As a child, Eileen loved writing and telling stories. Walking to school every morning, she created characters, then talked to them as she ambled down the road, which was often her way of dealing with grief and loss. After the death of her brother, Eileen learned to empathize with the underdog. Many of Eileen's stories revolve around issues that many find difficult to talk about--death, homosexuality, sex trafficking. Through her characters, she offers readers an opportunity to draw close, peel back the layers of their own hearts, and examine what lies within.
And added to the mix--romance, always a romance around one corner or another!
About the book: One brother's dark secret. Another brother's scorn.
Newlyweds Gavin and Maggie Munsfield return to care for the sick and wounded at The Oasis Compound in Chennai, India, which is still suffering from the recent tsunami. Gavin's brother, Tim, a successful landscape architect, joins them for the clean-up and rebuilding of the Compound. But Tim harbors a dark past that threatens to destroy his relationship with his brother...and a promising new love. Will family ties be strong enough to bind two wounded hearts, once the secret is revealed
Author's links: www.eileenrife.com
And now . . . Behind the book:
I’ve often wondered what secrets lay in the heart of the person sitting in the pew next to me. Is she grieving a lost love? Is he mourning the death of a spouse? Has she recently endured a serious illness or a divorce?
When my counselor husband asked me to write a pamphlet on homosexuality for his office several years ago, I reluctantly agreed. However, after I delved into research I realized I couldn’t do it. What I learned was simply too upsetting and depressing to continue. I wanted to help since five percent of his client case load struggled with this issue, but I couldn’t. So I dropped the project and wished him the best.
A few years passed and I endured some struggles of my own in which God had to reach deep within my heart and rescue me. When I began brainstorming characters and plot line for book two, Restored Hearts, in the Born for India trilogy, seemingly out of nowhere the idea struck me that a character I’d introduced at the end of book one, Journey to Judah, would resurface in Restored Hearts as a young man who struggled with homosexuality.
I wondered why God would create a desire in me to tackle this topic. Intrigued, I jumped into research, but this time I didn’t give up, even when I thought I couldn’t go on. Even when I worried that my writing would not do justice to the topic.
The more I wrote, the more I began to identify with my central character Tim who desperately wanted to flee homosexuality once and for all. While I have not struggled with this issue, I have been held captive by other equally-destructive habits. My heart softened for this young man. I found myself rooting for him, praying for him, agonizing for him.
By the end of the novel, I celebrated with him. And my life was changed. I began to wonder if someone in the pew next to me suffered in silence with this sin.
Since writing this novel, God has allowed me to encourage several who’ve either struggled themselves or watched a family member struggle. I no longer view one sin as worse than another. I no longer laugh at homosexual jokes. I no longer wince when I’m in the presence of a homosexual.Instead, I offer the love of Jesus, praying that the same God who redeemed me from all my sin will do the same for this individual.