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Posts tagged ‘acceptance’

To Love a Weed by Deborah Dee Harper

I don’t have purple hair, nor do I style it the way this pretty little thistle head has, but if I did, this is what I’d like to look like. And yes, I know that’s weird.

We’re living in a new house which we love, but it’s at the end of a road in a rather new sub-division which is still undergoing aggressive construction. We’re the last house on the road at the moment, so the land past our house (to the left as you’re looking at the house) and behind it is vacant. I like to tell people we live on the edge of a nature preserve because the rabbits, geese, and who-knows-what-else make their homes there, but in truth, it’s just vacant land piled high with dirt, chunks of trees, and other rubble the construction equipment has shoved aside to clean up another day.

The little beauty above is a thistle weed and it’s growing on the piles of dirt and rock surrounding our house. I can’t get to it without risking life and limb (thank goodness for zoom lenses), but if I could, I’d gather a few for a colorful bouquet.

It’s amazing to me how something as lowly as a common weed can be so beautiful, yet have such little value when compared to the more acceptable flowers we slave over (and pay good money for) in our gardens. If God had never given us anything but the “no maintenance, grow anywhere” weeds to satisfy our desire to beautify our surroundings, we would be hard-pressed to complain. Take a few thistle heads, some Queen Anne’s lace, dandelions, and the wild variations of asters, daisies, and a host of other flowering “weeds,” and you’ve got a luscious, colorful bouquet of God’s love for us displayed in even His most modest of creations.

I wonder how often we overlook an individual because they seem common. If God can love the weeds on this earth, how much more does He love all of His children–young, old, pretty, homely, rich, poor, in good health or bad, black, white, brown, red, yellow, pink, or orange–who cares?

He cares. For all of us. For the hybrids, the old standards, the lush, the wild, the rare, the plentiful, the run-of-the-mill, the powerful, and the weak. Which one are you?

See you along the trail…

We’re living in a new house which we love, but it’s at the end of a road in a rather new sub-division which is still undergoing aggressive construction. We’re the last house on the road at the moment, so the land past our house (to the left as you’re looking at the house) and behind it is vacant. I like to tell people we live on the edge of a nature preserve because the rabbits, geese, and who-knows-what-else make their homes there, but in truth, it’s just vacant land piled high with dirt, chunks of trees, and other rubble the construction equipment has shoved aside to clean up another day.

The little beauty above is a thistle weed and it’s growing on the piles of dirt and rock surrounding our house. I can’t get to it without risking life and limb (thank goodness for zoom lenses), but if I could, I’d gather a few for a colorful bouquet.

It’s amazing to me how something as lowly as a common weed can be so beautiful, yet have such little value when compared to the more acceptable flowers we slave over (and pay good money for) in our gardens. If God had never given us anything but the “no maintenance, grow anywhere” weeds to satisfy our desire to beautify our surroundings, we would be hard-pressed to complain. Take a few thistle heads, some Queen Anne’s lace, dandelions, and the wild variations of asters, daisies, and a host of other flowering “weeds,” and you’ve got a luscious, colorful bouquet of God’s love for us displayed in even His most modest of creations.

I wonder how often we overlook an individual because they seem common. If God can love the weeds on this earth, how much more does He love all of His children–young, old, pretty, homely, rich, poor, in good health or bad, black, white, brown, red, yellow, pink, or orange–who cares?

He cares. For all of us. For the hybrids, the old standards, the lush, the wild, the rare, the plentiful, the run-of-the-mill, the powerful, and the weak. Which one are you?

See you along the trail…

More about the Author:

Deborah Dee Harper currently resides in Alaska where she writes inspirational and humorous books for both children and adults and takes thousands of photographs. When she isn’t writing or taking photos, she stalks moose and other wildlife, survives earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, endures the long, dark, frigid winters, revels in the endless summer days, and is awestruck by the rippling northern lights of the Alaskan night skies. She also leaps mountains in a single bound and wrestles grizzly bears along hiking trails. (Not really. Just making sure you were paying attention.) Whenever she can, she loves being with her daughter, son-in-law, and three grandsons in Kentucky, and her son, daughter-in-law, and two more grandsons in Michigan. (For real.)

She can be reached at deborahdeetales@gmail.com, at her website www.deborahdeeharper.com, and her three blogs: www.deborahdeetales.blogspot.com, www.deetrails.blogspot.com and www.laramieonthelam.blogspot.com.

