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Posts tagged ‘Pelican Book Group’

Interview with Linda Maran, Author of The Stranger

Today’s guest is Linda Maran, the author of The Stranger. Linda began writing poetry as a teenager and then turned to food and self-help article writing in her adult years. Now, in her sixties, she is blessed to have her first novel published, which has been her goal for many years. She enjoys reading, writing, research, painting, music, playing drums, walking, contemplative prayer, and sampling new eateries. Her personal experiences, both good and challenging, have become material for stories. This helps her to write about what she knows best, which lends authenticity to her platform. She has been married for thirty-eight years, is a practicing Catholic, and has been surrounded by musicians most of her life. She resides in both city and country settings. Wherever Linda is residing, you can find her on Facebook, on Twitter, on her blog, and you can learn more about her debut novel here.

Thank you for being with us, Linda. I’m excited for your brand-new release, a unique Amish story that I’ve seen described as “bonnet” fiction with a suspenseful twist. We discussed the story with your heroine, Kristen Esh, earlier this week, but I’m anxious to hear how you came to write The Stranger.

I have wondered the same thing, until I went back and reviewed my childhood and teen years. I grew up as an only child and the others who were my age on our block had siblings. I loved going over to my friend’s house two doors down to be in a lively household, especially during holidays. I enjoyed having a friend as added company to come over and eat dinner with us. One time my parents allowed a friend to come on vacation with us so I had a companion my own age. I suppose there’d been a sense of loneliness that I can relate to in my main character. It amazes me how it comes forth in the writing.

Kristen’s story is one of a modern-day teen, almost a woman, who is unfamiliar with the ways of the Amish, yet she finds herself living among them. If you were to find yourself in the same situation as Kristen, how do you think you would do?

I am a creature of habit, and the thought of moving away from friends and relatives seems unthinkable. One of my critique partners said that Kristen’s panic upon arriving at the home of her Amish relatives comes forth loud and clear. That must be my own feeling about it coming through.

There is a subtle message in the story concerning appearances and truth and how misunderstandings can separate people from the ones they love. In the Amish setting it is a plot that shines brightly. When I write, sometimes the message or the theme finds me, so I’m very interested in how you may have discovered the theme that fits so well into the story.

Throughout my life I have tried to be ‘me’ in not only how I behave but in how I present myself. Many times, especially before I knew who I was on the inside fully, I’d worn various “masks.” I had many pairs of high heels never worn, flashy jewelry, and other outer adornments that were purchased to impress or to fit in. I never gravitated toward makeup. I guess I was more of a “Plain Jane” and a sweat shirt and jeans kind of gal. So, I loved going where the artsy folks lived because our tastes are similar. I came to know where I fit. It’s a good feeling when you find it and I wanted Kristen to find her ‘fit’ as well. And in my experience, that can only start on the inside, then it just all falls into place.

I smiled when I saw you mention “Plain Jane.” I have to admit it takes an Amish story with a good twist like The Stranger, to get my attention in the genre. One of my other favorite Amish stories is entitled Plain Jayne.

You write so well about the Amish life that I had to ask Kristen these same questions. Today, I’d like to know what things in the Amish life that you would have trouble with accepting, and what would you embrace?

I have trouble with their lack of affection both in public and within the home. Being Italian, we hug and kiss our greetings and older women tend to take your arm when walking. Children are very openly affectionate. I would not do well in a household with an outhouse. I’d have to come up with something to avoid that issue, sort of like Kristen’s under-the-bed chamber pot.

I respect their work ethic and how they help one another in times of trouble with repairing homes, caring for farms and erecting barns. And as a woman, there’d never be a problem with deciding what to wear!

Are you working on a new project, and if so, what can we look forward to seeing from you next?

I am currently editing two novels. One is a contemporary inspirational romance about the world of entertainment and the struggles within such an environment in maintaining a relationship and Christian values. The other is an Amish suspense novel that takes place in the same area as my first novel.

Well, I’m hoping to get the chance to read those novels. Please keep us advised. We’d love to have you visit us again on Inner Source.

More About The Stranger:

When Kristen Esh loses her mom in a tragic accident months before her eighteenth birthday, she suddenly finds herself among Amish relatives she never knew she had. The dramatic change from the Jersey Shore to the remote Stone Arabia in upstate New York is difficult enough, but abiding by the Amish rules and lifestyle is a challenge unlike any other.

When anonymous notes begin to arrive for her to go back to where she came from, Kristen longs for her past life and her mom. As she discovers secrets that unravel her true identity, she finds an unlikely ally in John Wagler, the step-son of her aunt. He lessens Kristen’s fears and encourages her faith.

Interwoven with gradual revelations is the growing love between Kristen and John. One that encourages forgiveness and helps seal Kristen’s fate.

 

Interview with Kristen Esh, the Heroine of Linda Maran’s The Stranger

Today’s guest is Kristen Esh, the heroine of Author Linda Maran’s The Stranger. I’m so glad to have you here with us Kristen since your story was released on Friday.

