About the Book
Book: Season of Hope
Author: Carol James
Genre: 20th Century Christian Historical Romance
Hope Stockton’s life is dead, frozen in a winter of guilt, deceit, and fear. When a 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 find the answers to 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, Seasons of Hope is a story of forgiveness and restoration.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Carol James is an author of inspirational fiction. 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.
Her debut novel, Rescuing Faith, has been a number one best seller on Amazon.
Carol enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren, traveling with friends, and serving in the production department at her church. And most days, in the late hours of the night or the wee hours of the morning, she can be found bringing her newest novel to life.
More from Carol
Overcoming the Darkness
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
I’ve read or heard this verse hundreds, maybe thousands, of times. But I remember exactly the moment I truly understood the picture it paints.
I sat in church one Sunday morning. For weeks, I’d been elbow-deep in crafting a manuscript set in the years following the Vietnam war. The title was Season of Hope.
In the squeaky voice our congregation loved, Pastor Buddy read this scripture and then asked a simple question. “Have you ever thought that light always overcomes darkness?”
Of course I’d thought that. I knew The Light was Jesus. I knew through His perfect sacrifice, He overcame the darkness of sin and death to give us life and light.
But then, in his folksy manner that would sneak up on you and drop the truth right in your lap, Buddy’s sermon began to paint a poignant illustration.
You can walk into a dark room with any amount of light, no matter how small—a candle flame, a flashlight beam, or even the illumination from the face of your phone—and the light will always…always…invade the darkness.
But the opposite is never true. No matter how great the darkness and how small the light, darkness never prevails. Never overcomes the light.
And what little you manage to see in the darkness is distorted, not an accurate representation of reality. Because darkness hides reality. It shows us only colorless, indistinct imitations. Light, however, shows us beauty and truth.
Simple, right? Maybe. But like so many truths in the Bible, the idea is rich and full of meaning when you meditate on it.
When I left church that day, I knew my heroine’s battle was to be a clash between light and darkness, truth and lies.
In Season of Hope, Hope Stockton’s heart is frozen in the dark winter of her past. She’s spent so many years hiding her failures and fears from the light of truth, she questions whether her heart will ever feel the warmth of spring again.
Then she meets Josh Lewis, and she wonders, can she entrust him with the dark secrets that have been buried in her heart all these years?
Author Interview with Carol James
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Some of my favorites are:
- Shakespeare’s birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s house in Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as the recreation of the Globe Theatre.
- Grasmere where William Wordsworth lived. I sat on the daffodil-covered hillside that tradition says inspired his poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.”
- Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Walnut Grove and the site of the little dugout by the river.
- Lucy Maud Montgomery’s family home, Green Gables.
- But one of the most intriguing places I visited was Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA. There I stumbled across the writings of the Secret Drawer Society, and knew I would one day write a book about the letters I found. The working title of that manuscript is A Time for Singing.
- I’ve also visited Margaret Mitchell’s home and museum, The House of Seven Gables (Nathaniel Hawthorne), Carl Sandburg’s home (Connemara), Eugenia Price’s St. Simons home and Christ’s Church, and others.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Wow, this is such a difficult question to answer! But, I am going to say Summer of the Oak Moon by Laura Templeton. It is a coming of age story that deals with racial injustice in the south. And Ms. Templeton has a gift for writing beautiful descriptive language. I loved this book.
How do you select the names of your characters?
- I find choosing character names can be a challenge. When I first began writing, I felt God was leading me to write three novels in which the heroines were named Faith, Hope, and Charity. So, here we have Hope in Season of Hope. Faith is featured in Rescuing Faith. And Charity is still in manuscript form. Other female names can depend upon the seasonal setting (Holly and Mary for Christmas novellas). And then sometimes I hear an unusual name and know it will be perfect for a certain character, as Ethne in No Longer a Captive.
- The names of my heroes are all Biblical names because they are timeless. Joshua is the hero’s name in Season of Hope. Even though Josh is flawed, he exhibits the grace of Jesus.
What was your hardest scene to write?
Without giving too much information away (because it’s a crucial plot point), the scene in Season of Hope I struggled with and rewrote multiple times is the one in which our hero, Josh, returns from a fishing trip, discovers Hope in his room, and realizes she has gone through his things. I had to make certain that their reactions were true to both characters.
What is your favorite childhood book?
I absolutely loved Robinson Crusoe. The ingenuity of the characters and simplicity of life fascinated me. The Little House series ran a close second. I loved, and sometimes envied, the characters appreciation of the simple things in life.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
My imagination and all my seemingly never-ending questions and tales used to try my parents’ patience, I’m sure. For as long as I can remember, I have loved to follow my imagination and make up stories. But, I never wrote any of them down. I wish I had journaled as a child and teenager. I’d probably have some amazing plotlines to follow.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
That’s a great question. I think it varies from novel to novel. In Season of Hope, the plot came first. I knew the basic story long before the characters were fleshed out. In Rescuing Faith and No Longer a Captive, the characters came first and the plot developed around them.
Who is the author you most admire in your genre?
There are so many, but I would have to say Karen Kingsbury. Her Baxter Family novels were the first Christian fiction books I read that seemed to deal with real-life problems. Her books showed me that Christian writers can, and should, deal with the messiness of life our readers are living. I met her at a book signing, and her influence was instrumental in my receiving my first publishing contract.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I read, travel, volunteer at a nearby school, serve in the production department of my church, entertain international guests, and enjoy spending time with my children and grandchildren. I love professional soccer and Frappuccinos.
If you could invite one person to dinner, who would it be and what would you cook? Only one? Hmmm. Former first lady, Laura Bush. I admire her dignity and grace. I would love to hear her behind-the-scenes recounting of their years in the White House. I’d serve quiche, salad, and key lime cake.
Thank you, Carol, for letting us get to know you better!
Texas Book-aholic, August 6
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 7
Artistic Nobody, August 8 (Author Interview)
Inklings and notions, August 9
For Him and My Family, August 10
deb’s Book Review, August 11
Simple Harvest Reads, August 12 (Author Interview)
CarpeDiem, August 13
SusanK. Beatty, Author, August 14 (Author Interview)
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 15
Musings of Sassy Bookish Mama, August 16
Sodbuster Living, August 17
Batya’s Bits, August 18
Blossoms and Blessings, August 19 (Author Interview)
To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize package of a digital copy of Season of Hope and a $40 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.