Sunday, August 6, 2017

Summer Love: A story that started as a daydream


Irish Encounter: It Started As A Daydream
A guest post by Hope Dougherty


In May of 2009, I was staring at the first day of the rest of my life. My oldest daughter was set to graduate high school in less than a month. Two years later, her sister would march right behind her, followed in two years by their twin brothers.

Life as I’d known it for the past eighteen years was about to change and change enormously.

Throughout my tenure as a stay-with-my-children mom, I’d written for publications sporadically. Very sporadically, but I had a portfolio of articles with my byline in print.

So in May of 2009, I decided my summer job would be to write something for Guideposts, a magazine filled with inspirational, faith-filled stories. I’d just completed the life of Moses with Bible Study Fellowship, and I envisioned sharing a lot of wisdom and insight gleaned from thirty-two weeks of study.

I wrote What I learned from Moses on the top line of a yellow legal pad. As soon as I wrote this fascinating title, I immediately began daydreaming—about Ireland, not Moses.

In my daydream, a woman in an Irish cafĂ© scribbled in a journal. A little old man in a tweed vest approached her, introduced himself, and began talking about his late wife. I saw the wooden buttons on his vest and the Irish cap he clutched in his hands. Suddenly another man, dressed in dusty safari clothes, appeared to the woman’s left, lounging at his table and eavesdropping on their conversation.

This scene interested me infinitely more than what I’d intended with Moses. I turned over the first page to a fresh sheet and wrote as quickly as I could everything I saw and heard in that Irish coffee shop.

Irish Encounter began that day. I didn’t know it yet, but God did. I just hurried back every morning to my desk to see what happened next. Before writing, I’d recite Bible verses from the Moses study. Verses like Exodus 3:12 “And God said, ‘I will be with you’” and Exodus 4:12 “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." (The Holy Bible, New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984.)

I’d pray for guidance and help, and then I’d travel to Galway.

God led me onto this writing journey with a lot of prodding and pulling and nudges toward those interesting characters. I’m thankful every day that He did.

Which interesting path is God leading you toward today?


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Author Bio: 

Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. 

Her publications include two novels, Irish Encounter and Mars…With Venus Rising, as well as nonfiction articles. 

A member of ACFW, RWA, and SinC, she writes for SeriousWriter.com. 

She and her husband live in North Carolina and enjoy visits with their two daughters and twin sons. 

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Blurb for Irish EncounterAfter almost three years of living under a fog of grief, Ellen Shepherd is ready for the next chapter in her life, perhaps an adventure during a visit to Galway. 


Her idea of excitement consists of exploring Ireland for yarn to feature in her shop back home, but the adventure awaiting her includes an edgy stranger who disrupts her tea time, challenges her belief system, and stirs up feelings she thought she'd buried with her husband. 

After years of ignoring God, nursing anger, and stifling his grief, Payne Anderson isn't ready for the feelings a chance encounter with an enchanting stranger evokes. Though avoiding women and small talk has been his pattern, something about Ellen makes him want to seek her—and God again.

Can Ellen accept a new life different than the one she planned? Can Payne release his guilt and accept the peace he's longed for? Can they surrender their past pain and embrace healing together or will fear and doubt ruin this second chance at happiness?

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Buy Hope's book on Amazon

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Connect with Hope:
Website - http://hopetolerdougherty.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/hopetdougherty/

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Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below:  


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13 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Alexis!

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    1. You're welcome, Hope. Thanks for being my guest! Keep writing! :)

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    1. Doesn't it? :)

      Did you enter the book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN Hope's book, Rachel?

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    2. Thank you!I'ts fun if you like Ireland!

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  3. Enjoyed the insight into Hope's "story behind the story."

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  4. Hope, your book sounds wonderful. I'm with Jenna, I too enjoy finding out how the story begins. Blessings!

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    1. Thanks, Janetta! I enjoyed going to Ireland every day while I wrote it!

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  5. I would like to visit Ireland. Such beautiful scenery! I enjoyed your story, Hope!

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    1. Thanks, Cynthia. I hope you get to go some day. It's a wonderful place.

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  6. I would love to visit Ireland. It's actually a secret dream of mine! I may not get to go in person, so hopefully I can travel there in this book! Thank you Hope for being obedient to God's calling to write this book!

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    1. Ireland is a great place to visit. I'm ready to go back! Thank you for stopping by.

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