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October 23, 2012 | 0 comments

I try to avoid politics when blogging, but feel I need to say a few things about the coming election. 

I cannot in good conscience vote for any party that makes sin (unlimited abortion; gay marriage) primary points in their platform.  Nor can I vote for a man who is actively hostile toward biblical principles and Christianity. 

One of President Obama’s many attacks has been the repeated attempt to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities (abortion) that go against their beliefs.  I believe abortion is just the beginning of what is included in “Obamacare”.  

Everything is all about money these days.  Baby Boomers are flooding the Medicare system.  President Obama says he cares about people (giving 3% to charity?) and the elderly especially, but has already syphoned money to other programs.  I believe euthanasia is coming.  And I can hear the rationale from...

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October 20, 2012 | 0 comments

I didn’t have the opportunity to visit Jerusalem or Rome until after all three novels in the Mark of the Lion trilogy (A Voice in the Wind, An Echo in the Darkness and As Sure As the Dawn) had been released.  Rick had spent time in Jerusalem and Rome as a child.  His family had lived in Aman, Jordan where Dad ran an airline. Hence, they were able to visit cities all over Europe and the Middle East.  (Rick played golf in Tehran! “No grass on either fairways or greens.  All dirt and rocks.”) 

My first visit to Jerusalem came in 1995.   Rick and I went with our pastor and his wife on a scouting expedition.  We had an Arab guide.  When we went back with a group from our church in 1997, we had a Jewish guide.  Two views on everything, actually several more when you include the differences of opinion and claims of religious site locations from Catholic and Protestant sides. 

Everywhere we went...

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October 16, 2012 | 0 comments

I was an average student.  I received a D in reading in sixth grade.  I’m still a slow reader.  History wasn’t my favorite subject until I was introduced to historical fiction by my mother-in-law, Edith.  After that, I was hooked, not just on fiction, but on facts and details. 

First, I was fascinated by California history. All but three novels in my B.C. years were historical romances set in California between 1840 – 1880.  Hence, upon becoming a Christian and having God nudge me to write again, I set Redeeming Love in California during the Gold Rush. 

A Voice in the Wind fit better in ancient times.  Struggling through the question of where the courage comes from to testify for Christ, I needed another setting.  Jerusalem, Rome, and Ephesus seemed the best places.  Christian martyrs died in these cities and the times were dramatic.

The trouble with writing historicals is a writer can get caught up and...

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October 12, 2012 | 0 comments

Contrary to what most people might think, I have had more freedom to write in the Christian publishing world than I did in the general market. In the general market, if a book succeeds, most publishers want a repeat performance.  They gave out “tip sheets” for what they wanted in a story.  I had one (general market) editor tell me I was getting in the way of two characters having sex and should put my morality aside.  Say what?  Another frequent comment when A Voice in the Wind was offered to general market publishers was “take out the Jesus stuff”.  Nope.  And I am not sorry. 

My writing style has changed over the years and so has the content of my work.  I want to saturate my stories with faith or lack of faith, depending on the character.  I’m not a Christian who writes.  I’m a Christian writer.  There is a difference. 

Frankly, entering the Christian market place at the time I did was a great and...

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October 10, 2012 | 0 comments

Hadassah was a light in the darkness for those who didn’t know or understand who Jesus is.  It wasn’t what she said because, in the beginning, she said very little.  It was the way she lived her life that impacted others.  That is still true today for all of us who believe in Jesus.  People watch Christians.  They may criticize and want to crush us, but underneath all that animosity is a hunger to know:  “Is it true?” 

When we live our lives as Citizens of Heaven -- every day with love and without fear and with an eye to our future -- each and every believer impacts the world.  We never know how many people we touch with a word or a smile or a helping hand. 

The Voice will always be God’s throughout the generations, however many there may be before the end comes and the last trumpet sounds.  God doesn’t scream and shout like Satan.  God speaks quietly, in a still small voice.  It’s easy to hear the devil, but...

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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...

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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. 

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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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