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The Story behind Almond Street Mission by June Foster

Please join me this week in welcoming June Foster to the blog. It’s appropriate that her new book, Almond Street Mission, takes place in part at a homeless shelter, reminding us to all be thankful for our blessings and to help those who aren’t as fortunate.

Here’s a little bit about the book.

almond-street-mission-final-002When a homeless man rescues Glorilyn from a violent assault, he’s not the man he seems. What powerful secret keeps him on the streets?

When Glorilyn Neilson’s nineteen-year-old brother, Tannon, goes missing without a trace, she’s frantic. Prayer and volunteering at the local homeless shelter in El Camino must fill the time until her sibling returns. But her sapphire eyes and auburn hair inadvertently cause a stir among the male population at the center. Her life changes one evening when she’s attacked by a burly vagrant intent on rape in the alley behind the building.

Jeremiah Goodman loves the Lord, but he’s homeless. When he witnesses a foul-mouthed vagrant overpowering one of the volunteers at the homeless shelter, he defends her, saving her from unwanted advances.

When Glorilyn offers him a way of escape from his impoverished lifestyle, he can’t tell her why he must live the life of a vagrant. What powerful secret keeps him on the streets?

June, what inspired you to write the book?

Almond Street Mission tells the story of Glorilyn Neilson whose younger brother, Tannon, has gone missing, hurling her entire family into turmoil. Prayer and volunteering at the local homeless shelter fills the empty, lonely hours. One evening, she’s attacked by a brawny vagrant intent on rape. Another vagrant, Jeremiah Goodman, defends her.

The mission director offers Jeremiah and young nineteen-year-old, Tank, a place at the shelter. But when Jeremiah later protects another vagrant in hopes of sharing the gospel, the director finds heroin on Jeremiah, and he’s booted out. Tank leaves with him.

On the street, Jeremiah and Tank try to scrape up a meal, but trash cans around the city park don’t provide food for their hungry stomachs. Taking a chance on getting arrested, they beg for something to eat in front of an elegant downtown Italian restaurant. Two older women walk out. One ignores them but the other looks at them with kind eyes and offers an entire pizza.

The scene is inspired by real life. My daughter and I were in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at an Italian restaurant. We each ordered a small pizza, but the waiter brought me a Hawaiian pie though I’d order pepperoni.

When I pointed out the mistake, the server gave me another, this time pepperoni, and told me to keep the first one. No way I could eat a second pizza, and we didn’t want to take it to the hotel, so I asked if he knew who could use it. He said the homeless congregate nearby, and he’d deliver it to a hungry person.

In the story, the other woman who gives the extra pizza to Jeremiah and Tank is above average height. That’s me, and my 5’10” height qualifies as tall! When Tank says “God bless you,” the lady says “He does, everyday.” The sentiments of my heart.

june-fosterAn award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of JulyRyan’s Father is available from WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and The Almond Tree Series, For All Eternity, Echoes From the Past, and What God Knew are available from Amazon.com. Misty Hollow and A New Family are published by Helping Hands Press and available at Amazon. June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. Find June online at junefoster.com.

Thanks for joining us! June is giving away an ebook version of this story. Scroll down to find out how to enter.

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Happy thanksgiving to all!

3 Comments

  1. Liz, Happy Thanksgiving. Indeed we can be thankful for our blessings and remember that there are others who aren’t experiencing those blessings. This year, it brought joy to my heart to donate 20 meals to the Jimmie Hale Mission in Birmingham, AL, on which Almond Street Mission is based. Thank you so much for allowing me to share my story on your blog.

  2. Thanks for sharing the story behind the story for Almond Street Mission. I’ve read the sweet story, so don’t need to be entered to win it. It’s a touching book.

  3. Thanks Gail for your kind words.