Please join me in welcoming Ellie Gustafson to the blog this week. She’s here to share how her story, Dynamo, came to be. Here’s a short blurb about the book.
Jeth Cavanaugh is searching for a new life along one of Pennsylvania’s mountain ridges when he stumbles upon a stable of show jumpers owned by Rob and Katie Chilton. Throw in a volatile gaited stallion named Dynamo, and Jeth will do anything to work there. He earns his living by training and showing Rob’s jumpers, but Dynamo is his primary passion.
Everything changes when God enters his life—in the unconventional form of a hard slap by an old girlfriend—and ignites a new, greater passion within him. But along with fervor comes fear at the undeniable evidence of God’s hand on his life. Inexplicable events, both good and bad, make him moan plaintively, “Why does God do this to me? I get the feeling I’m being set up for something.”
He is, indeed. Jeth’s life is anything but predictable, much like the God he serves. The real Dynamo and his ultimate trainer emerge out of an excruciating mix of disaster and brokenness, which are never beyond the reach of redemption.
Ellie, please share with the readers what inspired you to write this book?
Dynamo has roots that date back many years. My first horseback ride around age 8, sitting astride a very large horse with a very skinny neck (from my up-top perspective), touched off a passion for horses that still smolders within me.
The very large horse died, which ended my riding lessons, but she was replaced a few years later by a smaller—and feistier—pony that taught me how to really ride. Got dumped three times but finally learned how to be the boss.
Our small, rural town was the locus of the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show, which grew to be one of the most prominent on the East Coast and provided much of the competition material for my book. An incredible event I witnessed there appears in the novel. Watch for Jo Jo and Jeth’s story in Chapter 20. Apart from the show, I occasionally rode a local horse, a nasty fellow named The Earl, that also pops up in the novel under the name, Lord Nelson.
My favorite classes, though, were the five-gaited show horses. Splendid, high-stepping animals with flowing manes and tails—the perfect pattern for the stallion Dynamo.
All of this plowed spiritual ground, as well. The horse material came from way back, but my passion for God picked it up and helped me craft a multi-layered story. The main characters are not Jeth and Dynamo, but God and Maybelle who work behind the scenes to mold a servant. Who is God, really? And what does He want of us? That’s the lesson Jeth needed to learn.
Ellie Gustafson began thinking up stories at a young age but did not begin writing and publishing until 1978. A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, she has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. Additional experiences include gardening, house construction, tree farming, and parenting—all of which have helped bring color and humor to her fiction. One of her major writing goals has been to make scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the undeniable power of story.
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/eleanorgustafson
Facebook: Ellie Gustafson
Ellie is giving away a copy of the book. Follow the directions below to enter.
Thanks for joining us!