*Disclaimer: I received this book for review from Celebrate Lit
This was a vastly different book than what I was expecting when I signed up to review it. It kind of surprised me, to be honest. The story is based around a group of missionaries who head into the West to take the Gospel to Native Americans.
What I wasn’t ready for was the dive into the unseen world that the book quickly takes. From shaman to demon possession, you’re immersed into a world that reminds me closely of Frank Perreti (remember his books from the 90’s?)
The story intrigued me and I was immediately drawn into it. I’m just not sure how I feel about the demon world as I understand how real that is and that it’s not something to be played around with.
I really liked how the author built his characters into the story, though. I could picture each of them in my mind as he introduced them and I love that when I read books. It makes it more interesting when the characters seem like real people that you can relate to or picture in a certain time period.
If you enjoy reading good versus evil, this is the read for you!
Check out these other blogs on the tour and scroll to the bottom for a giveaway!
In 1840 Pastor Allen Hartman leaves behind his white-steepled church in New York, and the woman he hopes to marry, to serve as a missionary to Indians in the Oregon Territory. On his epic westward journey, he is plunged into the dark end of spiritual warfare and vital intercession. His mettle is further tested when he’s asked to stay in a village of Arapaho already contending with a malevolent witch doctor—where Allen has to draw upon courage he didn’t know he possessed and discovers ministering to Indians is not at all what he imagined.
Arapaho medicine man Two Rivers knows one thing—the Great Spirit is sending White Falcon to help his people defeat the malicious spiritual forces determined to overpower the tribe. But even as White Falcon teams up with Two Rivers, Allen finds himself enslaved in a cave and in a heaven-meets-earth clash of faith with an evil sorcerer. With his life at stake and his new friends unable to help, will Spirit-led prayers of believers lead to a complete victory, or will something be left undone?
Michael W. Henry’s ministry has spanned from serving as a missionary in Mexico, where he encountered intense spiritual warfare, to planting and pastoring churches in Washington state. A Christian counselor, Michael is certified through the American Association of Christian Counselors and offers spiritual-life coaching to believers searching for deep faith encounters with Jesus. Michael has long been fascinated by Native American spirituality and culture. He and his wife, also a certified counselor, live in Wenatchee, Washington, and enjoy hunting, hiking, canoeing, and other outdoor activities with their four adult children and two grandchildren.
More from Michael
Two Rivers is a story about courageous faith. I wrote it because as a missionary in Mexico, I had experienced spiritual encounters that I felt needed to be shared. A historical fiction seemed the perfect place to demonstrate the power of prayer and cross cultural respect in an authentic way.
Avery had been surprised to receive Willow’s phone call while he was still just 20 minutes away. He had figured she wouldn’t wake up for a long while. But he was glad. It had been the Lord’s working, for sure. Avery had never admitted to Willow that he had grown up in the area or that his mother lived just up the road from her. He had figured she would run the other direction as fast as she could if she knew that. He also had had no intention of telling his mother what he was doing. He knew what HER reaction would be!
Now, though, it was a different matter entirely. He had spent almost two hours explaining the situation to his mother and his reasoning for coming to her now. And he had received the world’s biggest scolding from her over the whole thing. She did not agree with Willow’s decision or her son’s part in it, but as Avery talked to Willow her heart melted just a bit and she agreed to go back to the house with him and meet her. As they drove, Avery told his mother that he felt the Lord had prompted him to enlist her help in seeing Willow through this season. She “Harumphed” in response and stared out the window.
It wasn’t long before he was pulling off the road and heading into the trees to Willow’s oasis. He noticed Willow on the porch waiting for them. Willow looked uncertain when she saw the woman sitting next to him. He turned off the car and made to get out when his mother turned on him.
“You will wait here. You’ve made a big enough mess of this. I will go and talk to her.” Avery opened his mouth to protest but his mother glared at him and proceeded to get out of the car. He dropped his hand from the handle and watched the scene unfold before him.
