Catch a Falling Star

A Novel

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About The Book

Successful career gal Kendall Haynes is tired of wishing on stars for a home and a family. Can God’s dreams for her be even better than her own?

Is life about accomplishing plans . . . or wishes coming true . . . or something more?

Dr. Kendall Haynes’s plans to have it all—a career, a husband, a family—are eluding her. Now that she’s thirty-six, she needs to stop wishing upon a star and face reality: Some dreams just never come true.

Air Force pilot Griffin Walker prefers flying solo in the air and on the ground—until a dangerous choice ejects him from the cockpit. His life becomes even more complicated after the sudden death of his parents makes him the guardian of his sixteen-year-old brother. There’s no way his life will ever get back on course now.

When their lives collide during a near tragedy, Kendall and Griffin must decide if they can embrace the unexpected changes God has waiting for them.

Excerpt
Catch a Falling Star CHAPTER ONE


What exactly was she celebrating?

The question haunted Kendall all day long. It was her birthday—she ought to be able to answer it.

She pulled into a parking space outside her favorite Mexican restaurant. Shifting into neutral, Kendall turned off the Jeep and deposited her keys into her purse, exchanging them for a tattered makeup bag and her ever-handy GorillaTorch.

Just once, she’d like to put her makeup on in front of the bathroom mirror like a normal person.

Attaching the twistable hands-free flashlight to her steering wheel so her face was illuminated in her rearview mirror, Kendall twisted her body to the left so she could trace a hint of brown eyeliner. Sheesh. Most women used a makeup mirror. Tossing the pencil into the bag lying open on the passenger seat of her Jeep, Kendall sorted through the containers of eye shadow and lip gloss, looking for her mascara. A quick peek at her phone lying on her dash told her that she had five minutes before she was officially late to her birthday dinner. Yep. Enough time for mascara and a little blush. She assessed her short brown hair—all it required was a quick comb-through with her fingers.

Her closest friends waited inside On the Border, eager to celebrate. Nineteen hours into her birthday and she wanted to label it RETURN TO SENDER. Kendall couldn’t help comparing today with her thirteenth birthday, when her mom decided to deluge her with pink frilly clothes. Pink. She looked like an overdose of cotton candy on a too-short stick. She returned all her gifts—except for the oversized stuffed pink bear her then-three-year-old-sister Bekah refused to release—and pocketed the cash.

Kendall swept blush across her cheeks. It wasn’t that she didn’t have a satisfying life—an exciting life, even. It’s just that at thirty-six years old, she’d hoped for . . . more.

The buzz of her phone mocked her attempts to be on time. Why did she think she’d ever be in control of her time and be the first to arrive? She abandoned that ideal the day she entered medical school. Besides, all the other partygoers tonight were physicians like her. They’d understand when Kendall walked in late. Half made up. As usual.

She switched from blush to mascara as she turned her phone to speaker. “Dr. Haynes.”

“Kendall, it’s Mom.”

Kendall’s eyes closed as she mentally and physically sat straighter, as if her mother could see her. “Hey, Mom. How are you?”

“I’m fine. Are you having a good birthday?”

“Just finished clinic. Going to dinner with friends.”

“Oh, how nice. I’m so glad you’ve found some friends there in Colorado.”

Of course she’d found friends in Colorado. She wasn’t in high school anymore. She had a thriving solo family practice, friends, even a dog to round out the picture of a satisfying life.

“Look, Mom, I’m running late—”

“Well, this is rather important . . .”

Kendall stared out the window of her Jeep, watching people walk into the restaurant. Rachel had just walked by her with a friendly see-you-inside wave. Most likely Melissa and Sonia were already seated, having ordered their usual Guac Live. Would there be any left by the time her mother finished talking?

“I’ve got about five minutes. Is that enough time?”

“I’ll get straight to the point. Bekah’s boyfriend, Ryan, is going to propose. I’d like to give him Mina’s ring so he can give it to her.”

Kendall dropped the tube of gloss she’d pulled from the makeup bag. “B-but Mina bequeathed the ring to me—”

“Because she assumed you’d get married first, since you’re ten years older than Bekah. You know the ring traditionally goes to the first daughter who gets married. If she’d left the ring to your father, I wouldn’t be put in this awkward position of having to explain all this.” Her mother’s sigh echoed over the phone. “The reality is, Bekah is the one getting married. Not you.”

“Yet.”

“Excuse me?”

