Gail Kittleson: On Choosing Hope


Everyone’s Story welcomes author Gail Kittleson. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Gail the past few years through blogging–hers and mine! It’s a delight for me that Gail is my guest this week, and I hope you agree. Please check out Gail’s special feature on why one should remain hopeful, as well as check her lovely BookGiveaway offer of her newest release. Both Gail and I look forward to hearing from you.

Plus, please check out news on the fabulous Christian Fiction Readers Retreat at the bottom of this post.




In times like these cover


Gail is offering 1 Kindle version of In Times Like These,  to 1 randomly chosen commenter, so please do leave a comment. The winner will be announced here on Friday, June 10th between 5-6 PM EST.

** Please note regarding BookGiveaways: emails within comments are no longer required. However, if I have a question regarding yours I’ll leave a comment for you to forward it in order for you to chance winning.


Always Bear in Mind by Gail Kittleson

Quotes keep me going. The ones on my morning tea bags usually offer some tidbit of encouragement, which I rarely fail to need. We have access to a steady, cheering voice on our journey—right inside us—but sometimes old voices drown out the divine reassurance forever emanating to us.

Those voices drag us down, remind us of our failures, our smallness, our sometimes petty choices. It’s one thing to know nobody’s perfect in our heads, but try to tell that to your heart on one of your downcast days.

The poets of old referred to this state as melancholy, and there’s actually much to be said for the wonderful art it motivates. So many artists, poets, and authors know well the depths of depression. Writing, sort of a “loner” activity, can isolate us, and we need a wellspring of hope to turn to on gloomy days when it seems we’ll never be published, never get a break, yada, yada.

Well, I’m going to share one quote that has swept me up from the morass of despair more than once. On November 5, 1855, he responded to a letter from Isham Reavis, who had requested to be able to “read” with Lincoln to become a lawyer.

Lincoln wrote:

If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is more than half done already. It is but a small matter whether you read with any body or not. I did not read with any one. Get the books, and read and study them till you understand them in their principal features; and that is the main thing. It is of no consequence to be in a large town while you are reading. I read at New-Salem, which never had three hundred people living in it. The books, and your capacity for understanding them, are just the same in all places. Mr. Dummer is a very clever man and an excellent lawyer (much better than I, in law-learning); and I have no doubt he will cheerfully tell you what books to read, and also loan you the books.

 Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.

Very truly Your friend, 
A. Lincoln

His final statement particularly inspires me to keep on keeping on with my writing. Sometimes my late start gets me down, but why waste another day lamenting that? Sometimes all the changes in the publishing world, especially promises made that weren’t kept, discourage me.

But didn’t I learn through it all? Didn’t the rejections stir me to research more, read more, and hone my skills?

I have to say yes, even though at times the temptation to quit loomed in the shadows. But quotes helped me then, too. Always Bible verses, but little sayings, as well, all along the way.

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”

Ooh, don’t you love that one? Anything is possible.

I kept believing that about my most recent women’s fiction release. About three years ago, an agent suggested I toss all I’d written so far and start over. What a blow to my writerly gut! She also made great suggestions for ways to improve, and grateful for the time she took with me, I followed them.

If I’d thrown that women’s fiction out, I’d have had to part with a wonderful World War II heroine and her story. That would have been such a waste.

I couldn’t do it, and am so glad I didn’t. Hearing readers say how much they relate to Addie’s home front struggles with her controlling husband does it for me. As A. Lincoln counseled, that resolution to succeed proved vital.

Gail’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Everyone’s Story: Visit with #WomensFiction author @GailGKittleson on choosing #hope. (Tweet This)

Author @GailGKittleson: Shares powerful words from a “surprise” powerhouse on secret to success. (Tweet This)

Win #BookGiveaway of historical #WomensFiction by @GailGKittleson. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Gail taught college expository writing and ESL. Now she focuses on writing women’s fiction, facilitating writing workshops and women’s retreats and doing first edits for other authors. She and her husband enjoy family in northern Iowa, and the Arizona Ponderosa forest in winter.

WhiteFire Publishing released Gail’s memoir, Catching Up With Daylight, in 2013, and her debut women’s historical fiction, In This Together (Wild Rose Press/Vintage Imprint) released in 2015. She also contributed to the Little Cab Press 2015 Christmas Anthology. The first novel in her World War II series has released, and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas will release a sequel in February, 2017.

