Thursday, April 15, 2021

Guest Author, Sherri Stewart

I’ve always been interested in stories about World War II, and I thank Sherri for being here today to tell us about her new book.




 

Goedemorgen. That’s Dutch for good morning. I’m Sherri Stewart. I’m not from the Netherlands but my newest book takes place there, so I’ve been immersing myself in the country and the language. I love writing clean novels, sprinkled with romance and a strong message that hopefully challenges your faith. I spend my working hours with books—either editing others’ manuscripts or writing my own. My passion is traveling to the settings of my books, sampling the food and visiting the sites. My trip to the Netherlands to research this book was everything and more than I could have dreamed of. I’m a recent widow and live in the Orlando area with my lazy dog, Lily, and my son, Joshua, who can fix anything. I share recipes, tidbits of my books’ locations, and pix in my monthly newsletters. Subscribe at http://eepurl.com/gZ-mv9

 

A Song for Her Enemies is my first attempt at a World War II romance. My faith hero has always been Corrie ten Boom, so when my publisher asked us to pick a female hero and write a fictional account of the person from another’s point of view, I jumped at the chance. Little did I know that the book would consume me for two years. It took on a life of its own. Corrie passed away in the 80s, and many of the survivors of the holocaust have left us, but I don’t want them to be forgotten. I want people to know what happened over there—to learn from it, or we’ll make the same mistakes again.

 

For those of you unfamiliar with Corrie, I’ll tell you a bit about her. She was a middle-aged watchmaker who lived with her father and her older sister, Betsie. Her family had a heart for the Jewish people in her Haarlem neighborhood, so when families started disappearing and Nazis looted shops and houses, Corrie opened her home to Jewish refugees. My story is told from the point of view of a young Jewish singer named Tamar, who sought refuge in her house. I couldn’t get permission from the ten Boom estate to write a fictional account about Corrie, so I wrote about violinist Neelie Visser instead. Since she’s made up, I don’t need to get permission from her estate.

 




Here’s a bit about the book. After Nazi soldiers close the opera and destroy Tamar Kaplan’s dream of becoming a professional singer, she joins the Dutch Resistance, her fair coloring concealing her Jewish heritage. Tamar partners with Dr. Daniel Feldman, and they risk their lives to help escaping refugees. When they are forced to flee themselves, violinist Neelie Visser takes them into hiding.

Tamar’s love for Daniel flowers in hardship, but she struggles with the paradox that a loving God would allow the atrocities around her. When Tamar resists the advances of a Third Reich officer, he exacts his revenge by betraying the secrets hidden behind the walls of Neelie’s house. From a prison hospital to a Nazi celebration to a concentration camp, will the three of them survive to tell the world the secrets behind barbed wire?  

A Song for Her Enemies is the story of a talented young opera singer and the bittersweet love that grows amid the tyranny and fear of World War II. Set against the backdrop of neighbors willing to risk their lives in the German-occupied, war-torn Netherlands, A Song for Her Enemies is an inspiring and beautiful novel celebrating the resilience of the human spirit and the determination of Christians in the face of persecution. It is a novel for everyone seeking to understand the pain of the past and be inspired to embrace hope for the future.

Although atrocities occurred during this shameful period of history, I believe it is possible to tell the story without being graphic or maudlin. God promised Jews and Christians a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. (Isaiah 61:3) https://amzn.to/2PoCxMV

 

 

 

  

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Guest Author, Carol McClain

I'm glad Carol has joined us this morning. This book sounds delightful. And hopeful.




 

JOY COMES IN THE MORNING

BUT UNTIL IT DOES …?

SIN’S NOT ALL IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE—BUT AFTER SORROW, COMES JOY.

 

Numbers 14:18 and similar scriptures always caused me to stumble.

“The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation” Numbers 14:18, KJV. (emphasis mine).

 Of course, it wasn’t the fact that God is longsuffering and of great mercy that gave me pause.

That he forgives me and brings me joy.

But why would he hurt the offspring of the iniquitous? They didn’t cause the sin of their parents.

I’ve come to see in my life how this happens. My parents had been alcoholics (past tense—forgiven and forgotten). However, my siblings and I mimicked their pattern of behavior. I won’t reveal the foibles of my siblings or the specifics of my own. I had dabbled in alcohol and drugs. Then, I accepted Jesus and swore off anything bringing inebriation.

Throughout my life, though, I’ve battled the consequences of my youthful foibles.

In similar patterns, we see children of abuse, abusing their children. Offspring of cheaters, cheat. Even as they despise what happened to them, these individuals repeat the process, unless something breaks the cycle.

Recently, I moved to a county which, at one time, had the third-highest opioid use in the nation. I involved myself with mentoring and sadly watched so many fervent individuals relapse into addiction.

Why? Patterns learned enthrall us. And, sin has consequences.

Oh, aren’t you glad you’re reading this blog?

Here comes the good part.

SALVATION AND MENTORING WORK.

Through my time working and mentoring addicts, I heard many horror stories of those who have been conquered by sin. Despite overwhelming odds, I’ve rejoiced with many who had conquered their past.

From this, Borrowed Lives was born. From this, I know the issues confronting people and the wonderful way they’ve conquered them—whether it be from drugs or human cruelty. (You’ve never faced a miserable human, have you? I didn’t think so. Although I believe most people are good-hearted, miserable humans thrive. Surprise!).

Borrowed Lives

Tragedy broke Meredith Jaynes, then she found three abandoned children.

 

This novel creates a world where things aren’t perfect, even for devoted Christians. As sin is overcome and as we walk in God, we may not get our “happily ever after.” With dependence on Christ and His ways, we will live happily.

SO, WHY SHOULD YOU READ THIS NOVEL?

1.    Humor. Even when I’m not trying to be funny, I am. I can’t help it. Move over Carol Burnett. This Carol’s taking over.

2.    Spiritual truth. Even when I’m entertaining, I’m guided by Scripture. By now it’s in the very fabric of my being.

3.    Local color. I’m still enamored of my new home in Tennessee, so I set the book in Jacksboro—my new hometown. Hopefully, you can see Tennessee’s beauty.

 




Borrowed Lives:

God Only Lends Us Those We Love for a Season 

Distraught from recent tragedy, Meredith Jaynes takes pity on a young girl who steals from her. Meredith discovers “Bean” lives in a hovel mothering her two younger sisters. The three appear to have been abandoned. With no other homes available, Social Services will separate the siblings. To keep them together, Meredith agrees to foster them on a temporary basis.

Balancing life as a soap maker raising goats in rural Tennessee proved difficult enough before the siblings came into her care. Without Bean’s help, she’d never be able to nurture these children warped by drugs and neglect—let alone manage her goats that possess the talents of Houdini. Harder still is keeping her eccentric family at bay.

Social worker Parker Snow struggles to overcome the breakup with his fiancĂ©e. Burdened by his inability to find stable homes for so many children who need love, he believes placing the abandoned girls with Meredith Jaynes is the right decision. Though his world doesn’t promise tomorrow, he hopes Meredith’s does.

But she knows she’s too broken.

 

This is available on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Borrowed-Lives-Carol-McClain-ebook/dp/B08Z3HL2FZ/ref

Keep up with all the latest news at: carolmcclain.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.Carol.McClain

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/carol-mcclain

Instagram and Twitter: @carol_mcclain

  

Friday, April 2, 2021

Thank You, Jesus

I love reading Psalm 53 around Easter time, and I decided to share the whole passage.

 

Good Friday is a day of sorrow, and it is important for us to remember what Jesus suffered to spare us punishment. Verse 6 touched me this time, that because I went my own way, Jesus died for me.

 

But on Sunday, and every day, we can celebrate, with Jesus, his victory and the joy he has with us.

 

Hebrews 12:2: fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.

Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;

and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;

he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.

    Yet who of his generation protested?

For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.

He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death,

though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,

    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days,

    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied;

by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.

For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.