This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Chasing Lilacs

FaithWords (June 17, 2010)

Carla Stewart


Carla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. She believed in Jesus, the power of the written word, and a good cup of coffee. She’s a country girl living now in a mid-sized city with her engineering husband who just happens to be her best friend and biggest fan.She and her husband have four adult sons and delight in the adventures of their six grandchildren.


I grew up in the Texas Panhandle with two younger sisters and loving parents. Small town school. Great neighbors. Today, those small-town, fundamental things resonate within me — the twang in people’s voices, the art of being neighborly and just being a decent human being.

Growing up, I preferred the company of books over TV and playing outdoors. I imagined myself in many different careers, but given my down-to-earth raising, I settled on nursing. I didn’t faint at the sight of blood and did well in science, so it seemed a natural choice.

I worked as a registered nurse off and on through the years, but primarily I stayed home with my four rambunctious boys and dreamed of the day when I could write the novels I loved to read. When our youngest son was in high school, I quit my job as a nursing instructor and settled in to pen my first novel. It’s been quite a journey. One I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I’m committed to writing the stories of my heart and am truly thankful to Jesus, my Savior, for allowing me this freedom. May all the glory be His.

Chasing Lilacs is her first book!


It is the summer of 1958, and life in the small Texas community of Graham Camp should be simple and carefree. But not for twelve-year-old Sammie Tucker. Sammie has plenty of questions about her mother’s “nerve” problems. About shock treatments. About whether her mother loves her.

When her mother commits suicide and a not-so-favorite aunt arrives, Sammie has to choose who to trust with her deepest fears: Her best friend who has an opinion about everything, the mysterious kid from California whose own troubles plague him, or her round-faced neighbor with gentle advice and strong shoulders to cry on. Then there’s the elderly widower who seems nice but has his own dark past.

Trusting is one thing, but accepting the truth may be the hardest thing Sammie has ever done.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Chasing Lilacs, go HERE.


Chasing Lilacs perfectly captures the essence of the late 1950’s, a time when children freely roamed their neighborhoods without fear. Both nostalgic and heart-wrenching, this book requires a box of tissues near at hand.

All Sammie wants is a mother who cares about her and spends time with her doing normal mother-daughter things. When her mother is hospitalized with depression and then commits suicide shortly after her release, Sammie’s emotions run the gamut from grief to anger to guilt and more. When her mother’s sister shows up to “help”, Sammie’s life becomes even more difficult. Although her friends have problems of their own, the support of Sammie’s newest friend Cly, a favorite teacher, and an elderly neighbor help her through the hard times.

Chasing Lilacs is beautifully written with characters who could step off the page. Situations and reactions are perfectly realistic and as the plot progresses, several surprises are in store. I can’t recommend Chasing Lilacs enough. I highly suggest that you pick up a copy.