Friday, January 30, 2009

In The Chapel

We didn’t know what to expect when we entered the adoration chapel on the grounds of St. James Church. A strange little building with a copper turret atop a cinder block structure it didn’t fit any notions we had of a place of worship. But our guide had inspired us with an anecdote about “what to do in an adoration chapel”, so we were excited at the prospect of worshipping there.

We should backtrack a little. Needing a guide and translator while on a pilgrimage in the village of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzogovina – a long way from the suburbs of New York City and Chicago where each of us resides – we were especially grateful for her guidance that day. She related a story about Sister Elvira, the head religious at a resident rehabilitation center for alcohol and chemically addicted men. Working with one of her charges, Sister counseled him to spend time in the adoration chapel and he opposed the advice claiming he didn’t know what he was supposed to do to “adore” in the chapel.

Sister Elvira compared the prayerful time she wanted him to experience to sunbathing. “When you lie in the sun, you don’t do anything, the sun does all the work. I want you to go to the chapel and let the Son work on you.”

As we mentioned, we were excited to worship in the chapel. After a peaceful and prayerful time intent on hoping the Son would work on us, we emerged from the chapel into the glare of an early summer day. Kathie’s face was radiant, on fire with the spirit of the Lord. “I know what we’re supposed to do, Patti. Honestly, it was as if He spoke to me, the words were so clear in my mind. We’re supposed to write about what we’ve learned on our pilgrimages. I think we’re supposed to stop writing the book we’re working on and write an inspirational romance.” The Son had worked on Kathie in a profound way!

Our pilgrimage ended in late May 2007. By November we had completed our manuscript. Pat heard about The Wild Rose Press publishing company’s call for submissions in all genres and it seemed meant for us to submit a query. The talented and discerning Nicola Martinez rejected the book based on a partial manuscript submission for several good reasons. Normally we’d accept a rejection with grace and gratitude for the constructive criticism. This time we were compelled to act totally out of character. We “fixed” the flaws Nicola outlined and asked permission to resubmit to her. Once granted, we sent her the “prayed over” full manuscript.

On January 26, 2008 Nicola offered us a contract for Jewel of the Adriatic by K.M. Daughters. Our penname is dedicated to our parents (both gone to eternal life) Katherine and Michael. Thrilled, honored and blessed, we are privileged to be included with our fellow White Rose authors.

Jewel of the Adriatic is a story about a village in the Adriatic where millions believe the Mother of God appears daily to three visionaries. Here two souls find faith…and love. Historic and contemporary Marian apparitions around the world inspired our story. Places like church-approved shrines in Fatima, Portugal; Lourdes, France; and the yet to be approved Medjugorje, captured our imaginations and deepened our faith… as we listened in the chapel.

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:10-12

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