Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Betty Thomason Owens

Goodmorning! Today, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Betty Thomason Owens. I met Betty when I became a crew member for Writing Prompts Thoughts and Ideas Oh My! She’s a wife, mother, and a grandmother. She’s the author of Annabelle’s Ruth (The Kinsman Redeemer Series, Book 1).

Her second book, Sutter’s Landing (The Kinsman Redeemer Series, Book 2) comes out today! Yay! So let’s show her some love by sharing and commenting.

Welcome, Betty. Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up the daughter of a nomad. Travel was in Dad’s

blood. He couldn’t be still. I learned resilience. I learned how to adapt to circumstances, good or bad. I learned that a better world existed just around the bend. That last one is not necessarily a good thing. You might call me a dreamer. That sounds better, doesn’t it? It was during those long trips back and forth from one part of the country to another, that I began to create stories in my head. I noticed the scenery—the badlands and desert out West—and fantasized about the people that may have lived there. I still dream and create stories, but now, I write them down.

I’m a dreamer, too. There are usually hidden circumstances with dreamers. Thank goodness for stories. Betty, this month’s theme is patience. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Quiet, steady perseverance—I love this definition of patience. It is often defined by using words like difficulty; hardship; trouble. There’s a reason for that. In my mind, patience is quiet and steady strength. Some of us have it, some don’t. And many of those who seem to have it, well—don’t look too deeply into their lives. Sometimes, it only lives on the surface. I may appear patient, but inside—turmoil and rebellion dwell. The trick is to keep those more subtle feelings at bay. Those are the things best handled by prayer. Let patience win—it goes hand-in-hand with love. Love is patient…love is kind…

I agree with you. Prayer is definitely a key to patience. Life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to have patience? How did you overcome?

Oh, my goodness. Yes. Right now is a good example—this past year is a good example. It’s been a real stretching time for me, when I thought maybe it was time to rest and relax a little. But it’s not time for the rocking chair yet, so I’ve had to go back to work on a part-time basis. This requires a complete overhaul of my schedule. I’m normally very laid-back and on the surface, very patient. Underneath, where only God and I can see, I’m not patient at all—especially with me. The only way to overcome this is to face it head-on. I carry it to God in prayer and ask for His help and leading. Like many, my personal expectations can be outrageous. Of course, I can’t do all that! And God knows and understands this. I just need to trust Him.

I hear ya! I believe everyone could use a big dose of patience with themselves—along with a splash of grace. We certainly can’t do it all. Now, in what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

I started out writing historical, swerved into fantasy, then back to historical. But even my fantasy writing was historical! I love reading and writing about the past. I’m inspired by stories of faith and family.

I hope my faith shines through my writing. I’m not usually preachy, but I write about people whose faith is at the center—the heart—of their existence. Sometimes they lose their way, but there’s always someone in the background, praying for them and believing they’re going to make it. That’s where I often stand. Praying. Believing.

Praying and believing is a wonderful place to stand. I’m so glad you agreed to come and talk with us. Thank you, Betty, for a lovely interview. If you would like to know more about Sutter’s Landing, scroll down and read my review.

img_9428 copyBetty Thomason Owens is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group, and serves as vice-president/secretary of their Louisville Area group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers. She also serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.

Along with the upcoming Sutter’s Landing, Book 2, Kinsman Redeemer series (June 2017), her writing credits include a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy (2014), Carlotta’s Legacy (2016) Books 1 & 2, Legacy Series, and the Grace-Award-winning Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer Series (2015) (Write Integrity Press). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

Amazon Author Page

http://bettythomasonowens.com

https://twitter.com/batowens

https://facebook.com/betty.owens.author

https://pinterest.com/btowens

https://writingpromptsthoughtsideas.wordpress.com

Sutter’s Landing (Kinsman Redeemer Series, Book 2) ~ Betty Thomason Owens

The year is 1955, and although they don’t have a comfortable life, Connie and Annabelle are happy to be home in Trenton, Tennessee.  But as Connie’s marriage draws closer, Annabelle worries about being alone. Something she doesn’t look forward to after losing her husband and sons. But, when an old friend shows up on her doorstep with a plan, Annabelle must make a decision to hold to her beliefs or live out her days alone.

Owens gently weaves a picture of the South with all its charm and bigotry. Through Connie’s eyes, we feel the pain when asked to leave a store because of color. We understand her remorse when friends are not treated like other folks. And we empathize with her when she and Alton are kept apart by family members.

One of my favorite scenes is the accidental meeting with a famous singer. I found the song mentioned on Youtube. I loved the fact that Owens included that particular part of history in her book because it made the story pop.

I have another favorite scene where one character is praying. I can’t share all the details without revealing too much. But I wanted to explain why this story will stay with me for a long time. During this particular scene, I suddenly had an epiphany of how the Lord continually watches over us, loving us, even though we may not return His love. And yet, He is still part of our lives whether we want Him or not.

How sad it must be to love and watch over and not have that love returned!

Although the author didn’t bring out my spiritual thoughts, the scene was the springboard that catapulted me into a wonderous moment. And that, my friend, is why I give Sutter’s Landing 5 hearts.

The second installment in the Kinsman Redeemer series is a crawl-into-your-favorite-chair-and-sit-awhile kinda book. Anyone who enjoys family, history, and the South, will enjoy Sutter’s Landing by Betty Thomason Owens.

I received an advance reader’s copy from the author. All views expressed are my own.