His mother reached the bottom step and he watched her speak to Willow, gesturing to him. He assumed she was explaining her relationship to him. Willow looked his way and glared for a moment before turning back to his mother. Then the two disappeared into the house, his mother with her hand on Willow’s back.
Hours passed as Avery impatiently waited. He had eventually gotten out of the car and walked around a bit but it was beginning to get late and he still had the drive back to the city tonight. Finally, Avery’s mother appeared at the door with Willow close on her heels. Willow’s face was red as if she had been crying. Avery hoped that wasn’t a bad thing. She raised a hand and waved at him and then headed back inside.
His mother approached the car, “I am ready to go now. We will talk at the house. You will stay with me tonight and then come talk to Willow tomorrow.”
Avery looked back at the house and then at his mom, “Are you sure? I could just go home tonight if she doesn’t want me.”
“No!” The word came out sharply. “You will talk to her tomorrow and we will come up with a plan. A better one than what you were working through. Get in!”
Avery opened his mouth and closed it. Only crazy people argued with their mothers. But he did feel a little frustrated. A better plan? He had spent entire days focused on putting this all together. And he thought he’d done a pretty good job, too!
As they drove he worked up the courage to tell his mother how he felt, but she beat him to it.
“Avery, you are a man! And you created a plan for a man. She is a woman, and a young one at that. And pregnant!” The last sentence hung between them. He knew that! He had tried his best to make sure she would be safe. But his mother wasn’t finished.
“You cannot drop a young, pregnant girl in the middle of nowhere, with no skills, and expect her to survive, let alone thrive! What were you thinking??? Of course, you weren’t thinking. You’re a man! It’s by the grace of God you decided to come to me. How was she supposed to make sure she had a healthy pregnancy, and delivery, with no help? Where is the brain God gave you?” She huffed and turned to look out the window again.
Avery deflated just a little. Maybe there were a few things he hadn’t quite thought through. Okay, maybe there were a lot of things. But he was working off Willow’s desires. He had only done what she had asked him to do. And to top it off, he had done his best to make sure she was safe. He snuck a glance at his mom and looked back at the road. Okay, he had messed up. But at least now his mom was in the picture. She would help him sort it out.
“You will talk to Willow tomorrow and make a new plan, the two of you. I will do my best to help her through this, but I’m not a midwife. You’re going to have to figure this out. If she dies out there alone it will be on your head! Willow has agreed for me to come twice a week to check on her. That was the best I could negotiate. She thought it would bring too much attention to her if I came more often. It sounds like she is about 3 months along. That means this baby will come some time in November. We must be ready for that.”
Avery nodded his head and turned up the drive to his mother’s house. “Soooo, are those burritos you were working still going to be good?” He snuck a glance at her as her head whipped around to look at him.
“All you can think about is your stomach? What kind of son have I raised!” She threw her hands up and looked up at the roof of the car. “Oi!”
“Mom, you’re not Spanish,” he joked weakly.
“No, but my burritos are!” She winked at him and then frowned again as she got out of the car. She couldn’t let him think he was off the hook that quickly!
*Disclaimer: I received this book for review from Celebrate Lit
I love learning about the Bible. My Bible-specific classes in college were some of my favourite. It felt like I was unlocking something that had been a mystery to me. I remember reading my textbook for Bible Geography and Customs and my classmates thought I was crazy. But understanding the customs of the Bible just made some of the passages make SO MUCH sense.
This isn’t to say that you can’t understand the Bible without these types of things, I know that the Holy Spirit can give us understanding as we read, so please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying.
I just find that sometimes a passage becomes more real to me or takes on even more meaning when I understand completely what was being written and what was happening during that time period. I am, however, a history buff, and that might be part of my fascination with the whole thing.
However, when I saw the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at the chance. Greek was actually something I wasn’t allowed to take in college. I think they had some idea that girls do better with languages and that it would discourage the guys if the girls were getting better grades (that’s what was whispered in dorms, anyway, hah). I don’t know if that’s the real reason we weren’t allowed or not, but I think it would have been cool to have learned even a little.
