Blog

October 5, 2012 | 0 comments

When I became a Christian, I couldn’t write.  Then, later, God opened the door through the story of Hosea.  I could almost hear Him saying, “You’ve been writing about ‘love’ for years.  So, write about love – MY kind of love.”  It was a year of hard work and revelation.  My desk faced a wall with the living/family room behind me.  God taught me how to focus in chaos, to open my ears to His voice and not all the other voices surrounding me, real and from the talking box in the corner. 

It was an honor and eye-and-heart-opening experience to write Redeeming Love, and I thought that was the end of my writing career.  It shut more doors than it opened, and I thought it was my one and only message to those who had followed my steamy, historical romance career in the secular market.  “You asked what happened.  Here’s the answer.  Jesus happened.” 

But God had other ideas.  He has a way of prodding us gently...

Read More | Leave a comment or a question
October 1, 2012 | 0 comments

** SPOILER ALERT **

 

This is a question recently asked, and the simple answer is God would have found a way to save all those He already knew belonged to Him.  Marcus would still have gone off to Judea to find answers and found God, but he might have married someone else.  Julia’s struggle would have ended differently because Hadassah wouldn’t have been there to soften Marcus’ heart in time to forgive.  Hence, he would have suffered regret.  Alexander wouldn’t have had a story because Hadassah would have died and he wouldn’t have been able to take care of her and been impacted by her life.  Atretes would have ended up back in the arena, taking more lives as he fought to hold onto his own. 

All of which makes me thankful I had an editor who wanted to kick me when she read the first rendition of A Voice in the Wind and challenged me to think further than death in the arena as the only way to glorify God. 

Read More | Leave a comment or a question
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...

Read More | Leave a comment or a question
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...

Read More | Leave a comment or a question
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...

Read More | Leave a comment or a question
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. 

Read More | Leave a comment or a question
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,...

Read More | Leave a comment or a question
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...

Read More | Leave a comment or a question
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;...

Read More | Leave a comment or a question
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...

Read More | Leave a comment or a question