Monday, January 16, 2017

Behind Picket Fences by Hend Hegazi - Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hend Hegazi will be awarding one copy of Normal Calm and a copy of Behind Picket Fences (U.S. and International) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Here are five things people would probably never guess about me. They revolve around one theme: movies.

1. I love movies almost as much as I love books. My favorite movie genres are romantic comedy (or anything comedy, actually) followed by action. I HATE horror movies despite the fact that my husband has spent the past 15 years trying to get me to change my mind. I haven’t changed my mind. I won’t change my mind. I will close my eyes and turn my head if I am subjected to this type of torture, and despite these self-preservation tactics, I always end up having nightmares after I’ve ‘seen’ a horror movie.

2. Something I myself have a difficult time understanding is the fact that, while I can watch a movie many times over, I won’t ever re-read a book. You would think that a reader, a writer, would find the same amount of entertainment—maybe even more!—enjoying a good book repeatedly, but I simply won’t do it. I still haven’t figured out why that is. Let me know if you have any guesses.

3. I’m that annoying person sitting next to you as you watch a movie, making all sorts of comments. Yup, that’s me. Hello, nice to meet you…and I’m sorry if my outbursts annoy you. But I simply can’t help it. Well, I guess I can, because I tone it way down if I’m watching the movie IN the movie theatre; if we’re at someone’s house, however, then God help you! I just get so into it! I was watching Kung Fu Panda with my kids the other day, for the second or third time, and as someone was flying through the air, I was gasping and ‘OH NO-ing!’ rather obnoxiously. (My intention is not to be obnoxious, mind you, but I fully understand that it is, indeed, obnoxious.) My fourteen year old says to me, “Mom, you’ve seen this already; you know what’s going to happen.” Yes, young man, I know I know what’s going to happen…but it hasn’t happened yet, now, has it? No, it hasn’t. In this scene right here, Tigress and her buddies are being clobbered by that dude, and I’m living the moment!

4. Which brings us to my next point: I love animation movies. Most of the adults in my life don’t get that, especially my husband. He falls asleep if we watch a cartoon movie with the kids. Not me! Maybe because I was raised on Disney and just fell in love with the colors and the beauty of storytelling. Maybe. Who knows. But I do love cartoons.

5. I will rarely watch a movie which is based on a book I’ve already read. Whenever I did so in the past, I was always extremely dissatisfied, so I’ve chosen to save myself the disappointment.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn a bit more about me. I hope you’ve found this entertaining. And let me apologize in advance if you ever get stuck sitting next to me watching a movie.

Behind Picket Fences exposes four families from behind their comfortable lifestyles and smiling faces. Sharing the same neighborhood, even spending time together, no family knows the truth about the difficulties the others face.

On the outside, Sidra and Farris have the biggest house and the most expensive cars. What no one sees is their struggle to accept an unfulfilled dream. If they do not adapt to the blows of fate, their malcontent may give birth to deception.

Mariam and Morgan’s modest home exudes the rich scent of family. With children playing in the yard, they seem picture perfect. But financial struggle is their continuous battle, and their only solution may produce an envy which is more destructive than hunger.

Summer and Porter enjoy youth and the freedom of self-employment. But discontentment and mental instability linger between them. If they are not able to bridge the gap, their search for happiness may have a fatal end.

May and Hasan enjoy peace and true happiness. Illness cares not, however, of letting them relish in their blessings. Only patience and time will prove if this unwelcome visitor is simply passing by, or if it will tear their world apart.

An honest portrayal of love and family, Behind Picket Fences opens our eyes to the difficult truths hidden behind each happy facade.

Read an excerpt:

“Actually,” Farris interrupted, “I’m just going to call it a night.” Farris began to walk away without saying goodbye or even recognizing the women. Faruq stood there for a second, jaw open, utterly embarrassed by his brother’s anti-social behavior. “I’ll be right back, ladies. Don’t go anywhere.”

He ran after his brother and quickly caught up with him. “Man, what are you doing?! This is the best thing for you right now.”

“I don’t want this. This has never been my scene, Faruq, and you know that. I’m just going to…”

But the sight of something beyond Farris made his brother interrupt, grabbing him by the shoulder. “That’s him! Farris, man, that’s him!” Faruq shouted, pointing in the direction he was looking.

Turning around so he could see what Faruq was pointing to, Farris narrowed his eyes. “What are you talking about, Faruq? That’s who?”

“That’s him!” Faruq repeated, excitedly grabbing Farris’ shirt at the shoulder. “That’s the man I saw with Sidra!”

The words forced Farris’ eyes into focus. He saw the tall, brown haired white man so vividly, as if he were the only one in the parking lot. He didn’t hesitate for even a split second; Faruq barely blinked, and suddenly Farris was sprinting toward James. He lunged at him, punching him square in the face. The man fell to the ground as the woman who was with him let out a gasp and crouched to the floor beside him.

Looking up at the attacker she screamed, “What the hell is wrong with you?! Why did you punch my husband?!”

Farris hovered over the couple, breathing heavily, rubbing his throbbing knuckles. Faruq, now standing beside his brother, held Farris’ arm back and spoke out, “Your husband is having an affair with his wife. Isn’t that right, James?”

“James?!” the woman yelled. “He’s not James!”

About the Author: Hend Hegazi was born and raised in Southeastern Massachusetts. Despite her desire to pursue writing as a profession, she graduated from Smith College with a degree in biology and a minor in religion. Shortly thereafter, the winds of life and love blew her to Egypt where she has been living for the past 14 years. She is a full time mother of four as well as a freelance writer and editor. Some of her work has been featured in SISTERS Magazine. Her fiction and poetry focus on the human condition, often shedding light on the Muslim American experience. Hend strives to be God-conscious and aims to raise that awareness in her readers. As a common theme in her pieces, the intimate relationship between God-consciousness and love is often explored. Hend’s debut novel, Normal Calm, was published in January 2014.

You can read her poetry and blog posts on her website,, and follow her on Facebook at For updates on giveaways and special offers, kindly opt-in to her free newsletter at this link

Both of her novels are available through most major book distributors, or click here to purchase through Amazon:
Normal Calm:
Behind Picket Fences:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for the opportunity to share my book with your audience.

  2. How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

    1. What a great question, Mai T. In my faith, there is a strong belief that we don't always understand the situations which befall us. Often, what we see as being a tragedy can often be a blessing. I wanted to capture this idea in our day-to-day lives. The characters then grew from that idea, almost organically. For example, the woman in the troubled marriage had to be sacrificing yet strong. The one who performed the biggest sin had to be the most vulnerable. If you're interested in learning more about the characters, I wrote character interviews for the women, but they are only availabe for those who join my email list. If you're interested, here's the link:
      Thank you so much for your interest and support.

  3. I'm like you, I love Romantic Comedy movies and hate horror movies. lol

    1. So I'm in good company! But I bet you're not anywhere near as annoying as I am with all my commentary. I have yet to meet my match!
      Thank you so much for reading, Rita Wray.


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