Please welcome guest author Linda Rettstatt to the Cafe.
July 4 is celebrated in the United States as Independence Day. We have parades, barbecues and fireworks. It’s a national tradition. From the time we first crawl, then stand, then walk and, eventually run, we humans strike out to claim our own independence. It took me a lot of years to truly take hold of my independence. It was a process and I daresay I’m still a work in progress. I write both Women’s Fiction and Contemporary Romance, and most of my books hold some blend of the two genres. Independence is a common theme in Women’s Fiction. I particularly love to write strong women of any age who aren’t afraid to plumb their own depths, to face the truths in themselves, however painful that might be, in order to stand stronger and more self-possessed. And these are ordinary women.
I fell in love with the writings of authors such as Elizabeth Berg, Kris Radish, Elin Hilderbrand, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips—just to name a few—because their heroines are women I know, women like me, with faults, vulnerabilities and incredible inner resources. It isn’t necessarily age that brings us to the brink of finding that strength and self-possession. I think it’s many factors—life experiences, supports or lack of support, determination, purpose—that determine when and how each of us enter into the journey, plumb the depths and come up swinging. I like characters that have been seasoned by life.
For example, in my women’s fiction novel, Ladies In Waiting, four of the five women who are the heart of the story are over the age of fifty—well seasoned. Still, they have lessons to learn about themselves and they share those lessons freely with the younger member of their group who is only in her early thirties. On the other end of the spectrum, my novel Renting To Own features a twenty-four year old single mother who’s already dealt with more in her lifetime than many middle-aged women. The common thread for each of these women is independence—growing stronger in the face of adversity. To me, this is real. This is life and what we women face on a daily basis. When a woman in a story (my own or that of one of my favorite authors) overcomes adversity and lights up the sky like fireworks, I want to stand up and cheer. It’s a victory for us all. Happy Independence Day!
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Renting To Own
Lily Champion lost her mother when she was just seven years old. Pregnant at nineteen, her father put her out of the house. Lily leaned on the kindness of her former teacher, Helen Shaw, who took her in. She is now on her own with a four-year-old.
At twenty four, Lily has a decent job and a house she is renting to own. But she has learned that, just when the earth beneath you settles, something is sure to cause a quake. As she struggles to balance work and single-parenthood and create a solid future for her daughter, Lily finds herself pursued by two men. One ignites desire in her and the other makes her feel secure. Wasn’t that what got her into this situation in the first place? Lily’s learned that sometimes when the ground shifts beneath you, it moves you to where you need to be.
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Linda Rettstatt is an award-winning author who discovered her passion for writing after years of working in the human services field. When she’s not writing, Linda loves travel, nature photography, and figuring out what makes people tick. Her fantasy is to win the lottery, buy an old Victorian home on the eastern shore and open a writer’s retreat. While she waits for that fantasy to materialize (i.e. that miracle to happen), she continues to live and work in NW Mississippi and to write under the constant observation of her tuxedo cat, Binky. Visit Linda’s website at www.lindarettstatt.com