Tag Archives: hot topics

Meet guest author Carol McClain!

I’ve enjoyed getting to know my guest author today. Like me, she writes about tough, real-life subjects. Carol McClain is the award-winning author of four novels dealing with real people facing real problems. She is a consummate encourager, and no matter what your faith might look like, you will find compassion, humor and wisdom in her complexly layered, but ultimately readable work.

Aside from writing, she’s a skilled stained-glass artist, an avid hiker and photographer. She lives in East Tennessee. Her most recent interests are her two baby does Peanut & Buttercup. Like all babies, they love sitting on laps and being bottle fed.

You can connect with her at carolmcclain.com.

On Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/author.Carol.McClain

On twitter and Instagram: @carol_mcclain

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14030286.Carol_McClain

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/carol-mcclain

Borrowed Lives

God Only Lends Us Those We Love for a Season

Distraught from recent tragedy, Meredith Jaynes takes pity on a young girl who steals from her. Meredith discovers “Bean” lives in a hovel mothering her two younger sisters. The three appear to have been abandoned. With no other homes available, Social Services will separate the siblings. To keep them together, Meredith agrees to foster them on a temporary basis.

Balancing life as a soap maker raising goats in rural Tennessee proved difficult enough before the siblings came into her care. Without Bean’s help, she’d never be able to nurture these children warped by drugs and neglect—let alone manage her goats that possess the talents of Houdini. Harder still is keeping her eccentric family at bay.

Social worker Parker Snow struggles to overcome the breakup with his fiancée. Burdened by his inability to find stable homes for so many children who need love, he believes placing the abandoned girls with Meredith Jaynes is the right decision. Though his world doesn’t promise tomorrow, he hopes Meredith’s does.

But she knows she’s too broken.

Genesis of Borrowed Lives

Difficult questions with impossible answers always send me to my keyboard. I think, How can a character heal from this? I then write until I have the answer. This is especially true for Borrowed Lives.

At one time, I thought I understood addiction. Then I worked with addicts. This taught me how little I understood. I’ve heard testimonies of parents teaching their children to make meth. Parents locked their children out of the home until they sold the required number of drugs. Lost jobs, car accidents, broken families, homelessness, disease—all of these are the end result of addiction.

You’d think an addict would be sick of the life. But …

Even when sober for years and with a restored family, I’ve seen devoted Christians fall back into their addiction. It boggles my mind.

For years I’ve mentored addicts and worked with organizations dedicated to helping them recover. I’ve seen failures, but I’ve seen success.

I rejoice with those who have found new life and love and children and are relishing the years the locust had devoured.

I rejoice with children who’ve found love in foster homes. We need so many more good ones.

But more than those who’ve fallen into addiction, I’ve seen cruelty in the church or from well-meaning people who ladle on guilt when things go wrong.

How does one overcome tragedy?

Borrowed Lives works through pain with love and hope. It resonates with victory over despair. You will not be able to put down Borrowed Lives until the final page.

What people are saying about Borrowed Lives:

Borrowed Lives takes the reader on a voyage of loss, hope, love, and faith from beginning to end.”

“Love, joy, triumph, despair, and everything else that paints the tapestry of human life are here in rich detail.”

Borrowed Lives is a down-home, true to life story you won’t want to put down.”

Available now:

Another giveaway!

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There’s still time to enter my giveaway on Lena Nelson Dooley’s blog. One lucky reader will win a copy of Paint the Storm. All you have to do is leave a comment!

Enter here.

Why I wrote Paint the Storm

Update: Paint the Storm is now available in Amazon’s Kindle store. Download here.PainttheStorm-Final2

In case you haven’t seen my latest news, my new novel Paint the Storm will be available for pre-order on September 15. What’s so special about that? you may wonder. Well, PTS deals with a very controversial, and possibly uncomfortable, topic: same-sex marriage. In light of last year’s landmark Supreme Court case, how are we Christians to deal with this new reality? 

That is the question I attempted to answer when I wrote this story.

When I began writing Paint the Storm three years ago, same-sex marriage was not yet legal in the US. At the time, I approached the story as if it were a likely future scenario. Two years later, it was no longer a “what if.” It became reality when, in June 2015, the US Supreme Court affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Unfortunately, it’s an issue which has polarized our nation, and even our churches.

You may be wondering why I would tackle such a controversial topic. In essence, I saw an unfilled niche in the Christian market for edgier fiction that dealt with issues unique to our time, and came up with the concept of Hot Topic Fiction (HTF). My stories aren’t afraid to explore the question, how does God want us Christians to live out our faith in this not-so-brave new world? Without insulting the reader by offering pat or easy answers—because there aren’t any—my books tell of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in a world of terror and violence, upside-down morality, and hostility to Judeo-Christian values. The characters in my stories face situations that would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago. We live in a vastly different world than our parents did, and that’s the world I write about.

