Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Feature-Naomi Rawlings-God's Blessings through Tragedy




Today we welcome author: 
Naomi Rawlings

To win a copy
of Naomi's new release:
Falling for the Enemy


Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.


Talk about a small world. As Naomi and I were chatting about this weekend's visit, we found out we grew up close to each other, have visited the same places (and these were obscure locations), and had many of the same interests. Isn't it awesome when God brings people together to learn they had so much to share?  I simply had to ask her to join us and share how God has led her on her writing journey, knowing it would be exciting. Here is what she said:


God's Blessings through Tragedy


I’ve always been an insanely big book lover. My mom used to kick me out of the house in the summer and tell me I’d spent too long reading and I needed to go outside and do something. (Um, like reading wasn’t doing something? I still don’t understand that logic.) ;-). 

Being the obedient girl that I was, I took my book, grabbed a blanket, and laid in our backyard under the tree while I read. After an hour or so, my mom would poke her head out the back door and say, “Naomi! That is NOT what I meant when I told you to go outside!”

Fast forward twenty years, and that burning desire to read, read, read, somehow translated into both a talent and determination to write, write, write. I’ve spent the past six years of my life writing, and I’ve been published for the last three of them, but the idea of writing my own book never really occurred to me until tragedy struck my life.

It’s amazing how God works, isn’t it? Romans chapter eight tells us that God works everything out for good for those who love Him, but when we’re going through heartbreak, tragedy, or struggles, it can be very hard to see God’s goodness and plan amid our pain and suffering.

For me, God cultivated a desire to write shortly after I suffered a miscarriage. This miscarriage was particularly hard on me for reasons I won’t go into publically, but please understand that I had an extremely difficult time with it. Once my tears and emotions settled a bit, I found myself rather bored. I stayed at home and had one child, and I was planning on spending my days caring for a new baby. Suddenly I had just one child who took really long naps in the afternoon and went to bed several hours before I did. I needed something to do.

So I read. I read, and read, and read some more, until I exhausted my friends’ libraries. My problem was that the more I read, the pickier I got about the books. I liked certain authors, sure, but not all authors. In fact, half the time I was rewriting the ending to books in my head, or adding scenes to the middle, or wondering what would have happened if Author A had made her characters say Y instead of Z. I soon found myself dragging my eight-year-old computer out and starting my first manuscript.

During the ensuing years, I’ve often looked back at that time period and wondered whether I’d be writing today had I not lost that baby. I honestly don’t think I would. I’d probably be reading. I’d maybe even have a book blog. But I really doubt I’d be writing. I needed that fallow period in my life, that time of struggle and sorrow, for God to take away my plan and show me His.

While writing novels is far from a perfect, easy job, it has its blessings and rewards. I know it’s what God has for me right now, and God has continued to use my writing through tragedies. My oldest son has chronic Lyme disease, which is very hard and expensive to treat. Nearly all of my writing income for the past two years has gone toward his treatment. So I can look back at how and why I started writing and see the blessings, see why God’s plan was better than my plan to have a baby in 2008, and see how God is ultimately working everything out for good, just like He promises to do in Romans 8.


Whether you’re a writer or a reader or something in between, I hope my story encourages you to look to God through the hard times and trust His leadership. He really does know better than we do.

So very true, Naomi. Thank you so much for sharing from such a deep wound.

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A mother of two young boys, Naomi Rawlings spends her days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. Her husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where her family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. Naomi and her family live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter. Her fourth novel, Falling for the Enemy is available now, and her fifth novel, Love’s Unfading Light releases in March 2015. 

For more information about Naomi, please visit her website at www.naomirawlings.com.


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Click here to buy or see
Falling for the Enemy
Falling for the Enemy:

Betrayed and stranded in France at the height of war, Lord Gregory Halston has few options. After rescuing his ailing brother from jail, they struggle to survive in hostile territory without outing themselves as Englishmen. Gregory hopes the feisty French peasant woman he meets is willing to guide them to safety. 


Danielle Belanger doesn't wish to protect any man from the same country responsible for her brother's demise. But there's something about the determined Englishman that makes her willing to try. Though a match between Danielle and Gregory is impossible, their attraction can't be denied. 

The only thing more dangerous than aiding the enemy…is falling in love with him.

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Click here to buy or see
 Love's Unfading Light
Love’s Unfading Light:
Tressa Danell is finished with men—from the wastrel who left her a widow, to the smelly trapper who keeps proposing, to the banker who wants to repossess her bakery. Every hour is spent working to pay off her late husband’s debt and keep a roof over her son’s head, though it’s doubtful she can do both for very long. But one thing’s certain—she’ll never be beholden to a man again.

Tired of living in a small town that blames him for actions his father committed ten years ago, Mac Oakton is scheduled to leave Eagle Harbor. So why does the pretty widow at the bakery keep tugging at his heart? He can’t get involved in her predicament when he’ll only be around for two more weeks. 


