Showing posts with label Amazon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amazon. Show all posts

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Visit with Eleanor Gustafson

Don't you just love meeting new people? Today, you and I are getting acquainted with Eleanor Gustafson, a Christian author who loves horses. I can't see a thing wrong with that, can you?

Eleanor, tells us about yourself.

Why am I a writer instead of a church organist somewhere? My mother loved music and was herself an organist, and when I finally decided to be an organ major at Wheaton College—instead of taking up veterinary medicine at Cornell—she jumped for joy. (Well, maybe not literally.)


I came out of college being able to play the organ respectably, but marrying one of my horsemanship students who also played the organ (more anon on that) set me on an entirely different course.


Though she would be sad to hear it, you can blame my mother for my current writing track. As she read stories to me every night before bed, I soaked in Story, and that seems to have had even more influence than my chewing the piano while Mom and siblings sang. My teeth marks are probably still there.


Even though Story won out in the end, music continued its influence. My first novel, Appalachian Spring, is titled after a classical piece by Aaron Copeland and contains the melody for the familiar “Simple Gifts.”


Leaping ahead, my husband Jim and I just celebrated our 50 years as tree farmers in Vermont. No, not Christmas trees; just a large forest that we have thinned, pruned, logged, and made maple syrup. A tree farm became the setting for my second novel, Wild Harvest, in which a modern girl meets a boy of 1796 over a stone wall in Vermont. A time travel.


The next three books showcase my passion for God. Well, I guess all of them do. Middle Night is a rough, raw book that few have liked, but it powerfully dramatizes the gospel, using no religious language or known religions. A good story, but I got carried away, balancing off a superbly good God with terrible evil on the other side. True to life, as we are seeing every day, but not fiction to curl up on a couch with.


The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David puts flesh on the bones of history. Eugene Peterson endorsed that one, as did other Old Testament notables. David has always been my biblical hero, and I had to write his story.


My most recent novel, Dynamo, showcases not only my passion for horses, but also my deep fervor for our sovereign God. He will do what he wants, when he wants to, in order to accomplish His will. Dynamo is a nasty but extraordinarily beautiful five-gaited stallion. His trainer, Jeth, pours his heart into preparing him to show, but at the same time, God is training Jeth to become an extraordinary servant. A page-turner, on most accounts.


God has trained me, as well, using multiple influences—Story, music, horses, Wheaton College, marriage, tree farming, writers’ conferences, relationships…….and the list goes on. My husband, by the way, is now our church organist. I can’t play the instrument anymore, but I can still write.


Story is my game.


Back cover:   Jeth Cavanaugh is searching for a new life along one of Pennsylvania's mountain ridges when he stumbles upon a stable of show jumpers owned by Rob and Katie Chilton. Throw in a volatile gaited stallion named Dynamo, and Jeth will do anything to work there. He earns his living by training and showing Rob's jumpers, but Dynamo is his primary passion.

Everything changes when God enters his life—in the unconventional form of a hard slap by an old girlfriend—and ignites a new, greater passion within him. But along with fervor comes fear at the undeniable evidence of God's hand on his life. Inexplicable events, both good and bad, make him moan plaintively, "Why does God do this to me? I get the feeling I'm being set up for something."

He is, indeed. Jeth's life is anything but predictable, much like the God he serves. The real Dynamo and his ultimate trainer emerge out of an excruciating mix of disaster and brokenness, which are never beyond the reach of redemption.

This story is God in your face: Who is He, really? What does He ask of us

Born and brought up in Branchville NJ (population 1000), Eleanor Gustafson branched out in several directions.

·         Graduated from Wheaton College, IL.

·        Involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager.

·         Done horses, house construction (including our house, a tepee and log play house), music, Christian camp programming, tree farming (as in logging, firewood, maple syrup), gardening, but, alas, minimal house cleaning!

·         Love to laugh.

·         Love homemade bread, hot out of the oven.

I started publishing fiction and nonfiction in 1978, the most recent novel being Dynamo. I love to write. One major writing goal has been to bring scriptural principles to full-color life for today’s readers through strong characters and dialogue. Let me know if you think I’ve accomplished that.

