About the Book
Didi O’Brien is engaged—at least she was an hour ago. Now she’s not so sure. Her fiancé, the suave Kevin Cabot, has just revealed that he’s been unfaithful, and he’s not the least bit sorry. Reeling from the betrayal, with her plans for a happily-ever-after life in doubt, she prays for direction. The answer comes as a complete surprise. God has someone better in mind.
Middle school teacher, Jake Montgomery, is struggling with some issues of his own. Sadly, a year previously his fiancée had been killed in a car crash. Battling anger and despair, in a mountain-top experience, Jake wrestles with the Almighty, and is ready to live again. In his youth, he’d felt an unmistakable call to the ministry but, like the prophet Jonah, since then, he’s been running hard in the wrong direction.
Through a crisis of faith, and glimpses of mercy, Didi and Jake find each other. But can they find the strength to resolve the many obstacles that conspire to keep them apart?
Prism Book Group, September 2016
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A Brief Interview with Jan
Jan, welcome. Tell us what do you love about this book.
Seven (long) years ago, I started to write my first book, Love, Lies, and Fireflies. I loved the process of dreaming up exceptional characters with unique personalities and it kick-started my creative juices. Creating characters with hardships and major flaws, just like real people, was something I really wanted to achieve in an entertaining way. And what was most important? Making sure that God showed up as a central character—without being preachy. That will always be a passion for me.
One of the most wonderful aspects of writing this book, though, was that I could slip parts of REAL people in there. The hero, Jake Montgomery, is a lot like my dear husband and the heroine, Didi O’Brien, has a lot of me in her. In the novel, Didi’s father passes away many years before the book starts and my own amazing father died in 1992. I made Didi’s dad a lot like my own. She has wonderful memories of sweet times spent with her father, and so do I. In fact, the title of the book has a lot to do with her daddy. I feel pleased that by including him in my book, I can honor my father in this special way.
Cool! That is an awesome tribute. I doubt I'll ever publish my first book, but every once in a while I pull it out and glance through it. Introduce us to the easiest character to work with.
That would have to be Jacob Scott Montgomery, a.k.a. Jake the easygoing introvert with the word “hero” stamped on the back of his tee-shirt. Seriously, though, he’s a good guy who’s had some real tragedy in his life, but he’s determined to make it through.
I’ll give you a taste of this sweetheart’s personality with a short excerpt from the book:
Didi opened the door with a sunny smile. “Hi, Jake. I see you found me.”
On this unseasonably warm evening she was wearing cream-colored slacks and a petal-sleeved, burgundy, flowered top. Jake had remembered her as being cute, but this evening, his date was downright beautiful.
Full of admiration, his eyes widened. “Nice outfit. You look great.” He handed her the bouquet with a flourish. “I hope you like flowers.”
Didi’s face lit up with pleasure. “How thoughtful, Jake. I love flowers, and these are beautiful. Please come in for a minute, and I’ll put these in water.”
They moved into the living room as the cat from the window scampered into the room.
“Remember Maisie? I hope you’re not allergic to cats.”
“Definitely not allergic. I have a cat of my own.” He squatted down and extended his hand to the calico. “My, you’re pretty.” Maisie sidled up to him, rubbed her face against his leg, and fell in a happy heap at his feet. Doubtless, it was because his hands still smelled like the catnip he’d just given his own cat, Lucy, but there was no need to share that information with Didi.
“Little flirt.” Didi slanted her head. “I’m shocked. Maisie’s usually wary of men, so this is a monumental occasion. Look at her. She’s practically batting her eyelashes at you.”
Jake hoped to have Didi batting lashes at him soon, but for now, winning over her cat was a good start.
Sounds like a guy you’d like to take home to mother, doesn’t he?
Definitely! Share two things you learned during either the writing or publication process of this book.
Everything takes longer than expected but you make some wonderful friends along the way.
And speaking of friends, in the Christian world, publishing is not only about what sells, but also about how to get the word out there that God loves us unconditionally and He wants to have a real, exciting, personal relationship with His children. If we are all focusing on this truth as a team, nobody loses. I am blessed to work with so many remarkable authors who feel the same way.
What do you hope readers will tell others when they've finished the book?
I will share a review I received on Amazon that made my heart soar. As an author, hearing words like this are so very uplifting because you feel the reader actually “got” what you were trying so hard to convey. A humbling moment that truly brought tears to my eyes and a “Thank you, Jesus”:
This story certainly didn’t disappoint! The characters were engaging and well developed. In fact, they practically came to life and jumped right off the page. On the surface, this was a romantic tale with a suspenseful twist, but on a deeper level, this story explored the love of God and many other Christian issues. As the story unfolded, it discussed the complexity of dating relationships and the consequences of certain choices. I appreciated how the author gave the characteristics of abusive relationships and explained how a person could get out of one. I also appreciated the emphasis the author put on God. I thought this was a truly wonderful book. It had romance, suspense, and a beautiful, redemptive message. I’m looking forward to reading more books by this author.
What are you reading now?
I’m SO glad you asked that question. I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. this morning reading an advance copy of YOUR new novel, UnderStory. That’s another cool thing about being an author—getting to read some stellar books before anyone else!
Blushing...Thanks, Jan. What's next for you?
I’ve just finished writing a Christmas novella for a boxed set with four other inspirational authors. The set is called Frosting and Flurries and there is a cake and a celebration featured in each book somewhere. My book is titled Moostletoe, set in a fictional town in Maine called Moose Creek. Here’s the short blurb:
Rev. Samantha Evans lands in Moose Creek, Maine, where parishioners chew up new ministers for breakfast. Happily, she also reunites with forest ranger Eric Palmer, her best friend from her teenage years. With Samantha’s career on the line, Eric must save her job and rescue his own shattered heart in the process. But where does Matilda the moose factor in?
At the moment, I am writing book 2 in the series, tentatively titled Moosed Opportunities. Lots of fun!
That does sound like fun. Can't wait to see it in print. I've got Love, Lies, and Fireflies on my list. Watch for a review!
Jan Elder is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling stories other women can relate to on a deep level. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, introducing the reader to a loving and forgiving Lord who walks beside us in our daily lives, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.
Happily married for thirteen years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a chubby black and white tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a willowy tortoiseshell cat). On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.
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