I'm really excited to have my good friend Sharlene MacLaren back on the blog. Welcome, Sharlene. Why did you become an author?
Interesting you should ask. I just posted a response about that on the ACFW loop a few minutes ago. I write because back in the summer of 2000, God literally placed a call on my heart to write. I was 52 years old and hadn’t written a word of fiction since my high school days. About the only way I can explain it is that a flame of passion started burning and refused to let up. During the course of that year, I wrote four full-length novels. Think I could do that today? Not on your life. ‘Course, I’m not saying those novels were worth their weight in computer paper, but they sure revved up my engine!
And I'm glad they did. If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream job?
Hmm, my dream job is what I’m doing this very moment, sitting at my computer writing, but because I have to come up with something (so I don’t have the wrath of Lena on me), let me just tell you what my dream job would be. A taste tester at a chocolate factory. Now, there’s a job I could live with!
Maybe we could be partners on that one. If you could have lived at another time in history, what would it be and why?
My all-time favorite time-period is the late 1800s/early 1900s. I think I love that era because my own grandfather was born in 1881, so it feels somewhat relatable to me. I loved the long dresses, the start of the Gibson Girl era, the horse and buggies, the general stores, the dusty streets, the simplistic lifestyles, and on and on. It sounds “romantic”…BUT reality sets in when I think about it, and something tells me I wouldn’t have been the most patient or proficient homemaker back then. Shoot, my family might not have survived under my care. (I just can’t see myself ringing a chicken’s neck or carting in buckets of water from the outside well.) Good thing God knew that and placed me in the twentieth century.
The only time I ever wrung a chicken's neck was when I was pregnant with my first baby. Once was enough for me. What place in the United States have you not visited that you would like to?
Back in the mid-70s, I traveled with a vocal group all over the country for a year, singing in some 40 states and parts of Canada. So, I truly have been all over the USA. But we missed the Dakotas, and I’ve always wanted to visit Mt. Rushmore for one and see the Black Hills. I hear it’s a beautiful area. (Oh, wait a minute! How could I forget? I WANT TO GO TO HAWAII IN THIS LIFETIME! Would someone put a bug in my hubby’s ear?)
How about a foreign country you hope to visit?
Both Cecil (hubby) and I would love to visit the Holy Land. Oh, how I’d love to walk where Jesus walked.
What lesson has the Lord taught you recently?
Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is that rather age-old statement: ‘God has a wonderful plan for your life.’ At 60, I can now be one of those who look back over her life and do a lot of reflecting. I’ve discovered that God does not have a wonderful “plan” for my life; He has MANY wonderful plans. Every day is a new day, and so I rise in the morning and say, “What are we going to do today, Lord?” He always seems to have something new up His sleeve.
Tell us about the featured book?
Maggie Rose is the second of three in my Daughters of Jacob Kane series. Here’s a very condensed version of the synopsis:
In the summer of 1904, Maggie Rose Kane, Jacob's spunky, independent middle daughter accepts God's call to leave her beloved hometown of Sandy Shores, Michigan, to work as 'house mother' at New York City's Sheltering Arms Refuge, a home for displaced and orphaned waifs. There she meets the cynical, hard-nosed Luke Madison, a 27-year-old news reporter from the New York World who's been thrust upon the orphanage for a three-month period with an order to research the city's problem of "Street Arabs," the name pinned to these impoverished children.
Sparks fly as Maggie and Luke come to terms with their growing attraction. Will Maggie win the struggle to remain attuned to God's direction for her life, staving off her foolish, romantic notions-or does the Lord have a greater purpose than she ever imagined for leading her to New York?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Here it is, page 1:
Maggie Rose Kane settled her temple against the smudged window, blinked hard, and fought back another wave of nausea, as the smoke from her seatmate’s cigar formed cloudlike ringlets before her eyes and floated past her nose. Why, her lungs fairly burned from the stench of it, as if she’d been the one chain-smoking the stogies for the past five hours instead of the bulbous, gray-haired giant next to her. Even as he’d dozed this afternoon, his shoulders slumped and sagging against her petite frame, the vile object had hung out the side of his mouth as if permanently attached. She couldn’t even count the number of times she’d wanted to snatch it from him and snuff it out with the sole of her black patent leather shoe.
“Next stop, Albany,” announced the train conductor, making his way up the aisle.
With a quick intake of air, Maggie lifted a finger and leaned forward. “Excuse me, sir.”
The conductor stopped, turned, and tipped his hat at her in a formal manner. “Yes?”
“Is this where I will disembark and make a change-over to the New York Central?”
He tilted his head to the side and slanted one reddish eyebrow. The slightest bit of annoyance seemed to pull at him as he released a mild sigh. “If that’s what your ticket says. You’re goin’ to New York, aren’t you?”
I can hardly wait until my copy arrives. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Oh, please do come visit me. I love hearing from my readers. Here are the locations where you can reach me and/or read more about my books and upcoming projects:
I’m also a member over at http://www.Facebook.com
Go ahead and request my friendship, and we can hook up!
Thanks for inviting me to participate in your blog, Lena! Lord bless!
And thank you, Sharlene, for the lovely visit.
Readers, here's a link where you can order the book:
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