Audio Book, Book Review, Giveaway

The Flight of Hope by HJ Bellus

Author: H.J. Bellus

Narrators: Lacy Laurel

Length: 8 hours 26 minutes

Publisher: Heidi J. Hooper

Released: Nov. 15, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

A tragic accident. A mother in mourning. Can a second chance rise from the wreckage?

Marlee Foster’s life was just getting started. She couldn’t wait for the return of her husband from deployment. After all, he’d be there just in time for the birth of their daughter. The welcome home party is full of joy, but on the way home, tragedy strikes…

When Marlee loses her husband and daughter, her friends and family do their best to heal her broken heart. But painful reminders of a future she’ll never see haunt her every day in the small town. Her only hope at a second chance is to leave it all behind…

As she sets out on a soul-searching adventure, the mourning widow wonders if the wilderness will give her hope for a brighter future or if she’ll forever be chained to a devastating past. During her journey, Marlee is about to learn that love has a funny way of coming back to those who need it the most…

The Flight of Hope is a heart-wrenching contemporary romance in the vein of Nicholas Sparks. If you like emotional journeys, strong-willed heroines, and second chance romances, then you’ll love HJ Bellus’ touching tale.


HJ Bellus is a small town girl who loves the art of storytelling. When not making readers laugh or cry, she’s a part-time livestock wrangler that can be found in the middle of Idaho, shotgunning a beer while listening to some Miranda Lambert on her Beats and rocking out in her boots.

Narrator Bio



Lacy lives the life of a full time wife, mother and household manager. Needing a temporary escape from time to time Lacy returned back to her first love – reading! After devouring everything she could get her hands on she thought, -what if she could mix her love of performance and literature in a professional capacity? Once getting involved in the world of book narration she quickly became hooked and when not with her family you can find her in her studio working hard to grow in her own storytelling abilities.






The emotions in this book are totally real. I thought this story was absolutely beautifully written. My eyes are burning from crying so much while listening to this book. Audiobooks are something that I’ve never really been into, other than listening to them while driving on a long road trip, however, my aunt had asked me to make some crochet hats that she can give to one of the local hospitals in February for Heart Health Month (all red hats for preemies and up) so I figured I should knock some audiobooks out since I very well can’t READ while crocheting lol. I had to stop hats so many times because there were tears streaming down my face.

This story is told through the eyes of Marlee and her experiences of love and loss and being able to function again after that devastating loss.

We start off the book in the prologue, and that’s when my waterworks started. In Chapter 1, we get to listen to Marlee as a little girl as her Papa takes her and her friend Bentley fishing. Everyone has Marlee, nicknamed Birdie, on a pedastal. She had the most perfect life. She had the love of her family, and the love of her man, Bentley. Her and Bentley were happy, though it doesn’t stick. I’m stopping there, because I don’t want to 1) ruin the book for you and 2) start crying again.

Ms. Bellus wrote an amazing book. It has everything you could want for a tear-jerker book. This emotional story will absolutely suck me in. I think this book will make you think about life and most definitely value all those little moment, and value those people in your life who mean the most to you, because you absolutely never know when something could change that happiness.

Ms. Laurel did an awesome job narrating this book. You could most definitely tell when she was doing different people’s voices. I’ve never heard someone capture the emotions as good as Ms. Laurel did.

I would definitely recommend this book, whether you want to read a book, or want a good audiobook! <3


I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Lacy Laurel. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Q&A with Narrator Lacy Laurel
  • When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
    • I was listening to more and more audiobooks and I just kept getting the urge to do it.
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • I just researched until I found ACX, and on their website it talked about what you needed, how to do it and I just went for it.
  • Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
    • No, it was not difficult to break in but to stay in is a totally different story.
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • I don’t know if it’s essential, I have a very limited background from when I was in school. I love theater. However now I do find training very important. Getting an instructor for the type of narration you want to perform, attend seminars and classes in both performance and audio technology – you should really know how to use the equipment you are utilizing and some ‘employers’ will only accept your work if you are using certain technology.
  • What type of training have you undergone?
    • I am seeing a coach for non-fiction (Sean Pratt-@SPPresents) and another for fiction (Andi Arndt – @andi_arndt). Between the two a variety of topics in narration and the business of narration are covered. I see improvement every time I have a session, which is really encouraging, I am lucky that although I may not have years of professional acting or collegiate acting training I am able to utilize my coaches to help me improve and to learn more about what it is that I do.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
    • For me it is a combination of things. Because of the performance aspect, if I am not feeing it, I try not to push through. I will walk away and do some of the many other things I am responsible for in real life. My hours are really flexible because I work out of a home studio, so sometimes it is just as simple as hanging out with the family. Other times, I find that listening to others narrate in the genre’s I work in really helps. Especially when they are good they will motivate me to want to get back in the booth.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Yes I am constantly listening! I love audiobooks! For me, I find myself listening while I am doing housework or playing the driver to the kids.
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
    • My favorite is recording, getting to immerse myself into another world. I also love the read through of the book; it really gets me excited and helps me to plan out where I am going to go. I guess editing is my least favorite part, but only in comparison to the other parts, I love to do it, just not as much as performing or reading.
  • What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
    • It is exactly the story I would read as a consumer, and if it has my attention in that way then I want to audition because I know I will have fun with it while recording.
  • How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
    • I love having input from the authors, although every relationship is not the same. I do prefer it when even if they are not the ones who hire me, they have made the decision to have me be the voice of their book.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Project wise I am getting ready to dive into Thicker than Water by Dylan Allen and I am so very excited for it! I get to work with D.C. Cole for the first time, and then just the story itself! It is a slow burn, giving the romance lovers the angst that we love but it also has social commentary in it, which in this day and age is important to showcase.

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