Tuesday, March 12, 2013

LOVE IN A BROKEN VESSEL - Mesu Andrews - One Free Book

Welcome back, Mesu. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write biblical novels because I love to research biblical texts, and a story always seems to emerge. In order to understand God’s Word, I dig into its context—who wrote it, when, and why? When I discover the amazing details of interconnected lives—prophets, kings, patriarchs—the Scripture comes alive for me in ways I hadn’t seen before, which fuels my passion to write the novels others read. I tried to write Bible studies at first, but since I didn’t have the training or degrees to back up my findings, novels became the outlet for the wonderful information I found during my research. And frankly—I think fiction is more fun!

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
My wedding day. It wasn’t a picture-perfect, storybook wedding by some standards. My husband Roy and I were married in a hotel banquet room, and we honeymooned at a Holiday Inn in Cincinnati, Ohio! But I married the man who led me to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, and our love has grown every day since. Our lives haven’t always been easy, nor has our marriage been without bumps in the road, but on my wedding day, I knew the Lord had given me the desire of my heart—a man who loved me more than anyone else on earth. And I’ve never been happier.

How has being published changed your life?
I actually have to WORK now! Ha! I’m thankful and extremely blessed, but I must say it’s been a surprise that with each published book, the workload becomes heavier. I used to write a few days a week and still have time for shopping with my daughters or coffee with friends. Now, those little excursions must be scheduled, or they don’t happen! I’m easily working forty hours a week, sometimes more. Marketing, writing, re-writing, blogging, etc. The time really slips away, and I’ve had to budget my time like a REAL business woman. Oh my! Li’l ol’ me! It’s downright shocking! ;)

What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Jill Eileen Smith’s book, Rebekah, right now. The next one in the queue is Joan Wolf’s, This Scarlet Cord. I try to read as much biblical fiction as possible to stay current on what’s out there. Historical fiction/romance is my favorite genre overall, and I love anything written by Laura Frantz, Tessa Afshar, Francine Rivers…

What is your current work in progress?
I just submitted my rough draft of The Shadow of Jezebel, which is scheduled for release March 2014 (Revell). Here’s a sneak peek:
Princess Jehosheba (Sheba) wants nothing more than to please her Baal-worshiping abba, Judah’s King, and his first wife Queen Atalyah, the daughter of notorious Queen Jezebel. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the king’s household, Sheba realizes her dark skills as Baal’s priestess reach beyond the world of earthly governments. When both light and darkness align, forcing her to marry Yahweh’s high priest, Sheba enters the unknown world of Yahweh’s Temple. Her husband shows her Yahweh’s truth and a love beyond hope, but can Sheba overcome Jezebel’s lingering torment? Can Yahweh use a fallen priestess to shine the unquenchable light of His love to faithless Judah? The Shadow of Jezebel—Meet the woman who saved a king, delivered a nation, and preserved the Light of the World.

What would be your dream vacation?
A Holyland cruise! I love cruise ships. My hubby and I have cruised several times in the Caribbean and to Mexico, and we toured Israel for ten days in 2000. I’d love to combine my two passions. I’ve always heard it’s cheaper to book passage on a cruise than pay the per/day fee for a nursing home—so maybe when it’s time for me to enter managed care, I’ll reserve my spot on a ship bound for Israel! J

How do you choose your settings for each book?
While some of the ancient locations are specified in Scripture (i.e. Jerusalem, Tekoa, Samaria, etc.), the layout of houses and palaces is largely guesswork and imagination. Some archaeological information is helpful to establish the arrangement of ancient cities or buildings. For instance, much has been revealed about Samaria’s palace being built on a hill, creating a natural fortress, since King Omri was a soldier with a military mind. The layers of each tel (or mound of an archaeological dig) help define to which century a piece of pottery or a building’s foundation belongs, so I must sift carefully which information is relevant for the time period of my characters/story. The same is true for even flowers and trees of Israel. Some of the flora and fauna in Israel today would not have been native to the Land of Scripture, so I can’t include it in my settings. To answer your question, I suppose I don’t get to CHOOSE much of my setting at all. I get to discover it!

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Mel Gibson. Yes, it’s partly because Braveheart is my favorite movie, but there’s a deeper reason. I want to ask what it was like to direct the movie, The Passion of the Christ. I know how utterly consumed I become in my plots. When my hero or heroine is despairing, I despair. When they’re in a tight spot, I can’t rest until I figure out how to get them relief! I’d like to ask Mr. Gibson how directing The Passion changed him personally? Or did it? What was it like to see Jesus beaten, mocked, crucified—before your very eyes? Talk about the Bible coming alive! I’ve watched that movie once, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch again. It crushed me so. I want to meet the man who created such a stirring picture of my Savior…

