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Character Interview: Sadie Callum from Sadie’s Secret by Kathleen Y’Barbo

18054664Today’s guest is Pinkerton agent, Sadie Callum from the novel Sadie’s Secret by Kathleen Y’Barbo. Thank you, Sadie for being with us today. Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do? 

I am most honored to be here! I am just your average Louisiana planter’s daughter from one of those towns along the River Road that only the locals know. Our home is lovely with wide porches, Mama’s French furniture, and the most beautiful alley of oak trees leading up to the front door. Though we aren’t far from New Orleans, some days it seems as though Callum Plantation in River Pointe, Louisiana, might as well be on the other side of the world.

When Daddy allowed me to study art up in Chicago, I was stunned. Of course, I do believe Uncle Penn had something to do with that. Daddy doesn’t want us to believe he likes Uncle Penn—his sister’s husband—but we all know the fact they were on opposite sides of the war has long been forgotten. In any case, my studies in art came to an interesting conclusion when Mr. Alan Pinkerton himself sought me out to become one of his Pinkerton agents. That was also due to Uncle Penn’s influence, although he and I would never admit that to Daddy. Or Mama. Or my five overprotective brothers who insist on arriving unannounced at crime scenes and stake-outs and such in order to “protect” me. It’s

Sadie, I like your spunk and your courage. Would you share with us what made you the woman you are?

Why thank you, although I truly believe my mother would not like to know I am in possession of those qualities although she would also not like anyone to know she possess them as well. My daddy would tell you I was born with more spunk than a girl ought to have, and my brothers would each claim to be the one who encouraged me to be brave and follow in their footsteps. Not that any of them are Pinkerton agents, you see, but all of them did believe I was completely capable of learning to climb a tree, shoot a gun, and well…you get the idea. Oh, but the courage to become a Pinkerton agent? That would come from my dear Uncle Penn.

You live in an era in which woman didn’t have too much of a choice. While there were jobs available to women who needed to work, most wed and took care of their families. What advice would you give a woman in your time or ours who are contemplating a career?

Yes, I suppose there were all sorts of jobs available to women, although I truly did not intend to contemplate any sort of career when I arrived on Mr. Pinkerton’s doorstep. You see, my art school education was complete and the time for me to return to River Pointe was at hand. Contemplating a life of sewing circles and social circles was not what I had in mind at that time, so I sought out the only means I had of delaying my return. Uncle Penn paved the way for me to interview for a secretarial position with his old friend, Mr. Pinkerton. Never would I have guessed that a job as a Pinkerton agent would result. Looking back, however, I am far too impatient and restless to have managed a secretarial career. I suppose God knew what He was doing when He spared me that.

You’re a women working in a man’s world. You’re also a woman working in an era where the slightest innocent indiscretion could lead to a reputation in ruins, yet I noted on occasion you tend to throw caution to the wind because the job demands it. I’m looking for advice from you again. How should someone who works in a risky career guard their reputation?

Reputation is such a delicate thing. It must be coddled and protected just as a mother would coddle and protect her baby. Thankfully, I have been able to separate my life as a Pinkerton from my life as Sadie Callum, planter’s daughter—mostly. A Pinkerton agent does his or her job, no questions asked. The men with whom I work have been most kind and gentlemanly in seeing that all investigations are held in the most professional manner. However, there is always the chance that a part I am playing in some sort of covert investigation might be discovered and my reputation called into question. I choose to keep those risks at a minimum by only working with the aforementioned sort of fellow. Also, I try to stay as far away from my home town and the state of Louisiana as possible because my face is far too familiar there.

Is there scripture or a biblical concept that you lean upon in your life and in your?

There are many. Mama saw that all her children were well versed in Scripture—pardon the pun. However, I have always had a particular affinity for Ephesians 2:8-9. For by grace ye are saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Thank you, Sadie, for taking a break from your busy career and talking to us at Inner Source. I look forward to meeting with your author this Wednesday.

More About Sadie’s Secret

Louisiana, 1890—Sarah Louise “Sadie” Callum is a master of disguise, mostly due to her training as a Pinkerton agent but also from evading overprotective brothers as she grew up. When she takes on a new assignment with international connections, she has no idea her new cover will lead her on the adventure of a lifetime. Undercover agent William Jefferson Tucker is not looking for marriage—pretend or otherwise—but his past is a secret, his twin brother has stolen his present, and his future is in the hands of the lovely Sadie Callum. Without her connections to the world of upper-crust New Orleans, Jefferson might never find a way to clear his name and solve the art forgery case that has eluded him for years. Only God can help these two secret agents find a way to solve their case and uncover the truth about what is going on in their hearts.

3LmfcXq0About Author Kathleen Y’Barbo:

Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of over forty novels with more than one million copies of her books in print in the United States and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified family law paralegal, she was recently nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well as a Reader’s Choice Award by Romantic Times magazine. Kathleen Y’Barbo has four grown children, seven bonus children, and her very own hero in combat boots. Find out more about Kathleen at www.kathleenybarbo.com.

You can also find Kathleen on Twitter, Facebook, and you can download a sample chapter, read reviews, and see the trailer for Sadie’s Secret by visiting Harvest House Publishers.

But I Didn’t Mean to Do It … by Kelly Irvin

Love RedeemedPhoebe Christner and Michael Daugherty didn’t set out to do anything wrong. They just wanted to get to know each other. A simple—if a little selfish—decision leads to a terrible tragedy. They didn’t mean to do it, but it happened. Are they responsible for the consequences of their actions? Accidents happen, after all.

How often have you said those words? Or your children? I often “discussed” accidents with my husband, who had little patience for the kind of accidents that occurred when our children were young and excited and anxious to have fun. I argued they didn’t mean to break the glass on their way to pour more lemonade or damage the cupboard door because they were running in the house or burn the top of the cooler with a sparkler on the Fourth of July. My husband argued that their actions had consequences and they should be held accountable for them.

Regardless of whether Michael and Phoebe mean for the tragedy to occur, it does. They both feel guilty, remorseful, and full of grief. As we all would. They’re fortunate to be surrounded by Amish family and friends who embrace the biblical concept of forgiveness in a way that the secular world around them seldom does. It’s a forgiveness that makes me feel small and mean at my own grudges held on to for years. Phoebe’s parents forgive her and Michael, even as they struggle to come to grips with their loss and their own guilt and remorse. Katie and Silas wonder if they had been stricter parents could this tragedy have been avoided. They too feel lost and alone.

