The jolt brought me back to what was left of my senses. What was I doing? No way I would become a puddle on the sidewalk. One thing life taught me was never be led by emotions. Emotions were bullies. They frighten, betray, and ultimately destroy. I’d never backed down from a bully in my life. I wasn’t about to start now. —Bianca Ravenwood, Lineage
Bianca, the strong, cynical, sixteen-year-old main character of my Redbend High series doesn’t show emotion. A survivor of severe childhood trauma, she would sooner face Goliath himself than express what she’s feeling inside.
Over the course of two years, Bianca slowly learns to trust the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and accept encouragement from her two best friends. In amazement, she watches as God renovates her entire life, starting with her alcoholic father, who trades his usual stool at the local bar for the church piano bench.
But things are about to change. When an endearing stranger walks into Bianca’s life, she’s suddenly aware of the one thing she’s missing. A real connection. Someone with common interests, a shared sense of humor, and an independent spirit so like her own. A person who truly understands her. A soul mate. She soon learns she and this stranger share not only have the exact same hair color, but also the same passion for old movies and Broadway theater, and are prone to say the exact same words at the exact same time. It’s as if they’re connected at the brain. Just the way Satan likes it.
Deep down, everyone craves relationship. The emotional need for acceptance can make us overly concerned with what other people think. And if we’re not careful, soon we’re not only tiptoeing over every word we say, we’re compromising what we believe in an effort to belong. We feel backed into a corner, afraid to stand up for ourselves because we might be looked down upon, laughed at or—worst of all—excluded. We fear rejection like a small, pale, fourth-grade boy fears the school bully. But it’s our own insecurity that turns us upside down and shakes our senses loose.
Insecurity is a hard thing for Bianca to own up to. In order to keep up her tough persona, she’s always been more intimidator than intimidatee. In the following Lineage excerpt, she doesn’t even recognize intimidation when she’s faced with it:
I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what I was feeling. The new sensation was confusing. Not quite anger, not quite embarrassment. Somehow a mixture of both, with a dose of fear thrown in. I lifted my eyes to Chase’s hard glare, and it came to me.
So this was what it felt like to be on the receiving end. I didn’t like it one bit.
Satan uses the need to belong as a cruel intimidation tactic— to twist us into the position of man pleaser instead of God pleaser. In Bianca’s case, the stranger used Bianca’s desire to belong as a tool to gain her trust, soften her up, and get what he really wanted. Even a person as streetwise and shrewd as Bianca can be blinded by the longing for connection.
Fortunately for Bianca, she has a discerning father and concerned friends who love her too much to lose her. Their words of wisdom and godly counsel continuously ring through her heart and mind—even when she doesn’t want them to. It is only when Bianca stops leaning to her own understanding and acknowledges God’s will that she can face—and defeat—her long-hidden fear of rejection.
Intimidation is just a big, stupid giant waiting for a rock to hit it in the forehead. I plan to keep these well-expressed words of Bianca Ravenwood in mind. No earthly relationship is worth jeopardizing the lineage we have in Christ Jesus.
Following the death of her mother, Bianca and her dad are on their own. But when a redheaded stranger at the funeral claims to be her biological father, Bianca’s reality crumbles. She soon finds herself trapped between the alcoholism of one father and the wicked schemes of another–no way to escape.
Is the power of forgiveness really stronger than a Witcha’be spell?
New to the small community of Redbend, Molly Sanders is delighted when she and Lenni Flemming become instant friends during the final weeks of her first Oklahoma summer. However, Bianca Ravenwood, Lenni’s best friend and self-proclaimed witch in training, is less than thrilled. In fact, she’s cursing mad, vowing to destroy Molly while honing her craft in the halls of Redbend High School.
Molly’s new school becomes a waking nightmare as Bianca, beautiful wannabe witch, targets her in a jealous rage. Plagued by terrifying, inexplicable occurrences and an embarrassing case of panic-induced hiccups, Molly is unable to escape Bianca’s snare.
More About Dizzy Blonde:
All of her life, Lenni has been the perfect child, but still her parents are divorcing. Invisible and angry, Lenni trades her innocent princess image for the rebellious likeness of her favorite rock icon, Dizzy. In an effort to shed the old Lenni, she turns her back on those who love her most, trading true friendship for a dangerous affiliation with a shady upperclassman. When deception and rumors threaten to ruin Lenni’s life, she learns the value of good friends and the importance of an honorable reputation. But can this realization save her from the clutches of danger? Or was the lesson learned too late?
About the Author:
Anna works as a middle school secretary in her beloved hometown of Anadarko, Oklahoma, where she resides with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband of twenty-four years, and their seventeen-year-old daughter. With a son, daughter-in-law, and precious grandbaby nearby, life is her favorite story.
Anna has written for as long as she can remember. She still has most of her tattered creations—leftover stories she was unable to sell on the playground for a dime—written in childish handwriting on notebook paper, bound with too many staples. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years, and she is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.