The author, Chris Palmer, did a great job with this book, writing it for the everyday person. You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to understand what he’s written. His style is simple and personable, making it an enjoyable read as well. I actually thought this would be a good book even for a homeschool setting. You could study one word a week (there are 90 words in the book). A great option for those who don’t want to get too heavy into learning Greek, but still offers enough instruction to help with the understanding of the Bible.
I recommend this book and am hoping to add a paperback copy to my bookshelves
About the Book
Book: Greek Word Study
Author: Chris Palmer
Genre: Christian Non-fiction, Educational
Release Date: July 17, 2020
“Flour. Sheep. Coins. Wheat. Jesus never abandoned the familiarity of His time because what He had to say was so celestial or deep. Instead, He took advantage of what people already understood. In doing so, He didn’t just leave a way of salvation for us, but also a pattern of teaching to follow. This alone was my inspiration for how I chose to write Greek Word Study.”—author Chris Palmer
In a follow-up to his highly acclaimed book Letters from Jesus: Studies from the Seven Churches of Revelation, the Rev. Chris Palmer has written Greek Word Study: 90 Ancient Words That Unlock Scripture. With wit, humor, grace, and scholarship, Chris offers biblical insights while teaching Koine Greek words and phrases one delightful bite at a time. Unlike other books that overwhelm readers with Greek grammar, word formation, tenses, and the like, Chris makes the language accessible to anyone, using modern stories and analogies that engage readers and draw them into the Scriptures. Learning some Greek words and phrases helps you read the Bible in high definition!
“You don’t need to be scholar to read this book and you don’t need to know an ounce of Greek either. In fact, you don’t even have to really know much about the Bible at all,” Chris says. “All you need to do is just kick back and enjoy.”
The Rev. Chris Palmer is the founder and pastor of Light of Today Church in Novi, Michigan, and founder of Chris Palmer Ministries. He is host of the popular podcast, Greek for the Week, seen on several Internet platforms. His first book with Whitaker House, Letters from Jesus: Studies from the Seven Churches of Revelation, has received dozens of five-star reviews from readers. Chris began in full-time ministry in 2006 and began to preach internationally in 2009, helping many congregations grow, flourish, and expand. His desire for missions is to train and educate pastors, encourage congregations, support the vision of local church, and show the love of God to the culture. He has done this successfully for a decade in over forty nations of the world in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and the Caribbean, working with both traditional churches and the underground and persecuted church. Chris earned a B.A. in Pastoral Studies from North Central University and an M.A. in Exegetical Theology, magna cum laude, from Moody Theological Seminary. He is a sought-after Greek scholar for his ability to make God’s Word come alive from the Greek in a unique way. Chris is often invited to present Greek and hermeneutics workshops at Bible and ministry schools. He recently began working on his Ph.D. at the University of Wales, Bangor, in the area of Johannine literature, particularly the book of Revelation. His previous books include the self-published Living as a Spirit: Hearing the Voice of God on Purpose, The 85 Questions You Ask When You Begin a Relationship with God, The Believer’s Journey, and Escaping the Haunting Past: A Handbook for Deliverance.
