Thursday, September 27, 2018

Thoughtful About . . . Actions, Reactions, and Being Better



One of the reasons I love writing historicals is to show that the heart of humanity has never changed. No matter whether you're talking about ancient Egyptians or modern Americans or anything in between, there are a few things that we will always seek--our dreams, our goals, our pleasures, family, love, escape from the things we fear.

But we think we've changed. Evolved. Graduated out of certain things. I wonder though. I wonder if we have.

This has been quite a year so far, hasn't it? Gun violence, sexual impropriety, you name it. We've had the #metoo movement, new scandal in the Catholic church, and the Christian publishing industry is rumbling with harassment charges and other improprieties brought to the fore as well.

And my heart hurts. Not just for the women who have suffered (though of course, I ache for them). Not just for the men who may have been accused unjustly but will not be given an "innocent until proven guilty" look from anyone again. Not just for the victims and families ripped apart by violence. Not even just for the church that keeps taking a pounding.

I ache for humanity, who has still not learned that it's not enough to react.

I've been chewing on these thoughts for weeks, months, and I'm still not sure I can adequately put them into words, but I want to try. I want to try so that you can add your words and thoughts, and others can add theirs, and maybe at some point, someone will hit upon something that will actually allow for change.

At any rate, here is what I keep coming back to:

Reacting isn't enough.

Treating the symptoms isn't enough.

As long as this is all we do, we're going to keep on doing it forever, because nothing is ever going to change.

It isn't enough to tell men, "You hurt me." It isn't enough for others to say, "Now you'll be punished." We have to first teach people what is sacred, to have respect. We have to change the heart--not just the actions. Both are required to achieve real change in society--teaching first, enforcement second.

The idea of "sexual freedom" has led us so quickly to this, and I will never believe anyone who tells me otherwise. A generation of women has systematically broadcast the message that sex isn't something sacred, their bodies aren't something to be respected, and since it's just fun, why not indulge whenever you want? On their terms, of course. Only ever on their terms.

But when something is offered more or less freely--free of consequences, free of entanglements, free of stigma, free of judgment--it's only one short step down to thinking it's something you don't even have to ask for, right?

And from a society that thinks sex is something to be enjoyed whenever they please, it's only one short step down from thinking it's something they have a right to take whenever they please. And from there, one more step down to thinking they should take it whenever they please, from whomever they please. Should they, do they? No. But that's the message the people of this age have received.

Why?

Because that's what they've been taught. We've gone from tolerating to accepting to applauding sexual promiscuity in both men and women. We fantasize about it and champion it. And then we're outraged when it's abused and misused.

Yes, the abuse and misuse is terrible. I hate it. But just reacting with outrage will NEVER change it.

Let's turn for a second to the church. You know what was in the headlines the week before 9/11? Sexual scandal in the Catholic church. And that certainly wasn't the first time it hit the news. This has obviously been around for a long, loooooong time. Why? Because instead of being dealt with, the accused priests are just moved somewhere else, and the hierarchy accuses the media of sensationalizing and attacking. There are people who have admitted they became priests SO THAT they could prey on people with no consequences, knowing if they were caught and accused, they'd simply be moved elsewhere. I'm sure those cases are few. But the fact that they exist at all points to a major flaw in the system that the church doesn't seem inclined to correct.

So how do we fix it? That's the question, right? How to teach people to respect each other? How do we teach people that some things are sacred? How to make them actually change?

This seemed like a really hard question to answer until I read Love Does and Everybody Always by Bob Goff. He presented an answer to this very question that is both ridiculously simple and ridiculously hard. LOVE THEM.

At the end of his second book, Mr. Goff talks about witchdoctors in Uganda. These are people who have been hated and feared since the dawn of time. So feared that even the justice system never dared to arrest and accuse and try them. Until finally they did, and justice finally began to move.

But that wasn't enough. Because it only reacted to the problem. It treated the symptoms. It didn't cure the disease. So they started educating the witchdoctors. They started loving them. They started telling them that God loved them too. And you know what? Now the people who were once sacrificing children, are saving them.

