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Pass it Down

If you haven’t yet signed up for my newsletter, you’re missing out! That’s where you’ll find special things I don’t share anywhere else, like a mouth-watering pie recipe (next newsletter) that I found while researching for my upcoming book, Wings Like a Dove. [You can sign up for that newsletter HERE, and when you do, you’ll also get a link to download a free novella, a tender love story only available to my newsletter subscribers.]

wacky cake

Due to a lack of standard ingredients (as in the Depression, and war rationing), some recipes were altered, and new ones were invented. One of the recipes from such an era is “Wacky Cake” which gets its name from its “crazy” lack of eggs, butter, and milk. The decision to invent a chocolate cake without eggs and dairy was sheer genius. Wacky Cake is easy to throw together in a pinch, and has always been a favorite around my house.

But back to pie…

I’m not sure why pie kept turning up in Wings Like a Dove, but I have a theory, which we’ll come back to in a minute. In one instance, pie plays a part in mastering sixth grade math. In another, pie is involved in something far more dramatic.

Samuel

A young black boy named Samuel is accused of stealing a pie, and Anna, the heroine, inserts herself in the situation hoping to divert some potentially ominous consequences.

So how did pie find its way into my 1930s story? From a conversation with my late father-in-law, who was a boy of Samuel’s age the year Wings is set.

Even though Dad had dementia, he loved to tell stories. I got him talking once about growing up in the 30s, and since I was working on this novel, I asked him what kinds of things he and his friends did for fun, how they spent their summers, etc. He and his buddies rode their bikes all over, sometimes from Northeast Portland all the way to Multnomah Falls and back, a fifty-mile round trip. (50! I’m trying to picture kids doing that now, but I can’t, sadly…). They did a lot of fishing, hiking, and exploring. I asked what they did for food on a long day like that, and he said he would pack himself five or six sandwiches.

pie on windowsill

And then out of nowhere, my conscientious father-in-law piped up and said, “Sometimes, I’d swipe a pie.”

“What? You stole a pie? Like a whole one?” I wasn’t sure if this was actual fact, or the dementia talking.

He chuckled. “Yeah, but most of the time, I paid for it.”

“How much did a pie cost back then?”

“Twelve cents,” he said without missing a beat. Even with dementia, his ability to remember history and ancient detail was sharp.

“And I’m guessing you shared it with your buddies.”

He just smiled. “Sometimes.” (Al was a tall, lean Norwegian with an appetite the size of Rhode Island—anyone who knew him can attest to this.)

Stories from previous generations ought to be passed down and treasured up. And sometimes, bits of real-life stories can be preserved by inserting them into a novel—like a pack of adventurous boys and a twelve-cent pie.

Q: Do you have stories passed down from parents or grandparents, from childhood, from earlier eras, from simpler times? Can you think of some special ways to make sure these stories are preserved?

Double Good News!

We Have a WINNER!

If you were following the Fall CF Scavenger Hunt hosted by Lisa T. Bergren and you entered the additional drawing on my stop (#25) for a Camille Eide ebook, the winner of that drawing is:

TRIXI OBEREMBT

Congratulations, Trixi!


And for more good news…

1.99 BOOK SALE!

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I just found out that in celebration of my upcoming novel, WhiteFire Publishing is offering a special sale price on ALL my previous titles (eBook) for a limited time, one per week for the next 3 weeks. You can browse, read sample chapters, and buy all 3 for 1.99 each HERE.

Or find these titles one by one:

And if you’d like to check out my upcoming novel, Wings Like a Dove, you can read a sample chapter HERE and also find it on my website. It’s now available for preorder.

dodge park sept 2019Are you new to my fiction? I write poignant dramas with a solid love story. My books include both contemporary and historical, serious and sarcastic, and I season it all with hope, faith, and grace. You can find me hanging out on social media, at my website, and you can also join me in marveling about the awesome love and grace of God right here at Along the Banks.

Thank you for following along and sharing the love of story! Drop me a line anytime, I always enjoy hearing from reading friends!

