I am delighted to welcome Christine Johnson to The Power of Words today! Christine is a new author to me and her first book in the Keys of Promise series, Love’s Rescue, is a delight. Key West in the 1850s provides an intriguing and unusual backdrop for a story featuring adventure on the seas, strong family dynamics, and star-crossed lovers. (Please click on the title, Love's Rescue, to see my review.)
Christine is graciously sharing a copy of Love’s Rescue with one of you and the giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian addresses (details at the end of this interview). Now please welcome Christine as she shares a little about herself and her writing.
Q. Please share a little about yourself, Christine.
First of all, I’m delighted to join you here today. Thank you for inviting me!
I have always loved the water. I grew up looking west across Lake Michigan, seeing the storms approach on the horizon. I now live on Lake Huron part of the year and in the Florida Keys during those months when Michigan lakes are frozen. My husband is a ship pilot, which means he gets on board foreign-flagged ships and directs them safely through his district in the Great Lakes.
When he worked as a mate aboard a laker (an American ship that stays in the Great Lakes), I made a few trips with him. It’s interesting but definitely not a cruise! He and the rest of the men were busy doing their jobs. I was expected to stay out of the way and entertain myself. Much reading and sewing got done during those trips.
Q. When it comes to ministry, what is your passion?
Definitely women’s Bible study. It’s so important to get in the Word. It’s our guide through this life, our consolation and our encouragement. Studies help develop consistent time with the Lord, something we all need. Studying the Word with my sisters in Christ is a great joy and blessing.
Q. I understand that you split your time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys. What are your favorite ways to enjoy the beauty of God's creation in each place?
I kayak and bicycle in both places, but I hike mainly in the north. The heat in south Florida can make hiking a bit too taxing. Even when I can’t get outdoors, the songbirds delight me as they hop around in the little wooded area just outside my study window in Michigan. In Florida, I love to look into the ocean at the enormous variety of sea creatures. Sunrise and sunset are spectacular in both locations.
Q. Please tell us a little about the book we're featuring today, Love's Rescue.
After four years away in Charleston, Elizabeth Benjamin is returning to her beloved Key West after her mother’s passing. Driven by guilt that she never lived up to her mother’s expectations, she intends to reform her tomboy ways and take over as mistress of the house. That plan hits the rocks when her ship runs aground on the reef and her rescuer is none other than the man her father despises—and the one her heart can’t forget.
Q. Where did the idea for this book or series originate?
I have long wanted to write a book about the wreckers that operated from Key West back in the 1800s. That industry was a huge part of the area’s history. I tossed around a variety of ideas for years before settling on Rourke and Elizabeth’s story. Creating an honorable wrecker in the midst of a profession that often drew villains was great fun!
Q. What is there about Rourke and Elizabeth that will draw readers to them?
Wrecking followed on the heels of piracy in the Keys, and thus drew many of the same types of men. Rourke insists on a strict moral code aboard ship, based on Biblical principles. He takes men into his crew who are discarded or dismissed by society. He will do what is right, even if it goes against the desires of his heart.
Elizabeth is a feisty woman who hasn’t quite shaken her tomboy childhood. Though she now dons beautiful gowns and the required number of petticoats, she would rather run barefoot through the sand. There’s a bit of that desire for freedom inside all of us.
Q. What faith elements did you weave into this story?
Forgiveness—especially when those closest to us wound us deeply—is the deepest thread. Some characters extend mercy and grace, some struggle to forgive (as do many of us!), and some desperately need forgiveness. When I think on all that Jesus endured for my sake, I’m brought to my knees in gratitude.
Q. What’s on the book horizon for you?
I’m currently in the midst of the second book in the series, Honor Redeemed, and am looking forward to the third book. I’m also beginning a 4-book mail-order bride series with Love Inspired Historical. It’s going to be a busy year or so!
Q: How can we support and/or pray for you, Christine?
Prayers are always welcome. I covet prayers that the Lord will put these stories in the hands of those who need a word or encouragement. Also pray for the Good News to reach into the deepest dark places on this earth.
Thank you for visiting with me today. May the Lord’s light shine upon each one of you.
Carole: Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today, Christine. And I think all of us avid readers are excited about the books you will be working on over the next year or two. Please come back and visit us again.
You can also connect with Christine online at www.christineelizabethjohnson.com, Facebook, and Twitter
To enter the drawing for Love’s Rescue . . .
1) If you're on Facebook, please go to http://on.fb.me/1XghPYa and share about this giveaway ("likes" to my FB page are not required, but very much appreciated).
2) I asked Christine something that I don’t believe I’ve ever asked any of you, so please answer this question or leave a comment for Christine:
When it comes to ministry, what is your passion?
BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Monday, October 26. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by e-mail.
Eligibility: US and Canadian addresses