Kathleen Friesen Speaks Up!

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Everyone’s Story welcomes Christian Fiction author Kathleen Friesen. Kathleen joins us for a special editon of Everyone’s Story: she’ll be featured for 2 weeks rather than the customary 1 week due to a “Blog Vacation” I’m taking until July 14th, though I’ll still be monitoring comments and posting them. So, as George Gershwin captured in his song “Summertime,” kick back and enjoy a little easy living with Kathleen as she shares about a season of resurrection, shares an excerpt from her current release, Redemption’s Whisper, and responds to a few questions. Plus, check out Kathleen’s BookGiveaway. We’re looking forward to chatting with you!

 

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BookGiveaway:

Kathleen is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  an ebook edition of Redemptions Whisper (US only and Canada only). The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on July 14th.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

 

 

 

Excerpt from Redemption’s Whisper: 

 REDEMPTION’S WHISPER by Kathleen Friesen

 

1

A gust of wind shook the narrow, sloped jet bridge as Hayley Blankenship dragged her carry-on toward the jumbo jet. Fear lodged in her throat, and her footsteps faltered.

People surged past. “Excuse me.”

She swallowed hard and lifted her trembling chin. Not now. She would not give in to fear today. “You are strong,” she whispered. The floor trembled. Hayley stumbled as the moveable passageway adjusted itself. She clutched the handle of her bag, inhaled sharply, and trudged on. Almost there. She stalled at the entrance to the airplane. Her nerves vibrated. The narrow opening seemed to close around her. The air felt too thick to breathe. Her shoulders curled forward, and her head lowered. This was a mistake. She wasn’t ready, not yet. She turned. A long line of passengers stood behind her. Could she push past all those staring faces? Her knees threatened to buckle.

The flight attendant reached out and touched Hayley’s arm, startling her. “Is there a problem, miss?”

Hayley shook her head and stiffened her resolve. She’d made the decision to go to Saskatoon. This might be her last chance. She inhaled through her nose and forced her shoulders back, her head up.

The flight attendant said something as she entered the plane, but it didn’t register.

Hayley had to concentrate. She glanced at the boarding pass in her hand. Seat 20A. The rear of the plane, out of sight of most of the other passengers. A window seat, so she could watch her past disappear. She walked by people already seated, avoiding their eyes, until she came to her assigned spot. Hayley shrugged out of her coat and stuffed it in the overhead compartment. She slid into her allotted place, stored her carry-on under the seat in front of her, and leaned against the window.

Various workers on the ground hurried to load luggage, refuel the plane, and do whatever else was needed to prepare for another flight.

As Hayley watched their purposeful strides, a twinge of envy twisted her lips. Self-pity and self-loathing reared their ugly heads. She closed her eyes in a futile attempt to block the terrible images racing through her mind. Give up. You’re not going to make it. You may as well take the pills—all of them. She shook her head as though that would dislodge the negative thoughts. She sensed someone settle into the aisle seat but didn’t bother looking. She didn’t want to talk to anyone. Casual conversation was pointless. If only she could curl into a ball and block out the world, at least for a while.

***

Trevor Hiebert ran down the empty passageway to the plane’s doorway. As he ran, he muttered a rant against Toronto traffic and cabbies who seemed more interested in conversing on their radios than getting him to Pearson International on time. He couldn’t afford to miss this flight.

If only he’d pre-booked a seat. Now he was stuck with a center spot, and he knew from experience how uncomfortable it would be. Maybe the plane would be nearly empty so he could have a row to himself. He ducked around the smiling flight attendant and groaned. So much for that wish. He dragged his wheeled carry-on down the aisle as he scanned the numbers above the rows. Finally he spotted it: 20B. He glanced at his row mates, a young woman leaning against the cabin wall with her eyes closed and an older woman who looked like a sweet grandmotherly type in the aisle seat.

“Excuse me, ma’am. I’m in 20B.”

The old woman looked beside her at the narrow seat and back up at him. Her attention settled on his broad shoulders, and her mouth compressed into a flat line. “Good luck.”

