Instant winner!

Being a subscriber to Deb’s Book Blast automatically qualifies you to be in the draw to win the Kindle version of Nancy Moser’s book, Crossroads.

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

On March 23 we received news that our life was going to change dramatically in two days. New Zealand, where we live, would be moving into lockdown for at least four weeks. We would only be allowed out of our home for exercise and essential services (which didn’t include church.) Time would only tell how restricted life would be after that.

For many, these restrictions led to loss of sales in their business, working or schooling from home, cancellation of major life events. My husband, a missionary pastor, had to find ways to take his ministry online. But for an author, four weeks of lockdown is a gift. While I was sad to have to cancel all church services and ministries, I realized God was giving me an extended period of time when I could work on my book with minimal interruption, almost every day.

The timing was perfect for us. We were safe and settled in our own home rather than being stuck in a mission house in America, unable to travel to visit supporting churches or family. Just a few days before lockdown, at a ladies’ retreat, I had been able to interview a lady whose family had left a New Zealand cult in recent years. She and her husband had come to understand salvation by grace alone and had become part of a sister church of ours. I had corresponded with her by email for information, and at the retreat she was able to read my beginning chapters of my work-in-progress in which one of my main characters leaves this cult. She helped me correct some inaccuracies and left me with six solid beginning chapters which she said were very realistic.

I was able to use my time in lockdown very effectively and make some significant progress on my book during about nine weeks when my missions ministry was very limited. I took that as God’s blessing on my writing ministry.

As I write this post, New Zealand has almost eradicated Covid-19 within its boundaries. We’re currently in level 2 alert which allowed our church to meet last Sunday, but meant that people had to sit at least one meter from people who weren’t in their family or bubble. After 1500 Covid-19 cases with 22 deaths, we now have only one known active case in this country of five million people. Now we’ve had fourteen days without any new cases. It looks like next week we’ll be largely back to normal, except for border restrictions.

We had planned to return to America three weeks from now for a furlough. We had scheduled to speak in supporting churches and planned a vacation with our family. But the American Covid-19 situation is far different from the one in New Zealand. With 1.8 million cases, 108,000 deaths and a million active cases, Covid-19 is still out of control in America. After working so hard to eradicate Covid-19 within its borders, New Zealand is not nearly ready to open its borders to countries like America. At this point, it’s too early to plan travel beyond New Zealand and Australia.

So we look ahead at our future, even a few weeks from now, with more questions than answers. We plan week by week and do the things God puts before us. We trust God because he is in control, working through current events to accomplish his will. Each day he gives us opportunities to serve him and uses the events around us to shape us to be more like Christ.

The world is full of disturbing images these days. Sometimes God gives us ways to help with healing and restoration. Other times we can only stay at home, pray, and guard the peace in our own hearts. No matter who we are, we need time to escape the confusion and heartache of the world. Reading God’s Word and talking with him are optimum times for restoration. Uplifting Christian books can also take us away from the battle and give us time to rest.

When it comes to Christian fiction, some readers like novels that are so suspenseful that they can hardly sleep at night. Murder, danger, and chase scenes. I like books about ordinary people that are fun, feature great characters, and leave me feeling challenged and at peace.

Now for the free drawing.

I have randomly picked a winner from my subscribers list to receive the Kindle version of a fun book that I enjoyed reading.

This time I’ve chosen to give away Crossroads by Nancy Moser.  This book wasn’t like any other book I’ve ever read. It’s a fun book that lets you escape from the constant noise of world problems.

And the winner is … Cynthia.

My book review for Crossroads:

Madeline is determined to save the town of Weaver, Kansas which is quickly dying. She buys the entire town and holds a contest to give away the various pieces of land. She’s in complete control but things don’t turn out the way she expects.

I love the characters in this book, especially Madeline and Web, both in their eighties. Madeline says what she thinks and is used to getting her way. Web is faithful, stable, and dependable. The other characters and sub-plots are interesting too. It has a clear salvation message. As a Christian writer, however, I would have handled one of the romances a bit differently. All in all, a very intriguing book which is fun to read. It keeps you wondering what will happen through all 374 pages.