I’m sure his work on that movie is what made him such a target for the enemy to try to bring down. I’ve prayed a lot for him. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I LOVE movies. Old movies, new movies, all kinds of movies! And we recently purchased a small parcel of land in the foothills near our house. My husband and I lived in Indiana all our lives, so moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2007 was sort of magical to us. Its emerald green moss and grass year-round sort of captured our hearts. We’re hoping to clear a little spot and do some exploring before our bones get too old and creaky! Who knows what the Lord has in store for us on our little mountain property—maybe a writer’s getaway.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My health is always a hurdle to be crossed. I still fight daily migraines, controlled to a dull roar with meds and limited activity. Fibromyalgia and a couple other chronic issues keep me from running marathons (just a figure of speech—I never ran a marathon on my best day!), but the Lord has blessed me with a wonderful doctor who keeps me rolling along. Writing is the perfect ministry for me, and the Lord knew it way before I did. I used to be a TOTAL extrovert. I needed people like I needed air to breathe, but after spending six months in bed, I discovered only One Friend was essential to my existence. All the other folks in my life are a true blessing and icing on the cake—a sweet addition to my world—but I get most of my fellowship through my computer screen these days. That’s why I love connecting with readers on Facebook, my website, Goodreads, and NovelCrossing!

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Trust in God’s timing, and go to writer’s conferences! I’m so thankful I didn’t get a book published when I first began trying. My life was too crazy to have added all that comes with a book contract! I scrimped and saved to attend a writer’s conference each year (or every-other year). The training I received, and the long-term contacts I made were invaluable. Christian publishing is a small world. Hang around long enough, get to know the people, and people will know you. Stubborn proficiency gets published!

Tell us about the featured book.
Love in a Broken Vessel is a biblical novel about Gomer and Hosea. Deserted by those who love her and betrayed by the gods she once worshiped, Gomer lives a bitter existence … until one day her childhood friend reappears—Hosea. But is it too late for Gomer? Is her heart too broken to capture even a drop of love? While unfaithful Israel breaks God’s heart, Gomer’s broken spirit tests Hosea’s faith. Can the two find faith in Yahweh’s power to love?

Please give us the first page of the book.
~Hosea 1:2~

When Yahweh first spoke to Hosea, Yahweh told him, “Marry a prostitute, and have children with that prostitute. The people in this land have acted like prostitutes and abandoned Yahweh.”
Hosea’s empty house throbbed with sweet silence. He soaked it in, letting it nourish him like the last bite of warm, fresh bread soggy with lentil stew. His stomach rumbled, and he realized it was past time for his evening meal.

The stone worktable stood like a sentry in his main room. Covered baskets hung on the wall, filled with day-old bread and hard cheese. The meager fare would suffice until he could soak lentils for tomorrow’s meal. He approached the table, noticing dust dancing in a shaft of dusk’s golden light.

A second look at the glow drew him deeper into contemplation. I only see the dust when light shines through the window. Hosea waved his hand through the light, stirring the dust, but felt no resistance. Visible and real, yet without recognizable sound or weight, the dust was present but immeasurable. A slow, satisfied smile crept across his lips. Now, that is a good topic for the prophets’ class tomorrow. Jonah would enjoy the—

A breeze swept through the house, startling him, swaying the hanging herbs. Hosea turned to the front door, confused. Had the wind blown it open?

The door was closed.

“What was that?” he whispered to no one. The wind stirred inside the house again, this time not a breeze but a gale that whipped his robe around his legs.

The wind spoke. Marry a prostitute.

Hosea gasped. Yahweh?

Marry a prostitute, and have children with that prostitute.

The wind grew stronger, and Hosea covered his face, fell to his knees, listening.

The people of Israel have acted like prostitutes and abandoned Yahweh.

The wind stopped. All was silent. Tranquil again.

Powerful. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please stop by my website and order free bookmarks and get downloadable questions and Bible studies! http://www.mesuandrews.com/
Or visit me on Facebook: Mesu Andrews
Twitter: MesuAndrews
Pinterest: MesuAndrews
Blog posts on Fridays (inside scoop on characters, plots, and new releases!): http://www.mesuandrews.com/blog/

Thank you, Mesu, for sharing with us today. There are many parallels between your life and mine. The greatest is that I have always been an extrovert, but in this season of my life, I am staying home because of infirmities and spending most of my time writing and connecting to my readers and other authors.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Love in a Broken Vessel: A Novel - paperback
Love in a Broken Vessel: A Novel - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


squiresj said...

Wow - I am the first one here. While praise God as I like what I read. I would love to enter to win, review and share this book with another. jrs362 at hotmail dot com
God Bless

Mesu Andrews said...

Hey, squiresj! You found me again! Good job! Bless your heart, I hope you win one of these books!!! You're awesome!! ;)

Lyndie Blevins said...

Hosea's story haunts me the most, 'll be interested in your presentation.

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins

Duncanville, Tx

Leauphaun said...

I absoutely LOVE books that take historical bible events and expand on them!!! Thanks for the chance to win this book!!!

- Leauphaun from BC

Mesu Andrews said...

Lyndie, I know what you mean about Hosea. This was a tough book to write. I found myself thinking about the characters in the middle of the night--even praying for them!

