For Immediate Release Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter Releases Book Two in Historical Brides of Lehigh Canal Series
Betsy’s Return Hits Stores in May 2010
Uhrichsville, OH—A young woman returns home to care for her ailing father and finds more than she bargained for with the town’s new minister in Betsy’s Return by Wanda E. Brunstetter. Released years ago only in Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents book club, Betsy’s Return is now available in full-length fiction format. The second in Brunstetter’s historical Brides of Lehigh Canal series, the book releases in May 2010.
After being jilted at the altar, Betsy Nelson left the small Pennsylvania canal town to work in the city, but when her minister father falls ill, she returns home to care for him. William Covington has left the comfort of his family’s wealth, choosing instead to minister to others in a small-town church. Betsy is very reluctant to see her father retire, so how will she be able to support the new man in his pulpit? How will William’s vow never to marry stand up when he meets the ideal example of a pastor’s wife? Can they join forces to serve the Lord together?
Look for the never before released conclusion to the Brides of Lehigh Canal series with Sarah’s Choice, a new Brunstetter novel scheduled for release in December 2010!
Q: You have previously mentioned that your husband grew up in Pennsylvania near the Lehigh Canal. How has his background influenced your writing of the Brides of Lehigh Canal series and what is it about the canal era that intrigues you?
A: My husband used to play in the canal, and he nearly drowned there when he was a boy. That bit of information made me curious about other things in the area that might be dangerous. After riding on a restored canal boat, seeing how well the mules the pulled the boat, and hearing some of the history of the canal, my interest was piqued even further.
Q: In Betsy’s Return, when William was asked to interview for the position of pastor at the small church in Walnutport, Pennsylvania, his well-to-do, rather snobbish parents were very upset. They wanted William to have a bigger church where he could make more money and hoped he would live closer to them. However, William’s greatest desire was to minister to others. Why do you think some people put so much emphasis on money and prestige?
A: Wealth and prestige are the world’s way of measuring a person’s worth. Some people are very insecure and think if they accumulate wealth and respect it will make them worth something.
Q: When Betsy discovered that another preacher was coming to take her father’s place, she was sad and a bit resentful. William was also concerned that he would not be able to fill the shoes of the previous pastor, Rev. Nelson. In your experience as a pastor’s wife, what are some ways you have observed that can make the transition easier when a minister is replaced, as well as make a new pastor feel accepted and welcome?
A: First of all, try not to put the pastor on a pedestal, and don’t expect him to do everything just the way the former pastor did. Let the pastor and his family be who they are and use their talents in the new church. Make your new pastor and his family feel welcome and offer to help where needed. Also, give them the privacy they need at home.
Q: Sometimes rumors get started because someone sees or hears something and misinterprets it. This happened to Betsy when someone saw a man trying to kiss her. In your opinion, what is the best way to handle rumors, especially among church members?
A: Try not to get involved in spreading rumors or even listening to rumors. When you hear a rumor, check it out and give the person being talked about the benefit of the doubt. Try to squelch any rumors that have already begun.
Q: William struggled with the pain of having been left at the altar. The woman he’d planned to marry backed out of the wedding because she didn’t want to be a preacher’s wife. As a pastor’s wife, what suggestions can you give for church members to help their ministers’ wives feel like part of a church family?
A: When a church calls a pastor, they are not hiring his wife. Let her be involved where her talents lie, and allow her the freedom to develop her own interests outside the church. If there’s something that needs to be brought to the pastor’s attention, go directly to him rather than expecting his wife to play go-between. Also, don’t be afraid to be her friend. The ministry can be a lonely place for a pastor’s wife if she doesn’t feel like she has any friends in the congregation.
Q: Due to the fact that William had been jilted by his fiancée, he was leery of starting a relationship with Betsy, fearing that she might hurt him, too. What would you tell someone who has been hurt in a relationship so they don’t close themselves off from love again?
A: Don’t let the hurts of past relationships deprive you of a new one with someone else. Learn from the experience in the past and remember that no one is perfect. Don’t let your past relationship undermine your trust in others. We must ask God to help us set our fears aside and become vulnerable enough to love and be loved again.
Q: For the benefit of the canalers who felt uncomfortable worshipping in a church building, William held some services along the canal. In what ways do you think we can reach out to others who either aren’t comfortable attending church or are unable to attend church due to their jobs?
A: A church congregation can have services at the regular times, but it’s important to be open to having services at other times to meet various people’s needs. God is everywhere, so holding a service in a park or someone’s home should be looked upon as an outreach to those who might not feel comfortable sitting in a church or are unable to attend due to their job situation.
Q: What scripture inspired you in writing Betsy’s Return and what do you hope your readers learn from the story?
A: The verse of scripture that inspired me while writing this book is found in Matthew 6:25: “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” I hope my readers will learn, just like Betsy did in the story, that God doesn’t want us to worry, but to trust Him in all things.