My Friend Lynne

Last year at the ACFW conference one of my silver sandals broke right before the semi-formal dinner on Saturday night.

What to do?

Lynne Gentry rushed over like an experienced ER doctor. “We need duct tape. Quick.”

Within seconds, she returned with a roll of just the right shade of silver duct tape. As the crowd began filing in, Lynne Gentry reinvented my left sandal and sealed our friendship forever. I’ll never forget her kindness.

Lynne’s debut novel, Reinventing Leona, just came out and I love it! Talk about unforgettable people–I woke up this morning missing the book characters. It’s that good. It’s written in a way that made me want to call my novel-loving friends and say, “Listen to this sentence….”

May I introduce you to my friend Lynne? Here’s her book cover. Don’t you love it?

And here’s what the back cover says:

“Leona Harper loves being a pastor’s wife. Her impressive resume touts thirty years of coaxing hot water from rusty parsonage plumbing, planning church potlucks, and standing beside her husband while members take potshots at his sermons. Except for the little tiff with her grown children, Leona feels her life is right on track with the wishes of the Almighty…until her husband drops dead in the pulpit.

When the church board decides to fill the Reverend’s vacated position Leona is forced to find a paying job, mend her fractured family, and tackle her fears. With life spiraling out of control, Leona might find the church members antics comical if she weren’t so completely panicked. Can the faith of an overwhelmed widow withstand the added heartache of two resentful children and several underhanded church members? If Leona can’t trust God, how will she learn to trust herself?”

Welcome, Lynne. Tell us, what brings our protagonist to the point of changing?

Circumstances beyond her control. Like many of us, Leona doesn’t like change. But none of us escape the twists and turns of life. Whether it’s the loss of a spouse of the loss of a thirty-year career, nothing stays the same.

Humor is tough to write, but you did a spectacular job, especially considering dear Leona’s  circumstances. Any writing secrets you’d like to share?

Learning to laugh, especially at myself, has helped me cope with the scrutiny that comes to those living in a glass house. But as a minister’s wife, it’s not always appropriate for me to say what I’m thinking, let alone laugh out loud. So, with the quirky cast in Mt. Hope, I get to say and do all sorts of things a good pastor’s wife would never say or do, but I often think. And I’m happy to report that laughter is good for the soul.

Where did you get the incredible idea to reinvent Leona?

I watched three of my older friends lose their husbands. Two of them regrouped, rebuilt, and reinvented their lives. One shriveled up and died in a nursing home. Observing their choices made me ask, what if tragedy struck me? What would I do? Do I have the spiritual chops to pick myself up and start over? Could I trust God to lead me through a dark valley?

Find out how you can purchase Reinventing Leona here, at Lynne’s website.

Thank you so much, Lynne. It’s been an honor. I can’t wait to see you again in September at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference.

P.S. My dress is black and green. I’ll probably wear black shoes. Bring coordinating duct tape, please ma’am.

Love,

Julie