Guest Blog -Birthdays always a time to reflect

New-Birthday-Balloon-Clipart

While I spend time with my father who is recuperating from surgery Charlotte Snead has graciously agreed to fill in. Loved her candor.

Many folks my age are retired, traveling the world or content with their laurels. Some of my friends have died. I’ve reared five incredible children who are making contributions to society, and one foster daughter, who says she wouldn’t know Jesus if we hadn’t been her mama and papa. (She’s my best salesperson, as a beautician, she talks my books up to her customers!) I’ve had a good life, and if I die tomorrow, I’ve had it all, but I can’t be content. I published my first book, His Brother’s Wife, in 2011 and two more last summer (2013). My husband is an orthopedic surgeon. He will be 75 in April, but he studies, goes to conferences, and operates. (He has cut back to four days a week.) Every day we pray he has the opportunity to lift up Jesus to his staff, his patients, and his colleagues.

Is something wrong with us? I think not. Something is very right with us. We are abundantly blessed, and we continue to be on fire to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, each of us in our own way, and both of us agreeing for one another. I write from my experiences—fiction, but novels that contain conversations I have had in my work in Pregnancy Care ministry, as the mother of a Special Forces soldier (who has been in dangerous situations), and as a MOPS mentor, teaching women to revere Life and to love their husbands.

My first book and the second one, Invisible Wounds, deal with our brave young warriors and the wounds, both physical and psychological, that they carry. Recovered and Free, the first of a 4-book series, about a recovered alcoholic and his musical family, is set in my beloved West Virginia, where blue grass music and the Christian faith are alive and well. It’s been a journey, going to writers’ conferences, writing seminars and critique group, but I want to write well to touch hearts.

I believe the best writing comes from personal experience. Married 52 years, I know the choices that improve or hurt a marriage. My mother was alcoholic—I’ve lived that, too. As the mother of a son who has buried over 60 close friends, I know the pain of serving in war. I founded and directed a pregnancy care ministry and still serve on its board, so I know the heartbreak of unplanned pregnancy and abandonment. As a MOPS mentor, I deal with the struggles of young married women. Some might say I go over the edge, speak too frankly, but I have had these conversations. I am earthy and Real–a real Titus 2 woman, teaching about real issues, and praying my little stories will enable others to face their lives, holding tightly to God’s hand.

As long as readers tell me my books are healing or saved a life, or someone found Christ. I’ll keep writing.

Charlotte Snead pic

Charlotte Snead, published by Oak Tara, has three romance novels in print: His Brother’s Wife, Invisible Wounds, and Recovered and Free. Married to Dr. Joseph Snead, they have five adult children and one foster daughter. They have seven grandsons and live on twenty acres in rural West Virginia.

A reminder to all commenters. Your name will be put in a drawing for Charlotte’s novel Recovered and Free: The Prodigal Father. Just leave a comment with your email written in this format- myemail at myserver dot com. I will contact the winner for a snail mail address to forward to Charlotte.

Here are the links to her books.

His Brother’s Wife

Invisible Wounds

Recovered and Free

Don’t forget to click the link at the right to follow this blog.

 

Advertisements

An Interview with Author Charlotte Snead: The Why behind her Novels

Charlotte Snead pic

I am pleased to have my friend Charlotte Snead as a guest on my blog. I meant Charlotte a few years ago at the Write to Publish Conference. I was impressed with her enthusiasm about life. She had a novel written and she was going full speed ahead. She was new to the writing scene after retiring from a nursing career and raising a passel of kids. Her idea was gritty and she shared her storyline with passion.

Charlotte has published that novel His Brother’s Wife, and its sequel Invisible Wounds. She has begun her new series with Book one of the Sing Over Me Series. Each with a controversial topics, romance and redemption. She keeps it real in a tasteful and fun way.

Charlotte when did you decide to take up this writing life?

I took up writing at the urging of an elderly aunt, who loved our Christmas letters and my stories about my various ministries, urging me, “You ought to write a book.” My first book, an imperfect offering, self-published in 2008 was a response to a need I saw in the prolife community. Called Missy’s Choice, it portrayed a young Christian teenager who was raped by three boys and chose life for her baby. I was unwell at the time and hurried to complete it, thinking my time was limited. As flawed as that book was, I heard from those who chose life and even some who found Christ. Now that I am a better writer, my publisher has suggested a rewrite, so it will be published as Gracie, Goodbye, the first of a 5-6 book series called The Hope House Girls.

What’s your writer’s day like?

