A Creative Recipe by Melanie Campbell – Guest Post, Book Spotlight

Posted July 29, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Book Spotlight, Guest Post /

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Today I’m welcoming debut author Melanie Campbell to Among the Reads. Her book, One Woman Falling will be releasing in a few days and I’m excited to be able to share it with you. Be sure to check back for my review on the release day, August 1, 2019. As a hint, I loved the book!

Here is a little bit more about the book. If you are interested, there is still room for a couple more reviewers, but don’t delay, no application will be accepted after July 31, 2019! More details can be found here.

A Creative Recipe by Melanie Campbell – Guest Post, Book Spotlight

One Woman Falling
by Melanie Campbell


Series: Whispers of Grace #1
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date August 1, 2019
Genres: Christian Fiction, Woman's Fiction
Setting: Oregon Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Pages: 348

Synopsis:

Cassie Peterson lives in an invisible prison of fear, chained by self-doubt and guarded by a relentless warden—her husband. Derrick’s verbal abuse as well as his alcoholism have left Cassie alienated from her family, without friends, and certain she can’t survive on her own.

After an unexpected police visit, Cassie realizes the survival of her four-year-old daughter, Renee, depends on Cassie’s courage to leave. What she doesn’t plan on is Derrick’s vengeful custody fight.

While walking through the treacherous world of divorce, Cassie is encouraged by her spunky new friend, Missy Langdon, to pursue her love of waterfalls. Cassie finds solace in the waterfalls on the agonizing weekends she’s forced to hand Renee over to Derrick. Meanwhile, unexpected help comes in the form of Brian Sutton, an attorney at the firm where Cassie works—but what price will she ultimately pay for his assistance?

As Derrick’s threatening behavior escalates, Cassie questions her choices. How long will her daughter suffer before the custody case is resolved? Why is she drawn to waterfalls during this chaotic time? And who will stand with her when everything comes crashing down?

I would like to thank Mountain Brook Ink for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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A Creative Recipe

by Melanie Campbell

There are times when God answers our prayers in ways that make me certain He has a sense of humor.

A few years ago, my husband and I went to a church conference in Vancouver, Washington. There was an opportunity during the conference to receive prayer. We looked forward to this prayer time. We were desperate to hear from God about several things going on in our lives. One issue that weighed on me at the time was my writing. I was about one-third through the writing of my first novel and struggling. Was I supposed to continue to put so much of my time and energy into this task with no tangible reward?

As we entered the prayer room, I silently prayed, “Lord, I need you to give me some kind of confirmation that I’m supposed to keep writing, or I’m going to quit.” In hindsight it was a really obnoxious prayer. God had already told me over and over that I was supposed to write my book. I can’t help but think he was shaking His head and rolling His eyes.

A team of three people prayed for my husband and I. Everything they prayed spoke right to the issues on our hearts. But one thing was never mentioned. Writing. I accepted this lack of response as confirmation that it was time for me to put my writing aside and focus on something else. My heart was heavy with self-pity.

As we made our way to the door, one of the women who had been praying for us grabbed my arm. “Do you like to cook?” she asked.

I shrugged. Honestly, I don’t love cooking, but I do enjoy good food. “Yeah . . .” I hesitantly replied.

She tilted her head, her brow slightly furrowed. “I just keep hearing God say, ‘Keep working on your creative recipes.’”

I smiled, and the weight of disappointment slid off my shoulders. Creative recipes. That was enough of an answer for my hopeful heart.

Isn’t that what a story is, when you come right down to it? A creative recipe. We might call it craft in the writerly world, and have addressed it in terms of structures or equations, but the idea of a recipe is fits well in my thinking.

Making a recipe involves taking a myriad of ingredients and mixing them together to create something that did not exist before. Oftentimes these are items that don’t seem to belong together, or that would not taste good without the manipulation of a whisk or the chemical change that occurs when heat is applied. It takes vision for what the final result will look like, knowledge of how each ingredient will affect the final product, and the courage to keep trying when the first attempt is a failure.

If I had a recipe for my novel One Woman Falling, it would look something like this:

  • 1 cup of life experience
  • 1.5 cups of observation
  • 2/3 cup of imagination
  • 1/3 cup of waterfall adventures
  • 2 tablespoons of dreams
  • 2 teaspoons of spicy fear
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of humility
  • 1 teaspoon of humor

Directions: In a large bowl of time, thoroughly mix life experience, imagination, waterfall adventures and spicy fear. In a separate pot add observation and dreams. Bring to a boil. Once cool enough to handle, add to large bowl and toss all ingredients until mixed well, about two years. Pour contents into baking dish and submit to critique group. When edges bubble and start to turn brown, remove. Sprinkle with humility and humor. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve to publisher.

As I’m writing the second book in my Whispers of Grace series, I can already see a unique recipe taking shape. The ingredients are different than my first book, and the cooking time and process will change. That’s the great thing about stories. Each one is special and challenges us in new ways.

I’m thankful God has given us so many different ways to enjoy our creative recipes.

 

 

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About Melanie Campbell

Melanie Campbell is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and ACFW. She wrote her first story when she was eight-years-old and has been in love with the power of storytelling ever since. She is also passionate about social issues and holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Oregon, which she obtained during her stint as a single-mom. She’s now married and lives in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley with her husband, their three children, and several spoiled pets.

When not writing, she does the bookkeeping and other office work for her husband’s painting business, obsesses over the well-being of their three daughters, and cooks healthy meals. In the spring, you may find her hitting the trails to one of Oregon’s magnificent waterfall

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