Highlighting Historical Fiction with Camille Regholec
The spark for this book series came after I moved to the small, sleepy hamlet of Summitville in the Catskill Hudson area of New York. I began attending a little country church, most parishioners were elderly, long time members of the community. This church had a strange custom. One Sunday a month they traveled and worshipped in the Phillipsport church, a bare mile away. As I have always been curious about how things happen in any place I lived, I asked my fellow pew sitters why and how this habit began. It was like I opened the floodgates of their collective memories.
I outlined a series of tales, starting in 1823 when the Phillipsport church was built to modern times.. I published the first book with a publisher that folded and prayed about which book I should attempt next.
Secret Way to the Heart almost never came to be. I planned on each book being one family going through the major events of the church, community and businesses. I originally was going to skip the Civil War years. I could not see how such a depressing era in American history could be the backdrop to an inspirational story.
God clearly thought otherwise for He brought Laura Z. Smith to work with me at the library. She had found, in her attic, a packet of letters from a soldier to his family back home in New York. She did not know where they came from or where the descendants may be. We went into deep research on these letters and who they should go to. This led Laura to become a vocal advocate for the preservation of the Civil War veteran’s memories. I, on the other hand, felt compelled to speak for those who did not – or could not – go off to fight for freedom. Thus, Secret Way to the Heart came to be. To confirm this decision God brought me further information from the strangest sources. (That’s another book for a later date) I saw it as a labor of love for all who lived and breathed and trusted God through it all.
1. The Southern preacher gives a powerful message but later confesses he took it from a book of sermon written from pastors of the Episcopal Methodist, South 1858. That book actually exists. It was part of a silent auction at Wesley Seminary in Washington D.C. in which there were only two bidders – myself and the assistant dean of the school. The bidding went up from $1.00 to $20.00 until the dean showed up at my classroom to confront me. We were both writing books. His was a nonfiction about Abraham Lincoln while mine was a historical romance. I told him this Northerner needed this book more than him. He agreed. I didn’t tell him I couldn’t have bid another cent.
2. I was able to Google southern Civil War data easier from Washington than I could back home in New York
3. I ended up being the last pastor at that church before it closed in 2014. I was blessed to officiate at the funerals of most of those old time members. What an honor!
About the Book: Secret Way to the Heart
Though far from the battlefields, the Civil War brings many changes to Jayne’s family and neighbors in the Hudson Valley of New York. As she struggles to keep her family united in the midst of a country torn apart, Jayne seeks God for answers and protection to keep her heart from falling for a mysterious Southern preacher who appears on the scene.
Camille Regholec is a pastor with a love for God and history. She presently serves a small storefront church, Nations of the World in Monticello, NY. She had another historical romance , a memoir, as well as a children’s picture book published by a company no longer in business. Married to Jerry, she is mother to four adult children, ten grandchildren and a grandson. She is working on the next in the Looking at the Heart series as well as finishing up a contemporary inspirational romance and a cozy mystery.