“I said ‘yet.’ I’m not getting married yet.” Kendall reached for the necklace she’d slung over her rearview mirror—a strand of silver ovals that matched her earrings—and transferred it to her neck.

“You’re thirty-six years old, dear. A professional woman. And in today’s world, it’s perfectly fine to focus on your career and stay single. No one’s blaming you. But—” With a slight pause, her mother lunged with her closing argument. “—Bekah will be married in the next year. Your sister loves that ruby ring as much as you do. You know how much fun she has mixing vintage clothes with modern styles.”

Had her sister coached her mother on what to say? Make sure you remind Kendall I’m all about mixing vintage and modern, Mom. That will get her to say yes.

Her mother’s next words broke into Kendall’s thoughts. “You don’t want the ring to go to waste, do you?”

Of course she didn’t want the ring to go to waste. But it wasn’t going to waste . . . She was waiting to use it, that’s all.

“Mom, I’ve gotta go. I saw Rachel walk into the restaurant, which officially makes me the last one to arrive. Again.”

True statement, even if Rachel had waved at her ten minutes ago.

“But we haven’t finished talking about this—”

“I’ll think about it, ’k? And thanks for the birthday call.”

Disconnecting, Kendall slid her feet into her four-inch platforms. Good thing tonight was all about sitting or her feet would ache within an hour. But every once in a while she enjoyed being eye-to-eye with other people. Well, almost eye-to-eye.

The warmth of the Mexican restaurant shoved away the cool night air and tucked the remnants of the phone conversation into the corner of Kendall’s mind. Voices swirled around her, the scent of fresh tortillas teasing her nose and causing her stomach to rumble. The Greek yogurt she’d wolfed down midmorning in between patients had worn off hours ago.

Thanks to a bouquet of brilliant Mylar balloons, Kendall spotted her three friends in a back corner booth. She nodded at the hostess and wove her way past tables crowded with families, couples, and several groups of college-aged kids. The steady hum of voices muted all the should-have-said-this-to-Mom responses scrolling across her mind. Words like possession is nine-tenths of the law shouldn’t be used between a mother and daughter.

She slid into the booth next to Rachel, who gave her a quick hug and then motioned toward a black stone bowl of guacamole and a paper-lined bowl of chips. “Catch up with us. Drinks are on the way. We ordered you an iced tea. Are you on allergy call for the ER tonight?”

Kendall dipped a chip through the chunky mix of avocado, chilies, and spices. “No. Just a quick chat with my mom. You know, the required birthday call.” Ignoring the rectangular envelope stamped with the name of a local salon and her name scrawled across the middle, Kendall tapped a pile of papers on the table. “What’s this?”

Sonia fanned the printouts, an eager smile lighting her face. “I know it’s your birthday celebration—happy birthday, by the way—but we also need to finalize our decision for this summer’s trip. I’ve been watching the airfares and the vacation spots and narrowed it down to a couple of places.”

“You don’t think we should wait until we get closer to our departure date—maybe snag a last-minute deal?” Kendall squeezed lemon into her tea and then savored a long sip.

“That was easy to do when we were all single.” Sonia rested her elbows on the table, soft blond curls framing her face as she seemed to hesitate for half a second. “But now that Melissa and I are both married, it’s better to plan things out. Kevin still wants to find time for some sort of vacation for the two of us.”

Melissa nodded, her long brown hair tucked underneath a stylish black beret. “And I need to make sure that I’ve got the twins covered for that week. I can’t leave that until the last minute.”

Made sense.

Rachel shifted in the seat next to her, twisting her hands in her lap. Her cornflower-blue eyes darted from friend to friend and she chewed on her bottom lip.

Melissa leaned forward. “Something on your mind, Rach? You’re not backing out, are you?”

“No . . . I wouldn’t think of missing this trip. Especially now.”

“Especially now?” Kendall turned to stare at her friend. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I’m engaged!”

Kendall reared back as Rachel flung her left arm out across the table, nearly tipping over her margarita.

Melissa and Sonia erupted in a cacophony of “What?” and “When?” causing other people in the restaurant to turn toward them. How had Kendall missed the diamond on Rachel’s hand? Of course, her friend had kept her hands in her lap—not even indulging in the chips and guacamole, and taking almost-timid sips of her margarita.

“Tony proposed this past weekend. Can you believe it?” Rachel paused to admire her engagement ring, which she’d set off by indulging in a French manicure. “We’ve only been dating three months!”

