Wish Me Tomorrow: Review, Character Interview, and Giveaway!

Can they build a future on hope alone? 

 For years nurse and grief counselor Christie Bates has been teaching her patients to confront their fears, express themselves and trust in hope. But as her feelings for cancer survivor Eli Roberts and his two children grow, can she overcome her own fear and love a man who lives every day with the possibility of recurring illness?

 Tackling cancer and single parenthood simultaneously has turned Eli into a devout realist. Which is why he finds Christie's perpetually upbeat attitude so aggravating. Still, despite himself, she's making a place in his heart. If only he could offer Christie more than an uncertain future.
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Harlequin Heartwarming...yes indeed! Definitely heartwarming.

Between the synopsis and the character interview, you can pretty much figure out what happens by the end of the book. And that's totally okay with me for this particular book! Reading Wish Me Tomorrow is more important for the journey of character development and connection than the outcome. Although, the outcome is...heartwarming! (hah hah! Get it?) Anyway, moving along...

I absolutely loved Christie from the beginning. She didn't want to give up hope right off the bat when one of her group members didn't show up for their cancer support group. This was Christie through the whole book -- hopeful and optimistic. She was an amazing character!

Eli showed up to the support group with his neighbor...the late arrival that Christie was worried about and didn't want to start the meeting without. Eli was immediately skeptical and openly negative.

When something happened during the support group meeting, these two were immediately thrown into each other's lives without meaning for it to happen. It just did. Thank you John!

The growth and development was different for each character. For Christie, it was letting go of the past and finally believing that she wasn't an awful person, like she thought she was. Eli, his kids, John, and her Gran helped Christie realize that she was a strong and amazing person. 

For Eli, his growth was turning from a skeptical cancer survivor to believing and trusting in the person by his side. He didn't have that the first time he went through a cancer treatment and he was scared and pushed Christie and his children away. Having some hope mixed with realism is okay.

Eli's kids, Becca and Tommy, were the true heart of this book. Without them, Wish Me Tomorrow wouldn't have been the same. They were the cushion between Christie and Eli. Becca, the teenager, needed a woman in her life. Eli realized this and saw how wonderful Christie was to and for her. Tommy needed Eli. He needed his dad to be honest with them and he needed to learn about hope and how much it matters in cases such as cancer.

Christie's Gran had such a way of living life! She was always questioning Christie about her dating life. She was very excited when Eli made an appearance in Christie's life. Gran also knew Eli's neighbor, John. He was such a minor character in the book, but it was such a major role! He was the reason why Christie and Eli met and even had to spend time together. Again...thank. you. John.

Wish Me Tomorrow is a tremendous love story and one filled with hope and optimism. I absolutely loved it! The tears flowed easily with this read. A book like this is almost perfect and makes it hard to pick up the next book on the to-read pile.

Between Camp Boyfriend and Wish Me TomorrowKaren Rock has definitely created herself a spot on my "automatic buy and read" list.

Please note: The interview may lead you to believe that I have spoiled the book for you. Just read it -- the interview AND the book. This book is so much more than just how it ends. I promise! The interview is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I wept when I read the response to the last question. I am so thankful to Karen for answering it.

So, proceed with caution, but you won't be disappointed or even really spoiled. Again, I promise!

Character Interview
1. So, Christie, after reading Wish Me Tomorrow, the reader understands more about you and how you became a grief counselor and your good luck charms. What can you tell the folks who haven't read the book yet about your situation?

I had a wonderful brother who died of leukemia when I was seventeen. I worked extra jobs after high school to help my parents meet the medical bills. For some reason, hearing everyone talk about the fun they’d had in high school made me feel resentful in my senior year and I stopped working and spending time at home while my brother’s condition worsened. It is the deepest regret of my life and one I can’t take back or make better, no matter how many other people I try to help as a grief counselor. It’s the reason I work so hard leading cancer support groups at night and work with pediatric oncology patients during the day. As for my lucky rabbit’s foot and other superstitions, those help me feel more secure about keeping misfortune away and helping me through tough situations.

2. Your Gran was a seriously funny lady! I need to take dating advice from her. Do you think we could meet at the White Horse Tavern on Sunday? Haha! Why do you think that she and the people in her age group are so open to dating and flirting? 

We should definitely meet at the White Horse Tavern some day! We’ll buy you a pint of Guinness after mass ;) My Gran is still so pretty and fun! Men are drawn to her and she can’t help but flirt J Plus, as she says, how can she turn down a free meal- haha. The people at her senior center have more drama and romance than I do! They love meeting and dating new people because it’s never too late for a second chance at happiness.

3. I'm glad you had such a strong connection with Becca and Tommy. Do you think they will trust in hope and keep that wish for a tomorrow?