Will you tell us a little about your life—as it was and what it has become?

I was alone a lot due to my mom working so much and the arrangement of our living situation. Mom was the live-in help for Ross Maddock, who was a wonderful man, but he was the employer. There was no eating around the table together for meals or holidays. I had no extended relatives so my best friend, Cindy, invited me to her home for dinner and Christmas. Living close to the beach was the bonus of our situation. I loved everything about it…the scent, the sounds, the sunsets and having a great place to hang out with my friends and to walk with Mom on her Sundays off.

Now I live in the country without my ocean. But here there’s a whole set of different smells and views that I have come to love too. I have family…aunts, uncles and cousins. This is still so amazing to me. Especially eating every meal in the company of all or most of them. Cell phones and television are not missed as much as I’d assumed they’d be because I’m too busy and not alone and needy for Social Media.  I also learned how to pray and not until I came here did I realize the importance of prayer.

It’s been a while since I was your age, but as I read your story, I couldn’t help but to think of how I would handle your situation. How difficult was it for you to adapt to the Amish life?

I was totally panicked. Everything and everyone I knew before I arrived to live with my Amish family, was gone. I dressed different, spoke different and came from a completely different background. I was literally a stranger among them. And on top of that, to not have the modern conveniences like electricity or an indoor bathroom was more change than I thought I could deal with. During those first weeks, I cried myself to sleep.

What are some of the things that you miss from your life outside of the Amish community? What in the Amish life do you embrace?

I miss the Jersey Shore environment of sand, ocean and boardwalk activity. I miss wearing my hair down in summer and jeans in winter. I miss getting to places by public transportation or by car. And I miss kissing people ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye.’

I love the feeling of belonging. Of having family and of growing in my faith. I like having simple choices now in what I wear and what to do. I like the clean natural living.

Based on your life experiences, both outside and inside the Amish community, what is one thing that you feel young adults need to know about life in general?

That no matter what changes happen you will be able to get through it and come out OK in the end. That even if you feel you don’t belong or are not one of the crowd, there is a place and others just like you where you do fit and belong and God will lead you there. Trust in who you are on the inside. Pray every day.

More About The Stranger:

When Kristen Esh loses her mom in a tragic accident months before her eighteenth birthday, she suddenly finds herself among Amish relatives she never knew she had. The dramatic change from the Jersey Shore to the remote Stone Arabia in upstate New York is difficult enough, but abiding by the Amish rules and lifestyle is a challenge unlike any other.

When anonymous notes begin to arrive for her to go back to where she came from, Kristen longs for her past life and her mom. As she discovers secrets that unravel her true identity, she finds an unlikely ally in John Wagler, the step-son of her aunt. He lessens Kristen’s fears and encourages her faith.

Interwoven with gradual revelations is the growing love between Kristen and John. One that encourages forgiveness and helps seal Kristen’s fate.

More About the Author:

Linda began writing poetry as a teenager and then turned to food and self-help article writing in her adult years. Now, in her sixties, she is blessed to have her first novel published, which has been her goal for many years. She enjoys reading, writing, research, painting, music, playing drums, walking, contemplative prayer, and sampling new eateries. Her personal experiences, both good and challenging, have become material for stories. This helps her to write about what she knows best, which lends authenticity to her platform. She has been married for thirty-eight years, is a practicing Catholic, and has been surrounded by musicians most of her life. She resides in both city and country settings. Wherever Linda is residing, you can find her on Facebook, on Twitter, on her blog, and you can learn more about her debut novel here.

 

Interview with Gay N. Lewis, Author of Mattie’s Choice

Today’s guest on Inner Source is Gay N. Lewis, the author of Mattie’s Choice. A native Texan, Gay lives in Fulshear, a small town west of Houston.  She loves to travel and engage in artistic ventures. Two videos she produced —The Canadian Rockies, English and Japanese translations, and Psalms from the Mountains, sold well in international markets. Graphic skills kept her busy as a portrait photographer, and for over ten years, she used her imaginative insight in the interior design field.

As a pastor’s wife, she writes Faith Features for various church periodicals. She also writes articles for Texas Hill Country.  Gay is also a published author for Pelican Book Group in romance and fantasy fiction. Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help humans, but Sarah, the angel, is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles.

All of the Sarah books have appeared on Amazon’s Best Seller’s List. The Sarah series is available in eBook format as well as print at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Pelican Book Group, and other book sellers. Some additions are available in Amazon Audible. Each book in the series is a standalone novel.

Her latest books, Mattie’s Choiceand Clue into Kindness are not fantasy and romance. These books are women’s fiction. The stories are about abusive men and women who are addicted to an unhealthy relationship.

