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Reaching a dream by not giving up

By Penny Woods from July 2014 Issue

Reaching a dream by not giving up

Hope Island by Diana Hankla

Everyone has, at some point, found themselves in a situation that seemed hopeless. Perhaps it was a medical condition, a failed marriage, or a lost job. Maybe it was a damaged friendship or a failing grade in school. When put in these situations, though, most people will hold out a long time for a light at the end of the tunnel because when hope is truly lost, giving up is all that is left.

First-time author Diana Hankla has given her audience a gift of hope in her novel Hope Island (Heart to Heart Publishing Inc., $12.99, www.hearttoheartpublishinginc.com). The story centers around Delanie Masden, a trusting young heiress who finds herself in a fast marriage to an abusive husband after her fortune. Her faith and family keep her going even through the lowest of times and some surprising turns of events, never letting her give up until she realizes the future of her dreams. Hankla told the Daily News, "It gives people hope that there are still good things that can happen."

Hankla grew up in the small community of Plano near Bowling Green. Her family has been deeply involved in the community for several generations dating back to the late 1800s. She pays tribute to them and to her hometown by setting her story here and patterning one of her characters after her grandfather, who practiced medicine in Plano for more than 60 years. She calls her family her heroes because of their faith, dedication to others, and selfless acts of kindness.

After 38 years of teaching, Hankla retired to Alvaton where she continues to work on Hope Island's sequel as well as a few children's books. She has been married 30 years to her husband, Bill, and has three children and numerous pets. She hopes her writing will carry on her family's tradition of working to benefit others. Visit Hankla's Web site at www.dianaghankla.net.