Read an Excerpt
Study 12: Immeasurable: Hyperballō; ὑπερβάλλω) And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might. (Ephesians 1:19) Over the years, I’ve been privileged to travel to many lands and countries to preach the gospel. One of the best parts about this is experiencing the different cultures, particularly their food and cuisines. Meals are times of joy and jubilee, when the hosts go all out to make me feel at home. This is especially true in Sicily. I’ve often joked with my Sicilian friends that eating is a full-time job there. Sicilians take pride in making sure you are well fed, and you’ll often hear them say, “Mangia” (eat) or “Mangia qualcosa” (eat something), even right after you’ve just eaten. Food is of the utmost importance there and the answer to many of life’s problems. I understand this because my grandparents were of Sicilian descent. There’s a joke in Sicily about a young man with a guilty conscience who tells his mother, “Mama, I’ve robbed a bank.” She says, “Well, that’s not good.” Then, he says, “And I’ve stolen a car.” His mama says, “I see. That’s not good either.” Then he says, “And I haven’t eaten today.” And she jumps up from her seat and screams, “What! You haven’t eaten? What’s wrong with you!?” I once invented a joke of my own that the Sicilians found funny. I said, “After studying God’s Word, I’ve discovered the disciples of Jesus were Sicilian.” They looked perplexed. While they were still scratching their heads, I had them turn to John 4:31, which says, “Meanwhile the disciples were urging him [Jesus], saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’” I think that joke has been making its way around Italy ever since. Needless to say, there’s never been a time when I’ve been disappointed with mealtimes. I’ve been to Sicily twelve times and I can’t think of one instance when I didn’t have more than enough food placed before my eyes. I will never forget the first meal I had in Sicily. It was on a Sunday afternoon after church. I was told we were going to have “a little something” before dinner that evening. They brought out course after course after course. I was stuffed to the gills before the main course even arrived¾and this wasn’t even dinner. My translator told me later, “Chris, the Sicilians go all out for every meal. You are never going to survive if you try eating everything.” If I’ve learned anything about the wonderful Sicilian people over the years, it’s that they don’t mess around when it comes to food: it’s always going to be over and above, more than enough, and plenty left afterwards. The apostle Paul talks about God’s power this way in Ephesians 1:19. Here, Paul was sharing with his church in Ephesus what he prays for them. He tells them that he prays they will know the hope that God has called them to and the riches of God’s “glorious inheritance in the saints” (verse 18). The hope that God called us to represents the beginning of the Christian life. While we did call upon God to be saved (see Romans 10:13), He first called us. He called us to belong to Christ and have a new life free from sin, to be holy and separate from the world, and be part of God’s celestial family. The riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints alludes to the end of the Christian life. It is our total inheritance, which we will receive when the fullness of time comes. Until then, we are waiting for it with patience. In short, verse 18 speaks about the beginning and end of the Christian life. At present, we find ourselves in the middle. Our Christian life has taken off, but we have yet to receive the totality of God’s promises. As we make our way toward receiving this final inheritance, we find our path strewn with all sorts of challenges, difficulties, and suffering. To push us past these and over the goal line, God has given us His power—“what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe.” The Greek word for “immeasurable” is hyperballō. It is a two-part Greek word that comes from: hyper (above, over, beyond, more than) and ballō (to throw or cast). It literally meant to “throw beyond” or “surpass.” Over time, it came to express other means of excessiveness such as outbidding someone at an auction, extreme heat from a fire, unbearable pain, and the intense brightness of stars. Hence, it was a word used for something that stood out, excelled the norms, and went beyond the standard amount. The idea in this Scripture is that God supplies an over-and-above ration of His power to help us overcome the obstacles and challenges we face so we can receive the full inheritance promised to us. Not just a little, just enough, or even more than enough, but an over-and-above, highly excessive amount, like a meal in Sicily. We can stuff ourselves with God’s power and never come close to exhausting it. It’s all around us and is ours for the taking. And we aren’t to be stingy with it because there is enough to go around and plenty to take home. Perhaps you are wondering how you can tap into this smorgasbord of power. The way Paul tapped into it: through prayer. When you come into prayer, you stand before a banquet table that is heaped with everything you could possibly need to overcome your troubles. And you are free to take.
Willow slowly rolled over and stretched one arm over her head. Why bother waking up? She had spent the last week questioning her sanity. She snuggled down under the covers on the bed and rolled onto her side.
Willow opened one eye and then the other. How did I get into bed? Suddenly wide awake, she sat up quickly. Scanning the room her eyes finally lit on the note and the cell phone on her bedside table. Picking up the note she read its contents,
Willow, when you wake up would you please call me?
