“I grew to love the small town atmosphere, and knew I wanted to be a writer from a very early age,” she said Wednesday.
Echols, now a resident of North Palm Beach, Fla., will be in Carrollton Saturday for a 2 to 5 p.m. book signing event at The Nest, 121 Bradley St., Carrollton. It will be preceded by a similar event Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT, at the Colonial Cottage, 758 Ross St., Heflin, Ala.
Her fiction book, “Reign of Hope,” was released in May in paperback and an electronic book version was released last December. The book sells for $12.98 on Amazon.com, but will be available at the book signing for $12. Amazon sells the electronic Kindle version for $5.99.
“I began writing 'Reign of Hope' in late 2009 and worked on it intermittently while also working full time, taking care of a toddler and going to school for my bachelor’s degree,” she said. “My husband and I own a restaurant, so although writing was always my dream, it wasn’t always my priority.”
Echols said "Reign of Hope" is a simple love story, set in the small town of Heflin. In the story, James Sewell, a selfless, small town country boy, has been in love with Allison since they were children. He finally has a chance to prove himself worthy of her affection, although it’s from her greatest tragedy that he is forced to save her from herself. In the desperation of life’s defeat, Allison finds what she’s so long forsaken, the single ray of hope that has remained in her life: James.
“I’ve had so many readers ask if I wrote about people I actually knew because they feel they’re living a real story with the characters,” she said. “Rest assured, this is a completely fictional book, as are its characters, but the profound strength, love and hope portrayed in the book’s pages are very real.”
Echols said she feels that everyone can relate to the story in some way and take something from it.
“In the end, you’re left with knowing that true love and real soul mates really do exist,” she said, “even in the light of desparation and tragedy. Yet, the key to holding onto this truth is hope. This love story paints the picture of how to grasp that hope and cling to it for dear life.”
Echols said she thanks her “super supportive family” and her high school English literature teacher, Dana Harman, for their “never-ending” encouragement.
Hannah, 28, was born in Atlanta in 1983, lived in Ranburne until age 5, then lived in Carrollton from ages 5 through 18. Her mother, Darlene Luke, lives in Carrollton, and her father, Michael Lumpkin, lives in Bowdon. She and her husband’s family have many relatives in Heflin. They have a 5-year-old daughter, Olivia.
Hannah works in systems implementation and project management. Her pastimes include reading, writing and spending time with her family. She said her next project will be a science fiction fantasy novel.