Today I am pleased to welcome Historical Romance writer Michelle De Bruin, to Interviews & Reviews.
Michelle is a worship leader and spiritual services provider. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two teenage sons. A romantic at heart, Michelle is always looking for glimpses of God’s love through the window of a good story.
Today she is going to talk to us about her latest book Hope for Tomorrow and she is giving away a print copy to one lucky winner!
Michelle, welcome to Interviews & Reviews! Let's get right to it! Your book deals with something we all experience at some point in our lives. What message do you hope readers will grasp?
My book has a message about grief that I hope the reader catches. The characters in the book have all lost someone close to them, and each character has a different response. As the story unfolds, the better responses to grief become clearer. It is my prayer that as the reader experiences the story and becomes acquainted with the characters, she will find reassurance in how she has discovered healing from grief, or if a reader is dealing with a difficult loss, she might find answers and examples of a healthy response to grief and loss.
And what is a healthy response to grief and loss?
Great question! A healthy response to grief and loss requires courage. The grieving person must have the courage to feel their pain. Some try to deny it. Others try to repress it. Still others, like one of the characters in my book, project their hurt onto others. When a person is willing to feel the pain, they start to heal. A healthy response to grief allows time to journey through the stages of grief which includes shock, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages don't occur in any order, but eventually a state of finding and accepting a new "normal" arrives. The grieving person must also take care to maintain relationships as much as possible, and then to stay engaged in living through giving to others and finding groups or activities to get involved in that gives their life meaning.
Wise advice! Do you have a favourite Scripture verse?
Psalm 103 is my favorite. It is the best description of God's character. This psalm reminds us of God's compassion, his grace, his love, and his patience. It also calls us to praise him and to worship him.
How were you saved?
I grew up in a Christian family and in a church that did a wonderful job proclaiming the gospel. When I was a junior in high school, one of my grandmothers died after struggling with a liver disease, and a classmate died from an illness. These two deaths happening so close together helped me make the decision to give my life to Christ. His inhabitation of my heart also brought with it a call on my life to go into ministry of some sort.
How very interesting that what were sad events, God used for good, not just resulting in you finding the Lord, but also using that grief and the lessons you learned from it, in Hope for Tomorrow. What do you do when you aren't writing?
When I'm not writing, I'm leading worship on Sunday mornings, doing the preparation during the week leading up to a Sunday service, engaged in pastoral care and teaching the Bible, and spending time with my husband and two teenage sons.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book, "Promise for Tomorrow," is due out in November of this year. It is a sequel to the story that began in "Hope for Tomorrow." It takes place in the small farming community of Silver Grove in the year 1910. Here is the synopsis:
Living a life of faith isn’t going the way Logan and Karen hoped until some special visitors arrive and offer them their future back.
Karen Millerson dreamed of teaching high school but now finds herself boarding with a farm family and teaching country school. She is engaged to marry Logan De Witt and is getting prepared to share in ministry with him. But when she gets blamed for the tragic fire at the school, Karen’s future grows uncertain.
Logan De Witt is working to clear his family’s name with the bank. But when he breaks his leg, hindering his ability to work the farm, Logan is faced with life-changing decisions. When his best friend can’t offer the help he requested, can Logan find a way to care for his family and court Karen before his love for her destroys all of them?
Intriguing! What authors have inspired you?
The authors that have inspired me are Laura Ingalls Wilder for her ability to draw from her family's heritage to give depth to her stories. Janette Oke for her ability to infuse spiritual truth into her stories, and Jan Karon because her main character, like mine, is a clergyman.
Thank you for visiting with us today, Michelle. If you want to contact Michelle you can reach her through her website at https://michelledebruin.com/. And be sure to following her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MichelleDAuthor.
And now dear readers, Michelle would like to gift one of you with a print copy of her book Hope for Tomorrow. I do apologize to all our readers, but this one will be for U.S. fans only. Fill out the form below to enter!
THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO KYM KUREY. YOU WILL HEAR FROM ME SOON!
When Logan De Witt learns of his father’s sudden death, he returns home to the family’s dairy farm. During his stay, he discovers his mother’s struggle with finances and his younger sister’s struggle with grief. Concern for his family presses Logan to make the difficult decision to leave his career as a pastor and stay on the farm. As a way to make some extra money, he agrees to board the teacher for their local school.
Karen Millerson arrives from Chicago ready to teach high school but her position is eliminated so she accepts the role of country school teacher. Eager to put her family’s ugly past behind her, Karen begins a new career to replace the trust she lost in her own father who had been in ministry when she was a child.
Logan and Karen both sense a call from the Lord to serve him, but neither of them expected that one day they would do it together.
Can Karen learn to trust again? Will Logan lay aside his grief in exchange for God’s purpose for his life?