francine's blog

Sailing Around the Horn

Rick’s grandfather sailed around the Horn on a windjammer in 1905.  It was the roughest year in recorded history, and took the crew 90 days to accomplish the task.  The mast broke, sails ripped, and they had to make numerous slips into the coast to make repairs before trying again.  Grandpa went to sea at ten years of age, and became a professional sailor at fourteen.  He was small in stature, but had a lion’s heart.  When ropes tangled in the rigging, they sent Klaus up to get things right. 

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Favorite Characters in Bridge to Haven

First I will set aside the main characters because I always tend to fall in love with the leading men; in this case, Zeke and Joshua who are both strong men of God.  I loved Abra, too, because she was like a wayward daughter, a friend lost in the wilderness, a child crying in the darkness.

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Bunny Rabbits and Easter Eggs

When I was a child, I looked forward to Easter because it meant I would get a new dress, a pair of pretty Mary Jane shoes and a cute hat.  My brother would be outfitted in new slacks, shoes, shirt and tie, and Mom and Dad would take a picture before we headed off to church.  I’d like to say Sunday service was the most meaningful part of our day, but I was eager to get the obligatory time-served over so we could come home for the Easter egg hunt.  We kids dyed the eggs in varying pastels and parents hid them (along with a few fancy tinfoil wrapped chocolate bunny rabbits) in f

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Coming or Going Home

What is home?  Webster’s defines it as a house, apartment or other shelter; a place where domestic affections are centered; an institution for people with special needs – add another twenty-one various definitions.  Add another word and you have home-bound, home-care, home-maker, homecoming.

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Good Girls and Bad Boys

This blog is going to be a confusing mess, reflective of my feelings on whether good girls should have anything to do with bad boys – or good boys enter relationships with bad girls.  The whole idea is fraught with risk and catastrophic personal repercussions.  The mother/grandmother part of me says no-way, no how, run!  Add Christian to mom/granny and I want to say always offer grace while keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus and following in His footsteps. God designed us to have a conscience.  We know what’s right and wrong.

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Timeless Hymns

Abra learns to play piano as a child.  She loves music, and is gifted with talent and nice long fingers.  Her teacher, Mitzi, recognizes a kindred spirit and relishes training her.  Mitzi finds a way to use music as a healing device and a means of planting seeds that will begin to grow when Abra goes through her time in the wilderness. 

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Love in Time of War

In Bridge to Haven, Joshua and Abra carry on a Korean war-time correspondence.  We cut some of the letters from the manuscript, but they may be posted on the Facebook page after the book is released.  Letters were a way to keep the story moving forward and having time pass more quickly.  Letters also showed the change occurring in two primary characters, one by the devastating effects of war on men in battle and the other, the turbulent emotional highs and lows of the teen years.  Joshua already knows who he is and what he wants, but Abra has a lot of growing up

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Loving Mentors

Sometimes we don’t recognize the mentors we’ve had until we grow up and look back over our lives.  At the time, they may have been someone we saw on a regular basis because of school or church schedules, odd jobs around the neighborhood, going to piano lessons.  The main character of Bridge to Haven, Abra, has several mentors, but one in particular has a warm spot in my heart.

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Hollywood Photographs

One of the scenes in the new novel is in a photo studio when agent, Franklin Moss, arranges for publicity shots for “Lena Scott” (Abra). She feels shy in the beginning, but after a few glasses of champagne quickly gets into the swing of being a model and playing to the camera.  She will find out that stills are different than acting in front of a camera crew, director, make-up artists, and a cast of other workers necessary in making a motion picture.  She remains camera-shy, but learns to play her role well in a fantasy world that chews people up and spits them out.

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Favorite Diners and Foods

It seems most high school students have a favorite place to hang out. In Bridge to Haven, Abra and her friends cross the street to Eddie’s, a hamburger joint run by a proprietor who has a soft spot for troubled teens, hiring and rehabilitating them before they end up in the pen.  We had a couple of hangouts in my home town.  I worked in one called “The Ivory” during the summer and after school.  I could make a “mean” banana split and even slung some hamburgers.

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