Three months—and the man proposed? No, Kendall most definitely couldn’t believe it. Their foursome had started out as a group of single female physicians, focused on establishing themselves in Colorado Springs. Now married, Melissa stayed home with her twins full-time, and Sonia worked part-time. Now Rachel was headed for “I do” while Kendall remained an “I haven’t”—a status she probably wouldn’t change anytime soon.

She forced herself to look at her friend’s dazzling pear-shaped diamond ring. She was happy for Rachel—truly. Tony seemed like a good guy, someone who didn’t mind Rachel’s long hours as an ER doctor.

“Tony thinks a December wedding is perfect, so I don’t see any problem with still having our girls’ vacation in June.” Rachel bounced on the blue vinyl-covered seat, threatening to unseat Kendall in her excitement. “Maybe we can make it a weeklong bachelorette party! I want you all to be in my wedding, you know that, right?”

Perfect. Another wear-it-once dress to add to her closet. It seemed as though she’d never break the tradition she started way back in high school. Of course, she didn’t even get to wear her homecoming dress for the entire evening.

Whoa. Rachel was engaged and she was wandering the wrong way down memory lane. Where was the waiter? She needed a refill.

“Melissa, I was hoping you’d be my matron of honor.” Rachel reached across the table and clasped Melissa’s hand even as her smile encompassed each friend. “And I want Kendall and Sonia to be my bridesmaids.”

Oh.

Kendall hoped her face didn’t reveal any surprise or disappointment. Of course, Rachel could arrange her bridal party any way she wanted. Kendall shouldn’t assume she’d be the maid of honor.

A lanky teen boy wearing a faded T-shirt and baggy jeans crossed her line of vision. What was wrong with him? Exiting the restroom area to a table in the center of the room, he seemed unsteady on his feet, almost disoriented. Was he . . . high? He slumped into a wooden chair, a series of raspy coughs shaking his shoulders. Maybe he was coming down with the flu. A broad-shouldered man with short-cropped hair sprinkled with gray—probably his father—leaned toward him, as if asking a question. Kendall watched as the coughing grew worse and the boy tugged on the collar of his maroon T-shirt. Maybe he was choking . . . But why wasn’t the kid’s father doing anything?

“Kendall. Kendall.” Sonia waved a hand in front of her face. “Hey, the party’s in this booth!”

“Excuse me for a minute.” Kendall slid out of her seat, tossing the words over her shoulder. “Something’s wrong with that kid.”

By the time she crossed the floor to the table where the man and his son sat, she sensed the other customers’ surveillance as she watched the teen cough. And cough. She knelt beside him. Touched his arm.

“Are you choking?” Even as she asked, she knew he wasn’t. His lips were swollen, his face blotchy with hives. The boy’s eyes flamed with panic as they darted between her and his father. “What are you allergic to?”

“He’s not allergic—” The man stood and towered over her.

“A-avocado.”

“Your son is allergic to avocado and you didn’t even know it?” Some parents had no right to have kids. Kendall got to her feet, the swift movement causing her to rock back on her platforms. “Where is your EpiPen?”

“He doesn’t have an EpiPen—”

“With this severe an allergy, your son needs to carry an EpiPen at all times.”

“He’s not my son—”

Kendall turned to the teen. “Do you have an EpiPen?” When he shook his head no, she shouted for Rachel to bring her purse. “Somebody call nine-one-one.”

The man pulled an iPhone from the pocket of his wool jacket hanging on the back of the chair. “I’ll call nine-one-one.”

“Fine. Do something.” She didn’t mean to sound so abrupt, but she didn’t have time to apologize. The teen was her concern—not whether she’d offended his dad. His son needed help—fast.

Rachel appeared beside her, already digging in Kendall’s purse for the EpiPen. “What can I do?”

“Call nine-one-one.”

“I’m already dialing—” The man waved his phone in her face.

“Okay, then. I’m stepping back.” Rachel retrieved Kendall’s purse from where she’d dropped it on the floor. “But remember, I’m right over there.”

“Right.” Kendall focused on the teen, talking to him as she popped the cap off the plastic device. “You know how this works. It doesn’t hurt that bad. Here goes. One, two, three . . .”



Griffin wanted to turn away—maybe even walk out the door and escape what was happening. But he hadn’t done that, not once in the last four months, no matter how many times the thought crossed his mind. Standing here, watching his brother gasp for breath, only confirmed once again that Griffin was the last person who should take responsibility for Ian.

