Inspirational Stories of Love, Faith & Family Set in 19th Century America

Season of Hope by Carol James: The Story Behind the Story

I’m thrilled to welcome friend and fellow Pelican Book Group author, Carol James to Romancing History this week. Carol’s latest release, Season of Hope, takes place during the years immediately following the Veitnam War. Usually I read books set in World War 2 or earlier, so this is very unusual for me, but I’m very excited to see fiction set during this time period beginning to appear.

I haven’t finished Season of Hope so I cannot link you to my review at this time, but if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll see the link to my review within the next week. I can tell you that I am enjoying this well-written story of hope, faith, and second chances very much.

Season of Hope is available now in Ebook format but soft cover is available for pre-order and will be delivered September 1, 2020. Links for purchase are available below.

Carol has also offered a giveaway so make sure you enter the drawing at the bottom of the post.


Before Carol shares “The Story Behind the Story,” Here’s a little bit about Season of Hope

About the Book

 

Hope Stockton’s life is dead, frozen in a winter of guilt, deceit, and fear. When handsome young pastor, Josh Lewis, comes to serve in her church, she wonders if she can trust him with her past. Will he be able to help her answer the questions that have been buried in her heart for years? Or will his own secrets drive them apart and prevent him from helping Hope find her spring of forgiveness?

Set in small town Texas in the years during and following the Vietnam war, Season of Hope is a story of forgiveness and restoration.

Amazon     Pelican Soft Cover    Pelican Ebook

B&N Soft Cover     B&N Ebook

 


The Story Behind the Story

 

Kelly, thanks so much for letting me visit today. I’m honored to be able to share the story behind the story of my newest release, Season of Hope. Although it is the fifth novel I’ve had published, it is the first story I ever wrote.

I began writing late in life. I was an English major who loved grammar. And unlike most authors,  I never aspired or desired to be a writer.

I’d always felt called to teach and considered that my personal ministry. But due to a family health crisis, I had to leave teaching, and I took a job in the world of international business. All along I believed God would provide another ministry. So I looked and waited…and waited and looked.

In my new position, I quickly gained the much-deserved title of “Grammar Police.” Mine were often the last set of eyes that scanned the company’s promotional and training materials. One day, my boss came into my office and closed the door. “I do a little writing,” Laura whispered, “and I wonder if you would proofread some pieces for me.”

That moment changed my life. A voice deep in my heart said, “You are in this place for this purpose. Writing inspirational romance is your new ministry.”

But how does someone who’d never been interested in writing craft an entire novel? My boss became my mentor, my critic, my encourager. “Write what you know,” she said.

I was in high school and college during the time of the Vietnam war. I met, dated, and married my husband in that era. That is what I knew, that’s what I could write about. The loss, the love, the fear, the unrest. All those emotions birthed Season of Hope.

I remember the first appointments I had to pitch my freshly-completed novel to some publishers and agents. Of course, they would love it as much as I did!

The first agent was kind and even gave me her business card. The first publisher asked one question. “Why in the world did you choose that time frame?”

I wrote what I knew.

“No one wants to read about that era. It’s no man’s land. Not old enough to be nostalgic, and not recent enough to be current.”

I felt as if she’d drawn back the blanket, looked at my newborn, and said, “What an ugly baby!” It was all I could do to hold back the tears.

But my wise friend, Laura, said “Put it away, and start on something else. In a few years, it’ll be considered a historical novel.”

I did. And between other manuscripts, I’d pick up Hope and Josh’s story and rewrite and revise it. And improve it. And wait. I love Hope and Josh. They’re my firstborns. In fact Josh is the only character that appears in my other novels.

So, I wrote what I knew. I wrote that all of us have seasons of life. Some good, some bad. That God’s love is faithful. That His timing is perfect. And whatever your season of life, He’s right there with you.


About Carol

 

Carol James is an author of inspirational fiction, in particular redemptive romance. She lives in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Jim, and a perky Jack Russell “Terrorist,” Zoe.

Having always loved intriguing stories with happy endings, she was moved to begin writing to encourage others as she’d been encouraged by the works of other authors of inspirational fiction.