I will, Eleanor, I will. Since hearing your voice through your words and reading about your books, especially the new one, Dynamo, I'm eager to read your "stories," and I will let you know if you've accomplished your goal. Anyone out there that's already read some of Eleanor's "stories?" Leave a comment and let the rest of us know.
Eleanor, tell us where we can find out more about you and your books.







Thank you for being my guest today. Can't wait for my copy of Dynamo.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Mary L. Hamilton's debut novel, HEAR NO EVIL

My sweet friend, Mary Hamilton visits Writing with God's Hope blog today.

 Since her debut novel  released four days ago, (Big congrats to Mary) I asked her if she would allow her book's main character to come and answer some of our questions. She was kind enough to allow him to have his say.

So, let me introduce Brady McCaul.
Hello, Brady,     
This is Brady's home.


Your dad left when you were only seven. How did that affect you?

Dad was never around much anyway. He always acted like work was more important to him than me. I missed him but Mom spent a lot of time with me. She tried to make up for Dad not being there. Mom made me feel loved and secure in the days after Dad left. I’m an only child, so Mom and I spent a lot of time talking and hanging out together.

It must have been devastating when she left you at camp.

After Dad left, I often wondered what I’d do if something happened to Mom, but I never, ever imagined she’d say she didn’t want me anymore. I was shocked. I had no clue what I’d done to make her not love me anymore. It was embarrassing to know other people heard it, but my counselor, Matt, was really cool about helping me out and not making me feel worse.

Matt looked out for you pretty well during the week, didn’t he?

He’s a great counselor. Matt always seemed to know what I was thinking, but he kept it between the two of us. I’m sorry I didn’t take him up on his offer to talk things out. But of course the best thing he did was introduce me to Steven. 

You and Steven developed a strong friendship. What do you admire about him?

Steven’s cool. He’s so confident, even though he can’t see anything. He’s also pretty laid-back, doesn’t get all freaked out over stuff. And he’s loyal. He defended me even though it meant he’d get teased, too.

What about Claire?

Claire is almost the opposite of Steven. She’s a fighter. Whether it’s a game or real life, I want her on my side. (And not just because she’s cute.)

Why do you think Taylor picked on you so much?

He’s pretty much a jerk to everyone. But after what Mom said, I was really unsure of myself. I think he picked up on that and figured I was an easy target. I reacted every time he said or did something. That’s what he wanted. He liked having the power to irritate me.

At one time, you thought God would never call your name. How has your idea of God changed since being at camp?

I didn’t really know God. I only knew about him, and even the things I thought I knew weren’t always true. Now I know that God calls each of us by name. He wants us to know him like we know our best friend. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m learning to know God as a personal friend and not just some grandfather-type image in a book.
Now, that we've learned a bit about Brady, can you tell us something about your creator, Mary Hamilton?
Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a camp much like the setting for her Rustic Knolls Bible Camp series. She started out writing articles for magazines, and a Christmas play, Homespun Angel. Her faith is a strong influence in her life and writing. When she’s not writing, Mary loves the outdoors and nature, as well as opening her home to youth Bible studies, pancake suppers and breakfast with her special recipe waffles. She and her husband live near Houston, TX, within range of her three grown children.
How to connect with Mary
Twitter: @mhamilton122

So there you have it. Run, don't walk to purchase your copy of Hear No Evil.
Summer camp is no fun for Brady McCaul. The girl with the cute dimples thinks he’s immature and childish. The camp bully targets him with cruel taunts and teasing, and flips Brady’s canoe to keep him from winning the race. But worst of all, his mom won’t let him come home. She doesn’t want him living with her anymore. Brady wonders if even God cares about him.
Can Brady figure out what he did to earn Mom’s rejection and change her mind by week’s end? Or will he have to live with his workaholic dad, the guy who left when Brady was seven? All seems lost until a surprising secret changes everything. 
Thank you,  Mary L. Hamilton for stopping by today and telling us about Hear No Evil. The book sounds great for tweens and adults alike. Also, thank you, Brady. I enjoyed making your acquaintance.
 Mary tells me you may purchase Hear No Evil on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.