Leauphaun, I think you'll enjoy this story if you like lots of history woven in--you'll find the prophets Isaiah, Amos, Micah, and Jonah in this one as well as kings Uzziah, Jotham, Jeroboam II, Menahem and more! ;)

Thanks for stopping by today!

Patty said...

Such an interesting story in the Bible. Mesu's writing in new to me, look forward to a new author to discover.

Patty in SC

Melody said...

I love when stories are written about the bible characters - puts it in easy to understand language!

Donna, TX

Cathy said...

Hosea and Gomer's story is one of my favorites. It shows us how much God loves us and never gives up on us. I'm looking forward to reading this book!

Cathy from BC Canada

Mesu Andrews said...

You gals explained my motivation perfectly! God's Word means so much more to me when I imagine myself in the Bible character's lives. When I find out more about their culture, their circumstances--I understand the lessons they learned better--and I learn too. I suppose you've figured out these novels aren't just for y'all! ha! They first teach ME! And if you get some enjoyment or encouragment from them...all the better!

Kandra said...

Whoa. This book will be intense. Sign me up!
Kandra in Tennessee

Ann Lee Miller said...

Hi Mesu!

You go, girl! :) :) :)


spangldlady said...

I have read Love Amid the Ashes and Love's Sweet Song and I would just love to win this one! I'll never think of Job in the same way and I am sure that it will be that way with this one! Blessings! Darlene

spangldlady said...

forgot to say "MO" on my entry. Darlene spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

Bookishqueen said...

I sooooo want this book.
Rebekah TN

Mesu Andrews said...

Hey, gals! So fun to see friends here! Thanks for saying "hi!" Thanks to Darlene for the encouragement about my first two books. And, Kandra, I think "intense" is a good word for most of my plots. I really like ACTION, so I don't think you'll be bored!

fredamans said...

I love bible re-tellings. Please enter this gal from Ontario Canada. Thank you and God bless.

Norma S said...

Love that it is a biblical novel, thanks for giving me a chance to win it. Love your cover it caption your title. God bless you.
Norma Stanforth from Ohio

Mesu Andrews said...

So fun to see lots of biblical fiction fans!! And thanks, Norma, for the cover kudos. Revell does an amazing job on covers, don't they? I like this one almost as much as my first cover for Love Amid the Ashes. That one was amazing too!

Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela form KY

Mary Preston said...

What a fascinating read this is going to be. Wonderful.

Mary P


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this novel

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

pol said...

Loved the interview today and found out you were married close to where I grew up, you in Cincinnati and I was in Ky just over the river. I have read some of your books and would love to read this one.
thanks for sharing your comments and the book.
Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)
a Ga fan and reader

Nancee said...

Thank you for featuring Mesu Andrews and "Love in a Broken Vessel, and a giveaway of her book. I've heard so many wonderful things about this book. I'd love to own a copy.
Nancee in Michigan

Patsy said...

Would really love to read this book. Sounds great!

From South Mississippi


rubynreba said...

Thanks for the nice review and interview. I would really enjoy this book.
Beth from Iowa

Mesu Andrews said...

Hey! I see some familiar names here! How fun!! Good to see ya, guys! How can I hope all of you win the book? Hmmmm...

Sarah said...

I would love to win,Enter me!!!
Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!!!
Sarah Richmond

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond

Mesu Andrews said...

Hi Sarah and Sharon! Am I sensing a mother/daughter share going on here? Or is it just a coincidence that both of you are in N.C.? ha! Blessings on you East Coasters from my side of the country!

KayM said...

Oh, my! that gave me chills! I must read this book! Thank you for offering a copy to a winner.
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

Mesu Andrews said...

Woohoo, KayM! We like chills! ;) And if you're after chills, I think you'll like this book! Tee-hee. Blessings, and thanks for stopping by!

Amanda said...

Would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance!
Amanda in Michigan

apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Marissa said...

That's a great beginning to the book! I want to read it now!!


Marissa from Colorado

Lynn Dove said...

Would love an opportunity to win this book with such a powerful message!

Katie G. said...

Sounds wonderful!!! Please enter me. I'm from NC. t

Mesu Andrews said...

Hey, gals! So glad you liked the prologue. Can you imagine the total absence of God's communication for years (since speaking to Amos years before) and then how Hosea felt to be the ONE God chose to reveal Himself to? Gives me chills!!! Love that! I wish y'all could win!!!

Jean said...

Thank you for the opportunity of possibly acquiring this book!

Jean K
West Palm Beach, FL

Mesu Andrews said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jean!

sharon m. said...

I have never read a book on Hosea and Gomar; should be very interesting since I've already read several times the Biblical account. Sharon, san diego

Mesu Andrews said...

Hi Sharon!
If you're familiar with the biblical account, I'm sure you'll recognize several scenes and even some direct quotes--but woven into a story with other Bible characters alive during Hosea's ministry. Hope you enjoy!

Jasmine A. said...

I haven't had the chance to read much for Biblical fiction.
Jasmine in MT

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read this book!

Mesu Andrews said...

Hi Lisa and Jasmine!
So glad you stopped by! Blessings on your day!