Friday, March 10, 2017

The Story Behind Gillian's Heart by B J Bassett and #giveaway

Today we welcome B J Bassett to my blog.  B J is telling us about her story Gillian's Heart. (I read it while B J wrote it and it is really good.)  B J is graciously giving away one copy of Gillian's Heart to one commenter.  Please include contact information.   

The Story Behind Gillian’s Heart

During the summer, Wednesdays were beach day. I’d load up my four children, a blanket, beach towels, picnic (usually tuna sandwiches), pails and shovels, sunscreen and head for the beach. I’d park at the top of the hill and we’d descend the wooden steps to the beach.

Set in a cove, it was a beautiful spot. It almost felt like a private beach. When my children were not out in the water, I’d turn and look up at the houses along the cliff and daydream about living in one of them. So it’s not surprising that years later, after my nest was empty, I’d put my imagination to work and wrote about one of those houses.

The house will be in need of repair, I mused. What about a handsome surfer? Oh dear, I have a problem. The waves aren’t big enough in the cove to surf—so it can’t be a cove, but the house can still be on a cliff overlooking the Pacific.

I love to name characters. Gillian, the heroine, is named for a girl I had in children’s ministry. I loved it when her friends called her Gilly. Dusty, the handsome surfer who restores Gillian’s house, Josh and Samantha, Gillian’s childhood friends— all in their twenties live in fictional Reagan Beach. Samantha is a little Ditsy with a heart of gold.

Gillian is in denial about her anorexia. She wants Dusty to attend church so they make a deal—he’ll come to church if she’ll go to a 12 step program.

Gillian thinks she inherited her grandmother’s house and is shocked when her mother shows up drunk declaring the house belongs to her, not Gillian.

I tend to write about places and things I know. I didn’t need to do any research on alcoholism, 12 step programs, and anorexia. (My youngest daughter suffered from anorexia for a short time).

I enjoy research as much as writing. I researched types of surfboards, surfing, wedding dresses, wedding vows, and the black and white sand instead of a unity candle.

The Gospel is always part of my novels. It’s who I am. And I want others to know about my Jesus and spend eternity with him.

Writers need to make their readers feel—make them cry, make them laugh. I cried when I wrote Laura’s toast at the wedding reception.

I usually write the last scene about midway through writing the book—so I have something to aim toward. And I like happy endings too.

Santa Monica, California, was a great place to grow up. I was a daydreamer as a child, and many of those dreams have come true. I'm blessed with a 51 year marriage to my husband, Ed. Our loving and supportive family includes four grown children and two grandsons.

I'm glad writing didn't interfere with those precious years when my children were small. Later we moved and owned a small grocery store nestled in the Redwoods of northern California. That's when the muse began to visit me.

As well as being a published writer and teacher, I was Assistant Elementary Director of Christian Education at Garden Grove Community Church, Garden Grove, California (today the Crystal Cathedral), Children's Ministry Director at Hydesville Community Church, Hydesville, California, a children's bookstore manager, and a conference director.

My forte as a writer and teacher is to inspire and motivate others to reach their dreams.

Abandoned as a child by her alcoholic parents, Gillian Grant was raised by her grandmother in a beach house in California. As an adult, in tribute to Gram’s memory, Gillian wishes to restore the house to its former splendor. But she can't do it alone, and hires Dusty Bradshaw to help her. 

Gillian and Dusty have nothing in common, except the restoration of the house. Gillian suffers from anorexia and is in denial. While she has a strong faith in God, Dusty is an unbeliever. Add to the complicated mess Gillian's confusing feelings for Josh and the sudden, unwanted appearance of Gillian's mother Betsy, who claims the house is hers. And she intends to sell it. 

Gillian always dreamed of her wedding in her grandmother’s garden overlooking the Pacific. Will there be a wedding? Who will capture Gillian’s heart -- her stable, longtime friend Josh -- or Dusty, a new Christian, who has kept secrets from her? And who holds the deed to the house?


Kathleen Friesen said...

Thanks for sharing the backstory to Gillian's Heart, BJ and Laura. What wonderful memories of beach time with your children. Your love shines through your story.

Julie Arduini said...

I love reading about the background of a story. I really enjoyed Gillian's Heart.

Marie Bast said...

Love Bunny's books. They're always good to curl up with next to the fireplace and read all night. Liked the story behind Gillian's Heart, thanks for sharing. And loved the book. It's a good read with twists.

Ellen Wycuff said...

Interesting reading the story about the book. Definently one to add to my TBR list

Dianne Casey said...

This sounds like my kind of book. I'm definitely adding to my TBR list.

Dianne Casey said...

My email address: diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

Jennifer Hibdon said...

What a neat backstory!!!! Looking forward to reading Gillian's Heart. Thanx for the giveaway!!!! j4hibdon(at)yahoo(dot)com

Lucy Reynolds said...

Enjoyed reading the background. BJ is a new author to me. Blessings ladies.

lollipops said...

congratulations, Jennifer.