Carol enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, traveling with friends, and serving in the production department at her church. She’s a Frappuccino and soccer aficionado.

You can connect with Carol on her website or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, GoodReads, Bookbub, or her Amazon Author Page.


Giveaway**

 

Carol has graciously offered an Ebook copy of Season of Hope to one lucky Romancing History reader. To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment about the season of life you find yourself planted in right now. Does Christian fiction help you  bloom where you’re planted?

**Giveaway ends midnight, July 29, 2020.

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20 Comments

  1. Jeanne Crea

    Christian fiction is my favorite thing to read. It has provided enjoyment and help in different seasons in my life. Right now, I am a primary caregiver for my 85 year old Mom in assisted living and my husband and I are parents of a 25 year old daughter, and two sons 22 and 20. We’re sometime empty nesters with the boys. Thank you for the chance to win.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Jeanne, Bless you for caring for you mom. Sounds like you have a lot going on. I’m glad that reading CF can bring some respite. I find that often reading the CF authors that write with a good deal of humor will lift my spirits.

    • Hi, Jeanne. You certainly are blooming where you are planted. Blessings on you for serving with such love. Thanks for sharing. Good luck in the drawing.

  2. Natalya Lakhno

    What season I’m in … I don’t even know : ) but Christian fiction provides encouragement and inspiration!
    Blessings in your writing <3

    • Natalya, thanks for stopping by. I love the encouragement reading Christian fiction brings, especially during this “interesting” season of life. But nothing about this time surprised God. He’s got all of our seasons In His hands. Blessings to you.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Natalya, It is a season of “I don’t know what.” I know my own emotions have been all over the place and I, too, find hope, inspiration, and encouragement reading Christian fiction. Thanks for visiting Romancing History and good luck in the drawing!

  3. So grateful you chose to move beyond that difficult response and write the story of your heart ❤️ The world of inspirational novels is a far richer place because of it!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Mary, so true. Her advice in this post really applies to whatever struggles we face. Thanks for visiting the blog.

    • Mary, thanks so much for your kind comments! I still marvel that God led me this way. Sometimes, it’s all I can do to keep from asking, “Are You sure?” Good luck in the drawing,

  4. Marion B.

    Christian fiction has helped encourage me through some hard seasons plus taught me so much history, whether it’s Biblical times or either of the world wars. I’m especially drawn to Season of Hope because my family has a strong connection to the Vietnam War, and it has been hard to find quality fiction of that era. Most of the books are too academic LOL. Thanks for a chance to win!

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Marion, thanks for visiting Romancing History. You’re right, there isn’t much fiction from this era yet. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more because you’re correct when you say it’s a great way to not only learn about history but to help people heal. Good luck in the drawing.

    • Hi, Marion, Thanks for stopping by. I , too, love Christian fiction. The stories are a beautiful way to inspire and bring hope and healing to the world. I hope we will be seeing more stories set in the Vietnam era. Those of us who lived through it (like me) remember the uncertainty of the time, and it’s nice to be able to ‘redeem’ it if only through fiction.

  5. Kathy Bailey

    Oh, Carol, sounds like a great story. I remember that period vividly. Isn’t it funny that things we lived through are now “historical.” Such a time of turmoil and confusion, similar to now but without technology and the coronavirus.
    Please enter me in the drawing and good luck Carol.
    Kathy Bailey

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Kathy, Uh… no, I’m not sure I’m ready for the events I lived through to be showing up in the historical category! LOL! Thanks for visiting the blog today!

    • Hi, Kathy! Yes. I was in college during the sixties and seventies (please don’t add up the years, LOL) It’s so hard for me to think of this times as historic, but they are! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Audrey W.

    A fitting title for these times, Carol. And I love the “bloom where you’re planted” message. Congratulations on the release!

    • Audrey, Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement. I appreciate your stopping by.

    • romancinghistory

      Hi Audrey, so true. Remembering it can be hard but its a good reminder. Good luck in the drawing!

  7. Kelly, Thanks so much for letting me visit today and share the story behind the story of Hope.

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