The Mosaic Collection Spotlight – Interview with Eleanor Bertin

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for The Mosaic Collection, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Everyday, for the next several days, I’ll be interviewing each author in the collection. So be sure to come back and see what they have to say!!

For His glory…
The Mosaic Collection is an international community of women authors who use faith-based fiction to touch hearts with the good news that Christ’s finished work on the cross has made us one family, and to nurture affection for the people God has placed within our circles of influence, so that the grace and glory of God may become visible and personal to everyone we meet.

…and our good
We are sisters, a beautiful mosaic united by the love of God through the blood of Christ. We have experienced the redemptive, restorative power of God’s grace in our marriages and families, and we believe our God is able to heal, restore and redeem our brokenness. His love fills us with the courage to persevere, and to offer others a Christ-like compassion that is full of His wisdom and grace.

Visit the Mosaic Collection Website to stay posted on each new release & follow the collection blog for meaningful posts from the authors!

In a fit of optimism at age eleven, Eleanor Bertin began her first novel by numbering a stack of 100 pages. Two of them got filled with words. Lifelines, her first completed novel, was published in 2016, followed by Pall of Silence in 2017, a memoir about her late son Paul.

She holds a college diploma in Communications and worked in agriculture journalism until the birth of her first child. The family eventually grew to include one daughter and six sons (the youngest with Down syndrome) whom she home-educated for 25 years.

Eleanor lives with her husband and youngest son, Timothy, amidst the ongoing renovation of a century home in central Alberta where she reads, writes, sweeps up construction rubble and blogs about a sometimes elusive contentment at jewelofcontentment.wordpress.com.

CONNECT WITH ELEANOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Cornerstone message from the collection: 

Launch out into the far reaches of the universe. Delve deep into the intricate wonders of creation’s minutest particles. The farther humanity goes, the more awe I feel at the God whose power and genius spoke it all into existence. As a very young girl, I relished the delicious thrill of feeling tiny in the face of vast power, whether under a giant prairie sky, or failing in my count of the sparkling night stars. Like holding hands with a grizzly bear, God’s thundering bigness against my feeble smallness terrifies and quiets me.

That shivery awe fills the pages of the Bible, where God’s mighty power and fearsome holiness are vividly on display. There I read of a majestic King, both perfectly holy and utterly sovereign. That’s the terror part! He governs every detail of history, and every detail of my life. 

But layered within that message is the constant harmony line of God’s pure goodness and the astonishing message of His never-ending love in the sacrificial death of His Son Jesus in my place.

“And from my smitten heart with tears 

Two wonders I confess — 

The wonders of His glorious love 

And my unworthiness.” 

(Elizabeth C. Clephane, Beneath the Cross of Jesus)

I’m flooded with joy knowing I belong to a trustworthy, loving God who forgives me and never leaves me!

Welcome Eleanor! Thanks for coming today to talk about your story in The Mosaic Collection! What was the inspiration behind this story?

Two things prompted me to write Unbound. Readers of my first book wanted to know “the rest of the story” for some of the characters in my first novel, Lifelines. Then I discovered 20 handwritten pages of an unfinished novel I’d begun 35 years earlier. It was loaded with purple prose and some truly preposterous behaviour by a recently-bereaved character, but the kernel of the idea had potential. I hadn’t intended a sequel, but I realized I could write a stand alone companion book that would still include characters from the first. 

What a treasure to find! What’s in your current TBR pile?

I See You, by Claire Mackintosh

The Gospel-Driven Life, by Michael Horton

When Mountains Sing, by Stacy Monson

Suffering Well, by Rick Thomas

The Mother-in-Law, by Sara Hepworth

Desiring God, by John Piper

The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Putting Amazing Back Into Grace, by Michael Horton

That’s quite the pile! I hope you have time to read them all 🙂

Tell us about any research trips you took while working on this book.

Because Unbound is set in central Alberta cattle country where I live, I only needed to consult with neighbours and acquaintances as to the rhythms of ranch life. My characters take a trip up to northern Alberta, somewhere I’ve never been. But friends who used to live there filled me in on local landmarks. Google maps was also helpful for getting an idea of the landscape.

