Monday, January 28, 2013

Wonderful Diversions

Time has brought a bit of sadness my way these past few weeks. Although I’ve continued to edit my work in progress, Sarah: Laney’s Angel, I decided it would be beneficial to retreat and read—an escape to literature always brings me relief.  And therefore I bolted from routine.  This last week or so, I’ve read the following books.  You will enjoy each of them. A laugh or two awaits you; maybe a tear or two, but most of all, you will find God between the pages.

All are fast breaks from busy days.  The Shack, listed at the end, is not a romance, but eighteen million people agree with me—it is a noble study.

I love all the covers.  Don’t you?  When I decided to give myself a break, I chose titles with fantastic art work, and the inside stories didn’t disappoint.

 Trinity Hart’s opening chapter to an Accident Waiting to Happen captured my interest and continued to hold it until I finished the novel.   My Kindle went crazy during the read, and I wanted to throw the thing against the wall.   I’d guessed the mystery, but I could hardly wait to discover if I was right.

Hope Pearson’s would-be killer rigged her brakes and caused her car to careen out of control.  Caleb McBryde, a former Texas Ranger, and a hunk with a scar on his face as well as one in his soul, stumbles into Hope’s life as a result of the accident. Can Hope find her way back to God? After all, He disappointed her. Will Caleb overcome his fear? How can Hope love a disfigured man?

Hart weaves valuable Christian insights into the undertaking without overload on the preachy stuff.

The author doesn’t “tell” a story, she “shows” one.  Since my goal in writing fiction is to “show,” I look for books such as an Accident Waiting to Happen.  I will browse this one a second time and I hope to discover more of Hart’s work.


Mary Ball’s Escape to Big Fork Lake is another book with intrigue and Christian romance. Samantha Blacker, also known as Sam, receives an unexpected inheritance. The unforeseen bequest requires Sam, a city girl, to move to a small, country town in Alabama. Sam falls in love with the inn on the lake, and if she lives here for a year, it remains hers.

With no place in her heart for God, a newfound, romantic, friend, Noah Frye patiently turns Sam’s thoughts toward Him. Oops!  Wait a minute.  Sam is framed for murder.   How could God let such a thing happen?  What will this do to Sam’s budding romance with a mortal and her potential relationship to God?

Who among us doesn’t want an astonishing endowment from a kind benefactor?  Only in creative writing does it usually happen, but we can all hope, anyway. Ball has taken a wish many of us have—to start over in a romantic, gorgeous place, and added a nightmare—murder.  


Donna and Mark Duboise are Christian gospel singers who face trauma and marital discord.  Through a mission trip, God brings Donna back to a restored relationship to Him and her husband. The difficult work of a missionary, even a temporary one, is brilliantly described in these chapters. However, the rewards of such effort are detailed also.

The Christmas Answer is a story within a story.  Jackson shows how God works all things to our good. The reader will find encouragement in The Christmas Answer. What we do in our everyday world touches others—and we may never know the merits of a word or deed, until eternity, that is.


A widow, Celina Innes, and her four-year old daughter live above her dress shop in Aspen, Colorado. The year is 1886, a difficult era for a lone female entrepreneur. Mikel, co-owner of Toussaint’s General Store, and a recent arrival to the United States, admires Celina and adores the child. Keena, the young daughter, suddenly develops an illness. Mikel is able to help, and Celina realizes her love and need for him. This hero demonstrates his character with actions, and provides pure romance to a reader.

Carroll-Bradd weaves an effective adventure into a novella.  The friendship between Mikel and Celina moves along to a fast completion without leaving one feeling as though something was missing—a difficult process in shorter literature.

A surprise to me? The price of a wedding ring in 1886. 
A Change of Style
The Shack breaks away from the Romance Genre, but I recommend this one as well.

Product Details

After seeing the author interviewed, I decided to read his book again. I loved it the first interval and the interview revealed facets I might have missed.  Here are a few aspects that came to mind with this second reading.

God establishes a love relationship with us.

Forgiveness is a must in our lives.

God hates hypocrisy—especially in the established church.

On My To Read List

I look forward to this one.  I read Kim McMahill’s Marked in Mexico, and it was a real page turner.  Big Horn Storm promises the same.

My Books

Available now through bookstores and Amazon.

To be released this Spring by Prism Book Group

Monday, January 14, 2013

King David and His Wives

 The Family of King David

A preacher friend asked advice from my husband about a sermon he planned to preach taken from Acts 13:22.  In this verse, God says, “I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.”
This young, inexperienced preacher said, “I need some humor in this sermon. King David had a palace full of wives and kids and he was a man after God’s own heart.  What if I said we guys should follow his example, and have a bunch of women at our command? You think that would bring the house down?”

