Sunday, April 22, 2018

Let Love Bloom: Safe Refuge

Interview with Pamela S. Meyers about her book “Safe Refuge”:

Alexis: Why do you call this book “Safe Refuge”?

Pamela: For my character, Anna, her new home in Wisconsin is a safe refuge for her. Many Bible verses also refer to the Lord as a safe refuge.

Alexis: Who is Anna Hartwell and why is she planning to marry a man that she loathes?

Pamela: Anna is the first-born daughter of a wealthy Chicago family and when she was an infant, her parents arranged a marriage for her with the son of friends they had known a long time. You’ll have to read the book to find out why going against her parents' wishes is so difficult for her.

Alexis: Why does Anna call Chicago home? What makes it special?

Pamela: Although Chicago is the only home she has known having been raised there, she has never felt totally comfortable with all the trappings of wealth that her parents enjoy, and after becoming a Christian, she has found solace in volunteering at a mission school as a teacher and attending Sunday night services at the Illinois Street Church (founded by D.L. Moody).

Who is Lyman Millard and why does he want an arranged marriage to Anna?

Pamela: Like Anna, he had no say in the marriage plans since he was a child when the plans were set. But he has no reason to not want it. It’s the custom in his family and what’s not to like about being married to a pretty woman that he can escort to social functions. To know more about this multi-layered character. You’ll have to read the book.

Alexis: What role does your characters’ faith in God play in this story?

Pamela: God sustains Anna through some very difficult times in the course of the story.

Alexis: How did the Great Chicago Fire impact the plot for this story?

Pamela: Two days before the arranged marriage is to take place, the fire erupts and totally consumes Anna’s family home and her father’s business property. The family moved north to what is now Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to live with friends until a new home on Geneva Lake can be built.

Alexis: Who is Rory Quinn and what role does he play in this story? How is he different from Lyman?

Pamela: Rory, an Irish immigrant, is the janitor/handyman at the mission school. He and Anna talk often about God and the issues they have with their respective families. He is everything positive that Lyman is not. And easy on the eyes too! Despite her being in an arranged marriage she’s attracted to Rory and knows she can’t marry him because of the arranged marriage and he’s attracted to her but knows he can’t have her because she is high-class and he is not.

Alexis: What is it about Anna that attracts Rory?

Pamela: Aside from her beauty, her faith in God, kindness, and humility, not putting on airs with those of a lower class than hers and never holding her status over them.

Alexis: If you were Anna’s Mom, what advice would you give her concerning her heart in the love triangle of sorts in this story?

Pamela: You will hear plenty from Mother when you read the story. I’m not going to reveal it all here, except to say she is not happy with Anna’s attraction to Rory pulls out all stops to get the marriage plans with Lyman back on track.

Alexis: What do you want readers to remember most about your book?

Pamela: That God is our refuge and strength and underneath are his everlasting arms. It’s a Bible promise found in Deuteronomy 33:27.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Pam! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

Pamela: Having grown up in Lake Geneva, WI next to beautiful spring-fed Geneva Lake, I was blessed to take for granted the beauty of the area and the wonderful mansions and estates that sit on much of the lake’s shoreline.

The newer homes are lovely, but a piece of Lake Geneva’s history has been lost in the process. I decided to write the Newport of the West series, starting with Safe Refuge to preserve some of that lost history. The reason for the series title is that when all the fancy large homes began appearing on the lakeshore, the area reminded people of Newport, Rhode Island where many of New York City’s wealthy built similar homes for a getaway. At the time Chicago was considered “the West” as the territories farther west hadn’t yet been established or heavily populated.

If you are ever in the area of Lake Geneva, check out the excursion boats that take passengers on a 26-mile tour of the entire lakeshore and announce the histories behind many of the homes as you pass by.

Author Bio:

Pam has written most of her life, beginning with her first diary at age eight. Most of her novels are set in or near her hometown of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. They include Surprised by Love in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and her newest release, Safe Refuge, the first of three novels in her Newport of the West series. Her novel, Second Chance Love, released last year, and her novella, If These Walls Could Talk, was published in the Coming Home collection. 

Future novels include Whatever is True (March 2019), Shelter Cove and Tranquility Point, both part of her current series.

Pam resides in northern Illinois with her two rescue cats. She’s an hour or so away from her hometown where she can often be found researching and nosing for new story ideas. 

Book blurb:

In two days, wealthy Chicagoan, Anna Hartwell, will wed a man she loathes. She would refuse this arranged marriage to Lyman Millard, but the Bible clearly says she is to honor her parents, and Anna would do most anything to please her father—even leaving her teaching job at a mission school and marrying a man she doesn't love. 

The Great Chicago Fire erupts, and Anna and her family escape with only the clothes on their backs and the wedding postponed. Father moves the family to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where Anna reconnects with Rory Quinn, a handsome immigrant who worked at the mission school. Realizing she is in love with Rory, Anna prepares to break the marriage arrangement with Lyman until she learns a dark family secret that changes her life forever. 

Buy Pamela's book on Amazon

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