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There aren’t many audiobooks on my all-time favorites list because (a) I don’t listen to very many and (b) they are harder for me to focus on and enjoy BUT today’s featured author has TWO audiobook titles on my all-time favorites list! Y’all are in for a treat because she is sharing excerpts AND a giveaway!
About the Author
Camille Eide enjoys creating beautifully flawed, authentic characters and writes “more than a romance” in poignant tales of grace, redemption, and sacrificial love.
Camille and her husband live in Oregon where she is mom to 3, mom-in-law to 3, and grammy to 3 (and counting). In addition to writing, she’s a church office manager, bass guitarist, and fan of oldies rock, muscle cars, and Jane Austen.
She’s also a fan of “When Calls the Heart” (Hallmark Channel) and appeared briefly in the Season 2 finale.
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Five Favorite Secondary Characters
Camille: I’m a big fan of Secondary Characters—the quirkier, the better. For some reason, most of mine have tried to steal center stage.
Maybe it’s because they aren’t as confined in their role as the protagonist is, and therefore have more freedom (and nerve) to say and do exactly as they please.
Let me introduce you to Five Secondary Characters from my novels who did their best to take over the story.
Maggie MacLean and Grace Clark from Like There’s No Tomorrow
Then there’s Grace, Maggie’s sister. Grace is a kind-hearted, forgetful soul who relies on her devoted great-niece, Emily.
Combined, these two octogenarians are a handful and bring both Ian’s and Emily’s life plans to a screeching halt.
(Grace and Emily are visiting Maggie and Ian in Scotland)
When Emily reached the end of the hall, the back door opened. Her heart raced, sending adrenaline like needles along her nerves. But it was an extremely thin, gray-haired man who entered. She stepped aside to let him in.
Just as he closed the door behind him, a small, brown blur scurried past his feet and darted around in the hall, then ran straight toward Emily. She plastered herself against the hall coat rack. The feathery blur squawked and ricocheted down the hall and into the kitchen.
“Och! Here now! What’s this?” Maggie’s voice rose above the squawking.
Emily peeked around the doorway and then entered the kitchen.
The man followed, stepping around the chicken, which had, by that time, discovered the oats on the floor.
Maggie held out a broom to Emily. “Reverend Brown. ’Tis about time ye showed yerself. This is my sister, Grace. That’s Emily. And that hen,” she said, pointing a knobby finger at a small, brown footstool, “can go back outside till it’s plucked and ready for the soup pot.”
The reverend reached out to shake Emily’s hand. “I’m pleased to meet—”
The chicken darted between their feet and made a sudden attempt at flight. The man jumped back.
Emily took the broom from Maggie. “You want me to sweep now?”
“For the bird, ye daftie!”
“Can I do something to help?” The reverend kept a wary eye on the chicken.
“Aye. Ye can start preaching. When the bird falls asleep, we’ll toss it back out where it came from.”
Emily tried to shoo the bird through the doorway with the broom, but the chicken darted around it and continued to peck at the oats.
Grace tapped her wooden spoon against the pot and turned with a smile for the reverend. “It was so kind of ye to bring us a chicken. Will ye be staying for dinner?”
“Chicken…? Ah, no, thank you. I’ve come to say we missed you on Sunday, Maggie. I hoped you weren’t ill. But then I learned your visitors had arrived. I hope to see you all in kirk before you return home.”
“Och, ’tis no visit.” Maggie wiped her floury hands on her apron. “Grace is here to stay.”
“What?” Emily stared at Maggie.
“Did ye bring back my pie pot, Reverend?” The old woman went on without missing a beat. “Ye’ll not have another pie till ye return it.”
“Are ye the new minister then?” Grace asked.
“Aye. And I have brought back your pot, Maggie, just as you asked.”
“Reverend, have ye met my nephew, Ian?” Grace smiled. “He’s such a kind lad. But I’ve not seen him since our picnic at the beach.”
“Grace!” Maggie huffed. “Are ye daft? Ian brought ye home from the airport three days ago. Do ye not remember now?”
Emily watched her aunt for signs she might be getting flustered. If she had a memory lapse, it would only make her confusion—and her embarrassment—worse.
“We were so tired when we arrived,” Emily offered in a rush. “We barely noticed anything, did we?”
Grace didn’t answer.
Emily swept the oats into a pile but continued to watch her aunt in case she started to drift.
The chicken flapped its wings, scattering the oats.
“I have met Ian,” the reverend said, eyes still trained on the fowl. “Actually, I was speaking to him just before I came in. He’s cutting wood behind the shed.” The reverend dove suddenly, snatched the chicken, and stood up, holding it out at arm’s length with a triumphant smile. “Got it.”
