Monday, January 12, 2015

Author Spotlight + GIVEAWAY: Beth Wiseman


The Promise is a story drawn from real-life events and is written from the heart of Beth Wiseman. It's unusual, entertaining, suspenseful, and downright hard to put down. Please click on the title, The Promise, to see my review.

Litfuse Publicity has put together a very interesting interview with Beth Wiseman and is graciously giving away a copy of The Promise, details of which are at the end of this post. May all who visit today enjoy what Beth has to share!


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An Interview with Beth Wiseman
Author of The Promise

Q: In just a few sentences, could you summarize The Promise from your eyes as the author?

The Promise is the largest project I’ve undertaken since my first book was published in 2008. It was a step way out of the box and a far cry from my Amish novels and Texas contemporaries. Not only was I shifting to another genre and writing a much edgier story, but the real-life events that inspired the novel were still tender on my heart. I was so incredibly engrossed in the fictionalization that I often found myself using ‘real’ names, and I would have to go back and make corrections.


Q: In your letter to readers in the back of The Promise, you share the book was based on actual events you were witness to. This story is something you’d expect to see in a movie and is certainly an exciting and emotional read.  Can you share a little bit about your inspiration for this story?

Before it ever entered my mind to write The Promise, I’d already decided I wanted to write a story about a rescue. This came to light after a dream I had, and I got up in the middle of the night and jotted down some notes — notes that eventually became a synopsis. But I kept getting nudges to move in another direction; to still write a rescue story, but something much more personal than the plot I’d literally dreamed. In The Promise, Mallory takes a dangerous journey to Pakistan, fueled by her adventurous spirit and her desire to save a life.  But the trip becomes something much different as Mallory finds herself in grave danger. Someone close to me, “Laurie,” found herself in a similar situation, and it was up to me to work with the Consulate in Peshawar, the Embassy in Islamabad and the State Department to get Laurie back to the United States. In a letter to readers at the back of the book, I have included details about the actual events that inspired the story. However, this book would have never happened unless Laurie was onboard. She wanted to tell her story, hoping that perhaps even one woman might be spared this type of betrayal. From there . . . my ‘rescue’ story came full circle.



Q: Your main character, Mallory, is driven by her number-one goal: to save a life. Have you ever been as passionate as Mallory about a goal, and if so, were you able to achieve it?

My number one goal for years was to write ONE book, to make ONE difference in a life. This is a great example of how God has used me in ways I could have never foreseen.  I’m on my 23rd book, and I’ve received countless emails and letters from readers who say my books changed them for the better in some way. It seems as if there is a reason for every bad situation that came my way, and God never wastes a life experience. I have written about so many topics that I wouldn’t be qualified to write about — or that wouldn’t seem credible — if I hadn’t had been involved with or lived the experience.


Q: What are some of the warning signs friends and family should watch for in a potentially abusive or dangerous relationship?

In both the real-life story and fictional version, both “Laurie” and Mallory distanced themselves from family and friends. They kept secrets from those closest to them and strived to justify illogical decisions and choices.


Q: What advice would you share with someone who has a friend or family member who has not made the best or wisest choices and is coping with the fallout of his or her decisions? How can you be supportive of a person, even when you don’t agree with his or her choices?

Love unconditionally and don’t judge. There is no one on this planet who hasn’t made mistakes and bad choices.  It’s what we do with those experiences that defines us and molds our future. Most of the time, we can’t see clearly when we are the ones in the throes of a bad relationship or dangerous situation. And when it’s all over and we’ve somehow survived, it’s almost impossible not to ask, “Why me? Why did I have to go through that?” As for my experiences, it has often taken years for me to recognize God turning my ‘wrongs’ into something for the overall good in ways I could have never foreseen.


Q: How did writing The Promise bring closure to you and others involved in the events that inspired the book?