The books are available in print, eBook, and audio. For more information, please go to http ://gaynlewis.com/ Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog. http://www.gaynlewis.blogspot.com. Also catch Gay at https://www.amazon.com/author/gaynlewis and www.facebook.com/GayNLewis and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand

Gay, I’m so glad that I have this opportunity to interview you. Mattie’s Choice is an historical novel which deals with a difficult issue, one that has troubled Christians and even divides Christians. I believe that the story is a true example and an outreach for women in a similar situation as Mattie.

First of all, let’s get to the heart of the matter. Would you share the issue you deal with in Mattie’s Choice and tell us why you wrote it?

With my newest book, Mattie’s Choice, I’ve departed from my sweet, whimsical, fantasy genre about a dyslexic angel. Oh, Sarah is still up to her bumbles and antics, but I’ve put her in time out for a while.

Mattie’s Choice is a Christian women’s fiction book about two women married to abusive brothers. This story was inspired by my mother-in-law and an aunt by marriage. The book is not biographical, but many of the events in this book actually happened to these women.

Here’s an example. One of Paul’s (hubby) older brothers had to be hospitalized many times. Paul’s dad wouldn’t let his mother be with a five-year-old during multiple surgeries. Hard to believe, right? Most of us ladies today would say, “No way, buster. Out of my way.” On the other hand, too many women live with a controlling man and are forced to do as they say. Choices are not easy in these circumstances.

My father-in-law wasn’t physically abusive but emotionally cruel. Paul’s mom wasn’t allowed to visit her twin brother or any family members. She couldn’t go to her dad’s funeral. My mom-in-law was a strong woman who managed to live with this claustrophobic existence and reared eleven children. All of whom are emotionally healthy—none took after their dad’s controlling ways. They are successful and respectable citizens.

I’ve met women who live with abusive husbands. I’d hoped this book would give them courage to face up to the danger and find alternative ways to deal with it. I believe we often see ourselves by looking at others. One woman I know was actually awakened from a deep sleep when her husband pulled her from her bed by her hair. Another one was forced to sit up all night and read Scripture. Women shouldn’t feel threatened. Scripture tells husbands to love the wife as Christ loved the church. I hope men will read this book, too, and understand how a woman feels. If he is controlling, I hope he sees the need to change. If a woman is in an unhealthy situation, I hope she’ll get help. It’s out there these days.

The title of the novel strikes me every time I hear it. Mattie, like everyone, has choices to make in her life, and the choice she makes reveals her courage and her faith in keeping with her promises, although those promises come at a great cost to her. Your novel actually has two choices. Mattie’s sister-in-law’s way of dealing with the problem is much different and more quickly remedied than Mattie’s. I’m going to step aside, and I’d love for you to provide your thoughts on the choices set before your main character and your secondary character.

Thanks for asking that question. The original title of the book was Choices. The story is about the choices all the characters made. Mattie eloped and chose to keep her promises. Jesse, the husband, chose to control his wife’s thoughts and actions. Mattie’s father chose to decline help. Maury, Mattie’s brother, chose to support from afar. Society chose to ignore a woman’s circumstances. Joe, Ella’s husband, chose alcohol. Ella chose to stand up to her man. Pelican Book Group, my publisher, already had a book titled Choices. My title had to be changed, and I chose Mattie’s Choice since she is the central character.

What would you tell someone who is embroiled in a situation such as the one that Mattie faces?

Get help. Leave. Protect yourself and your children. Secret shelters exist today where abusive men can’t find you. The best possible scenario is to avoid a marriage with a controlling or abusive man. Find out about him. Hire a detective if necessary. What are his parents like? How does he treat others?  If investigation pulls up nothing alarming, and a fearful situation emerges, get out as quickly as possible. God wants a wife protected, loved and cherished. Not fearful for her life.

Mattie’s family loved her, but they made some tough choices themselves. I think about what I would do if someone I loved was in a relationship like Mattie’s. What do you think a family should do when someone they loved is being harmed by the one person who should love and protect them?

We had this situation with a daughter. We were on vacation when we learned that our son-in-law had taken all monies from a joint account. Our daughter had written checks for bills and they were destined to bounce. We quickly put money into her account, and then my husband called the father of our son-in-law. He was a reasonable man. These two older men spoke about the situation and agreed our daughter and his son needed to end the marriage. The couple agreed. They separated and locks were changed. The son-in-law broke into the house. Our daughter called us and the police. We got there before the officer did. The officer said he couldn’t make the husband leave. The law was on his side because his driver’s license had the address on it. This guy came from a lovely home, and he had parents we liked and respected. In divorce court, we learned the son-in-law had a history of abusing women. He’d kept it a secret even from his parents. Why? I have no idea, but if an investigation had taken place before marriage, that detail would have emerged. As parents, we were active in supporting our daughter and protecting her.

Thank you for sharing your heart. I know that it takes a lot to share family troubles, but your words could help someone who is going through something similar.

Will you let our readers know what you’re working on now and what is in store for them in the future from the pen of Gay N. Lewis?