More about Misstep:

Winnie and Sadie are still fighting, and I’m still living in the strangest town on earth.
It’s December in Road’s End, Virginia, a tiny town long forgotten by anyone but its residents, where Colonel Hugh Foster and his wife, Melanie, have chosen to live—for better or worse. The jury’s still out on that one!
Road’s End is comprised entirely of senior citizens whose kids have grown and left for greener pastures. Hugh, Melanie, and Bristol (one of the few sane people in town) are faced with a crumbling church in desperate need of repair and renovation, a dwindling congregation of opinionated, ornery senior citizens, and a camel—yes, a camel. And if that’s not enough, the trio and the rest of the Road’s End residents, are soon mired in danger and intrigue when a group of gun-toting drug dealers arrive in town, bent on killing the church handyman, and conspiring to ruin the doggonedest record-breaking blizzard the town has ever seen.
Poor drug dealers.

Deborah has an upcoming sequel to Misstep entitled Faux Pas. Here’s more of the hilarity you’ll find in Road’s End, Virginia.

What would you do if the President of the United States was attending your daughter’s wedding?

Panic. You’d panic. Add in a severe storm, crazy senior citizens who believe the POTUS lied his way into office, a crumbling, but historic church you happen to pastor, a cranky Secret Service agent, a four-year-old grandchild-to-be you know nothing about, and a son-in-law-to-be whose faith in the Lord has waned, and you’ve got yourself a humdinger of a wedding. Not to mention that same future son-in-law is a University of Michigan Wolverines fan (not a Michigan State Spartans fan) and prefers sweet tea to unsweetened. My gosh, what is the world coming to? Talk about a faux pas! Well, good luck with all that, Pastor Foster.

And Heaven help the president.

Stepping out of her humorous genre, Deborah also has another upcoming release entitled The Sin Seeker.

Sin Seeker, is the first book in my Sin Seeker series. The story deals with sin and the very real battle we’re in every day of our lives with the forces of darkness. Graves (Gray to his friends) Hollister is a discouraged social services employee tasked with the thankless job of keeping children safe from parents who don’t deserve them in the first place and who neglect and abuse them regularly. He starts hearing demonic voices shortly before a hideous tragedy occurs, after which he quits his job and sinks to the bottom of a bottle of anything he can find that’ll put him in an alcoholic stupor. He spends two months trying to obliterate his memories. Finally, he realizes he can’t; he must face them, so he enrolls in seminary and becomes a pastor. With his new role as pastor and his newfound ability to actually see the sin on the people God has tasked him with helping, Gray finds himself thrown head-first into a world of evil and demons, angels and miracles.

If you missed our interview with Hugh Foster, you can read it here, and Deborah’s interview can be found here.

Author Interview: Elizabeth Noyes

ENoyesToday’s guest is Elizabeth “Betty” Noyes, author of Imperfect WingsElizabeth is recently retired and resides in northeast Atlanta where she now writes full time. A world traveler, avid reader, and self-professed dreamer, she draws on her life experiences to create the many “real” characters in her stories.

You can connect with Elizabeth at her website, on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Betty, I’m so excited to have you with us here at Inner Source as I feel that this has been a culmination of prayers on the hearts of several of us who have known the talent you possess and were anxious to see your work in print.

First of all, I want to know about your writing journey. Would you mind sharing this with us?

Thank you, Fay. Journey is the right word.

First, I have to explain that I’m an introvert by nature, a bit of a loner. I’ve also come to realize that I’m a very private person. I mention this because although I’ve been writing my entire life, it was only ten years ago that I first shared my work with anyone.

Like TJ, the female protagonist in Imperfect Wings, I too am blessed to have a strong man in my life. I showed my husband, Paul, a few short stories, vignettes, and devotionals I’d written, and he immediately wanted to share it to the world. As you can guess, I wasn’t having any of that!

I’m not sure when writing a book became a project, but one day I realized I had a ton of pages for a story that had long been germinating in my head. I completed it and then decided to see if it was any good.

Instead of going through the submission process, I went to a conference…and became the poster child for the old saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Imagine my surprise when I heard the term ‘word count.’ Imagine my consternation when I learned the word count range for a fiction novel was 80,000-100,000 words. Mine was approaching 200,000.

Not being one to shy away from hard work, I decided to educate myself. I read a ton of how-to books, some good, some not so much. I took some classes, looked into more, and studied up on writing organizations. That’s when I found ACFW and the Scribes critique loop.

