What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
That God is faithful, and he will make a way if we trust him. This seems to be the pre-dominate theme of all my books.
Another issue that comes up nearly every time I speak at a conference or retreat is forgiveness and bitterness. I think it is a concern with most everyone, but particularly women. We get hurt so easily, and when we bury those wounds, they turn into bitterness. I find that my characters have to work through that as well.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I had to think about this one. I think I’d like to spend an evening with Billy Graham. I so respect his unwavering focus on remaining faithful to God’s call on his life and his uprightness in doing so.
I know you said “one contemporary person,” but, if you’d indulge me, I’d like also to mention George W Bush. You know we live not too far from his ranch here in
and see the helicopters flying over when they come to Crawford. I didn’t agree
with everything he said or did as president, but I trusted him—his character
and integrity. Texas
I agree with you about both of those men. A powerful leader is one who can make the hard decisions and stand by their convictions. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I’d like to meet Abraham Lincoln. In doing the research for this latest book, set during the Civil War in
, I was amazed at the moral fiber,
courage, and integrity of our 16th president. The hand of God was
definitely on the man. Some of the unpopular decisions that he had the grit to
make against all odds probably saved our nation. Texas
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
I know how discouraging that is. I have a box full of rejections. It took me ten years to get my first book published.
But don’t give up. Soak up everything you can from other writers. Go to writers conferences and take the workshops. Keep submitting. Get in a good critique group. Learn from them. I have a quote above my desk that says, “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” (Richard Bach). In God’s time it will happen.
Tell us about the featured book.
We are so excited about this book. It deals with a thoroughly Southern family who lives on the
coast during the Civil War. The heroine, Amanda Belle, questions the goodness
and faithfulness of her pastor father’s God as she experiences the horrors and
deprivation of the division of the nation, and is torn between loyalty to her
family and her love for a Union officer. Texas Gulf
Please give us the first page of the book.
Note: This scene takes place before
secedes from the Union when Federal troops
were stationed on the frontier.
CHAPTER ONE – September 1860
My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side.
Sweet, gooey peach pie filling stuck to her fingers. Amanda Irene Belle turned her back on the table laden with pies and licked her index finger.
A husky voice interrupted her surreptitious snack. “Which pie do you recommend? They all look tasty.”
Startled, she looked into a pair of blue eyes as clear as a cloudless
She cleared her throat and bobbed a curtsey. “I’m afraid you have observed me being rather impolite. Please excuse my bad manners.” Ignoring the heat rising in her cheeks, she waved her hand over the desserts lined up on long tables covered in calico tablecloths under the blooming magnolia trees. The special offerings of the ladies from the congregation dotted the tables—and each woman watched eagerly to see which platters and baskets emptied first. A young slave stood at each end of the table lazily waving a palm fan to keep the flies away.
“Our Elsie baked the chess pie, and it is a favorite. So you are fortunate that there is still a piece left—if you like chess pie, that is, Lieutenant.”
He grinned. “I don’t blame you for sampling the goods. I don’t know that I could have resisted either. And it’s Captain.”
Flustered, she flicked open her fan. “Oh my soul. I’m sorry. I’m not very conversant with military ranks.”
“Give it no mind.” Pointing to the chess pie, “That must be a southern dish. I’ve never tried it, but upon your recommendation, I’m happy to indulge.” He held his plate toward her, and she lifted a sugary, buttery slice of the chess pie onto his already full plate. “This is such a treat for my men—to sit down to home cooking. Thank you for your hospitality.”
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His Steadfast Love (Darkness to Light)
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