Yet very few Christian fiction books contain gay characters, even though fiction is a great medium for imparting life lessons. I don’t claim to have all the answers. My goal was not to push an agenda. I simply wanted to tell the story of one Christian mom, and how she chose to live out Christ’s law of love without abandoning her convictions.

I hope that more Christian authors will be courageous enough to tackle this and related issues in the future. After all, this is the world in which we live. And we Christians need to be prepared to deal with it.

same-sex coupleHere’s the blurb: 

GOLDEN STATE TRILOGY, BOOK I: Set amidst the spectacular scenery of California’s Marin Peninsula, Paint the Storm tells a timely story that resonates in today’s culture. It’s a saga of God’s power to heal relationships and answer prayers in the unlikeliest of ways. It’s a tale of loss, danger, and ultimately love.

When her daughter Linzee announces her engagement to her partner Nena, artist and single mother Meg struggles to understand how God wants her to respond. Should she follow the culture around her by embracing and celebrating Linzee’s same-sex relationship? And what does Christ think of a local church notorious for its hateful anti-gay messages? While she wrestles with these questions, she turns to a Christian support group where she learns what it means to love like Christ did. An intriguing new man makes life interesting, but while she is getting to know him, another man from her past suddenly shows up, further complicating matters.

Meanwhile, a cyber bully is targeting Linzee. His hateful messages turn threatening. Meg and Linzee rekindle their bond as together they determine to uncover the stalker’s identity. When the clues point toward Meg’s own family, she is paralyzed with fear. The violence escalates–until the day Linzee turns up missing.  In her search for Linzee, Meg joins up with the unlikeliest of allies – and begins to see God’s hand at work. It’s only when she turns to her support-group friends for comfort and prayer that she finally understands God’s faithfulness through the deepest of trials.

Join Meg on her adventure toward love, healing, and a heart-warming conclusion.

Hot Topics in Fiction with Guest Candee Fick

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Dear Readers,

Do you like college football? I certainly do. And so does new author Candee Fick. In fact, her new novel is set in the always-exciting college football world.This intrigued me, so I invited her to share with us a little about her new release and the hot topics it addresses. 

First off, can you tell us about the premise of your debut?

Catch of a Lifetime is an inspirational romance about a first year college football coach who wants to win and the football-hating graduate student athletic trainer who has to work with the team. Of course, romantic relationships between staff and students are discouraged and they must keep their growing attraction hidden behind a wall of professionalism in order to avoid a scandal.

Sounds intriguing. Did you have a message you wanted readers to come away with?

I wanted to show a real example of how people look at and judge each other based on the outside, but God sees the heart. While my heroine’s opinions about football change as she gets to know the individuals on the team, headlines over the past year indicate that our nation still wrestles with broader stereotypes and prejudice based on race, political party, moral convictions, and even career choices like law enforcement.  Unfortunately, those damaging and divisive stereotypes are often rooted in the poor behavior of specific individuals.

Can you think of an example?

Take, for instance, a narcissistic football player. His athletic skill may have propelled him to the limelight and then he starts to believe the world revolves around him. That every ball should be thrown to him so that he gets the statistics and credit. That every girl on campus should be begging for his attention. That the rules don’t apply to him. After meeting such an egomaniac, one could assume that all of the other players on the team feel the same sense of entitlement.

However, just because a team has such a player (or two), doesn’t mean everyone on the team is that self-absorbed. Some, in fact, are hard-workers with personal integrity and a strong sense of right and wrong. While my heroine learns to not judge the whole group by the actions of one, it was also satisfying through the course of the story to have the narcissist suffer the natural consequences of his behavior and get taken down by the good guys.

Nice. So, your book touches on negative stereotypes and narcissism. Any other hot topics?

How about sex? Or rather maintaining sexual purity despite temptations and external pressure? My hero and heroine had to work to keep their attraction to each other within the safe boundaries of their personal faith convictions and I tried to give an honest picture of their struggle in the context of a college football environment. However, as one reviewer already pointed out, I ended up also showing readers practical solutions like accountability and staying in public places. I believe that’s the purpose of touching on a hot topic … to meet readers where they are and leave them with hope.

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CATCH OF A LIFETIME: He breathes football. She shudders at the very mention of the sport. After a tragedy involving a football player destroyed her family, athletic trainer and graduate student Cassie moves across the country looking for a fresh start, but a change in financial aid lands her in the middle of her worst nightmare. Meanwhile, rookie coach Reed worries his dream career will slip away as injuries plague his players and his star receiver teeters on the brink of ineligibility. As the two work together to salvage the season, sparks fly, and Reed must eventually choose between the game he cherishes and the woman he loves.

Candee Fick_HeadshotCandee Fick is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at football, basketball, baseball, and Special Olympics games. In what little free time remains, she enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Click  here to purchase or get a sneak preview.

Thank you, Candee, for visiting my blog today!

~DVC~