Monday, September 9, 2013

The Hope Within -- by guest Joanne Bischof

Today, I'm thrilled to host author Joanne Bischof here on Writing to Inspire. Her Cadence of Grace series gripped my heart immediately with its sweet poignancy, hope and heartbreaking moments. Joanne has been a joy to get to know, and I hope you get a glimpse of her sweet personality here today.


Lonnie’s character was one of the first pieces of the Cadence of Grace series to fall into place, she’s also a character that so many readers have written to me to share how much they connected with her as a woman and, in many ways, as a friend. Early on, one of her main defining characteristics is her longing to be loved. With an abusive father and a shy spirit, she’s always led a quiet life. In the first moment she steps onto the pages of Be Still My Soul, she also steps onto the stage at the town dance in Rocky Knob, Virginia. Not liking to sing in front of people, it’s the last place she wants to be.

As she faces this great fear, she meets Gideon O’Riley, the handsome mandolin player with a reputation with the ladies. She’s always noticed him from afar, but never had he really noticed her. It’s a great surprise to Lonnie when he walks her home that starry night, and stealing a kiss, he seals their fate of a shotgun wedding. Lonnie’s quiet ways are so different than Gideon’s confident and roguish personality, but the sweetness of her heart is just what Gideon needs as he fights a battle of the spirit, and though it takes him a while to realize what he has in her, he’ll soon discover the blessing she is on his life.

The patience of Lonnie’s heart is truly rewarded by the time readers see her again in Though My Heartis Torn. Her husband, Gideon, is immensely grateful for the precious gift he has in his wife. Though when Gideon’s past as a scoundrel comes back to haunt him, their greatest trial lies ahead in the form of a woman claiming that she is his rightful wife, not Lonnie. Even as Lonnie’s world seems to crumble, she clings to that quiet faith, hoping and trusting that the Lord will hold her through this, all the while, hoping and praying that out of this trial, Gideon will grow closer to the Lord he’s kept at arm’s length his entire life. One of the themes I really wanted to capture with this series is the strength God can equip us with, regardless of the path we are on. Lonnie’s character is meant to symbolize how God can make us strong even when we feel we are weak.

By the time Lonnie steps onto the page in My Hope is Found. She’s armed with many life experiences. She’s shed a few tears and she’s loved greatly. Her heart is filled with the yearning for a man she’s certain is lost to her, yet it’s still for the taking. So when Gideon steps back into her life, she’s not only a bit older, but a bit wiser.

One of my greatest hopes is for these characters to feel human—with real struggles. A moment that comes to mind is in My Hope is Found. Faced with the trial of being so near to the man she loves, yet who is no longer her husband, Lonnie is faced with an immense struggle. While just like with the girl she was in Be Still My Soul, her longing to be loved hasn’t changed, but she has a greater understanding of wisdom and faith in the Lord…that He works all things for His glory.

My Hope is Found releases on
October 15, 2013.

Gideon O’Riley has been given another chance at a life with Lonnie. But will the fight for her heart risk it all over again?



Christy Award-finalist and author of Be Still My Soul and Though My Heart is TornJoanne Bischof has a deep passion for Appalachian culture and writing stories that shine light on God’s grace and goodness. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, folk music, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. www.joannebischof.com




How do YOU cope when you feel weak and inadequate? Do you have a favorite Bible verse you turn to in moments of disappointment? Do you have a support group or friend who helps you rediscover hope when you feel there is none?

10 comments:

  1. Joanne, you accomplished your great hope for these characters to feel human. They definitely did...I connected with them SO much.

    As for when I feel weak and inadequate, I tend to turn to family--especially my parents. They always encourage and uplift me...and my mom always has the right Bible verse for me. :) I also turn to friends...I've been blessed with amazing friends who seem to know just what to say to turn things around for me mentally and emotionally. I'm grateful for them, that's for sure!

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    1. So agree with you on Joanne's characters! They really gripped my heart.

      My family also is my main source of support (besides God, of course) when I feel weak. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Thanks so much for having me today, Andrea! You asked a great discussion question. :)

    Melissa - Thank you! And oh, those times when we just need a friend or an encouraging verse. Yay for your mom for supplying those. Can't wait to see you soon!

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    1. My pleasure, Joanne! I enjoyed pre-reading your article before posting it and am glad others get the treat today too. :)

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  3. I loved this series and can't wait to read the new book.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoy Joanne's series. It's a sweet one.

      Blessings,
      Andrea

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  4. I just automatically reach out to God when I am hurting, but I also vent my feelings with one of my best girlfriends - who knows me almost as well as I know myself, & always knows the right thing to say.

    Joanne, I absolutely love your books! The characters are SO realistic that I want to kick Gideon in the behind, & give Lonnie a hug! They really play on the reader's emotions. Thank you for using your God-given talents to bless us, your readers!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Bonnie, I love your response to pain: reaching out to God. Truly, is there anything more comforting? It's also good to have those close friends to let us vent, and hopefully help us see things with fresh eyes.

      Blessings,
      Andrea

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  5. There are so many verses I turn to for strength - Ephesians 6:16, Deuteronomy 31:8, Proverbs 3:5-6 are just a few. I love this glimpse at Joanne's characters, and I can't wait to read these books.

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    1. Vanessa, thanks for sharing those verses with us. God's Word gives us strength when we have none.

      And you're going to love Joanne's books! I hope you get to read them soon.

      Blessings,
      Andrea

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