Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Crooked Lines by Holly Michael May 9, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:16 pm
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ABOUT THE BOOK:

On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace. Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers. Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…and buried memories, unearthed. Crooked Lines, a beautifully crafted debut novel, threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. Compelling characters struggle with spirituality through despair and deceptions in search of truth.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Holly Michael, published in various magazines, newspapers, and in Guideposts books has released her debut novel, Crooked Lines. She and her husband, Anglican Bishop Leo Michael, regularly travel from their home in Kansas City to India. She has a grown daughter, Betsy and two sons. She enjoys watching football, especially when her two sons are playing—Jake (NFL) and Nick (Rajin’ Cajuns). Visit Holly at www.HollyMichael.com and check out her blog @www.writingstraight.com

My thoughts:

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. Holly does an excellent job of drawing the reader in from the first page.

What I found even more amazing was how she made the process of Sagai becoming a priest very interesting. I mean that really could have been boring but the way she wove other elements and struggles into the story really made it very interesting and I learned a lot along the way.

I couldn’t wait for  Rebecca to find her way to India. Holly dropped hints about Sagai and Rebecca’s paths crossing but it doesn’t happen for a long time and after many bumps in the road.

I loved the truth in the book, that even though we may feel something laid on our hearts we can often get sidetracked by life and poor choices.

Overall, an excellent book. Holly definitely has a talent for crafting an great novel.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Write to the Point with Holly Michael November 5, 2014

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:48 am
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hollyCrooked3 (1)Today we get write to the point with Holly Michael. Read on to learn more about her and her book.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I’m the seventh out of ten children, born and raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. I’ve been writing as soon as I could read and form words on paper. I attribute Dr. Seuss for my early love of poetry and rhyming words.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I believe I always knew Him, because He made Himself known to me at a young age. This excerpt from Crooked Lines, my new release, shares an actual experience from my childhood. When I was six, He came to me in the meadow. I danced and sang for Him. I couldn’t see Him, but He was there. In my yellow butterfly dress, I laughed and twirled with the dandelion seeds, my blond hair bouncing in the breeze as I basked in His immense love. I stretched my hands high and offered songs of thanks for the creator of the ladybugs, the zippy dragonflies, and the warm summer sun.

God knew me. I knew Him.

But that was then. (This last line is a lie that I’ll explain below)

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Crooked Lines is a novel that threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. The two (bridged across oceans through a mutual priest friend and through prayer) struggle with spirituality through despair and deception in search of truth and God’s perfect plan for their lives. What I expect readers to take away is the message in Romans 8:28. “And we knew that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I try to blog at least once or week. My blog is about connections; connecting authors and readers, and personal posts about faith, family, and football. (Yes, football. I have a son who plays in the NFL and a son who plays college football, so I can’t leave out football.)

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

I love so many books and don’t think I can list one favorite. But, books I would happily read again and again are those from my childhood: The Hobbit trilogy, Madeline L’Engle books, and The Giver.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?

Oh, yes. Romans 8:28 and Genesis 50:20 are the basic themes of Crooked Lines and utmost messages in the lives of both main characters, Rebecca and Sagai.

Teenage Rebecca’s opening lines and experiences are directly from my childhood, when I discovered my little sister’s body in a pond on our farm. For a long time, I dealt with guilt and confusion over what happened that day, on so many levels. I even felt guilty over receiving the messages God gave me that ominous morning when He revealed knowledge of her death before it actually occurred. If I felt it might happen, why wasn’t I diligent about preventing it? Had I missed a warning? Not taken God seriously? Confusing thoughts such as these wracked my teenage mind and plagued me throughout adulthood.

After my sister’s death, I thought God hated me and had abandoned me. He hadn’t answered my prayer that morning at the edge of the pond. For years, the enemy lied and dragged me to rock-bottom places, but in those lowly places where I believed God did not exist, Jesus came, picked me up, and revealed His Amazing Love. He showed me that I was not alone that day. He had stood beside me at the edge of the pond, wept with me, and promised to be with me always, through good times and bad. (This truth overshadowed the earlier lies told by the enemy.)

My little sister’s death might still be a mystery and I believe a sinister act (my theory is expressed in my fiction), and yet God used everything that happened that summer (including a physical attack against me) for the good. The Genesis 50:20 truth is shown at the end of Crooked Lines in an amazing way (a scene based on another true experience), but I can’t give away the ending. J This Scripture is also the theme of the sequel to Crooked Lines. (Crossed Lines, releasing in the spring).

In Crooked Lines, Genesis 50:20 is a powerful message that I have experienced again and again. God has used all that has been intended for evil to draw me closer to Him and to teach me of His everlasting Love and Mercy. My hope is to pass on this message to readers. Genesis 50:20 also plays a huge role in my works in progress and will be a central theme is all future writings, fiction and nonfiction. It’s a message that I will forever pass on to readers because I know it’s true.

Love it! I think we can all find Genesis 50:20 moment in our lives if we look.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

Again, it’s Romans 8:28 because God has used all of the hardships in my life for the good. I do believe He loves me and has called me for His purpose.

Where can we find you on the web?

www.hollymichael.com or www.writingstraight.com

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

I didn’t mention the other character in Crooked Lines, Sagai. His story runs parallel to Rebecca’s, except he is running to God, answering a call to the priesthood, while Rebecca turns from God, which causes her to stumble. But, in each chapter, both characters travel along similar emotional paths and experience kindred matters of the heart. Ultimately, Rebecca and Sagai desire peace and God’s perfect plan for their lives.

Sagai is a fictional character based on my husband and his friends’ incredible experiences in India. They entered into the seminary as teenagers and lived a greater part of their lives in a religious order.

Thanks so much for sharing with my readers today, Holly. I pray God will continue to bless your writing journey and you will feel His presence with every step.