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Friday, June 01, 2012

Guest Blogger Allie Pleiter and Homefront Hero


An avid knitter, coffee junkie, and devoted chocoholic, ALLIE PLEITER writes both fiction and non-fiction. The enthusiastic but slightly untidy mother of two, Allie spends her days writing books, buying yarn, and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie hails from Connecticut, moved to the midwest to attend Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing has produced two parenting books, fourteen novels, and various national speaking engagements on faith, women’s issues, and writing. Visit her website at or her knitting blog at

by Allie Pleiter
Published by Love Inspired Historical


Dashing and valiantly wounded, Captain John Gallows could have stepped straight out of an army recruitment poster. Leanne Sample can't help being impressed—although the lovely Red Cross nurse tries to hide it. She knows better than to get attached to the daring captain who is only home to heal and help rally support for the war's final push. As soon as he's well enough, he'll rush back to Europe, back to war—and far away from South Carolina and Leanne. But when an epidemic strikes close to home, John comes to realize what it truly means to be a hero—Leanne's hero.

Readers, buy your copy of Homefront Hero today!


“I want to see the wound, not the weapon.”

This is the advice I give writers when they ask how to tackle difficult or uncomfortable topics, when they’re wondering which things should be left “offstage.” This was the challenge I faced when deciding how to tackle something so dark as the Spanish Flu epidemic in a romance novel. Let’s face it: people aren’t looking for CSI 1918 when they open up an inspirational historical romance.

I faced the same dilemma when I wrote Mission of Hope. I know my readers expect humor and a lighthearted world view from me. How do you remember that when you tackle the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake?

The answer is to focus on the wound but not so much on the weapon. It’s why I chose to set Mission of Hope in the months after the earthquake and fires. Things were a bit different when I needed to depict the Spanish Flu epidemic for Homefront Hero...all the drama there was before, in the pandemic’s early stages, in the build up. People simply couldn’t believe heathy young men and women were dying at the rates they were--and from influenza, which had never killed before! As a reader, I’m not a fan of grisly details. Give me enough to set the scene, but put your focus elsewhere or I’m likely to look away.

I’m delighted that readers have given me exactly that praise for both books: “I feel like I was there.” It means I’ve gotten the essence of the event. I’m always careful, however, not to let it get gruesome or to loose the touches of humor that keep the book’s uplifting spirit. I devote my descriptions to the human effect, not the disaster itself. I seek to portray what it felt like to survive, because as a reader, that’s where the empowerment and encouragement lie for me.

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Thank you, Allie, for again sharing with us today.

Guest Question: Readers, what great challenges have you read about that have given you courage? Writers, where do you need to apply this tactic?

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of the book featured above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


Allie Pleiter said...

Lovely to be here!

Cheryl said...

What a fabulous post. I like the idea of showing the wound, not the weapon.

This doesn't come up in my current writing for children, but my first women's fiction novel (still sitting in my desk waiting to be resurrected) dealt with a young woman having ovarian cancer. I didn't want to overwhelm with the details of the disease, but I wanted enough to make it realistic. I hope I've accomplished that. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to find out.

Wishing you the best,



squiresj said...

How about if the challenge I read about was on facebook. It is my great nephew. My nephew had to make a decision his wife or child to save his wife. They delivered his son at 1 lb. 2 oz. But so far God has given him both. His son is now 5 lbs. 12 oz. Has a trach because of a birth defect but taking a bottle for the first time. His Dad was injured as a Marine in combat so disabled so able to take care of baby while the Mother works. It has been a challenge and continues to be.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com