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Character Interview: Carol Daniels from Janet Sketchley’s Secrets and Lies

Secrets and Lies webToday’s guest is Carol Daniels from Janet Sketchley’s novel, Secrets and Lies. Carol, thank you for being with us today.

Let’s start out by having you tell our readers a little about yourself.

It’s nice to meet you, Fay. I’m a single mom, husband deceased, raising my teen son and trying to keep a low profile. We’ve had some threats, and I don’t want to be found. <sighs> Except now we may be in danger again. Enough of that. You didn’t invite me here to whine. What can I say about myself? I work in a small café, baking desserts and waiting tables. Art, especially from Impressionist painters like Monet, refreshes my soul. So does a good cup of tea. Peppermint’s my favourite—it smells like freedom. I love classic rock, especially Billy Joel. When I’m stressed, I bake and clean—and I get nightmares.

You have suffered the one loss that I know without a doubt no parent ever wants to go through. Carol, how do you deal with the loss of a child?

I don’t know, Fay. I really don’t know. The one thing that kept me from giving up was I still had Paul. We helped one another, I think. He needed me, so I had to keep going, keep working, and providing for him.

You still have Paul, another son, with you. Is it hard for you to allow him his freedom? If so, how do you manage to loosen the reins on him to let him live his own life?

Paul’s surprisingly well-adjusted, and he’s a great kid. But you know sixteen-year-olds. They think they’re indestructible. He’s not taking this danger as seriously as he should. He keeps his curfew, lets me know where he’ll be, and there’s no sign of drugs. I know what to look for, after Keith. Paul hangs out with his friends a lot, even does his homework with them. So far his grades are okay, and although it’s hard to let him out of my sight, everything seems to be okay. Aside from drugs, the one non-negotiable is music. Listening is fine, but he’s not to play guitar, not to join a band. I want him to grow up to be a responsible husband and dad—not a deadbeat like his father!

I found you an incredibly brave heroine. Your life took a twist—more than once—but you persevered. To what or whom do you credit your resilience?

When anyone you trust will let you down, you can’t break. I’ve never had anyone to rely on, not since my mom died when I was a child. <pause> That’s how it feels, anyway. To tell the truth, I’ve had a few listening ears who’ve made a big difference. Before my son Paul and I fled Calgary, my friend Jackie was great at cheering me up. Now here in my new home, I’ve made phone friends with a late-night deejay, Joey. He’s so welcoming when I call, and he never judges or tells me how to run my life. <snickers> He even says he’ll pray for me, and so far it hasn’t done any harm. Not that I’m in a hurry to try it myself.

Carol, you struggled with prayer. I’d love for you to share those struggles with our readers and then to tell them how that struggle impacted your life.

I believe God is real, but I keep my distance. Prayer hasn’t worked for me. I’m afraid to try it again. I told you my mom died? Well, shortly before that, she “found Jesus” at a tent meeting. My father took it personally, like she was cheating on him. He turned abusive. He didn’t kill her, it was a traffic accident. But he might as well have. Did I pray? All through that time. So did my brother. But Dad didn’t change, and she died. Then my son, Keith… <sniffs, wipes eyes> I’m sorry. It’s been two years now, but some things you never get over. I had a friend, at least I thought she was a friend. Prayer healed her of a brain tumour. Cancer—gone! She taught me how to pray for Keith, said he’d break free. We  prayed it and claimed it. I was so relieved. The next week, Keith was gone. She blamed me. She’d had faith to be healed, so it wasn’t her. My failure killed my son. Joey says God’s not like that. I wish I could believe him, but the stakes are too high for Paul and me. I don’t dare risk prayer. But I don’t think I can handle this on my own. If I break, who’s left for Paul? Or for me?

Thank you for being with us today. I look forward to talking with your author, Janet, on Wednesday.

Thanks for the chance to chat. I didn’t mean to spill so much angst, but it’s been good to have a caring listener.

That’s what Inner Source is all about. Getting to know the heart of the characters and the Truth that drives them. I’m so glad you shared so readily.

More about Secrets and Lies

A single mother must protect her teenage son—from organized crime and from himself.

Carol Daniels thinks she out-ran her enemies, until a detective arrives at her door with a warning from her convict brother. Minor incidents take on a sinister meaning. An anonymous phone call warns her not to hide again.

Now she must cooperate with a drug lord while the police work to trap him. Carol has always handled crisis alone, but this one might break her. Late-night deejay Joey Hill offers friendship and moral support. Can she trust him? One thing’s certain. She can’t risk prayer.