This is the power of love. This is how real change is made. We teach people to respect life, to respect each other, to love each other. We show them the better way--and we punish those who abuse it. Quickly and effectively. We demand of each other that we Be. Better.

I joked to my best friend that instead of just #MeToo, we needed the hashtag #StopBeingASchmuck or maybe #BeBetter. The first was just me being silly, but the second has some truth in it. It isn't easy to be better. But if it's something we desire, it's achievable. First, though, we have to inspire that desire.

Let's love each other. Let's love the monsters as well as the victims because it's those who deserve it least who end up valuing it most. Those forgiven much will love much. Let's teach each other that love comes first, and that where there is love, there is respect. There is sanctity. And where there is love, respect, and sanctity, there is the Good.

We can't just keep reacting. We have to #BeBetter.



Wondering if I've ever dealt with issues of sexual abuse or misuse of power in my books? Here are a few of my stories that have heroines who have been forced into such situations and experience the healing power of a God who is love and the people who choose to embody Him.

    

In A Stray Drop of Blood, Abigail is a slave forced to the bed of her master. She doesn't speak up because she doesn't think she has a voice, and she fears the consequences if she does. But Abigail learns that even in her darkest hour, her God really does hear even her. Purchase a signed copy HERE.

In Jewel of Persia, Kasia finds herself a member of a harem--one of many women not just in her husband's past, but in his present. How can she love a man who doesn't value the sacred union like she does? Purchase a signed copy HERE.

In The Reluctant Duchess, Rowena suffers what today would be classified as date rape. And her father's answer is to try to make her marry the man who attacked her. She ends up accepting the help of another man--a kind, Godly man--but learning to trust him is no easy task. Purchase a signed copy HERE.



Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Book Deals!


The Lost Heiress is the first book in the Ladies of the Manor series. Learn more about the story HERE.



The ENTIRE Culper Ring Series is on sale! YAY! Learn more about the series HERE.



Monday, September 24, 2018

Word of the Week - Hose


I know, I know. This seems like a strange choice of word for me to look up. 😉 But I had a moment last week when I was wondering how long the garden-hose type of thing had been in use, so I looked it up. As I do. And then was kind of amazed by the answer!

Hose first meant "a covering for the legs." As early as the 13th century, hose were a common article of clothing, especially for men. They could be woven or of leather, have feet or not. We know them today as tights or leggings, but those hose of old would have been much thicker than the nylons some women still wear (though I usually eschew them, LOL).

In the Middle Ages, the word began to be applied to other things that resembled a stocking, like a sheath or a husk of a grain. So where did the garden-hose sense of things come in? And why?

The etymology site doesn't explain the "why" clearly, but it did mention that one of the roots of the word--the Dutch hoos--not only meant "leg covering" but "waterspout." I wonder if this dual meaning had something to do with the additional meaning the word gained in English.

Regardless a "flexible rubber tube used to convey liquid" has been around since the mid 1300s! I had no idea it was that old. Hence why I had to share. 😉



Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thoughtful About . . . Christian Suffering



In a move strange to fiction-loving me, much of my recent reading (or listening, as the case may be) has been of non-fiction. I've already written about my thoughts on the importance of having heroes in our lives, inspired by The Closing of the American Mind by Allen Bloom. I've also been listening to a really amazing book about living a creative life, Big Magic. (Warning on that one--it has some language. But if you can overlook the occasional F-bomb, it also has some really interesting and unique views on our creativity.)

But in both of these books, my dander was raised by nearly throw-away lines that demonstrated how each author fundamentally misunderstands the core of Christianity. Without quoting either Bloom or Gilbert directly, both made the assertion that the reason Christianity was flawed and even dangerous is the fixation on suffering. Both seemed to imply that Christians desire suffering--that we all have a martyr complex, thinking that by suffering we earn our reward.

I'm a bit baffled by this. First, is this really what most people think about our faith? That we just love to be miserable? And if it is...WHY? Where are the throw-away lines about the Christian JOY? The Christian PEACE? The Christian LOVE?

