By Donna Schlachter

When I think about books from my childhood, I recall books like Black Beauty and Call of the Wild. What really sticks with me is both told stories of heartbreak and joy, of separation and reunion, or defeat and victory. Throughout these two books in particular, bad things happened for no good reason. People got sick. Died. Animals were mistreated. Lives were shattered.

But then. . .

In the end, all was set right with their world.

When I sit down to write a book, I ask myself, “How bad can things get?” And then I put my characters into more and more danger physically, while also straining their moral judgment, their emotional well-being, and their spiritual journey. Sometimes the journey seems to impair them more than make things right. But that’s life.

In Double Jeopardy, I took a city girl completely out of her element. Or did I? Becky Campbell didn’t really fit into society life in New York, either. She was much more like her father, who she adored. Zeke Graumann believes that his family’s ranch is worth everything, until he meets a girl who shows him that home is where the love is.

Other characters are changed, too. Matilda Campbell, the controlling matriarch of the family, figures out she can’t always direct every situation. Even the land title clerk has a change of heart (think of the tax collector’s in the temple during Jesus’ day).

The theme of this book is that we are never truly alone, if we’re willing to give God room in our lives. But it won’t happen by osmosis. It can’t be forced. We must choose, not because we have nowhere else to turn, but because we do and we choose God anyway. It took me a lot of years to figure that out, and our second—and third—and fourth-chance God patiently waited for me.

So next time you don’t know what to do or where to go next, remember: The God who pursues is still there.

 

Donna Schlachter:aka Leeann Betts

Donna Schlachter

Donna writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, and has been published more than 30 times in novellas and full-length novels. She is a member of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, SinC, and CAN; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests

New Release: Double Jeopardy January 7th, 2020.  Join our FB event

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Please visit www.HiStoryThruTheAges.com | www.LeeannBetts.com

@DonnaSchlachter | @LeeannBett

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double jeopardy

 

 

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“At that time the deaf will hear word-for-word what’s been written. After a lifetime in the dark, the blind will see” (Isaiah 29:18 The Message).

My husband Patrick has a little spot below his jaw line that he invariably misses when he shaves. Sometimes he misses it two or three shaves in a row, and then it isn’t just beard, now it looks like hair. That little patch of hair seems to hide in the shadows, difficult to detect, and then all of a sudden there it is.

I began thinking about those little spots in my life that hide in the shadows, difficult to discern, until they take over some area of my life, and I have to go in and hack them off.

Frustration, loss of peace, making excuses, defending myself, occasional slothfulness, tendency to gluttony. All of these are areas of my life usually under control, but they still show up occasionally. When I least expect them. When I’m least prepared for them.

I praise God for being willing to take me, unworthy as I am, and make me into His image. This week, as you seek God, ask Him to reveal those blind spots you may have in your life, and then to cause them to evaporate. Gone!  So that all that is left is Him reflected in you and your life and words and actions.

Leeann Betts

Missing Deposits cover

Leeann Betts writes contemporary romantic suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical romantic suspense. In the Money is the tenth title in her cozy mystery series, and together she and Donna have published more than thirty novellas and full-length novels. They ghostwrite, judge writing contests, edit, facilitate a critique group, and are members of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters in Crime, and Christian Authors Network. Leeann travels extensively to research her stories. Receive a free ebook by signing up for their quarterly newsletter at www.LeeannBetts.com.

Blog: www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com

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“She’s cute, and perky, and all the things I’m not.”

That’s how my real life persona, Donna Schlachter, describes me.

I’m not sure why, because she’s a pretty swell person herself. Still, I suspect it’s because she likes to live vicariously through me. Kind of like a split personality.

Maybe all authors are that way. We live our lives through our characters. Putting them in situations most of us would never experience.

When I wrote the first book in this series, I had a character, an occupation, and a murder—but I didn’t know whodunit, or why. I got to within two chapters of the end of the book and realized I’d written myself into a corner. So I picked one of the secondary characters, made that person the killer, ended the book, and went back and gave that character a backstory, put in some other suspects with good motives then gave them alibis. Needless to say, if I’d sat down and done an outline, I’d have known the answers to those questions and saved a lot of time.

Well, thankfully, I learned a lot since then. I grew to love my heroine (she’s actually a lot like me, only she takes way too many stupid chances and is much faster on the quippy comebacks than I’ll ever be). So I wanted to write more about her. At first, I thought three books. Finally I made a deal with her that she would tell me when she’s done.

Carly has done a lot of growing over the intervening years, too. And now she has told me, “One more. Twelve. Nice round number.” So next year’s book, Risk Management, will be the last.

Whew. That’s a little scary. After all, who am I unless I’m writing about Carly, who wants to prove to everybody that accountants are more than bean counters? Hopefully I’ll have a better idea of the answer to that question in the new year.

For now, I’m celebrating the release of Book 11, Missing Deposits.

 

Leeann Betts

Leeann Betts

Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. Together she and Donna have published more than 30 novellas and full-length novels. They ghostwrite, judge writing contests, edit, facilitate a critique group, and are members of ACFW, Writers on the Rock, CAN, and SinC.

Website: www.LeeannBetts.com Receive a free ebook just for signing up for our quarterly newsletter.

Blog: www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/1pQSOqV

Twitter: http://bit.ly/1qmqvB6

Books: Amazon http://amzn.to/2dHfgCE  and Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2z5ecP8

Missing Deposits cover

 

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