Happy Tuesday, Reader Friends!
I have the pleasure of introducing today’s Takeover Tuesday host, Kelly Goshorn. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing this lady for a few years now. I’ve been so excited to see her writing journey finally come to fruition. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with Kelly! Be sure to show her some love in the comments.
The Story Behind the Story—Writing a Plus-Sized Heroine
Have you seen the new AMC show Dietland? It’s about a plus-sized woman named Alicia who goes by the moniker Plum because “she’s round and succulent,” like the fruit. Oh boy, don’t EVEN get me started. Before I go any further, let me offer the disclaimer that Dietland is written from a very worldly point of view and has the potential to offend.
That being said, I squirmed my way through the entire two-hour premiere. It’s uncomfortable to watch someone be so completely unsatisfied with themselves. But, I’m captivated and plan to continue watching. Why? Because Plum, like all of us, desperately wants to be loved and accepted for who she is. Man, can I relate.
Plum is me.
I am her.
I’ve struggled with weight issues my entire life, something I bring to life in the pages of my debut novel, A Love Restored.
Many have asked me why I would choose to write a plus-sized heroine. A couple have cringed at the thought of my hero, Benjamin, finding her attractive. “Who would want to read that?” Others have suggested that without the overpowering, ever-present media we have today, Ruth Ann wouldn’t have struggled with self-image issues in the 1870s? Really? Then why were women deforming their rib cages inside whale bone corsets to achieve a tiny hourglass figure?
The truth is Ruth Ann’s story is my story. A Love Restored is based on my own romance with my husband, Mike, with all its ups and downs, including our devastating break up (you’ll have to read the story if you want to know more).
Like Plum, I’ve had cruel things said about my appearance. Oftentimes by people who were supposed to love me.
Boys don’t date chubby girls.
With those broad shoulders and hips, you wouldn’t be petite even if you lost weight.
You have such a pretty face, what a shame you don’t do something about your figure.
Men don’t marry overweight women.
I guess people assume that as your waistline expands so does your capacity to tolerate rudeness.
But their insensitive words failed in comparison to the ugly way I spoke to myself. I’d become so defined by the negative comments and opinions of those surrounding me, I no longer saw anything to esteem. I’d allowed my self-worth to be determined by a yardstick that measured my value according to the size of my waist or the flatness of my stomach, always coming up short.
I yearned for a love that would look upon my heart and find inestimable worth, despite my physical flaws. Couldn’t someone love and accept me the way I was? Like a needle caught in the scratch of a vinyl record, the toxic phrases I spoke to myself played repeatedly in my head. Why was it so hard to believe a man might find me attractive? Even love me? No matter the exact phrasing, it all boiled down to the same thing in my mind—I was undesirable, therefore unlovable.
I’d hit rock bottom and came close to swallowing an entire bottle of ibuprofen.
Then another voice spoke to my damaged heart reminding me of His great love for me. That indeed I was not a mistake and that He loved me more than any man ever would. The overwhelming weight of inadequacy that had burdened my spirit since childhood disappeared. A soothing peace soaked into my parched soul like water in the dessert, bringing relief to every dry crevice.
The Voice of Truth had silenced the Great Deceiver.
My personal journey to self-acceptance is shown through my heroine, Ruth Ann. But at its core, A Love Restored is not only a story of love, romance, heartache and restoration, but also a story about the power of words over our lives. It is a story about the struggle each of us faces to take our thoughts captive to the truth of Scripture so we may experience the fullness of God’s unequivocal love for us. As Benjamin and Ruth Ann discover, it is only then that we are truly able to give and receive love, unconditionally.
I hope readers will be able to relate to Ruth Ann’s struggle. Whether their issue is with their body image, finances, appearance, lifestyle, occupation or something entirely different, my prayer for each of you is that you will not allow the enemy to steal the joy that is rightfully yours as a child of God. Speak the truth of the gospel over yourself every day and ask God to give you His eyes to see yourself as He does. (1 Samuel 16:7b)
About the Author
Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi. Her debut novel, A Love Restored, releases June 29th from Pelican Book Group.
About the Book
The Blurb: “She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.
Twenty-year old Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. She would rather read Jules Verne or teach Negro children to read and write than join the Women’s Benevolent Aid Society or practice her voice lessons. Her pert opinions and less than perfect figure keep many suitors away. When Ruth Ann accepts a position teaching at the new Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer she is likely to receive. Should she risk life as a lonely spinster or reinvent herself to accept a proposal from a man she does not love?
Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. All he needs now is a woman to share his promising future. When Benjamin has a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, he is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. When others ridicule his choice, Benjamin must decide whether he will listen to his heart or put ambition first.”
One randomly-drawn reader will win a $5 Amazon gift card and 1 book charm (US only). To enter leave a comment by 07/02/18 11:59pm EDT for a chance to win. I will use a random generator to pick a winner on 07/03/18 (be sure to come back and check if you won).
*Giveaway Policy here.