Instant winner!

Being a subscriber to Deb’s Book Blast automatically qualifies you to be in the draw to win the Kindle version of Deb Raney’s book, Over the Waters.

I’ll announce the winner of the draw at the end of this Book Blast.

Also at the end: Discount price on Broken Windows for 5 days.

When you read my books, you’ll see a ministry thread through all of them. I don’t just write about ministry, I’m hip deep in it. I grew up in a pastor’s home and I’ve spent the last forty years working as a missionary in Taiwan and New Zealand. My husband, Art, and I have celebrated the joys of ministry and weathered the sorrows. We’ve placed our imperfect  efforts into God’s hands, trusting him for the results. Serving the Lord is our foremost reason for living. It’s not difficult to see why ministry breathes on the pages I write.

So where does a full time missionary find time to write? In my spare time?

Actually I never find any spare time lying around with nothing to do with it. I have to look at my schedule and responsibilities and carve out time to write. Not just because I enjoy it. I feel called to minister through my writing. Sometimes that means teaching, playing the piano, cleaning the toilets, or writing. But all of those activities are not of equal importance to me. Playing the piano is something I do because we need it in our ministry. Writing, on the other hand, is who I am. I believe God has called me to write, and if I totally neglect that I’m not fully following God’s plan for me.

So for me, writing means balancing responsibilities and listening for God’s voice.

I started writing for Christian publication in 1979. While I raised two pre-school children and studied Taiwanese full time, I had to set it aside for a season. Then in 1985 my daughter started kindergarten in a nearby Chinese city. Every day I drove her to school, dropped her off, then went to a nearby storefront church. I pulled out my typewriter (no computer yet) and spent the morning writing. That gave me five mornings a week of writing time. I wrote articles and short stories specifically targeted toward a particular take-home paper market. That school year I had 15 articles accepted for publication. During the 1980’s and 1990’s I wrote consistently for Christian periodicals. Since then I’ve concentrated on books. Along the way I’ve written many ministry resources which I can now share on my website. But I never feel the Lord is leading me to quit.

Some seasons of life, like furlough years and times of great change, I’ve had less time for writing than others. Now my daughters live far from home. I still have many ministry obligations, but this season of life brings me more freedom to arrange my schedule and work on writing. Changes in Christian publication can be disheartening to writers, but I sense God leading me forward year by year.

I also feel the Lord distinctly leading me to write about ministry in my fiction. Sometimes I throw in some mystery or romance. Mary Weaver’s story, Edges of Truth, was a true story of presumed guilt. But even in prison, Mary felt a sense of ministry to fellow inmates. Other Christians ministered to her. The series I’m working on now is about ministry in New Zealand.

I’m also an avid reader of Christian fiction and I find a strange phenomenon there. Christian fiction includes thousands of murder mysteries, but very few about ordinary Christian ministry. In recent years I started hunting for them, but they aren’t easy to find. I’m trying to fill that hole.

What is my current work-in-progress?

 Right now I’m beginning to work on book three of my new series, New Beginnings. My plan is to write three books, all the way through, rough draft, and then go back and begin to revise and polish book one. These days I’m learning a lot about a peculiar religious sect in New Zealand who live at Gloriavale. I’m plotting the stories of some characters with very opposite backgrounds who learn to get along in Christ.

When can you expect to see the first of this series in print?

Not in 2020. We are scheduled for a five-month furlough in June and my writing will be shoved to a back burner during that time.

Act now and you can buy Broken Windows, Book 1 in the Art Spotlight Mysteries, at a reduced price.

This Kindle Countdown Deal gives you two days to buy it at 99 cents, followed by three days to buy it at 1.99. Then it goes up to the regular price.

Now for the free drawing.

I have randomly picked a winner from my subscribers list to receive the Kindle version of a book with a ministry theme. This time I’ve chosen to give away a book that I’ve recently read for the second time. Over the Waters by Deb Raney is all about ministry in Haiti.

And the winner is … a reader from Minnesota.


My book review of Over the Waters by Deborah Raney:

Max, a rich and famous plastic surgeon, travels to Haiti to make sense of what his son had lived and died for. Valerie, still smarting from an engagement gone wrong, travels there to help at an orphanage for a few weeks. The startling contrast between their normal life and the life in Haiti sheds new light on needs beyond their comfort zone and challenges them to reconsider their purpose in life.

I give Deb Raney five stars for subject matter. Meaningful Christian fiction dealing with characters in Christian ministry is far too scarce. She does a great job of balancing the crushing need of orphans in Haiti with the joy and hope they can receive from Christ and people who care. Contrary to so much of Christian fiction, Raney emphasizes positive values and compassion over hormones and physical attraction in the romance. She shows the joy and satisfaction in ministry and serving others. I love all that. However, I am disappointed with any Christian romance in which mature Christian believers fall in love with someone before they come to faith in Christ. That is a flaw here.
Overall, I gave four stars for this book. It is an interesting read with characters who make you care about them.