ABOUT AUTHOR: Kellie Coates Gilbert takes readers on an emotional roller coaster as she weaves themes of unexpected trial, self-discovery, and forgiveness in this profoundly honest portrait of the tensions that can break a marriage--and the ultimate healing power of love.As a former legal professional, Kellie Coates Gilbert spent nearly twenty-five years working in courtrooms and behind the scenes of some of the largest and most well-known cases in America. She was one of t

he lead paralegals in the Jack-in-the-Box litigation, where uncooked hamburger resulted in the deaths of several toddlers and made many more critically ill, which is now the subplot of her soon-to-be released WHERE RIVERS PART, the second novel in a collection of contemporary women's fiction stories all set in Texas. Her books not only explore the heart issues that matter most to women, but often allow readers an inside peek into her former legal world. 

Her books not only explore the heart issues that matter most to women, but often allow readers an inside peek into her former legal world. 
Kellie currently makes her home in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a very spoiled 
2.7 lb. Yorkie named Emmie Sweetpea. Please visit her online at

How did you come up with the idea for A Reason to Stay?

Kellie: People who have read my earlier books know my stories often pull ideas from courtroom cases I’ve worked on or stories in the news. A Reason To Stay is no different.

In early 2011, I watched with the rest of the country as news media reported on the terrible shooting that left Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s fighting for her life. Like so many, I followed her painful journey to healing and prayed for her recovery.
Ms. Giffords’ story hit very close to home.

While I was not a victim of a shooting, years back I suffered a stroke, the result of a brain bleed that required multiple cranial surgeries and a protracted hospital recovery. I personally knew some of what Gabby faced and my heart was broken for her.
A Reason to Stay is a very personal story. Not only does Faith Marin face a brain injury and the subsequent struggles to recover, but her real fight is in keeping her marriage intact.

This summer, my husband and I will celebrate thirty-five years of marriage, a landmark in a journey marked with opposition. Looking back, I know that we only made it by the grace of God. Over the course of our years together, both of us had to make a decision.
I’m grateful we chose to stay. 
Me and Hubby
Nora: Oh, wow, I do remember what happened to the Congresswoman. It was unbelievable. I’m so glad that you were able to recover from the stroke and could relate to the Congresswoman. I’ve loved your books because you allow readers to walk in someone else’s shoes for a while and help them view others situations from a whole new perspective. Congratulations on your thirty-fifth wedding anniversary! Thanks for sharing your heart!

What do you hope readers take away from A Reason to Stay?

Kellie: The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination. As a novelist, I end writing each story with the hope that readers are fascinated with my strong protagonists who journey life-changing circumstances with a sense of hope that can only come from God.

Nora: I have been fascinated by the woman you’ve written about. I have been touched deep in my heart by the woman you’ve written about and their situation. I’ve also been encouraged and challenged. That’s why I look forward to reading your book!

What was your favorite scene in   A Reason to Stay?  Which was the most fun to write? Which was the hardest? Why?

Kellie: They say truth is stranger than fiction, but that adage had never been more true than the morning I watched the morning news and saw a scene from this book playing out on the television station….almost exactly.  I sat glued to my television, a sick feeling building in my gut. Tears pooled and I went to my knees and prayed for that reporter and cameraman’s family and friends. I wondered about the co-workers and the emergency responders. Such an evil act!

The scene I wrote nearly a year ago wrenched my emotions at the time I penned the words, but seeing the same thing on my television screen and knowing those events were real deeply saddened me.

Nora: Oh, Kellie; it was tragic and unimaginable to hear the news. I can imagine how it hit you even harder thinking there was no way this could happen in real life when you wrote that scene. “Truth is Stranger than Fiction for sure!” I agree.

You’ve said, “I adore women—in all our roles. Wives, mothers, daughters and especially girlfriends. Women are passionate and complex beings. One minute, fear invades our minds and we worry we don’t measure up, or get anxious our best efforts may fail. The next, we’re taking on a wrong and fighting to make things right, regardless of consequence. We defend the helpless, love the hopeless, and nurture our loved ones—often with a level of courage that surprises our male counterparts. Our talents are many and we’re masters at juggling roles. We’re fierce with our relationships. And, we struggle when life hits us hard . . . or dreams fade. I love writing stories about women, for women. And I love helping us to see how much we matter.”

QUESTION: Where do you go next? What is your next series? Will it involve woman’s issues?

Kellie: My next series will feature the lives and loves of three sisters. The stories will be filled with the same emotionally poignant storylines my readers have come to love BUT will offer strong romantic subplots that will delight those of us who adore the process of falling in love!

Nora: This sounds very interesting Kellie. I look forward to reading the series and meeting these sisters.

You’ve said, “My grandbabies. Ah….my own Gram used to call me her “precious puddin’ gift of God.” I will take my last breath conveying that same message to little Peanut and Gumdrop.”

QUESTION: What has surprised you about being a grandma? What do you love about it?

Kellie: Grandchildren are pure joy! Nothing sends my heart soaring more than opening the front door and hearing:  “Hi, Dammy!”  As far as surprising, I can’t help but shake my head seeing my tiny granddaughter worked her dimpled fingers across my iPad opening and closing apps and videos she wants to watch. I mean….she’s only a year and a half!!

Nora: Oh, MyGosh Kellie!! How cute! Thanks for sharing this. Grin!

You’ve said, “Flowers jazz my spirits. Shell pink tulips are my favorites, with lilacs and peonies coming in as close seconds. My Gram had the most incredible flower gardens and I loved to learn about the plants and help her weed. We’d talk about life and Jesus and how His artistic hand formed the tiny pansies and tall hollyhocks”

QUESTION: Do you have a flower garden? If so what flowers do you grow? If not what flowers are your favorite? How do you display your flowers at home? What about Christmas and Thanksgiving time? Which flowers do you have around – look forward to displaying? Why?

Kellie: Oh, Nora… have picked up on my guilty pleasure!  I adore flowers. Sadly, Dallas summers don’t allow for thriving foliage. So, I indulge in floral bouquets on my living room coffee table and on my office desk. I’ve included some photos for your readers.  My love for all things floral was certainly fed while living in Portland, Oregon. A dahlia farm, a lilac farm, and tulip farms were all just a short drive from my house. I wish I could capture what the air smelled like. I’ve included photos…..maybe your readers can use their imagination!

Nora: Thank you for all these LOVELY PICTURES!! WOW, They are BEAUTIFUL!

What has been the funniest thing you’ve heard a child say?

Kellie: Nothing tickles the funny bone more than the adorable things little children say (or mix up).  One of my all-time favorites by my youngest while praying:  “Our Father, who aren’t in heaven….Howard is your name.” This is the same kid who used to ask me:  “Is today tomorrow?” *smiles*

Nora: Love it!!

If you had to be on a T.V. Reality show which would you pick? Give you have the talent to be on that show like dancing with the stars, survivor, Cooking stars, road race etc. What would you look forward to the experience?

Kellie: What a fun question!  While many claim I am a gifted writer, Jesus passed me over when it came to singing.  I’m as sour as they come. I’m not a physical fitness fanatic…so that’s not my forte either. I can cook though….and make fabulous braised lamb shanks I serve over real mashed potatoes. I also make an onion tarte that is a hit at parties. Primarily, you caramelize sweet onions in butter and brown sugar and spread over a pre-baked sheet of filo dough, sprinkle with feta cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and turns brown at the edges. Cut into two inch squares with a pizza cutter and serve….delicious!

Nora: This sounds yummy!! I’ll have to try it. Thanks for sharing!

We all live busy lives and all of us are in different seasons of life; that as a given what part of your day requires the most patience from you to get through? What causes you to pray the most?

