Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winning Stuff: Close Encounters of the Moose Kind

Close Encounters of the Moose Kind
~Linda Rondeau
I gasped as the gigantic mound stepped from the woods into our path, heads taller than our compact car. My husband swerved and we missed the animal by inches. “Was that a moose?” my husband asked.
I laughed.
“What’s so funny?”
“My heroine’s life is changed when she runs into a moose.”
We both giggled over God’s sense of humor.
That we found ourselves on the back roads of Franklin County at four in the morning was in and of itself God’s doing. I hadn’t planned on attending the ACFW Writers Conference in Minneapolis. “If I final in the contest then I’ll go,” I told my husband.
I did final, and my words haunted me.  And so once again God changed my plans to fit into His. In rural upstate New York, flight connections often require a pre-dawn departure, and we had taken the country road to save time.
I shared my moose tale with a writer friend who laughed her prophecy. “That moose was a smile from God. He has plans for this manuscript.”
As time went on, God continued to smile affirmation after affirmation even through a dramatic relocation to Florida. Then, eleven years from the day that I felt God’s call to write professionally, my agent called with the news—a publisher had offered a contract. “It’s for Dawn’s Hope, but the editor wants to change the title to The Other Side of Darkness,” she said.
I did agree the alternate title sounded better and trusted the editor’s choice.
Yet, it wasn’t until later that God revealed His hand had been in the making of the book long before the first words were typed, long before I imagined my character’s accident, long before He sent a moose to confirm He would soon fulfill a promise made to me over a decade ago. 
During a speaking engagement at a local women’s meeting, I shared my journey from call to call, reading a poem I wrote that very day God pulled me from one life to set me on another, one undefined and uncertain. I had obeyed His leading and He immediately gave me a poem, “The Song of Peace.” As I shared the poem with the women’s group, my eyes misted when I read the line, “Praise the Lord when Hope seems foolish…There is light on the other side of darkness.”
Could it be that even then, God was smiling on a book not yet imagined? I believe He did.
Award-winning author, LINDA RONDEAU, writes for the reader who enjoys a little bit of everything. Her stories of redemption and God’s mercies include romance, suspense, the ethereal, and a little bit of history into the mix, always served with a slice of humor. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, mother of three and wife of one very patient man, Linda now resides in Florida where she is active in her church and community.  Readers may visit her web site at
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