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September 27, 2012 | 0 comments

**SPOILER ALERT**

 

 

In the original manuscript of A Voice in the Wind which was intended to be a stand-alone title, I had Hadassah die in the arena.  It was my first novel in which I was writing blatantly as a Christian and not doing an allegory (Redeeming Love). 

My editor, Karen Ball, was furious.  She called and said if she didn’t know I had other possibilities going on in my head (which I did because I loved Hadassah and didn’t want to kill her off), she would throw my manuscript across the room, or jump up and down on it (or me).  She loved Hadassah, too.  “You can’t kill her!” 

It was a “classic” ending, and all writers want to write a story that lasts.  But I gave in.  Forget writing a classic/tragic ending that offers a catharsis and makes people think about their (own) lives.  I wanted to keep her alive, too.  So along came Alexander Democedes Amandinus, a doctor...

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September 25, 2012 | 0 comments

** SPOILER ALERT**

Each character in A Voice in the Wind represents a different way of thinking, during Roman times, but also during ours. Marcus was an Epicurean.  Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die!  Julia went one step further and was a Hedonist, devoted to pleasure and self-gratification as a way of life, not counting the cost until she thinks it’s too late.  Julia was an “it’s all about ME” girl. 

Sadly, there are many in our culture today who reflect both of these lifestyles, and like, Marcus and Julia, condemn everyone who believes and lives otherwise. 

I wanted readers to hate Julia.  I wanted them hungry to see her ruination.  I wanted them feel a little pity, but also feel she deserved what she got.  Why?  Because all too many people, including Christians, feel that way when faced with blatant, unrepentant sinners who despise God and want Him removed from every public forum.  We can become...

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September 22, 2012 | 0 comments

A Voice in the Wind has had four covers over the last twenty years.  The first depicted characters Atretes, Hadassah and Marcus.  The second was dark blue and had a faint shadow of Roman columns behind the large print title.  The third is maroon and black with Hadassah praying in the center.  The last cover, and my personal favorite (painted by Robert Papp), has Hadassah standing before the arena.  She is beautiful. 

In the book, Hadassah is very plain.  Like Jesus as described in Isaiah, there is nothing physically beautiful about her that would commend her to anyone.   I wanted Hadassah to be an ordinary, rather plain girl, who becomes extraordinary in the hands of God.  Jesus’ beauty wasn’t as the world defines beauty.  He is beautiful because of Who He IS: God incarnate; Love personified, the Creator of true life. 

To me, the last cover of A Voice in the Wind shows how Hadassah might look...

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September 17, 2012 | 0 comments

It is unlikely A Voice in the Wind will ever be made into a movie, but it’s still fun to dream.  I’ve come up with various lists over the years of who would play which role.  Someone asked me this question the other day and off I went again into my movie-casting dream world of actors who might play the leads.  Here is today’s list:

Hadassah – Emmy Rossum

Marcus – Chris Pine

Atretes – Chris Hemsworth

Julia – Mila Kunis

 

Music by Hans Zimmer or James Horner.  

 

Ah, what fun it is to dream. 

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September 14, 2012 | 0 comments

Phoebe is one of my favorite characters from A Voice in the Wind.  In the beginning, she is a pagan woman who has faith in her household gods.  But her heart and mind are open and she observes Hadassah who lives out a life of faith in Jesus.  Phoebe becomes a believer.  As she was in the beginning, she is still a woman who loves her family and grows increasingly concerned over their choices in life.  As her health deteriorates, her reliance on Jesus becomes stronger.  She is dedicated to prayer and a quiet, though powerful influence in the lives of her wayward children, Marcus and Julia, primary characters in the second novel of the Mark of the Lion trilogy; An Echo in the Darkness

I am blessed to know many women like Phoebe.  Some have good health, others struggle with life-long health issues that limit their activities.  Some are elderly and unable to attend church because of physical disabilities,...

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September 7, 2012 | 0 comments

One of the questions recently sent to me is whether I still write novels focused on answering questions of faith, and if I’d answer old questions in a new way.  Yummy food for thought. 

A Voice in the Wind, for example, was focused on answering “How do I live out my faith in Jesus in front of family members and friends who don’t even want to hear the name of Jesus – unless they’re using it in a curse?”  Hadassah was the primary character living out the answer through the story.   Would I write the same story in a different way today? 

In a way, I already do. 

Every story I’ve written has at least one character who lives for Christ.  Redeeming Love had Michael Hosea.  All three novels in the The Mark of the Lion (which begins with A Voice in the Wind) have Hadassah.  Even when she isn’t in the story, she influences the central characters.  Atretes, the gladiator in As...

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September 4, 2012 | 0 comments

We never know what God will do.  When I became a Christian, I couldn’t write.  Nothing made sense or seemed worthwhile.  After working hard to build a career, I came to an insurmountable wall.  “All is vanity,” as Solomon said and I knew that to be true.  It wasn’t until I gave up trying to do what I wanted that God opened my eyes through the Hosea story and nudged me (strongly!) to write Redeeming Love.  That book became a defining moment in my life. 

I thought Redeeming Love was my swan song, and I was happy to move on to other things; for one, working alongside my husband in his aviation business.  Once again, God had other ideas and dropped “hints” in the form of characters that wouldn’t leave me alone day or night.  I also had questions about how to walk in faith in a world that seems darker every day.  

God gave birth to the character of Hadassah in my imagination.  She was like me;...

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August 25, 2012 | 0 comments

My daughter and I get together for lunch/dinner and a movie as often as we can.  So much depends on what’s in the theater, and our differing tastes.  The last movie we saw together was “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” which we both loved.  She suggested “Hope Springs” this time, and I jumped at the idea.  Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are both awesome actors.  Steve Carell?  It’s bound to be a hoot! 

            It didn’t take long to realize this story was definitely not a comedy.  Spoiler alert!  It’s about an unhappy wife longing to put some magic back in her marriage of 31 years and her resistant husband who is grumpy, complaining, vulnerable and afraid to risk what they’ve got, which isn’t much.  There are no major secrets to be uncovered.  No affairs (though a few surprising – cringe-factor fantasies), no...

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August 19, 2012 | 0 comments

I’ve yet to hear any politician give a simple, straight-forward, truthful solution to our current economic problems.  Both sides promise the moon and deliver dust. Everything focuses on what is best for the party rather than what is best for our nation. 

Please take two minutes to watch this:

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/EW5IdwltaAc?rel=0

In the words of John F. Kennedy:  “Ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.”

Or – better said:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”   

God has plenty of advice in the book of Proverbs on how to handle finances – and what to look for in leaders. 

Better to know the truth and prepare for hard times ahead than pretend the government (...

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August 10, 2012 | 0 comments

Having known and loved several alcoholics over the years, I have on occasion attended AA meetings in order to understand and empathize with those suffering.  Although I don’t drink, everything I heard was applicable.  I felt connected. 

Everyone had a place.  Someone ordinary opened the meeting.  A Preamble was read which stated the mission of AA, and someone else read an introduction to how it works giving the core of the AA program.  Everyone is reminded that there is anonymity.  What is said in the meeting stays in the meeting.  There are twelve steps, all of which apply to my life before I was a Christian and what my life is now learning to walk one-day-at-a-time in faith.  A speaker meeting has someone give their testimony on how working the AA program helped them stop drinking.  In other meetings, a topic is chosen and people enter into discussion.  In a “big book” meeting, the focus is on the Alcoholics...

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