Ginny Yttrup's second novel, Lost and Found, is garnering rave reviews
and is available now from B&H Publishing
It appears Jenna Bouvier is losing everything: beauty, family, and wealth. When her controlling and emotionally abusive mother-in-law accuses Jenna of an affair with her spiritual director and threatens to expose them, Jenna also risks losing her reputation as a woman of faith. Will she capitulate to her mother-in-law’s wishes again or fight for what she holds dear? As Jenna loses her life, will she find it?
Andee Bell has found exactly what she wanted: fame, fortune, and respect. There’s also a special man in her life—Jenna’s brother. Despite her success, a secret quells Andee’s contentment. As memories torment, will she find peace in a relationship with God, or will she sabotage herself while also taking down the only person she cares about? As Andee finds her life, will she lose it?
Moving between San Francisco and the Napa Valley, Jenna and Andee form an unlikely relationship that leads them to a crossroad. They can follow familiar inclinations, or risk it all and walk in faith.
Enjoy meeting Jenna and Andee!
Brief physical description
Jenna Bouvier is a petite, slender, brunette, with sapphire blue eyes. She is beautiful, but suffers the shame of a jagged scar on her chin--something she see's as ugly and debilitating and claims as her own responsibility.
Andee is a tall, slender, blonde, with chocolate brown eyes. She is aware of her beauty and uses it to manipulate others.
I am not one of those authors who looks for a picture and then assigns it to a character. I usually have such a strong visual in my mind, that when I look at a picture I think, that's not my character. In fact, when my fabulous cover designer from B&H, Diana Lawrence, put a picture of a person on the cover for Lost and Found, I recoiled. I couldn't embrace that picture as being Jenna. However, I sat with the picture for a day or two and finally concurred that she'd done a great job based on my descriptions of Jenna in the book.
Strengths and weaknesses
When the story begins, Jenna is just beginning to break out of her passive, people pleasing ways. But she's struggling. She's sought the approval of people and has put them in the place of God in her life. But her strength is self-awareness and a burning desire for intimacy with her Creator. Ultimately, she is willing to give up her life, all she's known, to follow Him.
Andee is ferocious. Deeply wounded and in denial, she has sought the life she thought she wanted and succeeded. She controls her own destiny--she's beautiful, successful, and wealthy. But when those things don't satisfy, she's at a loss, and sabotages herself and those closest to her. She is in danger of losing the life she's fought so hard for.
Quirk (if any)
Andee is obsessive about her espresso.
Your inspiration for the character
My inspiration for Jenna, my main protagonist, was Madame Jeanne Guyon, known as one of the most important women in Christian history. While I was going through a painful time in my own life, a friend quoted Jeanne Guyon. The quote sent me on a journey of discovery and after reading Jeanne Guyon's autobiography, I began wondering what a contemporary Jeanne Guyon might look like--what would her life look like, what choices would she make, how would she handle some of the struggles that Jeanne Guyon encountered. Thus, Jenna Bouvier came to being.
For the most part, I am a seat of the pants writer, so I developed Andee Bell as I wrote. Her personality needed to be the opposite of Jenna Bouvier's for the story to work. While writing, I began thinking about modern-day women who are familiar with the world of business and finances. I actually took the model for the book Andee writes from one of Suze Orman's books. I created her based on high-power women I've seen in the media and read about--women who base their security on themselves rather than depending on God.
Background to the story
In my personal life, I was learning what it meant to lose my life for Christ's sake (Matthew 10:39). When I read Jeanne Guyon's autobiography, much of her teaching was about picking up our cross and following Christ, and dying to self. Her life experiences and lessons seemed to mirror my own, although we lived hundreds of years apart. I wanted to create a story that would show what it looks like today, to lose one's life for the sake of Christ. To perhaps even show what it would look like to walk away from those who hinder a relationship with Christ.
In addition to reading Jeanne Guyon's autobiography, I'd also read Leslie Vernick's book, The Emotionally Destructive Relationship, and was identifying a destructive/abusive relationship in my own life and was seeking God on how to handle it. An emotionally abusive relationship was also part of Jeanne Guyon's life. I contacted Leslie Vernick and asked if she'd be interested in consulting on the novel I was writing. She agreed. With Leslie's insight, and all I'd learned from her book, I was able to create the destructive relationship between Jenna and her mother-in-law, Brigitte.
My hope is that any of my readers who might be bound by such a relationship in their own lives will see themselves in this story and learn from Jenna's commitment to seek God and her willingness to make changes as she follows Him.