Laurie (name changed to protect her identity) and I grew up together. I love her very much. But when she left for Pakistan, I wasn’t sure I would ever see her again. When she did return home, she was incredibly broken, both physically and emotionally. I’d always assumed there would be an opportunity to say, “I told you so.” However, that thought wasn’t at the forefront of my mind as I watched her trying to put her life back together. She’d lost almost everything, but her spirit to survive and push forward shone through, and I wanted to help her with that. God truly does work in such mysterious ways. I could have never foreseen how collaborating on this book would bring us so much closer than we’d ever been. For the first time, I was able to see past my own judgments at the choices she’d made, lending an understanding from her point of view. In some ways we agree to disagree, but writing the book gave us a closer relationship we both treasure.  From Laurie: “I took a leap of faith. I believed that man and loved him with all my heart. He might have broken my heart, but not my spirit or the will to be me. I refuse to give him that power.” She is healing, and I am proud of her.


Q: Is there a spiritual message you hope readers are able to take away from reading The Promise?

We all make mistakes, have regrets and carry burdens from our past. But by clinging to our faith, we are often gifted with opportunities to use these mistakes in a way that sheds light amidst the darkness, defining who we are and how we will be remembered. In the novel, Mallory wants to save a life. She ends up doing much more and in a way she could have never foreseen. Laurie returned to the United States a broken woman, but she shared her experiences via this novel in an effort to save as many women as possible from falling into a similar situation — an opportunity she also could never have predicted. And as I said earlier, God never wastes a life experience.


Q: Many people may take this story and say it reveals the dangers of Islam. Was exploring different religions one of your goals?

There are good and bad people in every religion. Islam gets a bad rap sometimes because of 9-11. Overall, it is a peaceful religion. For some Americans, it is hard for us to distinguish between peaceful Islam and radical Islam. Does that mean I agree with all things Islam? No. I’m a Christian. I wouldn’t say my intent was to explore different religions. My intent was to tell an entertaining story inspired by actual events and to do so in a way that sheds light on the good and the bad. If it saves one woman from falling victim to any kind of scheming predator, then I have done my job for God. I’ve taken Laurie’s experience and molded it into a warning that I hope will also draw readers closer to Him.

Beth can be found at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers. Learn more about the author and her books at bethwiseman.com and on Twitter (@bethwiseman).



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GIVEAWAY

To enter the drawing for The Promise, please comment on the following questions drawn from Beth's interview:


Question:
Have you ever had to deal with a loved one making bad decisions?
If so, any words of advice?

Please remember that e-mail addresses are required for the drawing and be sure to leave them in a safe format - [at] and [dot]. If you're willing, it's also helpful to share about this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter.

"Likes" on my Facebook page, ThePowerofWordsBookReviews, are greatly appreciated, as are followers on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and this blog.

  • Contest ends at midnight PST on Tuesday, January 20.
  • Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by e-mail. Respond within 48 hours of notification or another winner will be chosen.
  • Eligibility: US residents

67 comments:

  1. I have had a loved one make a bad choice and there really wasn't much I could do about it other than pray. The only advice that I can give is to pray for that person and leave it in His hands.
    ~Cindi Altman
    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I appreciate your thoughts, Cindi. There's such a feeling of helplessness as we stand by and watch - yet our best resource, prayer, isn't always our first choice.

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    2. Yes, it is difficult to stand by and watch. I must admit that I don't always think to pray immediately. Seems, that I like to be in control, too much.

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    3. I think wanting to be in control is a universal problem, Cindi! And even when I know how important prayer is, that's a lesson I seemingly have to relearn every time.

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  2. Unfortunately, I have had to witness a loved one making a bad choice - more than once. As much as it broke my heart, the only advice I can give is to love the person, hate the choice, and PRAY without ceasing. How I wish I could turn back the clock and do more of this and less of verbally telling the person what to do.....
    susanlulu(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Susan, I've often wished for do-overs also. But the most comfort for me is trusting in God's unfailing love, realizing that He is always in control, and that He loves my loved ones more than I ever could. Thank you for sharing, Susan.

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  3. Answer to question. Yes, several times. Just handled with love and a lot of prayers that got answered. PTL Would really love to win this book. Thanks for a chance.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. So glad you were able to rely on prayer, Maxie. I love seeing that theme running through all these comments.

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  4. I have dealt with loved ones making bad decisions. I tell them they will be in my prayers and leave the rest up to God.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. That's the best thing you could ever do, Janet. And it's also the only thing that really works.

