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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Welcome Kathleen Rouser

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming a dear friend of mine, Kathleen Rouser. It's great to have you here, Kathy.

How did you develop a 'love of story'?

That’s a hard question to answer in the sense that I don’t ever remember not loving stories. It seems like it’s always been ingrained in me. I remember how my mom would read books to me and taught me to love them. I couldn’t wait to be old enough to learn to read and memorized the picture book, My Own Little House, just so I could pretend read it to my mom . . . or anyone who would listen. Writing is hard work and what propels me to write is a desire to share stories of characters with depth.

Weren't you sneaky. :) When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

When I was four I enjoyed imaginary play, looking at books, and having books read to me so much that I wanted to be a writer before I could even read. Funny, how when I found a paper I’d written in fourth grade about what I would be doing in the year 2000. Thirty years later I was a mom with three children and was a writer, exactly what I’d hoped for!

What a cool story. What do you want readers to come away with after reading your books?

I pray that my characters will be examples of people whose lives are transformed by a redeeming Savior. I hope readers will come away knowing that Jesus is the One who heals, and forgives, that it’s never too late to start over with His help.

Amen. How does faith play a part in your writing?

I believe God is the One who has equipped me with creativity and a burning desire to tell stories. I ask the Lord for guidance, focus, and productivity for my writing as I am usually a slow, deliberate writer. My desire is to write stories that honor Him. I feel like it’s all in His hands.

Well said. Tell us about your new book.

Here’s the back cover blurb for Rumors and Promises, which takes place in 1900 in a small fictional town:

Sophie Biddle is an heiress on the run. Worse, she has a two-year-old child in tow, an illegitimate daughter she tries to pass off as her little sister. Believing herself abandoned by family and God, Sophie is caught off guard when she meets a kind, but meddling and handsome minister at the local mercantile. Despite her dire straits, Sophie wants only acceptance—not special treatment from the reverend or anyone else.

Reverend Ian McCormick is determined to start anew in Stone Creek, Michigan, believing he has failed God and his former flock. He works harder than ever to forget his mistake, hoping to prove himself a pleasing servant to his new congregation and once again to God.

In spite of their attempts to stay romantically untangled, Sophie and Ian find themselves drawn closer through their mutual love of music and their love for the child, Caira. When rumors of her “scandalous” past surface, Ian must decide whether to stand by the lovely Sophie’s side, while Sophie must decide whether to confess the ruse she thought necessary. Will they accept God’s forgiveness and risk forging a future together? Or will they continue to go it alone?

Sounds exciting. I can't wait to read it. Do you listen to music or snack while writing?

I often listen to our local Christian radio station, Smile FM, which plays a lot of upbeat Christian music. Sometimes I’ve also been known to listen to movie scores to prod me on. I usually have a cup of coffee with cream, thank you very much, by my side, if not a homemade cafĂ© au lait with caramel syrup. If I’m on deadline, chocolate chips or Dove dark chocolate are frequent rescue foods. Not the most virtuous of snacks, but hey, think of all those antioxidants I’m getting!

LOL. You do what you have to do, right? :) Who are your favorite authors?

Jan Karon, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Louisa May Alcott, Francine Rivers, and Ann Tatlock to name a few. There are so many others I enjoy as well.

Those are some good ones. What are you working on now?

I’m working on a stand-alone sequel to Rumors and Promises, with the working title, A Good Medicine. Here’s the tag line: A widow and a pharmacist find remedies for what ails them most where they least expect it.

It also takes place in Stone Creek and involves a widow and a widower, who each have children. Maggie Galloway is a strong woman trying to decide how to steer her future. Thomas Harper, the new apothecary in town, is struggling with his brood of four children and starting his business in Stone Creek.

There’s a lot of humor, healing, and hope in this story as Maggie, Thomas, and their families clash and, yet, manage to find common ground.

I'll definitely be watching for that one. :) Thanks for stopping by today, Kathy.

Kathy has graciously offered to give away a copy of her new book so be sure to leave a comment.

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