~Camille

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all the stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!

scav hunt 2019 prize photo

  • The hunt BEGINS on 11/7 at 2pm eastern/11am pacific with Stop #1 at LisaTawnBergren.com
  • Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).
  • There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have all weekend (until Sunday, 11/10 at midnight MST)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books and learn new things about them.
  • Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer in the Rafflecopter form at the final stop, back on Lisa’s site. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!

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Hey there, Hunters!

I’m Camille Eide, and I write poignant, relational dramas with a solid love story. My books include both contemporary and historical, serious and sarcastic, and I season it all with hope, faith, and grace. I also blog about the patience and grace of God here at Along the Banks. For those who like a thoughtful, poignant love story, you can find my books at my WEBSITE, plus follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

4-Cover Wings like a Dove

Wings Like a Dove my upcoming December 1 release, is a historical tale, and while I originally meant for it to be a simple love story, the socio-economic backdrop and racism of the 1930s also added a slightly wider, more dramatic lens angle to the story.

In 1933, Anna, a young Jewish immigrant, discovers to her horror that she is with child. Forced to leave home, she travels in search of her missing father, but stumbles upon six orphan boys in need of a tutor, and their deep-hearted mentor with troubles of his own. She dares not risk staying too long, opening her heart, and letting her secrets out. But with the Klan presence in their small Indiana town growing stronger, and the danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe … and staying to fight beside them. It’s a tale of love, loyalty, and the power of grace.

Love and loyalty go hand in hand, don’t they? And some of the best examples of love and loyalty are standing quietly beside us, out of the spotlight . . .

SUPER SIDEKICKS

I’m going to let you in on a secret. Some of my favorite characters in literature are sidekicks.

Samwise

Samwise Gamgee tops the list. Jane Bennet is a close second. I don’t think sidekicks get fleshed out as much as they deserve. They spend most of their time in the shadow of the protagonist. They are often dismissed as a sounding board or foil for the main character; a trope.

Jane-Bennet-jane-bennet-9571663-500-348

Sidekicks aren’t expected to do the heavy lifting, don’t have to hit all the story arc points that the Hero has to meet. Like royal offspring, there are inherent expectations of the Hero that a sidekick doesn’t have to deal with. I think sidekicks, like commoners and peasants, are free to be whoever they want to be. Something in me craves that…

Wings Like a Dove contains a quiet but strong sidekick: Sarah Tucker. She’s the young, neighboring farmer’s wife who befriends Anna, the heroine. Sarah is kind, open-hearted, and struggles with a longing for friendship that causes her to seek to be included in a group of women whose agenda troubles Anna. Sarah ponders the pros and cons of joining these women, and throughout the story, we see her carefully weighing the group’s rhetoric against what she feels in her heart to be true.

sarah tuckerAmanda Seyfried: My inspiration for Sarah Tucker

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What I love most about Sarah Tucker is that while she longs for friends, she doesn’t let her personal needs color her judgment. While prejudice and bigotry are prevalent in her world, Sarah possesses enough “Missouri Mule-headedness” to keep her longings from distorting what’s right and true. While the story follows Anna’s journey, Sarah makes a journey of her own. She must hold up the facts as she sees them, against the hate-speak, the “stories,” the voice of the majority.

You may find yourself cheering for Sarah at a certain point in this story. I can’t say more without ruining the read for you. But sometimes a hero needs a sidekick who is equally heroic. Anna needs a Sarah like Frodo needs a Samwise, like Lizzie needs a Jane.

I wish everyone had a Sarah.

~Camille

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Here’s the Stop #25 Skinny:
You can Pre-order Wings Like a Dove on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Clue to Write Down: Borland
Link to Stop #26 – the LAST Stop on the Loop

BUT — just one more thing before you go: I’m offering one of my full-length novels—winner’s choice of title (eBook)—in a drawing! To enter, all you have to do is sign up HERE for my E-NEWS OR note that you’re ALREADY a subscriber.

Also, additional entries will be given for following me on:

ENTER BY LEAVING A COMMENT BELOW naming my Social Media that you’re now following (a separate comment for each location, up to 6 total) along with a masked email address to reach you if you are a winner. (Example: E-NEWS/ edith (dot) smith (at) cooldomain (dot) com ).

Winner will be announced in a follow up post here on November 11.

Okay, one last thing, I promise: You are invited to attend my online Wings Like a Dove Facebook Book Launch Party on December 1 from 3-5pm Pacific (6/5c), for fun LIVE interaction, drawings, and a grand prize giveaway. Just click on the “GOING” button and you’ll get updates.

Good work making it this far, and good luck on the hunt!

flour sacks printed for reuse

During the Great Depression, money was tight, food and other necessities were scarce, and people quickly learned to stretch meals, make things last, make do with what little they had, or do without.

One resource I found useful while researching my upcoming novel, Wings Like a Dove, was the book We Had Everything But Money: Priceless Memories of the Great Depression. It’s full of interesting, first-hand stories of how people got through some tough times.

People in the 1930s quickly learned to get more than one use out of everything they could — which created a recycling mindset. Feed and flour came in large sturdy sacks, sometimes made from colorful fabrics.

flour sack pink blue

When women started using their empty feed sacks and flour bags to make clothing, manufacturers began printing the bags in brighter colors and prettier patterns. Women would try to collect enough of the same print or design to make a dress or other clothing. Old schoolhouse photos depict sets of siblings wearing clothes of matching fabric.

In Wings Like a Dove, Anna tries to make money using her skills as a seamstress. She mends clothing for her new friend, Sarah, including a dress made from a flour sack in a pretty print. The dress inspires Anna to collect flour sacks in hopes of making herself a new, larger gown, which will soon be needed as she is desperate to keep her expanding belly hidden.

quilt with feed sack fabric

She also collects fabric scraps and sews quilts to sell, in order to earn money both for herself and to send home to her sister (unbeknownst to their mother) to help with the family’s rent.

If you were alive during the Great Depression, or your parents or grandparents were, you may be familiar with the impulse to save things that might have another use. While we should probably avoid becoming hoarders, we might save a few bucks, lessen waste, and maybe invent a cool new hack if we took the time and used a little creativity to get another use out of things.tp-tube-hack.jpg

Okay. While not earthshaking it its originality, here’s one of mine: I reuse paper towel tubes to contain electrical cords on appliances that store in a small space, like the hair clippers, and I also use them for keeping my silicone baking mats tidy.

Q: What is something you’ve been surprised to find comes in handy for a completely new use?

Speaking of keeping a sharp eye out for good stuff, join me and dozens of award-winning authors THIS THURSDAY for the Fall Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt, beginning Nov 7 at 12 noon (MST) at http://www.LisaTBergren.com! Get ready to have some fun, and I hope to see you there!

scav hunt 2019 prize photo

Broken

My friend lost her husband without warning. She kissed him goodnight, and in the morning, he was gone. Her single-parent (of 8) life quickly became an overwhelming nightmare, and anger became her solace.

brokenAnd so did alcohol.

Grief and anger sent her into a dark, vicious downward spiral of addiction. Though she loved Jesus and tried to put on a brave face and cope with every bit of strength she had, my friend was shattered beyond repair. She tried, but didn’t have the strength to give God all the pieces.

I think it was one of the hardest things she’s ever done, but my friend agreed to enter a Christ-focused residential rehab program. It took more than a year for her to crawl out of the bottle and into the light of day, the kind of day that dawns one at a time, wrapped in God’s fresh, new mercy. The kind of day that slowly, carefully, and sometimes painfully, restores the broken shards of hopes and dreams that at first seemed utterly impossible to put back together.

God has been restoring my friend’s heart and life one jagged piece at a time, and the new woman emerging radiates grace, humility, precious surrender, and most beautiful of all, hope. Some people might call her a recovering alcoholic.

I call her incredibly brave.

I have seen broken. I have been broken. And maybe you’ve been broken at some time or another. Maybe you’re broken now.

Maybe you’ve looked at a person failing to hold it together and wondered why they can’t just dust off, grow up, and fly straight. But my friend’s experience reminds me that everyone’s brokenness doesn’t look the same, and we should avoid passing judgment on what we think we see. We should remember there is much we can’t see, whether it’s well-hidden, or a matter of our own short-sightedness.

