A Dozen Apologies Spotlight: Author Debbie Roome

2014 February 13

Deb 1Today’s spotlight is on author, Debbie Roome.  Debbie was born and raised in Zimbabwe and later spent fifteen years in South Africa. In 2006 she moved to New Zealand with her husband and five children.

Writing has been her passion since the age of six and she loves to write stories that touch people’s lives and turn them towards God. Over the years, she has won many awards and trophies for her work, including placing first in the Rose & Crown Novel Writing Competition in 2009 and 2012.

In 2013, her novel Contagious Hope was a finalist for the Australasian CALEB Award. Debbie’s writing has opened doors for public speaking and she is often asked to share her life story and her experiences as a writer. Watch for the second novel in the series, Fragrant Hope, releasing soon by Write Integrity Press.

Her books are available through all the major online booksellers and titles include Embracing Change, Contagious Hope, Magnitude 7.1 & 6.3, Cyber-Bullying is Never Alright, and Loving Leanne. Fly with Me is due for release in March 2014. She also has a number of e-books available through Amazon.com.

Connect with Debbie on the Web: Blog and Website

A Dozen Apologies has been a fun writing project that also carries an important message. When I sat down to create my hero, I had a number of objectives in mind. To portray the pain of his rejection by Mara, to show that people can change, and that there is no excuse for victimising people who may be different to us – whether that is by appearance, culture or behaviour. I had a sister who had multiple mental and physical disabilities so am well aware of the reaction of people to those who are different. As in Mara’s case, some of those reactions are cruel and heartless.

I named my hero Chip – not the most glamorous heroic name – but I had a reason for this. It was an abbreviation, a nickname related to his full name of Christopher. I wanted to portray that people often live up to a name that does not encompass the fullness of their potential in God. We label ourselves small, inadequate, incapable or hopeless. Chip underwent a process of finding himself in the years between Mara’s rejection and his later interaction with her. He matured, put on some muscle, qualified and became involved in mission work. Somewhere along the way, he recognised that he was no longer Chip, but had grown into his given name of Christopher.

Christopher means ‘bearer of Christ’ or ‘he that holds Christ in his heart’. While not all of us are named Christopher – or even Christine – we are all bearers of Christ and our lives should be a reflection of His life in us. Although Chip had initially refused to see Mara, he did finally have a conversation with her. The hurt from the past was still there to a degree, but it was a healing experience for him to confront the pain. He told Mara how devastated he had been and how she had humiliated him. He pointed out that he had bought new clothes and cologne in an attempt to impress her and she had responded by calling him a pitiful specimen of manhood. He also said that he had not returned her calls as he was curious to see how keen she was to see him.

Chip made an important observation that beauty is not about the external, but rather the internal. It’s important to keep ourselves looking as good as we can, but true beauty shines from within. I’ve seen humble people, stooped and wrinkled with age, that radiate beauty and warmth because of Christ in them. While Chip had filled out physically and was no longer what Mara would have considered a nerd, his most appealing characteristic was the quiet forgiveness he offered Mara before she left his consulting room. He had held her accountable for her actions and then forgave her. I hoped that his example would inspire readers to look at their own relationships and interactions and see where they could be changed and improved.

Contagious Hope FINAL FRONT COVER medAbout Contagious Hope by Debbie Roome:

One final adventure could cost her everything …

Savannah James, a young New Zealand therapist, volunteers for a six-week mission trip to South Africa. During her journey, she is confronted with AIDS, prostitution, murder, and even a midnight escape to a safe house. Her new friends have struggles of their own, and one may lead them into even more danger.

Will Savannah, Blake, and Pumzile ever be safe again? Will they ever be able to make a difference in the lives of those around them or will their final destination put an end to it all?

Debbie’s next release is Fragrant Hope. Look for it soon.

A DOZEN APOLOGIES FINAL FRONT COVER (282x425)About A Dozen Apologies:

Mara Adkins, a promising fashion designer, has fallen off the ladder of success, and she can’t seem to get up.

In college, Mara and her sorority sisters played an ugly game, and Mara was usually the winner. She’d date men she considered geeks, win their confidence, and then she’d dump them publicly. When Mara begins work for a prestigious clothing designer in New York, she gets her comeuppance. Her boyfriend steals her designs and wins a coveted position. He fires her, and she returns in shame to her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where life for others has changed for the better.

Mara’s parents, always seemingly one step from a divorce, have rediscovered their love for each other, but more importantly they have placed Christ in the center of that love. The changes Mara sees in their lives cause her to seek Christ. Mara’s heart is pierced by her actions toward the twelve men she’d wronged in college, and she sets out to apologize to each of them. A girl with that many amends to make, though, needs money for travel, and Mara finds more ways to lose a job that she ever thought possible.

Mara stumbles, bumbles, and humbles her way toward employment and toward possible reconciliation with the twelve men she humiliated to find that God truly does look upon the heart, and that He has chosen the heart of one of the men for her to have and to hold.

Tomorrow’s the day we  learn which hero won Mara’s heart–you know, the one who was chosen by our readers. To celebrate Mara’s romance, A Dozen Apologies will be offered free on Kindle Valentine’s Day weekend (that would be Friday, February 14 through Sunday, February 16). We’ll be posting the link here and just about everywhere so you can take advantage of this offer. Oh, yeah, and we’ve included as a bonus all the links to all the places the writers have had fun during the publication of Mara’s apologies.

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