It’s a pleasure to welcome you back Norma Gail, upon the release Within Golden Bands. Please tell us something about yourself, Norma.
Thank you for hosting me, Janet! I’m excited to share my books with your readers.
I’m a former RN and homeschool/soccer mom who has made up stories since I was a child. My debut novel, Land of My Dreams, released in 2014. It took longer than I hoped for the sequel to come about for a lot of reasons but I’m excited to finally have a release date of May 19th. I also write weekly devotionals on my own website at www.NormaGail.org, and am a monthly contributor to the inspirational website, Inspire a Fire.
My husband and I live on the side of a mountain, at 7200 feet in elevation, outside Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s a peaceful place to enjoy the beauty of nature and a perfect setting for writing. We love taking long walks in our quiet neighborhood and enjoying the view from our patio, which stretches about 100 miles and allows us views of three different mountain ranges. Readers of Land of My Dreams will recognize the description of the view from Bonny’s New Mexico house.
My husband was already partially retired and working from home when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. That ended his part-time job, so he graciously stays busy while I write and work on book promotion. We enjoy heading out in our RV with my younger sister and her husband to Northern New Mexico. We took three big trips last year but this year’s travel plans are on hold until we see what direction the world is heading.
I remember that the inspiration for Land of my Dreams came when you and your husband visited Scotland for your thirtieth wedding anniversary.
Yes, our anniversary trip was the inspiration for my first book. The second we stepped off the plane in Scotland, I felt as if I had come home. I kept dreaming about a man wearing a kilt and playing bagpipes on a misty hillside surrounded by sheep. When I broke my foot and ended up in a wheelchair for 8 weeks, Bonny and Kieran’s story was born.
Please tell us about your new release Within Golden Bands.
Here is the back cover copy for Within Golden Bands:
Newly married Bonny MacDonell finds the transition from American college professor to Scottish sheep farmer’s wife more difficult than she expected. When her miracle pregnancy ends in a devastating miscarriage, she fears her husband’s reaction will hurt more than the loss of their child.
But Kieran never shows up at the hospital. When found, he is beaten and unconscious. The only memory of his attacker is the words, “Get off my land.” Reeling from the threat to her husband and the loss of their child, Bonny struggles to hold her marriage together. Are faith and love enough to hold their fledgling marriage together?
Within Golden Bands is a deeply personal story and one that will touch many readers in a meaningful way. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My husband and I have two grown children, both of whom are adopted. The topic of adoption plays a huge role in the plot of Within Golden Bands. The years of infertility doctors, and surgeries with no answers, left an indelible mark on us. This is a huge struggle for couples, no matter how long they have been married. We learned a lot about the faithfulness of God and the importance of being content as a couple and supportive of one another through that period of our lives. The couples we met chose many different ways of facing the decision of whether to pursue fertility treatments, adoption or remain childless. In our case, even though we discussed adoption before we married, my husband was ready first. The desire to be a mother is a difficult thing for any woman to surrender to God.
Our journey to parenthood took four years. We were married for eight years when we adopted our son. Our daughter came along 21 ½ months later. They have brought so much joy. It’s impossible to imagine life without them.
My favorite quote from the book is: “If we fail to accept what God sends with trusting hearts, we refuse His greatest blessings.”
God often teaches us something through our writing. What did you learn about life, faith, or yourself in the process of writing this story?
As I said earlier, Within Golden Bands was a long time coming. Both our extended and immediate families went through some ups and downs that required attention. God has a perfect time for each book. I received two rejections and went through many rewrites before I heard the story God intended me to write. Part of the problem was listening to what other people thought. You have to write the story God places in your heart for the pieces to come together.
The topic of abortion has come to the forefront in the political arena again, so a story about people who choose life fits our times very well. Most people need to be more educated about adoption. I also discovered that feelings I thought I had dealt with over 35 years ago were still buried deep inside. Though Bonny and Kieran’s story is not ours, her character voices many of the emotions I experienced back then.
Also, like the characters in the book, we went through a major threat to our livelihood at the time began our second adoption. Things were pretty scary for a while and caused us to lean on the Lord because we were faced with a situation that left us powerless.
Where can readers find Land of my Dreams?
Both books are available on Amazon
Land of My Dreams – https://www.amazon.com/Land-My-Dreams-Norma-Gail-ebook/dp/B01ENKEL02/
Within Golden Bands – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084TSQ432/
What are your social media sights?
You can follow me at:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNormaGail/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Norma_Gail
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/norma-gail-holtman-3b271a42/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/normagailth/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/normagailwrites/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7874459.Norma_Gail
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Norma-Gail/e/B00ILHXBAK/
Thank you so much, for being my guest, Norma.
It was my pleasure! Thank you for being there as a friend when my book was rejected and for sharing my love of all things Scottish!