A Dozen Apologies Spotlight: Author Jerusa Agen

2014 February 18
by faylamb

Jerusha0040 (cropped) (2)Today’s guest is the creator of hero, Brent Teague, Jerusha Agen. Jerusha 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. The first two books in the series, This Dance and This Shadow, are available now. Jerusha co-authored the e-books A Ruby Christmas and A Dozen Apologies.

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.RedeemerReviews.com.

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

Visit Jerusha’s website at www.SDGwords.com. Follow Jerusha on Twitter @SDGwords and Facebook (Jerusha Agen – SDG Words).

I admit to being a competitive person. As soon as I heard that the A Dozen Apologies novella was going to feature a contest between the author’s heroes, I further admit that my first instinct was to try and come up with the winning hero. What kind of guy would get the most votes? What kind of hero would make all the women readers swoon?

Thankfully, I soon came to my senses and changed my approach. Winning a contest didn’t matter. What did matter was what always matters most in my writing—telling a great story that will glorify God. I don’t know how close I’ve come to the “great” part, but I do hope that Mara’s encounter with Brent Teague, the hero in my chapter, will be a moving bit of the story that will point readers to Christ.

Once I got my head on straight and story was again the focus, the character of Brent quickly came into focus. For the sake of my story, I had to write my chapter as if Mara was going to definitely end up with my hero, so I started out by pondering what sort of guy would be the right man for Mara to fall in love with—the kind of guy she should marry and live with, happily ever after.

Marriages are always best when the two people in that relationship make each other better. For Christians, that means they help each other mature as Christians and that they can serve God better together than they could separately. My task, then, was to figure out what kind of guy would not only suit Mara best, but would make her a better Christian and better able to serve God.

Mara has a pretty sordid past and carries a lot of baggage. To be forgiven by the man she wronged, and to have confidence that she’s really been completely forgiven, she needs a guy who is very spiritually mature. She needs someone who has fully made peace with his past, Mara’s part in it included, and who has no hint of bitterness or resentment left over.

Enter Brent Teague. Thanks to the Lord’s work in his heart, Brent has come to see Mara’s treatment as a blessing in his life. He never really needed to forgive Mara at all, once he realized the tremendous good that her actions brought to him. Brent is genuinely grateful for what Mara did and never stopped loving her. On the road to recovering from Mara’s rejection, Brent has grown in maturity. Mara immediately notices his physical growth when she meets him again, but he’s also grown emotionally and spiritually. Now a committed pastor, Brent has found peace in total forgiveness of himself and others, and he’s learned what really matters in life.

Because I’m not a fan of speedy romances and often doubt that a lasting marriage can come out of them, I also wanted to give Brent and Mara some realistic stability by giving them a longer history. Brent’s love can be trusted because he has known Mara since their freshman year in high school and has loved her constantly through the years since. I like the stability and loyalty that Brent shows through the constancy of his love. He really knows Mara, the good and the ugly, and loves her in spite of the ugly side.

Ultimately, Brent gives Mara what she most wants and needs. She wants to be forgiven for what she’s done and be able to move into a brighter future. She needs a clearer purpose in her life, direction for what she should do to serve the Lord, now that she is a Christian. Brent provides all that, plus the love of a dreamy hunk.  What more could a girl ask for?

A lot of swoon-worthy heroes appear in A Dozen Apologies, presenting Brent with stiff competition. As of writing this post, I have no idea who will win the hero contest. But, in my mind, Brent and Mara are made for each other. I’ll picture them having a happy life together in the end, whatever the tally says. So I guess I’m still being competitive—I win no matter what. The best part is I know the readers will, too!

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.


This_Dance_FRONT_COVER_smaller (for promo use)This Dance by Jerusha Agen:

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. 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)This Shadow by Jerusa Agen:

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?


One Response leave one →
  1. February 18, 2014

    Great job, ladies. Jerusha, so nice to get to know a bit about you!

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