“Thank you,” Emily said. “I’ll get the door for you.” She turned to escort him and the bird outside, nearly bumping into the figure of a man in the doorway. “Ian!” She caught her breath, heart racing.
“So he’s back then?” Maggie asked. “Well, laddie, ye’ve decided to honor us with yer presence. And wanting breakfast too, no doubt. Humph. I dinna ken what ye’ve been eating out there, footerin’ about on the braes.” Maggie grunted and went to work getting him a plate.…
A later scene in which the two old sisters set a meadow on fire made me seriously wonder if they were going to need a time out. Or their own book. Or both.
Beth: I love those two ladies!!! Thank you so much for bringing them along!!!
Camille: Chaz Montgomery and Jasmine Walker from Like a Love Song
Chaz and Jasmine live at Juniper Ranch, a foster group home for teens. Chaz, intelligent and compulsive, and Jasmine, a Cambodian girl from a failed international adoption, have a few coping quirks and are desperate to belong.
These two managed to steal a few scenes…though my biggest challenges with these two are spoilers, so I can’t share those, sorry.
(Chaz with Joe, the new handyman)
Inside, Chaz took Joe to the workbench and a heap of mangled smoke detectors.
“Huh.” Joe titled his head to get a better look. “I wonder why these are all apart.”
Chaz started picking through the pile. “I think this part goes with this one.”
Didn’t really appear to be a match. Joe would have to sit down with the whole mess and try to see what went together, if any of it did. “How’d you know these were out here?”
“I put ’em here.”
Ah. “Did you also take them apart?”
“Pretty much. I can see how the different types work now. It’s simple, really. See this battery?” Chaz went on to explain the route of the detector’s electrical current and how the alarm sound was triggered. He actually got it right.
“So you take things apart and figure out how they work?”
“And then … you put them back together?” It was a long shot.
Chaz spotted something behind Joe and dodged around him to a pile on another workbench.
Joe followed. This next pile contained partial light fixtures and assorted small appliances, all dismantled.
Guess that would be a no.
Chaz shuffled through parts without pausing on any.
Joe had known kids with compulsive tendencies. This kid needed something to focus on. Something complicated enough to keep him challenged.
“Hey, Chaz. How would you like a job?”
The kid whipped around so fast Joe thought his glasses would sail clean off his head. . .
(Jasmine recovering from meltdown and Sue, the [injured] Ranch Director)
Sue looked around for Ringo. Poor dog. He’d probably never set paw in here again. “Did the dog scare you?”
Jasmine mumbled into her legs. “I not scared.”
Sue smiled. “Well, maybe you weren’t, but I sure was. I could hear you screaming from inside the house.”
Jasmine glanced up and checked the doorway. “I not like dogs. They mean.”
“Oh, honey, not Ringo. He’s the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet.”
“Ringo?” The girl cocked her head. “Not wild dog?”
“No. He lives here. I rescued him from a shelter.”
Jasmine relaxed a little. “Your dog?”
“Yep. Well, he’s everyone’s, actually.” Sue shifted her injured leg, wincing. “Ringo used to be a racing dog. When greyhounds start getting older, they aren’t fast enough for racing anymore, so they are retired or sent away. Sometimes, if a dog is lucky, he gets to go to a good home where he can run and play and be part of a family.”
Jasmine kept eyeing the doorway. “Walkers have cats. I no like. They bite and—” Her face scrunched in a wicked hiss. She made a claw and swiped at the air near Sue’s face.
Sue forced herself not to flinch. “If I had cats like that, I wouldn’t like ’em either.” Sue shifted her weight again, relieving the deep ache from the awkward angle of her leg. “But Ringo would never hurt you. He likes to play ball and go for long walks. Want to know what else he likes to do?”
Curiosity lifted Jasmine’s face.
“Ringo loves to ride motorcycles.”
The girl’s eyes went wide. “How?”
“When I ride, he curls up on the tank in front of me. I don’t know how he does it, but he stays on. He has amazing balance. And he loves going fast.”
Jasmine stared out the door for a long time, thoughts working her small face. “Ringo fast race dog?”
“Yeah. He’s still crazy fast, even though he’s older now.”
“You race too?”
“Me? What do you mean?”
She gave Sue the universal teenage eyeball roll. “On motorcycle. You go ‘crazy’ fast?”
As fast as that throttle will let me go, kiddo. “When it’s safe, yes. Sometimes.”
With two fingers, Jasmine plowed long, parallel tracks in the dusty sand. “Dog smart. He find new way to race. Faster way.”