I joined ACFW, wound up in a small critique group, made a few false starts, learned the hard way to take well-intentioned critiques with a grain of salt, joined a second critique group, and discovered how much I’d learned from critiquing my group members’ work and reading what the others had to say about everyone’s writing. I’d found a home. Actually, two homes.

The idea for Garrett’s and TJ’s story came about by accident. I had a story underway, this one about Cody and Cate, Garrett’s parents. But he kept stealing the spotlight. I would put the story aside to get Garrett out of head and try again later, only to have Garrett sneak back in. This happened several times before I gave up and tried to get the man out of my head. Eight months later, Imperfect Wings was delivered. Cody and Cate still linger and I hope to revive them one day.

What really captures my imagination in your writing is the fact that you are so experienced or researched on modern weaponry, espionage, technology, you name it. You write these thrilling romantic optimum suspense novels with what seems like little effort, yet they grab the attention and keep me riveted there. (I’m going to confess, I’ve read through Imperfect Wings at least four times, and I’m captivated each time). Where did you gain this research and/or experience?

You have to do your homework. It might be fiction, but it still has to be believable. An author walks a fine line between convincing those familiar with your subject that you know what you’re talking about versus not overwhelming (boring) those unfamiliar with the subject.

Mr. Google has become one of my best friends, complete with Wikipedia, Google maps, You-Tube videos—you name it. Anything can be researched. I had one critique partner tell me there were no Quik Trip gas stations in the little town in Mississippi. I found the Google page I’d researched, took a screen capture complete with picture and URL, and sent it to her. I strongly advise researching even the smallest details.

I had another critiquer I met at a conference, a gentleman who’d been a motor pool mechanic in the Army. He informed me the vehicle specs I listed in my second book were wrong. Another copy from Google brought me an apology and rave reviews. We still stay in touch, and he’s become one of my go-to resources.

Google is great, but people provide the most important resources in my opinion. My husband (best friend and ally) was a career Army officer with combat experience. We once spent a long drive from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta, talking about the combat scene in Imperfect Wings. I told him what I envisioned. He told me it wouldn’t work. For ten straight hours, we hashed out a “real” combat scenario. The only “real” part I refused to cave on was the language.

I have a wealth of resources I’ve learned to tap into: an anesthesiologist daughter-in-law, a sister who’s a nurse, two police officer nephews, an attorney friend, a paralegal friend, a martial arts/cowboy friend, a technology genius for a son, lots of specialty technology gurus at work, a colleague whose native language is Spanish, a retired FBI acquaintance, and the list goes on and on. A wealth of real-life information and experiences waiting to be tapped.

I’ve been dying to ask this question. Why do Garrett and his family live in Idaho? Is it because you have a special place in your heart for that area or is he just the sort of rugged hero that would live in and ranch in that part of our country?

My husband and I are avid travelers. We love going places we’ve not been. A few years back, we visited Yellowstone National Park and I fell in love with the beauty of the land—Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho are amazing. I think what impressed me most, though, was the rarefied air. There’s a purity there not found in the more densely populated areas of the United States.

The people, too, made an impression—hardy, self-sufficient, no artifice. I had a strange thought that’s stuck with me since we visited—What if our technology-dependent civilization failed for some reason. The people there would survive. Would the city dwellers?

Why Idaho? There’s not much out there about Idaho. Montana yes. Wyoming, absolutely. I wanted to stray from the familiar and bring a beautiful, almost secret place alive. I wanted to make it my own.

The Camerons are tough, survivors, the kind of people who look after family, friends, and neighbors because it’s the right thing to do.

TJ is such a delight to follow. She’s a bundle of feistiness, beauty, and smarts. Is she purely imaginative or did you have one or two or three people in mind when you wrote about her?

Is any character a pure figment of imagination? I don’t think so. In TJ’s case, she’s a fusion of several people I know and admire, as well as a dash of who I want to be. She might be a little damaged (don’t we all have warts?), but she’s learned to deal with her shortcomings and vulnerabilities. Hers is a journey of self discovery, of learning to trust herself, others, and God.

Okay, I’m just not satisfied to read about Garrett. I want to know the stories of all three of his brothers and maybe a couple of his commando buddies. So, is there another project or projects awaiting us, and will you share a little about those?

One of my colleagues at work went off on me after reading the first ten chapters of Imperfect Wings. “I am so in love with Garrett. You need to fix TJ up with Wade or Jonas, not Garrett. He’s mine!” I laughed the rest of the day and still get tickled remembering how animated (and serious) she was. This is the reward a writer wants!

