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

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!

“I wish I was a boy,” and Other Things My Daughter Taught Me

It was another mom day.

The kitchen sink overflowed with dishes. Laundry piled on the sofa. I lay on the floor, hoping the bout of pregnancy nausea would pass.

My five-year-old looked out the front window, hoping for the sight of my husband’s truck. “I wish I was a boy.”

My breath caught in my chest. “What did you say?”

“I wish I was a boy, so that I could grow up and be a Daddy. Boys do fun stuff. Girls do boring stuff.”

I cringed. I wanted to correct her, but I couldn’t. I had shared her sentiments so many times over the years. Being a wife and mom has its days (diapers, laundry, cooking, cleaning, ABCs, scrubbing, teaching, mopping, sweeping, mediating). And for those like me—the ambitious and restless and goal-setting women—stay at home motherhood is even more challenging.

My daughter’s words haunted me, and on restless nights, I would lie awake thinking of her words. How could I show my daughter the joys of womanhood? She was only five. It was too early for her to question gender differences. It was too early for her to dread motherhood. It was heartbreaking.

Fast forward to five months later…

One afternoon, I laid on the concrete floor of the garage, putting together a toddler bed while eight months pregnant.

Ruby’s eyes were glued to me. She handed me screws and tools when I asked, read the instructions alongside me. After I put the last screw in place, she took my hand. “Maybe moms can do cool things, too.”

My eyes darted to hers. “What was that?”

“It’s okay I’m a girl because I’m starting to think girls can do cool things too.”

Tears sprung to my eyes at the realization of her meaning and the recollection of her words from months earlier. I took her in my arms, and we had a lovely chat.

I am the model for my three girls. They see womanhood and motherhood through my experiences—the good and bad. And for Ruby—my tenacious, brilliant, middle child—I have to show her joy. I have to show her she can chase her goals while still being a woman, wife, and mother.

This experience had a profound effect on me. It’s left me determined to chase my dreams, and not just for me, but for Ruby. I want my daughter to grow up knowing that motherhood goes hand in hand with dreams.

So, I’ve pursued writing with new zest and published three books (a fourth due out this December), I started exercising consistently (I’m still waiting for the astounding results…), I’ve pursued new talents (baking, calligraphy), and I booked a trip to Europe (September, people!).

All it took was a little girl, dissatisfied with what she saw ahead of her, to teach me how to find joy. I’m so thankful for this whole mom-growth-learning-curve thing.


<3 H

My Valentine: Part 3

My parents had tried to warn me about those ‘fixer-upper-type homes’. First it was chiseling off the laminate backsplash in the kitchen, then painting the cabinets. Now, I had gotten the bright idea to cover the pink laminate counters with faux concrete. As always, Mark was game.

After dusting the entire house, running the vacuum nonstop, and a week of work, the counters were finally ready for sealing.

“You can’t use the stove, Mark,” I said one day in passing. “The sealant needs 72 hours before it’s cured.”

“Got it,” Mark said, nodding.

It was no more than five hours later that I saw the stain– greasy splotches all over my beautiful concrete counters and right by the stove. I screamed and scrubbed the stains with a rag, pleading for them to lift. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no,” I kept saying.

“What’s wrong?” Mark said, turning into the kitchen.

“The counters,” I cried. “Did you use the stove?!”

He pulled back, a sheepish expression covering his features. “Well, yeah… why?”

“Why? The counters! I told you not to use the stove.”

Mark lifted his hands, warding me away. “Now wait a second. You said not to use the counter for three more days.”

“Mark!” I dropped my face in my hands. “I said not to use the stove.” Tears slipped down my cheeks. The exhaustion of the week caught up to me, the physical and emotional toll finally making itself known.

“Don’t worry. I can fix this. It’s easy. I’ll just do another layer of concrete. Don’t cry. It’s going to be just fine,” he said, darting toward the back door.

He spent the afternoon trying to patch over the stain, but nothing worked. It only got worse and grew to the size of a beach ball. I became an emotional (possibly PMSing) mess. I forgot how much better our kitchen looked than before. I forgot how much fun we’d had DIYing together.

I spent the next week grumbling each time I passed the stain. My perfect counters were blemished, and it could have been avoided! If only Mark had paid attention to me. I stewed, and I stewed, until it got to the point where I would bring the counter up in any marital conversation about communication. “You have to listen to me. Remember the counter?