My friends, if we're known for our suffering instead of those things, then we are doing something wrong.

Because yes, suffering is a part of Christianity. But we are not--or should not be--taught that our own suffering is necessary in order to achieve salvation. We are--or should be--taught that when we suffer, which is inevitable, Jesus will be there with us. That through His suffering, ours has already been paid. Because he willingly took that for us.

The beauty of Christian suffering is that we can rise above it, through Him. That we can sit in a prison in chains and sing for joy. That we can lose everything the world says should matter and rejoice in all He's given. That we know where true value lies and that nothing the world throws at us can strip us of that ultimate gift. 

The misconception seems to be that we seek pain, trials, hardship, and agony because we think that without it, there is no joy. I wonder who these authors knew that believed this. I'm sure there were people. I certainly know of fictional ones who fell into this trap. One of L.M. Montgomery's neighbor characters (whose name I'm drawing a blank on). Dorothea from Middlemarch. I'm sure there are plenty of others, and I'm sure they're based on reality.

But I so want to talk to these two authors I've been reading and say, "Oh, man. Look. Suffering is at the heart of Christianity, yes--because suffering is inevitable in life. But we don't seek it. He already did, so that we don't have to. We seek Him, and what we find is that those dark parts of life aren't so dark anymore."

And I am so, so sad that this is what thinkers, people who actually give the subject thought, not assumption, come away with. I'm sad because that means that the Christians they know have shown them this untruth. That we're preaching pain instead of joy without actions. That we're showing loss instead of gain. That the world thinks we're dangerous, not because we oppose the evil they might love, but because we're coming off as self-destructive.

Yes, Christ calls us to suffer for Him. As in, when we suffer--which we will--make sure it's for a good cause and not a bad one. If we're going to be accused, be accused of being a Christian, not a criminal. If we're going to be persecuted, let it be because we've gone toe-to-toe with evil, not because we're filled with hatred. Suffering is assumed for all--we're just supposed to make ours count and have joy in the face of it.

I pray that if any of these thinkers come in contact with me, their throw-away lines in their next best-selling books won't be about how people of faith have a martyr complex. It'll be how people of faith sure do exemplify what it means to seek the good with a joy that goes beyond logic.

Let's show the world that we're not about clinging to pain. We're about walking in love.


Monday, September 17, 2018

Word of the Week - $ and Dollar


This one is yet again at the request of my kids, who asked why in the world we abbreviate "dollar" with $. (They also asked why they sometimes have one line through it and other times two.)

So...though it has been suggested by some historians that the $ is related to the 8, for the Spanish pieces of eight that were frequently used as currency in Ye Olde Days, the more accepted history is that it's in fact from the peso, which we also used before the Revolution. Peso was abbreviated with a capital P and then a superscript S. In handwriting, people began to write the two letters overtop each other. And so it evolved as in the diagram below.

By why do some dollar signs have two lines? The theory is that it used to be to differentiate the US dollar. Given that $ was already in use by then, the two lines are thought to have once formed a U. Also in the diagram below.

These began to appear in handwriting in the 1770s and in print in the early 1800s.
Image by JesperZedlitz

So where did the word dollar itself come from? It's from Flemish daler, which is short for Joachmistaler, which was a coin mined from the silver in Joachimstal, Bohemia. Daler was borrowed as a term for coins used in both Spanish and British colonies in the Americas during the Revolution and became the official US currency in the late 1700s.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Back to School Reads & SALE!



Whether you are going back to school as a student, as a mom, as a homeschool mom...Or you are simply savoring the sweet change of seasons...we all could use an excuse for a new book right????

Here are a couple NEW releases that you won't want to pass up this Autumn! While I have yet to read these books myself, they have come highly recommended. However, I will be reading Hidden Among the Stars with my book club in a couple of months.

Don't forget to check out the sale info below!

