I had been dating Roy for a while, and he decided the time had come for me to meet his children, Jill and James. Very apprehensive but knowing this was the essential next step, I flew down from New Jersey to Atlanta with him.

You wouldn’t think a six-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy could terrify a thirty-plus-year-old woman, would you? I’d never been around children much, other than an occasional babysitting job while I was in high school. And having the approval of these two kids meant everything.

We went to Chuckie Cheese for the afternoon and for dinner. Even though the place was warm, Jill wouldn’t take off her furry, plush coat. Roy went off with James and left me alone with Jill. Oh, boy, what to do? She shook her head “no” at everything I suggested until skee ball.

We played skee ball for what seemed like an eternity, but when Roy and James came back, Jill had more winning tickets than anyone and had warmed up enough to the room (and to me) to take off her coat.

Their tradition at Chuckie Cheese was to have pizza (cut into kid-sized squares) and Cokes. After we’d devoured most of the pizza, Roy and Jill started a food fight with each other with the leftover pieces.

I was horrified! While scooting over to distance myself from the two of them, my sleeve caught on my Coke. The Coke tipped over, right into my lap. Now who was misbehaving! Laughing at myself and my clumsiness, I finally relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

This family was one I could certainly fit into with my penchant for mishaps and love of funny situations. I’ll never forget my introduction to Jill and James, skee ball, pizza fights, and fun.

 

DebHaggertyphoto

Deb Haggerty

Deb Haggerty is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Elk Lake Publishing Inc., a traditional, royalty-paying Christian company that “Publishes the Positive.”

She’s a Christ follower, wife, mom, and “Nana.” Deb is the author of These Are the Days of My Life and co-author of Experiencing God in a Broken World.

 

Deb Haggerty Days of Our Lives cover

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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

Writing Courses

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

@DonnaSchlachter | @LeeannBett

double jeopardy

double jeopardy

 

 

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Cara Putman
Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin! I’ve just come home from the fabulous Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and now it’s back to work. But today’s work is fun! I get to interview a very special friend, novelist Cara Putman. Cara shares my love for World War II, and we were co-authors for Where Treetops Glisten. She also puts her background as a lawyer to use in mysteries and in her latest novel, Beyond Justice, a gripping legal thriller.

Cara Putman

Cara Putman

Cara, how many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

I currently have 25 books out or in process. My latest book is Beyond Justice, and then I have several with Guidepost mysteries as well as Where Treetops Glisten and Shadowed by Grace. Read More →

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Ane Mulligan
Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the privilege of interviewing novelist Ane Mulligan, one of our newest CAN members, but a longstanding member of American Christian Fiction Writers—and the recipient of ACFW’s first Volunteer Service Award. Ane brings a lot of energy and humor wherever she goes, and we’re thrilled to have her in CAN. You’ll enjoy what she has to share today.

Ane MulliganAne, how did you get into writing?

I’d quit my job as an office manager and my husband said, “Don’t look for another job. Write a book.” I was a published playwright but novelist? Well, God often speaks to me through my husband, so I tried. It took a loooong time. As a playwright, all I knew was how to write dialogue. POV? What does that mean? Obviously, I had a lot to learn. Read More →

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Pamela S. Meyers
Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from rainy California! With Valentine’s Day around the bend, it’s the perfect time to feature Pamela S. Meyers, author of contemporary and historical romances! I’ve met Pam at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference, and she’s delightful. She’s full of creative promotional ideas, so read on!

Pamela S. Meyers

Pamela S. Meyers

How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

Five titles altogether, including Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (my hometown), What Lies Ahead, a novella in a four-author novella collection called The Bucket List Dare, and my newest one, Second Chance Love. Read More →

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