Did you google something as research for this book and find something funny?

My 91-year-old mother, fluent in both proper German and the Plautdietsch (Low German) dialect of some of my characters, was describing a common Russian Mennonite food, varenekyi, as something she’d hated as a child. They are a fruit-filled (saskatoons) dumpling. “I couldn’t like them,” she told me. “To me, they always looked like bruised flesh.” I knew I had to use this in my novel! 😉

Oh how funny! Tell us about your writing routine.

Oh, to have a writing routine! Sigh. I try to write on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays when I’m not working at the local library. If I’ve had a slow writing session, it’s inevitable that a flood of ideas will come just as I’m falling asleep that night. (I keep a notebook on my night table for such brain-waves, though I have checked these in the clear light of day and wondered how I could have possibly thought those ideas brilliant.) Or I’ll wake up and rush to the computer with some descriptive phrase, or thematic element, or slice of dialogue that simply must be included.

I’ve heard that brilliant ideas can come at all times of the day!

What’s your favorite dessert?

Home-made black forest cake (with the flavour-rich tart cherries we pick ourselves locally and real whipped cream). Or, my own home-made pie with those same cherries.

That sounds delicious! If you weren’t an author (or a baker apparently!) right now, what would you be doing?

I’d be refinishing a round coffee table with chalk paint and a giant “points of the compass” motif on its top.

I’d be working on baby quilts for two new grandbabies expected this year (July and October).

I’d be finishing a wool duvet that’s long overdue.

I’d be painting the newly installed trim on the windows and doors of our kitchen/living room/dining room.

Congratulations on the new grandbabies!! I love sweet little bundles of joy.

What’s one thing readers don’t know about you?

I’m not as brave nor as quick with wise answers as my characters. 

Don’t you wish you could be! I always think of the “right” thing to say about an hour a conversation lol.

You’re on a stranded island and you can only have one book with you. What would you pick and why?

You know it has to be the Bible. It’s a treasure trove of wisdom. You can mine its depths and never get to the bottom of it. It’s changless, but it is fresh and new for whatever my changing situation is.

Amen!

Do your characters ever talk to you at odd times?

Early morning, late at night, while driving — these are the usual times my characters intrude into my daily life. But there have been times when meeting the public that I make a quick (discreet) note of a person’s appearance, or turn of speech. I especially love malapropisms and ordinary folks are an unending source of these amusing misuses of words. (I love people, and in no way intend contempt for them. But word faux-pas are irresistible to me!)

This is why I’m not cut out to be an author. I don’t know if I could handle characters getting in my head at all hours of the day!

Can you tell us what are you working on next?

My third novel, Tethered, is about ¾ finished. It too, is a stand-alone novel, but companion to Lifelines and Unbound

Can’t wait to see more about it! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today!!

Giveaway_MosaicBlitz_JRnew

(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card & an ebook prize pack*!

Winner will receive an ebook of:

  • Where She Belongs
  • Pieces of Granite
  • Lifelines
  • Christmas on a Mission
  • Vigilant
  • Other Side of the River
  • The Third Grace
  • Carolina Grace
  • The Benefit Package (a devotional)
  • Dance of Grace
  • When Love Calls

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 10, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on July 24, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open internationally, but international winner will receive a gift card only *(may be substituted for a Book Depository gift card if winner cannot accept from US Amazon)

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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See tour landing page for a complete list of authors & book release dates.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

4 thoughts on “The Mosaic Collection Spotlight – Interview with Eleanor Bertin

  1. Hi Judi;
    Thanks for your interest, and greetings from Canada to Indonesia! I started with a free do it yourself website with Wix.com and a blog at WordPress.
    I cant recommend enough the importance of writers’ groups and associations. These have helped me find freelance opportunities, contests, beta readers and learning opportunities through conferences and workshops. Most importantly, I’ve made friends who have opened up doors to new options that I never would have found on my own. There are lots of great online and social media groups too!
    All God’s best to you as you write!
    Eleanor

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