FIVE QUESTIONS: Takes Cheryl St. John’s The Wedding Journey
(Giveaway ends May 12, 2012)
Congratulations! I will contact you soon. Now, let’s welcome Cheryl St. John to FIVE QUESTIONS!
Welcome to Five Questions, Cheryl! I am honored to have you on my blog since I have read so many of your books. We’re about to go on The Wedding Journey with you but first let’s give everyone a glimpse of the itinerary.
The mysterious inheritance is the answer to a prayer. Now Irish lass Maeve Murphy and her sisters can come to America! She’s sure happiness awaits her, even if it won’t—can’t—come from widowed ship doctor Flynn Gallagher. Yes, he made her his assistant, but she’s not foolish enough to fall for the man all the eligible, wealthy female passengers admire.
Flynn Gallagher may have his pick of ladies, but only one cares as he does for the sick and poor. Flynn vowed never to marry another woman who could break his heart. With Maeve, has his heart found safe harbor at last?
1. Will you give us a little hint about what happens the first time your hero and heroine meet?
Maeve and her sisters have made the decision to leave their homeland behind, in order to discover the secret of a mysterious inheritance in America, and are waiting to board the Annie McGee when a young boy in injured on the dock. Maeve comes to the lad’s aid and the ship’s doctor, Flynn Gallagher is called. He’s immediately impressed by her quick thinking and offers her a position as his assistant for the journey. Since the sisters were down to their last shilling, this meeting was a divine appointment.
2. Divine indeed. Your hero sounds fascinating! Which of his qualities is Maeve most drawn to?
Flynn is drawn to Maeve’s instinctive nursing abilities and a compassion he shares. Most puzzling and enticing however, is her complete trust and reliance on the Lord for every detail, concern and joy. Her faith draws him, even though he can’t admit it to himself.
3. What was it like to write a book set almost entirely on a ship? I imagine it presented unique challenges and opportunities.
You’re so right. Nearly an entire book set aboard a ship was a challenge. I was blessed to find an immigrant’s diary, which was essential in adding plenty of rich detail so the setting came alive for me. I strove to make the setting almost a character in itself, and then brought in an assortment of travelers and crew to flesh it out. Maeve is an outgoing, congenial person, and it was her nature to befriend others as the journey progressed. I never got bored with the telling of Maeve’s travels.
4. Is there a spiritual message you hope readers will find in this book?
My theme Scripture was I Peter 5:7, which encourages us to cast our cares upon the One Who cares for us. What I’d like readers to take away from Maeve’s story is that there’s nothing too big or too small for God to handle. He’s our Helper, our Provider and our High Tower, and like a loving parent, He is there for us, ready to step in at our first call. Just as Maeve relies on Him for strength and peace in the face of adversity, so can we call on Him and trust He is in control and making a way for us.
5. What a great message! This is the first book of three books in The Irish Brides series with each book being written by a different author. How did a series like this come about?
The Irish Brides mini-series is a continuity series, which means the concept was created by a staff of editors at Love Inspired Historical and then the authors were invited to participate. What Renee, Winnie and I received were brief outlines of the main characters and the thread of subplots, which would connect the three books. We then worked out our individual storylines and the thread concepts as a team, with Emily Rodmell’s guidance. Once the plots and characters were sound, we went to work on our stories, keeping in touch, so we kept the characters and plots cohesive. Renee and Winnie were a delight to work with. I hope we can do another series in the future.
That sounds both challenging and fun! Speaking of challenging and fun, here is your chance, Cheryl. Ask and answer your own question.
BONUS: What advice would you give to an aspiring Love Inspired Historical author?
Don’t let the naysayers get you down. There are always going to be those who think you should do things differently or those who bemoan the market and the difficulty of breaking in, but they’ve been saying that for as many years as I can remember and plenty of us proved them wrong. Believe in yourself.
Great advice, Cheryl! Thank you for stopping by! Before you go, let’s take a sneak peak at The Wedding Journey.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Now Maeve…there was a woman who’d be a good friend. But he didn’t think of her in that way. He thought of her differently. Reverently. Kindly. He thought of kissing her.
And if he was perfectly honest with himself, he wanted to think of being able to open up and love someone again. He just didn’t know how.
It had been a long time. He was rusty at praying.
But Maeve’s example inspired him. “Lord, I’m thankful You haven’t forgotten me, even though I’ve neglected You. I have to admit I spent a lot of time wondering where You were and why You didn’t care.”
He swallowed hard. “But You do care. It’s evidenced all around me. If You sent Maeve to shake me up and open my eyes to my self pity, then help me not resent that. Or her.
“If You sent her to point out my glaring flaws, then I thank You. I could use wisdom to make decisions and to let myself heal. I’d appreciate You showing me the changes I need to make and where to go from here.
“Sometimes I feel as though my future is as black and bottomless as this body of water. I can see into it no better than I can see the ocean’s floor.”
A cloud parted just enough to let a glimmer of moonlight reflect off the water’s surface. He studied the heavens. How many times had he crossed the Atlantic now? Six times? Maybe eight? And he’d never taken time to simply stand here and behold a night sky laden with stars. Tonight they were hidden, and he wondered about the irony.
He remembered the captain’s reading that day, and the scripture returned to him. “’O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’” Because of God’s mercy and redeeming grace, death was only cessation of life upon this earth. ‘Come unto me, ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’
That rest had to mean peace. Had to mean laying aside those things he’d carried like sacks of boulders until the burden crippled him. Quite plainly now he saw that he must release those he’d loved and lost in order to have any kind of peace in his heart. He wanted that rest.