My Father’s House by Rose Chandler Johnson

Posted by on Oct 14, 2016 | 9 comments

My Father’s House by Rose Chandler Johnson

Some books take hold of your heart. My Father’s House by Rose Chandler Johnson is one of those books. The story of Lily Rose Cates will resonate with thousands of women who share her disappointment, disillusionment, and loss of hope and faith.You may sign in on the Rafflecopter below to win your choice of either a print or Kindle copy! We would love to hear your comments! 


Fabulous Fridays

My Father’s House by Rose Chandler Johnson

Welcome back, Rose! The last time you visited, we discussed your beautiful devotional book, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea. It’s exciting to get to talk to you about your entrancing debut novel! Tell us a little bit about what inspired My Father’s House.

With my roots firmly planted in Georgia, I modeled my fictional town after so many small Southern towns, and I set in some of my love of nature. Being a Southerner, I had definite ideas about elements I needed for this story to come alive. Besides fascinating characters and a distinctive setting, there had to be a little crazy, eccentric, and some downright meanness, mixed with suspense, romance, and lots of southern charm.  And if the story makes you long for dirt roads and blackberry picking, shade trees and front porch visiting, then I’ve done my job.

How did you weave your Christian faith into My Father’s House without being preachy?

As a Christian, I have a Christian worldview and see the hand of God at work in our lives.  I want my stories to reflect that view. As with any story I write, I not only want to give pleasure to the reader, but I also want to leave them with a subtle inspiration message or a sense of hope. For my novel, My Father’s House, I wanted to write a story about a young woman with an indomitable spirit who in spite of devastating hardships, disappointments, personal loss and mistakes ultimately finds happiness.

Of all the literary characters you’ve created, who would you like to have lunch with and why?

I’d love to have lunch with Sam Watson, the prince of a guy from my novel, because I fell in love with him, of course.

How did you go about creating the setting? my-fathers-house-2

The setting needed to play a critical part. Memories of my own life and travels informed the settings in the story. I modelled my fictional town after so many small Southern towns, and I set in some of my love of nature. Besides fascinating characters and a distinctive setting, there had to be a little crazy, eccentric, and some downright meanness, mixed with suspense, romance, and lots of southern charm. I explored small towns in order to create my own. While poking around a small town, I spied an old Desoto automobile in a ramble shack car shelter. My daddy had a trunk from his WWII days and he loved to tell stories about his childhood, just like Lily Rose’s daddy.

Tell us three things about yourself that no one would ever guess.

  • My great-great-great-great granddaddy (or something like that) was an expatriate from France, and he hosted the Marquis de Lafayette in his home and served as translator for him when he came to Augusta, GA. so many years ago.
  • I was mugged on the outskirts of Paris at an ATM, but fought off the attacker, sustaining only a bruise and a broken French nail. My confused offender wasn’t expecting resistance. A little French lady passing by lit into him as well and he took off, empty handed. I continued on to the train station and was only a little late for my dinner date near Versailles.
  • I always wanted to travel cross country in a big rig. I’ve never had the opportunity, so I gave one of my characters the ride I never had. YouTube videos were a go-to resource.

What was the biggest challenge in writing My Father’s House?

The perfect ending was easy, and I never ran out of things to write.   But there was a part of the story that was hard to write – the marriage relationship. I didn’t want their disappointing marriage to overwhelm the story.

What do you want your readers to gain from reading your book?

In spite of devastating hardships, disappointments, and mistakes, God has a good future in mind for each of us.  I want my readers to feel the joy and hope expressed by Lily Rose.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I’m working on two projects – a devotional and another novel.  The devotional has been over half-complete for over a year. It’s written in the same format as my devotional, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea.  I put it aside for other more pressing demands, and now I’m ready to complete it.  I’ve started doing the research for my next novel and developing my main characters.

Please share the opening passage of My Father’s House with us.

Chapter One

“Go on, Darling, and see about the colt,” I said. He stirred a cup of steaming coffee, and then handed it to me. When my hands wrapped around the warm ceramic mug, he leaned down and gently pressed his lips to my forehead. I closed my eyes, grateful for his touch.

“I love you,” he said, while taking me by the shoulders and gently pulling me into the circle of his arms.

I laid my head against his chest and felt its rise and fall.

“Go,” I whispered. “I’m going to take a walk and look at the gardens.”

He rubbed my back in wide slow circles.

“I’m grateful she died in the spring.”

“I know,” he said. “I won’t be long. I imagine I’ll find you sitting under the magnolia when I return.”


“Wait for me there.”

I followed him out onto the porch and watched him walk to the truck, stop, and turn. He fixed his gaze on me, and I knew he didn’t want to leave. I smiled then, and he nodded before getting in and backing down the driveway. He waved, and something about his smile and the gentle blue of the sky strengthened my heart. I watched him disappear down the street before I turned and walked back inside.

Yesterday we buried the woman who raised me, tethering my heart strings to both heaven and earth. Full of simple goodness, her love never let me go. She wanted to be buried next to her husband, and so she is, and before we lowered her body into the red Georgia clay, we read the 23rd Psalm. The words flowed like a soothing balm. 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

This morning the words are whispering to my soul, and I can’t help remembering.

Book Blurb:

Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to her one constant – her father’s love. But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning with her father’s sudden death. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and a life she thinks is gone forever.

Marriage to her prince charming promises fulfillment, but their happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Beneath the sophisticated façade lies a brooding man who hides dark secrets. When all Lily’s illusions of happiness shatter, she must make hard choices – abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. . . .

In spite of heartbreak and regrets, will she find the strength to survive whatever comes? Or will her husband find her and shatter all her hopes . . . again. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to faith and who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.

About the author:

rose-chandler-johnsonMy Father’s House is Rose’s first novel. Her devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments won the Georgia Author of the Year Finalist Award in 2014. It was also awarded the Selah Finalist Award in the same year. Rose enjoys writing for her blog, Write Moments with God and engaging with her readers. A native Georgian, Rose has lived in a suburb of Augusta for the last thirty years. Before retiring from Georgia’s public school system, Rose taught English, French, and ESOL. She is currently an adjunct English instructor at a community college. In addition to reading and writing, Rose enjoys cooking, sewing, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their growing families. And yes, sweet iced tea is her beverage of choice.

Connect with Rose:






 Book Links: my-fathers-house

My Father’s House –, Me, & Sweet Iced Tea 2

God, Me, & Sweet Iced Tea –


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  1. HI Rose, I’ve been looking forward to your book coming out. This is a wonderful interview! Thank you!

  2. Thank Norma Gail for hosting me on your blog. I so appreciate it. Thanks Marcie for your kind remarks. I hope you’ll enjoy the story.

    • You are so welcome, Rose! It’s a pleasure!

  3. Rose, this sounds like a great book, full of intrigue. Enjoyed your interview too. Blessings 🙂

  4. I grew up in a very small Kentucky town and still live in this same county so I love the setting that Rose has used. I am very anxious to read this book. Thanks for my sharing!

    • Yay! Thanks Connie. Maybe you’ll win a copy. I think you’ll enjoy it.

  5. Wonderful interview. I would love to win a copy of this book.

  6. I hope I get the honer to read your book please and thank you

  7. Thank you Ann. I appreciate you reading the interview. Enter for a chance to win.

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