The Take-Away behind “Detours of the Heart” — and a GIVEAWAY!
Good stories are easy to write. A great story takes more time and effort. I would define a great story as one that sticks with you for days or weeks later. One where you keep reviewing the outcome, thinking about the characters, savoring the ending.
A phenomenal story has all of these elements, plus one more: the aha! moment when you see yourself in the story, and experience the emotions, the changes, the trials, and that happily-ever-after that the characters themselves go through.
To write a phenomenal story means the author must insert themselves between the lines and the sentences, demonstrate some transparency, and allow something to change in them as they travel through the story with their characters.
I don’t claim to have written such a story, but this is one that impacted me personally in its writing. Although I’ve been a believer in Christ for many years, there was still a part of me that resented my mother’s death at a young age. And while she didn’t die as a result of hard work and harder living, as Millie Watkins’s mother did, I was angry at God for many years.
Thankfully, He was still at work in me. Honestly, I hadn’t even realized I harbored this small degree of distrust of Him until our church went through a teaching series around the time I started writing this book. One of the sermons was about temporary versus permanent healing, which is a conversation Peter and Millie have. Several times she expresses her anger at God for allowing her mother to die. For not answering her prayers. And why wasn’t God answering her prayers? What had she done that was so wrong?
As I wrote, I realized these were questions I’d never spoken out loud to anybody, and most of all, not to God. Didn’t want to rouse His anger, I guess. Sure didn’t want to admit I had questions and doubts. I’ve seen God answer so many prayers on my behalf, I guess I didn’t deserve to have them all answered.
But when Pastor Adam preached about healing, I came to a new understanding that God answers every prayer. Just not always in the way we want, or expect, or are ready to see at the time. And that He always heals–the question is whether it’s temporary, in this life, or permanent, in the next.
A watershed broke within me as I listened to this sermon, and I knew this was an issue many people struggle with. Not just about physical healing, but about all kinds of healing: relationships; finances; addictions; marriages. And if this message could touch me so deeply, perhaps others needed to hear it too.
So I guess this all comes down to idea that the takeaway from this book is that God answers every prayer, even when we’re angry with Him. He not only answers, but His responses are to benefit us. Sometimes we may not see it or understand it until we meet Him face to face in eternity. But for now, we can rest on His promises that He knows, He cares, He is able and willing to do something about whatever concerns each one of us, and that He answers every prayer.
Every single prayer.
I will give away five print copies (US only, please) of the book by dropping the names of all who leave a comment on my missAdventure blog posts on my own blog or on this blog post between today and December 16th into a basket and pulling out five winners. One entry per blog post, please, and one prize per person. If you leave a comment every day on the 15 different blog posts, you could have 15 entries to win. Drawing closes midnight December 16th MDT.
In addition, if you don’t already subscribe to my newsletter, and you choose to subscribe at www.HiStoryThroughTheAges.com , I’ll pop in another entry for you. So you could have up to 16 chances to win!
Blogs/Facebook pages of other authors in collection:
Kathleen Kovach — hosting Heroes http://kathleenekovach.blogspot.com/
Kimberley Woodhouse — hosting the History http://kimandkaylawoodhouse.com/blog/
Debby Lee — hosting the Villains/Antagonists https://www.facebook.com/booksbydebbylee or follow her newsletter: http://booksbydebbylee.com/contact.html#newsletter
Marjorie Vawter — Hosting the Take-Aways http://marjorievawter.blogspot.com
Cynthia Hickey — Hosting the Settings https://www.facebook.com/Cynthia-Hickey-151333448227549/
Mary Davis — hosting the Heroines https://marydavis1.blogspot.com
About the collection: These seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back from adventure.
About Detours of the Heart: (Albuquerque, NM, 1925)
A tour guide who wants to move on, a playboy who’s never had a place to call home—can they overcome their own plans and allow God to make their path straight, or will they take yet another detour?
Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a critique group, and teaches writing classes. Donna ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.
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