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  5. I cannot recall a recent instance of a family member making a bad decision, but my occupation puts me in close proximity to those who do. I have found that it is better to help the person move beyond the mistakes and inch forward. They already know and feel the guilt of terrible decision making. And you are right that unconditional love is very freeing when it's people that you care about.

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    1. It sounds like you are able to minister to people when they most need it, Rebecca. Does your occupation allow you to share your faith? Even if not, people can see Christ in you - and that's what it's all about. Thank you for sharing, Rebecca.

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  6. I have dealt with loved ones making bad decision. I have dealt with it through love and understanding.

    tdiffy09 at outlook.com

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    1. Tricia, I think sometimes we focus so much on the bad decision that love doesn't come easily. So glad you were able to show that love and understanding.

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  7. Yes,it is hard to watch people do things that are either harmful, destructive or wrong in any way. Prayer is the best way and support when they need it.

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    1. Sonja, it's so good to see thoughts about prayer running through these comments. Support when needed is also great advice. Thanks for sharing with us.

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    2. I forgot my email. sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

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  8. I've had daughters make poor choices even after being taught to make positive choices to make the best of their lives. Prayer was the obvious response on my part, and then teaching them to take responsibility for their actions and do the right thing for all concerned. Accountability is a poowerful tool.

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    1. My email address is quiltcat26@gmail.com

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    2. It's hard when children are raised in the faith, then often make poor choices when they know better. Obviously prayer is all important, but you are so right about responsibility and accountability. Thank you so much for sharing, Nancee.

      Thanks also for your e-mail address, but I think I could have found you! LOL!

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  9. Yes I have and the hardest but the best thing you can do is stand back and let them suffer the consequences of the bad choices and do lots of praying.

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    1. Ann, I'm so glad you and Nancee mentioned responsibility and dealing with the consequences, for I think those elements are so often lacking today. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

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  10. voronochka262@gmial.comJanuary 15, 2015 at 4:33 PM

    No, honestly, can't say that I have.

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    1. I hope not, but you probably will sooner or later. There's some wonderful thoughts in these comments, so I hope you'll read through them.

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  11. I've lived long enough to see many people I care about make wrong decisions. God works things out one way or another. I'm still praying and waiting on a couple of people to make some better decisions.
    may_dayzee(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I think wanting to be in control and do things our way are things we all struggle with from time to time, Kay. I pray that God soon gets a hold on those couple of people you mentioned. Thank you so much for sharing, Kay.

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  12. I have! My ex-husband is a alcoholic which almost cost us everything we owned as well as his life! Shelia Hall.sheliarha64@yahoo.com

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    1. Wow, Sheila! It sounds like you have literally walked through the dark valley. I hope you've been able to see God's hand in this situation.

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    2. I have Carole! My faith is what kept me together ! Shelia

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  13. Please don't enter me in the giveaway.
    I am stopping by from Friendship Friday.
    Looks like a great book!

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    1. I'm so glad you came, Michelle! Isn't Friendship Friday great? And she's starting a new book-themed linkup. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  14. I have had to deal with family members making wrong decisions. Prayer was the most powerful resource along with a listening ear and a forgiving heart
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Merry S.

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    1. Prayer is obviously most important, as you can see from what others have said, but I appreciate your words about a willingness to listen and forgive. Thanks so much for sharing, Merry.

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  15. Thanks so much, Carole, for sharing this fabulous interview with Beth Wiseman at the Book Nook at Create With Joy - our new blog party and community for book lovers!

    This is such an important book. For more information, visit my review - with a video interview featuring the author - at:

    http://www.create-with-joy.com/2014/11/the-promise-by-beth-wiseman.html

    Have a wonderful weekend! :-)

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Ramona. This was a different direction for Beth Wiseman, but obviously a story that was on her heart - and an important one, like you said.

      Love the Book Nook, by the way! So glad you started it.

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  16. Prayer and forgiveness are definitely essential when dealing with a loved one who has made a poor decision. However, I pray the light of Christ shines brightly through me so they can find their way back to Him.
    monicaeldridge26(at )gmail( dot)com

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    1. Yes, Monica, your witness of Christ is so important! And sometimes it just means being there for that loved one. Thank you for sharing.