You can count on Gail’s heroines to make do with what life hands them, and to overcome great odds. Meeting new reading and writing friends is the meringue on Gail’s pie, as her heroines would say.

Places to connect with Gail:






Please visit with me on Jodi Wolfe’s blog,

History, Hope, Laughter, and Happily-ever-after

on June 8th


I’ll be at this amazing event that unites readers and authors. Will you be there? Let me know!

Come join us at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat One Day Event (CFRR) in Nashville, TN this summer! Our event theme is “Honoring God through Christian Fiction.”  Enjoy speaker sessions, author panels, breakout sessions, prayer & worship and author signings with your favorite Christian fiction authors! With 30+ authors, food, swag (including free books), games and TONS of giveaways, you don’t want to miss this event!

When is it, you ask?

August 24, 2016
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

For more information, including schedule, authors list, registration info and other logistical questions, check out our website HERE, or click on the image above.  Registration is now open! Late registration begins on June 16th. Once capacity is reached, registration will close. So hurry up and register!

Standard Registration Fee: $98
Late Registration Fee: $120

To go ahead and register, just go right HERE.

AND for the first giveaway at the event, all those registered can enter for the chance to win a BOX of Christian Fiction from the stewards of the event.  Just click on the image below to enter. (Link also available on our website).

We hope to see you there!

Gail and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. 

Click “Comments.”


27 comments to Gail Kittleson: On Choosing Hope

  • Ann Ellison

    Enjoyed the interview with Gail. I have had the chance to read In Times Like These and loved it. So since I have read it, please do not include me in the drawing.

    • elaineadmin

      Ann, thanks for visiting! The cover alone of In Times Like These makes me want to read this novel!

      Great seeing you, my friend.

  • Kendra

    Thanks for the Opp, would love to read 💗

  • Elaine, thanks so much for hosting me. This article was especially fun to write, since it deals w/one of my favorite things. I was so pleased with the book cover, too.

    Ann and Kendra, thanks for stopping in. I hope no flooding is befalling any of you right now.

  • I love this encouraging post! And the meme is beautiful. I wrote for 32 years before my first book was published, so I know a little about not giving up. I keep asking myself, what if I had given up at year 30? Everything Gail said is true, especially Once you choose hope, anything is possible. Love the cover of In Times Like These!

    • elaineadmin

      Pat, thanks for the kind words on the meme!

      Your road to publishing story has been a true inspiration for me through the years!!

  • Hi Gail:

    WWII books are dear to my heart. I was supposed to be born on D-Day but it was a false alarm and they sent my mother home. A week later I was born on Flag Day. I think I like Flag Day better. 🙂

    From the time I could read, I’ve read WWII books. Mostly paperback histories. Back then the drug stores always had displays of the new Penguin, Signet, and Ballentine war books. My father would buy me any book that I promised to read. I read them all. Some submarine books I read more than once.

    Just yesterday I bought “The Summer before the War”. My favorite Carolyn Hart book is “Letter from Home”. I read it again every few years.

    I’ve been in the military and to London several times. I’m looking forward to reading your book. The “War Brides” is also on my TBR list.

    Some quotes I like:

    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

    “Showing up is 80 percent of life.” Woody allen

    “To win the race, you have to finish the race.” NASCAR saying.

    Good luck with your new release.


    • elaineadmin

      Hi, Vince. Ah, we share an interest in WW II books. For me, specifically, I really enjoy fiction set in that era. One of the best, moving novels (although there are several recent excellent ones, both in the CBA and ABA market) I’ve read when it first came out a year or so ago is Kristin Hannah’s THE NIGHTINGALE, which is still on the NYTBSL. Amazing! What I believe rivets the reader is the fascination of how evil comes to power and holds control over others and whether people are willing, and how, to stand up against this evil. Good vs. evil, in short. And yes, it’s time for an Elaine Stock commercial (well, it is my blog 😉): this is the central theme in my debut novel ALWAYS WITH YOU, with a slight pointed chin gesture to WW II. Okay, end of commercial.

  • Patricia, thanks for sharing a little of your story. THIRTY YEARS…wow. So glad you kept at it! What motivated you?

  • Those quotes are great, Vince. We’re a military family, and you may be interested in my father-in-law’s story – he was one of the two young Alamo Scouts that led the Rangers in to rescue the Bataan prisoners. Gives me shivers just to write that.