I’m worried about you and need to know you’re okay.
Willow cringed. She looked down at what she was wearing and cringed again. He had carried her to bed? She must look a mess! How embarrassing!
She left the cell phone where it was and moved slowly from the bedroom to the bathroom. She stared at the shower for a minute before reaching out and turning it on. Even though she didn’t feel like it, a shower was necessary. She could go back to bed for the rest of the week after she was done. What day was it anyway? Avery probably came on Saturday, was it still Saturday? She determined to check the date on the cell phone when she was done.
Surprisingly, the shower made her feel more normal. By the time she had finished, dug clean clothes out of the still packed suitcase, and towel dried her hair, Willow realized she was starving. “Might as well find something to stop THAT ache.” Speaking the words out loud sounded even louder in the quiet house.
Willow headed downstairs, forgetting completely about checking what day it was. She found the next note on the counter as she reached for a glass to get some water.
I brought you a few things and stashed them in the pantry. I wasn’t
sure what you liked, but since you didn’t answer your phone this week
I had to guess.
Please call me!
She left the note where it sat and went to check the pantry. A carton of fresh eggs sat on the sideboard beside a refilled basket of bananas. A loaf of bread and what looked like a crock of butter was also there. She opened the ice chest and discovered he had also purchased a couple steaks, some deli meat, and a carton of cream. She found herself cringing again as she realized the steaks were probably supposed to be supper for the two of them. The cream inspired her and she quickly got the generator going and started the coffee perking. She hadn’t had coffee in a week! She really was losing her mind.
That thought prompted her to go back into the ice chest for one of the steaks. On the floor in a corner she spied two wooden crates, one with potatoes and one with carrots. Scooping up as many as she could carry in one hand she went back into the kitchen and dumped it all on the counter. Then she turned to look at the stove. She was going to have to figure this out at some point.
And then she hesitated. Other thoughts began to fill her mind. Why bother? What’s the point anyway? Sleep sounds better.
She left the food sitting on the counter and walked slowly to the living room and stared out the window at the water. It wasn’t a particularly bright day, and the grey of the ocean brought her spirit down to match it. Although it calmed, it did nothing to give her the will to live.
Then she noticed the next note.
You’re not my daughter, but today I definitely feel like a dad. As much
as I want to tell you to snap out of it, it’s not my place. You’re going to
have to figure this thing out. It’s a mess for sure, but it’s one God can
clean up. Read your Bible, Willow. I think you’ll find the peace you’re
looking for there.
Willow read through the short note a second time and then her eyes lit on a book sitting on the table to the left of the chair. Her Bible. She sank into the softness of the couch and the arms seemed to wrap her in a hug as she reached for the black leather book. She was fairly new to this Bible stuff. She had stumbled into a mission one night after walking around the streets of Rockland the day her life fell apart. She had heard the news of the Gospel and had gotten saved. The woman who had led her to the Lord had given her this Bible.
She opened it and the pages crackled with their newness. She started reading in Genesis 1 but found nothing in those first few chapters that brought her peace. Frustrated she placed it back on the table and went to where her violin leaned against the wall. The last note lay atop it.
I heard you playing that first morning here and the sound was beautiful.
God has given you a talent and if you choose to cultivate it you can still
use it for His glory, even out here all alone. Don’t let the music die inside.
Keep playing! Play for Him. Let Him hear your sorrow. But also share
the joys, they’re there if you look for them. Don’t give up.
Willow took the case to the coffee table and opened it. She took her time rosining her bow and tightening it. The she took the violin, adjusted the shoulder piece, and tucked it under her chin. She plucked a few strings to check the tune, and then placed bow to strings. Then Willow played. One of the only celtic-style songs she had ever learned. It was mournful, slow, and beautiful. She determined then and there to learn more. The classical repertoire she had been forced to learn had never moved her the way this song did.