My friend’s experience also reminds me that I need to extend the same grace and understanding to someone else’s brokenness that I would want shown to me.

We have a tendency to see through the filter of our own experience, the grid of what’s familiar. But this limits our ability to understand when it comes to the struggles, challenges, and pain others face. What wouldn’t phase me might give you PTSD, and vice versa. We may judge someone whose brokenness drives them to drink. Or to walk away from their spouse. Or into deep despair. Or debt. Depression. Anxiety. Food. Rage.

We are all breakable. Fragile. To be handled with care.  And none of us can fix our own brokenness any more than a cracked pot can fix itself.

But there is Someone who can.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

shattered-cambion-artAuthor Roseanna White posted about Broken Vessels on her blog today, and I found myself nodding as I read it. She said, “…our Lord is described as a potter. He knows all about these fragile vessels He’s made. He knows how easily we break. Shatter. Fall to pieces. And He knows how to fix us. More, He knows how to take the pieces and make something new. Lord, use us in your mosaic. Fix us where you can, filling our cracks and holes and empty places with you.” [Read the rest of her post HERE.]

 

This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 

Isaiah 43:16-19

Maybe in your life, you’ve faced overwhelming struggles or unspeakable horrors. Or painfully unmet expectations. Whatever brokenness you’ve suffered—or are suffering, I hope you have someone caring and strong to turn to. If you haven’t yet, cry out to Jesus. He cares more than you know. And he can make you whole.

 

Take Heart…

p-rugrats-christine-cavanaugh-chuckie-finsterWhen my kids were little, they watched Rugrats on Nickelodeon. Not a fan? That’s ok. I didn’t care if they watched it, as long as they didn’t pick up Angelica’s bratty behavior and attitude. But while I folded laundry or cooked dinner and listened to the show, I found myself rooting for timid little Chuckie, the one who was always afraid. Because somehow, Chuckie often summoned the courage to be brave and face his fears. I think Chuckie was the character written with the five year old in mind, the one kids could identify with.

I marvel at those who seem fearless. Do you know anyone like that? Aren’t they amazing? But what amazes me even more are those who are terrified and somehow summon courage even when they’re scared spitless.

I don’t know what Chuckie based his courage on. But as I thought about this character (yes, I like to analyze characters and I love to learn from them), what really struck me was the fact that Chuckie’s courage wasn’t based on an absence of fear. The poor kid was always afraid. There are those who just don’t get scared—like Navy Seals, maybe, and they’re awesome, of course, but they’re not much help to me, you know? So maybe you’re a Navy Seal who is totally in your Zen zone hanging out underwater in a 300lb diving suit with oxygen being pumped down to you by some guy topside who might sneeze and trip over your air hose and accidentally rip it loose, or fall asleep or get distracted by puppies on facebook. And I’m glad you’re at peace with that guy in charge of your oxygen. But for the rest of us who are petrified of drowning or suffocating, the idea of mustering the courage to do something like that, for me, is huge.

In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat faced a frightening situation when he and his people were surrounded by an enemy too numerous and powerful to withstand. I love that he didn’t posture bravado. He was Freaked. Out. And was not afraid to admit it. In unabashed humility, he uttered this prayer to the Lord:

“For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

Which was great, but even better, the Lord answered and said,

“Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.”

The battle belongs to God! That’s so cool! And, somehow, so easy to forget.

One of my earlier novels gives a nod to the Old Testament story of Daniel’s young friends as they face the fiery furnace, and the main character (Emily) is reminded that if she has to face a fiery trial, the Lord will be right there with her, standing with her through it all. A wise book reviewer (Carrie of Reading Is My Superpower) made this lovely meme quoting a line (inscribed in a fictional children’s book) from the story.

like-theres-no-tomorrow-quote

Courage is not an absence of fear, or enemies surrounding our camp, or trials, or taxes, or fiery furnaces. Courage is stepping out in faith in spite of fear. It may help to remember that the battle is not ours, and is already won (YES!!) and that the Lord stands with us, right beside us, and will never leave us. Or accidentally trip over our air hose.

