Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
How Restoration of the Heart Came About
Story ideas pop up everywhere when one travels in an RV. Restoration of the Heart came about last summer, 2016, when my husband and I visited
Colorado to do a little fishing on the Arkansas River.
If you're not careful, you'll miss Coaldale as you travel on Highway 50 to the nearest town of
At our RV park, my husband loved walking a few steps out our vehicle to the
stream. He spent many happy hours spinner fishing. Salado
One day, however, we decided to take off on an adventure: a trip northwest of Salado that took us high into the
Mountains to an old ghost town called St. Elmo's. I roamed the
streets of the old mining town that is very much intact today. A small portion
of the buildings have been restored to their original appearance.
As an author, I'm always thinking of story possibilities. So in St. Elmo, my mind went into its creative mode of dreaming up a tale. I asked myself: what if an intriguingly handsome man owned a construction company that specialized in historical renovations and was hired by the state of
to renovate the town. Then I imagined
a shy and somewhat chubby historian who found it easier to live in the past
than in the present was hired to oversee the accuracy of the construction. And
my story began to take shape. Idaho
For several months, however, I was stumped when it came to the name of the book. Finally my critique partner, Laura Hilton, suggested Restoration of the Heart. So now the story, set in an old 1900 silver mining ghost town, was on the way becoming my first romantic suspense.
My editor, Cynthia Hickey, asked for a novel set in
. So instead of the
Rockies, the story now takes place in the fictional silver mining ghost town of
Silver Idaho . But that's okay. It's fiction! Cliff, Idaho
The background picture on the cover is one I took at St. Elmo's. I was thrilled when Cynthia decided to use it.
Thanks, Laura, for allowing me to tell about the story's birth.
June's website: junefoster.com
Link for book: http://tinyurl.com/
Blurb: Though a Christian, Luke Chamberlain ignored his values and indulged in his beautiful fiancé's world of alcohol, parties, and nights at her apartment. After rededicating his life to the Lord, he vows never to fall into the lifestyle again. When the state of Idaho's Tourism Department offers his construction company the contract to renovate Silver Cliff, an 1890's silver mining ghost town, he accepts.
Janie Littleton studied history in college because life in the past is simpler than the uncomfortable reality of the present. With her extra pounds, eye glasses, and mousy brown hair, no man would find her attractive. When she's offered the job of project historian at the restoration of Silver Cliff, she accepts. But as Luke Chamberlain shows an interest in her, she doubts his sincerity. To make matters worse, someone claiming to be the miner who founded Silver Cliff in 1890 intimidates her with frightening visits.
Can Luke convince Janie he's in love with the godly woman she is? Can Janie hold onto her faith as she's harassed by frightening appearances of old Ezra Barclay who died a hundred years ago?
June Foster's bio
An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. In 2013, June's book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC's eBook awards and in 2014 a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan's Father was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the 2014 Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT's 2014 Laurel Awards. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan's Father is published by WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, is available from Amazon.com. The Almond Tree series, For All Eternity, Echoes From the Past, What God Knew, and
Almond Street Mission
are available at Amazon.com as well. Misty
Hollow is published by Helping Hands Press. June enjoys writing stories
about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of
God and His Word. Recently June has seen publication of Christmas at Raccoon Creek, Lavender
Fields Inn and Restoration of the Heart. Visit June at junefoster.com.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Today we are joined by Gail Kittleson. Gail is graciously offering to giveaway one copy of her new book With Each New Dawn to a commenter. Please be sure to leave contact information.
Gail, glad to have you join us. Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
I’ve thought a lot about this question. Where do our ideas originate? Many say from the Muse ... others call this “partnering with God.” Pablo Picasso said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” I recall a time when I wanted to write, but didn’t know what to write about. Write what you know went through my mind, but at that time, I felt like an expert on nothing.
Inspiration came to me through a writing retreat, which increased my confidence that I could write and led to my memoir. Still, I had no intentions of writing fiction. But as I worked through many of the creative exercises in The Artist’s Way(Julia Cameron), characters started coming to mind. The best way I can describe what happened then is that I paused to listen.
For some, plot arrives first, but for me, it’s always a character. From there, it’s a matter of continuing to listen and researching voraciously as the story unfolds.
What's your key environment that helps you get to writing? Do you have a writer’s nook, corner, getaway? Where do you do your most productive writing?
I do have a nook just large enough to hold my old teacher’s desk, bookshelves, and a trunk with lots of research materials. This space used to be a closed-in but falling-apart porch on the front corner of our house, built in 1873. When we bought and renovated, we winterized it and cut a door into the dining room from a former window.
In winter, it’s too cold to write in there—Iowa, no heat duct. But in summer and autumn, I enjoy creating in this sunny space.
I’m not sure where I’m most productive. I do know that ideas often come to me on long walks—that was true long before I began writing seriously.
