Happy Tuesday! Continuing through Saturday (culminating with a list of winners), I have the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2019 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m covering the historical & historical romance categories, including Elizabeth Byler Younts and her Carol Award nominated book The Solace of Water! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.
FYI – There will be several posts per day, and a week-long giveaway, so make sure you catch them all!
Elizabeth Byler Younts writes historical fiction for Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson. She gained a worldwide audience through her first book Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl and is a RITA and Carol award nominated writer. She is also the author of the critically-acclaimed novel The Solace of Water and The Promise of Sunrise series. She has consulted on Amish lifestyle and the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect for two award-winning television shows. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, two daughters, and a small menagerie of well-loved pets. Visit her at https://www.elizabethbyleryounts.com/
THE SOLACE OF WATER
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: June 5, 2018
After the loss of her young son, Carver, an African-American preacher’s wife named Delilah Evans moves with her family from Montgomery, Alabama, to Sinking Creek, Pennsylvania, for a fresh start. The last thing she could have imagined was becoming friends with Emma Mullet, a reclusive Amish woman.
Emma is fighting personal battles of her own and feels estranged from her small Amish community. The secrets that have kept her isolated from her own community serve to unite her in an unlikely friendship with Delilah.
Sparrow, Delilah’s eldest daughter, knows she is responsible for the death of her little brother. When tensions at home become unbearable, she seeks solace at Emma’s house, becoming the surrogate daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could sever all ties to her safe refuge.
Life for these three gets harder when church and social issues confront them, causing rifts within Sinking Creek’s three distinct communities: whites, blacks, and Amish. When their carefully protected secrets come to light, there seems to be little hope for friendship, restoration, or even forgiveness. But when the unthinkable happens, Delilah and Emma find themselves looking into the mirror of their own self-deceptions and are forced to make a choice that will set the way of their future.
Hi, Elizabeth! Welcome to the blog!
Q: Why do you write fiction? And, why specifically Christian fiction?
Elizabeth: I am first a Christian and after that I am an author. I want my books to honor the First Person in my life and I pray my writing always declares truth and light even in a way that a non-believing reader might glean something that offers them hope.
Carrie: What a beautifully expressed answer ♥
Q: Other than the Bible, what are a couple of your most cherished books and why?
Elizabeth: I love Peace like a River by Leif Enger moved me deeply. I loved Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry and Lila by Marilynne Robinson. I also adore Eve’s Daughters by Lynn Austin. I also love Lewis, Tolkien, and L. M. Montgomery; reading their books is always like coming home.
Carrie: ‘reading their books is always like coming home’ – yes. this.
Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Elizabeth: I think they’d say, “back off” because I am excessively nosey and pry into the kind of business no one wants anyone else to know. But I also think that they’d see me as a friend and ally. I love my characters so much!
Carrie: Which is why your readers do too! 🙂 And, really, if you can’t tell your author/creator your deepest darkest secrets, who can you tell? There’s a spiritual application in there somewhere…
Q: Which of your main characters (either in The Solace of Water or over all you’ve written) is most like you?
Elizabeth: Emma from The Solace of Water is most like me. I don’t have her secrets or her difficult marriage but her devotion to holding her feelings close, being driven by fears, and the epic desire to be understood resonates deeply with me.
Carrie: I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Emma yet – because I’m woefully behind on my reading lists – but she sounds like someone I will relate to as well.
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from The Solace of Water & why do you love it?
“Why did different cause such a reaction? If not laughter then judgment, and if not judgment then fear. Shouldn’t it cause us to seek something more valuable, like understanding? But fear and judgment were easier.”
Elizabeth: This line always brings me back to what I think we all want when we meet people and begin to build relationships and friendships. To be seen without judgment and without pretense to be valued. But when there is fear or a lack of effort in understanding or jumping to conclusions—there is little chance of that relationship working.
Carrie: so very true – what a thought-provoking quote!
I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2019 Carol Awards! (open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your address) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most from Elizabeth Byler Younts’s Q&A or the historical fiction Carol Award finalist The Solace of Water?