The Fairest Heart

My newest ramblings are about to go out into the world. The Fairest Heart, a regency fairytale retelling of Snow White will be up for preorder on Amazon tomorrow!

But, before that happens, I wanted to pay tribute to inspiration, particularly one of my greatest loves– IRELAND.

When I travelled to Europe this fall, I had no idea it was possible to FALL IN LOVE with a place. But, Ireland stole me heart, and by the time I got on the plane for London, I was heartbroken. I cried. And, so naturally I got out my keyboard and penned a love letter.

The notion seems so silly now, but the emotions were real. And so, readers and friends… Here is my love letter. I hope you giggle and laugh, but I also hope you dream a bit about a faraway place.

It was on the steps of the Blarney Castle that I thought of fairytales and regency-style retellings.

Dear Ireland, 

I didn’t expect you. Not fully anyways. Growing up, I always imagined you’d be beautiful and dreamy. I saw movies depicting your countryside and landmarks. I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and felt drawn to the music and folklore.

But… you’re kind of like Clark Kent. Don’t get me wrong— Clark Kent is appealing and all, but once I got here, you whipped your shirt and glasses off, revealing a perfect picture of beauty and strength. 

I love your culture, your historic buildings and festive streets, your statues and bridges, your silly city signs and funny pulsing crosswalks. 

I love your warmth, your constant “are you well”s and “are you ok?”s, your “love”s, your laughter, and your quick smiles. I love the way you speak, and I’m not just talking about the accent (though seriously!). Your phrases are poetic and lovely. Your tones are musical and alluring. 

I love your music, the way everyone joins in at the pubs and becomes one family, the way tradition continues to live on in a time of forgetting, the fact that manliness isn’t lessened by singing or dancing, and the way you’ve embraced everyone into your arms. 

I love your cities by the sea and your castles on the outskirts, your motorways and manners, and your ice cream. My gosh, doesn’t anyone in the USA understand how to make real ice cream?! 

I love your Sunday’s and Monday’s and how you know how to lay low. I love your lighthearted people and religious vibe. I love that God makes his way into most conversations. I love how the airport gate is empty until ten minutes before. You’ve got life figured out. 

No phones nor iPads are anywhere to be seen—except for in the hands of tourists like me. You breathe life in, deeply and fully, with both eyes wide open and arms stretched out wide and willing to embrace those in need. 

Basically, you’ve stolen my heart, dear place. I will forever dream of you, and I’ll probably write volumes about your details.

But for now, my heart flutters in a strange and irregular way, like it’s rolling in a bed of sewing pins. The pricks are small, but there are many. So many things I love that I will miss. So many things I wish I could keep forever. 

And so, my darling land, I finish this love letter, hoping you reciprocate— even the tiniest slice. 

Until my dreams,

H. Chap

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Forever Elle

At last, my lovely little ode to my grandparents’ farm is HERE. This story was written about two years ago and has since been through multiple editors and multiple drafts. I am so happy that Elle’s story is finally HERE! Grab a copy.

The story of Elle holds a special place in my heart. So much of her story came from parts of my own past (don’t read into that too much… general feelings and growth and the messiness of growing up and falling in love). I hope you’ll fall in love with the Tetons and rural living and the main characters as much as I have.

Spoilers: I wrote a story around my favorite place (my grandparents’ farm, which is no longer on Driggs’s Main Street), keeping the house and land as I remember it. I may have fed animals when I was dressed in high heels… once upon a time. And my childhood best friend may have sprained an ankle following suit. I may have had a brother string me in a tree, and I may have had a few other things from the book happen to me. Writing from experience is always the most fun.

…Now, don’t read too much into the rest of the story. 😉 <3

You can find Forever Elle on Amazon, Deseret Book, Seagull Book, Walmart, Target, and many other online retailers!

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