“Have you reached nine-one-one?” His brother’s rescuer barely glanced at him.

Her question jerked him back to reality. He punched the numbers before answering her and then stayed on the line with the dispatcher and watched the woman work with his brother. Ian’s teeth clenched, lips tinted a pale blue, as silent tears streamed down his face. Ian hadn’t shed a single tear during their parents’ funeral. Did he even realize he sat in the middle of a restaurant, crying? Probably not. He was too busy struggling to breathe, despite the woman kneeling next to him and attempting to keep him calm.

While the dispatcher talked with the ambulance driver, Griffin paced closer, tilting the phone away from his mouth. “Who are you?”

She flicked her eyes up at him for the briefest of moments, a look of irritation storming across their gray depths before she focused on Ian again. “I’m a physician. I’ll take care of your son until the EMTs get here.”

“Ian’s my brother, not my son.”

“Look, I can’t really have a conversation with you and concentrate.” The woman brushed the long strands of Ian’s dark hair away from his eyes, her tone softening. “Feeling any better? Y’know, if you were gonna do something like this, you picked a good place. All my friends over there? They’re doctors, too.”

The hint of a smile crossed Ian’s face, despite the fact his breath still wheezed in and out as if his lungs were a pair of worn-out accordions.

“Sir, can you hear the sirens yet?” The dispatcher’s dispassionate voice broke in on his thoughts. “They should be almost there by now.”

With everyone in the restaurant silently watching the drama at their table, Griffin could easily hear the strident wail of the approaching medical truck. “Yes, I hear them.”

“How’s he doing now, sir? You said he’s your brother, right?”

“He’s better.” Griffin watched for flickers of emergency lights outside the restaurant’s front window. “There’s a doctor here. She had an EpiPen.”

“Good. If he was having a severe allergic reaction, she did the right thing.”

Griffin scanned Ian’s face, noticing that, while he was still pale, the blotchiness was fading. The doctor had gotten Ian to sit up straight rather than slump forward in his chair. She’d kicked off a ridiculous pair of shoes and looked barely more than a teenager herself—a female Doogie Howser. Had he risked Ian’s life letting this unknown woman take over?

The red-haired hostess pushed open the restaurant’s wooden front doors, stepping aside to let the EMTs pass through, trundling a metal gurney across the black tile floors. Griffin could almost feel everyone in the building exhale. The manager followed the medical team over to their table. One of the EMTs nodded to the woman kneeling beside Ian.

“Hey, Doc!”

“Hey, Andrew.” After a quick nod at the EMT, the woman refocused on Ian. “Good to see you again.”

“You’ve got everything under control, I see.” The man snapped on a pair of purple vinyl gloves. “Mind if I take it from here?”

“Be my guest.” The woman stood. Leaned over and whispered something to Ian before patting him on the shoulder. “I’ll get back to my dinner.”

“Sorry for the interruption, Doc.”

She winked at the EMT. “It happens.”

As she bent to pick up her shoes, Griffin stepped forward. “I want to thank you for helping my brother.”

Shoes dangling from her fingertips, the woman stepped back, tilting her head so she could make eye contact with him. “Ian’s your brother?” She looked at Griffin, then at Ian. “You don’t know him very well, do you?”

“Let’s just say I haven’t been my brother’s keeper.”

“Too bad for him.” She waved aside Griffin’s attempt to interrupt. “You’re risking Ian’s life by not knowing about his allergies. By not carrying an EpiPen all the time. Forget the thanks. Just be the guy Ian needs you to be.”

And with that verbal slap in his face, she walked back to where her friends waited.

Not that he didn’t deserve it.

Griffin positioned a chair next to his brother, watching the young man check Ian’s vitals and jot notes on a clipboard. The manager talked with another EMT.

“We’re recommending that Ian go to the hospital, sir.” Andrew began putting the medical equipment away.

“Is that really necessary?” Griffin watched his brother, thankful he didn’t have to turn his head to the left and deal with the ongoing threat of dizziness.

“Your . . . brother, is it? He had an anaphylactic reaction to eating avocado—guacamole, right? His throat started to close up on him, cutting off his airway. It’s best to get him checked out more thoroughly. They might decide to keep him overnight. Or they might send him home with you. Depends.”

Great. Why couldn’t they just grab a quick dinner, go home, deal with homework and the pile of dirty laundry that mocked him every time he walked through the door? Nope. Nothing came easy lately. And tonight was going to be topped off with a run to the ER. If Ian was allergic to avocado, why’d he agree to Griffin ordering the chips and guac? How was Griffin supposed to know details like that? Had their mother ever mentioned allergies?

