Friday, November 24, 2017

When Reads the Heart with Gail Kittleson


Today I am excited to welcome author Gail Kittleson to the blog. Today she'll be sharing her experience and what Christian Fiction meant to one of her readers.



On this day after Thanksgiving, I’m so grateful to be able to use my gifts—so many people never find that niche where they feel useful and satisfied. This didn’t occur easily for me, or quickly. Nope, it took decades to develop the confidence to believe I had something to offer and fully enter into my vocation.
Writing to readers’ hearts means delving into the doubts and hurts and foibles that beset us all. I used to lament having wasted so much time commencing my writing, but having lived through some of those experiences might just be the best qualification for writing women’s fiction.
Literature that reaches the heart avoids pat answers and easy fixes. One of my readers pointed that out to me. At the outset, when we met at an event geared toward artsy folks, she looked at my books but said, “You know, I normally shy away from Christian fiction.” 


We talked longer, and she eventually did purchase the first book in my Women of the Heartland series...note the word heart in there! After she’d finished the novel, she contacted me with words to warm any author’s heart.
“I loved this story. Thank you for not giving Addie any easy ways out of her situation. She had to struggle like everybody else does in real life.”
Yes. I much prefer promoting my work under the label Women’s Historical Fiction, because that’s what it is—written for female readers living in the real word. True to the historical record, as best I can write it. And this series, about the contributions of regular everyday women to the World War II effort, contains some pretty daunting situations.
On the Midwestern home front, a heroine fights her own battles against a verbally abusive husband who takes out his rage on her. In London, where the Luftwaffe continually makes life miserable, and in Southern France, aiding the Resistance as Waffen S.S. tanks sweep north toward Normandy to fight the Allies.
Danger, intrigue, bold and necessary deception, along with a multitude of ponderings and doubts—where is the Almighty in all of this? Yet each character finds solace and hope...and even gratitude.
Hopefully readers, too, discover new possibilities in the fearsome personal pitfalls of this life. Hopefully, hearts are touched and encouraged by my very real-to-life characters. 

*****
When Gail’s not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors. She also facilitates writing and creativity workshops, both in Iowa and Arizona, where she and her husband spend part of the winter in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim. Favorites: walking, reading, meeting new people, hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters.

Her newest book, A Purpose True releases December 7th.


Friday, November 10, 2017

When Reads the Heart with Linda Wood Rondeau


Hello Friends!
I am very excited to be introducing a new blog series I'm calling, When Reads the Heart. This series will feature uplifting stories of books and stories that have changed and touched lives. My very first guest for When Reads the Heart is award winning author Linda Wood Rondeau.

*****




HOW TO BE A CHRISTIAN WITHOUT BEING RELIGIOUS by Fritz Rednoir

Just 188 pages. Back in 1971, a quick read. Yet, the book changed my life. The powerful message of what makes Christianity different from any other religion, ended my search for religious practice and helped me learn to walk with God through faith alone.

Though I did not grow up in a traditionally Christian home, my parents believed in God and taught me the importance of nightly prayers. My grandparents came to Christianity in midlife through the influence of my father’s brother, then age seventeen, who became saved at a Billy Graham Crusade and joined the choir.

We only attended church when my grandparents visited. However, at age seven, I attended a camp meeting with my grandmother. I felt the pull to give my heart to Jesus, though I had little understanding of what was involved. I only knew that I loved God and that I wanted to be his servant.

A few years later, my grandparents introduced us to a local church congregation that would soon be our church home. My parents became saved and became regular attendees. Though salvation by faith was taught, my spiritual experience was overshadowed by legalism. If I didn’t do this, and I did that, then I could be considered a good Christian. Sounded simple enough, yet my contrary spirit often rebelled. With a sense of constant spiritual failure, I went to the altar every time an invitation was given.

Perhaps the ultimate sense of spiritual failure resulted from my divorce. I came to the mistaken belief that I could never “do” Christian. I walked away from every tenet I’d been taught. What was the use? I tried to pray, but my prayers went no further than the ceiling. A single mom with three children, my life became anything but a model of how a Christian should live.

Then I read How to Be a Christian Without Being Religious, a commentary on Romans. Finally, something clicked. I was in my mid-twenties, and this book was written for young people, yet, these were the words I needed to hear. Other religions are characterized by man’s attempt to reach God. Christianity is God’s reach to humankind. I began to understand why I couldn’t “do” Christian. God had no intention for us to work our way to him. He was already near, reaching out, showing his love toward me.



The journey back took several more years to fully understand the difference between “doing” and “being” a Christian. I owe the starting point to a simple book. Though I write primarily fiction, I am a writer now because a book changed my life. My prayer is that the words God gives me will help others in kind.

*****

About the author: 



Award winning author, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU writes to demonstrate our worst past, surrendered to God becomes our best future. A veteran social worker, Linda now resides in Hagerstown, Maryland. Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com. Contact the author on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Goodreads.