Since You’ve Been Gone – Author Interview

Restoring Heritage Series, #3
Tari Faris
Genre: Fiction / Christian / Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: September 7, 2021
Number of Pages: 336 pages
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With her vision and his know-how, this thing just might work . . .

Leah Williams is back in the quaint town of Heritage, Michigan, and ready to try again to make her business a success. But blank slates are hard to come by, and a piece of her past is waiting for her there. Heir to the Heritage Fruits company, Jonathan Kensington is the guy who not only made Leah’s past difficult, but he also seems determined to complicate her present as well.

In order to avoid forcing a buyout of Leah’s building, Jon will have to strike a compromise. Can the two of them work together? Or will their troubled past set the tone for their future?

Interview with Tari Faris

What made you choose Heritage, Michigan as the setting for your series?

Heritage is a fictional town located approximately near the town of Shelby. I haven’t spent a lot of time in Shelby but I did spend a lot of my childhood visiting family in Ludington and fell in love with the area. Ludington was too large for my story but when I fell in love with the Little Sable Point Lighthouse, I knew it was the perfect location.

What do you love the most about writing romance?

I love the happily-ever-after endings and all the feels along the journey. But even more than that, I think that romance captures the greatest emotion in the world—love. God is love and we are on a great romantic journey of being pursued by God.

What is the most important lesson you have learned while writing this series?

Patience. I typed the first version of book one in the series ten years ago. I thought after that first attempt that it would be published. But I was very wrong. So I learned more and more about craft and rewrote it over and over. But looking back, I can see how much I grew in my writing as well as in my faith during that time.

​Susan May Warren says, “If the journey hasn’t changed you, then you’ve missed the point.”  The journey of learning to write strong books as I created this series definitely changed me and I expect every series I write to do the same.

What do you hope readers take away from this series?

That God is a God of second chances, or third chances, or however many we need. He is always loving, caring, and gentle with us. All my characters make mistakes (so many mistakes) but they also find the truth that God has been walking with them the whole time, ready to give them what they have been looking for.

Luke finds a place to belong, Hannah finds acceptance, Libby finds healing, Austin finds the ability to forgive, Jon finds out where his identity lies, and Leah finds out what it means to really trust.

I know these are fictional stories, but I hope my readers will be reminded of that love and the promises that God will never give up on them.

Where did the idea of Otis the traveling hippo come from?

From a writers’ class taught by Liz Johnson. She was talking about making your setting a character. Although she was talking about giving your setting details and quirks. I took it a step further and actually made a piece of my setting a character. I decided on a hippo because the local mall where I grew up had a brass hippo and I like to add Easter eggs like that for locals if I can.

What are you working on next?

I am working on a spin-off series following twin brothers we met in You Belong with Me, Logan and Liam. It will take place at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and will have a thread of mystery to it. I am super excited about it, and with any luck we may see one or two of our favorite Heritage couples visit.

Will you ever return to Heritage to write more there?

I sure hope so. There are a lot of stories still to tell and I can’t wait to go back, but I need a few years away to write other things. But stay tuned, I may just have to write a Return to Heritage series.

Tari Faris is the author of You Belong with Me and Until I Met You. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy, she is the projects manager for My Book Therapy, writes for, and is a 2017 Genesis Award winner. She has an MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary and lives in the Phoenix, Arizona, area with her husband and their three children. Although she lives in the Southwest now, she lived in a small town in Michigan for 25 years.
A copy of the whole Restoring Heritage series,
a $10 Starbucks gift card,
and a bookish sticker pack!
(US only. Ends 10/22/21.)
or visit the blogs directly:
10/13/21 Author Video Missus Gonzo
10/13/21 BONUS Promo LSBBT Blog
10/14/21 Review Bibliotica
10/14/21 BONUS Promo Hall Ways Blog
10/15/21 Character Spotlight Book
10/16/21 Review Chapter
Break Book Blog
10/17/21 Author Interview Forgotten
10/18/21 Review StoreyBook Reviews
10/19/21 Author Video All the Ups and Downs
10/20/21 Deleted Scene It’s Not All Gravy
10/21/21 Review Reading
by Moonlight
10/22/21 Review Carpe Diem Chronicles
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