Artist Janet Hopkins-Campbell, a native of New Martinsville, has a new accomplishment to add to her professional resume.
Her book, "Love Enough to Last a Lifetime," has just been published by Mascot Books in Herndon, Va., and is available for purchase.
Her book is the story of Baby Maggie, who is assigned by God to come to Earth to be with a formerly childless couple.
Can she overcome her nervousness and do what the Heavenly Father wants her to do? And what exactly is her mission?
It was a tragedy in Campbell's family that led to the book. A family member of the author lost a baby to her birth mother after a failed adoption attempt. The ensuing court battle lasted several months, during which time family members bonded with the baby.
"It was never my intention to write a book about it," Campbell said. "One day, about six months later, I was grieving the loss of the child and the story came to me, and I knew that this was something God wanted me to write. I scribbled the entire manuscript in one afternoon.
Even though I painted the illustrations soon afterward, the story sat on a shelf for a few years, during which time I illustrated a book for another author, Carol Craven Bates' "Two Little Boys - Ten Big Plagues."
The publication of the Bates' book prompted Campbell to seek a publisher for her own book.
"After writing the manuscript, it was always the intent of our family to get Maggie's story out to the public, so that her loss would not be in vain."
"I am not unfamiliar with the loss of a child myself, having suffered three miscarriages and the loss of my son's twin, who did not survive the pregnancy. In addition, my mother lost three children-one through miscarriage, one a still birth, and a baby who lived only six weeks.
"It is my hope that Maggie's story will bring some sense of comfort to families dealing with the loss of a child, no matter the age or the circumstance," said Campbell, who moved from New Martinsville to Tennessee 15 years ago.
Bill McDonald, a grief and loss educator in central Tennessee, said, "I am confident that Jan's book will help families going through the grief process due to the loss of a child."
Campbell's book may be purchased online at amazon.com or mascotbooks. com.
An autographed copy of the book may be obtained by writing Campbell at her address: 1115 Maddox Road, Centerville, TN 37033.