I have two Sarah books ready for publication to add to the existing series. My dyslexic angel comes to earth to help humans and she bungles each mission. God gave Sarah empathy for humans. Jesus was the only Divine/Man on earth, but Sarah is given a few earthly traits while she visits us. That’s how she relates to us and our doubts, baubles, and bumbles.

I also have a sequel to Mattie’s Choice. It’s going by the title, Rebecca’s Family Secrets. Mattie’s daughter, Rebecca, is the star in this book. It’s pure romance with a great deal of suspense. It’s also historical. There’s no domestic violence in this one. Just pure fun.

Thanks for having me. You asked me soul-searching questions, and I enjoyed answering them.

Thank you, Gay. I don’t believe I said this to you through our work on this story, but I have, from the start, admired your heart and your tenacity for making sure that those who are suffering from spousal abuse know that there is hope for them.

More About Mattie’s Choice:

It’s 1925 in rural Oklahoma. A naïve seventeen-year-old Mattie chooses to elope with Jesse, leaving behind an ideal life with her wealthy and loving family. With hope for a happy future, she vows to stay with her husband through good times or bad, but the wonderful life Mattie dreams of is shattered by Jesse’s abusive nature and his refusal to allow her to see her family.

When Jesse’s brother, Joe, brings home his new wife–the vivacious Ella–Mattie believes Ella is living the life Mattie prays to have with Jesse. As the years grow harder and Jesse and Mattie’s growing family struggles to survive The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl and illness, Jesse’s abuse worsens.

Life also unravels for Ella and Joe as he begins to abuse his wife. Ella makes the choice that Mattie has never considered.

Will Mattie keep her vow to stay with Jesse at the risk of her own life and the life of her children or will she leave him despite the vow?

Character Interview: Mattie Colby from Mattie’s Choice by Gay N. Lewis

Today’s guest is Mattie Colby from Gay N. Lewis’s novel, Mattie’s Choice. Welcome to Inner Source, Mattie. Would you mind telling us a little about yourself, about your life, and anything else you feel is important for us to know?

Thanks for asking me to introduce myself to your readers. I’m a little shy, but I’ll try. My name is Mattie Colby. I grew up in a loving home in rural Oklahoma. My father is English and my mother is Cherokee. My dad is a builder, and he patterned our home after Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Most of Osage Country admires and envies it. My father acquired land in Oklahoma Territory during the land rush of 1893. My mother’s ancestors endured the Trail of Tears. I have a twin brother, Maury, and three sisters. Maury and I are the first born. By intuition, we know what the other thinks and feels. Maury is my best friend. We were looking forward to graduating high school together, but I eloped with Jesse Colby and quit school. Maury is grieved over it.

I love my family and I love my husband. I’ve wanted to be is a wife and mother for as long as I can remember. Maury tells me I shouldn’t have quit school to elope with Jesse, and thinks I should have waited to marry. He even wanted me to go to college with him, but in my day and time, women didn’t have many opportunities. Careers? Those were unheard of. Heavens to Betsy! In 1925, our goal was to become wives and mothers, and that suited me just fine. What about you in your modern day? Have times changed much? Do women have careers in your day?

Yes, women have many more opportunities in this age to become anything they want to be. We even have women serving beside men in the battlefields. Not all charges are good, though. For a while, a stay-at-home mother was considered inferior to those who were out in the work force. Along the way, especially in America, we have lost our way. Our children are sometimes not the most important commodity for parents. Slowly, though, some are beginning to realize that raising children is an important task.

Your author placed you into the center of a very controversial and difficult subject for an author to tackle. You’re a stubborn lass, Mattie Colby, and you’re made of stronger stuff than I am. You were offered choices to make, but you stayed the course. Tell us why that was important to you.

My father taught his children to keep our word. I made a vow to God and Jesse that nothing but death would separate us from our marriage. I was a naïve, seventeen-year-old when I married. My parents had a good marriage and I thought I would too. I didn’t believe anyone’s tales that Jesse had a temper. Looking back on it, I should have investigated more about him. Courted him longer, too. I might have chosen differently if I had, but what was done was done. I gave my word, and that was that.

Your sister-in-law, Ella, made a different choice. I got to know you well, and I know that the two of you stayed friends, but I want to know what you were thinking about her choice deep down inside?

Now that’s an interesting question. Ella and I are lifelong friends, and we’re opposite in personality. She chose a nursing career while she lived in Galveston, and she continued to work in a hospital after she married Jesse’s brother and moved to Oklahoma. She’s outspoken and opinionated. You always know where you stand with Ella. When she left Oklahoma to move back to Galveston, I admired her. Truth be told, I wished I could escape my life and move far away., too. We had different ideas on commitments, and to this day, I can’t say which one of us was right. In some ways, we both were.

I agree with your assessment. You were clearly a victim of historical precepts and interpretation of Scripture. This is something your author, Gay, and I spoke of quite a bit. Shh, don’t tell her, but I agree that there was a time in history where the theological thinking concerning the protection of women, especially in a marital relationship was skewed. In the end, though, I think that your choice took a lot of courage, but if you had to do it over again, would you make the same choice?