Often the biggest challenge when our failures result in bad things happening is being able to accept forgiveness from others, to forgive ourselves and to believe God forgives us. That’s certainly true for Michael and Phoebe. Phoebe thinks she needs to be good, she needs to be a better person, she needs to prove to God that she’s learned her lesson. It’s only with time and the counsel of a wise woman who also has traveled through this dark valley that Phoebe learns she need only ask and God will forgive her. She can never be good enough. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He wants us to accept the gift of grace He gave us when He sacrificed his only son for our sins.

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)

God not only forgives us, he tosses out our sins, tramples them underfoot, and forgets them. We have to do the same. Learn from our lessons and let our guilt and remorse go. We are honed and our rough edges smoothed by the difficult lessons we earned. We learn empathy and compassion for others. Then we are given the opportunity to share what we’ve learned with others when the time comes.

We know that our Father, our Yaweh, has experienced the loss of a child. He understands. He grieves with us and gathers our children into his arms. It takes time, but ultimately we can come to accept the joy of knowing they rest in Him.

Thus, comes joy from the darkness.

KellyFinal1 (427x640)About the Author:

Kelly Irvin is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest Housing Publishing. Her latest release is Love Redeemed, set in Amish country in Missouri, which debuted March 1. She is currently working on The Beekeeper’s Son, the first book in the Amish of Bee County series, for Zondervan. She has also penned two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.

The Kansas native is a graduate of  the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years.  Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-six years. They have two young adult children, one gorgeous new granddaughter, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors. You can meet up with Kelly online: her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

About Love Redeemed:

Strong Enough to Heal

Phoebe Christner is thrilled when the families of her close-knit Amish community decide to spend a week at the lake. She feels she’s earned a break…and it doesn’t hurt that Michael Daugherty will be coming along. They’ll find ways to spend time together—she’s certain of it—and their romance will have time to blossom.

But when tragedy strikes, Phoebe and Michael are torn apart by their pain and the knowledge of their guilt. As they both cope with the loss of a loved one, they will come to discover that they can be forgiven not just by their community, but by God.

 A tender novel of faith and family set in the heart of Amish country.

Love Still StandsAbout Love Still Stands, the first novel in the New Hope series:

The New Hope Amish. In the first installment, Love Still Stands, a group of dedicated families leaves Bliss Creek to establish a new community in Missouri. Among them is Bethel Graber, a beautiful young woman with a passion for teaching. But after being disabled in a terrible accident, overseeing a classroom is out of the question…and romance seems a long-lost dream.

Bethel begins physical therapy, determined to make a fresh start. But that won’t be easy in the town of New Hope, where the locals seem anything but eager to welcome their new Amish neighbors. Amid growing intimidation from the community, Bethel must find the strength to face her many challenges and the faith to believe that God still has a plan–and a love–for her life.

If you enjoyed Kelly’s interview, you want to read Inner Source’s interview with Phoebe Christner, Kelly’s heroine from Love Redeemed.

If you enjoyed today’s post from Kelly, you’ll enjoy Inner Source’s interview with the author and with her character, Phoebe Christner.

Author Interview: Kelly Irvin

KellyFinal1 (427x640)Today’s special guest is Kelly Irvin. Kelly is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest Housing Publishing. Her latest release is Love Redeemed, set in Amish country in Missouri, which debuted March 1. She is currently working on The Beekeeper’s Son, the first book in the Amish of Bee County series, for Zondervan. She has also penned two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.

The Kansas native is a graduate of  the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years.  Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-six years. They have two young adult children, one gorgeous new granddaughter, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors. You can meet up with Kelly online: her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

As you will see in the interview, Kelly’s novels share some of her interesting insights into the Amish community, and her book Love Redeemed begged some questions to which I think you will enjoy Kelly’s answers.

Kelly, I’m so delighted to have you here. You probably hear this a lot—or maybe you don’t, but I don’t read a lot of Amish stories. I truly enjoyed Love Redeemed and I recommend it highly. What I’d like to do is get to the heart of why you write this particular genre. Would you share that with our readers?

I didn’t start out writing Amish fiction, but now that I’ve written seven novels in the genre I have to say it’s truly been a joyful journey. I’ve written romantic suspense and contemporary romance as well. My first Amish romance, To Love and to Cherish, came from reading a newspaper article about the ever increasing number of buggy/vehicle accidents in states with large Amish populations. I’d always been fascinated by the Amish stoic determination to forgive. Just about everyone is familiar with the story of the young girls shot and killed in a school house several years ago—it because the basis for a movie. The families forgave the perpetrator of this horrifying crime and even visited with his family. As a Christian, I espouse the ideal of forgiveness, but like many people find it hard to walk the walk. That struggle, coupled with the clash in lifestyles represented by the buggy accidents, led to the writing of that first story. I never started out to write Amish fiction, but I have to say it’s been a lovely, growing experience for me. I don’t agree with all aspects of the Amish lifestyle, but I have tremendous respect for their living out of their faith.

In Love Redeemed you share an opening that breaks my heart and actually lends to the book’s tension because the reader knows that something horrible is going to happen. Great job, by the way. When I say I enjoyed the story, I should rephrase it: I couldn’t put it down. You had me in tears, which means that I was in the story. I’m sorry for your family’s loss, but if you’re willing to share, I’d love to know how that loss lead to the writing of Loved Redeemed and how you managed to write that portion of the story. Did it leave you drained, or did God allow you to release some emotions during that time? In other words, was it cathartic or did it make you feel the grief once again?

The story does come from a very personal place. In 1991, I was living in Texas and eight months pregnant with my son when I received a phone call from my mother in Kansas, saying that my younger brother, Larry, had gone missing in a boating accident and was feared dead. It took another twenty-four hours, but eventually this horrible news was confirmed. Larry was thirty years old and his wife and five-year -old daughter were in the boat, along with my other brother, Doug, who invited them on this outing. A tragedy like that changes your life. Doug lives with a sense of responsibility. My parents continue to grieve. My dad commented, “I turned my back for a second, and look what happened.” I always know how long it’s been since Larry’s been gone because of my son who was born one month later. Every year on his birthday, I’m reminded. But we’ve all come to terms with it. Larry’s wife has remarried. His daughter is grown and has her own child now. But we all remember him and this story honors his memory and his passing too soon.

