Interview with Author Josette Downey

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Today in Grace and Faith we have the honor of interviewing Author Josette Downey. She’s here to tell us a little bit about herself and her recent books.

Welcome Josette, What inspired you to write your first book?

 Shortly after I got married, I had a dream that I was still in high school and a prince showed up one day, demanding I marry him. The dream inspired me to write a story about a girl raised in America, being forced to marry a prince from a Eastern European country close to Turkey and what trials she might face.

 How did you come up with the title?

My husband came up with it. The novel deals with a made up country’s traditions and beliefs and how they go against everything my heroine Katerina holds dear. It just fit.

That’s very sweet. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

 Always trust God even when life is hard.

How much of the book is realistic?

 This is not a documentary. I would say it is a contemporary romance story, but I made up the country, culture and used just a little bit of research of Eastern European countries to write it.

 What books have most influenced your life most?

Redeeming Love. I just love how the author was not afraid to tackle some really tough issues. I still can’t believe that book got published by a christian publisher.

What book are you reading now?

Dining with Joy. I’m diving into southern romances right now. I love the recipes they talk about. We are going to start trying them.

What are your current projects?

Hopefully in January I will be releasing a novella called The Secret Son, which is about a young man who is the illegitimate son of a U.S. President and how it affects his relationship. It also gets into prejudices various people might face. My heroine’s parents are natives of Saudi Arabia and she faces many trials in this post 9/11 country.

Do you see writing as a career?

I would love to write full-time and make enough to survive but right now I’m just happy people are buying my books. I hope that if my writing brings me enough notoriety that I can find my way into more academic work teaching others about writing instead of just taking jobs to pay the bills.

Where can your readers find you online?

Readers can purchase my first A Time to Say Goodbye at amazon.

Bonds of Tradition is available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and various other online bookstores. However, right now it is only available in eBook form.




Josette Downey  has a master’s degree in English From East Carolina University, and currently works for a premier test scoring company. She is the mother of a precocious six-year-old girl, who enjoys bugs, snakes and superman.  She enjoys southern cooking, reading and exploring emerging technology, but is best defined by her devotion to her faith and the empowerment of women in the modern world

Get a sneak peak at  Bonds of Tradition


How could they leave Mama behind? Katerina Viss leaned her head against the cold window of the plane, trying to ignore the constant chatter around her. Tears brimmed at the edges of her eyes. With every spin of the plane’s wheels, the distance grew between her mother and them, a gulf that cancer had already created. She sniffled and looked at the passengers waiting with faces full of smiles excited about their upcoming vacations. They dressed in blue jeans and t-shirts or shorts and little tank tops. But not her. She had to wear a floral dress that flowed past her knees with elbow- length sleeves, so the people of her native land would accept her.

Kat shook her head, making a few curls bounce off her cheek. It just wasn’t fair. But life had already taught her not to expect much. She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the back of the seat. She was going home. The one she had never seen – a land full of gothic structures and colorful domes that belonged to a time period when czars still ruled Eastern Europe. There would be no fast food restaurants, no metro systems or even a little bit of diversity. Oh, but there would be a prince and a princess.

A few tears slipped down her heated cheeks. She’d promised herself a thousand times she was done crying, but it never worked. The pain was too strong – too searing. Had it really been a year?

“D.C,” she whispered, turning to look out the window again as the land disappeared, and a dark ocean partly covered by clouds replaced it. She batted a tear away only for it to be replaced with another. Her mother would hold her hand and caress her cheek, telling her that God has a purpose. Like cancer. Like death. Like Chevikstan. She shuddered.

Her papa gazed at his USA Today, his eyes almost shielded by thick black glasses. In his deep accent, he said, “are you excited?”

She laughed, shaking her head. “Very, daddy.” What could she be excited about? Being locked behind closed doors until her coming out party. It was like she was being transported to a Jane Austen novel.

“In Chevtikstan …” he began again.

Kat mouthed in sync “Chevtikstan,” as she scrunched up her lips.

“Kat stop it,” her papa said. “Or I will marry you off to a frog.”

“That threat no longer works.”

He folded the newspaper and chuckled. “No, I guess it doesn’t, but I want to marry you off well, so you’re going to have to learn to behave like a Chevtikstan girl.”

Kat rolled her eyes. “I’m not marrying. It’s the twenty-first century. I have a choice.”

A smirk crossed his face. “In Chevtikstan.…”

“I know what happens in your backward country.” She turned back to the window. “But I’m an American girl and in America, girls choose their lives.”

“If your mother was alive, she would slap you.” He took a deep breath. “You were born in America, but you’re not American. We raised you as if you had grown up in Chevtikstan and.…”

A tear fell down Katerina’s cheek. “I’m an American,” she whispered to herself. And someday she would return to her real home.










Chapter One



   One year later.



The chauffeur held open the limo door, allowing Kat to slip in. The door closed, blocking her view of the private, all girl’s school, filled with the daughters of the country’s finest families and dusty halls that made her allergies act up. She squeezed her nose hoping to contain the last sneeze. She relaxed and it slipped away.

Her father looked over her progress card. His hair contained more gray. The color threaded through his hair and stood out against his short cropped, black strands. “I would say your first year was a success.”

Kat rolled her eyes. She had done well academically, but she had not made one friend. Everyone shunned her, especially Princess Madeline. The little pointed nose tart. “Yay.” She looked out the window at the fleeting reddish brown school accented with dogwoods in full bloom. She squinted her eyes. The sun was too bright today, bouncing off the windows. “Are you going to let me out?”

“No,” he replied. “You need another year.”

“But the other girls.…”

“I know, Kat, but you need another year before you are ready to be courted.”

“Daddy.” She pushed her lips into a thin line. “Courting is old fashioned.” But this whole country was a relic. Her classmates had never even heard of American Idol. Seriously. Who didn’t know of Simon?

Her father didn’t respond but continued to read her progress card.

Kat tapped her fingers on the window of the car.

“I thought you didn’t want to get married,” he said, peering at her over his reading his glasses.

“It’s not that. It’s just the other girls will be having their coming out dances, and I would love to go and participate in the summer festivities. Just think of the dress I could design.” She would design a lavender dress with puffy sleeves, even though she would prefer spaghetti straps. Tisk-Tisk. One must not show too much, her nanny would say.

Her father set the card down. “I’m sorry, but I can’t let you out until you’re ready. What if some of your manners offended a suitor with great potential? No, it’s best to wait.”

Katerina scrunched up her lips and turned back to the window, slouching in her seat beside him.

When they arrived back at the family’s small stone mansion in Lwiwic, the capital, Katerina ran up to her room, and grabbed her yearbook from her tenth-grade year. Sprawling out on her canopy bed, she flipped to the football picture and studied the quarterback, Richard.

Kat ran a finger down his face. What did he look like now that he was a year older? She stopped her finger over his jersey number. Would he have gone out with her if she still lived in America? She flipped to the rows of the students’ faces in color and studied the boy’s rich blond locks, and his light blue eyes. He was handsome, and all she wanted.

She tossed the yearbook to the side and studied her wall filled with posters of celebrities in outfits she admired: white silky dresses that clung to their legs, black pant suits that said “I know what I want.” Richard loved girls dressed in those clothes. He would have loved her.


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