Your comment about Gay makes me giggle, and I won’t tell her you asked this question. I’m pretty good at keeping secrets. As you know, I kept many over the years. Thank you for saying I have courage. That means a lot to me. Early on in marriage, I was stubborn to a fault. I think my pig-headedness was what kept me going. I didn’t believe my dad would help me, and I learned too late that he would have. I had too much pride to ask for help. Courage? I think I developed it as I grew older. Courage comes with self-confidence, and as I became confident, I became courageous. Does that make sense? If I could do it over, I’d have chosen to become assertive much sooner than I did. Keeping my beliefs and standing up for myself turned out to be the best choice in the long run.

Mattie, everyone who reads this blog understands that the verse I stand upon, even when it hurts to grasp hold of it, is Romans 8:28. That does not mean that I approach others who are hurting and declare this truth. I feel that, for the hurting, this verse’s truths can be very hard to grasp, but that very God declared the depth of it when He sent His Son to the cross. That verse tells us that all things work to good to those who know God … So, as a woman who has had a life of extreme hardship I’d like to ask two difficult questions: what good do you see coming from the choice you made, and 2) what good do you believe came from the choice Ella made?

Heavens to Betsy! I have to ponder that one. Yes, I had hardship. My husband was not easy to live with. In fact, he was downright awful at times. Life circumstances were difficult, too. The Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, all the world events made life unbearable at times, but my faith grew stronger through the trials. That was a good thing. Some, like Jesse, grew angry with God. I chose to stay close to Him and trust. Another good thing. My marriage with Jesse brought me eight children. Eight blessings. And guess what? Every one of them are productive, successful, God-fearing adults. Four are in the ministry. Like a rock thrown into water, the circle grows bigger, and in my case, a lot of good is in the circle.

Good came from Ella’s choice too. After seeing the way most of us women lived in our day, she started women’s shelters in Texas and became a crusader for women’s rights. I think all contemporary women owe Ella and women like her a debt of gratitude. Their lives are easier, thanks to Ella and others like her.

You are so right about Romans 8:28. I can look back on my life now and see the good God brought about with Ella’s and my choices. I believe I won’t see all the good until heaven. Scripture tells us our works follow us. Revelation 14:13 says, “…Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works follow them.” KJV To me, this means that what we do here continues to influence, bad or good, to those who come after us—like that rock thrown into water, impact lasts, good and bad. What I began with my children carries on to future generations, and most of it was good. Same with Ella. Women will continue to be helped with better lives as a result of her influence. I believe we both did more good to follow us than we did bad.

Mattie, thank you for being with us today. On Wednesday, your author, Gay, will be sharing a little more behind the inspiration for your novel.

About the Author:

A native Texan, Gay lives in Fulshear, a small town west of Houston.  She loves to travel and engage in artistic ventures. Two videos she produced —The Canadian Rockies, English and Japanese translations, and Psalms from the Mountains, sold well in international markets. Graphic skills kept her busy as a portrait photographer, and for over ten years, she used her imaginative insight in the interior design field.

As a pastor’s wife, she writes Faith Features for various church periodicals. She also writes articles for Texas Hill Country.  Gay is also a published author for Pelican Book Group in romance and fantasy fiction. Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help humans, but Sarah, the angel, is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles.

All of the Sarah books have appeared on Amazon’s Best Seller’s List. The Sarah series is available in eBook format as well as print at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Pelican Book Group, and other book sellers. Some additions are available in Amazon Audible. Each book in the series is a standalone novel.

Her latest books, Mattie’s Choice, and Clue into Kindness are not fantasy and romance. These books are women’s fiction. The stories are about abusive men and women who are addicted to an unhealthy relationship.

The books are available in print, eBook, and audio.

For more information, please go to http ://gaynlewis.com/

Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog.

http://www.gaynlewis.blogspot.com

https://www.amazon.com/author/gaynlewis
www.facebook.com/GayNLewis and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.

Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand

More About Mattie’s Choice:

It’s 1925 in rural Oklahoma. A naïve seventeen-year-old Mattie chooses to elope with Jesse, leaving behind an ideal life with her wealthy and loving family. With hope for a happy future, she vows to stay with her husband through good times or bad, but the wonderful life Mattie dreams of is shattered by Jesse’s abusive nature and his refusal to allow her to see her family.

When Jesse’s brother, Joe, brings home his new wife–the vivacious Ella–Mattie believes Ella is living the life Mattie prays to have with Jesse. As the years grow harder and Jesse and Mattie’s growing family struggles to survive The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl and illness, Jesse’s abuse worsens.

Life also unravels for Ella and Joe as he begins to abuse his wife. Ella makes the choice that Mattie has never considered.

Will Mattie keep her vow to stay with Jesse at the risk of her own life and the life of her children or will she leave him despite the vow?