Hidden Among the Stars
by Melanie Dobson


The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan―even their very lives―in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love. (Goodreads)



I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life
by Anne Bogel

For so many people, reading isn't just a hobby or a way to pass the time--it's a lifestyle. Our books shape us, define us, enchant us, and even sometimes infuriate us. Our books are a part of who we are as people, and we can't imagine life without them.



I'd Rather Be Reading is the perfect literary companion for everyone who feels that way. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections on the reading life, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads readers to remember the book that first hooked them, the place where they first fell in love with reading, and all of the moments afterward that helped make them the reader they are today. Known as a reading tastemaker through her popular podcast What Should I Read Next?, Bogel invites book lovers into a community of like-minded people to discover new ways to approach literature, learn fascinating new things about books and publishing, and reflect on the role reading plays in their lives.


The perfect gift for the bibliophile in everyone's life, I'd Rather Be Reading will command an honored place on the overstuffed bookshelves of any book lover. (Goodreads)



All Made Up
by Kara Isaac

Everyone thinks Katriona McLeod is living the dream. Her professional career as a makeup artist sees her traveling the world working with the stars and she's got no shortage of men wanting her affection. Only problem is she's never gotten over Caleb Murphy, the one guy she's ever loved. When she accepts a job on the latest looking-for-love reality TV show, Falling for the Farmer, she discovers to her horror that Caleb is the leading man and she's cast as one of his harem. But she hides a secret that means that even if she wanted a second chance with the guy who broke her heart she could never have it. 

Caleb Murphy couldn't care less about C-Class celebrity fame or reality TV and he certainly doesn't believe it could lead him to love. The one thing he does care about is fulfilling his mother's last wish. Kat's presence on the show seems to offer up a solution that will make both the network and his mother happy. It might have been almost ten years since they split but he knows he can trust her with his plan. Just as long as he doesn't fall in love all over again with the woman who will never stay. (Goodreads)


Book Sale!



Celebrate Back-to-School with a special discount. Use promo code "school2018" and receive 25% off your book purchase. Valid 9/15/2018 - 9/30/2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Greater Than Gold - Secrets of Wayfarers Inn – Book 4



A little while back you may remember that I shared some book info about the series I am a part of through Guidepost. Exciting news! My first story in the series is now available! YAY! Greater Than Gold is the fourth book in this series and you can find purchase info below! There are 8 other authors contributing to this series, so make sure you check out their books as well. 😉

About the Book
Wayfarers Inn finally opens, just in time for Marietta’s biggest tourist draw, the Sternwheel Festival. But LuAnn, Janice, and Tess’s excitement is tempered when the inn’s ancient elevator breaks down—and handyman Tory Thornton goes missing, leaving a bloody rag behind. When LuAnn finds a valuable and long-missing bracelet in Thorn’s toolbox, suspicions mount—as do the suspects. Has Thorn run off with a treasure that had been hidden in the inn centuries before . . . or has an old enemy caught
up with him? 

As LuAnn and her friends seek to learn more about the bracelet, and how it ended up at the inn, they uncover a tale of theft, betrayal, and sacrifice that dates to the Civil War. As the clues pile up, both for and against Thorn, and hidden pieces of his past come to light, the friends find themselves asking the age-old question: How well do you ever really know someone? And how do you ever know what to believe about the people you think you know?


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Giveaway! A Heart's Revolution...Is on AUDIO!

The moment we have been waiting for is finally here!

A Heart's Revolution is now available on AUDIOBOOK! And I am giving away a couple copies!!! All you need to do is COMMENT on this post! Please leave your email address so that I have a way to contact you if you are one of the winners! 

Giveaway will be open 9/11/18 - 9/17/18 11:59pm EDT. Winner will be chosen via Random.org from the list of those who leave comments. Giveaway open Internationally. Void where prohibited.

You can find a list of retailers on my website

Happy Reading!


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Coloring Contest is LIVE! (and other giveaways)




Are you ready to get out your pens, sharpen your pencils, dig out your watercolors? With the help of Bethany House Publishing and my Assistant, Rachel, we were able to turn the cover of An Hour Unspent into a coloring page! I can't wait to see your artwork!