“Whatever needs to be done is fine.” He watched the medical personnel settle Ian onto the gurney and then walked over to the manager. “I’ve already paid for my dinner. Do me a favor—the woman who helped my brother? Add her dinner to my bill.”

“She’s with a group, sir. It’s her birthday.”

“Well, since we managed to interrupt her celebration, go ahead and charge the whole thing. But don’t tell her I paid for it, okay?”



After the night she had, Kendall was not up to Sully’s attitude.

And since she’d abandoned him all evening, he would most definitely have an attitude.

Her satchel handbag slung over her shoulders, hanging on to the bunch of birthday balloons in one hand, Kendall clomped up the stairs to her loft. She inserted a key in the door’s lock and pushed. The door moved an inch—and no farther.

Sully.

“This is no way to act.” Kendall rested her forehead against the door. “Get out of the way of the door and let me come in.”

She pushed on the door again. Nothing.

“Come on, Sully. I’m tired.” She stomped her foot, balloons dancing around her face. “I’m the one paying the mortgage on this place. Let me in already!”

Another shove. Another inch.

“Let me in and I’ll give you a treat . . .”

At the word treat, Kendall heard the welcome sound of four big paws scraping on the floors. She’d forgive the big hairy goldendoodle for scratching her custom cement floor if he’d stop stretching out in front of the door, blocking the entrance. As she stepped inside, she braced herself for Sully’s frontal attack. A basso profundo “Woof!” and then two large paws landed on her shoulders.

“Off, you stupid dog. Off!” Kendall staggered back, trying to keep the balloons out of Sully’s way. “Don’t you even remember going to obedience school?”

Apparently not.

Sully’s furry chocolate-brown face came nose-to-nose with hers, his mouth parted in a welcoming doggy grin.

“Thank you. I missed you, too. Yes, I had a nice birthday. Somebody even paid for dinner. The girls all say hi.” She shoved him down to the ground. “Now sit. Stay.”

As she headed toward the kitchen, Sully bounded in front of her. “Fine. Lead.”

She tossed her purse on top of the red granite countertop stretching across the front of the kitchen, separating it from her dining room/living room area. Sully nudged at her elbow until she opened a silver tin of doggie snacks and tossed him two. After tying the balloons to the back of a chair and leaving Sully lounging on the floor, she went off in search of more comfortable clothes.

Her phone went into its waiting charger. Her shoes went in the ever-growing shoe pile at the bottom of her closet. She tugged off her wide-leg black slacks and plum-colored cashmere sweater and slipped into a pair of checked pajama bottoms and a waffle-weave long-sleeved top. Rubbing her eyes, she wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed. But she was a stickler for hygiene, and her bedtime routine awaited. And before that, Sully needed a quick walk outside.

Half an hour later, Kendall sat on her bed, a faded, black-velvet jeweler’s box cradled in her hands. She probably should keep this in a bank box of some sort rather than in a fire safe in the back of her closet. But she liked keeping her most treasured possession nearby.

Flicking back the lid, she traced the outline of Mina’s ring.

How many times had she stared at the ring as a little girl, watching its delicate white-gold filigree glint in the sunlight as her Mina embroidered or made bread or stirred a pot of soup on the stove? How many times had she asked to wear the ring? She would slip it on her finger as she lay in bed, waiting for the tightness to ease in her lungs, while Mina read her fairy tales of princesses hidden away in towers waiting to be rescued. How many times had Mina patted her hand, whispering that one day the ring would be hers?

She’d lost count.

But she never lost sight of the dream hidden in the jewel’s red depth. One day, she’d have it all: Romance. Love. Marriage. A husband. A family. And yes, a career, too. Because she was going to be a doctor. With all the time she spent in the hospital during her elementary and middle school years, she had at least part of a medical education just by osmosis. She would put all those hours, days, weeks, months spent in a hospital room or a doctor’s office to good use and grow up and help kids like her whose lives were affected by asthma and allergies.

And she had.

She was living her dreams.

Almost.

She closed the box, the soft click a whisper of a rebuke. But it took two to make happily ever after come true—and lately no one pursued her. Well, not anyone who she wanted to be “caught” by. Kendall shook her head, catching her reflection in the mirror, the corner of her mouth twisting in the parody of a smile. Her last few dates hadn’t been worth a let’s-try-again to see if things would go anywhere. Both guys were hoping to get her one place: in bed. Her sister might laugh at her old-fashioned ideals, but Kendall had managed to resist temptation this far. More like fight it off.