My biggest fear with writing Love Redeemed was that I wouldn’t do the story justice. My editor will attest to that. I sent early drafts to her in a panic, and she kept assuring me I was doing fine. I wrote this story probably as fast as any I’ve ever written. The words poured out of me. I couldn’t write fast enough and even now, thinking about certain scenes makes me tear up. My critique partners and I have had conversations about how much time has to pass before you can use these kinds of life altering events in your writing. For me it took a lot of years and even then, I don’t know that it was cathartic. I read some of the scenes and they still make me cry. It’s not so much about my grief at losing a brother, but more now about empathy for parents who lost a child. I look at my own children, and I don’t think I could bear it. My parents learned to live with it. They learned to go on and that’s what Silas and Katie know they must do. Still, they struggle to understand. We all do. I’m hoping readers will put themselves in those shoes and think about whether their faith and their relationship with God is what it needs to be in order to weather the truly traumatic and tragic.

Kelly, thanks for sharing something so personal. Like you, I don’t know what I’d do if I lost either of my sons. I’d go on, I know, but I fear I’d be a shell of the person I’ve become. God bless your parents and for you for writing this beautiful tribute to their courage.

The Amish are remarkable folks. I don’t know a lot about their religious practices, but it seems to me that some of the other stories I’ve read in this genre, the writers skim over or ignore God’s grace for the “goodness” of the Amish. Your story did not skim over this issue at all. The characters truly show a faith that is built on God’s saving grace. While reading Love Redeemed I found myself very interested in knowing if your research or in your experience have you learned that salvation by grace and not by works is truly an Amish theology.

First, I want to emphasize that I am not an expert on the Amish faith (or any another religious affiliation!). I’ve done a lot of reading and what I’ve learned is that the Amish particularly emphasize the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament. Most pray the Lord’s Prayer every day and at all weddings and funerals. Their emphasis is on humility, obedience, and the greater community over the individual. An excellent resource for understanding the Amish faith is Donald Kraybill’s book The Amish. Kraybill observes that “the Amish are loath to declare they have an assurance of salvation because for them such assertions presume that human beings can know the future and read the omniscient mind of God. They prefer to speak of a living hope: a quiet and calm confidence that God will be a just and merciful judge when they face eternity. God is the one who ultimately decides such weighty matters.” They believe in yielding to God’s will and forsaking all selfishness. They subjugate themselves to God’s will. “Thy will be done.” I don’t find indication that they believe they can get to heaven by hard work. They work hard because they choose to keep themselves apart from the world and in order to do that, they don’t use electricity or drive cars or have other modern conveniences. Farming, even with those modern conveniences, involves a great deal of hard work. Being close to the earth helps them stay close to God.

Thank you for sharing. The Amish aren’t the only ones who do not declare eternal salvation, but I can understand their thinking as pride is something they truly wish to avoid. I’ve always said that the only theology that bears an argument if it is incorrectly understood is to speak out to someone who believes that Jesus plus anything gets us to heaven or that there is another way by which we may see an eternity with Christ. There is no other way.

I am amazed that Amish adolescents return to the community, get baptized, and live under the community’s ordnung once they have experienced rumspringa. In your research or in your experience, have you received insight into what keeps them close to home, or is it more likely that the teens are leaving the community?

According to Kraybill, more than 85 percent of all Amish youth are baptized and join their church. I think (and again I’m not an expert by any means) that it has a great deal to do with family. There’s a lot to be said for growing up with your extended family close. Grandparents don’t go into nursing homes. Children generally don’t move away. Generations grow up together, with grandpa and grandma nearby in the dawdy haus. That close knit, loving community would be a strong draw, I think. There’s peer pressure too and knowing that if they don’t join, they’ll shame their parents. For some however, it’s a hard choice. Amish formal education ends at eighth grade. Young teenagers continue to learn farming, trades, and practical things, but book learning is over. There’s no going to college. Most conservative districts don’t allow musical instruments. There’s no electricity. No driving of cars. The love of family and faith seems to be winning out over worldly goods, entertainment, and convenience. I find that fascinating and it seems that readers of this genre do also. While we wish for a “simpler” life, we don’t want to give up our conveniences. I have tremendous respect for how hard the Amish work. It’s a hard life. Imagine this winter with so many days of snow and below freezing temperatures without a thermostat to adjust! They also know if they join the church and then change their minds, they will be shunned and that means losing their families all together. Some put off the decision to be baptized, knowing the consequences of changing their minds.

A lot has been said and written about the practice of shunning or ex-communication. That it seems at odds with their capacity for forgiveness. What I’ve read is that it’s not intended to be punishment, but rather a consequence or tough love as a recalcitrant child would receive from a parent. The hope is that the consequences will bring the individual back into the fold. It’s very painful for the entire family and the community in general, because they are so close knit. It’s also in keeping with their desire to keep themselves apart from the world. If a family member chooses to break the rules of the district, it sets a bad example for others who may decide to follow with consequences for the entire district.

While I don’t necessarily agree with the practice, I think it’s important to understand it from their cultural and religious values, rather than judging it by our own.

In your novel a community is shaken and so many feel the burden of guilt for what happens. The characters speak their forgiveness, but what you present in your novel goes beyond the spoken word into the hearts of your characters, and I feel it might surprise some readers. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the various reactions of the characters, in their acceptance, giving, or failure to give forgiveness as is the “Amish way.”

I mentioned that I wrote about forgiveness in my first book, To Love and to Cherish, and I come back to it here because I have to believe that Amish folks sometimes struggle, just as we do, to forgive. However, they know they must do it so they’re determined to find a way to soften their hearts and heal. In To Love and To Cherish, one character says to the heroine, “I start by saying it.” “I forgive you.” Those are powerful words. Saying them is the beginning of healing. Annie’s heart is broken, but she still says the words to Michael. Because it’s the first step toward being able to do it. Phoebe knows her parents forgive her, but she can’t forgive herself. She’s not convinced God forgives her. She thinks she has to be “good.” She has to learn that we can never be good enough. That’s why God spreads his grace over us. He knows we’ll never be perfect. Not even close. All of us fall short so we all need to be forgiven. How dare we withhold forgiveness from others?