Trevor shifted his weight and pulled his leather bag closer. “Would you mind trading spots with me? Then I won’t have to climb over you.” And he’d have a little more breathing room.

“I certainly would mind. I want this seat.” She jutted her chin and glared at him. “You young punks are used to getting your way, but you won’t bully me.”

The attendant moved to the front of the cabin, ready to begin her safety speech.

Temper surged, but Trevor clamped a lid on it. The woman wasn’t worth the regret he’d feel later. He shrugged out of his well-worn leather jacket, lifted it and his bag into the overhead compartment, and tried to maneuver over the woman’s legs in the cramped space to his assigned spot. Her leg jolted against the back of his knee, and he lost his balance. He caught himself against the window so he wouldn’t land in the young woman’s lap.

The girl’s eyes snapped open as he turned to apologize. She gave a sharp intake of breath and tried to ease away, but Trevor’s power to move deserted him. Her mesmerizing green eyes widened as shock turned to fear.

“What are you doing?” Her shrill voice broke the spell.

“So sorry,” he mumbled. He pushed off from the window and plunked into his chair. “I tripped.” He looked sideways at the old woman, who smirked as she smoothed her pant legs.

It was going to be a long flight.

He glanced back at the young woman and wondered at his desire to see her face again. But she had turned away and sat huddled against the wall. Her sharp-angled shoulder blades and the back of her spiky auburn hair made an effective barrier. Kind of looked like a hedgehog. Trevor snorted. He was stuck between a prickly old grouch and a hedgehog. For three and a half hours.

***

Hayley pressed against the wall of the aircraft as chills raced through her limbs. Her legs trembled and her heart raced. She’d made it onto the plane. Would she fall apart now? That man had nearly landed on top of her. It happened so fast, she hadn’t had time to react. There was no room to move, anyway. But he’d caught himself—and apologized. She wasn’t hurt, just scared. Her breathing evened out. She’d survived worse. She silently repeated her psychiatrist’s prescribed refrain. I am OK. I am strong. The past is gone. The future is God’s. Over and over, until her body began to relax. Just like in Dr. Freemont’s office.

She’d heard the brief exchange between her seatmates. The man’s voice would have excited her in the past. She would have smiled at him and flirted with him. But that was the old Hayley. She was dead.

When she’d looked up and stared into his rugged face, all her senses had sharpened. He smelled like pine forest mixed with motor oil, a strangely tantalizing combination. His tanned skin indicated time spent outdoors. And his dark-lashed grey eyes, like a stormy Lake Ontario, invited her to sink into them. For one brief moment, she had the strangest sensation she could see her future in those eyes. And that terrified her.

 

 

The Season of Resurrection by Kathleen Friesen

 

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. (John 11:25)

Oh, how I love spring! As I write this (the last week of February), snow still covers the lawn and flower beds in our yard. No signs of life so far. But they’ll come—soon, I hope.

All four seasons have their charms, but spring is by far my favorite, when flowers, trees and shrubs proclaim the reality of resurrection. And I can’t wait. Every year, as soon as the snow melts, I check my flowerbeds daily, searching for the first green leaves. As daffodil spears and crinkled primrose leaves appear, I know winter is past, and new life has begun. That’s worth celebrating.

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When we lived on the Canadian prairies, the setting for Redemption’s Whisper, the bitterly cold and seemingly interminable winters were difficult for me. Depression threatened and sometimes overwhelmed. So I prayed as I cowered, struggling to breathe. And longed with all my heart for springtime.

When those first hints of pale green softened the stark branches on our willows and poplars, I felt as though I, too, was returning to life. I could breathe again.

That’s what I love the most about springtime—the visible reminder, year after year, that we are designed for resurrection. On those days when I huddled under quilts trying to get warm, I was like a seed buried in the ground, frozen and still, unable to “breathe.” But with the return of warm, sunny days, the seed and I could emerge and live exuberantly.

In Redemption’s Whisper, Hayley feels like that desolate seed. Choices and circumstances have brought her so low, she’s not sure she even wants to live again. But as in a seed, a tiny spark of life remains, eager to burst into bloom. Redemption’s Whisper is her story of resurrection, of Easter, a renewal of life and love.