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  17. We recently had a close family member abandon children and leave us for drugs. It is so sad, but we have chosen tough love. We help her by giving her food and items not money. We pray for her constantly. Thanks for sharing about this giveaway at Book Musing Monday. marykatbpcsc45 at gmail.com

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    1. Oh Mary, to have a loved one do those things has got to be painful. Sometimes that "tough love" is the best thing and giving them necessities rather than money is so very important. Whenever someone comes by our church asking for money, they are either given specifically what they need - a meal, groceries, motel room, utilities paid, etc. - or are given the opportunity to work. Thanks so much for sharing, Mary.

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  18. Unfortunately with being the mother of 12 children I have seen the results of some bad choises. As a parent it breaks my heart to see them go through the results of some bad choices. As much as I want to try to clean it up and make t better it's their responsibilties to make the right decision as mature adults. They need to be held accountable for their actions and I have seen lessons learned and abetter plan of action put into place. Deanne
    Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Wonderful words of wisdom, Deanne! I hope others read your post. So many things have a part, but accountability is tough and not always used with our loved ones.

      12 children! You make me think of the book "Cheaper by the Dozen," - which I loved, by the way. I'm an only child and always wanted a houseful of children, but am very happy with the two I was blessed with. Thanks so much for sharing, Deanne.

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  19. I have watched many loved ones make bad decisions. It depends on the situation but turning things over to the Lord is always good advice. Otherwise I try to show them how they could have maybe made a better choice. If nothing else comes of it hopefully a lesson learned will.

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    1. I think all of us have made poor decisions at one time or another, Lori. Maybe that's just part of growing up, or learning the hard way. Thank you for sharing -and be sure to leave your e-mail.

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  20. Thank you for the review of this book and the interview with Beth - I enjoyed reading about this book and how it came to be, thank you for sharing that. Yes, I have experienced a loved one making bad decisions - one has to pray for them and stand by them despite what your feelings are, but often times they do not need our judgment, they are usually already aware they made a big mistake and are beating themselves up without our comments. We need to treat them like the prodigal son and show them the love of Jesus. This sounds like a fascinating read!

    Blessings,
    Lori
    triplel(at)evertek(dot)net

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    1. Lori, that's a good point about them not needing our judgment. I think it's hard sometimes to set aside our feelings, but very possible with God's help. And we're all the prodigal son at times and need that unconditional love and forgiveness. Thank you so much for sharing with us, Lori.

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  21. As a young woman I admit I didn't handle this area as well as I should. Now I listen, listen, and try not to judge. Love the person and realize it is their choice. Not ours.

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  22. yes, But I just told them...we've raised you with values, convictions & responsibilities....now, the decision is up to you....what you chose will be your choice, your consequences, your responsibilities....you are accountable. The wrong choice does not have to be the end.....what counts now is being accountable, owning up to it, and making it right, learning from it and moving on, a better person.

    mandn(at)wisper(dash)wireless(dot)com

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  23. I've had a loved one make a bad decision. The thing I learned is that forgiveness is always key. And sometimes, you have to just let them make their mistakes and just pray about the situation.

    emerald_barnes(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  24. There is one member of my family who keeps making poor decisions. She goes through periods when we recognizes that she has made bad decisions and decides to do better. That last for a short while and then more bad decisions are made. All that we have done is speak truth when asked, pray diligently and love her for who she is no matter what.

    thejorns(at)gmail(dot)com

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  25. Yes, I have a daughter (in her early 30s) who is making STUPID decisions--I PRAY for her & her husband & a good book: Boundaries, by Cloud...

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  26. I have a loved one that has made a bad decision. But, I have FAITH in GOD that he is going to change her life around. I tried to talk to her but, nothing I said helped. So now I pray for her and keep TRUSTING GOD to change her life. HE is an AWESOME GOD that can do it all.