Of course, at this rate, she might die a virgin and an old maid, clutching Mina’s ring in her gnarled hands.

If that was God’s will, then she was content with that.

Right?

Yes, yes, she was.

She had to be.
Reading Group Guide
This reading group guide for Catch a Falling Star includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Beth K. Vogt. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

Beneath her smart, sassy exterior, Dr. Kendall Haynes is wrestling with the reality that life isn’t turning out exactly like she imagined. But she’s not the only one facing off with this unpleasant truth. A “chance” encounter with Griffin and Ian Walker on her thirty-sixth birthday leads her down an unexpected path that slowly unearths the tenderness of her heart. Catch a Falling Star is a story about hope in the midst of despair, honesty in the midst of pain, and courage in the midst of uncertain odds.  

Topics & Questions for Discussion 

1. What did you enjoy most about Catch a Falling Star? Did you predict the ending?
 
2. As the novel opens, Kendall Haynes is celebrating her thirty-sixth birthday. What words would you use to describe Kendall in these opening scenes? If you would have met her at the restaurant where she was celebrating with friends, do you think you would have liked her? Why or why not?
 
3. How would you describe the relationship between Griffin and Ian Walker when we first meet them in the novel? What are some of the changes in their relationship by the end of the story?
 
4. One of the themes of the book is the way various people respond to disappointment and unexpected circumstances in their lives. Which character’s response most closely resembles yours? How would you describe their/your “MO” for dealing with life’s pain?
 
5. Have you or someone you know been part of an adoption? Did Javan’s reaction to Evie surprise you? What vulnerable desire was his anger seeking to protect?
 
6. How did you feel about Kendall’s initial reaction to her sister’s request to have the ruby ring their grandmother had given to Kendall? How did you feel when Kendall made her final decision about the ring? What would you have done? Why?
 
7. Another theme throughout the book is the relationship between siblings and how they navigate conflict. How would you describe the way Griffin and Ian handle conflict? What about Kendall and Bekah? Do you have siblings? How do you navigate conflict with each other (or with friends if you don’t have siblings)?
 
8. Why does Kendall love her Jeep so much? Have you had a vehicle that you especially loved?
 
9. What was your initial impression of Heath Parker? How would you describe his fatal flaw?
 
10. How do you relate to God when you are disappointed or grieving?
 
11. When Kendall and her friends accompanied Rachel to look for her wedding dress, Rachel’s mom shut down the process with her disapproval just as Rachel found the dress she loved. Do you relate to Rachel’s fear of displeasing her mom? How do you respond in situations where you want something different from another person you respect or love? What is the difference between selfishness and self-respect?
 
12. What role does Doug play in Griffin’s life? Do you think Griffin values their friendship? Describe. Do you have anyone like Doug in your life? What’s it like for you when a friend challenges your way of thinking or attitude?
 
13. Have you ever had a “chance encounter” that, upon reflection, you saw as God’s unexpected provision for you? How does this impact your openness to things that are not on your agenda, either for your day or your life?
 
14. Do you know anyone like Griffin who is the “strong and silent” type? As you got to know Griffin throughout the book, what other words would you use to describe him? What words or phrases would you like to be used to describe you?
 
15. How did you feel about the way the story ended?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. Read the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament. At your next book club, discuss the ways that each woman in the story responds to life not turning out exactly like they had planned or hoped. Which one do you identify with the most and why?
 
2. If you are married, invite a single person over for a meal this week and get to know them better. If you are single, invite a family over for a meal this week and get to know them better. Reflect on the question: “What gift does my current marital state provide as I seek to grow in my capacity to love God and others?”
 
3. Spend some time journaling about one way life has turned out differently than you imagined and the unexpected blessings and/or disappointment you have encountered as a result. At your next book club, discuss the ways you have wrestled with God and/or experienced His care for you.
 
4. Think about someone within your community who may struggle with discouragement about the current circumstances of their life. Write them a note expressing gratitude for one quality you appreciate about them.   
 

A Conversation with Beth K. Vogt 

Having said that you would never write fiction, what was it like to complete your second novel?  

