Book 1: Sacred Spring
Rays of sunlight penetrated the azure water, fracturing it into golden-rimmed squares of teal that undulated on the sandy bottom. Elaine looked up to check on the eagles and there they were, enjoying a thermal above the tall trees. The leaves on the oaks were every color of green imaginable. They made a picture any artist would love to paint.
Elaine Donovan’s forebears have owned the Florida Sacred Spring campground for generations. It has inspired her to become an environmentalist in order to learn how to best conserve a part of The Real Florida for future generations. Now, duty weighs heavily on the twenty-three year old Elaine as she finds herself responsible not only for the soon -to-be-condemned haven, but for her young brother, Scotty, and their aging grandfather. When she meets Hank Schaefer, she senses that he may have some practical advice for her, but she then discovers that his scheming female partner will destroy if she has her way. Elaine now must seek for her own guidance, both in her vocational and in her personal life.
“I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about natural Florida and love blossoming in the most unusual places.”
“There is a timelessness to the story of a broken family trying to hang on in a natural setting that makes you want to get outdoors yourself.”
“The little details she included added a lot of immediacy to the story.”
Jean Schaefer has suffered from overwhelming anxiety for the past four years, due to the death of her parents and an entanglement with her child’s father, which ended in a shocking rejection. She contracts for an original settler’s house in the woods near Living Spring hoping to use the renovation process as therapy. She must now learn to live in new ways and to allow people into her life again. As the history of the old house, along with elements of her own past begin to surface, Jean finds herself fighting inner battles she thought she had buried forever.
“Because I am originally from Orlando, Florida, I found myself transported back to the places she described. This book took me back to days when I swam in the springs and hiked in the woods. DiVoran did a very good job placing her characters in those places, describing in such a way that, I could almost see them again.”
“…solid and well written.”
Book 3: Clear Spring
Mel Nicolaides, one of five children, has lived a happy, sheltered life with her family at Living Spring in Florida. Now, while the others head for a vacation in Europe, Mel elects to stay at a remote North Florida spring to work. Her job is to illustrate a botanical book. The author whose Seminole name is Walking Woman teaches Mel about Seminole Indian medicine and culinary herbs. She also helps her to become more independent which is, after all, Mel’s primary goal for the summer. The revelation of a skeleton in the family closet, however, forces Mel to find sources of strength that she never knew existed.
CIR: What inspired this series?
LITES: The Holy Spirit, for to me he is the inspirer divine. But to break it down, I’d say that falling in love with the Florida Springs was the first gleam for the trilogy. Please come see the springs yourself. They are so beautiful. No description or picture could portray them adequately.
CIR: Obviously, there are environmental themes in Sacred Springs. Are there other messages, too?
LITES: Sacred Springs and my overall themes are all about love. First, we each, individually, have the love of God. Then there’s the holy attraction between man and woman, hopefully for a lifetime. We also consider family love, and the love true friends have for each other. Yes, we enjoy our flowers, and our homes, and our daily lives. Those things count, too. Love, peace, joy, and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit are there for us along with the grace and abundance of God. As we know, however, every relationship and situation has the potential for conflict. That’s where stories come in. So we read and are moved by what we perceive, and we hope that when the book is over, we experience a lingering sense of satisfaction along with a yearning to go on with the story and others.
CIR: What makes the trilogy unique?
LITES: This would be a hard question to answer if someone very literate and knowledgeable had not once told me (paraphrased): “Your writing reminds me of Bach’s ‘Two-Part Invention’. It can be read for fun and entertainment, but if people have eyes to see and ears to hear, they will discover also depth and meaning.” I cherish that statement and enjoy trying to live up to it in all of my books.
CIR: Did you start out to write a trilogy, or did it grow?
LITES: When I finished the first novel, there was a hole as big as a spring-boil in my heart because I was so enthralled with the characters who had revealed themselves and their habitat. I felt compelled to visit their neighborhood again and again.
Learn more about DiVoran Lites and her books at the blog she shares with author Rebekah Lyn.