What are you saying in your book(s) that will encourage Christians today?
Addie and Kate, heroines of my Women of the Heartland series, reveal that there’s no shame in asking honest question. The process enriches our lives. World War II increased their questions, but always, the two of them had analyzed people, situations, and themselves. Their high school literature teacher nurtured their inquisitive natures before the war swept in.
Separated by the Atlantic Ocean, they still shared their thoughts in letters, and when reunited, they continued to cherish each other’s perceptions. They tell my readers that answers often arrive in friendly garb—through the sincere attention of a friend.
In With Each New Dawn, danger threatens Kate from the vicious Waffen S.S, a brutal Nazi arm. No pat answers will do. A new friendship and borrowed faith sustains her. She tells readers that even in the worst of times, eternal light still shines.
How do you pick names for your characters?
Mostly, I choose names I like, but also check through lists of popular names from the era.
How important are reviews to you?
Knowing someone has taken the time to read my novel and made the additional effort to post a review means a lot. I’ve met (mostly online) some folks who do this for many authors, and see it as their ministry. This goes along with the theme I’ve been referring to, friendship’s power.
In these days of individualism and isolation, isn’t it something that total strangers would generously help promote an author’s work?
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Jane Kirkpatrick’s work has mentored mine—when I read All Together In One Place, I knew she’d touched a nerve. At that time, I hadn’t yet honed in on my genre, and reading her books helped me. I also like classical writers like Louisa May Alcott, R.W. Emerson (nonfiction), and historians such as Ken Burns.
Back to Jane Kirkpatrick ... another time, her heroine gave me the exact answer I needed to a thorny, continuous relational challenge. There it was, in black and white just like that. I think that’s because she has the courage to tackle tough subjects from a foundation of faith. What a gift! I haven’t met Jane, but receive her newsletter and hope to hug her some day.
What genre is your favorite?
Women’s historical fiction is my favorite, and I also enjoy literary fiction. I think fans of literary fiction have diminished with the “quick entertainment” our society avails, but sinking into an old-fashioned literary novel still gives me special satisfaction.
What books have you enjoyed lately?
After Dunkirk, by Melena McGraw, has increased my understanding of the first years of World War II. And I’ve also read an obscure memoir by a Navy officer—not something you’ll find on the NY or Romantic Times Lists. As with many other areas of life, I resist reading what everyone else says I need to—I might read those books sometime, but only after some thought.
American Kate Isaac grieves her husband, awaits their child’s birth, and welcomes her best friend Addie to London. But after her miscarriage, a meeting with mysterious Monsieur le Blanc launches her into Britain’s Secret Operations Executive(SOE). In late 1943, Kate parachutes into Southern France to aid the Resistance.Domingo, a grieving Basque mountain guide-turned-saboteur, meets her parachute drop, tends her injured ankle, and carries her to safety. Reunited a few months later, they discover the injured Monsieur le Blanc who with his dying breath, reveals his familial connection to Kate.In the shadow of the Waffen SS, Domingo and Kate find his younger brother Gabirel missing. While Domingo seeks Gabirel, Domingo’s parish priest, Père Gaspard, creates a new identity for Kate.United once again, Kate and Domingo subject their mutual attraction to the cause. But can mere human will and moral courage change the war’s tide and forge a future for them?
BIO: Formerly a college expository writing and English as a Second Language instructor, Gail writes women’s historical fiction and facilitates writing workshops and women’s retreats. In Northern Iowa she and her husband enjoy grandchildren and gardening. Arizona's Ponderosa Pine forests provide winter novel fodder.
Pre-order site: http://tinyurl.com/
jmvc36a (I may get more buy links on the 24th, release day…this is all I have so far.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Where did you grow up and attend school? Are there any other authors in your family?
I grew up in California, a little ways southwest of Bakersfield, in a tiny farming community called Weedpatch. Attended school there, as well – first in a public elementary school (1st through 4th grades), and then in a parochial school operated by our church (5th through 12th). My aunt and pastor’s wife, Rita Mae Dawson, self-published a couple of non-fiction books many years ago, mostly for distribution within their Apostolic church fellowship. She was my mentor and encourager, who convinced me at an early age that I could and should be a writer.
How did you get started writing? How old were you? What made you want to start? What did you enjoy reading as a child?
I think I’ve been writing since I could wrap my fingers around a pencil. I’ve often stated that I was born with a pen in my hand, and I don’t think it’s far from the truth. Even at a very early age, I wrote poems, songs, little stories. As I grew older, I learned to love reading. I read everything I could get my hands on, including the backs of Comet boxes and toothpaste tubes. J I loved Trixie Belden, The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames…even the Hardy Boys mysteries (I wasn’t a gender-specific reader!). And the list goes on. As I entered high school, I started writing more and more. My uncle and pastor was married to an amazing, very talented and intelligent woman, who was always a strong mentor to me. Rita Mae Dawson homed in on my God-given talent and encouraged me to develop it. I will forever be grateful for her!