My husband sagely replied, “If I ever said anything similar to that from a pulpit, Gay would jump up from the pew and lead the women out the back door—joke or no.”
From my corner where I listened, I joined the conversation. “You got that right.  That’s not a correct interpretation, nor is it comical. God’s plan has always been one wife for each man. David persisted in sin with multiple spouses and this caused him severe trauma.  When God said David was a man after his own heart, He meant something entirely different—it certainly wasn’t polygamy. “

The untrained minister decided he’d better omit the irresponsible joke from his sermon.  Wise choice.
I just finished reading Daughter of the King by authors Carlene Havel and Sharon Faucheux This powerful and historical novel is based on First and Second Samuel from the Old Testament.  Daughter of the King tells the Biblical story of King Saul’s youngest daughter, Michal.  The authors added imaginary conversations to factual events.  It's available in eBook, print, and audio.

Some literary license was taken, and as I read, every once in a while, I’d pause and say, “Huh? Is that right?” I often explored my Bible to see if the information was accurate or not—and thereby refreshed my memory of facts. Always a beneficial thing for a Bible student and one’s memory.
The authors wrote in the forward, “For believers, it is a serious undertaking to write a story based on the Holy Bible. We hope and pray we have done our work in an acceptable manner.  Scripture is truth.  Daughter of the King is fiction.”

The book begins with Michal married to Phaltel.  This man is actually her second husband.  You see, her father, King Saul was furious with his daughter for saving David’s life, and as punishment, he gave her to another man as wife. In Phaltel’s household, Michal receives abuse from his multiple wives.  This prepares her for her future in David’s palace.
When Michal returns to David after seven years of exile, she finds her father and family dead. At this time, David has added six wives, six sons and one daughter. Michal asks David if his wives love him. He replies, “Some more than others.”

David’s second wife, Abigail, befriends Michal and welcomes her into the women’s quarters. Michal is actually the senior wife, but she doesn’t assume her authority at this juncture.
David later takes additional concubines and wives, and more sons and daughters are born, but Michal remains barren. One of these wives is Bathsheba, mother of Solomon.

After Michal confronts David about his near nude dancing as he brings the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, she becomes a self-imposed outcast in the palace.  Her life dramatically improves when David brings Mephibosheth and his young son into the mansion. This nephew is her brother, Jonathan’s son.  David is determined to show kindness to anyone who remained alive in his best friend’s family.
Mephibosheth teaches Michal important lessons. When she tells her nephew that God hates her because she prayed for a son and was denied, Mephibosheth responds, “Ah, I see now. You have told Him, perhaps many times, how life should be arranged. Yet He fails to follow your instructions. Why would anyone pray to such a disobedient God?” 

Soon after this conversation, Absalom maneuvers troops to go against his father, King David.  From a cave, David says, “I have let being the king overshadow being a father. A husband. God’s forgiveness, and my family’s may ease the pain.  The human penalties must still be paid. I fear the sword will never leave my house.”

Daughter of the King ends in the middle of David’s story, but it finishes on a positive note. This is a powerful book, and I highly recommend it.  Available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and Prism Book Group, print or Ebook.  The first chapter is available at those sites.

My books are available at the same sites, but here's a quick Amazon link.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Shakespeare, in his play, Romeo and Juliet, wrote a line now famous.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."


            This short line sums up the struggle and tragedy of the drama. Juliet loves the man, not the name and for Juliet’s love, Romeo rejects his family name.

            As of this writing date, a fifteen year old girl in Iceland is suing the state over her given name. The one her mother provided her at birth is not on the official government approved list. According to the government, the teenager is listed as the no-named girl.

            Iceland isn’t the only country to require parents to accept an authorized government name.  Fortunately for us in the United States, we are free to christen our babies with whatever nomenclature we desire. And some of us have weird ones, but they are ours. We also have the freedom to change our name if we aren’t fond of the one our parents chose.

            Have you ever wondered how authors select names? When authors begin a story, appellations are carefully considered. Will readers relate to the heroine’s name? Does the hero’s designation imply strength? Are the names pronounceable, memorable?  Do they fit the personalities of the main characters?

            What names from literature you remember?  Ichabod Crain? Robinson Crusoe? Romeo? Heidi? Lassie? Nancy Drew?

            The most important and unforgettable name ever given to man is the name Jesus.  The Father gave His Son a name that is above every name, and at His name, every knee will bow.  But Jesus is not fictional; He is a real, living person with a name that brings salvation.
           Any thoughts on human or fictional birth tags?  How did you choose your children’s names?  How did you parents choose what you are called?  Who is your favorite fictional character?

            When writing the series about a dyslexic angel, I selected the name Sarah.  A Biblical name, one easily pronounced, and one I hope will be remembered as a series. Two new Sarah books are due in 2013, and I’m hoping more to come.    

PBG Insider: Gay N. Lewis Introduces her "Sarah" series

Sarah at Christmas