Boy I hope so! Becca and I connected the most because we both reacted to our family member’s cancer diagnosis in ways we weren’t proud of. Yet, at heart she is a really good kid and I know that as long as we stay close, we’ll be strong together. Tommy is very young and he sees things very literally. I adore his absolute faith in wishes and hope that he’ll never stop wishing for tomorrow.

4. Were you surprised about how willing Eli was to let you into his children's lives? That he accepted help with Becca? You were wonderful for her!

Oh, thank you, Lisa! I had a special place in my heart for Becca because I knew what it felt like to resent and love someone with a terminal illness. I needed to reassure her that she wasn’t a monster for having those feelings and the process helped me to forgive myself- something I’d been afraid to face all these years. It’s funny that as a counselor, I didn’t realize how much help I needed too! Eli wasn’t happy to have me in his children’s lives at first, but after he saw the difference I made with Becca, he decided what mattered most was what was best for them. Ultimately, that decision was best for Eli and me as well since we fell in love!

5. What, besides disbelief, did you feel when you realized you loved Eli?

Wow! So many emotions. I’d spent so many years feeling unworthy of love, of trying to make amends for what I’d done as a teenager by throwing myself into support group and counseling work, that I didn’t feel as though I had the right to love someone as amazing as Eli.  He’s strong, sensitive, intelligent, caring, loyal, funny... so many things. But on the downside, I was afraid to risk my heart after my brother’s loss broke it. Eventually, my feelings were too strong to deny and I knew Eli was worth the risk, even if tomorrow wasn’t guaranteed.

6. When he slipped with the "love" comment, did you hear anything else or were you stuck on that? I'm glad you made him repeat it!

I couldn’t believe my ears! After everything, he loved me! For so long, I’d felt unworthy and when Eli turned me away it made me believe that he didn’t have faith that I could be the strong person by his side. When he said he loved me, I felt shocked, ecstatic and reborn in a way. As I told him then, no matter where the road takes us, I want to be on it together.

7. As a person who needs closure *cough cough*, does Eli's treatment work? Please teeelllll meeee!!!!

I’m thrilled to announce that not only did the experimental treatment work, but he’s been cancer free for over a year now, we married, and are expecting our first baby, a boy, whom we are naming John J So many of my wishes for tomorrow have finally come true!

*Thanks so much, Lisa for inviting me to do this fun interview! It was terrific J - Karen

About the Author
Since Karen Rock’s grandmother passed her shopping bagfuls of Harlequin Presents as a teen, it’s been her dream to add her voice to the Romance genre. Now an author of Harlequin’s latest contemporary line, Heartwarming, Karen is thrilled to pen wholesome, tender, deeply romantic stories that all can relate to. Her first novel, WISH ME TOMORROW, is out in September 2013 and her next, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, is out in spring 2013. Additionally, Karen is a young adult contemporary romance co-author with fellow Harlequin author, Joanne Rock for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series that debuted July 2013 with Spencer Hill Press.

When she’s not busy writing, Karen enjoys watching anything starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, cooking her Nona’s family Italian recipes, and occasionally rescuing local wildlife from neighborhood cats. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, her very appreciated beta-reader daughter and two King Charles Cavalier cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch,” though they’ve managed to teach her the trick! Hmmmm… wonder how that happened?! She loves to connect with other romance fans!
Signed copies:
  • Karen Rock's WISH ME TOMOROW
  • Robyn Carr's THE WANDERER
  • JoJo Moyes' ME BEFORE YOU 
Unsigned copies:
  • Bella Andre's I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU
  • Pamela Tracy's KATIE'S RESCUE
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  1. Thank you so much, Lisa, for hosting me on your wonderful blog!! I had so much fun letting Christie answer your interview :) And your beautiful review; it brought me to tears! xo & <3

  2. Unfortunately, no survivors. My husbands cousin passed away a couple of years ago at 23 from leukemia after a battle with pneumonia.

  3. I survived cervical cancer.
    Mom, one of her sisters and two of my grandfathers all died of cancer though.

  4. Knock on wood, I've never known anyone personally to have cancer, but what better hero to have than a survivor!

  5. Nope, sure haven't. I have been very lucky not to have had to see the pain that others have to go through.

  6. Surprisingly I don't know anyone who had cancer . Thank goodness!!

  7. I've had quite a few family members pass away while battling cancer, but my biological dad was lucky to be a survivor. Over 15 years cancer free now.

  8. I don't have but I have a soft spot in my heart for people who have cancer because of The Fault in our Stars. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :D

  9. I have many friends and family members who have survived cancer, many who have not, and some that are still fighting. It is a large part of my life, and I thank God everyday for my health. Thank you for the giveaway!