Please welcome my friend, amazing web consultant, and wonderful author, Christina Rich to my blog this week. I'm so honored to have her here with me. Christina is giving away a copy of her new release. (If you win you'll be one of the first she sends her new book out to when she receives them in the mail!) Be sure to answer this question. 'Has a fiction book ever spoken to you spiritually and if so how?' Or leave a comment. Don't forget to leave your email and let me know if you are a follower for an extra entry!
The Message Within
I’ve always loved reading. Books like The Outsiders, The Jungle, The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit as well as many other classics lined my bookshelves. I loved the stories unfolded on the pages, loved being taken to another time and place. Loved looking for the hidden messages within.
As writers, those messages within are important, they help tie all those words forming the story together. Sometimes they’re obvious, other times not so much. And sometimes they’re for the writer as much as they are for the reader.
Back in 2009, while sitting in church, inspiration took over with a simple question (and yes I believe it was God): What would happen if a bond servant fell in love with his master’s daughter? Oh, wait, what would happen if that bond servant was no servant but in truth a captain of the temple guard in charge of guarding a secret child king from his murderous grandmother?
I spent the rest of that afternoon plotting the story, which flowed out easier than any story I’d ever plotted. I started writing it the next day. Fifty-five days and seventy-five thousand words later The Guardian’s Promise was complete in rough draft form. That book received a partial request late 2011 and due to a technical glitch (or was it) I didn’t receive the revision letter with the full request until mid-July. By this time our family was dealing with a troubled, incarcerated teen, but I was determined to sell this book, which meant pleasing the editor. I wanted to see my dream of publishing come true.
It was a monumental task trying to get the creativity flowing while dealing with the emotional ups and downs of my son being in a juvenile detention center. A huge part of me just wanted to curl in a ball and wallow in self-pity in order to cope with the disturbing thoughts. Where had we gone wrong? Did we miss a Sunday? Miss a tithe? Is that why it seemed God had abandoned us in what seemed like a great time of need?
But check out this excerpt from The Guardian’s Promise less than fifty pages in:
Questioning God’s faithfulness did not set well in his soul. He knew once the questioning began, it would soon fester and eat away at his heart. Ari fought the urge to bury his face into his hands. Instead, he stared into the great void and waited for some sort of reprimand from God Himself.
The quiet was only interrupted by the bleating of a goat. Still, he waited, for God’s peace to cloak him. Just as he was about to give up and seek his sleep, a star streaked across his vision and faded into the dark night. He recalled a psalm memorized from childhood.
If the Most High, in all of His greatness, cared to name even the stars and knew their number, would He not remember Ari?
WHOA! Isn’t all this just like God? He sent me, the writer, a message at the exact time I needed it. He hadn’t forgotten us. Not at all. He even cared enough to send me this little reminder in such a huge way, even promising to bind up the brokenhearted. What makes this even more awesome is that when I wrote the rough draft I didn’t have the scriptures added in, just little notes here and there saying look for one that might fit. When I was revising, nearly two years before, I did a search of stars in the scriptures, this one fit so perfectly that I knew right then the story I was writing could only have been orchestrated by God. I just didn’t realize that he’d orchestrated it for me. I won’t lie to you, I stared at those lines and then I wept. God is so very faithful, even causing a technical glitch. The Guardian’s Promise sold almost a year to the day of its initial request, almost three years to the day after I wrote those words.
The Guardian’s Promise Blurb
A Kingdom in Jeopardy
An evil queen and her royal guards will stop at nothing to find—and kill—the rightful heir to the throne of Judah. When their pursuit leads them to Mira’s village, only her father’s bond servant, Ari, a man shrouded in secrets, can keep Mira safe.
Abandoning his life as a temple guard and becoming an indentured servant was the only way Ari could protect young Joash, the true King of Judah, from Queen Athaliah. But his sacred duty prevents him from confessing his feelings for his master’s daughter. With the future of their nation on the line, Ari and Mira will risk everything to save their people.
MORE ABOUT CHRISTINA:When she was younger, Christina tried to dig herself to China, loved Three Billy Goats Gruff, and had an obsession with maps. She gave up her dig to China but still jumps at the chance to travel even if it’s just down the road. She loves watching modern takes of fairytales and mythologies on the big screen and still has a huge obsession with maps. The older the better.
Born and raised in Kansas, where she currently lives with her husband and children, Christina loves to read stories with happily ever afters, research, take photos, knit scarves, dig into her ancestry, fish, visit the ocean, write stories with happily ever afters and talk about her family and Jesus.
Her debut novel, The Guardian’s Promise, releases from Love Inspired March 2014.
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Be sure to leave your email address. Please check your junk mail on and the day after the drawing. I've had to redraw because of no responses. Subject box will have: winner of (book title). I'll email the winner and they'll have seven days to respond. If I don't hear back I'll draw another name. USA shipping only. Thanks so much and please stop back again! Drawing will be held Monday, January 6th at 8:00 A.M. EST. Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.