Monday, March 30, 2009

Blatherings about "Journey To Forgiveness"

Hello Fellow Authors and Bloggers,

My name is Laurean Brooks. (Pronounced Lau' ree un), please. It's been a busy two weeks since UPS delivered three boxes of books to my back door. The long-awaited moment finally arrived. "Do you have a knife?" I asked the delivery man.

"Nope, but I got something just as good." He pulled out a key and ripped through the tape on the top box.

I pulled out "Journey To Forgiveness" and stroked the cover before explaining that it was my first book. He asked me to describe the story. I had not much more than spoken the word, "romance" than I looked up and caught him racing toward his UPS truck, "hightailing it" for parts unknown.

What is it with men and romance? We ladies mellow at the mention of the word, but you would have thought I'd said, "Don't look now, but there's a Grizzly bear right behind you!"

My first book signing at the local "Pappy's" restaurant went well. I met up with friends, some I had not seen in a decade. Then last Friday, I was interviewed by the local newspaper at the same restaurant. Another enjoyable event, to inform the town of my upcoming book signing at the Fulton Public Library.

People are calling to tell me how much "Journey To Forgiveness" has touched them. Some have even said it should be made into a movie. God's hand has been on it since the beginning. A lot of prayer went into the writing. He bailed me out many times when I hit the proverbial wall. I would remind Him that this book was His, and that I wanted it to bring healing to many. And if He wanted it "out there" He was going to have to give me the words. I learned early on to pray for guidance "before" I wrote. It saved a lot of time.

Since this historical book addresses abuse (though mostly fiction), and is based on my mother's life, I wanted it to be special. But I didn't realize how involved I had become until I was keying in a nightmare scene about the abuse and began to shake. Before I could recoup, I had to shutdown and take several deep breaths. Have you ever been affected that way by your own writing?

Though "Journey To Forgiveness" deals with a serious topic, it also ripples with humor. The newspaper interviewer asked me, "How do you add humor to a story as serious as this?"

That's easy, I replied. "When certain characters come on the scene, they bring the humor with them. Their personalities change the atmosphere."

The hero, Austin Grant, plus Oscar Ellwood, and Trudy Hopkins, (secondary characters) all add rib-tickling laughter. Every story should have light moments to balance the dark ones. My book is no exception.

I learned by watching Michael Landon, the Master of Emotion. The man could move you from laughter to tears--from tears to joy--on "Little House On The Prairie" and "Highway To Heaven." My goal is to do just that. After all, if the reader isn't moved, she/he doesn't get much out of the story.

One of my favorite scenes is when my heroine, Jenny, is directed to unlock the storage shed for my hero, Austin. He wants to borrow tools to help rebuild a small town devastated by tornadoes. She reluctantly goes outside with him, but tries to keep her distance. After all, if Austin Grant will coerce money from a church congregation, what else might he do?

After Austin walks out of the shed laden with a couple saw horses, he asks Jenny to come inside and pick up the pile of tools he has selected. He follows her back inside. A hefty gust of wind slams the door shut. Lo and behold, it latches on the outside! All the pummeling and screaming does not bring Jenny's aunt to her rescue. Now what?

Austin suggests they wait out the storm. He unfolds a couple chairs. Jenny moves hers a little farther away, scanning the dusky building for the shovel she saw earlier. Just in case she needs it for a weapon. She spies the shovel a couple feet from her chair and kicks off one shoe. Wrapping her toes around the handle, she slowly drags it closer and closer until...

Sorry. You will have to read the book to get "the rest of the story."

Here's the blurb:

When Jenny Hinson's abusive fathr deserts the family, the responsibility of the family's Tennessee farm falls to Jenny and her mother. Four years later, in 1938, boll weevils infest the cotton crop, plunging the Hinsons into dire financial straits, and Jenny takes the train north to find work.

Electricity has yet to reach rural Chicory Valley. But, not only is the young woman introduced to it in its tapped form in Chicago, but also encounters a few jolts along the way when she challenges the infuriating Austin Grant over a luggage mishap. Sparks fly outside the Kankakeee train station when Jenny discovers her missing vanity case under Austin's arm. She labels the man a thief. And after Austin coaxes money from her aunt's congregation, Jenny determines to find enough evidence to expose him and his nefarious deeds.

Why did Austin pull money from the mission strongbox and stuff a sizable roll into his pocket? Wasn't this just the proof Jenny needed? Then why was she reluctant to report the theft? And why did her heart race at every encounter with the notorious Austin? Jenny's personal convictions would never allow a relationship where trust was blatantly missing.

Can Jenny muster enough courage to ask Austin the tough questions that will ultimately make or break their relationship? Can she forgive her father's brutality in order to move on with her life? Find out as you read Jenny's struggles in...


"Love and Forgiveness Spiced with Humor."

Available through White Rose Publishing at
Amazon Type "Laurean Brooks" in the search when you get there.
Barnes & Noble site http://www.barnes&

Visit me on my blog at Laurean's Lore:


Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Congratulations! I bet it was a dream holding it in yoru hand. Seeing it on the shelf will be a wonderful experience as well.

As for men, I don't know why they run from romance. My hubby will go get us movies, and he'll lean over and say, "And I got you a few girlie movies as well."

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Sounds like a wonderful book, Laurean and yes, I've had scenes like the one you described reduce me to a muddle of emotions book Tempered Dreams deals with domestic violence - contemporary style and my uncontracted novel, The Visionary - severe child abuse.

Hard to write but the end result and the way God works miracles in the lives of the characters - and in ours - is beautiful.

Good luck and many blessings on your book!

Laurean Brooks said...

Sorry, White Roses. For some reason this posted on the wrong day. I guess it's too late to change it. Maybe someone else could fill the April 6th date. Pleas-se. I am soooo busy preparing for presentations and book signings.

Jennifer, it was a dream come true. I couldn't quit holding the book. And many are saying it should be made into a movie. I love it when they say that. Thank you.

Pam, I knew that you knew what I meant by absorbing the emotions of your characters. Because your writing is so intense and descriptive. Thank you.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Laurie, Yes I agree that writing certain scenes can have an extremely emotional impact on us. As you know, I'm currently writing a memoir about the loss of my vision and going back in time brings all the pain and opens old scars that will never heal. So why do we do it? Because these stories need to be told to help those facing similar situations. I wish you all the best with your book. I might add I read Journey to Forgiveness and kudos Laurie! Well done.

Laurean Brooks said...

Thank you, Sharon for your comments about "Journey To Forgiveness".

I know your story is even harder to write than mine, since it's not about a family member, but from your own experience. But you are right. It will bring healing to those going through similar circumstances.

Best of luck with it, and thanks for posting. Love ya.