As you will read in this story, Hayley learns to trust in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, his death and resurrection, to embrace the joy of His redemption. Her journey from death to life portrays the reality we are offered in Christ Jesus: abundant, eternal life. Now that’s something to celebrate!

Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15)

 

Fast Takes for Kathleen Friesen:

What’s one slice of life from your Canadian Prairie days you miss?

Being close to our children and grandchildren is what I miss the most. My husband and I travel back to Saskatchewan as often as possible to visit, but it’s not the same as being able to get together on a moment’s notice. I do miss that.

I also miss the fantastic beauty of the northern lights—a frequent occurrence on the prairies, bright sunshine on snow sparkling like diamonds, and the intense joy of the first greens of spring after a long, hard winter. Oh dear, now you’ve made me homesick for the prairies.

You’re an outdoor lover. If no danger threat were possible, what activity would you take up?

Ooh, this is hard. Danger is one thing; physical capability is a larger problem. If neither were an issue, I would love to take up horseback riding. The few times I tried it when younger, the horse ran away with me!

Who chooses who, your theme, plot, or character?

It depends on the story. For my first novel, Melody’s Song, the theme came first, then the characters. Nila’s Hope followed it, and Nila’s character drove the story and plot. For Redemption’s Whisper, Hayley and Trevor’s characters wrapped themselves in the theme.

Writing office or tucked on the sofa?

My favorite place to write in sitting on our comfy couch with my feet up, glancing outside at the gorgeous valley view to rest my eyes and inspire more creativity. But when I need to really buckle down, the basement office is my hideaway.

Always Christian fiction?

Always. Without Christ, there is no hope, no redemption, and no reason for me to write.

When did the writing bug bite?

I’ve scribbled poems and such for as long as I can remember, but until I took an online writing course (Christian Writers Guild), I didn’t believe anyone would want to read what I wrote (except my dear mother, of course). My mentor encouraged me to submit articles and stories, and when I opened a denominational magazine and saw my first published poem, I was hooked.

What’s next, writing wise?

I am working on the first book in what will hopefully be a four-book series. Hearts Unfolding is a story of pursuing dreams, based on Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Kennedy has to learn to yield her dreams to the One who knows her best and knows what is best for her.

Kathleen’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet Kathleen Friesen @KFriesenAuthor, writing stories of #faith overcoming trials and heartaches. (Tweet This)

Kathleen Friesen @KFriesenAuthor speaks up on Everyone’s Story: The Season of Resurrection. (Tweet This)

Enter Kathleen Friesen @KFriesenAuthor #BookGiveaway of Redemption’s Whisper. (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Kathleen Friesen writes contemporary stories of faith that overcomes tough trials and deep heartaches. Her desire is for her readers to see themselves in the characters of her stories, and to realize that Jesus Christ is the true hero.

Kathleen spent her childhood in the Pacific Northwest and, after marrying the man of her dreams, survived the first thirty years of married life on the Canadian prairies, where they raised three fantastic children. Now she and her patient husband, Ron, live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.

Places to connect with Kathleen:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Kathleen and I look forward to your comments.

~*~*~*~

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Please share with your friends: Have you signed up for my Author Newsletter? I’ve just added an easy sign up on the website’s Home page. I have news on my upcoming novella that newsletter subscribers will receive first, including information on an upcoming BookGiveaway only for them. Of course, I hope to have additional news… always hoping…

 

 

36 comments to Kathleen Friesen Speaks Up!

  • Another great interview, Elaine. Thanks for introducing us to Kathleen Friesen. You can invite her to our group forum. We can use more Christian authors posting their books there (if she’s not already a member – with almost 900 members, it’s hard to keep track unless they are always posting. LOL).

    Kathleen, we’d love to have you join us. I know Eileen is too busy to say much anymore, and we miss hearing from her, but love it when she gives us a shout out.

  • Ann Ellison

    Another author that is new to me, and her books sound like good ones. Enjoyed her interview.

