Guest blog post and Book Giveaway by Cathy Bryant
By far, the question I receive most often when it comes to writing fiction is: What’s the story behind the story? In other words, people want to know my motivation and inspiration for writing the book.
With CROSSROADS, the sixth Miller’s Creek novel and a Christian contemporary romance, the original germ of an idea actually came as I watched the movie, God’s Not Dead. The thought occurred to me that each of us knows someone who has either defected from the faith or altogether refuses to acknowledge the existence of God. It might be a friend, co-worker, or even a family member.
All fiction writers are taught to ask the question, ‘what if?’ So for me, my ‘what if?’ became this story question: What if an ex-military man and Christian found himself involved in the life of a bitter atheist and single mom who wanted nothing to do with his God?
Once that question was in place, other questions popped up. What happened to the female lead in the story to make her antagonistic toward the faith? What questions and arguments would she have? How would our ex-military hero–a man who sees himself as a defender–go to battle in a spiritual sense? What internal dilemma would he have to overcome to defend his faith? And most importantly, what would it take to turn our heroine around?
In the book, I sought to explore this spiritual topic, not just for the sake of the storyline, but also for each of us as believers. I wanted to know how I could best handle the objections of those opposed to faith in Christ. I wanted to be prepared to answer the tough questions these folks often have. And I hoped in the process to also help others in their own defense of the faith.
Some of the questions non-believers tend to have are: If God is so good and loving, then why does He allow evil? If God cares about me, then why have so many bad things happened to me? How do you know the Bible is true? What if the people who wrote the Bible made it up? How do you know that Jesus is really who He claims to be? What if He was just a delusional man with dubious motivies?
Can you think of other tough questions often
levied at Christians by non-believers?
I’ve been confronted by all these questions at one time or another, but suddenly it became personal for me. How did God want me to respond to these people? What could I do to make a difference for Christ and His Kingdom when it came to answering their questions? And how could I incorporate all this in the story of CROSSROADS?
Here’s what the process involved for me: I devoured my Bible and books on apologetics to find answers for tough questions. I wrote the PROOF blog post series about what I’d learned. Next, I turned some of these posts into videos. And of course, I included it all in the storyline of the book.
As I wrote the story, a few things crystallized in my mind.
1) In the end, it all comes down to faith, and that’s a decision each person must make for themselves. While we can hope and pray for others to turn to God, ultimately the decision is theirs. Faith is something we can’t force on others.
2) Based on 1 Peter 3:15, we need to be prepared to answer the tough questions that come our way from those who don’t believe.
3) And above all, our response should be one of unconditional love and persistent prayer. No one is a lost cause or beyond the power of God.
I pray we’ll all be prepared to give a defense to those who ask about the reason for our hope.
Cathy, thank you so much for being here today. Cathy is giving away a paperback copy of her newest release, CROSSROADS. Be sure to scroll down and read about the book, check out my review of Crossroads, and enter to win a copy here on Britt Reads Fiction! And don’t forget to RSVP for Cathy’s Facebook party and also enter to win a Kindle Fire!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
a Miller’s Creek novel and Christian contemporary romance
A former soldier battles for the soul of a prodigal…
After a devastating divorce, a bitter single mom and atheist starts her own real estate company in the nostalgic and picturesque town of Miller’s Creek, Texas. Then her young daughter’s disturbing symptoms lead doctors to discover that her leukemia has relapsed. With her new life now turned upside down, Mara Hedwig struggles to keep her business afloat. And her daughter’s worsening condition forces her to rethink her beliefs about Carter Callahan and his God. Will Mara make the return to Christian faith in the face of life’s greatest challenge?
An ex-military operative struggles with the return to civilian life while coping with his rebellious teen-aged daughter. During a house-search, Carter meets Mara, a headstrong Realtor who wants nothing to do with his God. But when Mara’s little girl is diagnosed with leukemia, the clock begins ticking for him to convince Mara to return to a life of faith. Just as he seems to be making headway, circumstances beyond his control throw his efforts into a tailspin. Can Carter learn to rest in the sovereignty of God?
**** I really enjoyed this moving story! To read my review, click here. ****
Cathy is graciously giving away one paperback copy
to a commenter on my blog!
To enter: (US residents only, due to shipping cost)
1. Comment on this blog post with your name and email in a non-spam format.
2. You can earn extra entry by following my blog and sharing about this giveaway. (Don’t forget to let me know.)
Giveaway starts on 4/9/15 and ends on 4/15/15. Winner will be emailed and announced on Britt Reads Fiction on 4/16/15.
What: CROSSROADS Book Launch Party
Where: Facebook (from the comfort & convenience of your own home)
When: April 30, 2015 ~ 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Central time)
Why: To celebrate the book launch of CROSSROADS (a Miller’s Creek novel and Christian Romance by Cathy Bryant)
LOTS of Fun, Games and Prizes!
Prizes Include: Miller’s Creek pens, tote bags, t-shirts, mugs, digital books, autographed print books, Amazon gift cards, and
an Amazon Kindle Fire HD6!
About Cathy Bryant
Amazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant writes Christian fiction set in the heart of Texas. Her popular romance and romantic suspense novels take place in the fictional town of Miller’s Creek, where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons. All the Miller’s Creek novels have been on the Amazon Best-Seller list and are rated at 4.5 stars or higher on Amazon. Her debut novel, TEXAS ROADS, was a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist. Since then five other stand-alone novels have been added to the series, one of which was a reader-nominated 2013 Grace Award nominee (PILGRIMAGE OF PROMISE). Readers have compared her work to that of Karen Kingsbury and Nicholas Sparks. A native Texan, Cathy currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. She’s written devotions for The Upper Room devotional magazine, two devotional books in collaboration with other Christian authors, and for online sites. She also has released a Bible study book, THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS. In addition to her writing, she enjoys thrift store shopping, romping in the great outdoors, and mini-farming. To learn more about Cathy and her books, visit her website at http://www.CatBryant.com or make contact with her in these places: