Book Preview ~ Though My Heart is Torn

Though My Heart is Torn by Joanne Bischof

Settling into a simple life in the majestic Blue Ridge mountains, Lonnie and Gideon O’Riley have finally found happiness after the rocky start to their marriage. The roguish bluegrass musician has fallen in love with his gentle wife and the God she serves, and Lonnie rests secure in his tenderness for her and their young son. A heartless ruse interrupts their peace, bringing them back to Rocky Knob—and forces them to face the claims of Cassie Allan, a woman who says she is Gideon’s rightful wife.
As Gideon wades into the depths of his past choices, Lonnie is stunned by the revelations. She has no choice but to navigate this new path, knowing that surviving the devastating blow will take every ounce of strength  she has.
While Gideon’s guilt  and his bitterness towards Cassie threatens to burn up his fledgling faith, Lonnie wrestles to find the courage to trust the God who brought them together in the first place. Will their hard-earned love be able to conquer all? 
Lonnie only wanted her husband’s love. Now that he belongs to another, can she surrender Gideon to a God with a bigger plan?

Q & A with Joanne
What aspect of your series was the most fun to research? Well, setting up the moonshine still in my backyard was pretty fun. Just kidding! Seriously, the best part  was doing lots of hands on activities like soap making, rug braiding, butter churning, etc. Some experiences turned out better than others, but I include them on my blog in the Adventures of Country Living, and am always looking for more projects to tackle.
How do you choose your character’s names? For historical fiction, I always strive to find a name that would have been around in a particular time or place. For this series, I took it one step further and researched names specific to the Appalachian region. It was tons of fun reading through records of names like Erwin and Floyd. When I stumbled upon the name, Lonnie, I knew it was the perfect name for my heroine.
Aside from your hero and heroine, who was your favorite character to write? It’s a tough one to choose, but I would probably have to say Jebediah. There’s something about channeling one’s inner 65 year old man. Jebediah is as kind as they come but with enough spunk to push Gideon around a bit. Nothing was more fun than making my hero squirm.
You handle some delicate subjects in your books. Do you ever worry about offending someone? I think many writers worry about offending readers at one point or another, but with some of the touchy topics in this story, I hope to shed light on the freedom that can come in Christ. I think we can express a difficult situation without bringing glory to it. Shedding light on it for what it is—sin. I feel strangely amazed and blessed to watch these characters grow. As the chaff falls away, the refinement process is truly aweing. Something that can only be accomplished through Christ!
I know your inspiration for BE STILL MY SOUL came partly from bluegrass music. Do you play any instruments? I play the mandolin. Of course my dad plays it about five times better than I do, but I love the instrument. It’s near and dear to my heart, and writing that into Gideon’s character was really fun. Every time he plays in the books, I can feel the fondness for the mandolin that he feels and I hope that comes across to readers.
Read more about Joanne and her books on her Author Website HERE.