TJ and Garrett are made for each other. Wade and Jonas have their HEAs coming up. Imperfect Wings is Book 1 in the Imperfect series. Book 2 (Imperfect Trust) tells Wade’s and Lucy’s story. I anticipate sending the first draft to my publisher by yearend. Book 3 (Imperfect Love) is the story of Cassidy and Derek. I’ve already outlined and written a few scenes in that one. Book 4 (Imperfect Lies) belongs to Jonas and Shea. This one is also mapped out and partially written. Book 5 (Imperfect Truth), the one I’m dying to get to, is about Mallory and James. If I survive these, I hope to return to Cody and Cate in Book 6 (Imperfect Legacy). Their story is very dear to me since it kicked off this amazing adventure!

As a critique partner and an avid fan of your writing, I can’t wait to read each one of your amazing stories, and I’ll hope you’ll visit Inner Source after each release.

Imperfect Wings cover concept5More About Imperfect Wings:

Evil stalks TJ McKendrick. Three years after burying her father, TJ visits Honduras where he died. While there, she witnesses a murder and is forced to flee.

Don Castillo dreams of power. Funnel the drugs into the States and it’s his. First, he must kill the woman who dared spy on him.

The last thing Garrett Cameron needs is another woman interrupting his life, but when the feisty vixen that blew his mission two years ago shows up at his ranch running for her life, what can he do?

As attraction ignites between TJ and Garrett, she lets go of past betrayals and allows him to protect her. He’s lived a life of violence. Love isn’t for someone like him. Does he dare reveal his soul’s dark side and risk driving her away?

Only faith in God and trust in each other can overcome the deadly odds they face.

 

 

Blessed Redeemer: Healing the Brokenhearted and Setting Captives Free by Jerusha Agen

Praise The LordAs I vacuumed the floor at the domestic abuse shelter, my gaze fell on the stains blotching the carpeting that was some blend of blue, gray, and moss green. I turned off the loud vacuum to pick up pieces of something I didn’t want to identify next to the scratched dresser and faded wall. Thank the Lord I didn’t have to live in a place like that.

“Wow.”

I looked up to see the owner of the female voice. A teen girl I had seen a few times at the shelter stood in the doorway, her red hair straggling over her shoulders as her gaze surveyed the room from behind her glasses.

“This room is really nice.” Her tone held a sincere breathlessness that matched her widened eyes. “I wish I could stay in a room as nice as this.”

I was speechless for a while. Or at least I felt speechless inside. I think I said something polite on autopilot, something that didn’t betray the shock, guilt, and sadness that swirled simultaneously in my mind.

The girl walked away after a little chat that I don’t remember. I only remember being left to face myself and the realities I was just encountering as a volunteer at the local domestic abuse shelter for women and their children.

I come from a privileged background. I’ve lived in a comfortable home all my life and stayed in nice, sometimes even luxury hotels when traveling. My life experience didn’t include abuse, poverty, or homelessness. I knew those things existed, of course, and wanted to use my time to assist the people who were caught in those circumstances.

One of the surprising things I learned as a volunteer, however, was that those people, the “victims,” often didn’t want the aid they really needed. I quickly learned from the regular staff at the shelter that I shouldn’t expect gratefulness or friendliness from the shelter residents. In fact, I discovered we shouldn’t even expect kind or decent behavior. Thefts were rampant at the shelter, as was rude behavior and fighting among residents.

I would have thought that people in such dire need as these women would at least be thankful to the people who were providing them shelter and necessities. Some of them were grateful, of course, but there were many who seemed to take the help for granted, almost as something expected. But their poor attitude didn’t negate their need.

I heard story after story and read report after report on real-life, horrible abuse. I saw women, battered and beaten-down, trying to survive until the next day—women trying to give their kids some kind of life or just keep them out of harm’s way for another twenty-four hours.

I saw myself, the protected life I had and the responsibility I therefore possessed to not let that special blessing go to waste. I noticed my tendency to judge some of the women as less than myself because they didn’t even try to stand up for themselves or their children, didn’t seem to care about becoming better, and couldn’t even be nice … or clean.

Like police sergeant Gabe Kelly in my novel, This Redeemer, I had to remember that I had all the flaws of these women and more. Who was I to judge myself as better and stronger when I don’t take a stand in the face of potential embarrassment or persecution, when I often don’t care about becoming more like Jesus, when I’m often unkind to others, and when my sin cloaks me like filthy rags?

Yes, I was and am just like those women. And, like them, I need help. I can make small improvements if I try to become a better person on my own and people’s efforts to meet the physical needs of domestic abuse victims can make a difference. But without something more, I would still be caught in the cycle of my sin just as these women and children will never fully escape the cycle of abuse and darkness.

As I talked to women residents at the shelter, my heart ached for them when I saw what the shelter, wonderful as it was, couldn’t do for them. Security cameras and a roof over their heads couldn’t bring life, peace, and joy to their imprisoned souls.

Charlotte Davis, the main character of This Redeemer, is a woman very like those I met at the shelter. Like these women, Charlotte needs a Redeemer to set her free from the prison of fear, pain, and death that ensnares her soul. The fact is that all of us need that Redeemer just as much as the people in more obviously dire situations.

Only when we have been redeemed will the darkness of our circumstances and our own dark souls not imprison us. Only then, will we be free. As the Apostle Paul writes, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

Do you know the Redeemer? If you do, then live as one who has been set free. If you don’t know Him, ask Him to free you from your prison of sin and darkness. He promises that He will. “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you” (Isaiah 44:22).

Jerusha AgenAbout the Author:

Jerusha Agen is a lifelong lover of story–a passion that has led her to a B.A. in English and a highly varied career. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Jerusha is the author of the Sisters Redeemed series, which includes the titles This Dance, This Shadow and This Redeemer. Jerusha co-authored the e-books A Ruby Christmas and A Dozen Apologies from Write Integrity Press.

Jerusha is also a screenwriter, and several of her original scripts have been produced as films. In addition, Jerusha is a film critic, with reviews featured at the website, www.ReedeemerReviews.com.

Jerusha relishes snowy Midwest winters spent with her large furry dogs and two small furry cats.

Connect with Jerusha on her websiteFacebook: (Jerusha-SDG Words), and Twitter.

This_Redeemer_FRONT_COVER resized (655x1024)More About This Redeemer:

Not all prisons have bars.

Charlotte Davis should know—she’s lived in one for years. She can handle getting slapped around by her boyfriend, Tommy, and even being forced to do things she would never choose, but when Tommy turns on her 10-year-old daughter, Charlotte must try to escape. With nowhere else to turn, Charlotte runs to the stranger her dying mother believed would help her.

Looking only for shelter or cash, Charlotte finds a family she longs to call her own and a gentle man she could learn to love. But if Tommy catches up with Charlotte, these strangers could learn the truth about her. Will they send her back to Tommy? Or can a Father’s love set her free?

This_Dance_FRONT_COVER_smaller (for promo use)About This Dance:

No love, no pain. No God, no games.

A tragedy three years ago destroyed Nye’s rise to the top of the dancing world as an upcoming tango star, and in the process destroyed her reason for living, too. She survived the pain and built a new life resembling nothing like the one she left behind, determined never to hurt again.

Nye’s emotional walls hold up perfectly until she meets a handsome lawyer and an elderly landowner. They seem harmless, but one awakens feelings she doesn’t want and the other makes her face the God she can’t forgive. Will these two men help Nye dance again?

This_Shadow_FRONT_COVER (660x1024)About This Shadow:

She’s famous for her upbeat outlook.

Then the world goes black.

Oriana Sanders is always happy. And why shouldn’t she be? She enjoys a close relationship with God and a purpose-filled career teaching troubled kids. She even has the potential for romance in her sister’s friend, Nicanor, whose dark good looks and brooding manner make him an intriguing project for Oriana.

Oriana’s attempts to reach Nicanor with the joy of the Lord are brought to a halt when a confrontation with her student’s drug-dealing brother ends in tragedy. Facing darkness she has never known, can Oriana learn to forgive the unforgivable and find her way through the shadows to the light?

Check out Inner Source’s interviews with Jerusha Agen, and her heroine of This Redeemer, Charlotte Davis.

Character Interview: Taylor Dixon from Mary L. Hamilton’s Speak No Evil

SNEfinalcoverTaylor, thank you for sharing with us here today on Inner Source. First of all, I’d love for you to introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a little about your life away from camp and what brings you back to Rustic Knoll this year.

Hey, my name’s Taylor Dixon. I’m fifteen and like most guys my age, I’m pretty much into cars. I’d really like to drive racecars when I get older, but first I have to get a driver’s license. I wasn’t even planning to come to camp again this year, but then my little sister, Marissa, decided she wanted to go, so Mom and Dad said I had to go, too. They’ve always expected me to keep an eye on her. Plus, they probably wanted me out of their hair for a while.