Kelly, I can’t say it enough. I truly enjoyed Love Redeemed. Do you have any future projects in the works, and if so, what issues do your characters deal with?

The third book in the New Hope series, A Plain Love Song, releases in July. This story deals with the Amish prohibition on musical instruments and takes place, in part, in Branson, Missouri. It’s a story about deciding whether a dream is more important than love, faith and family.

I also have a new series coming next year that goes in an entirely new direction. It takes place in Bee County, Texas, where there’s a tiny, very conservative Amish district, the only one in the state. The first book is called The Bee Keeper’s Son. It asks the question how is God’s definition of beauty different from the world’s?

Well, with those releases, I do hope that you’ll come back and talk to us here at Inner Source.

Love RedeemedAbout Love Redeemed:

Strong Enough to Heal

Phoebe Christner is thrilled when the families of her close-knit Amish community decide to spend a week at the lake. She feels she’s earned a break…and it doesn’t hurt that Michael Daugherty will be coming along. They’ll find ways to spend time together—she’s certain of it—and their romance will have time to blossom.

But when tragedy strikes, Phoebe and Michael are torn apart by their pain and the knowledge of their guilt. As they both cope with the loss of a loved one, they will come to discover that they can be forgiven not just by their community, but by God.

 A tender novel of faith and family set in the heart of Amish country.

Love Still StandsAbout Love Still Stands, the first novel in the New Hope series:

The New Hope Amish. In the first installment, Love Still Stands, a group of dedicated families leaves Bliss Creek to establish a new community in Missouri. Among them is Bethel Graber, a beautiful young woman with a passion for teaching. But after being disabled in a terrible accident, overseeing a classroom is out of the question…and romance seems a long-lost dream.

Bethel begins physical therapy, determined to make a fresh start. But that won’t be easy in the town of New Hope, where the locals seem anything but eager to welcome their new Amish neighbors. Amid growing intimidation from the community, Bethel must find the strength to face her many challenges and the faith to believe that God still has a plan–and a love–for her life.

If you enjoyed Kelly’s interview, you want to read Inner Source’s interview with Phoebe Christner, Kelly’s heroine from Love Redeemed.

 

Character Interview: Phoebe Christner from Kelly Irvin’s Love Redeemed

Love RedeemedWelcome, Phoebe, please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do? What story did you bring to your author?

I’m originally from Bliss Creek, Kansas, but my family moved to New Hope, Missouri, a little over a year ago to start a new district. I help out the teacher at our school, but mostly I like to play with the children. I’m good at games. Don’t get me wrong, though, I also help out home, cooking, baking, cleaning, doing laundry, sewing. I’m not the best cook, but my mother says I’ll get better. Practice, you know. My story has to do with falling in love and getting in a big hurry. I’m always in a hurry. That’s what my father says. This time being in a hurry to spend time with Michael turns into a terrible thing. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but it did and now I have to live with it.

You learned a valuable lesson but at such a dear cost to you, to your family, and to the man you love. I can’t imagine the pain of knowing that if you could only have one moment of your life back, it could undo something that you wish you could undo. Will you share a little about how you bore the pain and the grief?

At first, I couldn’t bear it. I couldn’t eat or sleep or think straight. I tried to pray, but the words wouldn’t come. I truly wanted to die. I could hear my mother and father saying that they forgave me, but I couldn’t believe it. How could they? How could God forgive me? I did something selfish and self-centered. That’s the opposite of what my parents taught me. Always but God first and others second. I knew better. That’s what makes it so horrible. I only wanted to spend time with Michael and get to know him and see where we were going. Instead what we did drove us apart. It’s been a long road back, but we’re all getting there.

You weren’t the only one who held regret and felt the burden of guilt for what happened. You mother, your father, your sister, Michael, and Michael’s friend carried that weight with them as well. If you could speak to someone today who feels they are responsible for a horrendous wrong, what would you tell them?

God knows that we’re not perfect. We’re human. We make mistakes. We sin. His grace is so deep and wide it covers all of us. We have to learn from our mistakes, accept God’s forgiveness and go on. It will get easier to do that. With time.

The next verse that I want to mention is not one that I would pull out to offer comfort to someone newly grieving, but I believe that throughout your story, this verse, though not mentioned, played a big part in how your community handled the tragedy. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” When God says, “all things” I believe He means even the bad things that happen to us. Did you find this to be true?

Yes. The bad things that happen to us hone our character. We pass through the fire and come out on the other side, wiser, more loving, more caring, more aware of how our actions affect others. If nothing bad happened to us, imagine how shallow and uncaring we would be.

Is there scripture or a biblical concept that you lean upon to help you through your crisis or a Scripture that might offer comfort to someone who has suffered the same type of loss?

I trust in God’s will and his plan for me and I encourage others to do the same. Give control to God and be obedient to his desires and not your own. Know that your loved one rests in his arms. Your loved one’s days on this earth are complete. Yours are not so prepared to do God’s will and rest in the knowledge that He will do the rest. I receive comfort from Proverbs 3:5-6, which says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him,  and he will make your paths straight.”

Thank you, Phoebe, for visiting with us today. I look forward to talking with your author, Kelly Irvin, on Wednesday. 

KellyFinal1 (427x640)About the Author:

Kelly Irvin is the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Hope Amish series, both from Harvest Housing Publishing. Her latest release is Love Redeemed, set in Amish country in Missouri, which debuted March 1. She is currently working on The Beekeeper’s Son, the first book in the Amish of Bee County series, for Zondervan. She has also penned two inspirational romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine.

The Kansas native is a graduate of  the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years.  Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-six years. They have two young adult children, one gorgeous new granddaughter, two cats, and a tank full of fish. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors. You can meet up with Kelly online: her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

More About Love Redeemed:

Strong Enough to Heal

Phoebe Christner is thrilled when the families of her close-knit Amish community decide to spend a week at the lake. She feels she’s earned a break…and it doesn’t hurt that Michael Daugherty will be coming along. They’ll find ways to spend time together—she’s certain of it—and their romance will have time to blossom.

But when tragedy strikes, Phoebe and Michael are torn apart by their pain and the knowledge of their guilt. As they both cope with the loss of a loved one, they will come to discover that they can be forgiven not just by their community, but by God.

 A tender novel of faith and family set in the heart of Amish country.

Love Still StandsAbout Love Still Stands, the first novel in the New Hope series:

The New Hope Amish. In the first installment, Love Still Stands, a group of dedicated families leaves Bliss Creek to establish a new community in Missouri. Among them is Bethel Graber, a beautiful young woman with a passion for teaching. But after being disabled in a terrible accident, overseeing a classroom is out of the question…and romance seems a long-lost dream.

Bethel begins physical therapy, determined to make a fresh start. But that won’t be easy in the town of New Hope, where the locals seem anything but eager to welcome their new Amish neighbors. Amid growing intimidation from the community, Bethel must find the strength to face her many challenges and the faith to believe that God still has a plan–and a love–for her life.

If you enjoyed Kelly’s interview, you want to read Inner Source’s interview with Phoebe Christner, Kelly’s heroine from Love Redeemed.

 

Intentional Legacy by Paula Mowery

Paula MoweryHave you ever noticed that when someone speaks of her legacy, it usually implies money or material things? For most, an inheritance refers to the amount of money a parent leaves behind or special jewelry or heirlooms. Can I tell you that the most important legacy I have from my grandparents and parents doesn’t involve worldly goods? The most important thing that has been passed down through generations is a Christian faith.

Unfortunately, I have read articles about professors who say they can’t wait to get Christian students into their classes so they can test them. Many of these educators want nothing more than to tear down the Christian foundation parents have tried to build. This frightens me.

As my daughter neared graduation from high school, this issue became more relevant to me. Had I instilled in her the foundation needed to combat some faith-destroying professor? Did she have the tools to fight against the schemes of the devil?

Please don’t think me dramatic. I have watched as unsuspecting young men and women have become disillusioned with their faith. I have sat with crying mothers as they told me how their sons and daughters had abandoned their Christian faith.

Paul warned in Second Timothy about godlessness in the last days. He warns to steer clear of those who seem to be talking about God but really aren’t.

This issue of a godly heritage is at the very core of my book, Legacy and Love. There are characters who have clung to those godly teachings, and there are characters who have abandoned them. One of the characters experiences a return to those godly, Christian teachings.

My hope for myself as well as all Christian readers is that we would embrace an intentional godly legacy through our example and teaching. We cannot afford to just hope our children and those we have influence over will “catch” our Christian faith. If we want them to be able to stand firm in a world against Christians and Christ, we must intentionally create a strong foundation.

I pray when I’m gone from this world that my godly heritage is what others will remember because that is all that matters and all that will last. I thank God for giving me the shining examples of this legacy-leaving through my parents and grandparents.

About the Author: 

Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. Legacy and Love is her first solo romance. Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living.

As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.

Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team.

Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a first year college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.

You can follow Paula at Facebook. Learn more about Paula at her blog at  or enjoy her monthly columns in Christian Online Magazine.

LegacyandLove_ebook2 copy (427x640)About the novella, Inheritance, from Love and Legacy:

Alex Lyndon’s life has been a series of fits and starts with no finishes. She finds herself jobless and divorced. Now her only family, Granny Olivia, is critically ill.

Chase Carson had to step into running the family business when his father died. The time is past due to visit Miss Olivia.

Alex and Chase must go on a treasure hunt. Will each find purpose and love for their lives in the process?

About the novella, The Prayer Shawl, from Love and Legacy:

Sean Holland is a magazine reporter always looking for the next story. Hope Weaver is a pediatric nurse who shares Christ through making prayer shawls. The shawls are just the touchy-feely story Sean needs, even though he’ll have to endure Hope’s strong Christian beliefs to get it. An unexpected connection brings them together as a couple. But, can they find love if they don’t share their faith?

Be sure to catch Monday’s interview with Alexa Lyndon and Hope Weavers, the heroines of the novellas that make up Legacy and Love and Wednesday’s interview with Paula Mowery.

Author Interview: Paula Mowery

Paula MoweryPaula Mowery is our special guest today as we continue this week. Paula is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. Legacy and Love is her first solo romance. Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living.

As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.

Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team.

Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a first year college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.

About the Author: 

Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. Legacy and Love is her first solo romance. Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living.

As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.

Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team.

Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a first year college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.

You can follow Paula at Facebook. Learn more about Paula at her blog at  or enjoy her monthly columns in Christian Online Magazine.

Paula, thank you for being here with us today. I could talk your ear off about this book, not because of the romance—and the romance is nice—but because of the grandmother factor. I had the greatest grandmother in the world. She invested time in me, spent time with me, and she actually stood in the breach for my absent father. So, I’m very interested in knowing if you wrote Legacy of Love because you had a grandmother like Olivia and Mimi from the novellas or for another reason.

Oh yes, I had wonderful, godly grandmothers. It is out of the fact that they left a godly legacy that I came to write these two novellas. At this time in my life, with a daughter homeschooled and now in college, I’ve examined whether I am leaving that same godly heritage. In the times that we live today it seems that there are many other voices that want to refute Christ and His relevance in and for our lives. I feel an urgency to be intentional about passing on a faith in Jesus Christ and following Him throughout life.

Both Alex and Hope, the heroines of Inheritance and The Prayer Shawl, respectively, inherited something from their grandmothers. I’m not talking about material things, but those things that are spiritual and longer lasting than what we have here on earth. What would you say are some of the greatest things a grandparent can pass on to a grandchild? Were you the recipient of such gifts?

One of the greatest things a grandparent can pass on is a genuine, lived-out faith. That is what I saw in my grandmothers.

My maternal grandmother, or mamaw, was the one who sewed, quilted, crocheted, canned. You name it; she did it. And then she shared these things with others. She was always sending a jar of apple butter or pickles to someone or sending them a crocheted afghan for their couch. These were tangible ways she showed others that she cared for them and prayed for them. Even though she was in extreme pain from arthritis, she was always in her pew at church. I crack up to remember the way she had to put on her panty hose for church. She couldn’t bend forward so she rolled up the leg of the hose, flopped onto her stomach, reached behind her, and looped the hose onto her foot. Then she flipped over and finished the job. What determination!

In your novella, is there a key scripture or biblical concept that you explore? If so, what scripture or concept do you hope to bright to the light for your readers in each story?

I have to say that Jeremiah 29:11 comes to mind when I think of these two novellas. Most people are familiar with that verse about the fact that God has plans not to harm but to prosper us and to give us a hope and a future. I feel that both of these novellas have this verse at their very core. I want readers to know that God has a plan and a purpose for each of His children. He just needs us to acknowledge and follow. God wants to give us a future that we can’t even imagine.

Do you have any future projects in the works, and if so, what issues do your characters deal with?

Can you believe it? My work in progress deals once again with a grandmother leaving that godly legacy for a granddaughter again. Must be something God is trying to get across to someone—maybe me. The main character in this story must learn that God’s Word can be trusted to lead and guide through life.

I’ve also joined with some other authors for a couple of devotional books that I’m excited about.

You’re hearing it first here: I have actually been contemplating a companion study for Legacy and Love. My two other books, The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing, both have Bible studies at the end. I feel that Legacy and Love lends itself to a study of prayer and godly legacy. We’ll see.

Thank you so much for this opportunity to share about Legacy and Love and its background.

Thank you for being with us, and I hope you’ll come back and visit us when your other projects are released.

LegacyandLove_ebook2 copy (427x640)About the novella, Inheritance, from Love and Legacy:

Alex Lyndon’s life has been a series of fits and starts with no finishes. She finds herself jobless and divorced. Now her only family, Granny Olivia, is critically ill.

Chase Carson had to step into running the family business when his father died. The time is past due to visit Miss Olivia.

Alex and Chase must go on a treasure hunt. Will each find purpose and love for their lives in the process?

About the novella, The Prayer Shawl, from Love and Legacy:

Sean Holland is a magazine reporter always looking for the next story. Hope Weaver is a pediatric nurse who shares Christ through making prayer shawls. The shawls are just the touchy-feely story Sean needs, even though he’ll have to endure Hope’s strong Christian beliefs to get it. An unexpected connection brings them together as a couple. But, can they find love if they don’t share their faith?

Be sure to catch Monday’s interview  with Alexa Lyndon and Hope Weaver, the heroines of the novellas that make up Legacy and Love.

Character Interviews: Alex Lyndon and Hope Weaver from Legacy and Love

LegacyandLove_ebook2 copy (427x640)Today, we have with us two characters from Legacy and Love, a two novella collection written by author Paula Mowery. From Inheritance, I welcome Alexandra Lyndon, and from The Prayer Shawl, welcome Hope Weaver.

I’m honored to have you with us today, ladies, and because your stories are about exactly what the title intimates, I’d like to ask you the same questions and have each of you answer them. Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do? What story did you bring to your author?

Alexandra: Well, I’ve lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, but consider Greeneville, Tennessee to be my home because my Granny Olivia lives there. The only professions I’ve ever known are waitressing and cleaning. I had aspirations to possibly go to college for something someday, but my ex messed that up. After several dead ends, I was happy to come back to Granny’s house. I just never knew what I would find there.

Hope: I live in beautiful East Tennessee where I work with children as a pediatric nurse. God has given me so many opportunities to share His love with the children and their parents. I enjoy making prayer shawls just like my grandmother did. I never knew how those shawls would lead to such an interesting meeting and predicament, but God uses all things in our lives.

Your stories resonated with me because my grandmother was the most important person in my life. Like Alex, I was named after my grandmother, and we shared a very special relationship that I feel is responsible for shaping me into the woman I am today. I’d love to hear a little more about Olivia and Mimi from each of you, and what do you have to say about that special grandmother/granddaughter relationship?

Alexandra: Granny Olivia was every girl’s dream for a grandmother. She told the best stories, and we even acted them out making tents or flying on magic carpets. Because my mother never married, I only had her and Granny. Granny’s was the place I spent many summers as a kid. But I also felt welcomed when grown and facing hard times. She was always there with open arms and words of wisdom.

Hope: Without Mimi, I’m not sure where I would be. She took me in when I lost my parents. She instilled in me godly wisdom and a love for the Lord. I relish the memories of watching her crochet and sing hymns. 

I couldn’t help but to see that each grandmother, in her own way, passed down their talent to you girls. In today’s fast-paced world where grandparents are younger and younger and still in the face-paced world, what would you say was the one thing that your grandmothers instilled in you that you plan to carry on to the next generation?

Alexandra: Granny Olivia had a strong faith in the Lord that I hope to pass on. She embodied that faith when I felt that I was a lost cause. She convinced me that God has a plan and purpose for each of His children. I hope to pass those truths on.

Hope: Mimi instilled in me the importance of prayer and holding on to the Lord. I hope to pass on the art of making prayer shawls to the next generations, but the most important part of that is the prayer that goes into each crochet stitch. I want others to know that they can trust that God will lead them in their walk with Him.

Would you both mind sharing a scripture that your grandmothers leaned upon, one they shared with you, and what that scripture means?

Alexandra: Oh, the Proverbs verse about acknowledging Him in all ways, and He will direct your paths. Granny Olivia held true to that one. And even though there were times I doubted it, that verse has become dear and true in my own life.

Hope: Definitely Philippians 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Mimi was such a prayer warrior. When she prayed, she believed something would happen. She taught me to do the same.

Each of you benefited romantically because of your grandmother. Alex, I believe that Olivia schemed your meeting with Chase, and Hope, I believe your grandmother probably prayed a lot for you as she knitted her special gifts. I can’t imagine she wasn’t praying for a special guy—if that was God’s will. If your grandmothers were here today, what would you tell them about your heroes?

Alexandra: It certainly seemed like Granny Olivia had something to do with me ending up with Chase. I suppose she knew each of us well enough to know we were compatible. I would definitely thank my granny for her confidence in me and let her know that I found that Prince Charming she spoke of.

