Jan and I took some time to sit down with her hero from Love, Lies, and Fireflies, Jake Montgomery. He had some fun things to say and we thought we’d share them with you. Enjoy!
Hi Jake. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where were you born and where do you live now?
“Hi, Elizabeth. I’m Jake Montgomery but there’s not much to tell. I’m a quiet, behind the scenes kind of guy. I grew up on the hurry-scurry outskirts of Baltimore, and I currently live in a bungalow out in the country in rural Maryland. I’m really enjoying the peace. Deer traipse through my backyard on a daily basis!
“I guess you could say I’m a late bloomer because I’m over thirty and not married yet, but I was engaged a couple years ago.” (Jake shakes his head, sadly). “My fiancée was killed in a car crash and life was pretty rocky for a while—hard to get up in the morning, if you know what I mean.” (Jake brightens.) “And then I met Didi. She’s a ray of sunshine in my dark world, and I’m so thankful God sent her my way.”
Sounds like a pretty nice place to live — especially after the hurry scurry! We’ll circle back around to Didi here in a little bit, but first, what do you do for a living?
“I’m a history teacher at Oakdale Middle School.” (Jake laughs). “Some people tell me I’m crazy, but I love working with kids that age. They’re so … what’s the right word? Impressionable, perhaps. Easily led? Easily swayed? I like to think I make a difference in their lives. It’s vitally important to me to make a difference in what I do.
I love that. We need teachers like you! Do you have a story you’d like to share about how you came to know the Lord?
“Sure. It’s bittersweet memory, though. Growing up, I had a friend named Randy. He got cancer, but even when he was feeling so sick, he told me he wasn’t scared to die. He had Jesus. Made me think. I wanted Jesus too, so I asked Him into my heart.”
Wow. That had to be hard — but what a great legacy Randy left. Not to get morbid, but it sort of fits so…what would you like as your epitaph?
Jake breaks out into a grin. “Why don’t we go with ‘He gave his life for the people he loved.’”
Nothing could be better, could it? How do you relax?
“I play tennis with my good buddy Brian, or sometimes my sister, Lori. Used to be pretty good at it, too. Was ranked in the top 100 for a time. Got a scholarship to the University of Maryland but that was before the accident. Don’t get drunk and try to navigate stairs. Just … don’t. I still limp when I’m tired.”
Ouch. Okay, we did promise to circle back around to Didi…tell us about your special lady. What makes her special?
“Didi’s a sweetheart. Her loving nature brings me out of myself. She makes me laugh, and then she makes me glad that I’m her man. Okay, now I’ve said way too much. (Jake’s blush reaches to the tips of his ears.) Despite all she’s been through, Didi still manages to see the glass of life as not just half-full, but filled to the brim. I am very proud of her courageous spirit.”
Awww. The first time you saw her, what did you think?
“She’s way too pretty for me. I’m not in her league.”
Hm. I think you might need to take a better look in the mirror. Did you like her immediately, or did she have to grow on you?
“I got a glimpse of her in a restaurant. She was crying. That louse she was with didn’t deserve a woman like her. The second time I saw her, she had her hair up in a messy ponytail and she was wearing mismatched socks. Cute as a button. The third time I saw her, she took my breath away.
I’ll say it again, awww. Sounds like a great way to start. And it’s definitely a good place to end our little sit down, since I’m guessing there are folks out there who are now dying to know a little more. Thanks for coming, Jake!
“Hey, thanks for having me here today, Elizabeth. Talking about myself is hardly my favorite thing, but I love to tell people about Didi. She’s not what I expected and exactly what I needed.”
You can get the whole story in Love, Lies & Fireflies by Jan Elder. It’s available everywhere e-books are sold and in paperback.
Here’s the back cover:
Didi O’Brien is engaged—at least she was an hour ago. Now she’s not so sure. Her fiancé, the suave Kevin Cabot, has just revealed that he’s been unfaithful, and he’s not even a little bit sorry. Reeling from the betrayal, with her plans for a happily-ever-after life in doubt, she prays for direction. The answer comes as a complete surprise. God has someone better in mind.
Middle school teacher, Jake Montgomery, is struggling with some issues of his own. Sadly, a year previously his fiancée had been killed in a car crash. Battling anger and despair, in a mountain-top experience, Jake wrestles with the Almighty, and is ready to live again. In his youth, he’d felt an unmistakable call to the ministry but, like the prophet Jonah, since then, he’d been running hard in the wrong direction.
Through a crisis of faith, and glimpses of mercy, Didi and Jake find each other. But can they find the strength to resolve the many obstacles that conspire to keep them apart?
And now a little about Jan:
Jan Elder is a Christian romance writer with a zeal for telling relatable stories. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story.
Besides writing romance, she enjoys the occasional hazelnut cappuccino while watching Turner Classic Movies. Always an avid reader, she devours books voraciously, both Christian and secular. She was born a cat-lover and all books will, no doubt, feature a feline in some way or another.
Happily married for thirteen years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a chubby tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a svelte tortoiseshell cat who likes to lord her slender physique over the chubby one.) On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.
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Jan would love to give away an e-book copy of Love, Lies, and Fireflies to TWO lucky commenters – so please be sure and say hello!