  • Hi Kathleen, so glad to ‘see’ you here! Loved the excerpt and if you get the opportunity to ride a horse again, I hope you’ll try it. I loved riding as a kid and even into my thirties.

  • What a change from the Pacific Northwest to the Canadian prairie. I grew up in Alaska. The first time I passed through the Canadian prairie I missed the sense of protection of the towering mountains of Alaska. It does have a beauty all its own, though. British Columbia is more like Alaska. Would love to read your book, Redemption’s Whisper.

    • elaineadmin

      AnnaLee, you’ve reminded me of another friend who grew up in the Canadian prairies and then also moved to BC. She described the layout of the land just as you captured it, so out in the open. The winters there sound like a challenge, if anything, isolating. Perhaps it depends where one lives in the prairies.

      Thanks for visiting.

    • Hello, AnnaLee. That sense of vulnerability on the open prairie caught me off guard when I arrived there for Bible school. Felt like that mighty wind could blow me right off the land!
      Visiting Alaska has long been a dream of mine. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet there someday!
      I hope, too, that you get to read my books. 🙂

  • Thanks for hosting me, Elaine. Your questions were fun and thought-provoking, and your layout looks fantastic. Blessings to you.

    • elaineadmin

      Kathleen, I’m honored and excited to host you these couple of weeks. I’m glad you appreciate the feature’s looks… I try very hard to make it all look pleasant for each of my guest, as well as to please the viewer.

      Blessings right back to you, and to all my viewers.

  • elaineadmin

    So sorry everyone about the tardiness in posting any comments left last evening. A torrential storm passed through, downing many trees on wires. We lost power shortly after I launched Kathleen’s post, but blessedly gained it back at 11 PM. Please say some prayers… another round of potentially bad storms are slated for this afternoon into the evening.

  • Janet Estridge

    We have friends who live all across Canada. The country is beautiful and the people are so welcoming and friendly.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.

    • elaineadmin

      Janet, so glad for your visit. My husband and I have traveled to Nova Scotia (love that place!!) and as a child I visited Montreal, but I long to see BC.

    • Hi, Janet. I agree, Canada is a wonderful country! Thank you for entering the draw. 🙂
      Elaine, you really should visit BC. Its beauty will make you want to stay.

      • elaineadmin

        Kathleen, back in high school while I contemplated which colleges to apply to, I had looked into a couple in British Columbia but never applied. I used to daydream about attending in BC… meeting my future husband/getting a job in the area… and living there happily ever after. Instead I attended a small college in Connecticut for my freshman year then transferred to a state university in upstate NY and yep, met my future husband and have been here ever since. Well, we’re celebrating yet another anniversary this July 4th so I believe God wanted me here after all. However, visiting BC is definitely on my unofficial Bucket List.

  • Evangeline

    A new author to me, but I am intrigued by the excerpt from her book.

  • Marilyn R

    I always enjoy seeing the signs of new life in the spring too. A beautiful reminder of Jesus” resurrection and what the believers will experience one day.

    Redemption Whispers sounds awesome. Christian Fiction with hope, grace, mercy and love of God interwoven are the greatest books to read besides of the Bible.

  • Connie Saunders

    Kathleen, it was so nice to learn about your life and your work. I look forward to reading your books. Thank you Elaine for hosting Kathleen.

  • Carolyn L Matyjanka

    Already have both electronic and paper copies and loved this third, and apparently last, of the series!!! Favourite line: “The next time we kiss like that we’d better be married!!”. 😀

  • elaineadmin

    What a delightful way to wrap up a “Blog vacation” by thanking my lovely guest, Kathleen Friesen for helping to brighten up our spirits. Kathleen, it was great hosting you and I hope you’ll return as my guest. I also hope these past 2 weeks have blessed you with more readers and have encouraged you to move forward in your writing endeavors.

    Thanks too for your awesome BookGiveaway of Redemption’s Whisper. And the winner is…

    AnnaLee. Congratulations, AnnaLee. Both Kathleen and I will contact you in direct emails. Happy reading!

    Blessings to all.

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