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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Guest Blogger Carla Olson Gade and The Shadow Catcher's Daughter


CARLA OLSON GADE has been imagining stories most her life. Her love for writing and eras gone by turned her attention to writing historical Christian romance. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and Maine Fellowship of Christian Writers. An autodidact, creative thinker, and avid reader, Carla also enjoys genealogy, web design, and photography. A native New Englander, she writes from her home in beautiful rural Maine where she resides with her “hero” husband and two young adult sons.

by Carla Olson Gade
Published by Heartsong Presents/Harlequin


Colorado/New Mexico, 1875: Eliana Van Horn aims to make her mark by joining her father as his photography assistant on an expedition to survey and document the placement of a marker at the intersection of four southwest boundaries. Living in the shadows of his native heritage, a half-Navajo guide, Yiska Wilcox, is thrown off course when The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter opens up the uncharted territory of his heart. As they travel through dangerous terrain in New Mexico and overcome barriers of culture, faith, ideals, and secrets that they both keep, they at last discover common ground and stake a chance on love.

Note: The Shadow Catcher's Daughter is not available via any online retailer, but it IS available from the Harlequin Reader Service and as an autographed copy directly from Carla through Signed by the Author.


Search for Significance

In my debut novel, The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter, the protagonist longs for significance. Eliana would like to make her mark in a world that does not value the talents this young woman possesses, nor are women given the same opportunities as men. But there is more. She understands that the marks people bear can be positive and negative. How hard she must strive to make her good impression and find a way to work around the obstacles in her way. Yiska has goals of his own. And as a half-breed Indian he is caught between cultures and it is difficult to find the place where he belongs and will be accepted.

Although the 19th century rural setting of this book makes it difficult for Eliana and Yiska to fulfill their dreams, I believe many of us can relate to the longings they have. We have our own obstacles to overcome. Sometimes we just can’t seem to get out of our own way. And often we are subject to the opportunities and events in our lives — positive and negative. How frustrating it can be when the opportunity, perhaps a talent you have and an event, becoming a caregiver for example, seem to keep you in a perpetual state of inertia. How do you realize your significance then? Is it knowing what you are capable of doing even though your talent remains hidden? Is it understanding the importance of what you are doing during that particular season in your life? These things can help, but to be frank, there are times in our lives that even these considerations can leave us unsatisfied. Why? Because they are based on what we do. So I ask you this, if Eliana and Yiska never achieve their goals are they significant persons? Are you?

As life would have it, irony seems to rule. I have worked very hard and prayerfully pursued my own goal of becoming a published author. Twenty years ago, when my sons were small, I had the first inklings of hope to become published someday. My boys were very close in age and I also suffered from serious health issues for many years. My life circumstances changed time and again. The timing wasn’t right for me, but the hope lived on and I wrote for enjoyment’s sake as I was able. Fast forward and my first novel is published. I am officially an author. An author who cannot write! I was in a car accident and broke my wrist at the time of my book’s release. I could not write, type, sign an autograph, work on my current book contract...nadda. Frustrated, yes. But I held on to the knowledge that my worth does not rest on my fleeting capabilities.

What I do is not who I am. Nor is what I do not, or cannot do. Although gratifying, writing is not what makes me significant. Being published or not does not change who I am in God’s sight. He is fulfilling His purpose for me in who I am as His child, shaping every facet of my being, not just what I do. Yes, I have dreams and goals. I pray they merge with His purposes. But I am fulfilled in trusting that he satisfies the deep desires of my heart. Sometimes the ones that I am unaware of that He later brings to light. My prayer is that you will find your significance in Him. Through Him. Just as Eliana and Yiska do.

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Thank you, Carla, for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: What makes you feel significant?

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 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.


kandi723 said...

The love of Jesus Christ is the first thing that makes me feel significant! Just to know that the Creator of all things loves ME makes me feel that I matter! In His love, I am able to love my husband and children with all my heart. What a wonderful blessing! :)

Carla Gade said...

Kandi, So happy you know that! What a great foundation you have for loving your family with the love of Christ.

Thank you for stopping by!

Julie Bihn said...

Of course the obvious is knowing that the King of Kings died for me. Nothing beats that.

But on a more personal note, just when a friend tells me they appreciate me (or that I'm funny and make them laugh!), that makes me feel significant too.

Your book sounds neat; thanks for sharing with us!

jbihn at juliestudio dot com

Carla Gade said...

Thank you, Juli! You are right, nothing beats that!! It is so nice though when a friend lets us know we are appreciated and that we have the ability to bring some cheer into their lives.