Everyone’s Story extends a huge and warm welcome back to the lovely Kathleen Rouser. Several viewers may know Kathleen from her novella in Brave New Century and a Christmas short story collection that both she and I were published in (Christmas Treasures) but I want to introduce my very dear friend and awesome author this week to you as a debut novelist! Rumors and Promises releases on Tuesday, April 18th. Kathleen–I’m so thrilled for you! Viewers and friends, please check out Kathleen’s BookGiveaway and an inside look of what went into making this novel. Both Kathleen and I look forward to hearing from you.
**Bonus: check out Kathleen’s Facebook Party invitation, time and date below, before her Tweet This’s.
Kathleen is offering 1 printed copy of Rumors and Promises–US only or 1 Kindle version for outside of US. The winner will be announced here on Friday, April 22nd between 5-6 PM EST.
** Please note something new regarding BookGiveaways: to further protect your privacy, and since emails are appearing for “my eyes only” when the comments go into my moderation box, emails within comments are no longer required. However, if yours does NOT appear I will leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.
On Love and Sacrifice by Kathleen Rouser
Several things drew me to the time period in which Rumors and Promises is set. There are a few different time periods I’m intrigued by, but the Edwardian and Gilded ages around the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th have always drawn me. I loved reading the Anne of Green Gables book series and watching shows like Road to Avonlea and Christy years ago. It was an era of change, but the majority of people still held old-fashioned values. Women’s clothing was still elegant, but not as fancy as the Victorian age.
In 1900 our country was embarking on change, women began to have more of a voice and more modern conveniences and inventions were burgeoning onto the scene. I thought that it was a time I could more easily relate to than earlier eras. However, slip me into the Regency world of Jane Austen and I would probably enjoy that just as much.
Sophie Biddle’s story in Rumors and Promises really began as an attempt to convey a story like that of the woman at the well in chapter four of the Gospel of John. At the time editors weren’t interested in biblical fiction. But I was also constrained by the guidelines of Christian publishing. How could I have my protagonist be a woman of bad reputation while preserving her purity? The character of Sophia Bidershem, an heiress concealing her identity with a slightly different name and trying to pass off her toddler daughter as her sister was born. The out-of-wedlock-pregnancy had not come about by her volition, but she loves her child anyway, and does what she must to take care of her.
Then I thought about who had the most to lose in becoming involved in the life of these runaway girls, just as the disciples became shocked Jesus would associate with the Samaritan woman. Pastor Ian McCormick would have much to lose if his reputation was besmirched by friendship with a “fallen woman.” Of course that’s where the similarities end. Jesus is sinless while Ian is a flawed man trying to start over with a new congregation because of past failings.
What begins as ministry to a poor girl and her little sister turns into a deeper relationship than either of Sophie or Ian bargained for. Doubts about little Caira being her sister cause tongues to wag in Stone Creek and they are eventually faced with a dilemma about whether or not to confess the truth. Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman compassionately, but He also helped her face the truth of her sin, so that He could become living water to her.
Rumors and Promises is a story close to my heart in that it shows a mother’s love and sacrifice. I also hope it exemplifies the power of God to make blessings out of the difficult things in life along with His ability to heal and renew.
Sophie sacrificed for Caira at the cost of her reputation, in a time when a woman’s reputation meant everything. Sophie knew it wasn’t her child’s fault she’d been sexually assaulted and loved her daughter despite the circumstances in which she was conceived. Ian has a lesson to learn about whether or not to put his own reputation above the welfare of others. They both have an opportunity to make choices that will move them forward rather than keep them bound to the past. And know they must ask God for help to accomplish this transformation. We are all faced with these kinds of choices, even today. Our situations may be completely different, but we can stay chained to the past or move forward with the Lord’s help.
My novel’s original title was “Before the Promised Land” and my theme verse is: I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Exodus 20:2, KJV)
If it’s sin you’re bound to, then He has the power to free you. If you have deep hurts or grief, Jesus wants you to trust Him for the future and bring healing into your life. Even when we are forever changed by circumstances, He can use them for good. I’m counting on that!
Today’s single mother could also, I hope, relate to Rumors and Promises. While society often will tell young people that children are a burden, or that they are a blob of tissue while they’re growing in the womb, the reality is that they are a gift, created in God’s image. Children not planned by us are still part of God’s ultimate plan. They can help us grow into more responsible, mature, and less selfish people. Those are all good things. My oldest son was completely unplanned and I married his dad while expecting him. It was through this time of soul searching that I accepted Christ as my Savior. My son wasn’t only my pride and joy but the reason I came to know the Lord and my life was changed forever. He was and will always be an incredible blessing to me.
Thank you, Elaine, for hosting me on “Everyone’s Story.” I hope your readers enjoy this feature and will be blessed when they read Rumors and Promises.
Past Visits with Kathleen Rouser:
***Kathleen is having a Facebook Party and you’re all invited: Monday, April 18th 4 PM-6 PM, just click here.
Kathleen’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Everyone’s Story: Celebrate w/ debut novelist @KathleenRouser #BookGiveaway of Rumors and Promises. (Tweet This)
Like #HistoricalFiction? See why @KathleenRouser set Rumors and Promises in the early 1900s. (Tweet This)
@KathleenRouser: On love & sacrifice in #Historical novel Rumors and Promises. (Tweet This)
Kathleen Rouser has loved making up stories since she was a little girl. Her debut novella, “The Pocket Watch,” is part of Brave New Century, a Christian historical romance anthology, published in 2013 by Prism Book Group (Inspired Romance). Her short story, “Special Assignment” was part of the Amazon bestseller, Christmas Treasures. Kathleen has also been published in Homeschool Digest, An Encouraging Word, and Happy Sis magazines. She contributes regularly to Novel PASTimes, a blog devoted to promoting mainly Christian historical fiction and to the Heroes, Heroines, and History blog. She is a long time member in good standing of ACFW and a former board member of its Great Lakes Chapter.
Previously a home-school mom of three, she has more recently been a college student and then a mild-mannered dental assistant for a time. Along with her sassy tail-less cat, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of 34 years, who not only listens to her stories, but also cooks for her.
Places to connect with Kathleen: