Amy says the Keeping Promise Rock series all started "when I took my daughter to dance lessons in a nearby suburb a lot like Rio Linda on the same day I watched a video in which a soldier went to war and never came back. Of course, there is a whole lot more of me than that in the books, but that one day, right after my first short stories had been accepted by Dreamspinner-- it was sort of a perfect storm of inspiration."
In Forever Promised, Crick has been home from Iraq for five years, Jeff and Collin are finally married, and Shane and Mikhail are quietly making lives better for the dispossessed teenagers who come their way. Everything is right in Deacon's world, but nothing ever stays the same.
When Deacon's best friends, Jon and Amy, answer the call of an opportunity in Washington, DC, Deacon figures that’s life. You love people, and they leave you, and you survive. Even Benny, Crick’s little sister, is close to grown and ready to start her own future. But Benny loves Deacon, and she owes him—she may move beyond The Pulpit and Levee Oaks one day, but not without leaving something of herself behind. And so she offers Deacon and Crick an amazing gift… and a terrifying decision.
Benny’s offer forces Deacon and Crick to dredge up every past mistake and offer of redemption. And not just the two of them—everybody is forced to examine the chances they've been given and the promises they've made. In a real family, a child is a promise, and to the men and women of Promise Rock, keeping that promise will change their lives forever.
Amy reflects that: "After teaching high school for so long--and watching so many promising young lives take a left turn--I really wanted to see a better life for these people after all of the self-delusion of high school had passed. When I started writing, redemption, growth, a life beyond the great mistake--this seemed to be a huge part of being hopeful for the human condition. So for the Promise Rock characters, so much of the story is about being a flawed human being and overcoming that. I think for everybody that's the case. I want to see happy endings for chipped and cracked people. Deacon and Crick aren't whole at the beginning-- but they are at the end."