Friday, December 8, 2017

When Reads the Heart with Carole Towriss

When I released my first indie book, I sent my street team a necklace along with the advance reader copy. The pendant, a gift from the hero to the heroine, figured prominently in the book. She had never had a home or family of her own, and desperately wanted one. The pendant symbolized love, family, belonging—and home. 

One of my team members lost almost everything they owned a couple weeks after the book released in a massive fire that completely destroyed their barn and house. Thankfully, their entire family of eight, and all their animals, managed to escape. A week later she sent me this email:

Hi Carole,
I wanted to write and let you know what a blessing your book has been to me through this week.  When we left for church Sunday morning I decided to take my necklace off that I wear every day and replace it with your carnelian one.  While I'm sad to lose the other one (it was a mother's necklace with all my children's names on it - that did need to be replaced anyway to add our two newest daughters), the carnelian has been such a wonderful reminder to me of God's presence in our lives.  Like the quote I posted earlier in the week from your book, the fact that God is our dwelling place - not our home on this earth that I loved! - has been so comforting!  I'm sure you had no idea how God would use your book, but I wanted you to know I believe he had you write it at least in part for me!!  

Then she asked me for another signed copy, which of course I was delighted to send her!

I always pray for the readers God has in mind as I write my books. Most of them I will never know. I will never meet them, never know their stories. This time, I was privileged to hear how God used the verses he gave to me as the theme to minister to another’s heart:

Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. ~Psalm 90.1

An unapologetic Californian, Carole Towriss now lives just north of Washington, DC. She loves her husband, her four children, the beach, and tacos, though not always in that order. In addition to writing, she binge-watches British crime dramas and does the dishes for the fourth time in one day.
Find Carole at the following links:
on Twitter: @CaroleTowriss

Friday, December 1, 2017

When Reads the Heart with Amanda Cabot

Today I am honored to welcome Amanda Cabot to our When Reads the Heart series as she shares a heartwarming letter from one of her readers. 
What made me I think I should write this story?  What made me think I could write it?  Those questions bounced through my head countless times as I was working on Scattered Petals, the second of my Texas Dreams trilogy.  Yes, it’s true that I write stories of healing.  Yes, it’s true that I begin each day by praying that my words will touch readers’ hearts and deepen their faith, but why did I feel compelled to create a heroine who’s raped on her way to a wedding? 
The research was painful.  So, too, was the actual writing.  I wept as I wrote the scene where Priscilla’s parents are murdered and she’s attacked.  I wept as I wrote the scenes where she tries to deal with the trauma.  And all the while, I kept asking why?  Why was I writing this story?
The answers began to come soon after the book was published in early 2010, and they still continue in the form of letters from readers. 
Scattered Petals was very special to me,” wrote one woman.  “You see, I have a horrendous past which I have not been able to get over.  So I can very much relate to both Priscilla and Zach.  And I especially needed to read again and again that God has plans for each of us and see the possibilities for my life by seeing what He did to make good out of the bad in the lives of those two.  Even more than that, as I read all the things Zach did and said to love and help Priscilla, I thought about the many things God has done to help me get over my past and to show how much He loves me.  What makes your book special is that you’ve touched my heart so deeply that these thoughts are finally becoming real in my heart.  I’m finally beginning to really believe God loves me.

“And so, when I finished the book, I had a new experience.  My focus was not on my lack of a mature, wonderful Christian husband.  It was on the realization that I already have the most wonderful husband in the world, God. 

“Thank you for working in partnership with God to touch and change me as never before!”
My questions were answered, and so were my prayers.  Why did I write Scattered Petals?  Because it was the story God intended me to tell.

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, the Texas Crossroads trilogy, Christmas Roses, and A Stolen Heart, the first of the Cimarron Creek trilogy. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages.  Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming.