Dance Before the King, Butterfly!

Deb’s Dozen: Jerusha Dances Like a Butterfly for Her Delighted Father, Jacob—Yeshua Approves

A Royal Dance tells the story of Jacob and Abigail, his wife, during the time of Jesus (Yeshua). Jacob dearly loves Abigail, pregnant with their child. The birth occurs, and they are blessed with a daughter they name Jerusha. Her father dotes on her, tells her she came from royalty, flits around as his butterfly, and will one day dance before his King.

Jacob becomes certain Yeshua is the Messiah, causing grief in his household. Abigail seeks solace with Caiaphas, with whom they all had been friends. Jacob and Jerusha bond closely–he loves to watch her dance. Forced to leave, Jacob does so to protect his family, but Jerusha doesn’t understand.

So begins a tale of faith and failure and family and forgiveness. We follow Abigail and Jerusha through the depths of despair and their eventual redemption. At the same time, we see a brilliant picture of life in Jerusalem at the time of Christ, following his crucifixion, and later, Pentecost.

If you’re a fan of biblical fiction, you’ll love A Royal Dance. The story makes the reader aware of the difficulties of living during that era. For a woman who did not want to write, Linda created a wonderful set of stories. I look forward to reading the next two (or perhaps three) books in the series.

A Royal DanceI interviewed Linda at the Munce Christian Product Expo. She told me she told her story through Jerusha’s eyes. She came out of abuse, out of barrenness. A meeting at Shiloh caused her to have a hunger to have people fulfill their destinies. Because of that, she has worked with Warring Dove International in Israel. Ms. Fergerson was born on Mother’s Day and raised in SW Kansas. She studied speech therapy in college and worked as a speech therapist. Once married, she stayed home, but was barren for sixteen years. They have three adopted sons.

Linda published several articles, but didn’t really want to write so stopped. She started writing a first person story which was sent to a publisher, but the publisher died. Linda joined an intercessory writer’s group, but had no idea how to deal with the competition. At the same time, she felt compelled to publish the things God wanted written. Ms. Fergerson felt most people missed the God in writing. She stayed in the group seven years, but the group dissolved, and she felt pulled to write again—she said she fought kicking and screaming through the whole process but would have no ministry until she wrote the book.

Linda now lives in Dodge City, Kansas—the middle of the prairie. To market her books, she starting speaking for groups. One woman told her Jesus became real to her while reading the book. Another said the book made her realize how tough life was back in those days. With that encouragement, she ended up writing three books—A Royal Dance, A Royal Family, and A Royal Father. A fourth book, A Royal Inheritance is in the works.

Separation Does Not Have to Lead to Divorce

Deb’s Dozen: Pray, Don’t Beg, and Don’t Crawl—They May Come Back After All.

Linda Rook writes from experience. Over twenty years ago, she and her husband separated for three years. Now, they’ve been married fifty-one plus years total. Her first book, Broken Heart on Hold—Surviving Separation, told of her pain and of her gaining peace. That her effective techniques are demonstrated by their long-term marriage and that they share a ministry—Marriage 911.

I found Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated insightful and packed with nuggets of great advice. I learned most people in this situation do the wrong things: cry, beg the spouse to come back, blame themselves, etc., and do so in the worst possible ways.

Linda advises staying silent at first, taking time to react to the new situation, figuring out how the relationship dynamics have changed, and exchanging negative communication patterns for positive ones. She tells the reader asking for help demonstrates caring, that you need to protect your children and let them know the separation was in no way their fault, and being willing to let go.

Although I’ve not been in Linda’s situation, I found many of the tips helpful to keep marriages strong. My husband and I, for example, have had to work hard to fine tune our communication styles so we aren’t misunderstood by the other.

fighting for your marriageI had the opportunity to interview Linda at the Munce Christian Product Expo (CPE) last August. Born in Iowa, but her family moved to California where she grew up. Formerly an officer in the Navy, her husband now practices law—they live in Florida. She majored in Creative Writing and San Francisco State University and worked for a time at ABC, then as an English teacher. Her love was writing, but she had to wait for God’s timing to embark on that journey.

Her husband left her after their children grew up and left home. They’d grown apart, had different interests, and basically different lives. They kept issues inside and didn’t resolve them. Bitterness and resentment had intensified between them until he left.

Linda told me she was devastated and did many of the wrong things at first. But she learned the lesson hope is eternal—even if you have to fight for your marriage alone.

I highly recommend Fighting for Your Marriage While Separated to anyone with marriage concerns or problems, or who have separated from their spouses. You will be encouraged in your journey.

The author gifted me with a copy of her book, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.

Superheroes to the Rescue … Their Kids Too

Deb’s Dozen: Superheroes retired, but children inherit power. Leia moves and sets things afire.

Mindfire presents a fascinating story. Retired superheroes? Good vs. evil and still fighting? Their children inherit superpowers? Steadham presents a well thought out premise. Leia discovers she can move things with her mind. Unfortunately, she can also cause things to burst into flame—a problem because her temper runs wild on occasion. And she starts hearing a voice in her mind. And the voice converses with her.

As the story progresses, we meet the superheroes, some of whom, like Black Fox, still patrol. And we discover Leia’s heritage, which leads to discoveries about her parents and other relatives. Her mother, one of the bad superpowers, watched over and guarded her daughter as Leia grew up. Once the powers are discovered, chaos ensues. Trust, distrust, hurt feelings, accidents, prejudice erupt. All the evils of today come into play. I enjoyed learning about the characters and came to care for Leia and her friends.

A speculative book with Christian overtones, Mindfire weaves in the concepts of prayer and forgiveness and redemption through the characters’ dialogue. Although violent at times, the book shows the necessity, and the characters agonize over their actions or actions forced upon them.

If you like spec fiction, I can recommend Mindfire as a very different but very enjoyable read. Four stars.

MindfireAllen Steadham previously created comic books and webcomics before he started writing novels. Married to Angel, they have two sons and a daughter. Allen and his wife are also singers, songwriters, and musicians. They live in Central Texas.

The author gave me a copy of Mindfire, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.