Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Bittersweet Goodbye

Hometown Reunion is the final book in a series of seven novels set on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
 
Although the seaside fishing village of Kiptohanock isn't real, many of the landmarks and towns I've sprinkled throughout the series are very real. Including Quinby, Onley, Onancock, Wachapreague, Chincoteague and others.


 
 I visited the Eastern Shore for the first time when I was twenty-one. It was a transformational summer for me in more ways than I can begin to share. Over the years, I have tried to return to this unique place and these wonderful people as often as time allowed. There is so much natural beauty here.

The Eastern Shore gave me a lot of firsts. Here, this big city girl first went fishing; first went clamming in a tidal marsh; first learned to eat crab—a labor intensive endeavor. Here, on a sailboat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay at midnight, I beheld the Milky Way for the first time. And here I fell in love with a life that is attuned to the rhythmic cycle of the moon and tide. All of us need a place of peace, tranquility and safe harbor in our lives. This is that place for me.



These contemporary love stories allowed me the opportunity of additional visits, more time with beloved friends. The novels enabled me to further explore this isolated, yet vibrant culture with my children. I think my family have now also fallen in love with this place and these very special people.

One last adventure there—it was a fun story to write. It made my editor sob—when I've done that, I know I've done my job.

It is about love’s second chance—my favorite kind of love story. Jax’s son, almost “thwee”-year-old Brody is the most adorable child character I’ve ever written. Yet there were deeper issues that each character had to grapple with.

Have you ever struggled with guilt? Which have you found harder—to forgive someone else or to forgive yourself? Neither are easy. Or have you ever felt second best or second choice?

Whenever you’re feeling second choice, read Isaiah 43 to see how much God loves you. He has redeemed you and called you by name. You have a place all your own in God’s heart. You have been chosen —you are His.

True guilt drives us to repentance and helps us find our way back to what is right. False guilt, however, brings only condemnation with no way out. True guilt leading to repentance brings freedom and healing. False guilt paralyses and enslaves.

This is a heavy burden we were never created to shoulder. Jesus took the heavy load of sin on the cross so that we don’t have to. He is the only one who can be our burden-bearer. It is in the laying down of our burdens that we find rest and peace in Him.

May we all find the strength to finally accept what is past, to fully embrace the present and to look to the future with hope-filled eyes.



Thanks for traveling to Kiptohanock with me. Thanks for allowing me to share a very special place and people with you. But I have other stories to tell. Though we must leave Kiptohanock, further adventures await in a new series of books set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I hope you will join me there.

So wishing you fair winds and following seas one last time,

Lisa

Where is your happy place?

12 comments:

  1. Lisa, what a great post. The Eastern shore of Virginia sounds like a special place. I can see why you set the series there. I love the characters of Hometown Reunion already. Looking forward to the new series as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful post, Lisa! Thank you for sharing your love of the Eastern Shore with all of us through your books and in this post. Enjoy exploring a new location in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Already completed one research trip. The first of many. :)

      Delete
  3. I want to meet you there and go crabbing :) Sounds like a great place. Sounds like great books. And, I'm impressed you can spell all the names! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Indian names are fun. I'm ready for another road trip. :)

      Delete
  4. It's always bittersweet when a series you've been writing ends; however, it's also a new adventure as you begin a new one! Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely, Lisa, as always. That area of the country is so beautiful! And you made your editor cry? How special it that! Which means you'll make me cry as well.

      Great moral premise! Thanks for sharing...and for being part of the LI family of authors.

      Hugs!

      Delete
    2. Your encouragement and support have been such a blessing to so many of us who've become part of the LI family.

      Delete
    3. Lovely post. I’ve never been to that part of the country. My happy place is the Oregon coast and the Oregon mountains.

      Delete
    4. And Oregon's a place I've never been. But on my travel-to list. :)

      Delete