Sue grinned. Smart little cookie. “I guess you’re right. I never thought about it like that.”
Peering over Sue’s shoulder at the doorway, Jasmine moistened her lips. “I go find kids now, finish chores.” She stood but lingered near the post.
It took some effort, but Sue got her crutches beneath her and pulled herself to standing.
Matching Sue’s slow pace to the door, Jasmine hung close. Outside, she halted and swept a glance around the compound. A wagging Ringo trailed Edgar and Haley and the rest of the critter crew.
Edgar turned and stroked the dog’s head, then crouched down to scrub his neck fur.
Eyes fixed on the dog, Jasmine muttered, “Ringo lucky. He find home where even dog fit in.”
Beth: Oh, yes! Definitely two of my favorites here as well!!!
Camille: Millie from The Memoir of Johnny Devine, A Novel
I’m still not sure where Millie and her quiet wisdom came from. She kept surprising me as I wrote this story, and I was often curious what she might do. She sent me looking for a box of tissues at one point…
(Millie and Eliza)
The sound of Millie clearing her throat from the other end of the room made Eliza jump.
“You take lunch in here today, ma’am?”
Tempting as it was, Eliza had no intention of eating away her earnings. Besides, Joan, one of the girls from her building, had invited her to a card party later that evening and there was sure to be snacks. And payday was coming soon. Life had been either feast or famine for so long she’d grown used to going without.
“No, thank you, Millie.” Eliza continued to work, pencil in her teeth and ignoring the rumble in her belly that began the moment Millie mentioned food. By some act of cosmic providence, Eliza had actually eaten supper the night before. On the bus ride home, she’d found a sack lunch containing an apple and half of a cheese sandwich. Normally, she wouldn’t eat food someone had left lying on a bus, but the half sandwich had been neatly wrapped in wax paper, the same way Betty would do for Sue Ellen or Eddie Jr.’s school lunch. Both the apple and the sandwich seemed perfectly fine, and since she couldn’t afford to faint on the job, she had taken her chances.
At a sound behind her, Eliza turned.
Millie hadn’t left the library but was standing at the back of the room with arms folded, watching her.
The old woman lifted her chin, sending a flash of light from her glasses, like cowboys in a western signaling each other from their hiding places in the rocks. “Beg your pardon, ma’am,” Millie said evenly, voice firm. “But skippin’ meals ain’t smart. And you seem like a smart woman. That’s all.”
“Thank you, Millie, but I’m fine.” To Eliza’s dismay, the growl that came from her middle nearly drowned out her refusal.
Millie’s eyes narrowed. She tromped back to the kitchen muttering something in the same tone she’d used on Lucy Ricardo. . .
Millie continues to gently pull things out that Eliza vowed to keep buried while assuring her of God’s great love. I wish everyone could have a Millie in their life. It was a joy to write her, even though she kept me on my toes.
Beth: Eeep! #mustread #tbr #asap
Camille Eide’s titles
Like There’s No Tomorrow (2014), Like a Love Song (2014), The Memoir of Johnny Devine (2015) were published by Ashberry Lane. Camille’s Christmas novella, Savanna’s Gift (2011 ebook), was published by White Rose/Pelican.
Like a Love Song won the 2011 ACFW Genesis award. The Memoir of Johnny Devine won an OCW Cascade Award, RT Reviewer’s Choice Inspirational Romance of the Year (2015), RT Editor’s Seal of Excellence, and RT Book Reviews rare 5-Star Top Pick.
Beth: Plus, the audiobooks for Like There’s No Tomorrow and Like a Love Song, y’all… fantabulous!!!
What are you working on now?
Camille: My current work in progress is the story of a young Polish/American woman in 1933 who finds herself in trouble and alone at a time when many Americans didn’t welcome immigrants—especially Jews.
Anna’s quest to find her missing father takes her to a small town where a young, former minister and the six boys under his tutelage need her help as much as she needs the room and board they offer.
From a pregnant Jewish girl, to a silent black boy, to Thomas, the reticent Lutheran pressured to take sides in a town conflict, to increasing threats from the KKK, to the mysterious death of a local official—the lives of two careworn adults, six orphans, and a mob of quarreling townsfolk are about to intersect in a way no one expected.
It’s a story of loyalty, mercy, and the power of sacrificial love.
Beth: Sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to read it (and Johnny Devine, too)! Thank you for sharing all these excerpts and your bookish news, Camille!
Camille Eide has generously offered to send one of her books to a Faithfully Bookish reader. Winner’s choice of title and paperback or ebook.
paperback U.S. only. ebook where available.
Based on the excerpts, who is your favorite featured secondary character?