Borrowed Lives

Carol McClain is with us again this week, with a novel that delves into the darker side of our society, yet with hope and humor. Knowing goats, an eccentric family, and recovery are involved in this story tweaks my curiosity. Carol’s giveaway to one commenter is a kindle version of BORROWED LIVES. Also love this title! Tell us about your book, Carol.

One of my most frequently asked questions is, “How do you get your ideas?”

The answer is simple. From people.

I love people—their quirks, their heroism, their frailties. All of us have the capacity for greatness or great cruelty.

When I moved to Tennessee, I became involved in helping addicts overcome their addictions and the issues those addictions caused. The stories I heard appalled me—what people had to endure would not be believable.

In our church, we have one family devoted to foster care. The work they do astounds me. I tried my hand at foster care many years ago and discovered how totally inept I was with the process.

From these factors, Borrowed Lives was born.

Borrowed Lives

After her own tragedy, Meredith Jaynes finds three abandoned children. If she turns them over to DCS, the sisters will be separated. But healing them isn’t possible in her broken world.

Borrowed Lives is a novel about loss, hope, love, and faith from beginning to end.

God Only Lends Us Those We Love for a Season 

Distraught from recent tragedy, Meredith Jaynes takes pity on a young girl who steals from her. Meredith discovers “Bean” lives in a hovel mothering her two younger sisters. The three appear to have been abandoned. With no other homes available, Social Services will separate the siblings. To keep them together, Meredith agrees to foster them on a temporary basis.

Balancing life as a soap maker raising goats in rural Tennessee proved difficult enough before the siblings came into her care. Without Bean’s help, she’d never be able to nurture these children warped by drugs and neglect—let alone manage her goats that possess the talents of Houdini. Harder still is keeping her eccentric family at bay. 

Social worker Parker Snow struggles to overcome the breakup with his fiancée. Burdened by his inability to find stable homes for so many children who need love, he believes placing the abandoned girls with Meredith Jaynes is the right decision. Though his world doesn’t promise tomorrow, he hopes Meredith’s does.

But she knows she’s too broken.

Carol McClain My times are in His hands.

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Carol McClain is the award-winning author of four novels dealing with real people facing real problems. She is a consummate encourager, and no matter what your faith might look like, you will find compassion, humor and wisdom in her complexly layered, but ultimately readable work.

Aside from writing, she’s a skilled stained-glass artist, an avid hiker and photographer. She lives in East Tennessee. Her most recent interests are her two baby does Peanut & Buttercup. Like all babies, they love sitting on our laps and being bottle fed.

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On twitter and Instagram: @carol_mcclain



Diane Kalas

Patriot Heart coverWelcome, Diane. Let’s get right to the thought behind your Civil War novel. 

Why I wrote PATRIOT HEART: back in 1990-91, a US military operation called Desert Storm took place in the Middle East. Not long afterward, the veterans involved came back with invisible scars that later became known as PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The heartbreaking stories about the men and women who couldn’t keep jobs or relationships soon became a regular feature on the nightly news. The heartbreaking numbers of vet suicides have increased over the years.

I write historical fiction and wanted to know how Civil War veterans who suffered with the same symptoms of PTSD were treated. Nineteenth century doctors diagnosed those afflicted with the condition as Soldier’s Fatigue. They offered bed rest in a soldier’s convalescent home, or recommended a discharge and a train ticket home. Often the soldier had a note pinned to his uniform, giving his name and destination, because he was so incapable of communicating. Let the veteran’s family deal with the troubled man.

As my story idea came together, I especially wanted to write my hero, Dan Goodman, as a strong Christian and show how he dealt with the horrors of Andersonville Prison for Union soldiers. Perhaps a 21st century veteran’s spouse, mother, sister, or girlfriend will read Patriot Heart and see there is hope for their loved one. Hope for the future in God, the Father, and salvation through Jesus Christ, His son.

Here’s how the back cover reads–sounds like an adventure on several levels!

DUTY             COURAGE                INTEGRITY

May 1865. All Dan Goodman wants is to marry an uncomplicated girl and have a family, but the war interfered and he became a POW who now believes he’s losing his mind and unfit for marriage. He dreams of Oregon to put the memories behind him. The problem is he owes a debt of gratitude to the beautiful songstress. In addition, Clara Barton wants him to be a witness for the prosecution in the first trial for war crimes in American history.



Letty Talbot is a world-weary steamboat songstress, and wants a new direction after sudden loss. Letty decides to run a supply depot for emigrants going out West, and talks Dan into a partnership where he builds the prairie schooners. Letty won’t admit she wants to keep Dan from leaving. Even though they butt heads a lot, no man ever interested Letty as this one did.

TRUST           LOVE              PEACE

If Letty marries Dan she losses her depot, because married women have no property rights. Letty must learn to trust God with her future. Dan must forgive fellow Union inmates who killed for selfish reasons, and face the commandant of Andersonville Prison in a court of law. Allowing his Oregon dream to fade, he can then embrace the future God planned for him.Diane_Kalas_031613