Then she stopped, packed the violin away carefully, and placed it back against the wall. Slowly her footsteps moved back to the stairwell and up to her bedroom. She walked around the bed and reached the table where the cell phone lay. Her fingers lightly brushed the cold metal and then, as if it were a lifeline, her hand wrapped around it tightly and she picked it up. Spinning slightly, she sat on the edge of the bed and turned the phone on. She located Avery’s number and hesitated slightly before pushing the call through. It rang once and then picked up:
“Willow?” Avery’s voice through the line was like water to a parched tree. A tear slid out of the corner of Willow’s eye before she knew what was happening.
“Avery? Where are you?”
“Willow, I’m not far. I’m coming back and I’m asking you to trust me again, don’t be shocked, but I’m bringing someone with me. Someone who can help you. Give me 20 minutes.”
“Thanks, Avery.” The call disconnected and Willow’s hand dropped. She had made the first move. Now it was up to God.
*Disclaimer: I received this book for review from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.
So, I have to admit. This wasn’t a favourite for me.
I know, a book by Chautona Havig that I didn’t rave over (sorry, Friend!).
I think I struggled with her take on a Christian marriage. It’s not wrong. In fact, I think there’s probably some Biblical take away here. I just struggled because in our culture we’re taught that there must be an element of love before getting married. We have a box that we’re told we need to fit into. Sometimes its hard to set those boxes aside when presented with something different.
I actually had a number of people who took me aside before my wedding and cautioned me about marrying a man 13 years my senior (because of course I was just marrying him because I was desperate!). There’s this stigma that unless you’re marrying someone you’re in love with you’re not marrying for the right reason. Although I’ve seen arranged marriages (friends from the Middle East) and how happy they are, it’s still hard to get past that feeling that that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. I think I had an internal war going on the entire time I read this book which is why I was ready to put it down by the time I finished it.
I will say, though, I find Chautona’s characters fun and easy to relate to. I especially liked Mallory’s character (even though she’s not the star of this book, hah). I would still recommend this book and think it was well written, even if I didn’t appreciate the subject.
Check out the other blog stops on the tour and scroll to the bottom for a giveaway!
When Richard Danforth inherits the family estate on Merriweather Island, he doesn’t have time to deal with it—especially not from halfway across the globe. He’s too busy working to become the world’s newest billionaire and avoiding the women who would detract him from his goals.
Enter Lyla Santana. Fresh out of Oxford University with a degree in antiques and a relationship that nearly killed her to leave, she’s eager for the isolation and treasure trove that is Danforth Hall. Lyla also is determined to avoid men at all costs. Forever.
It was supposed to be a match made on paper. With him halfway across the globe, they’d never have to see each other again.
So, what’s Richard doing on Merriweather just weeks after the wedding? And how will his arrival test Lyla’s faith, not to mention stretch their so-called relationship?
In a twist on billionaire romance and marriage of convenience, this “Merriweather book” kicks off a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.
Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
More from Chautona
Did I Really Agree to Write a Romance Series?
When my fledgling little idea for a single book transformed into a series that then transformed into a SERIES, I kind of missed the part where I agreed (and likely suggested, if truth be told), that the books should be contemporary romance.
I mean, beach reads. Romance. Duh.
There’s just one problem? I rarely write a straight-up romance. And if I do, it’s usually a short novella in a collection—often at Christmas.
Isn’t it obvious?
Despite nine kids and being married for almost thirty-two years, I am THE most unromantic woman on the planet. No habla amor. Or something like that.
So there I was, toodling down the 395 (a treacherous bit of road between my house and the publisher’s) when all of what I’d agreed to exploded in my brain. I’m still scraping brain matter off the windshield and trying to stuff it back in. I need every last one of those “little gray cells,” thank-you-very-much!
Romance. My heart sank. Boy meets girl. They like each other. They fight. They get back together. They live happily ever after.
It’s a thing, folks. A formula. And if you deviate, true romance readers get annoyed. What was I going to do? I didn’t want to write romance. Not really. I had ideas. The prequel book had been all about trying to bring a young woman back to the Lord. That’s more my speed, okay?