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  27. It is very difficult to watch our loved ones make bad choices. We need to pray and trust God to work it all for good. He loves and forgives us even in those situations. brown.k (at) centurytel.net

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  28. Once I tried to warn my husband about a certain person that I knew in my spirit couldn't be trusted. He is a very trusting person and didn't listen. I won't elaborate, but he ended up in a very bad situation. With a lot of prayer, God delivered us from the situation. My only suggestion is to hold your spouse up in prayer and be there when he needs you, even if he didn't listen to your advice. Sometimes God allows us to go through things so that He can teach us. donvelma [at]gmail [dot]com

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  29. I believe we have all seen loved ones make horrible decisions, and feel helpless to stop it. My advice is to pray, offer support and help when appropriate, and do your best to show Jesus' love for them in any way possible. I watched my sister continue to make bad decisions and wouldn't take help from any of our family. I continue to pray everyday for her, but our relationship has paid the price of her pride and my unwillingness to expose my family to her bad decisions. It breaks my heart, but it is my hope that someday she will make better decisions that will lead to a reconciliation.

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  30. I think that most everyone has had a loved one make a bad choice. Many times we cannot do anything physically to help them, but intercessory prayer is the most powerful tool available!

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  31. Yes - my son has made some poor decisions in life but you just have to keep loving them & pray & remember that God is in control!

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  32. As a pastor' wife I see this too often. All I can do is pray with them and for them, but they have to take responsibility. I try to be there for them as encouragement.

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  33. I have a sibling who made really bad choices through his teen and early twenties. We didn't hear from him for a long time and then around the time I came to Christ I began to pray and ask God to reveal where he was. God answered - he was arrested. He surrendered his life to Christ while in jail. Of course, the transformation was not instantaneous but years afterwards he returned to school to be a substance abuse councelor. Through prayer and God's constant pursuit of my brother he has turned his life around.
    geaneymail(at)gmail.com

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  34. I do have a loved one who has made bad choices and is suffering the effects from them - I'm not sure he has Christ in his life. I know there is no way that I can change him, it is up to him to want to make a change and take the responsibility for his life. The things I CAN do are to live a godly example, be an encouragement, not be judgmental and pray for his salvation and strength in decision making - which I have been doing for years. I feel it is impossible to be permanently happy, come to grips with the bad choices one makes and make them learning experiences which help that one, and others - without God in one's life. Beth was right when she said that God never wastes a bad experience, I can personally attest to that - it always comes in His timing.

    I haven't read any of Beth's books and would love to read this one, I love novels based on true stories and this one sounds like such an exciting one.

    Shared post!!

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  35. I do have a loved one who has made some bad choices and is now suffering the consequences - I don't know that he is a Christian. I do know that he is the only one who can change his lifestyle and has to want to make those changes and accept the responsibility for them. Therefore, I continue to pray for his strength in the choices he makes, for his salvation (which I have been doing for years) and try to be encouraging and non-judgmental.

    Beth was so right when she commented that God never wastes a bad experience . I can personally attest to that - it all depends on our following Him and His timing.

    I've never read any of Beth's novels and would love to read this one - I love novels based on true stories, this one appears to be full of spell-binding suspense. Thank you for the opportunity and for the interview, Beth and Carole!!

    Shared post!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  36. I am currently dealing with a loved one making bad decisions. I am praying and trusting in the Lord. I am also speaking scripture over this loved one.

    psalm103and138[at]gmail[dot]com

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  37. This book looks so interesting. Yes, the hardest is when family is heading the wrong direction and you feel powerless to help. But God can intervene, often in ways we wouldn't have planned. Thanks for the chance to win this book. My email is heatherdaygilbert (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  38. Yes & it's heart-wrenching knowing you can't do a thing for them! You know the heartache & pain they most likely will go through and you want to spare them from it. Life is hard & we all make our share of bad decisions (boy do I ever know this!) but we do have a gracious God who will forgive & pluck us out of the miry mud! The only thing that we can humanly do, is pray for that person. It feels like we aren't doing enough, or at least to me sometimes, but it's the only way. Our God is a God of miracles & only He can change the situation and heal hearts. I've seen it time & time again...in my own life too! Thank you for a great interview & chance to win a copy of your book "The Promise"

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  39. I forgot to add my email address...oops!
    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  40. I think that we all deal with family members who make bad decisions. The only advice that I have is to love them through it. Honor that the decision was theirs and that the consequences, good or bad, are theirs as well.

    I'm excited at the opportunity to win this book. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  41. I've been really wanting to read this book! Thanks for sharing this interview at Booknificent Thursday this week!
    Tina

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