Besides the Amazon link given above, Secrets and Lies can also be purchased at Createspace, at Amazon Canada, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

Janet Sketchley headshot 350x350About the Author:

Janet Sketchley is the author of Heaven’s Prey and Secrets and Lies, two novels of suspense and redemption. She also blogs about faith and books. Janet loves adventure stories, worship music, tea and Formula 1 racing. Like Carol in Secrets and Lies, she loves music and tea. Unlike Carol, Janet isn’t related to a dangerous offender, has a happy home life, and has never been threatened by a drug lord. May those tidbits continue to hold true! You can find Janet online at her website.  Fans of Christian suspense are invited to join Janet’s writing journey through her monthly newsletter. You can also catch up with Janet on the Secret and Lies website, on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Author Central, and Pinterest.

 

Author Interview: Angela D. Meyer, Author of Where Hope Starts

publicity pic for bioToday, please meet author, Angela D. Meyer. Angela lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of more than twenty-two years. She homeschools their daughter and recently graduated their son who is now a Marine. She taught Bible class for over thirty-five years and served for over two years on the leadership team of her local Christian writers group. Her debut novel, Where Hope Starts, is a finalist in the Grace Awards. She loves God and her family and enjoys good stories, connecting with friends, quiet evenings and a good laugh. Someday she would like to vacation by the ocean and take a ride in a hot air balloon.

Connect with Angela at her website, and on FacebookPinterest, and Google+. Angela also has a newsletter, and she is a contributor to www.Wordsowers.com and www.puttingonthenew.com.

Angela, thank you for visiting with us at Inner Source. Please tell us about yourself and your writing career.

I began writing when I was in junior high. Of course, at that time it was mostly poetry and teenage angst. From there, I wrote essays and children’s stories.

As an adult, I read books on the craft of writing, attended writers groups and critique groups. I learned everything I could about writing, submitting my work and self-editing.

A few years ago a fellow writer challenged me to add more details to a children’s story I took to critique group. I didn’t think I could sustain enough words for a novel, but I surprised myself.

Where Hope Starts is the second novel I have written and then I found my publisher at a writer’s conference almost three years ago.

Where Hope Starts is a very issue driven story, with issues that many of our readers may have faced. What would you say to readers who may be dealing with unfaithfulness in any form in their relationships?

God is able to bring beauty from the broken pieces. He is all about restoring-and we can’t do it without Him. Keep your hope in God, not in what you think the process should look like. He often takes us down an unexpected path to bring about healing.

You deal with forgiveness in your novel. I’ve actually run across folks who do not believe that Christ-like forgiveness is a possibility. What did you discover before, during, or after the writing on Where Hope Starts that you can share with us about forgiveness?

Little did I know at the time I wrote my book or signed the contract, that I would need my eyes and heart focused on what God wanted from me when it comes to forgiveness. Through Karen’s choices, I examined my own.

God reinforced with me that forgiveness is a choice. We don’t have to feel like it in order to choose it. We do need to trust Him to step into it.

Forgiveness opens the door for healing, hope and restoration in our relationships. And even if a broken relationship is not restored, forgiveness makes room for our own heart to be healed and restored.

Also, understanding our own propensity towards sin can help us when it comes to offering compassion towards those who offend us. Compassion makes it a whole lot easier to offer forgiveness.

Knowing that I don’t want my life poisoned with bitterness also helps with the choice to forgive, because unforgiveness leads to bitterness. 

In your novel, 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?

Trusting that God has good plans for us no matter what life feels like at the moment. And then allowing that trust to lead us through the tough work of forgiveness and healing.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Do you have any future projects in the works. If so, please tell us about those.

I am currently under contract for book 2 in this series, which you can expect to see out by the end of 2015. Where Healing Starts will continue the story of Karen’s siblings and the redemptive work of God in their lives.

Until then, you can keep up with the characters with between-the-books short stories for all of my readers who sign up for my quarterly newsletters. 

Karen, thank you for visiting with us at Inner Source. I hope you’ll come back to share your future projects with us.

Where Hope Starts Cover resizedMore About Where Hope Starts:

In a city full of dreams… Karen Marino’s life is a nightmare. The New York City restaurant manager is a professional success, but her marriage is in shambles. When her husband, Barry shows up drunk at her restaurant, she loses both. She flees The Big Apple and returns to her Midwestern home to sort through her options. But instead of answers, she finds an old boyfriend ready to rekindle romance, a family full of secrets and an angry brother bent on revenge.

Still in New York, Barry fights his own demons. He knows he messed up, but is powerless to stop his rage and addictions. A fistfight on the streets of the city lands him in jail and forces him to face the possibility of a future behind bars.

Karen knows holding onto her bitterness won’t repair her marriage. But how do you forgive someone when you don’t feel like it? As she searches for the answer, she uncovers the family secret that threatens to tear them all apart. Can she find her way back to the place Where Hope Starts?

View the trailer for Where Hope Starts.

Meet Karen Marino, the heroine from Where Hope Starts.