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Be My Guest: Therese Heckenkamp

This article is LONG overdue. I’m talking it should have been presented to you back in March.

Yep, I completely forgot it due to the short-term memory loss that has flared up off and on since the March before that one (2021). (Thanks heaps, Long-C!)

So to Therese Heckenkamp and my readers, I sincerely apologize for not remembering to get this article set up on time.


Back in January, Mrs. Heckenkamp published a book I am still looking forward to reading. I can hardly believe I never got to Sleep Deprived in spring or summer. I’m hoping to read it before Christmas, because it still sounds intriguing to me. A friend of mine read it and loved it and recommended it to me, so I’m pretty sure I’m in for a delicious suspense story.

About the Book

An odd encounter in a cemetery. A baby in need.
Every mom’s worst nightmare.

When sleep deprivation skews her judgment, grieving young mother Mae risks everything to save a baby—only to wind up accused of a crime.

Now her freedom, her marriage, and her life are at stake. She fights to clear her name, but can’t do it alone. Her husband is the only one she can turn to. But with their relationship crumbling, even he may not be on her side.

Will their struggles rekindle their love, or kill it? If they don’t work together to overcome past wounds and current danger, Mae might finally end up resting in peace. Permanently.


Be My Guest: An Interview with Therese Heckenkamp

Andrea: Having the lead in a romantic suspense story be in a struggling marriage is different from what I normally see in books in the genre. What inspired you to choose this scenario for Mae? What surprised you along the way through this aspect of her journey?

Therese: I agree, it is a bit unusual and that was one of the reasons I chose it. I wanted to try something different, but I also felt that this story naturally called for this situation. And as a married mother myself, I could relate to many aspects and believed readers would too. As for what surprised me . . . perhaps how much I enjoyed exploring this angle. So many novels end with couples engaged or getting married, but what happens if their happily ever after is derailed? It could be the beginning of another exciting story.

Andrea: The blurb for Sleep Deprived promises a baby will be involved — and in danger. Do you find it easy or difficult to write about children? What were some of the toughest aspects of writing about a baby? Did you end up having a favorite scene that features the baby?

Therese: Considering I have five kids, I try to tap that potential inspiration when I write about children. Since my youngest was a baby when I wrote this, I drew on that knowledge and didn’t find it too difficult. Since Mae is a grieving mother, I do mention a past loss, so that was of course sad to write, but that backstory really fuels her decisions.

One of the challenges of including babies as characters is that they can’t talk or do much compared to adults, so as a writer I had to make use of the special range of things they can do. Knowing baby body language is helpful. Without getting too specific and sharing spoilers, my favorite scenes with the baby are when Mae bonds with her.

Andrea: Sleep deprivation affects so many people around the globe for various reasons. When did you know sleep deprivation was going to play a significant role in the story? Were there any scenes that were tricky to write because of the sleep deprivation issues Mae faced?

Therese: To take on writing a new story at that time in my life, I knew I had to incorporate being sleep deprived, since I was going through it myself (due to my baby keeping me up so much). I latched onto it as a title, instantly knew the story would involve a sleep-deprived mother, and I brainstormed from there. Honestly, the trickiest thing about the writing was the temptation to set it aside and take a nap.

Andrea: What do you hope readers will take away from Sleep Deprived? Which themes within the story impacted you as you were writing it?

Therese: I hope they remember it as an exciting, entertaining, yet meaningful read that made them think about the realities of overcoming loss and learning to forgive and move forward.

Unconditional love, appreciating what we have, enduring struggles and coming out stronger on the other side—these were all themes that touched me as I wrote.

Andrea: What is one thing that readers might not know about you?

Therese: I like to write my first draft in a spiral notebook while lying on my bed. This informal method helps smother my inner critic while freeing my mind to dream up creative possibilities. But I’ll admit, sometimes I just fall asleep. 🙂

Andrea: Where may readers find you online?

Therese: I’m on Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, BookBub, and my website,


About the Author

Born in Australia but raised in the USA, Therese has been writing stories since before she could spell. As an award-winning author of five Christian novels (as well as a non-award-winning mother of five energetic kids), she dreams up new stories mostly at night when the house is finally quiet. It’s no coincidence her latest novel is called Sleep Deprived.


Therese Heckenkamp has another book that will be available for pre-order on Amazon on October 25, 2022. This time, it’s a collection of romantic suspense novellas by several different authors. Mrs. Heckenkamp’s story within this collection is called Escaping Illusions.

About the Book

Courtesy of Mrs. Therese Heckenkamp

While I do not have the full book’s synopsis yet, Mrs. Heckenkamp has shared with me the blurb for her story within the collection:

Escaping Illusions by Therese Heckenkamp

When danger strikes, Brook will do anything to protect her daughter and start a new life. She seeks refuge in the dead of winter in the small town of Vanishing Lakes, but when she encounters an old friend’s brother, charismatic stage magician Max, it complicates everything. Because a man famous for deception is the last person she should trust.

Be on the lookout for this romantic suspense collection this week. The Kindle version goes up for pre-order on October 25, 2022.

Here’s the full list of authors participating in this collection of novellas:

Courtesy of Mrs. Therese Heckenkamp


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