Last year at camp, you really were the bad guy, always causing trouble to Brady, Steven, and Claire. So what changed this year? Did you grow up, or is Claire right when she said that you must be hiding a nice guy inside somewhere, and you should bring him out a little more often?

I don’t know about Claire. She’s pretty cool, but I wasn’t really the nicest kid around camp this year either. I guess when you’re angry inside, it’s hard to be nice on the outside. But Brady and Steven forgave me for what I did to them last year and acted like friends. And then Mr. Rodriguez—Roberto—let me work on his car with him and believed in me, even when I lied to him. I don’t understand that. All week, Zeke kept asking, “What’s in your heart?” Roberto helped me see that jealousy and anger and pride is just as bad to keep inside me as the dirt that clogs up a car’s engine. I really needed an overhaul.

Your father is a no-nonsense fellow. He’s critical and demanding. I’ve always heard that we sometimes think of God in the way that our fathers treat us. Is that true of you? If not, when you arrived at camp, how did you think of God?

I never thought of it like that, but yeah, you’re probably right. Dad never really took time to do anything with me. But he was pretty quick to jump on us kids whenever we did something wrong. That’s pretty much how I pictured God. I figured he wasn’t interested in me until I messed up. And then I was better off avoiding Him.

Your sister is a handful, I think. She’s adventurous and daring, and you’re kind of caught in the middle of things with her. How does that affect you at home and at camp?

Marissa can be a lot of fun, and she’s the only one who really believes I can be a racecar driver. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been told to watch out for her. So when something happens, it’s usually my fault. Like when she was little, she climbed up on a short bookcase we have at home. It fell over on her, and Mom and Dad blamed me for letting her climb it.

When Dad said if I wanted my driver’s license, I had to prove I was responsible by staying out of trouble, I figured the only way to do that was to keep Marissa out of trouble. But at camp, that kind of thinking got me into more trouble than I’ve ever been in. Sitting in the back of a police car can be pretty scary.

You found a steadfast fast friend in Roberto. He took you under his wings, and he allowed you to learn from him as the two of you rebuilt a car. Is there anything else that Roberto might have taught you in the time that you spent together?

Oh, yeah. I learned about friendship and loyalty. And I learned that God wasn’t quite like I had pictured Him. It’s weird to think an old car engine could show you how God works. But that’s what Roberto used to show me I needed to clean up my life, and that I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed Jesus to remove all the gunk and restore me, like Roberto did with the engine.

I gotta ask you this one for the girls, even though I know the boys will scrunch up their noses? Do you think you’ll have a chance with Claire next year at camp?

Haha. I hope so. But if she’s interested in anyone, I have a feeling it’s Steven.

Oh, ho. Now, you have my attention.

Thank you, Taylor, for sharing with us today. I truly loved your story.

More about Speak No Evil:

Taylor Dixon knew having his younger sister at camp would be a pain, but he never expected the pain to go so deep. At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving race cars when he’s older. His sister, Marissa, is the only one who believes in his dream, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble. Consequently, Dad won’t let him get his license and predicts Taylor is heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother. Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp expecting softball, swimming and sermons. Then he finds a classic Mustang in the camp’s garage and jumps at the owner’s invitation to help restore it. But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the war of words and pranks escalates until it threatens both the car and his dreams for the future. Will Taylor fulfill Dad’s prediction and end up in jail? Or will he finally learn the Truth found in the old car’s engine?

HearNoEvilModifiedFront5-5x8-5More about the first book in the Rustic Knolls Bible Camp series, Hear No Evil:

Summer camp is no fun for Brady McCaul. The girl with the cute dimples thinks he’s immature and childish. The camp bully targets him with cruel taunts and teasing, and flips Brady’s canoe to keep him from winning the race. But worst of all, his mom won’t let him come home. She doesn’t want him living with her anymore. Brady wonders if even God cares about him.

Can Brady figure out what he did to earn Mom’s rejection and change her mind by week’s end? Or will he have to live with his workaholic dad, the guy who left when Brady was seven?

All seems lost until a surprising secret changes everything.

Hear No Evil can  also be purchased at Barnes & Noble.

Mary HamiltonAbout the Author:

Mary L. Hamilton is the author of Hear No Evil, Book 1 in the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series for tweens. She grew up at a camp much like the setting for her book. When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors, though not all at the same time. She and her husband live near Houston, TX within range of their three grown children who will attest to the power of these words in their life.

Connect with Mary at her Website/blog, on Facebook, on Pinterest, and at Twitter.