Looking Out The Window: Linda Rondeau Talks About Her New Book, Hosea's Heart, Shares A Devotional, Gives Away An E-book
Hosea Chapter 12 talks about Jacob's journey, how God called him and blessed him though he'd been a deceiver, how he wrestled with the angel until he submitted.
Jacob's family was riddled with strife. With two wives, sisters who obviously had serious jealousy issues, and two concubines who squabbled as well, and twelve sons who fought continuously. So fierce was there jealousy, they plotted to murder their little brother. Joseph's story is familiar. God used the dysfunction of a family to save a nation. Family rife is as old as Cain and Abel and sometimes with just as serious consequences.
In Hosea’s Heart, my main character, Aubrey Beaumont, worried for his children because of his addicted wife’s choices. Darlene became an overachiever, Paul excelled in golf and sought acceptance in sports, Bradley went into counseling services perhaps in some way to make sense of his life without a mother. The choices of parents can have far-reaching impact on children. I believe God is able to reach beyond a family's dysfunction and weave threads of gold from burnt cotton.
Thanks Linda, tell us a little about yourself.
Once I answered this questions with, “I was born in the usual way,” to which my interviewer became greatly worried. Was I a test tube baby? No. I merely mean that my birth and childhood were nothing out of the ordinary. I participated in choir and sports as do most children. I attended Houghton College. Then my life took a turn from ordinary to not so ordinary. My first marriage ended in disaster and I became a single mom. Though I’d studied to be a teacher, I ended up doing human services work. I remarried and that marriage has lasted over forty years. I believe God has used the messes in my life to be a better social worker and to encourage those whose lives may not have been the stuff of fairy tales.
Let's talk about your writing. Why do you do it?
Like most authors, I have always loved the art of storytelling. As an older elementary child, I often regaled younger children with my version of fairy tales and other made-up stories. Imagination was my middle name, according to my mother. In my work career, I particularly used my writing skills for client social summaries and case reports. At the ripe age of 54, God visited me with an undeniable call to begin writing professionally. I quit my day job. I don’t recommend anyone do that unless you are positive you have been asked by God to do so. I write to show others that, though we’ve made poor choices, our worst past, with God’s intervention, can become our best future.
Tell us about your latest book
Hosea’s Heart took many years to see daylight. This was my first attempt at fiction and had gone through many rewrites and title changes before landing with Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. Hosea’s Heart probably best portrays my mission of helping others to find Grace despite poor choices.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
The story of Hosea and Gomer is symbolic of God’s unconditional love for Israel as well as for us today. I wanted to bring their story into our current culture and demonstrate, though we must suffer consequences of our poor choices, God stands ready to turn our brokenness into beauty.
Are you a plotter or a panster.
My writing process is both. I allow myself “free stream of consciousness” throughout most of my first draft, though I generally know my beginning, middle, and end before I start. I also know my message, target audience, and what style and presentation, I will use before I begin. When I do my first revisions, I make sure that my plot flows smoothly and in a logical progression.
How does your faith affect your writing?
In addition to fiction, I also write a devotional for my own blog, Snark and Sensibility, (found on my website and on Blogger). I cannot write gratuitous love scenes or formulaic stories. Not that there is anything wrong with that approach. However, my stories are written to impact those who are searching for answers rather than pure entertainment.
Do you put yourself in your books?
That depends on what you mean, “yourself.” Like all authors, I draw on my personal experiences and emotional lessons learned and infuse them into my stories. A Wonderful Love, formerly known as It Really IS a Wonderful Life, was strongly influenced by years in Community Theater and a move into the tundra of Northern New York. The Other Side of Darkness draws heavily on my impressions of the Adirondack Mountains, where I spent many years. A Father’s Prayer, (aka A Christmas Prayer) was heavily influenced by both my social work experience and our caretaking experience of an autistic grandchild. Miracle on Maple Street was inspired by my relationship with a dear cousin. Though we never became estranged as in my story, years and distance drew us apart. Fiddler’s Fling was influenced by my love of music. Hosea’s Heart was greatly influenced by my years in human services.
Linda plays Sister Hubert in Nunsense
What would you be doing if you didn’t write?
I spent many years in Community Theater. If I did not write I would probably be more involved in this activity. Perhaps one of my fondest memories is my role as Sister Hubert in Nunsense. I have played many roles: a cigar-smoking elderly mystery writer, M’Lynn from Steal Magnolias, the mother in Under the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz, just to name a few.
Tell us about Aubrey Beaumont.
As if a call from God, Aubrey Beaumont knew he’d marry Joanna Curtis even before he walked across the room to introduce himself and even though she carried another man’s child. Their marriage had a few good years following her frequent rehabs. He loved her despite her addiction problems. He understood, that, though misguided, Joanna fled to protect her children from herself, realizing how harmful her addiction was to her family. Aubrey completed his ministerial studies after Joanna left him, but he never gave up his search for her, his driving passion behind his ministry. He takes a pastorate at a Silver Spring church after his friend and private detective told him she might have returned to Washington, D.C. where she was the daughter of a prominent politician but had lived in DC’s underground drug culture. After fifteen years, he feels that perhaps he should give up the search, realizing that Joanna simply did not want to be found. However, out of the blue, she contacts him. Terminally ill, she has become a material witness against her lover, a notorious D.C. drug lord. Aubrey’s faith is challenged as he struggles to forgive Joanna and is faced with the reality and enormity of her unfaithfulness. Like the prophet of old, God uses Aubrey’s struggles with an unfaithful wife to demonstrate the Lord’s compassion and great love for a world that scorns him.
Isn’t fifteen years long enough to search for a drug-addicted, runaway wife? His best friend, a private detective, tells him Joanna doesn’t want to be found. Since meeting the alluring Cynthia Prescott, he considers Gregg’s advice—get a divorce and move on.
A respectable minister of a Silver Spring church, Aubrey’s conundrum intensifies with Joanna’s reappearance. Claiming to be a new Christian, she confesses her life as a Madam for Washington’s rich and powerful and her plans to accept a plea bargain in exchange for testimony against Drug Czar, Joey Juarez, her former lover. She seeks Aubrey’s forgiveness.
How can he believe her sincerity? Is all this brought about because of her terminal illness? What does God require? He could possibly forgive Joanna’s drug addiction. How can he overlook her prostitution and liaison with a murderous cartel? Should he love her like Hosea of Old who rescued his unfaithful wife from the bowels of degradation? And why would God bring her back to him now, only to watch her die?
Joanna accepts her probable end—her salvation and reunion with Aubrey is Grace enough. Yet, she prays for purpose in these final days. Is complete reconciliation with her family even possible? Or does God intend for her to help put a Washington menace behind bars?
Joanna and Aubrey’s paths will lead them into unimagined territory as they crisscross through Washington’s underworld, testing faith and friendships. Only in retrospect will they realize God weaves threads of failure into tapestries of hope.
Buy Hosea's Heart on Amazon
Watch a trailer and learn more about Linda on her Website
God is able to turn our worst past into our best future. This is the theme of every Rondeau book. A veteran social worker, Rondeau delves into the intricacies of human relationships, earning her critical acclaim for her heart-warming stories of deliverance and forgiveness. The author now resides in Hagerstown, MD with her best friend in life, her husband of forty years. Active in her local church, she enjoys playing the occasional round of golf, a common feature in many of her books. Readers may contact the author through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram or visit her website: www.lindarondeau.com.