Two months later.

“Let’s just finish the grout tonight,” I plead. We were so close.

“I’m too tired,” he said. “Let’s finish in the morning. We’ve got all day tomorrow.”

I huffed. “Maaaaarrrrk.”

Then I saw his eyes, his bloodshot and puffy eyes. He had worked all day cutting and laying the backsplash. What right did I have to ask for more? I had only stood around critiquing– “A little to the left”, “that edge isn’t straight”, blah blah blah.

“Go to bed, Sweetheart. I’ll finish up the grout myself.”

“By yourself? Are you sure you can do that?” he asked, sniffling. The family cold had caught up to him. “I have to go to bed. I don’t feel well. Are you sure you can do it by yourself?”

“Sure. It’ll be a breeze. I’ve watched Fixer Upper and Property Brothers enough to know how to do grout! Just go to bed,” I said, giving him a quick squeeze. “And thanks for all your hard work today. It looks great,” I said.

I went to work, mixing the grout and slathering it over the tiles and into the cracks. I waited the allotted time, then grabbed my sponge to clear off the extra. Piece of cake.

Except for it wasn’t. It was hard. The grout was hardening too quickly. I scrubbed until my knuckles were literally bleeding, and I had only cleaned off 1/6 of the grouted tile. Tears formed at my eyes, and I scrubbed harder, longer.

I scrubbed and cried until it was clear I needed help, and fast. It was 2 am. I was only a half of the way done. I had been working for 3 hours. The grout felt like concrete at this point.

It took setting aside all my pride to wake Mark. With tear-filled eyes, I begged. “Mark, I’m so sorry to wake you up. I know how tired you are. I know you have a cold. But, I need help.”

He squinted at the sight of the hall light.

I came closer, repeating myself.

He saw my tears, my bloodied hands, and he got up right away.

He finished cleaning the concrete-hard grout in 30 minutes, without a single complaint. “It’s okay, Heather,” he said when I kept apologizing.

The next morning, I walked past the stove. The grease stain from Mark’s mistake months ago shone back at me. I had held it over his head for the last two months, unwilling to forgive such a stupid mistake. And yet, Mark had dealt with my tile disaster without a single rebuke, a single guilt-inducing comment.

I ran my fingers across the stain and smiled. I would forever love that stain, for all it represented. I would never hold onto such a silly grudge again. It wasn’t worth it. I turned to the backsplash on the opposite wall. Instead, I would try to be more like my husband, willing to help at a moment’s notice. I would forgive always.




Blog Tour: The Forgotten Girl

Heather Chapman and Cedar Fort Publishing & Media are pleased to announce the The Forgotten Girl blog tour, which will run from February 13-21st, 2018.

About the book:

It is 1906, and sixteen-year-old Stella’s life in Durliosy, Poland, is bleak. Her only hope of surviving is to travel to America, a land of freedom and opportunity, and reunite with her brother in Baltimore. There she’ll find new challenges, and perhaps, if she can put her painful past behind her, a new chance for love and lasting happiness.

About the author:

Being the youngest of four sisters and one very tolerant older brother, Heather grew up on a steady diet of chocolate, Anne of Green Gables, Audrey Hepburn, Jane Austen, and the other staples of female literature and moviedom. These stories inspired Heather to begin writing at an early age. After meeting and marrying her husband Mark, Heather graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University and finally settled down in a small farming community in southeastern Idaho with her husband and four children. In her spare time, Heather enjoys time spent with family, volleyball, piano, the outdoors, and almost anything creative.

Author Residence: Soda Springs, ID

The Forgotten Girl Blog Tour Schedule

Feb. 13- Kaki Olsen Books

Feb. 14- Singing Librarians

Hardcover Feedback

Feb. 15- Inklings and Notions 

Rockin Book Reviews

Feb. 16- Getting Your Read On

Wishful Endings

Feb. 17- Bookworm Lisa

JoAnn Arnold 

Feb. 18- Jori Loves A Story

The Things I Love Most

Feb. 19- My Book A Day

A Bliss Complete

Feb. 20- Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books

Feb. 21- Robyn Echols Book Blog

Jori Loves A Story (INTERVIEW)



My Valentine: Part 2

He chose to come home for Christmas, I kept reminding myself. He likes me. What had started out as a nice family dinner had gone disastrously wrong.

