I set Redeeming Love in the California Gold Rush period because all of my previous historical romances had been set in California between the years of 1840 to 1880. As a native Californian, I could visit the areas in which I set my novels. I had easy access to historical documents. I also wanted to stay in the same genre so that readers who had followed my career would see the difference in how I defined love in my “Before Christian” novels (passion between a man and woman) and how true love (the passionate, all-consuming fire and sacrificial love of God for each of us). God’s love shown through Christ’s life, death and resurrection changed me and the direction of my writing. Redeeming Love became my public testimony of a personal decision.
The “Old West” also suited the story. People from all walks of life clamored to California to find treasure. They sought a better life and poured themselves into hunting mountains and streams for gold. Most ended up broke and disillusioned and they longed for “home,” some hit the mother lode, spent it all and slipped into obscurity, or became proud and corrupt. All of those things seemed to sum up the condition of humanity. So many strive for the things of this world and ignore or mock the One who offers life abundant.
I hungered and thirsted for answers, for peace of mind and soul. When I confessed, He forgave and saved me. When I prayed and dove into Scripture, I came up refreshed, filled up with hope.
The greatest treasure of all is free for the asking.