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

Betty Owens Sutter

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.

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The Perfect Herbicide For Bitter Roots

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Hebrews 12:15 KJV

 

Kudzu is an invasive vine that grows sixty to a hundred feet in each growing season. Introduced as an ornamental vine, it was planted by farmers and conservationist for forage and soil conservation on about a half a million acres. However, it soon became known as the “vine that ate the South” because of the ability to cover everything in its path. Finally, people began to curse its existence after they began losing farm and timber to its prolific tendrils. No longer an “acceptable cover crop” Kudzu was demoted to “weed status” by the Department of Agriculture. (New Georgia Encyclopedia)

While writing last week’s post, Delays-Disappointments-Detours, the thought occurred to me that if anyone had a reason to become bitter in their journey, it was Joshua and Caleb. I thought about the years spent as slaves in Egypt, the deliverance, the espionage assignment, and the faith-filled report. They never wavered in God’s ability to keep His promise. But for all their belief, and their obedience they were sentenced to forty years in the wilderness with the rest of the disobedient and unbelieving. Forty years!

Can you imagine? To be so close to the promise, only to have it snatched from your hands must have twisted their insides, if only for a moment. Bitterness could have taken root and flourished.

What’s the harm in a little bitterness when falsely accused, mistreated, abused, or misunderstood? When others succeed, it seems, without years of rejection. When we are overlooked for a promotion or raise in salary. Surely, we are justified in our disappointments. So what is wrong with a little bitterness?

Like Kudzu, bitterness doesn’t stay in one place. It creeps around, shading out the sunshine, attaching itself to everything it touches, eventually killing all in its path. The problem, is we don’t see its destructiveness until it’s too late. What starts out as a justified seed of hurt, sprinkled with unforgiveness, soon becomes a raging nuisance. We soon feel its effect as every fruit of the Spirit begins to wither, replaced by darkness and decay. We may hide it in our actions, but not in our tone. Our words become caustic, seeds of destruction spread abroad wherever we trod.

So, how can we keep bitterness from taking root? My experience is thankfulness. Being thankful for the present experience is a sure-fire herbicide of bitter roots!

Not looking forward or backward. But in the here and now. Last week I stated, “Dig a well and claim the ground.” To me that statement means to be thankful, and happy, for where God has planted me for the current season.

I could look backward and say, “Well if only…” Or I could look forward and say, “When I get…”

With no other choice but the circuitous route, Joshua and Caleb were in the position to train the young for the Promised Land. Chosen to serve and to teach. What else matters, but to do the will of the Lord?

Lord, help me to stay thankful in all things. Help me to remember You alone know what is best. My life is in Your hands whether I place it there or not. Help me to surrender all to You. Help me to savor the present, thankful for the journey You have chosen for me. And help me to accomplish the purpose for which I am here for. With thanksgiving, I pray, in the name of Your precious Son, Jesus. Amen.

 

To read more about Kudzu visit:

Wikipedia  Kudzu in the South

New Georgia Encyclopedia Kudzu