At the moment, my head is swimming with conflicting story lines, characters, facts, and dates. It isn't enough that I have to make sense of 2011. I also have to keep things straight for 1864, 1897, and 1934.
As I reported here a couple of weeks ago, I finished the revisions on Belonging (Sept 2011), the first book in my new Zondervan series, Where The Heart Lives. This series follows the lives of three siblings who were "placed out" on what came to be known as the orphan trains. The two sisters and one brother found different homes in different places and now, as adults, they hope to find one another. Although I'm not still working on Belonging, I have been sent the story trailer my publisher has put together (not finished yet but I can hardly wait to share with all of you), which means my head is still in that story.
I am now back to work on another novel for Women of Faith Fiction. Heart of Gold is set in Idaho during the Civil War (1864). The Boise Basin gold rush produced more gold than either the California 49er or the Klondike gold rushes, although few people today are aware of that fact. And it is in one of these Idaho gold camps where my story is set, featuring a preacher's daughter from the South who longs to return to Virginia and a Wells Fargo agent who suddenly finds himself tied to a life he never planned to live. At present, I'm mulling over research on the Civil War and Wells Fargo and the Chinese in gold camps and Civil War era nursing and a host of other facts important to my story while at the same time revising the first half of the book before diving into writing the last half.
Finally, I am reading galleys of some old titles that are being reissued for ebooks by a new publisher. Right now I'm reading The Shepherd's Voice which is set during the Great Depression. This book won the RITA Award in 2001, and I confess it's kind of fun to read it again a decade after writing it. So I'm asking again, "What year is this?" (That might explain the distracted look on my face much of the time.)
On a totally different topic, I want to share about a couple of great books.
I have been a member of Audible.com for many years now. I always have an audio book going in my car, and if you pay for your credits a year in advance (a Gold membership), your books only cost you $12.46 each, plus you get a 30% discount on books you buy without using credits. If you're a fan of audio books, you know what a great deal that is. In the past (before Audible), I've paid more than $50 for an unabridged book, the only kind I want to listen to. However, if audio books aren't your thing, you might want to check out the print versions (which I'm linking to below).
Last week, I finished listening to Decision Points by George W. Bush. While I am not a political junkie, I found this a fascinating read and far better than many political biographies that are written in a linear style (which this is not). It was interesting to see and understand what was behind many of the decisions made in the life of Bush 43, including the one to quit drinking. This is a worthwhile read.
Now I'm listening to Between a Rock and a Grace Place by Carol Kent. Some of you may have heard Carol's story while attending a Women of Faith event. I read When I Lay My Isaac Down in 2005 as I was grieving a painful loss of my own. That book became a source of wisdom and hope for me, and I have recommended it to countless people over the past 5+ years. If you haven't read When I Lay My Isaac Down, do so immediately. This new book is inspirational as well. If you've felt or are currently feeling as if you are between a rock and a hard place, this book will steer you toward a grace place.
Okay, back to 1864. No, make that 1934. Or should it be 1897? Oh wait. I probably should pay some bills first. What year is this?