Personally, I admire the timid soul who summons the courage to trust God when afraid. I think taking a step of faith and trusting God in spite of fear is incredibly brave—maybe even more brave than a Navy Seal in the 300lb diving suit.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. -Psalm 27:14

Question: Care to share a moment when you were afraid and had to summon the courage to jump or step out in faith?

hot buttonHot buttons. We all have them… those things that bring out the less flattering side of us when the right one gets pushed.

As a believer, I know I need to see with the eyes of grace. I need to rise above human failings and offenses. Need to step back and think of the bigger picture, the spiritual principle, the eternal significance of a wise, well-placed word.

Sometimes, I remember this.

And then… there are those other times. The times my particular hot button gets pushed and the last thing I want is someone pointing out that Jesus would never call that driver a bonehead. Jesus would never take offense at being falsely accused and fire off a text. Jesus wouldn’t see someone coming toward him in the store and spin and duck down a different aisle.

There are times that my lack of grace for others does not reflect well on me. That my negativity or complaint or harsh view of someone’s behavior doesn’t reflect well on Jesus and his spirit living in me. Do I have to like others’ idiotic driving? No. Do I have to take harsh treatment? No.

But what does my response to others’ failings and flaws and thoughtless choices reveal about the state of my heart?

When I’m more inclined to react “in the flesh” (meaning my hot button has been pushed) I need to really take a look at why. Is it the other person’s fault? Well, duh, if not for other humans, I’d be all sweetness and light all the time.

But… since I have been known to seek the Lord’s ways instead of my own, and ask for the ability to see people or situations with eyes of grace instead of with my nearsightedness, I realize that grace is a supernatural reaction, and is therefore possible. Not just possible, but expected of those saved by grace.

So why are some situations harder to respond to in grace than others?

In my observation, most people have at least one hot button. That one thing that flips our switch and has us off and running (or swearing, or slandering, or responding) before we have a chance to ask ourselves What Would Jesus Do?

What’s missing? I don’t know about you, but I find that a day began and bathed in prayer and the word is a day I’m more inclined to look at things through a spiritual lens, rather than just the natural. When I don’t begin the day focused on the Lord, it’s like using my phone all day and then forgetting to plug it at night, then trying to use it the next day. It needs to be recharged. And not just once a week, but daily.

We need to plug in to the Source and seek the Lord for daily renewal. We need the word, worship, and prayer. And we need to take the truths of scripture to a more intimate level, to press those truths deeper, from the mind to the spirit, from the natural to the supernatural, where God’s grace and wisdom transcend the world and the flesh and our rights and our petty grievances and our offended, wounded pride and being disrespected and a hundred other hot buttons. In quietness and prayer, the One who wrote the word speaks truth into me, lives in me, breathes his life into me, makes me new, gives me strength and power to overcome, gives me victory over sin and tailgaters and false accusations and offense.

If I begin my day in the spirit.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 is one of my favorite verses:

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.

Because when I begin my day in the spirit, I have a better chance at responding not in a natural way but supernatural. It shields me from the careless, the thoughtless, and it helps me rise above, gives me perspective. Creates a protective shell so that my nerves aren’t so exposed, so sensitive. It allows time for grace to fall like a blanket of snow and cocoon the situation, and perhaps helps me to see a bit like how God sees.

And when I don’t begin my day that way, well … oh wow, would you look at the time!

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.  -Galatians 5:16-26

If you’re willing to admit it, what’s your hot button? Does beginning your day in the word and in prayer make a difference in the way you respond when your buttons get pushed?

Okay, here’s the question I really want to ask: Can you show grace to those who should know better and yet sometimes trip and fall right on their hot button? Do you, like me, tend to forget that other humans have moments of weakness, when maybe they’ve run their battery down and are in dire need of a recharge?

I hope I’m not defined only by moments of weakness, moments when my response doesn’t reflect well on me. It’s hard to remember to give the same grace to others that I would like shown to me. It’s also hard to not define a person by a mistake or an unflattering action. (Or am I the only one who struggles with this?)

Or do we expect everyone—except for us—to be perfect?

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