    Flag Day, eh? Congrats! My husband was born on July fourth, and is a veteran, too.

    WWII is SO fascinating, I can’t pinpoint why moreso than any other period for me, but the stories just never end.

    Good to chat with you. And Elaine, what a great commercial break you created . . . lol. I must put Nightengale and your book on my pile – that ever-growing pile! Happy Saturday, everyone.

    • elaineadmin

      Sorry, Gail, I couldn’t resist the commercial break 😏 And, imo, one’s TBR mountain can never be too tall! Let me know what you think of Hannah’s novel (and mine).

  • OOPS, misspelled Nightingale.

  • Laura Conner Kestner

    Thank you for such an interesting and inspiring post. I’m unpublished in fiction at this point (former features and news writer for small town publications) but I’ve finished one contemporary romance (inspirational) and have two more in the works, as well as one historical. At times this journey is a daunting one, but I’m not giving up. Prayer, hope and encouragement from those who’ve gone through this before are the things that keep me going. Thank you again.

    • elaineadmin

      Laura, thanks so much for your visit today. And welcome to Everyone’s Story! I’m so glad Gail’s feature, and the other viewers, encouraged you in your writing journey. I’m also one who has written “forever” before publication became a blessed reality this past January. Pray for His guidance. Believe in yourself. Keep striving to improve your writing. Your dreams and desires WILL happen.

      Hope to see you again.

  • Stephanie

    Loved the Lincoln quote. Inspiring indeed!

    • elaineadmin

      Welcome, Stephanie, to Everyone’s Story. I’m happy that you’re enjoyed Gail’s post! Do come back for another visit.

  • Laura, thanks for reading this today. I’m glad you’ve decided to plunge ahead no matter what! That’s the kind of attitude this vocation takes, b/c it can seem so isolated, and devoid of outward encouragement at times. Please feel free to contact me if you ever need a listening ear – I have certainly needed that more than once!!

  • Stephanie, Abraham Lincoln surely had a way with words, but I think this might be my favorite quote of his.

    And Elaine, I just noticed you asked how much input I had on the cover. A lot, so it was really fun. The artist actually used a photo my husband took for starters (the Iowa cornfield), so it was exciting to see her add the barn, the letter overlay, and the heroine. I really respect great graphic artists! If anyone wants to know the name of this artist, contact me by e-mail:

  • Marilyn R

    What a great blog post about hope and never giving up because we have hope. Nothing is impossible as God’s Word tells us when our hope is in Him. I appreciate authors not giving up on writing. I’ve connected with several debut authors through Everyone’s Story. In Times Like These is going on my TBR pile (which keeps growing). I noticed several mentioned about WWII genre books. I recently read Terri Wangard’s latest release “No Neutral Ground” in her Promise for Tomorrow series that is during WWII. The first book is “Friends & Enemies” and book threee “Soar Like Eagles” releases in September. Everyone keep hope alive as nothing is impossible! Thank you authors for great inspirational and intriguing books to read. Elaine, thank you for introducing new authors to your readers. God bless.

    • elaineadmin

      Marilyn, it thrills me to know how Everyone’s Story helps readers, let alone any inspiration it may also provide. I’m glad you found Gail’s feature uplifting.

  • Marilyn, I’m very grateful to Elaine, too, for this exposure, and excited that you’re so interested in WWII stories. They’re incredible–this generation, fast passing from our midst, certainly LIVED LIFE – in some ways the war forced them to, of course, but they also made “carpe diem” decisions and plunged in.

    It’s readers like you who make all our work worthwhile – thanks for the encouragement.

    and Kendra, I’m sorry I missed your note yesterday. Just noticed it, and thank you for stopping in.

  • elaineadmin

    It’s been a delightful week on Everyone’s Story and I thank my guest, Gail Kittleson, for making it so! Gail, it was a pleasure to host you and I hope you’ll be back… and with lots more book titles and words of wisdom to share with us.

    Thanks too for the lovely BookGiveaway of IN TIMES LIKE THESE. And the winner of Gail’s novel is…

    Kendra. Yay, Kendra 👍 Happy reading! Both Gail and I will contact you shortly in direct email.

    Blessing to all.

  • Congrats, Kendra, and thank you SO much, Elaine. You’re a spectacular hostess!

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