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Intersection Column | The Importance of Family

by Irene Hannon

A couple of years ago, I received a letter from a reader that startled me. She said I must have been raised in a very bad family situation, because so many of my heroes and heroines grew up in troubled homes.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. My childhood was idyllic. Not that we were rich in terms of material possessions, but we had something much more valuable—deep, abiding love. In our family, it was one for all, all for one. In fact, my mom and dad and brother and I used to call ourselves the four musketeers. My parents always gave my brother and me unwavering support and absolute trust. They believed in us, and they made us want to be the best we could be. They instilled in us all the values we hold dear today—faith, family, honor, perseverance, loyalty, justice, empathy, respect, integrity, commitment…and the list goes on. We were so very blessed to grow up in such a loving and encouraging environment.

Which brings me back to that reader comment.

I often do feature heroes and heroines who come from difficult backgrounds. Not because that was my own experience, but because I recognize how much the family environment can impact a child’s development. Life can be difficult, no matter your upbringing—but how much harder it is to develop self-confidence, to thrive, to succeed without the kind of home my parents created.

So since fiction is all about people overcoming obstacles, what better way to give readers characters they can admire and root for than to create heroes and heroines who battled tremendous challenges in their formative years, yet triumphed despite them?

Into the Fire, my newest book, is a good example of this. My heroine, fire investigator and former smokejumper Bri Tucker, was born into a very bad situation, as were her two foster siblings. All three children entered the foster system at an early age, and all were taken in by a caring couple who worked hard to help them overcome the damage inflicted during their early years. This kind, compassionate couple ended up adopting all three children, creating a strong family unit that was exactly what those kids needed. While Bri and her brother and sister aren’t related by blood, they are true siblings of the heart, and their bond couldn’t be stronger.

My hero, ATF Special Agent Marc Davis, did have loving parents. But tragedy upended his world at a young age, leaving him an orphan. Fortunately, he had grandparents who were willing to raise him. But he’s never stopped missing his parents, and because he loved them so much, he’s never been able to banish the legacy of guilt he’s been dealing with since their deaths. Plus, an unsolved mystery from that heartbreaking era continues to haunt him.

As Bri and Marc join forces to investigate a puzzle left by one of Bri’s predecessors, they discover that one of the best antidotes for old hurts is new love. But first they must find the courage to take the risk of opening their hearts to each other.

I invite you to meet Bri and Marc in the pages of Into the Fire. While their journey is filled with danger on a number of levels, it is, at heart, a journey filled with hope—and the promise of new beginnings that love always offers.

And for all of you who came from a loving family, as I did, count your blessings. That is a gift beyond measure.


About the Author

Irene Hannon is the bestselling, award-winning author of 65+ contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. She is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America and a member of RWA’s elite Hall of Fame. Learn more at


About the Book

As a former smokejumper, arson investigator Bri Tucker knows her way around fires. But after a mysterious blaze takes the life of a former colleague, Bri inherits a curious puzzle from him that raises questions about several fiery deaths. When she teams up with ATF Special Agent Marc Davis to solve the puzzle, the case heats up.


Did You Know?

The Bible is a wonderful source to understand human diversity. From Genesis 1:27 when Creator God created His children in His image to the unity God describes in the Body of Christ in I Corinthians 12:25-28, you can see God’s plan is not for division or hatred.

  • The Bible is filled with a rich heritage of diversity. From different nations around the world and people from all different races and ethnicities, the Bible overflows with diversity. People have different hair, eye and skin color, they come from different countries and languages, and even their bodies, eyes and noses are shaped uniquely.

  • Even Jesus has a diverse lineage. His background includes people from different countries and ethnicities. Jesus was born in the Middle East and His ethnicity is Jewish. But Jesus’ family line includes far more than Jews. In Matthew, we see Jesus’ heritage traced all the way back to Adam. We learn of two women who were not Jewish included in His bloodline: Rahab was a Canaanite, and Ruth, who married Boaz, was a Moabite.

  • The Bible shows us how God cherishes diversity. How? God created all the different races and ethnicities. And, Christ gave His life for all humanity—not just one person or one group of people. So, no matter what you look like, your ethnicity or background, know Christ is the Hope of all people and all can be found in Jesus.

The Bible is our teacher for how we live together, complementing one another, not hating one another or proudly proclaiming our race is superior to another. To love a brother or sister who is not like you at all is to celebrate God’s plan.

-Joan C. Benson and Marjorie Wingert, God’s Human Race


Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore

“Visiting a bookstore can be invigorating. In this technology-saturated society, having a real person greet you and help you is beautifully refreshing.”

-Janet Perez Eckles, Now I See


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