I've never spent crazy money on a hand-made quilt.
I've wanted to, several times. But each time I stop myself, knowing there are hungry people on the planet, knowing there are other places for money to do more good, knowing my pretty blankets from J. C. Penney and Donna's Quilts are fine!
|I pass this house every time I head to D.C. or Baltimore or North Carolina... And the selection of hanging quilts varies with the season, the day, the month, the year. It's a North Country sight, for sure.|
That's a North Country image.
I live in the north, a snow belt of upstate New York where the term "Lake Effect" means S-N-O-W and the falls are splendid in color, the sun slants just so through golding trees and the change of seasons is marked with a definition you find in very few places. I love it here. I set books in this northern region because folks love regional settings, they love to feel immersed in the changes of the year as they follow or inspire changes in life. It's a God-thing, a human-thing, a let's-hibernate-through-February thing with a good book!
That works for me! (big grin attached!!!!)
Sometime last spring, I talked about a book on Seekerville, a book that won an amazing number of unpublished awards, a book that was looked at by several houses and made it to the end-zone (football) third base (baseball) and rimmed the basket (basketball) with several major publishers but never got the final nod...
Well. Here it is. The book that inspired the North Country series, the book that helped make me a Seeker, the book that made people cry, and cheer and re-examine their priorities:
I love this story. I love Anne's journey. Eight years ago, folks had a hard time talking about predatory coaches and small-town scandals. Eight years ago, people hushed things up and sometimes refused to see what was right before their eyes.
Skewed priorities will do that to a person.
Then Penn State burst into the headlines, Syracuse University followed shortly thereafter, and all of a sudden the blinders were removed. We had no choice but to see, to cringe, to believe.
Not every seemingly nice person has our children's best interests at heart.
This book was inspired by something my son Seth said while a freshman at St. Lawrence University, a gorgeous school tucked into the cold depths of the St. Lawrence River Valley... "I keep meeting people who care way too much about their sports."
That single sentence spawned a stream of what-ifs, a seed that sprouted to a beautiful story of reclaiming one's heart... and one's soul... and one's home-town... by facing our fears.
I've just locked and loaded Running on Empty HERE ON AMAZON...
I hope folks love it. I hope they see the God-virtue in a story of second chances and poor choices. I hope they see how easy it is for evil to recognize vulnerability and stalk it.
Mostly? I hope people fall in love with Anne's story, and with Joe McIntyre, the hero of Running on Empty, a man who sees through a glass dimly and runs to get the Windex... because a mirror should never stay dim or foggy. Not when God allows us the chance to polish at will!
I should be talking food, I should be sharing something delicious and autumnal, but today I'm sharing food for the soul in the form of a book that grabs the reader's heart and won't let go...
A book that says when life shuts a door, God will always open a window. Because he's God.
Anne Kellwyn has a secret. It's cost her everything to keep it, including her marriage. Now she may have to pay an even higher price to reveal the truth, but is she too late? Back home to care for her dying mother, Anne is faced with the past she ran from and a future she can't have, a future that includes Joe McIntyre and the happily ever after she'd dreamed of years ago.
Chief of Police Joe McIntyre takes his position seriously. A lead-by-example Christian, he's put to the test when his ex-wife appears with another man's child after eight years of silence. Anger and pride challenge his small-town-hero existence, driving him out of his comfort zone. Faced with choices he made eight years before, can he tackle the present to ease Anne's future so she's no longer "Running on Empty"?