Today we’re talking with Melanie Snitker about her new release!
Have you always lived in Texas?
No, not always! I was born in Arizona and I lived there until I was thirteen. My family and I moved to Oregon then and, other than one year, that’s where I lived until my husband and I relocated to Texas in 2001. We’ve been in Texas ever since.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about Texas?
Definitely the friendly people here. There are a lot of wonderful things about all three states I’ve lived in. But Texas is definitely the friendliest. As for my least favorite thing, I don’t care for the thunderstorms in the spring and fall that frequently bring with them tornado watches and warnings.
In Finding Hope, Lexi loves Mexican food in general. What is your favorite food?
I could probably eat Chinese food every day of the week and not grow tired of it. Oh, and candy is definitely a weakness for me. I’m especially partial to anything fruity whether its gumdrops or chocolate covered orange.
Tell us a little about your latest release, Finding Hope.
When I first wrote Finding Peace, I knew I wanted to have a book dedicated to Lexi. She’s such a strong, independent character. Sure, she’s faced challenges in the past. Her dad passed away some years ago and the relationship between Lexi and her younger sister, Serenity, isn’t what she wants it to be. But, in general, things are going well for Lexi now. She goes into her doctor worried about one thing, and is completely shocked when she’s told she may have cancer. It makes her re-evaluate everything in her life and she has to give up some of her independence to rely on the people around her.
What was the inspiration for the story line?
I personally have never had cancer. But both my mom and my aunt have as well as some other family members and friends. It’s a nasty disease that attempts to steal the hope and joy from those it affects. I have seen people face cancer with such an incredible amount of dignity.
Towards the end of writing this book, a wonderful lady I’ve known for years lost her life to cancer. There were a lot of emotions for me as I wrote this story.
What’s next for the series?
I’m currently working on Finding Courage, which is about Avalon and Duke. I first introduce Avalon in Finding Hope and as soon as her character came to life, I knew she needed a book of her own. I’m working towards a release of early October. The next book after that will be about Serenity and her son, Gideon.
“A mass.” Lexi heard herself say the words, but it sounded like they were coming back to her through a tunnel. That her pain was caused by anything more than a stubborn ovarian cyst had never occurred to her. Now she tried to wrap her mind around that idea and it wasn’t working.
“Most likely it’s benign, but this isn’t something you want to assume. It will not go away on its own and it’s causing you discomfort.” Doctor Yates wrote some notes down in her chart. “At the least, the mass needs to be removed.”
Of course it needed to be removed. If there was even a remote chance that the mass wasn’t benign, Lexi was tempted to reach in and yank it out herself. She felt betrayed by her own body.
She wasn’t even thirty-years-old — whether a mass was malignant or not shouldn’t be on her radar. “What do I do?”
“I’m going to refer you to an oncologist. It’s better to go that route because if the doctor gets in there and it isn’t benign, you can be sure you’re getting the best care.”
Oncologist. Ice penetrated her heart. The chill traveled through her blood to every part of her body. She realized Doctor Yates was still talking and forced herself to focus on his words.
“Go ahead and get dressed. I’ll come back in with some information.” He paused, studying her closely. “Are you okay?”
Lexi stared at her legs, no longer seeing the flimsy paper gown. Minutes ago, covering her legs had been a priority. Now, she felt exposed in an entirely different way. There had been many things she’d taken for granted in her life, including her health.
The doctor was waiting for a response. She nodded and watched as he walked out of the room followed by the technician.
Was she okay? Not remotely.
She got dressed again, her fingers numb as she tried to smooth the front of her shirt. A twinge in her side made her cringe. She’d always pictured a cyst on her ovary. Now, in her mind’s eye, she imagined a nasty little monster clinging to her organ and sucking the life out of her body.
There was a knock on the door and it swung open. Lexi jumped and folded her arms. Doctor Yates handed her a piece of paper. “Here’s the name of the oncologist I’m referring you to. She’s in the Dallas area, but it’s worth the drive. Her office will call you back this week to schedule an appointment. If you don’t hear from them, call them on Monday.” He handed her a pamphlet. “This has information about the process you’ll be going through to determine what the mass might be. As a nurse, I’m sure you’re familiar with all of it and you may have resources where you work that other people might not have access to.”
Lexi reached for the information. “I appreciate that.”
Five minutes later, she stepped out of the doctor’s office and into the sunshine. It was an unseasonably warm summer, and she could feel the heat on her arms. It did little to thaw the chill inside her. Somehow, she managed to put one foot in front of the other until she was enveloped within the safety of her car.
She tossed the information onto the passenger seat. The words at the top of one piece of paper —Cancer Center — seemed to leap off the page. She moved the pages so that it ended up at the bottom and the words were no longer visible.
Her shift at the hospital didn’t start until that evening. All of the plans she’d had for the rest of the afternoon seemed trivial.
What was she supposed to do now?
Fining Hope is available on Kindle and in paperback
Amazon | Barnes and Noble