Kellie: I hate looking up from my computer and seeing that it is three o’clock in the afternoon and I’m not yet showered and dressed, have nothing started for dinner (or even taken out of the freezer) and I’ve spent the entire day on marketing and haven’t met my word count….which means a late night ahead. I’m constantly asking for divine help in managing my time!

Nora: It’s crazy when this happens and I’m not even writing a book!! Grin!

If you had the money and the time what would you love to do if you could?

Kellie: I’d upgrade our motorhome and travel the country with my husband, meeting with readers and retailers!  The ultimate book tour that never ends!

Nora: That sounds like fun and yes it would be a great book tour idea!

Can you share with us a favorite childhood memory? Or thing that happened to you that you’ll never forget?

Kellie: One of my favorite anecdotes to tell from my children is this:
In third grade, our teacher Mrs. Leazenby read to us after lunch recess to calm us down and prepare us for a few more hours of learning before the bus took us home.

She read Tom Sawyer – and the kid sitting behind me named Craig Adamson sat and poked his pencil into my back the entire time.  I raised my hand and told and the teacher did nothing. She just gave him a stern look and kept reading.

She read Little Women – and he tied my two pigtails together and thought he was funny.  I told……nothing.

She read Mrs. Wiggs and the Cabbage Patch, and he kicked the legs of my desk the entire time.  I told…..and again, nothing.

But then….She read WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS, a story about a boy in the Ozarks who worked, saved and bought two hound dogs OLD DAN and LITTLE ANN.  The boy worked diligently to train the dogs to hunt raccoons and in the process a deep love grew between Billy and his dogs.

One night, however, his dogs tree a mountain lion. Old Dan howls defiantly, and it attacks. Billy is horrified, and with his axe he enters the fray, hoping to save his dogs, but they end up having to save him. Eventually, they defeat the mountain lion, but Old Dan is badly wounded, and Billy soon finds his intestines in a bush. He dies the next day. Billy is heartbroken, and Little Ann loses the will to live, stops eating, and dies of starvation a few days later on Old Dan's grave.

 That scene shook the entire class to our core. Even Craig Adamson cried. 

As an adult, I look back now and wonder if Mrs. Leazenby chose that story on purpose. She knew Craig’s dog sat outside our classroom waiting for him every day until the bell finally rang for us to go home.

Nora: Oh, Wow! Great Anecdote! I appreciate you sharing that.

Kellie: STORIES HAVE A WAY OF CHANGING US WHEN THE STORY PULLS US IN ON AN EMOTIONAL LEVEL. I try and remember this with every story I have the privilege to write!


 Kellie: In the past, I’ve had so much fun interacting with the TBCN members/readers. My heart is filled with gratitude for all the emails they’ve sent me, the reviews they’ve posted on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and other retailer sites. Nothing encourages an author more…, thank you!!!  I’ll always write with you in mind.

Nora: Oh, Kelly I love having you stop by TBCN and have you talk about your latest book. I learn so much and I LOVE all the pictures you put in the interviews. Praying you and your family having a special Thanksgiving day.

We have so much to be Grateful for!

I’m thrilled about the 5 book Giveaway Opportunity for your new book A REASON TO STAY at TBCN going on RIGHT NOW!! at 

LAST DAY to Enter NOV 30th.

Everyone has to be a member of TBCN in order to participate. It’s Free and easy. Participate as your schedule allows.


Nora :o)

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins 
The Book Club Network Blog  
Book Fun Magazine  

Interview Sponsored by: Revell Publishers


  1. Really enjoyed the interview. Your books sounds very interesting.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

  2. REMINDER To ENTER this Drawing you'll need to go to TBCN JOIN It's FREE and Easy. Then SCROLL down the front page CLICK the LINK ABOVE the Book Cover. Then Answer ONE Question.



  3. Now I have to read Where the Red Fern Grows. I read the first one in the series and enjoyed it. Love the idea for the new series. I have 3 sisters and I love when we get together. It is amazing to see is on different stages of life but still the same bond.