You may use whatever medium you wish...Colored pencils, watercolor, pens, etc. Use your imagination and creativity and let's have FUN!

Once your page is complete please submit to Rachel at bookwormracheld@gmail.com. Once you have done that...You will receive the download of CHAPTER TWO of An Hour Unspent!!! (Don't have chapter one? You can subscribe to my newsletter and you will receive chapter 1 in your welcome email!)

The coloring page is available as a PDF at the link below. If you have any questions regarding this contest, please email Rachel at bookwormracheld@gmail.com.

DOWNLOAD THE COLORING PAGE HERE

Don't forget to enter the Release Day Giveaways as well!
Click the image to enter the giveaway

   





Rules of Entry


1. This is a skill-based contest and chance plays no part in the determination of winning.

2. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase will not increase your odds of winning.

3. Contest is open to all mailing addresses in the U.S.

4. Contest begins September 4, 2018 at 12:00AM EDT and ends September 25, 2018 at 11:59 PM EDT.

5. To enter, print out the image and color it in using any medium you'd like. Photograph or scan your artwork and email entry to bookwormracheld@gmail.com with subject line "An Hour Unspent Coloring Contest". Entry must include:
  • Your full name
  •  
  • Email address
  •  
  • State of residence
  •  
Entry must include a parent or legal guardian's full name, telephone number and email address if contestant is under 18 years of age. Entry must be submitted in English. Any entries missing the above requirements will be immediately disqualified.

6. Entry must be received by Rachel Dixon (Roseanna's Assistant) no later than 11:59PM EDT on September 25, 2018 by email. No other method of entry will be accepted.

7. Contact and shipping information collected will be used for the purposes of this contest only and will not be used for marketing or other purposes.

8. Limit one (1) entry per person.

9. All entries must be original and entirely created by the entrant. There are no restrictions on what an entrant can use to color the image.

10. Entries will be judged by Roseanna M. White based on creativity, coloring skill and overall artistic ability. Roseanna M. White will decide THREE finalists and the winner will then be decided by popular vote on Roseanna M. White's Facebook page located at https://www.facebook.com/RoseannaMWhite/. Voting will be open to the public September 27, 2018 12:00AM EDT and will close October 3, 2018 11:59PM EDT. The finalists will be notified via email.

11. One (1) Grand Prize winner will be selected on October 4, 2018 and will be announced on Roseanna's Facebook Page. Two (2) runner-ups will also be selected by the popular vote. We will contact the potential winners via email on October 4, 2018. The winner and runner-ups will be announced on Roseanna's Facebook Page and in a blog post on www.roseannamwhite.blogspot.com.

12. Grand Prize:

One (1) “Old Books” candle from Frostbeard
One (1) London themed journal
One (1) Clock necklace
Complete Shadows Over England series. Signed, print.

Prizes subject to change according to availability. If a prize is unavailable, a similar prize will be substituted.

13. Runner-Up Prize:

2 (TWO) Runner-ups will receive a signed print copy of An Hour Unspent

14. Non-compliance or return of prize notification as undeliverable, may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner.

15. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

16. All entries become the property of Roseanna M. White and may be used or reproduced in any manner and for any purpose by Roseanna M. White without additional consent or compensation, and will not be acknowledged or returned.

17. By participating, Contest entrants: (1) represent that they have complied with these Official Contest Rules; (2) have received parental consent if under the age of 18 and grant Roseanna M. White the right to use his or her name, and state, (3) release Roseanna M. White from all liability in connection with this Contest, and (4) agree to execute an affidavit of eligibility/prize acceptance form and publicity release if requested to do so, all without further compensation.

18. Roseanna M. White and staff are not responsible for lost, late or misdirected entries, or incomplete/incorrect entries.

19. Roseanna M. White reserves the right to disqualify anyone who attempts to tamper or otherwise interfere with the proper functioning of the promotion.

20. Void where prohibited.