My perfect day begins at 6 or 7 AM, down in my basement. I have a hide-away I call “The Salt Mines,” because I work hard, and I desire my writing to be salt and light to the world. When no one is home, I work uninterrupted until lunch, and return after a break. Unfortunately some days I must attend to social media and a blog—marketing is the bane of my existence! One day a week is set aside for Mothers of Preschoolers. (I serve as the mentor mom.) I love being snowed in because errands wait and I do what I love.

What ministries are you involved in and how does that experience play into your novels?

I consider my writing to be my ministry, but I also serve on the Board of the Central West Virginia Center for Pregnancy Care, which I founded in 1985. I no longer volunteer on a daily basis, but I remain in close contact with our director and share in decision-making. I am also the mentor mom for the Mothers of Preschoolers group that meets in our church and devote every Thursdays to them. I give devotions at our meetings and when the team has its monthly meeting. I often speak at women’s gatherings.

His Brother's Wifeinvisible wounds_comp (2)

 

In your first book His Brother’s Wife and Invisible Wounds you set your story in the midst of wounded warriors and wounded women. Where did you get the ideas for these books?

My military books flow from my life experience. My son served in the Army for 22 years. My husband was in Viet Nam, and his brother was as well. My dad was a career military officer. When my daughter-in-law had two surgeries, I was in and out of Walter Reed. Seeing those Wounded Warriors getting on the elevators, struggling with their missing limbs, I wanted to tell their stories. Our son, now retired from Special Forces, carries a burden of grief for the over 60 close friends he has laid to rest in Lot 60, that part of Arlington Cemetery set aside for Iraq and Afghanistan fallen. I tithe the proceeds of His Brother’s Wife and Invisible Wounds to the Wounded Warriors Project.

Enjoying intimacy in marriage and understanding our sexuality are issues you address in these first two books as well. From a Christian perspective why is this important?

As the MOPS mentor, I have helped many women with marital intimacy. Their favorite presentation—we usually have guest speakers, but I take the helm each February to give my “Sex Talk.” We are crowded that day! Married 52 years, I know how important a healthy sexual relationship is in marriage. Tragically, the church doesn’t portray the joy God intends in his sacred gift. I want my books to encourage women to enjoy the gift God has given us.

Your settings are beautiful and often rural. Do you use photographs? Are they places you’ve been to?

You have given me an idea here. I should use photographs. Yes, these are places I know and love. I live in West Virginia on 20 beautiful wooded acres. West Virginia is a beautiful state, and Arlington Cemetery is a sacred place where my father and uncle lie. I have lived in the D. C. area as an “army brat,” and I have bowed my head at Lot Sixty to honor those who have laid down their lives so that we might be free. I have researched other places—I’ve never been to an opulent penthouse in New York, but to write His Brother’s Wife I went on line with real estate sites and took virtual tours of various properties. What a great age to be a writer!

Recovred and Free  book cover

Your newest series Singing Over Me focuses on a musical family. Book one Recovered and Free: The Song Of A Prodigal Father is about a recovered alcoholic. Tells us the why behind the story.

Recovered and Free also flows out of life experience. My mother was alcoholic, and I know the pain of the child of an alcoholic. I had to understand the disease to forgive. Sadly she surrendered to Christ on her death bed and I did not enjoy life with her “recovered and free.” I processed my forgiveness after her death, realizing she loved me to the best of her ability, given her handicap.

Is it a spin-off from another story?

The Singing Over Me series spins from my first book, Missy’s Choice, picking up with a healed, grown up Missy who helps her father return to the family he abandoned. Through his music, she finds her way to her own ministry.

When I am in Your Arms_comp(1)

What is the next topic you will be covering in this series?

The next book in the Singing series, due out soon, is When I Am in Your Arms, also a song title. The hero of this book is the incorrigible producer of O’Malley Productions, a Hispanic man who survived years of abuse in foster care. His healing, like Ian O’Malley’s, comes in the arms of his wife, where he feels God’s love.

Charlotte is giving away a copy of her book Recovered and Free: The Song of a Prodigal Father to a lucky commenter. Leave your comment with your e-mail address written as follows: my email at server dot com.

I will notify the winner to get your snail mail to send to Charlotte. I am running this give away until the end of the week. Wednesday  Charlotte will return as a guest blogger.  My father is having surgery as this blog is posting and will be hospitalized for the week. I will watch the comments. Please feel free to comment on Wednesday’s post to be added to the same give-away.

Charlotte Snead, published by Oak Tara, has three romance novels in print: His Brother’s Wife, Invisible Wounds, and Recovered and Free. Married to Dr. Joseph Snead, they have five adult children and one foster daughter. They have seven grandsons and live on twenty acres in rural West Virginia

Book links.

His Brother’s Wife

Invisible Wounds

Recovered and Free

If you enjoy my posts please click the link to the right to follow me.