Shannon here: Janalyn Voigt shares how her real life romance inspired her fiction, plus comment to win a handmade antique locket like the one America loses in the first scene of Hills of Nevermore and receive a free download of Hearts Reunited, a western historical fiction novella by award-winning author Miralee Ferrell, when you purchase Hills of Nevermore. Right now, it’s at the launch discount of 99¢, but don’t wait as this price won’t last long. Janalyn will reveal the winner for the locket. Here’s Janalyn:
What is Love Anyway?
During my single years, when a prospective love interest declared himself, I’d ask how he knew he loved me. That usually silenced my admirer.
What is love, anyway? Without an answer to that question, how can we know we feel it?
In my teen years I thought of love as physical attraction. Sure, chemistry is a primary ingredient in love, but it might have nothing at all to do with it. Not understanding that fact has led more than one person into trouble.
This is what happened to America, the heroine in my western historical romance novel, Hills of Nevermore. She mistook a man who drew her eye as someone worthy of her love, with disastrous consequences. America made the mistake of rushing into a relationship on the heels of an emotional upset. A woman is vulnerable at such a time, and it’s far too easy to seek solace in the wrong arms. But it ended badly.
Richard was a gentle farmer who wanted nothing better than to provide for America. This matched her need for rescue, and she accepted his proposal. If only Richard hadn’t left her as a widow about to give birth on an isolated homestead in the winter, she’d have remained under his protection all her life. Instead she buried him and departed with her tiny baby while the wildflowers of spring bloomed in the prairie.
America decides to give up on love and focus on making a better life for her baby. Enter Shane Hayes, the blue-eyed Irish circuit preacher bent on helping her survive in a rough mining camp. But there’s more at stake than her physical survival. America is ready to make the biggest mistake of her life by turning her back on God.
You see, she believes that God doesn’t love her.
America needs to understand, at gut level, that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and that “His compassions fail not” (Lamentations 3:22). I think like her sometimes, forgetting “that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” (Romans 8:38-9).
Once the depth of our Heavenly Father’s love for us sinks in, romantic love becomes easier to define. It isn’t physical attraction, taking care of someone, or even an emotion. Those things are threads in the fabric, but the love is something more.
While dating my husband, I asked him my old question. “How do you know you love me?”
“Because I choose to love you,” he answered without hesitation.
His response left me speechless.
About Janalyn: Janalyn Voigt’s lifelong love of storytelling began in childhood when she dreamed up her own bedtime stories. She grew into a precocious reader, a pastime she credits with teaching her to write. Janalyn trained formally with Christian Writers Guild. Today she is a multi-genre author and literary judge. Janalyn is represented by Wordserve Literary. Visit Janalyn Voigt’s Website.
About the book – Hills of Nevermore:
Can a young widow hide her secret shame from the Irish preacher bent on helping her survive? In an Idaho Territory boom town, America Liberty Reed overhears circuit preacher Shane Hayes try to persuade a hotel owner to close his saloon on Sunday. Shane lands face-down in the mud for his trouble, and there’s talk of shooting him. America intervenes and finds herself in an unexpectedly personal conversation with the blue-eyed preacher. Certain she has angered God in the past, she shies away from Shane. Addie Martin, another widow, invites America to help in her cook tent in Virginia City, the new mining town. Even with Addie’s teenage son helping with America’s baby, life is hard. Shane urges America to depart for a more civilized location. Neither Shane’s persuasions nor road agents, murder, sickness, or vigilante violence can sway America. Loyalty and ambition hold her fast until dire circumstances force her to confront everything she believes about herself, Shane, and God. Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America.
Hills of Nevermore Launch Special and Giveaways
Comment to win a handmade antique locket like the one America loses in the first scene of Hills of Nevermore and receive a free download of Hearts Reunited, a western historical fiction novella by award-winning author Miralee Ferrell, when you purchase Hills of Nevermore. Right now, it’s at the launch discount of 99¢, but don’t wait as this price won’t last long. Go here: http://janalynvoigt.com/hills-of-nevermore-launch.
Question for Readers: Name an incident that deepened your understanding of love.