But when Tressa’s burdens overwhelm her, they both face a decision. Can Mac set his own plans aside to help? And can Tressa accept his support if that means giving up her independence ... and being obligated to a man again?






To enter the contest for a copy of 
Naomi's  new release: 
"Falling for the Enemy"
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this blog, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry US only

The winner will be announced on my facebook page.


Thank you, Naomi, for Joining us This Weekend!


We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, hey, or ...

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!

23 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your testimony and of how God has worked His will into your life.

    I'm halfway in this book and am really enjoying it. You have a way of captivating the reader from the very beginning.

    Please don't enter me in the drawing-just wanted to comment and say the next book sounds great.

    Blessings

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    1. You are so sweet to take the time to let us all know that you are currently reading Naomi's book and enjoying it. What an encourager you are!
      I'm so glad you stopped by today.

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    2. Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you're enjoying the novel. I certainly try to keep my readers in mind as I'm writing. I'd hate to disappoint those who have already liked my other stories.

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  2. Naomi, it is nice to learn a little more about you. Thank you for the reminder that we don't always see God's leading until later. Let's see, I've been to Christmas, The Mystery Spot, Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks... Haven't yet been to Paradise or Hell. (I live near Grand Rapids) dbdempsey98(at)gmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Becky,
      Good point. And, sometimes, we don't realize the obscure in our life, people we touched that we didn't realize we connected with, things we've done that someone we've never met benefitted from, etc. are also part of God's plan.
      I've always been curious about the Mystery Spot, but haven't stopped. Have you walked the bridge on Memorial Day? Its a fantastic thing to do with the kids. Mine started with enthusiasm, grumbled about 1/2 way, then looked down at the water and were ready to finish the walk. Of course there are a zillion other people there, but to me, it's part of the fun.
      Thanks for stopping by today, Becky!

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    2. I've walked the bridge on Memorial Day when I was a kid. My grandparents started walking it when my grandma was pregnant with my aunt (one of the first years, maybe the first?) and they did it every year after that until my Grandpa couldn't anymore. My husband is usually working on Memorial Day. Although, I'm not sure if my feet would survive the 5 mile hike nowdays.

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    3. So you know how much fun it is. And I assume you ended the trip with Mackinaw Fudge? I happen to have some in my fridge at this very moment. Yum. Passing out virtual pieces for anyone who wants some.

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    4. I'll totally take some of that fudge, Mary! As for walking the bridge on Memorial Day, I did it once and have no desire to do it again because the bussing to get back to the other side is so miserable. And all the people, ugh! But then, I'm spoiled with miles and miles of awesome hiking trails where I'll only see a handful of others.

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    5. Becky, if you ever go back to Christmas, all you need to do is follow Lake Superior west for another 3 hours and you'll run into the town I live in. Simple, right?

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    6. Naomi, you are really in Northern Michigan! My brother went to Michigan Tech and my sister went to NMU (they have a house in Marquette, but live in Arizona now) My parents didn't like the crowds of people for the bridge walk so we didn't do it for long, either.

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    7. I'm about an hour from Tech. I was just up there yesterday for a doctor's appointment. They have the closest OB department (and Walmart, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, etc.).

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  3. I enjoyed this interview with Naomi. I am sorry to hear about her miscarriage, but glad that God produced a wonderful author out of it. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kinds words, Loraine. I'm sorry about the miscarriage as well, but I''m definitely glad for God's leadership afterwords.

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    2. Loraine,
      I'm so happy to have met you today. If you get a chance to stop back, be sure to include your email address so that, if you win, I can contact you.
      You are a blessing to send such encouraging words to Naomi. I really enjoyed chatting with you. I stepped out for a bit to attend an activity with my daughter and am glad you were still able to come. Hope to see you again.

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  4. Oops - forgot my email address. momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

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    Replies
    1. Ah hah, I spoke too soon. That'll teach me to scroll down before commenting. LOL. Thanks for remembering to put your email address. :)

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  5. Thanks Mary for the review with Naomi. Sounds like another good book. I am a follower Mary.
    Please me in the drawing. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. Maxie,
      You made it! I'm so glad. Naomi's book does sound like another good book. We need to stock up our shelves for this winter, eh? Nothing like a good book to warm our hearts on a chilly day.

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  6. Just wanted to issue a general thanks to everyone who's stopped by.

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  7. Thanks for sharing Naomi. Your books look intriguing. I'll have to add them to my "to read" list. I'd love to enter the contest. My email is whthomas13(at)yahoo (dot)com. And Mary, I'd love some of your virtual fudge as long as it doesn't have any virtual calories. :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh, good one. I hadn't thought about the no virtual calorie thing. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Well, the virtual calorie, I'm convinced, must be a good product. There has to be something beneficial to a virtual treat, right? The aroma is warm, sweet, and satisfying. No one is allergic to it, There you have it.
      Thanks for the fun conversation. I'm so glad we had a chance to meet. You are always welcome back. We'll save a seat for you.

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