Author Interview with Kathleen E. Friesen Author of Redemption’s Whisper

Today’s guest is Kathleen E. Friesen, who writes contemporary stories of faith that overcomes tough trials and deep heartaches. Her desire is for her readers to see themselves in the characters of her stories, and to realize that Jesus Christ is the true hero. Kathleen spent her childhood in the Pacific Northwest and, after marrying the man of her dreams, survived the first thirty years of married life on the Canadian prairies, where they raised three fantastic children. Now she and her patient husband, Ron, live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.

Thank you for being with us today, Kathleen.

Thank you for having me!

I so enjoyed your book, Nila’s Hope, and I was thrilled to see that Hayley Blankenship has her own story. We don’t get to read too many novels with Saskatoon as the backdrop. Can you tell us a little about the area and why you wanted to bring to life that setting?

I lived in the Saskatoon area for thirty years, and we raised our children there. I grew up in the lush, gentle climate of the Pacific Northwest, so the Canadian prairies were a shock to my system. To be honest, I never really acclimatized, but it was a wonderful place to raise our family. I wanted to share some of the unique aspects of Saskatchewan life with readers, maybe even entice them to plan a trip to experience the prairies for themselves.

Changing courses here, I know, but Hayley has struggled with the decisions she’s made in her life. Many of us have suffered for our own wrong choices. Can you tell share with us why you think that a character’s struggles are important for a reader to see?

We all struggle for one reason or another; it’s part of what makes us human. Hayley’s issues run deep, but through her journey to forgiveness, I hope my readers will recognize themselves and find forgiveness as she did.

So true. When we struggle against God’s goodness toward us, afraid He won’t love us for what we’ve done, we don’t realize that our hands and our feet are tied by the enemy. When we stop our struggling and understand that the only way to have our bonds broken is to allow God to set us free, we can give our guilt and shame over to Him.

Trevor also has problems, but his seem to be more from his stubbornness toward God. I’d love to know if you ever faced those type of struggles or if you gleaned your knowledge from dealing with someone who fought against God’s goodness in their lives?

Trevor’s story was a tough one for me. I’ve been angry at God many times, but His grace held me close. Someone very close to me, however, continues to resist God’s forgiveness and love. I needed to show that grace is real and God is good, no matter how things appear.

Hayley is a city girl, and she ends up in the unlikeliest of spots? Are you a city girl or a country gal and have you ever had to change your lifestyle? If so, how did that turn out for you? If not, what kind of changes do you think someone who does change lifestyles so drastically will face?

I’ve lived in big cities (Portand OR, Tacoma WA) as a child, but at heart, I’m a small-town girl. Our family had an acreage north of Saskatoon for several years, and I had to learn to handle large animals and help care for sick ones. Sickness and death is part of life, but I never got used to that. I loved the special freedom that farm/acreage life allows, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Any lifestyle change comes with plenty of challenges, but with the right attitude and a patient friend (spouse, in my case), it can boost confidence and strengthen character.

Hayley made a huge change in spite of her worries. I hope her story will resonate with my readers and encourage them to face their own fears.

I’m sure Hayley’s story will do just that. So, are there going to be any new works from Saskatoon or are you on to other settings? We’d love to hear what’s next for you.

My work in progress in the first of a series set in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, where I live now. It features the four siblings of the Rockwell family. Kennedy Rockwell’s story is called Hearts Unfolding.

Someday, I may head back to Saskatoon for more novels. It is a place rich in history, courage, and drama—and full of stories.

Thank you, again, Kathleen, for sharing the big news about your newest release. I look forward to your guest blog post here on Wednesday.

More About Redemption’s Whisper:

Desperate to escape her past, Hayley Blankenship flies from Toronto to the Saskatoon home of Pastor Dave and Lydia Harris, the only people who may be able to help her. If she doesn’t find a reason to hope, she may give in to the temptation to end it all. If only someone could love her, in spite of what she’s done.

Trevor Hiebert aces the interview for his dream job in Toronto, but he’s torn. His beloved parents need him, and while he doesn’t want to let them down, he craves the affirmation he hopes to find in the big city. But on the flight home to Saskatoon, he meets an intriguing, gorgeous redhead with dark secrets of her own. Can these two troubled souls gain the peace they need—and in the process, find love?

About Nila’s Hope:

Just when her career as a carpenter and a relationship with handsome co-worker Will Jamison are within reach, Nila Black’s abusive ex-boyfriend is released from prison. He’s out of jail, out for revenge, and making promises she knows he’ll keep. Nila will do whatever it takes to save her friends from the evil that will come their way if she doesn’t put distance between them-even if it means abandoning her new-found faith. It will take a miracle and an angelic messenger to show Nila that God is her greatest protector. He has never left her side, and He wants only the best for her and for the man she loves.

Did you miss the Inner Source interview with Hayley Blankenship, the heroine from Redemption’s WhisperIf so, you can read it here.

Inner Source also previously interviewed Nila and Kathleen regarding Nila’s Hope.

