Monday, May 26, 2014

Author Interview and Giveaway: Hot Chocolate In June by Holly Mthethwa

Welcome to Christian Book Review Blog, Holly! Thank you for being here! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in the small, rural town of Cozad, Nebraska where the corn grows higher than I am tall and every local knows each other's name(though not always how to pronounce them). Mthethwa. Mm.tet.wa. I currently live in the Washington, D.C. area with my South African husband, Oscar. I graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. Quite early in my career, I realized accounting was not my passion and began pursuing writing. 

When did you first discover that you loved writing? 

When I was eleven, my teacher entered a poem I’d written into a school competition. The winner got to attend a Young Authors Conference that was hosted in a nearby town. I ended up taking first place in my age group and got to attend the conference and the workshops. It was through that experience I began to discover the depth of my love for writing and creating stories. 

Why do you write the type of books that you do?

Hot Chocolate in June is a memoir and is the first book I’ve written. I wrote it because I believe God wrote a really wonderful story through some of the events in my life and I wanted to share that story with others. 

What was your greatest obstacle in writing and how did you overcome it?

The greatest obstacle I had in writing was wrapping my mind around how I was going to piece together the pages and chapters to create a book. I didn’t know if I had enough words to fill the pages, and not just words, but effective and powerful words. In order to overcome those challenges, I kept focusing on writing a page at a time. Each page began to fill-up chapters which began to complete the book. 

Has writing changed your life in any way?

Writing has changed my life because through it I’ve discovered one of my greatest passions. It’s opened up my eyes and my heart to how much I enjoy penning words on a page and inspired me to begin pursuing it full-time. 

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most?

My life verse is Philippians 4:5 which reads “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” This verse continually reminds me to be gentle and kind to strangers and those in need. It also reminds me that my gentleness needs to be evident to my family and friends as well. They deserve all of my tenderness and compassion too. 

Is there a book you’ve read that has been truly spectacular?

I’m a huge fan of Lynn Austin’s Chronicles of the Kings series. I loved the way she intertwined biblical history with storytelling and was able to keep me anticipating each subsequent book in the series. I found it spectacular because after I read the series, I couldn’t wait to go back through the Old Testament bible stories and dig deeper. I often find myself anxious to go deeper after reading a teaching non-fiction Christian book, but it’s rare for me to do so after reading Christian fiction. I loved that!

What’s the funniest/quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

The funniest things I’ve ever done almost always involve spilling something or tripping. I’m certain my husband thinks I’m a catastrophe waiting to happen at times. One day, he and I were walking hand in hand through a shopping mall in Johannesburg, South Africa. We took a short cut to our car and swung our legs over a chain link rope that was meant to section off a particular area. The stiletto heel of my boot got caught in one of the links and I was flipped onto my back and onto the cement before I knew what happened. A group of about five young kids tried to ease my humiliation and yelled, “Don’t worry, no one saw it!” Yes, no one but the five of them.

Please tell us about the featured book.

Buy At Amazon
Under-qualified and overly-ambitious, Holly left her family and friends behind in Nebraska to search for that radical life, that all-for-Jesus-or-nothing-at-all life. Escaping the depression that chased her following her father’s untimely and agonizing death, this young accountant-turned-adventurer trekked to remote mountain villages and through city streets smelling of human excrement: all in search of a Father’s love. Thousands of miles from the only home she’d ever known, Holly discovered a deeper passion for her God while sharing the gospel in India and soothing abandoned babies in South Africa. God made sure that Holly also encountered Oscar. This handsome South African rugby player seemed to have everything Holly had been praying for in a husband—except for the small detail that he didn’t look like any of the other guys she’d dated before. Oscar, as the son of parents who had lived through racial segregation and apartheid, was not supposed to bring home a woman whose skin matched the color of the people his parents had served. And this small town, Midwestern girl wasn’t supposed to fall in love with a black man, either. Hot Chocolate in June is the true story of God's undeniable ability to mend emotional wounds, overcome racial and cultural differences, and write amazing adventure stories. Join Holly as she navigates her way through deep grief and loss, only to discover the sweetness of love and restoration.

Can you please give us the first page?

The crisp, fall Nebraska air blew so strongly, with threats of
winter frost, that neither the warmth of the heater nor sips from
the cappuccino in my cup holder could melt its chilling effects. I
was headed west along Interstate 80 in my white 2004 Oldsmobile
Alero, toward the seasonally abandoned cornfields of Cozad,
Nebraska. The night sky intensified my eagerness to get home. It
was Thanksgiving break, during my second year of college, and
school had let out early, but a part-time job had kept me from
making the forty-five-minute drive home until nightfall.
My parents divorced when I was six yet still, at the age of
nineteen, I spent every other holiday between the two of them.
Having outgrown the requirements of the divorce decree, I was
at the age where I could simply decide whom I wanted to spend a
holiday with, but something about choosing felt disloyal; wrong.
So I headed toward Dad’s house and my hometown, because, well,
Thanksgiving was his turn this year.
Long ago, my brother Danny and I determined to make the
best out of our situation. We discovered that children of divorced
parents not only get to celebrate each holiday three times more
than other kids, but they also get three times as many Christmas
presents come Christmas time. When you’re a kid and you start
multiplying your anticipated gifts by two parents, two step-parents,
two sets of grandparents, two sets of step-grandparents, and
step-siblings, it becomes easy to find the silver lining in being
the by-product of divorce.

Where can readers learn more information about you?

Readers can learn more about me by visiting my website at or by following me on Facebook or Twitter. 

Twitter: @hollymthethwa

Thank you again for being with us today!
(This giveaway is only open to followers of Christian Book Review Blog, so be sure you are a follower!) 
Holly has generously offered to giveaway a signed copy of Hot Chocolate In June! Print giveaway is available to U.S residents only. Giveaway ends on June 7, 2014 at midnight (Eastern time). Thanks for coming by to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway Information: 

1. From May 19-31 visit to enter up to 25 times.

2. From May 22-28, anyone who purchases the Hot Chocolate in June ebook can forward their receipt to to be entered to win another prize pack

1 comment:

  1. Would love to win a signed copy. Thank you for this giveaway!