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Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Name Before the Masses Tour for Behind Picket Fences by Hend Hegazi, a fiction - contemporary available now from FB Publishing House. Today we are featuring an author interview.

Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking the banner.

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/12/nbtm-behind-picket-fences-by-hend-hegazi.html

Behind Picket Fences


by Hend Hegazi

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GENRE:    Fiction - contemporary

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BLURB:

Behind Picket Fences exposes four families from behind their comfortable lifestyles and smiling faces. Sharing the same neighborhood, even spending time together, no family knows the truth about the difficulties the others face. 

On the outside, Sidra and Farris have the biggest house and the most expensive cars. What no one sees is their struggle to accept an unfulfilled dream. If they do not adapt to the blows of fate, their malcontent may give birth to deception.  

Mariam and Morgan’s modest home exudes the rich scent of family. With children playing in the yard, they seem picture perfect. But financial struggle is their continuous battle, and their only solution may produce an envy which is more destructive than hunger.

Summer and Porter enjoy youth and the freedom of self-employment. But discontentment and mental instability linger between them. If they are not able to bridge the gap, their search for happiness may have a fatal end.

May and Hasan enjoy peace and true happiness. Illness cares not, however, of letting them relish in their blessings. Only patience and time will prove if this unwelcome visitor is simply passing by, or if it will tear their world apart.

An honest portrayal of love and family, Behind Picket Fences opens our eyes to the difficult truths hidden behind each happy facade.


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EXCERPT:


Actually,” Farris interrupted, “I’m just going to call it a night.” Farris began to walk away without saying goodbye or even recognizing the women. Faruq stood there for a second, jaw open, utterly embarrassed by his brother’s anti-social behavior. “I’ll be right back, ladies. Don’t go anywhere.”
He ran after his brother and quickly caught up with him. “Man, what are you doing?! This is the best thing for you right now.”

“I don’t want this. This has never been my scene, Faruq, and you know that. I’m just going to…”
But the sight of something beyond Farris made his brother interrupt, grabbing him by the shoulder. “That’s him! Farris, man, that’s him!” Faruq shouted, pointing in the direction he was looking.
Turning around so he could see what Faruq was pointing to, Farris narrowed his eyes. “What are you talking about, Faruq? That’s who?”

“That’s him!” Faruq repeated, excitedly grabbing Farris’ shirt at the shoulder. “That’s the man I saw with Sidra!”

The words forced Farris’ eyes into focus. He saw the tall, brown haired white man so vividly, as if he were the only one in the parking lot. He didn’t hesitate for even a split second; Faruq barely blinked, and suddenly Farris was sprinting toward James. He lunged at him, punching him square in the face. The man fell to the ground as the woman who was with him let out a gasp and crouched to the floor beside him.

Looking up at the attacker she screamed, “What the hell is wrong with you?! Why did you punch my husband?!”

Farris hovered over the couple, breathing heavily, rubbing his throbbing knuckles. Faruq, now standing beside his brother, held Farris’ arm back and spoke out, “Your husband is having an affair with his wife. Isn’t that right, James?”

“James?!” the woman yelled. “He’s not James!”


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AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image?
Reyhana Ismail is a wonderful graphic designer. I gave her the idea of a house behind a picket fence—that seemed the most fitting for the concept behind the story as well as the title— and she kept working with me until we got it just right. You can connect with her at www.reyoflightdesign.com. I highly recommend her.


How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Although all of the characters show their flaws throughout the book, Morgan’s lack of accountability and demeaning behavior make him simply unlikeable.  It was fun creating a character to hate; not only was it new to me, it was a challenge to fit so many unappealing characteristics into one character and make him realistic.  

If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?
The names of the characters have caused confusion for some of my readers. I purposely chose names that exist across cultures, names that can be both Muslim as well as non-Muslim. Unfortunately, this inconclusiveness caused some of my Muslim readers to assume that certain characters are Muslim, when in fact, their faith is never mentioned in the book. It was a learning experience for me, and in the future my names won’t be as ambiguous (although I’m still against the concept of assuming characters identify with a specific faith based solely on the fact that the author identifies with that faith!).


Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book.
There is a scene in the book where Hassan and May argue, and in the midst of the argument, Hassan forbids May from going out. Although this scene can be seen to foreshadow what happens next in their storyline, it was actually the very last scene I wrote.


How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I have written character interviews for the women of Behind Picket Fences that are available by clicking here. You can also reach me through email at authorhendhegazi at gmail dot com, or through facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorHendHegazi. My books are available anywhere books are sold; here are the Amazon links to Normal Calm and Behind Picket Fences.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m finishing up the first draft of my third novel. The story follows a socially awkward woman through a divorce and custody battle for her two kids. She also has to deal with the difficulties of being a new convert to Islam, what that means to her family and how the Muslim community treats her. The story is giving me a difficult time, to be honest. I keep forgetting my ‘why.’ But I continue to work at it, refocus, and hopefully soon it will start to comply!

Once that’s done, I hope to begin writing my memoir.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

If everyone who reads it can please leave a review, either on Amazon or Goodreads, that would be so helpful. Also, tell your friends about it; lend them your copies, gift them their own copies, whatever…just spread the word.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Hend Hegazi was born and raised in Southeastern Massachusetts. Despite her desire to pursue writing as a profession, she graduated from Smith College with a degree in biology and a minor in religion. Shortly thereafter, the winds of life and love blew her to Egypt where she has been living for the past 14 years. She is a full time mother of four as well as a freelance writer and editor. Some of her work has been featured in SISTERS Magazine. Her fiction and poetry focus on the human condition, often shedding light on the Muslim American experience. Hend strives to be God-conscious and aims to raise that awareness in her readers. As a common theme in her pieces, the intimate relationship between God-consciousness and love is often explored. Hend’s debut novel, Normal Calm, was published in January 2014.

You can read her poetry and blog posts on her website, www.hendhegazi.com, and follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorHendHegazi. For updates on giveaways and special offers, kindly opt-in to her free newsletter at this link http://eepurl.com/bZa7fH.

Both of her novels are available through most major book distributors, or click here to purchase through Amazon: Normal Calm, Behind Picket Fences.


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GIVEAWAY

Hend Hegazi will be awarding one copy of Normal Calm and a copy of Behind Picket Fences (U.S. and International) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


About Mayor Sonni

Reader extraordinaire. Mayor of Readeropolis. Lover of books, lists, sweet tea, and vacations. Well, not necessarily in that order.
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