The wheels began churning.
The ones in my head, I mean. The tires still rolled along the ground. Fortunately, my cranial explosion hadn’t caused an accident or anything. Just in case you were curious.
I considered making each one loosely related to a fairy tale retelling. I’d have a Cinderella story, a Beauty and the Beast, a… nope. That made it that far and I just couldn’t. The minute we got to Sleeping Beauty, I’d have my readers in comas. No. Thanks.
Next came Rom-com. We’d make it funny. All the stuff that happens in beach romances gone wrong. Why not? We live once!
I was yawning before the thought finished forming.
Right about then, I think, is when I wondered what kind of tropes I needed to consider.
See, romance tropes are a thing. I even talk about them on my podcast. The tingling sensation that comes when a good idea is brewing happened. A grin formed.
Tropes. I’d play with tropes. I’d take all those familiar things and twist them somehow. Why not? It would be fun.
And it was.
Right about then is probably when I began recording my ideas. Creosote and sage whizzed past at breakneck speeds (let me dream. I’m not a speed demon, but c’mon… for the sake of poetic license and all?). And the ideas whizzed faster (no license needed. They really did).
Book 1. Marriage of convenience. I mean, those are always fun, right? So why on earth would someone need to get married?
Every idea I came up with has been done… and done again.
That’s when I upped the stakes. Authors do that, you know. We come up with a way to torment our characters, and then we say, “Okay, now how can I make this worse? Nope, I need it even worse. Oh, and…” Bam! The story goes from interesting to can’t-put-it-down. All because we’re not afraid to be cruel to non-existent people. Score!
How’d I do it with this one? I added in another trope. One I personally just can’t “get.” People love the things, and I’ve got no idea why. But it answered my first question of why someone might need a marriage of convenience or… as my gal puts it… “a paper marriage.”
My guy became the world’s newest billionaire.
Yep, you read that right. I wrote a “billionaire romance.” Sort of. Now, if I could figure out how on earth I’d take two people on opposite sides of the world and get them together.
*insert hands rubbing together in fiendish delight*
Oh, yeah. I did it. And even more than that, I love it. I made my characters do some stupid things. I really did (you know, like how two Christians didn’t even pray about their marriage decision? Like how they didn’t even ask if the other person was saved? Why should they? They’ll never see each other again… they said. Ha! The Lord had other ideas. Sorta. This is fiction, right? Oops! I suddenly feel like that crazy Kathy Morningside in Miss Congeniality).
(the title gives away that reason for marrying, no? Also, links may be affiliate links that provide a small commission at no extra expense to you.)
It was almost too easy.
Then I started playing with the next ones, and the series became a reality to me.
– Dual Power of Convenience—when a woman too afraid of men goes to work for a man who is too busy making money to want anything to do with that whole marriage and family thing.
– Bookers on the Rocks— This couple’s marriage is on the rocks (that’s the trope, of course), and neither of them has a clue. They’ve been married for twenty-five years, neither is having an affair, no one wants a divorce, life is good, so why is it on the rocks? You’ll see…
– Directing Hearts— The Crawforths got tricked into allowing a reality matchmaking show film on their islands. Brooks Crawforth tangles with the director until their verbal battles turn into a different kind—a battle for their hearts (enemies to “lovers”)
– Just a Memory— In this one, Mallory Barrows (who makes appearances in all of the books) comes across an old journal that tells a story she’d never heard. It’s the old Patti Paige song “Go On with the Wedding” but over forty years later! Mallory knows something that might just create a (here comes the trope) second chance at romance.
–Printed on Her Heart— After being instrumental in so many couples’ relationships, it’s Mallory’s turn in this dual-trope story. In this one, we get a mashup of friends to more and love at first sight. Can’t wait to share it. Squee!
Okay, that’s the deal. Yes, I really did agree to write a romance series.
And yes, it probably was my idea.
I might deny it to my dying day, but it is also a whole lot of fun… so far.