About the Book
Book: Painted Memories
Author: A.M. Heath
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: March 8, 2021
She moved on when the love of her life died in the war, but what will happen when she finds out he’s alive?
Olivia Jernigan never thought she’d get over Grady. But three years after his death, she’s on the verge of marrying Kenneth Wade when she receives a new painting by her deceased fiancé. Olivia flees home to learn what really happened to the man she thought died in the Korean War. The man she thought loved her enough to come home for her.
Grady Barnes woke up three years ago in a hospital room with no knowledge of his identity. The only memory to resurface is the image of a woman he can’t stop painting. When she suddenly shows up at his painting class, she may help him discover where he really belongs or she may disrupt the life he was building for himself.
Olivia and Grady have a history. But now, they wonder if they still have a future … or perhaps, their love is just a painted memory.
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About the Author
Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.
More from A.M. Heath
The Blessing of Unexpected Research
With any novel, there’s always a measure of research involved. While historical novels are more in-depth, even contemporary novels need research when the characters are involved in a job or a setting the author isn’t familiar with. Research can feel so random at times. It’s almost comical the strange topics you end up spending an hour or longer digging into online.
As I sat down to write Painted Memories, I was already well into the first drafts of Dance With Me and Yesterday’s Christmas, so the 1950s setting wasn’t as foreign to me as it once had been. But there were newer aspects involved.
For example, I recently found myself researching long-distance calls during the 1950s. And I often look up commonly misspoken phrases/words.
One of the ways I love to research is to imagine myself in the character’s shoes. Sometimes I have opportunities to play pretend. Maybe a little red lipstick or a new hairstyle to help me get into character. Visiting a historical home to get a feel for the lifestyle from long ago. A walk in the rain might be an opportunity to imagine the weary march of a soldier. A bad case of strep was once inspiration for a character on their death bed.
But, by far, the most memorable research experience was given to me by surprise. It was one of those things that I didn’t ask for and I wasn’t thrilled with when it happened but, even at that moment, I couldn’t help noticing the timing of it all and the big way God would use it for good.
I forgot the PIN to my debit card.
We all forget things from time to time. But this was a PIN that I used multiple times a week for nearly twenty years.
I was standing at the register when “poof” the code disappeared from my brain. I remember standing there in panic because nothing came to mind. I punched in a couple of combinations but neither was correct.
I spent the next couple of weeks trying to remember it but I never did.
It was confusing and scary. I remember searching my brain but there was only empty darkness. Yet, I could feel it. I could practically sense it right on the edge of my mind, but I never could bring it any closer.
I was amazed at my sudden connection to Grady. When I wrote for him, I put myself in his shoes and imagined what it would feel like. But when a small piece of my memory suddenly disappeared, I had a new understanding. When I wrote his scenes where he talks about sensing a memory close by but never being able to bring it any closer, I wrote that from experience. That’s exactly how it felt for me.
I had started the first draft about 2 weeks before I forgot my PIN. So instead of being angry, I couldn’t help being grateful. I thanked God and put my experience to good use. It was all I could do.
Sometimes we’re not dealt with the easiest hand. But if we’re willing to let Him, God can still use it for our good and His glory. In the book, Grady and Olivia talk about how God redeemed the time they thought was lost. That time when they thought everything was ruined and nothing was going right, God was using in a subtle but remarkable way.
The Christian life is often like that. We tend to think that something has lost all purpose but God is redeeming it and making it into something beautiful.
I’d love to hear from you. Is there a moment in your life when it seemed that all was lost but looking back you can see how God was using it for good?
Sometimes I don’t quite know how to start a review and this is one of those times. The emotional roller coaster the author takes readers on needs a warning. Do not start reading this book until you have gathered tissues, a comfy place to read and time to finish the book in one setting. It was impossible to put the book down. I had to know what would happen between Grady and Olivia.
Their story is told through snippets of the past with elegance and deep emotions. I can still remember the feeling I had when I witnessed their undeniable commitment to each other. Oh but in the dark place stood a roadblock that would forever change their destiny. We often ask God why things happens and I consider this a prime example of His Will. It was so heartbreaking to think that Grady had died and I wept along with Olivia as she felt her future crumble. Everywhere she went Grady was in her mind. Would she ever be able to let go of his memory and find love again?
Grady has a long road ahead of him as he tries to remember who he is and what his life was like before his injury. I really liked getting to walk beside him as he struggled to figure out the image of a woman in his mind. It was no accident or coincidence that he painted a picture of Olivia. Her image wouldn’t go away. I can’t begin to say I understand what it is like to lose your memory. Grady tries everyday to remember something, anything that will help him get closer to knowing who he is.
There are a few other characters in the story that bring hope to the story. Maureen and Kenneth both find themselves in love with someone who won’t let go of the past. The most important part of the book for me was when Olivia is told that she has used Grady and his memory like an idol. What happened to her relationship with God? Have you ever placed someone or something more important than God? In the moment she realized what she has done, she surrenders herself to the one she first loved. Oh this part of the story can’t be overlooked. It reminds us to keep our heart pure and always put God first. The scriptures the author uses are exactly what many of us need to think on.
I won’t go into anymore detail about the story because within the pages readers will find their journey to hope, forgiveness and a better understanding of God’s unconditional love.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion,
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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 11
Texas Book-aholic, March 12
Blossoms and Blessings, March 12
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 13
Inklings and notions, March 14
Batya’s Bits, March 14
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 15
deb’s Book Review, March 16
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 16 (Author Interview)
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 17
For Him and My Family, March 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 18
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 19
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 20
Mary Hake, March 20
Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, March 21
Connie’s History Classroom, March 22
Live. Love. Read. , March 22
To celebrate her tour, A.M. is giving away the grand prize package of a Grace is Sufficient mug and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.