The whole process of writing Catch a Falling Star was much faster than with Wish You Were Here, my debut novel. My first novel took three years to write; Catch a Falling Star was completed in four months. Why so quickly? Well, there was a deadline, of course. And I’d learned a lot in three years—all of which I applied to this story. I was excited to dive into Kendall’s story because it had been perking in my brain for a year or more. She was more than ready to move to center stage.

What was your inspiration for writing Catch a Falling Star?  

I knew that I wanted my heroine and hero to be older because I don’t believe falling in love only happens in your twenties. And then a conversation with my friend, Angela, became the catalyst for the entire story. I re-created part of that conversation in the chapter where Kendall and Rachel talk about being “single ladies of a certain age” while having dinner at a quaint mountain restaurant (which is real, by the way!).

Is there a character in the book that you most identify with?  

Wow. Tough question. When Kendall’s a bit snarky with Griffin? Um, I can be like that when I’m feeling the whole “I’m right, back down” attitude. I have learned that thinking “I’m right” is the wrong way to win an argument. I can tend to be black and white. But really, what I identified with the most was how Kendall, Griffin, and Evie each wrestled with the Story Question: What do you do when life doesn’t go according to plan? Everyone faces that question. Everyone.

Which character was the most difficult to develop? Evie. I knew that she wasn’t a believer—and that she wasn’t going to necessarily embrace the truth of God’s grace by the end of the book. To me, that’s real life. Sharing the truth doesn’t mean that someone says, “Oh, of course! You’re right! How did I not see that?!” And I wanted her story to be realistic and just as compelling as my main characters, without slowing the story down.

The experiences of singleness, adoption, and the loss of parents are prominent in the book. What led you to choose these as connection points among characters?  

I write fiction—but I also write real life. So, I look at real life and then I laser in on what particular aspects of real life are going under the microscope for each novel. And those three were the ones that ended up in Catch a Falling Star. As far as the topic of adoption, I’ve been watching a close friend walk that road for several years now. I’ve learned so much from her—the reality of adoption, how to walk life out in faith, choosing to love children unconditionally—and I wanted to weave that into this novel.

What do you say to someone who is living in a season of disappointment and grief about how life has turned out?  

I’ve been there. Sometimes that season is of our own making—our choices cause the disappointment, the grief. Or sometimes others’ actions hurt us and cause the grief. At one particularly tough time, I doubted God’s trustworthiness. I didn’t doubt the reality of God—just that I could trust him to take care of me. You know what? Doubting him didn’t help me at all. By shutting God out of my life, I didn’t have him to turn to when I struggled. And I didn’t have him to turn to when I had reason to celebrate. But I learned a valuable lesson that transformed my relationship with God: The moment I turned back toward God, he embraced me. Immediately. I understand his lavish grace in such a tangible way. So, what would I say? God’s in that season of disappointment and grief. You may give him the cold shoulder for a while, but he won’t turn his back on you—or lose sight of you. And, truly, he will see you through it and somehow, someway, bring good out of it.

What was the hardest part of writing this story for you?  

The beginning is always the hardest. I have a seed of an idea. Then I have to grow it up into an entire novel. Something with depth. With characters who are compelling. The “spark” is always exciting—but I have to ask God to breathe on it and ignite my writing into something so much more.

Did you decide on the title Catch a Falling Star before, during, or after you wrote the manuscript, and how did you decide on it?  

I tossed around titles while I fleshed out the story idea. By the time I sat down to write the novel, I had my title. Titles are key for me because they anchor me to my story.

Why did you pick Colorado Springs as the setting for this story?  

I have to go back to my debut novel to answer that question. When I wrote Wish You Were Here, I had a lot to learn. (Nonfiction writer transitioning to fiction, remember?) So, I decided to set my book in Colorado because I knew that area. Easy, right? And then I decided that I love this area and it’s a beautiful part of the country to live, so why not continue to use Colorado as the setting of my novels?

Do you own a Jeep?  

I would like to own a Jeep. My husband’s always talked about owning a Jeep. My youngest daughter now rides around town with me and points out “indoor” Jeeps versus “outdoor” Jeeps (hard tops versus soft tops). But, no, I don’t own a Jeep. Yet.

Do you plan to write more fiction?  

That’s the plan. Yes. New characters keep showing up in my head with stories to be told.

What can we expect from you next?  