Character Interview: Hayley Blankenship from Redemption’s Whisper by Kathleen E. Friesen

Today’s guest is Hayley Blankenship, the heroine of Kathleen E. Friesen’s Redemption’s Whisper Hayley, thank you for joining us today to share a little about the new release.

So, you’re from Toronto, and you’ve left the big city of Saskatoon. Has the move taken a lot of adjustment?

Oh, yeah. Big time adjustment! But while leaving Toronto was an act of desperation, my move away from the city to the farm was based on hope.

You’ve had a lot of ups and downs due to your own decision making. Without giving away too much of the story, we’d love to hear what you’ve learned through your struggles?

It took some time and many prayers by some special people, but I’m finally learning to leave the past behind and look forward to the future God planned for me.

Your hero, Trevor, walks a line between farmer and doing the unique job he loves, but he struggles with accepting the goodness of God. Based upon your struggles, what would you say to someone else who puts a roadblock up when it comes to accepting God’s grace?

You’re only hurting yourself. No, that’s not true. When you refuse God’s grace, you put up walls of bitterness that keep you prisoner and keep others—even those who love you—out.

What’s the most unique thing you’ve done since you’ve returned to Saskatoon or maybe even since you’ve taken up residence with Franklin and Laureen?

I don’t want to give too much away, but it was incredible. Gross and exhausting, but amazing.

The truth of Romans 8:28 is that God is in the details and that He works all things out to our good. Would you care to talk about how He was in the details of your life, even when you were making bad decisions?

When it came to making bad decisions, I made some doozies. Because I’d become convinced I was unloved and unlovable, I pursued love no matter the cost. Turned out, that lifestyle cost much more than I’d ever dreamed.

But for some reason, God never gave up on me. He sent me to Saskatoon, even though I thought that was my idea. He introduced me to people who changed my life—and my perceptions of Him. He was there, through everything.

Thank you, Hayley. Redemption’s Whisper officially releases today, and this Sunday is Easter. I know that our readers will love your story that shows the awesome power of redemption. I look forward to speaking with author on Monday.

About the Author:

Kathleen Friesen writes contemporary stories of faith that overcomes tough trials and deep heartaches. Her desire is for her readers to see themselves in the characters of her stories, and to realize that Jesus Christ is the true hero. Kathleen spent her childhood in the Pacific Northwest and, after marrying the man of her dreams, survived the first thirty years of married life on the Canadian prairies, where they raised three fantastic children. Now she and her patient husband, Ron, live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.

More About Redemption’s Whisper:

Desperate to escape her past, Hayley Blankenship flies from Toronto to the Saskatoon home of Pastor Dave and Lydia Harris, the only people who may be able to help her. If she doesn’t find a reason to hope, she may give in to the temptation to end it all. If only someone could love her, in spite of what she’s done.

Trevor Hiebert aces the interview for his dream job in Toronto, but he’s torn. His beloved parents need him, and while he doesn’t want to let them down, he craves the affirmation he hopes to find in the big city. But on the flight home to Saskatoon, he meets an intriguing, gorgeous redhead with dark secrets of her own. Can these two troubled souls gain the peace they need—and in the process, find love?

About Nila’s Hope:

Just when her career as a carpenter and a relationship with handsome co-worker Will Jamison are within reach, Nila Black’s abusive ex-boyfriend is released from prison. He’s out of jail, out for revenge, and making promises she knows he’ll keep. Nila will do whatever it takes to save her friends from the evil that will come their way if she doesn’t put distance between them-even if it means abandoning her new-found faith. It will take a miracle and an angelic messenger to show Nila that God is her greatest protector. He has never left her side, and He wants only the best for her and for the man she loves.

Inner Source previously interviewed Nila and Kathleen regarding Nila’s Hope.

Character Interview: Robin Ingram from Fixing Perfect by Therese M. Travis

FixingPerfect_h11394_300Today, we welcome Robin Ingram, the heroine from Therese M. Travis’s romantic suspense novel, Fixing Perfect.

Robin, you’re an island girl. Would you mind telling our readers a little about your life on Catalina Island?

I live with my grandmother in a beautiful house just a few blocks from the downtown area, nestled around Avalon Bay. Lucky for me, I don’t have to climb any mountains to get to the house, since I have only my golf cart to get there. I design and sew dolls for a co op gift shop, and I’m active in my church and with this great sports team. Everyone on the team has some sort of disability, but we don’t let it keep us from having a great time.

You’re an amazing woman. You live with disabilities, and you strive to help others. I know the title of Therese’s novel refers to you (without giving anything away), but I’d like to know from your perspective just how you view your disabilities.

I have disabilities? LOL. It’s something I’ve always had to deal with. Sometimes it frustrates me, a lot, but most of the time I’ve figured out a way around them. Some people seem to think I’m less of a person because I’m not exactly like everyone else. All I can say is, they’re wrong. If they want to find out why, they have to get to know me.

