By: Tiffany Brix | Staff Correspondent
Published: 2017-11-13 02:40
Author and Nurse, Katie Hart Smith’s sequel to Aspirations of the Heart, Hope Never Rests will be released on November 18th.

We all have times in our lives when we wonder about our ancestors. We see a photograph of someone farther down the base of our family tree and wonder, “What was their life like?” Katie Hart Smith, our very own local author, takes this curiosity to a new level in her Sacred Heart Series. 

When Katie learned the story of Orvada Killion Isensee, her grandmother, Katie had an instant hero. With great personal sacrifice, Orvada made a deliberate change of course in her life. Orvada’s path of least resistance was to marry, have children, and work on her family’s farm. Instead, Orvada followed her heart and went to nursing school, shouldering the consequence of her father disowning her. We all have times in our lives when we wonder about our ancestors. We see a photograph of someone farther down the base of our family tree and wonder, “What was their life like?” Katie Hart Smith, our very own local author, takes this curiosity to a new level in her Sacred Heart Series. When Katie learned the story of Orvada Killion Isensee, her grandmother, Katie had an instant hero. With great personal sacrifice, Orvada made a deliberate change of course in her life. Orvada’s path of least resistance was to marry, have children, and work on her family’s farm. Instead, Orvada followed her heart and went to nursing school, shouldering the consequence of her father disowning her. 

Katie went on to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and answered the same call to nursing—thankfully without such heavy fallout. Years later, Orvada also became Katie’s inspiration and muse for Katie’s book Aspirations of the Heart, the first book of the historical fiction Sacred Heart Series. Hope Never Rests, the second book in the series, continues the story of Addie Engel and is also based on the life of Orvada and the societal issues of the early 1900s. Katie uses her grandmother’s nursing tools and textbooks to glean the essence of the era as she writes. To celebrate the experience that Methodist Episcopal Hospital’s School of Nursing, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, gave to Orvada Killion Isensee, Katie is sharing her grandmother’s nursing school accouterments for display at Georgia Gwinnett College. GGC also gets the exclusive honor of a private, early book signing event for Hope Never Rests. Katie’s grandmother pursued nursing as a change of course for herself and a gift to her descendants. How poetic that one of her descendants is now giving gifts back to a community school’s nursing program, a profession that changed Orvada’s life.

Inside one of her textbooks, Orvada wrote, ”He is greatest who serves most people.” Though the expectations and disapproval of her family weighed heavily on her, nothing could keep her from her quest; her call to serve was stronger than everything else in her life to that point. Orvada’s struggle resonates because every person faces a pivotal decision at some point in their life. Often, the decisions that require great personal sacrifice make for some of the most inspirational stories. Through her writing, Katie Hart Smith connects with and inspires thousands of people. Echoing her grandmother’s hand-written words, Katie’s words have the power to serve to more in her humble quest for greatness.

Amazingly, the problems from 100 years ago continue to resonate with people today. Some of the details may be from a different time in history, but readers still identify with the challenges of the roles of women as well as the frustrations of evolving health care. 

The themes of the series—greed, tainted ambition, corruption, economic struggles— were just as alive a century ago as they are today. Katie Hart Smith beautifully transports you to 1914 in Hope Never Rests. Each book in this series will stand alone; you can begin with book 2 when it releases in just a few days. And for those already-fans, you will continue the story of Addie Engel and her beloved, Garrett. 

Hope Never Rests also exposes the horrific and unforgivable history of the sex trade of children that was already rampant in Atlanta in the early 1900s. Atlanta is currently one of the most prominent global hubs for using precious children as a carnal commodity. Every way we can raise awareness and help curb this rank underbelly of our community is a life changed or saved. Katie layers her platform to celebrate her ancestor, connect with her readers through timeless themes and extends her reach even further by raising awareness about ongoing problems, all while eloquently entertaining us with a beautiful book series. 

For fans of the Sacred Heart Series, Katie shared that as the entire story of the series evolves, there is at least one more installment on the way, and as many as three additional books to complete the tale. 

Hope Never Rests releases on November 18th and will be available in paperback for $17.95, through online book retailers, and ebook forms like Kindle and Nook. The Gwinnett Citizen will host a public book signing November 18th from 2-4pm at their main office in Lawrenceville. 

Katie also has a monthly column for the Gwinnett Citizen called “From the Heart.”