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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Guest Blogger Allie Pleiter and Falling for the Fireman

This lady needs no introduction, and she's a regular favorite here at A Fictional Life. Join me in welcoming author, Allie Pleiter.


ALLIE PLEITER 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 Harlequin Love Inspired


There's something achingly familiar about the look in fire marshal Chad Owens's eyes. Widowed mom Jeannie Nelworth knows firsthand what it is: loss, hurt and yes—bitterness. Ever since the fire that changed their lives, Jeannie's young son has borne that same look, pushing everyone away. So she's grateful when Chad tries to get through to the boy with the help of his trusty fire station dog.

But the man who's all about safety and prevention keeps himself protected—from loving and losing again. Seems as if Jeannie will have to add his kind, guarded heart to her rebuilding efforts.

Readers, buy your copy of Falling for the Fireman today!


I was thinking about it recently and I do live a fiction-filled life. I think some people believe I live a fictional life--that glamorous published author existence I haven’t seen yet but keep looking for--but that’s not reality. Dishes and wash and confounding algebra homework are my reality, even if I do own (and occasionally flaunt) a tiara.

The value of fantasy aside, I don’t think it’s what readers want to read, either. I love to be swept up into a whole new world--an ancient time, a faraway place, or an exotic culture--but if the characters don’t strike me as real, authentic people, I won’t engage with the story. They don’t even have to be human--we love Toy Story because we see ourselves in the characters. We love a pink plastic pig because he is real to us and worthy of our affections.

FALLING FOR THE FIREMAN is a good example of finding the truth that touches all hearts. I believe the author’s job is to find that truth, and use it to pull us into another world by drawing threads of truth from our own. I don’t need to be a mom who’s survived a fire to know that every mom fears for the healthy survival of her child. I don’t need to be a fire marshall to know the burning desire to protect at all costs. These are basic, universal human emotions. They are truth, and truth can be placed in any context to create a good story.

I could impress you for hours with facts and scenery and research, but if you as the reader don’t see truth, you won’t care about Chad and Jeannie. If I show you how Chad’s needs are like your own, or how Jeannie’s impulses are like every mother’s everywhere, you’ll engage with the story. We’ll share the wonderful moment where everyone is pulling for them to realize their love and claim their happy ending.

* * * * *

Thank you, Allie, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: What book did you read recently that rang especially true for you? Why?

ENTRY RULES Readers, IF there is a book giveaway, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE copy of the book 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 residents of the US/Canada only.


Allie Pleiter said...

Hey there! Nice to be here. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone. In case you were wondering, the tiara was marketing from an earlier book (not won in a pageant, unfortunately). It's loads of fun to clean house in a tiara--try it!

Merry said...

I just read Hurricanes in Paradise by Denise Hildreth-Jones. The 4 main characters dealt with the act of forgiving yourself, grief and dealing with a life threatening situation. My heart resonated with each woman's struggle and learning to trust in God's grace and mercy.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

squiresj said...

It is hard to come up with just one book. So many books have ministered to me this year. Night Road ministered to me in how a parent trusts their kids during the teen years. However I never lost no kid to drinking and partying. But I had one that rebelled.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Pegg Thomas said...

Just wanted to pop in to say hello from another avid knitter and dedicated housework avoider. :) Love it!

Glenda Parker Fiction Writer said...

I loved your post. I enjoy your writing and look forward to reading this book. You are a true blessing to us.

Glenda Parker

Cheryl said...

Excellent post. Two books come to mind for me: Defending Jacob by William Landay and Love You More by Lisa Gardner. Both books have parents going to great lengths to protect their children, which is something I can easily relate to as a mom.

Wishing you the best,



Bethany said...

I recently read "The road to forgiveness" which was a stark reminder that forgiveness is always needed. It can be a long road!

I'd love to be entered-- cbus.blogger at gmail dot com

Allie Pleiter said...

Merry, that sounds like a really powerful book.
Squires J, as the parent of two teenagers, I hear you! Peg, sounds like we'd be good friends.
Glenda, thanks for your kind words.
Cheryl, it's amazing the power of a parent's love, isn't it?
Bethany, forgiveness can indeed be a long road...but always worth it.
Thanks everyone, for your comments.

Sharon said...

Allie - Thanks for the great post. A book I read recently that struck a chord with me was "Wonderland Creek" by Lynn Austin. The heroine Alice Grace Ripley always had her nose in a book. And as my family will attest, that is me if I really like a book. I always have a book along with in the van - just in case I have time to read! The book made me think about making sure books don't get in the way of real life.
Thanks for the give away opportunity.
South Sub Book Club Coordinator
smoore at tcq dot net

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

The winner of the free book from Allie's guest blog is Cheryl. Congratulations. I've emailed you for your address so Allie can send out your book.

Allie will be back with us the first week of June, but we have a host of other authors visiting between now and then. New guest blogs every week. Come back on Wednesdays to see who's up next.