Hope: Mimi would adore Sean. I’m sure she prayed for my future which included any relationships. She prayed about everything. I would thank her for her faithful prayers on my behalf.

Thank you, ladies. I look forward to the interview with your author on Wednesday.

About the novella, Inheritance, from Love and Legacy:

Alex Lyndon’s life has been a series of fits and starts with no finishes. She finds herself jobless and divorced. Now her only family, Granny Olivia, is critically ill.

Chase Carson had to step into running the family business when his father died. The time is past due to visit Miss Olivia.

Alex and Chase must go on a treasure hunt. Will each find purpose and love for their lives in the process?

About the novella, The Prayer Shawl, from Love and Legacy:

Sean Holland is a magazine reporter always looking for the next story. Hope Weaver is a pediatric nurse who shares Christ through making prayer shawls. The shawls are just the touchy-feely story Sean needs, even though he’ll have to endure Hope’s strong Christian beliefs to get it. An unexpected connection brings them together as a couple. But, can they find love if they don’t share their faith?

Paula MoweryAbout the Author: 

Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. Legacy and Love is her first solo romance. Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living.

As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.

Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team.

Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a first year college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.

You can follow Paula at Facebook. Learn more about Paula at her blog at  or enjoy her monthly columns in Christian Online Magazine.

Does God Give Us More than We Can Handle? by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Web1Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction because there are so many stories in history. Soldier’s Heart is her first published fiction work, and she has a Christmas novella coming out December 1st called A Christmas Promise. Tamera has recently celebrated her thirty-fourth anniversary with her loving husband. She has two grown and married children and two grandchildren.

Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over twenty years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites: WebsiteWord Sharpeners BlogFacebook, and Twitter.

Today, Tamera shares with us the truths of  1 Corinthians 10:13.

I’ve heard the saying many times. God never gives us more than we can handle. But that’s only partially true. Here’s the verse it comes from.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

It says in the verse that God won’t give you a temptation you can’t handle. But trials and difficulties are another matter. He promises we will have difficulties and lots of them. Some of them will be harder than we can handle on our own.

Before I knew this, I used to get mad at God. I didn’t understand why He allowed things to come into my life that were beyond me. Then I learned this simple truth: there are reason God gives us more than we can handle.

If He didn’t give us more than we can handle, we wouldn’t know how much we need Him. We wouldn’t be on our knees crying out to the only One who can help us through our difficulties. Jesus Christ is the only One who can speak to the wind and waves in our lives and command them to be still. That’s good news because I get in trouble when I think I can manage without Him.

The other reason is to grow our faith and perseverance. The book of James tells us that trials are a good thing. They strengthen us spiritually. When an athlete trains, he works at stretching his limits so he can get stronger. He puts a little more on himself than he can easily handle. It’s the same spiritually. God allows us to stretch ourselves spiritually by putting more on us than we can easily handle so that our faith can grow. When I look over my life, I find there are things I can manage easily now that would have thrown me years ago.

In my novella, Soldier’s Heart, my main character went through things during the Civil War that he couldn’t handle. He came home with PTSD (Soldier’s Heart) to his young wife. When he learned to turn to God, it helped him deal with the horrors of war.

So God will put more on us than we can handle. And that’s good news. I’m giving away a copy of Soldier’s Heart to someone who leaves a comment on something they went through with God’s help.

Soldiers Heart PaperbackAbout Solider’s Heart:

After returning home from the Civil War, will his soldier’s heart come between them?

Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.

But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?

Soldier’s Heart is available in e-book from Amazon KindleKobo Reader, and Barnes & Noble Nook. It will also be available in paperback in a couple of months.

As Tamera mentioned, leave a comment about something you went through with God’s help for a chance to win a copy of Soldier’s Heart.

On Monday, we interviewed Tamera’s hero, Noah Andrews.

On Wednesday, we interviewed Tamera Lynn Kraft.

 

Interview with Author Tamera Lynn Kraft

Web1Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction because there are so many stories in history. Soldier’s Heart is her first published fiction work, and she has a Christmas novella coming out December 1st called A Christmas Promise. Tamera has recently celebrated her thirty-fourth anniversary with her loving husband. She has two grown and married children and two grandchildren.

Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over twenty years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites: WebsiteWord Sharpeners BlogFacebook, and Twitter.

Today, we talk to Tamera about her novel Soldier’s Heart, part of Murray Pura’s American Civil War Series, Cry for Freedom.

Tamera, thank you for joining us here today. While I do not write historical fiction, one of my favorite eras in history is The Civil War. My husband is somewhat of a buff, and I wanted to share with you that his great-great grandfather was the regimental surgeon for Grant during many battles. He was one of the individuals that Grant slated to receive a free copy of his memoirs he wrote just prior to his death. We have those memoirs, and I suspect that Dr. George Holmes may have suffered in the same way that your character Noah Andrews did. The volumes are filled with Dr. Holmes’ own notes about the battle, adding strategic information about the battles that Grant omitted, and the number of dead and wounded in battles.

As I read, I envision George Holmes rendering aid to your character Noah Andrews. In your research for the novel, you included battles and other historically relevant occurrences, but is there anything else historical that also intertwined with your fictional characters?

One of the reasons I had Noah in the Ohio Seventh Regiment was because that regiment was from Northeast Ohio, and it was considered the most heroic regiment of the Civil War. When I read about this regiment, my heart went out to these men who fought bravely for their country and won many battles, but went home in defeat. In their last major battle, the Battle of Ringgold Gap, they suffered their greatest losses. All but four officers and many enlisted men were killed or wounded in an ambush.

I used other historical occurrences also. Ravenna is a real town in Ohio and has a wonderful historical society. From them, I was able to map out the town and even include some of the business, churches, streets, and even the people who lived there at the time.

Also the Sons of Liberty, a copperhead group, had plans to break into the prison at Johnson Island in Lake Erie and arm the Confederate soldiers with rifles although the two Sons of Liberty who invaded Noah’s farm were fictional.

I was touched by the issue you tackled in Soldier’s Heart. I believe that it is truly a relevant topic for today, and it opened my eyes to the fact that this is not some new occurrence in our lifetime. Do you personally know of anyone who suffers with this condition today?