#BOOKGIVEAWAY: Today on Writing Prompts Thoughts and Ideas, Betty is offering to giveaway either a print copy or Kindle to one commenter. So click the link and comment for your chance to win!

img_9428 copyBetty Thomason Owens is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group, and serves as vice-president/secretary of their Louisville Area group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers. She also serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.

Along with the upcoming Sutter’s Landing, Book 2, Kinsman Redeemer series (June 2017), her writing credits include a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy (2014), Carlotta’s Legacy (2016) Books 1 & 2, Legacy Series, and the Grace-Award-winning Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer Series (2015) (Write Integrity Press). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

Amazon Author Page

http://bettythomasonowens.com

https://twitter.com/batowens

https://facebook.com/betty.owens.author

https://pinterest.com/btowens

https://writingpromptsthoughtsideas.wordpress.com

Patience’s Experience

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:3-5

Bouquet1-2

We spend our lives trying to obtain patience. And in the end, we are more patient than in the beginning. Which is amazing since we have less time to wait. 😉

But we can’t argue the benefits of patience. All things take time. Our very existence testifies of patience. Nothing happens instantaneously.

Through patience we obtain experience. Let us remember to always have patience with ourselves and with others. No one learns everything the first time around.

Thought

Is it easier for you to have patience with others or yourself?

Patience’s Purpose

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4 KJV

Aah…patience. Do you have all you need, dear reader? I don’t have to think about this one. I require more patience. Who doesn’t?

Gaining patience is hard work. It takes…well, patience! 😉

One of the secrets to having patience is understanding the reason behind the test. When we realize there is a point to it all, we are free to focus on Jesus and not our circumstances.

Action

When various troubles and trials come our way.

Reaction

Count it a joy. Not because we enjoy pain, but because there is a lesson to be learned. We will reap the benefits of the test!

Reason

The trying of our faith worketh patience. Patience has a purpose. Without patience, we aren’t complete.

Purpose

Experience produces maturity. How can we mature if we never face hardship?

Bouquet-2

This month’s theme is patience through trials. How do you view the different storms in your life?

Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Sonja Anderson

Good morning, dear reader! This month we have a fifth Tuesday. Woohoo! To celebrate, I want to introduce you to Sonja Anderson.

Sonja, welcome to Women of Faith and Fiction. Please, tell us about yourself.

Sonja Anderson Profile PicI grew up in a small town in northeast Ohio, with a twin sister and two younger siblings, in a Christian home. I loved to read more than anything, and characters in novels were like beloved friends and companions. I actually felt pained when a book ended and I had to separate myself from them. As a result, I re-read my favorite books many times!

College and graduate school took me to exciting cities like Chicago and Boston, and then my first teaching job was at an international school in Tokyo! I’ve been happily settled in Seattle, Washington, for over 25 years now.

Wow! Tokyo. I can only imagine your excitement. I know what you mean about the characters and beloved friends. I have favorites also. When I’m not sure what I want to read, I pick up a favorite. Sonja, this month’s theme is Peace. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Sophie Topfeather’s search for peace is a major theme in Sophie’s Quest, so I’m delighted that this is your theme for the month! Isn’t God amazing the way he puts things together like that? When I think of peace, I think of John 16:33, where Jesus prepares the disciples by saying, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I also remember the song that compares peace to a river, and it reminds me that when I have Christ’s presence in me, I don’t need to react to the world’s commotion with anxious ups and downs. Christ steadies me and carries me, no matter what else is happening.

I am continually amazed how God directs our paths! Now, life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to have peace? How did you overcome?

The two times in my life when I seriously questioned Christ’s presence in my life are, of course, as I look back, the two times when I found it the most difficult to have peace! The first time was when I lived in Japan and knew many lovely Buddhists. How could they all “be wrong”? I dove into a Bible study with friends and took God at His Word in a way I had never done before. When I read a promise, I held Him to it. By the time I returned to the United States, I was stronger in my faith than ever before and wanted to share Jesus with everyone in sight.

I thought nothing could shake my sense of peace again until I began to write Sophie’s Quest. I worried—could I discuss different religions in a way that respected the people God created and show Jesus to be uniquely Immanuel, God with us? I began to seriously wonder if a book like this should be written, despite the fact that I had felt clearly called to write it. My peace was shattered. One night, I was washing dishes and distinctly heard a voice behind me asking, “Are you sure Jesus is the only way?” I nearly panicked and prayed earnestly that God would clearly answer that question. The very next Sunday, I was visiting a church in Oregon, and the minister preached on this very question! Now, I work in a public elementary school in a very diverse community, and Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus check out my book every day. What a privilege and a blessing!

 Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Sonja. I know others who’ve dealt with similar situations. It’s good to know we’re not alone. True, God’s always with us. But it’s comforting to have a kindred spirit on our journey. 😉

In what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

My published novels are children’s fiction for ages 8-12, my favorite genre to read, too! I’ve also written several picture book stories that also point children toward God, but I’m still waiting for God to point me toward the right publisher!

My faith has everything to do with my writing. It is my dearest hope and prayer that kids will find their way to Jesus through these novels. In fact, I almost stopped writing completely when someone once challenged me to “leave Jesus out of the novel” so it could get published more easily!

I also try to point kids to the idea that reading the Bible is an amazing adventure. One of my happiest moments since the books were released was a day in my public school library when two girls (who had just finished reading Sophie’s Quest) began crying over who would get to check out the only real Bible we had at the time. To me, that meant “Mission accomplished!”

I would have to agree with you, Sonja! Thank you for sharing your heart with us today.

To learn more about Sonja and her fantastic book visit:

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Facebook Page