How and when did you and your husband meet? Was it love at first sight? What does he think about your being an author?
I was 11 when I first saw my future husband, Johnny. My brother (4½ years older) and I were visiting a small church in a nearby town. Johnny (one of the pastor’s five sons) was dating one of the girl’s in the church, but it didn’t stop me from developing an instant crush. From that time on, when I played house with my friends, my name was always Mrs. Johnny Latham.
My brother and Johnny became very good friends, and when Johnny’s dad left that little church where we first met them, he and one of his brothers started attending ours. One happy day a few years later, my brother informed me that Johnny wanted to date me. “Too bad you like Aubrey so much,” he said. Poor, sweet Aubrey suffered an instant break-up…and the rest, as they say, is history.
Johnny is very supportive of my love for writing. Thank God! He’s the family cook anyway, which is such a huge load off my mind when I’m in the middle of a story. But he doesn’t stop there. If I’m on deadline and crunching to get a story done, he picks up the slack with laundry and whatever else must be done while I’m hidden away in my office. God is such a Master matchmaker!
How old are your children? Do they read your books? Have any of them got the writing bug, as well?
I have four children, all adults. None of them are much into Christian fiction, but each has read one or more of my books. Both of my boys are excellent writers and every once in a while, they’ll send me a story they’re working on, so I can advise and edit. The oldest actually completed a novel, but has never attempted to submit it anywhere, much to my disappointment. Maybe someday.
How do you research the communities and people you write about? Do you find yourself having do a lot of research?
Since I don’t write historical fiction, there’s less research than one might think. However, every book requires a certain amount of fact-checking – whether due to an unfamiliar locale, a character’s profession, or some other element of the storyline with which I’m unfamiliar. I do almost all research online. While I have visited a couple of locations in order to familiarize myself with them, many of my settings are fictional, which gives me some leeway with “facts.”
Which is your favorite book? Do you have a character in your books you identify with the most ?
My favorite book that I have written, or by another author? I’ll answer both.
My two favorite books ever are both epic good vs. evil novels: The Stand, by Stephen King and Swan Song, by Robert R. McCammon. Neither of these authors writes Christian fiction, but I love their good vs. evil storylines.
Choosing a favorite amongst my own books is really hard. The most recent is always “favorite” while it’s new—so right now, Spring Raine holds that title. Lol They are each “favorites” for different reasons. However…for the sake of giving an answer…Goldeneyes will probably always be the book of my heart, as it is set partially in Weedpatch, California. Many of the characters’ names are a mix of people I knew as a child growing up in that community and in our church. I also really love one in particular of my Heart’s Haven novellas—Love in the WINGS. It deals with spiritual oppression, and I fought a royal spiritual battle as I wrote the book. I think God was giving me a glimpse into the devastation that can be wrought on a person’s heart and soul by satanic forces that seek to destroy His children through oppression. I will always consider this book a triumph over evil, as it became more and more clear that Satan did not want the story written, and was willing to destroy me to keep it under wraps. As always, God prevailed. I pray the book is a blessing and a source of strength to anyone dealing with evil spirits and/or oppression.
series, Book 1:
An uncharacteristic, last-minute decision to do something "wild and crazy" before entering the stressful world of forensic science sends Raine Presley to
. Against a cloud of
disapproval from her slightly manipulative, over-protective parents, she signs
a seasonal lease at the beautiful Paradise Pines Lodge...and winds up over her
head in life and love. Cambria,
Declan Keller's just minding his own business—literally—when Raine drops into his world and turns it upside down. He's far too busy carving beautiful shapes out of chunks of wood to be babysitting a gal from
Pasadena. Even so, his
father’s promise to an old friend obligates him, despite a looming deadline
that could make or break his career in the art world. He’s praying for anything
but Raine when she comes along.
Neither Declan nor Raine is prepared for the seemingly divine influence of Paradise Pines—and Miss Angelina Love. A mysterious lady who may or may not own the lodge, Miss Angie possesses an amazing talent for mending ruffled feathers, spouting proverbs, and somehow bending even the most determined of hearts to the power of love.
Writing Heaven’s touch into earthly tales, Delia Latham puts her characters through the fire of earthly trials to bring them out victorious by the hand of God, His heavenly messengers, and good, old-fashioned love. You’ll always find a touch of the divine in this author’s sweet tales of romance.
Delia lives in
East Texas with her husband Johnny. She’s a Christian
wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and author of inspirational
romance…with a finger or two immersed in the design pool, where she creates
beautiful marketing material for other authors. Delia treasures her role as
child of the King and heir to the throne of God. She’s got a “thing” for Dr.
Pepper and loves hearing from
Contact this author at any of the following locations:
Amazon purchase link for Spring Raine, Paradise Pines Series, Book 1