Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?
A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa, she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.
So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.
As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.
With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances.
Release date: March, 19th 2013
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Willow Tree Cafe
Head on over to Peaks, Iowa and enjoy a coffee at Robin’s cafe!
- In the first draft, there were three point-of-view characters: Robin, Ian, and Ian’s dad. My editor very intelligently noted that this made the story too Ian-heavy. So I nixed the dad’s story and made Amanda Price the third point-of-view character instead. Like Robin in Wildflowers from Winter, Amanda acts as a nice bridge between Ian and Robin.
- The quirky Bed and Breakfast owner, Bernie, was originally named Ruby and she had a whole plot line that involved Ian’s dad and a secret affair, all of which didn’t make it to the final cut.
- Ian McKay was first named Braxton McKay. I had a contest on my Facebook page to rename him and Ian won by popular vote.
- Before edits, Bethany was pregnant and delivered a baby boy toward the end of the novel. If you’ve read Willows, then you know this isn’t the case.
- In the original version, there were no first-person vignettes, not even a prologue. But my editor and I liked the first-person vignettes so much in Wildflowers from Winter, we decided to add some to Wishing on Willows. I found them incredibly fun to write.
The Quirky Minors:
Book Club Fun:
Is your book club reading Wishing on Willows? Check on the discussion questions.
Robin’s Theme Song
Ian’s Theme Song
Quotes from the Book:
Praise for Wishing on Willows:
Ganshert (Wildflowers from Winter) tackles difficult topics head-on, dealing honestly with themes of loss and redemption while creating believable, sympathetic characters. Karen Kingsbury fans will delight in discovering a promising new author.
– Library Journal
This is a wonderful story of the possibility of starting over after tragedy and having a second chance at love. The characters are well rounded and very well thought out. Ganshert has hit a grand slam!
“Have you ever been through a painful season in life and wished for something new, something fresh, or even something healing to come along? Take this journey with Robin Price, a widow and single mother with a big heart and passion for those closest to her as she wades through trying to live, let go, and love again. Wishing on Willows is a story of hope that will find you stepping up to the willow tree and daring to make wishes”
—Cheryl McKay (Co-author, Never the Bride / Author, Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting)
“What I’ve come to admire about Katie Ganshert’s writing is how skillfully and compassionately she creates memorable characters and weaves into their lives authentic struggles. From the very first line “The first time I lost my husband…” to the last line “The whispered words came without fear or guilt or hesitation” we are given the gifts of grieving and letting go told with humor, realistic trials, characters I want to go on telling their story and the longings of the human heart. This is a fine, fine novel.”
—Jane Kirkpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of Where Lilacs Still Bloom.
“Just like a willow tree, Wishing on Willows evokes grace, humility, and beauty. A well-penned story of sacrifice, second chances, and love, Ganshert’s second novel is as poignant as her first. A must-read for any reader seeking to find comfort beneath their own proverbial willow.”
—Besty St. Amant, author of Addison Blakely, Confessions of a PK
“In Wishing on Willows, Katie Ganshert delicately weaves together a story of healing and renewed hope. Will young widow Robin Price choose to fight for what she had or to relinquish the past for the chance to love again? Ganshert deftly writes of grief and wounds that leave us shattered, pointing her characters—and her readers—to the One who provides the strength to embrace life again.”
— Beth K. Vogt, author of Wish You Were Here (Howard Books, May 2012) & Catch a Falling Star (May 2013)
“Katie Ganshert’s Wishing on Willows is rich in symbolism but as down-to-earth as its Midwestern heroine, a young widow juggling the roles of single mom, business owner, and ministry volunteer. I was thoroughly drawn into her changing seasons of love and loss, memory and hope. Like a May basket left at a neighbor’s door, this is a generous story filled with charm and surprises.”
— Meg Moseley, author of When Sparrows Fall