sherri:
A Song for Her Enemies, and its sequel, What Hides behind the Walls, are the first books I’ve written about a married couple, Daniel and Tamar Feldman’s love story is not one you’d see on the Hallmark Channel. Their courtship sprouts in A Song as they bring medical relief to Jewish refugees during World War II. Their love grows in a concentration camp and takes wing as they flee from Nazi guards. In the sequel, they are now married and have twin toddlers. Let’s interview Tamar about her unorthodox courtship and marriage to the love of her life.
- How soon after meeting your spouse did you know he/she was the one?
From the first time I saw Daniel in my dressing room at the opera, I knew he was the one. My brother, Seth, had brought him in to meet me, along with my parents. Daniel was so tall and handsome, but it was his sparkling eyes with that glint of humor that drew me in. He walked me home, and after my parents had gone into the house, we stood outside in the chilly autumn night and talked and talked. After that, I watched from my window every morning to catch a glimpse of him, but we didn’t meet again until everything changed.
- What simple gesture does your spouse do that melts you every time?
Just looking at him makes my heart race, and that’s after six years together. But my favorite moments are when he comes up behind me when I’m cooking something at the stove, and he wraps his arms around me from behind and kisses my neck. His warm breath tickles my ear as he whispers something funny or endearing.
- Where is the most romantic place you and your spouse have ever been?
What comes to mind is one place—not Paris or London or Amsterdam—but a niche on Neelie’s roof in Haarlem. When we were hiding out at Neelie’s house during the war, there were a lot of people and a lot of orphan babies, so we’d sneak away and meet in the alcove outside of Neelie’s attic. We found this little spot where passing Nazi soldiers or curious neighbors couldn’t see us, and we’d sit outside tucked in each other’s arms and talk and dream. Oh, being outside after months of hiding was marvelous in itself. Daniel’s dream was about our future home. We’d live above his medical practice, and the scent of the chocolate chip cookies I’d make would waft from our kitchen to his office, and he’d come upstairs and kiss the crumbs off my face. Daniel’s dream always made me laugh since I’ve never baked cookies.
- Do you and your spouse have a favorite romantic vacation destination?
Most of our lives together have been spent fleeing, hiding, or racing against time to solve a problem. Our trip to Paris whet my appetite for a future trip, and indeed, we enjoyed our strolls in the Tuileries, browsing through kiosks and sampling croissants, but we were in such a hurry to retrieve the stolen painting, and then I was kidnapped, so romance yielded to the urgent. But I foresee another trip to the City of Lights without so much drama.
- What is the most caring thing your spouse has ever done for you?
After the war, Daniel became like so many Nederlanders. He believed the best way to get over the war was to stop thinking about it and to work hard. It was called ‘The Conspiracy of Silence’ and that was the way many Jewish survivors tried to cope, but it didn’t work. So when I felt compelled to break into my old house to retrieve some of my parents’ belongings, Daniel was against it since other people lived there now. But he later relented, even though he thought I was wrong and helped me retrieve my mother’s wedding ring, my father’s loupe, and the deed to the house.
- What is the most caring thing you’ve ever done for your spouse?
While I was in my parents’ house, I stole a painting of the girl with the violin. I knew it didn’t belong to the people who lived there, and I felt that God wanted me to take it so I could return it to its owner. But Daniel never would have allowed it, so I didn’t tell him. But that lie or lack of the truth built a wall between us, and one day while I was reading my Bible, God showed me through a story about David at Ziklag that I needed to tell Daniel and return the painting if he told me to. So I put the painting on the bed, and when he came home, I told him the truth. And the wall came tumbling down between us.
Question for Readers: What is the most foreign or different kind of food you’ve tried. Did you like it? Why or why not?
About Sherri: Sherri Stewart is a woman of faith who loves all things foreign and different—whether it’s food, culture, or language. A former French teacher, principal, attorney, and flight attendant, her passion is traveling to the settings of her books, sampling the food, and visiting the sites. She savored boterkoeken in Amsterdam for A Song for Her Enemies, and crème brûlée in Paris for its sequel, What Hides beyond the Walls. A widow, Sherri lives in the Orlando area with her dog, Lily, and her son, Joshua, who always has to fix her computer. As an author, editor, blogger, speaker, and Bible teacher, she hopes her books will entertain and challenge readers to live large and connect with their Savior. Learn more & connect:
About the book – What Hides Behind the Walls:
If the Nazis stole your house, wouldn’t you be justified in stealing it back now that the war is over?
When Tamar Feldman admits to her husband, Daniel, and mentor, Neelie Visser, that she broke into her former home, they scold her for taking such a risk. Tamar is tired of being careful. She’s tired of living in the present, as if the past doesn’t matter. But the painting of the violin girl in her former bedroom draws her back again and again. She finally steals the painting to return it to its former owner. Now maybe this small act of justice will help Tamar to start to heal.
When Neelie sees the painting, she reveals a secret about it that will take the three of them on a quest to Amsterdam and Paris to find justice, forgiveness, and new beginnings.
What Tamar doesn’t realize is the past isn’t finished with her yet; in fact, it’s as close as the walls in her house and even follows her to Paris.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Interested in Sherri’s other titles?
Come back Jan 20th for Jamie Adams!