Without giving too much away, I may move a bit north, possibly into Denver and Fort Collins and explore the whole “marry your best friend” mantra. And since I’m a twin, I’m mulling over a novel idea that involves twins.
About The Author
© Lisa Merino

Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction writer who said she’d never write fiction. After saying she’d never marry a doctor or anyone in the military, she is now happily married to a former Air Force family physician. Beth believes God’s best is often behind the door marked “never.” An established magazine writer and editor, she now writes inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there is more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Howard Books (May 2013)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451660272

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Raves and Reviews

“Anytime a novel makes me tear up, laugh out loud, or put my hand against my chest because the romance is just that good, I tend to give it a big thumb’s up. Catch a Falling Star had me doing all three! It pulled me in, kept me reading well past my bedtime, and left me eager for more from this talented author. Beth Vogt knocked this one out of the park!”

– Katie Ganshert, author of Wildflowers from Winterand Wishing on Willows

“Beth Vogt has once again captured my complete attention.With a slightly different feel to her debut, Wish You Were Here, Vogt's latest, Catch a Falling Star, is rich with true-to-life characters who sitdown beside you and invite you into their lives. The story unfolds with humor,tenderness, and a few poignant moments that will have you savoring eachwell-written word. Vogt points the way toward grace, healing, and hope withoutpreaching, but presents an honest portrayal of real lived-out faith and how itcan impact lives. Another wonderful offering by this very talented author!”

– Catherine West, award-winning author of Yesterday's Tomorrow and Hidden in the Heart

Catch a Falling Star is one of those books you keep thinking about after The End. Poignant characters, crackling dialogue,and a central theme we can all connect with: What happens when things don't go according to plan? Beth K. Vogt writes from the heart with such an engaging voice . . . and she definitely has a permanent place on my must-read shelf!”

– Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last (Bethany House, Fall 2013)

"Beth K. Vogt has accomplished what all debut authors aspire to do—write a great second book. Catch a Falling Star is fun, quirky, and filled with Vogt's well-crafted prose and signature voice. What a great thing—to discover a new author for my favorites list."

– Rachel Hauck, award-winning author of The Wedding Dress and Once Upon a Prince

“This is one of those kind of books: the kind you open thinking you’ll just read a chapter or two and then, before you know it, you’re turning the last page with a smile and sigh. I don’t know how she does it, but Beth’s characters seem to live and breathe. I closed the cover after reading the last page and found myself a little bit sad, wondering where all my new friends had gone.”

– Siri Mitchell, author of The Cubicle Next Door and Unrivaled

“After reading Beth Vogt’s debut novel, Wish You Were Here, I knew her books would have a permanent place on my bookshelf. Catch a Falling Star is laced with Beth’s signature humor, well-developed characters, and spiritual truth, but her writing maturity shines. Her stellar ability to craft soul-stirring happily-ever-after romances leaves me craving more of her books. She does what every author desires—keeping readers turning pages way past their bedtimes.”

– Lisa Jordan, award-winning author of Lakeside Reunion and Lakeside Family

Catch a Falling Star, Beth Vogt’s sophomore novel, delights with an intriguing cast of characters, a page-turning plot, unexpected twists, and sharp writing. I loved this tender story framed in second chances and heartfelt dreams that proves fairy tale lives come in all shapes and sizes.”

– Megan DiMaria, author of Searching for Spice and Out of Her Hands

"I couldn’t put the novel down. Could. Not. . . . Beth Vogt has hit her sweet spot. Talk about a great story! . . . Snappy, quick and perfect for every single moment. . . . Themes are clearly evident and excellently woven through the story. Descriptions take you right into the heart of the story while not distracting anything from it. I have a feeling THIS is the voice people are going to love discovering on book shelves."

– http://enjoyingthewritingcraft.blogspot.com

“Beth Vogt is a rising romance star with this amazing second novel. Delightful, sparkling romance and a story that is sure to keep you up all night. Bravo!”

– Susan May Warren, best-selling, award-winning author of Take a Chance on Me

"Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt is a story for every woman who has ever wondered if her “prince” will arrive. This novel is so much more than just a romance. It’s a story about learning to be happy and to rely on God even when life doesn’t go according to our plans. . . . Vogt has a way of conveying deep and poignant truths in a light and easy way to digest. . . . I definitely recommend Catch a Falling Star to romance fans looking for more than just another happily-ever-after. The ending won’t disappoint, but the journey there is filled with valuable lessons. The sweet tale serves to help the medicine go down easier. Through the characters, readers learn the importance of being content wherever they are in life and understanding God’s plans are higher than ours. It’s a book you won’t be able to put down!"

– Fictionaddict.com

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