I know of one young man who suffers from PTSD, but not from war. He was severely abused as a child and was removed from his home at a young age. He’s a Christian, but the PTSD causes him to sometimes act out in ways that cause him problems. He’s still working on it. My sister also was married to a man who fought in the Vietnam War. He came home a different man, and although he was never diagnosed, he had problems with alcohol abuse that resulted in them finally divorcing. I believe he also had PTSD.

What Soldier’s Heart also brings to light is that those on the outside looking in cannot comprehend what a soldier goes through. In your research for the novel, did you unearth any pearls of wisdom for the spouses, families, and friends of soldiers who might suffer this condition?

Although personal boundaries need to be set, I believe a lot of love, understanding, and patience helps. These men don’t want to suffer from their traumatic experiences. Expecting them to just get on with life is unreasonable. But I do think they need to be encouraged to get counseling. In the novel, I talked to my daughter who is studying to become a psychologist and used the methods to help Noah that counselors do in real life. I also used Scripture to show that God is the greatest counselor there is.

In your novel Soldier’s Heart is there a key scripture or biblical concept that you explore? If so, what scripture or concept do you hope to bright to the light for your readers?

The first Scripture I use was found in Isaiah 41:10. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. This shows that no matter what we’re going through, we don’t have to be afraid because God is with us and gives us the strength we need.

I also used the biblical concept of taking every thought captive found in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Do you have any future projects in the works, and if so, what issues do your characters deal with?

I just finished a post-World War II novel where a war widow has to face the fear that’s gripped her since her husband died. I’m currently working on a novel about a married couple that need to learn to trust God when their marriage is falling apart. She doesn’t feel loved and berates her husband because of it. He doesn’t feel respected, so he doesn’t show her the love she needs.

Tamera, both those novels sound very interesting. I hope you’ll come back and bring your characters with you for future Inner Source interviews.

Soldiers Heart PaperbackAbout Solider’s Heart:

After returning home from the Civil War, will his soldier’s heart come between them?

Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.

But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?

Soldier’s Heart is available in e-book from Amazon KindleKobo Reader, and Barnes & Noble Nook. It will also be available in paperback in a couple of months.

Be sure to catch Monday’s interview with Tamera’s hero, Noah Andrews, and on Friday, Tamera will share how you might win a copy of Soldier’s Heart.

Character Interview: Noah Andrews from Tamera Lynn Kraft’s Soldier’s Heart

Soldiers Heart PaperbackToday on Inner Source, meet Noah Andrews, the hero of Tamera Kraft’s Soldier’s Heart, part of Murray Pura’s American Civil War Series, Cry for Freedom.

Noah, please tell us a little about yourself. I know the readers would love to know what you did prior to joining the Union forces, about your courtship with Molly.

That seems so long ago. I wish I could go back to those times. Molly has always been the love of my life. I saw a lot of her since her brother, Aaron, is my best friend. I think I knew I loved her the first time I pulled her pigtails when we were kids. The fire in her eyes made me laugh. But she’s a little bit younger than I am, so I waited until she was fourteen before asking to court her. I was eighteen at the time. Her father gave me his permission on the condition that we didn’t marry until she turned sixteen. I knew I could support her. I have a nice size farm outside of Ravenna. When the war broke out, I was torn. I felt honor bound to fight for my country, but if I enlisted with the Ohio Seventh, I had to leave the day after her sixteenth birthday. We decided not to wait. We married the day before I left.

Life in your hometown has changed since you’ve been off to war. What strikes you the most about those changes?

I’m not really sure it’s changed that much. Of course, the grief caused by so many men dying on the battlefield affects everyone. But I think I’m the one who changed. Everybody here is pretty much the way I remember. That’s comforting in a way, but it’s hard. I’d like to go back to being the friendly laid back man everyone remembers, but I can’t seem to manage it.

Noah, I understand that although you are no longer on the battlefield, a battle still rages in your soldier’s heart. Today, long after your battles are over, soldiers and their spouses still may suffer from the same disorder. Would you mind sharing a Scripture that helps you during those times?

It’s a verse I memorized a long time ago. My father was the town drunk. That made things rough for my mom and me. But Reverend Haskell helped me trust in God during the hard times by reminding me that God would give me the strength I need to get by. The verse is Isaiah 41:10. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Quoting this verse when I start to have one of these episodes seems to help, at least most of the time.

Since the war, has your spiritual life deepened? If so, what do you attribute to that deepening spiritual walk with Christ?

With all I’m going through, I would have thought my spiritual life would suffer. After all, I do have soldier’s heart. That’s something I’m not proud of. I keep thinking if I had been closer to God, I wouldn’t be going through this. But it doesn’t work like that. It seems the weaker this makes me, the more I have to rely on Christ to get me through the day. I find I’ve grown closer to Him than I’ve ever been. I guess the Apostle Paul was right when he said that Christ is shown strong through our weaknesses. Anyway, it doesn’t seem that Christ is mad at me for not doing better. Instead, He’s right there with me.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” When God says, “all things” I believe He means even the bad things that happen to us. You saw some horrendous acts of violence. You lost friends in the heat of battle. You didn’t come away unscathed, but did you discover on this side of Heaven the good that came from the bad?

I’m still working on that one. I know this verse is true because the Bible says it, but seeing my squad being gunned down, well, I can’t see the good in that. Maybe I’ll never know what good has come from it until I get to the other side. Or maybe when I accept it, I’ll manage to get through this soldier’s heart I’m suffering with. All I know is that bad things happen, but God is still good.

About Solider’s Heart:

After returning home from the Civil War, will his soldier’s heart come between them?

Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.

But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?

Soldier’s Heart is available in e-book from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Reader, and Barnes & Noble Nook. It will also be available in paperback in a couple of months.

Web1About the Author:

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction because there are so many stories in history. Soldier’s Heart is her first published fiction work, and she has a Christmas novella coming out December 1st called A Christmas Promise. Tamera has recently celebrated her thirty-fourth anniversary with her loving husband. She has two grown and married children and two grandchildren.

Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over twenty years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

You can contact Tamera online at these sites: WebsiteWord Sharpeners BlogFacebook, and Twitter.

On Wednesday, Tamera will share with us about Soldier’s Heart, and on Friday,she’ll  share how you might win a copy of this very enjoyable novel.