“I don’t feel well. I think I’ll just sleep,” He said. His olive skin had turned pale.

“Are you sure? The whole family is here, and my Aunt Katie and her family are coming, too.” I had been excited to have him meet more of my family.

There were three long banquet-type tables running the length of the house to accommodate my parents, four siblings and their spouses, my nieces and nephews and extended family.

“I’m really alright,” He said, swallowing.

I nodded and said, “Feel better,” before returning to the chaos of family holidays.

Why couldn’t he push through it? It was the holidays, and the entire family kept asking me “Where’s Mark?”

I tried to push the disappointment away, but the pit in my stomach just seemed to grow. I took a bite of my potatoes, then swirled my fork around the salad. That’s when I realized… It wasn’t a pit in my stomach.

My fork clinked against the table, and I caught the gaze of my brother Matt. His eyes betrayed him. He felt my same agony, and he wasn’t sure what to do either.

I walked to my mom, whispering I was headed to the basement to lie down. Matt was on my heels, nodding his intention to do the same.

It BECAME A SCENE FROM A NIGHTMARE. My mom banished the ill to the basement, and what had once been love and compassion between my brother, Mark, and me became a brutal fight to survive.

“Heather, I need the bathroom!” Mark pounded on the door. “HURRY!”

I was currently doing the double ended elimination technique– garbage can in hands while on the toilet. “Come back later, Mark. I can’t have you by the door right now.”

He pounded louder. “HURRY!”

When I opened the door, he was bent over rocking back and forth. At the sight of an open bathroom, he sprinted past me, almost running me over. He slammed the door on my heels.

I wish I could say it was over. And for Mark at least, it soon was. Matt and I weren’t so lucky. We camped out in the downstairs den and spent the night moaning from body aches and rushing to the restroom.

Mark camped out beside us, and nursed me and my brother. He cleaned out our garbage cans after we puked. It feels necessary to reiterate this. My college boyfriend cleaned up my and my brother’s vomit on his big Christmas visit with my family.

He heard and saw me at my very worst– and I mean worst. I was disgusting. I had purple bruises dotting underneath my eyes. My skin was white, my hair stringy and greasy. I smelled…feral (and that’s putting it lightly). I whined. I was anything but attractive.

And still he was there. He held my hair back, and he gave me water to swish.

I imagine many in his circumstances might act differently. “You know, this isn’t really working out. This whole trip was a good test run, and I think it’s time we went our separate ways. Get better, and while you’re at it– Take a shower. Put some makeup and deodorant on. Maybe I’ll see you around campus next semester.

But this guy was different. After it was all said and done and we were driving back to school, Mark leaned toward the passenger seat.

“I want to marry you, Heather.”



My Valentine: Part 1

Years ago, I sat in a college dorm room, ranting to my roommate about how horrible college boys were. I had just started my second semester of college with a new job (event planning), new classes (chemistry, biology, nutrition), and a new vision… No more dating.

She laughed at my resolution. I laughed at her laughter because I was determined to focus on other things.

I signed up a week and a half late for an Intro to Voice (Singing 101) class for an extra credit to keep my scholarship. It was in a strange building (now demolished) and in a strange part of campus. I had to look at a map to find it. And as I followed my route, I was lead to a deserted alley in the middle of a crowded campus. Walking down the gravel road, I sighed. It was January, and the sun was just dimming. I had been feeling trapped in Provo, trapped with people. I had no car, no place to escape the noise and busyness, and it was suffocating.

And then, there I was in an abandoned alley. I got to the bottom of the hill, and stopped. I was only ten feet away from a deer. I marveled, because a.) I’m a romantic, b.) I was severely missing nature, and c.) It surprised me.

There were footsteps behind me, tennis shoes against the gravel.

“Look, a deer!” I said, turning to meet the gaze of my oncoming companion.

He laughed, clearly amused. “Yep, it’s a deer.”

But he wasn’t laughing at the deer. He was laughing at me. I blushed, feeling embarrassed at my enthusiasm, and met his eyes– his golden brown eyes.

We shuffled around awkwardly.

He glanced at his map– obviously looking for the same building as me. “Intro to Voice in the KMB?”

“Uh, yeah,” I said.

He smiled again. “I think this is it.” He gestured to the building to his right (my left).

I swallowed and nodded, following him. Great start, I thought to myself. Now this guy thinks I’m “nature girl”.


<3 H