Your story is a suspenseful one, and I can just imagine the range of fears that you went through dealing with what was taking place on the island. How did you manage to even step outside your house?

God was with me every step of the way. He always has been. But yes, there were times when I was terrified. Sometimes I just had to close my eyes to what could happen and focus on what I needed to do. Just like in real life.

I fell in love with the hero of the story, Sam. He’s a topnotch guy. What would you say is Sam’s most redeeming quality—besides his heroism?

I fell in love with Sam, too! I think his best quality is that, while he has always acted as though I’m not disabled (at least most of the time), when he needs to, he just steps in and makes things happen for me. He’s always there for me.

You’ve been through a lot. What would you say is the most important precept you have learned through this ordeal?

I learned that I’m ok just as I am. I’m not less-than, less worthy, than anyone else. And I don’t need to be fixed!

More About Fixing Perfect:

In the community of Avalon on Catalina Island, a psychopath is kidnapping children and perfectly posing and painting the bodies of adult victims to resemble disabled artist, Robin Ingram.

Robin struggles with feelings of imperfection, and knowing some madman has a macabre agenda—which includes fixing her—is unsettling. She’s relieved when paramedic Sam Albrecht steps up to help.

Sam believes he knows the identity of the killer, and he wants nothing more than to prove it in order to keep Robin out of danger. Then Sam is arrested as a suspect for the crimes, and Robin’s life is thrown into a fresh whirlwind. She may not know who the real killer is, but she does know Sam is innocent…and she will find the proof to set him free, or she’ll die trying.

Therese TravisAbout the Author: 

Therese M. Travis is a wife, mother, grandmother, follower of Christ. She’s been writing stories since the age of eight, and “telling stories” (you know what that means) since long before. She finally figured out how to put those stories onto the page. She loves to talk about Jesus and His love for us, about her family, crafting, writing, and praying. You can connect with Therese at Pinterest and on Facebook.

Therese, thank you for being here today. I loved Annabelle’s story because my favorite heroes and heroines are those that are not absolutely perfect. In Annabelle’s case, her flaws are physical, and she sees herself as flawed and not at all the way God sees her. This flaw prevents her from truly living. Have you ever known anyone who suffers from what they would consider a physical flaw and allowed themselves to be ruled by their own fears of what others see in them?

Other Works by Therese M. Travis:

Therese is the author of some of my favorite works:

AFistfulOfGod_w11310_680 (2)A Fistful of God:
 
Note from Inner Source: I not only rate this novel among my top five young adult novels. I rate it in my top five all-time favorites. This story is for audiences of all ages.
 

She’s never taken a drink, but she’s recovering from alcoholism all the same.

After the death of her father, teenager Aidyn Pierce spends all her time cleaning up her mother’s messes. So when Mom announces she’s getting sober, Aidyn doesn’t believe her. Mom has tried before, and Aidyn knows there will come a time—a day, a week, maybe even a month from now—when the cravings will be too much, and her mother will start drinking again. So, when Aidyn is encouraged to attend support meetings, she refuses. No point in wasting her time when her mother’s going to drink again, anyway.

But what Aidyn doesn’t count on is the healing power of love and friendship, and the incredible strength of God to walk both mother and daughter through the dark valley of addiction and recovery.

AnnabellesAngel_w11882_680Annabelle’s Angel:

Annabelle Archer has been crushing on Rick Stockton for years. And now, when he notices her, it’s only because her brothers and sisters make it impossible for him to miss her. Annabelle still hasn’t decided if God’s will means she spends her life taking care of her six siblings, or if He has more in mind for her.Rick Stockton doesn’t mind that church activities and Annabelle’s brothers and sisters keep throwing Annabelle and Rick together. He just isn’t sure what it means. But as the kids keep trying to turn Rick into a snow angel—with sugar, baby powder, and more—he’ll work on figuring it out. Spending time with Annabelle’s family gives Rick a longing for one of his own…and an idea to make it happen.This Christmas, Annabelle may just find there’s a special angel in her corner, one that will stick around for a lifetime.

EverybodyLovesMickey_w11272_680Everybody Loves Mickey:

He’s a saint with a tarnished halo, and Aubrey Thomas can’t stand him…or can she?

Handsome fireman, Mickey Hurst is loved by all. He volunteers at the local parish where Aubrey Thomas works as an administrator. He sings in the choir. He leads the youth group. He even acts as the church handyman, but Aubrey knew him before he became Saint Mickey—when he told her he’d have to be drunk to kiss her…and he was. What’s so infuriating is that despite his horrible admission, Aubrey loves Mickey as much as everybody else.

Mickey doesn’t blame Aubrey for disliking him. After all, he kissed her when he wasn’t sober—and insulted her, to boot. Aubrey deserved a better man—a Godly man. But, since that fateful kiss, Mickey’s drawn closer to the Lord. With the intercession of God and the matchmaking parish staff, Mickey prays that this Christmas he will be able to prove to Aubrey he’s now the man for her.