Hello Barbara

How did you come up with your title?
My title was a work in progress. The title changed a few times from "Left For Dead Lodge" to "War Torn Hearts" to "Until June." My initial title sounds like a horror movie. The second title was my Mom's favorite, but Josephine never went into battle. Since Josephine agrees to take care of Geoff until June, that is what stuck.
How much of the book is based in real life?
The lodge Josephine and Geoff live in is based on the Taku Glacier lodge in Alaska. I visited the lodge on an Alaskan cruise excursion. While I was eating lunch at the lodge, I heard about former owners–a WWI veteran and his caregiver. The pair stayed in the lodge year round and was shut off from society during winter. A man and a woman alone in a lodge? That is how the seed of my story came to be.
What makes this book special to you?
"Until June" is special to me because it highlights some of the struggles veterans face when they return from war. I wasn't alive during WWI, but I remember the Vietnam War and how some veterans were shunned and mistreated due to their service. We sometimes think of absolutes in military service. Some live. Some die. But there are lots of veterans who come home with severe wounds, both mental and physical.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My story covers some important topics such as drug addiction, PTSD, or as they said in WWI, shell-shocked syndrome, and the belief that God numbers our days. Life can be difficult at times, but God gives us the strength to get through the hardship. God also provides people to walk with us through the trying times. Josephine encourages Geoff to live his life to the fullest.

What is the spiritual takeaway for your reader?
God numbers our days.
Is there anything edgy/possibly controversial in your book? 
Geoff suffers from addiction and PTSD. Douglas Island had brothels.
What is your hero's main character flaw?
Geoff believes the doctor when he is told he has two years to live and life can't get better. He gives into suffering and pain until he is challenged to live life again.
What is your heroine's main character flaw?
Josephine takes care of everyone else but herself. She is a giver, a caretaker, and letting life pass her by. Geoff pushes her to pursue a dream that gives her encouragement and pride, plus some spending money.
What can readers learn from your villain?
Villains can be falsehood that we are told and end up believing. Geoff was told he would only live a short time. He was given narcotics that hurt his health. Josephine was told she wouldn't amount to much in life. She used her compassion to exceed everyone's expectations and thrive as a young woman.
What makes your hero heroic?
Geoff went off to war to fight for freedom. He encourages Jo to enter a contest and test her writing chops. It takes a lot of courage for Geoff to face his addiction, war wounds, and future, but he does so with a big push from Jo.
what makes your heroine heroic?
Jo travels to a distant lodge with a shell shocked veteran in order to support her family. She faces a wild dog, wilderness, and a war-scarred veteran and comes out stronger. Jo has a positive outlook on life and knows that God is in control. God numbers our days and He is the one who we should be listening to in life.

Interview with the hero.

Tell us your name and a little bit about yourself
Geoff Chambers–which is pronounced like Jeff, not Gee-off. The author's son keeps mispronouncing my name. At this point in time, I really don't care what someone calls me. Pain makes one focus on getting through another day. I lost my legs in trench warfare and I guess I'm blessed to be alive, but at the moment it's hard to process
Where do you live, and why do you choose to live there?
Presently, I'm staying in what was Mr. Gilbertsen's lodge. The influenza is heading toward Juneau, and my father thinks I need to be isolated from the disease. I don't mind the quiet, but I'm stuck here with only my caregiver. She's prone to mistakes, though she does make the best ginger snaps I have ever tasted.
What is a quirk of your personality that people don't know?
Quirks? I don't have any quirks. You can't survive in the Army or in a trench with quirks. If people gawk at my lost legs then that's their quirk.
Who chronicled your story, and why do you think he/she picked you?
Britton has a son in the military and she lived during the Vietnam War. She's making sure I get the right care and praise. She should have given Josephine more nursing skills in the story. When my morphine sunk in the inlet I thought I was a goner. Survive France and die in Juneau. Not funny.
What obstacles did you overcome in order to reach your happily-ever-after?
Name one and I think it happened to me. Doc Miller did me no favors by letting me have morphine on demand. The drug made my nightmares seem real. I was fighting battles in my dreams. Then, Josephine pushed me to walk on those peg legs they issued me. Jo had my best interest at heart, but she nearly killed me before making me stronger. That "Runt" stole my heart by the end of the book.
Tell us about your special lady (or your knight in shining armour, if you're the heroine). What makes him/her so special?
Jo has the biggest heart and a stubborn streak that keeps me guessing what she is going to do. I pushed her to the limit of leaving the lodge, but she stayed and made me a better man. Jo sees the person I am–stubby legs and all–and loves me anyway. My life would have ended too soon without Jo in my life.
The first time you saw your special person, what did you think? Was it love at first sight or did he/she have to grow on you?
Hah! Are you kidding! She wanted to run out of the room and I don't blame her. I was miserable and grumpy and…well I had my reasons. I thought she'd bolt on the first day. Nope. She pushed me to reclaim the man who walked off to war.

 

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