Norma Gail: When Dreams Do Happen

Norma Gail - AuthorEveryone’s Story welcomes author Norma Gail this week. If you’re new to this blog you’ll see that my continual theme is uplifting each other up in spirit, whether you’re a reader, a writer, and all those in-between. The power of story throughout history has inspired many to either forge ahead despite obstacles, to try something new, and certainly to reach out to others. At best, storytelling is a simple means of illustrating a valuable and necessary lesson, one in which the Great Author chose as His instrument. That’s why I’m glad to host Norma this week: within her novel, Land Of My Dreams, as well as within her words below, Norma shares the power of story in making dreams become a reality. Both Norma and I would enjoy hearing from you to learn of your dreams and whether a particular story was behind the inspiration for you.

Also, do check out Norma’s BookGiveaway and her excerpt.

BookGiveaway:

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Norma is offering 1 signed copy of her novel Land Of My Dreams to 1 randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, January 22nd between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment (you may choose to use the Contact form on the Contact Page to privately send me your email address).

Here’s an excerpt from Norma’s novel:

 

Excerpt from chapter three of Land of My Dreams by Norma Gail:

 

Driving toward their hotel, they saw Kieran ambling down the street, carrying a duffle bag and bundled in sweats. Janet pulled over. “Co-ghàirdeachas, old friend. You outdid your young competitors again.”

“Aye, it’s more difficult every year, though.” The hair curling in damp ringlets around his face fit better with the tender side Janet portrayed in telling about his wife and infant son than with the brute strength he exhibited in competition. Bonny wondered how it would feel to run her fingers through those curls. Get ahold of yourself, girl. You don’t even know the man.

“Do you want a ride to your car?” Janet asked.

“Thanks, but I’m parked ‘round the corner.” He pointed a short distance ahead. “I’m driving to Beauly to visit my parents.”

Janet grasped the hand he held out. “Tell them hello. I thought Brennan Grant looked like he might carry on the grand tradition of champions from Fort William. He’s a tough competitor.”

Kieran shook his head. “Brennan’s a nice lad, but he’ll never replace me as the greatest champion ever to come out of Lochaber.”

“That seems a bit presumptuous. Janet said it’s only his first year in competition.” Bonny hadn’t intended to say it out loud. His high opinion of himself sounded just like Adam. Did a big ego always have to accompany the good looks and athleticism she found attractive?

Janet turned and glared at her with narrowed eyes. “I’ve been explaining the games to Bonny all day.”

“Dr. Bryant.” He bent to peer farther into the car. “I wasn’t aware you were an expert on our Highland Games.”

“I’m not, but it seems you would be glad to see a young competitor from your part of the country following in your footsteps.” Bonny felt the heat rising to her cheeks.

“Just because he’ll never best me doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s a decent competitor. I just don’t see the same fire in his belly I had at his age.”

“You have to admit he did himself proud with the caber today.” Janet spoke up to Bonny’s relief.

“Aye, he’s passable. He doesn’t have the stomach for hard work, though. He’s been working on the farm part-time. I should know.” Looking right at Bonny, Kieran grinned, apparently enjoying their little tete-à-tete.

“You seem to have a very high opinion of your own accomplishments, Dr. MacDonell.” Just like Adam. Well, she needn’t waste any more time dwelling on him, no matter how much she was attracted by his physical attributes. Never again would she allow what met the eyes to blind her to the man inside.

With a loud boom of thunder, the sky opened up again. Kieran smiled, his gaze meeting Bonny’s. “It was nice talking with you, Dr. Bryant, Janet.” He paused, nodding at each one as he spoke. “I’d better head to the car before I’m drookit. Guid eenin.”

Janet rolled up the window and turned to Bonny before she headed up the street. “What was that about?”

Bonny shook her head. “He may be your friend and a great competitor, but I prefer a man with a less-exalted opinion of his abilities.”

“He’s not like that at all, Bonny. He’s sweet and humble, and he’s right.” Janet steered through the crowded street in the direction of their hotel. “Brennan isn’t the competitor Kieran was, but he’s the best Fort William has at the moment.”

“Have you known Kieran long? You two talk as if you were good friends.”

“Oh, aye, since we were children. He’s a dear friend. I sometimes think he’ll spend the rest of his life alone. He still grieves and only someone special will succeed in breaching the fortress he’s built. All the women envied what he and Bronwyn had. A love like that is worth waiting for.”

“I envy people who find their soul-mates, as if they’re two halves of the same person. I don’t believe a love like that is out there for me.” Bonny turned her face to the window, trying to control the emotions warring in her mind. Kieran was an attractive man, but she would just as soon not spend time around him after what she just heard.

“You came down kind of hard on him. I think you two would discover a lot in common if you ever got to know each other.”

“He reminds me of someone I prefer not to think about anymore. That’s all.”

Turning into the car park at the Deeside Hotel, Janet said, “I hope you don’t mind sharing a room. There aren’t a lot of hotels in these small towns.”

“Oh, no problem.” As long as I don’t have to listen to her talk about Kieran all evening. I got that out of my system.

Janet set her suitcase under the window, turned down the spread, and curled up on the pillows at the head of her bed. She crossed her arms and cocked her head to one side. “You mentioned there had been someone special once. Would I be prying if I asked what happened?”

