Thank you for allowing me to visit your blog today. I’m very excited about the release of Joshua’s Mission (2-1-16), which is book 2 in my Plain & Simple Miracles series. This book is a Christian romance story, but some of you may wonder … how do you find romance in the midst of a disaster? And how is this sort of story about the grace of God? Great questions!
First a short description of the story. Joshua Kline travels from his farm in Oklahoma to offer aid to an Englisch town on the gulf coast of Texas after a category 4 hurricane has ravaged the area. What will Joshua find when he arrives in Texas? A budding romance? A call from God? A possible healing of his relationship with his brother? Joshua’s Mission is a story of love, forgiveness, and the grace of God that carries us through even the worst situations.
1. Romance? I love writing romance. I adore happily-ever-after, and I can find those stories in just about any situation. Middle of a hurricane? No problem. While your brother is intent on finding trouble with the law? Yeah. I can do that. During a recovery mission? Absolutely! I think love is, literally, all around us. And sometimes, it’s when we have trouble in our lives that we’re most open to a new relationship.
2. Grace? Disasters are a terrible thing. If you’ve ever experienced a first hand natural disaster, or been on site soon after one, you know what I mean. It’s heartbreaking to see people’s lives ripped apart. So how can we possibly have a story about grace in such a terrible situation?
The answer is in the way that we comfort one another. Christ told us to be His hands and feet, and during disasters we find people doing that very thing. We put down our cell phones, unplug from the internet, turn off the television, and we become involved with each other’s lives.
I had the awesome chance to experience this recently after we had massive flooding in central Texas. On May 25, 2015, the towns of Wimberley and San Marcos were hit by catastrophic flooding from the Blanco River. The river crested at an estimated 41.5 feet, nearly 30 feet above flood stage. Lives were lost. Homes were destroyed. But the people in the area pulled together. Volunteers showed up in droves. Donations came in. Rebuilding began. The experience I had helping one family certainly changed my outlook. As one of the men told my husband, “We had no idea where to begin, and then you all showed up. You gave us hope.” Wow. Grace in the midst of disaster.
3. Fiction. Joshua’s Mission is a fictional account of a hurricane that hits the Texas gulf, but I was able to use first hand testimonies of hurricane victims in other areas, my own experience working on an emergency response team, and interviews with people in the area to weave together a story. There’s a little romance and a whole lot of grace. I hope that you’ll give it a try.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever experienced a natural disaster or helped in a recovery effort? If not, maybe you know someone who has. Tell us your story.
Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her novel, Falling to Pieces, was a 2012 ACFW Carol Award winner for best mystery. Chapman was a teacher for 15 years and currently writes full time. She lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.
Be sure to leave a comment today because Vannetta has graciously offered to give away a copy of Joshua's Mission. Don't forget you still have a chance for January's monthly giveaway too, but you have to leave a comment. :)