When my husband and I were traveling through Michigan this past August, we were delighted to be able to get together with Kathy for some coffee. The two of us share a love for serving in Community Bible Study for many years, we have the same literary agent, and both write for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
Kathy was excited about the fall release of her latest book, Secrets and Wishes. Since I enjoyed her earlier book Rumors and Promises I’ve been looking forward to reading this one.
~ As I understand it, Secrets and Wishes has some of the same characters that appeared in Rumors and Promises. How did you decide to tell the story of a different character from your earlier work?
Maggie Galloway is Reverend Ian McCormick’s feisty widowed sister who keeps house for him in Rumors and Promises. She also kindly befriends Sophie Biddle despite the rumors about her. I enjoyed writing Maggie’s character and the way she teased her younger, taller brother by calling him “little brother.” I grew to really like her and decided she needed her own story.
~ Did you find this story easier to write given that you had some of the characters already “fleshed out”?
In some ways, yes. Writing about Maggie came more easily as I was already comfortable with her character and who she is. However, I introduced several new characters with Thomas Harper and his four children, as well as Giles Prescott, Maggie’s former beau from her hometown. While I had an idea of who they were it was interesting to see how they emerged and grew as I worked on these new characters too.
Here is the back-cover blurb:
Stone Creek, Michigan, April, 1901 Maggie Galloway and Thomas Harper clash after their sons collide in a fistfight. Both widowed, they’re each doing their best as single-parents. Outgoing Maggie has dreams for a home of her own and a business to provide for her son as she searches for God’s path for her life as a widow. Reserved Thomas struggles to establish his new pharmacy and take care of his four rambunctious children, while wondering how a loving God could take his beloved wife.
When Thomas becomes deathly ill, Maggie is recruited to nurse him back to health. Taking the children in hand, as well, is more than she bargained for, but she is drawn to help the grieving family. Both nurse and patient find themselves drawn to each other but promptly deny their feelings.
A baking contest sponsored by the Silver Leaf Flour Company brings former beau, Giles Prescott, back into Maggie’s life. When Giles offers Maggie a position at their test kitchen in Chicago, he hints that, along with assuring her a good job, it will allow them to possibly rekindle their relationship.
But then a charlatan comes to town, and tragedy soon follows. Maggie and Thomas discover the miracle potions he hawks aren’t so harmless when an epidemic hits Stone Creek. Thomas and Maggie realize they must work together to save lives.
Maggie finds herself caught up in battles within and without—the battle to help the townsfolk in the midst of illness and chicanery, and the battle to know which man—Thomas or Giles—deserves to win her heart.
~ What is the theme of the story or is there a spiritual truth you want to convey?
Maggie and Thomas, both in the midst of grieving, are trying to figure out how to be parents without the help of their deceased spouses and not expecting love to come into either of their lives. Yet, God has different plans for them than they expected, plans of healing and hope.
The theme verse at the front is: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22 (Authorized KJV)
There is also quite a bit of humor in this book, some of it stemming from the fact that Maggie and Thomas are opposites that attract. It also stems from some of the comical situations with their children. I hope my readers will find some healing humor in the story despite the serious situations.
~ Were there any particular challenges in writing the novel?
Finding certain medical procedures of the time since there seemed to be more than one way of doing things!
It also took me a while to find the full character arc for the hero, Thomas, but I prayed for wisdom and the Lord helped me work through it.
~ Can you tell us anything about a current work in process?
I’m working on a romance novella set in a lighthouse, Mackinac Point lighthouse to be precise. This will be part of Barbour’s Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection, releasing next year. I hope to work on a third Stone Creek novel soon as well.
Contract News Alert! Congratulations Kathy Rouser.
She just signed a contract for the novella to be part of Barbour’s Great Lakes Lighthouses Brides Collection, coming out next year!
~ How can readers find your books?
Readers can connect with me on the web at:
My website: http://kathleenrouser.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/
Kathy is offering a giveaway for one USA commenter only. Winner chosen Nov. 1, 2017, may choose either a print copy or a Kindle version copy.
Thanks so much for being my guest, Kathy.
Thank you for having me, Janet! It’s been a pleasure.