Bonny busied herself straightening her suitcase. “In one year, my life changed much more than it did when I moved to Scotland. I can heal and grow stronger here, away from the reminders. Right now, I need some sleep.” She pulled her nightgown over her head. “I’ll tell you about it another time.”

Climbing into bed, she pulled up the blankets, feigning sleep. Images of the handsome Highlander kept playing in her mind. Until today, she had pictured him as a gentle giant of strong character and commitment, able to love someone other than himself, a man worthy of her respect. It was disappointing to discover he was no different than Adam.

The next morning, Bonny discovered a missed call on her phone. A cold lump settled in her stomach when she recognized Adam’s number. She deleted the voicemail without listening. He had showed no qualms about destroying her world. It was over.

 

 

When Life Throws Out a Good Surprise by Norma Gail

Life often takes me by surprise. Like a character hit with a plot twist, I seldom see what’s coming until it lands in front of me and says, “Now, what are you going to do with this?” I didn’t start out to write a book. Had I known where I was going, I would have paid more attention.

My family grumbles about my over-planning. Alone in a group of spur-of-the-moment, wow-that-would-be-fun enthusiasts, I alone have a goal. When it came to planning our thirtieth anniversary trip, I did my research. So much, in fact, that I began to dream about Scotland before we even left.

The image of a Highlander, the stereotypical ginger-haired, Highland Games hunk, with a kilt and bagpipes, remained in my mind, standing high on a misty hillside surrounded by sheep. I searched for him all through Scotland, from the moment we got off the plane. There are many kilted men playing bagpipes and the Highland Games are full of hunks, but no one brought all the traits of my Highlander together in one neat package. This particular Highlander insisted on popping up my mind at random moments for two years, but when the idea of a book crossed my mind, I wondered when I would ever have the time.

Two years later, a broken foot trapped me in a wheelchair for eight weeks. Piles of books were not enough to keep my busy brain occupied for that length of time. Soon, that Highlander began to whisper, “You could write a book. My story should be told.” At long last, I complied and Kieran MacDonell came to life.

Writing kept me occupied through weeks of forced solitude. When I resumed my busy schedule, working on my story became my relaxation in the evenings while my son and husband watched hours of “Ice-road Truckers” and “Swamp Loggers”. One day, I gathered the courage to admit that I was writing a book. If I was ever going to find out if I had the talent to convince a publisher my name should be on the spine of a book, the time had come. I wasn’t getting any younger.

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I fell in love with Scotland when I discovered an old family tree where my grandmother recorded that my paternal great grandmother came from Scotland. That hint never produced a single lead, but another branch of the family yielded gold in a titled, infamous member of Scottish nobility from the 1700’s. I lived and breathed Scotland in my mind for years as I worked on my story. Since Scotland was the land of my dreams, and a dream had sparked the book, it seemed a perfect title.

Four years and two writer’s conferences after I began to write my story down, I received a contract on Land of My Dreams. Writers struggle for years to find a publisher, but the Lord blessed me early, and long before I realized all that being published entailed. It’s harder work than I ever imagined it could be. The hours of editing, marketing and social media took me by surprise, but it is worth it when someone says they enjoyed my book. It’s even better when the spiritual truths speak to the heart of one of my readers.

My Scot met an American, Bonny Bryant, who fell in love with his country before she fell in love with him. My fascination with the land of my dreams has not faded, even ten years after our trip. I hope to return later this year and sit on the porch of a guesthouse on Loch Garry, gazing at the scene my characters brought to life, the site of a real home with sheep grazing in the yard.

If you have a dream, follow it. If you think you’re getting too old, ignore the mirror. My book came out six months before my sixtieth birthday. I know writers who began their careers in their 80’s. Take some classes, attend some writer’s conferences, visit the site of your dreams, and give it a shot. Perhaps a plot twist waits around the corner as it did for me, and your dreams will all come true.

Norma’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author @Norma_Gail: When Life Throws Out a Good Surprise! #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Everyone’s Story: @Norma_Gail wants to know if you think you’re too old to follow a dream? (Tweet This)

Win @Norma_Gail’s #BookGiveaway of LAND OF MY DREAMS. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, released in April 2014. She led women’s Bible studies for over 21 years. Her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 39 years. They have two adult children.

Places to connect with Norma:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

YouTube

Goodreads

Pinterest

Elaine Sightings:

PattiPorch

I’ll be on Patti Shene’s blog, Patti’e Porch, on Saturday January 16th. Hope you will visit!

Additional Fun and BookGiveaways from Elaine:

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In addition to Norma’s lovely Giveaway, you also have a chance to  enter the BookGiveaway I’m offering to win either 1 copy of my debut novel Always With You (upon its release) or Christmas Treasures. Just sign up for my NEWSLETTER/Mailing List found on the ABOUT ELAINE page–click on the MAILING LIST house icon on the top right-hand column. US entries will receive a printed copy.  Outside the US will receive a digital copy.

I’m so looking forward to this Giveaway!

I also hope that you will sign up to receive Everyone’s Story blog in your inbox. The SUBSCRIPTION BOX is on the top of this page on the right-hand column. Previous subscribers on the former Blogger blog have not automatically been transferred.

Norma and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. Click “Comments.”

 

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