This year, while reading the various accounts of King David in the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, it occurred to me that it is very likely when he received the message from Bathsheba that she was pregnant, he became afraid. Terrified, even.
If you look at his character up to this point, he was always taking charge and in control of his circumstances. And he was seeking God and was so conscientious about doing the right thing. I almost cried when reading the account of his reaction when he discovered that his enemy, King Saul, was dead.
Yet when he sinned with Bathsheba, he tried to hide what had happened by getting Uriah back home and, hopefully, getting him to sleep with his wife so this loyal warrior wouldn’t realize her baby wasn’t his. Yet when David’s plan backfired and his noble soldier refused to sleep in his own house while the other soldiers were sleeping on the battlefield, David panicked. He couldn’t think of any other way to cover his sin and protect Bathsheba from certain death and, thus, he ordered the execution of one of his most devoted mighty men.
Not that I can think of a way He could have resolved this situation, but isn’t God amazing enough that He could have worked things out in such a way that David wouldn’t have had to take the drastic measures that he did?
What David saw as his only choice didn’t take God into consideration. How different his story would have ended if he hadn’t sinned as he did or if he had repented immediately instead of trying to fix it himself.
Are there sins in your life that you are trying to hide instead of confessing them to the One with the power to make all things new?
More Than Words Can Say
by Karen Witemeyer
Series: Patchwork Family #2
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date June 4, 2019
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Western, Clean Romance
Setting: Texas Gilded Age – US – 1875 – 1900
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-34
Written for: Adults
After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he's always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can't turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.
Abigail Kemp needs a man's name on her bakery's deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn't the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can't even control her pulse when she's around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail's troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers, Celebrate Lit, Netgalley for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.Also in this series: More Than Meets the Eye
Zach is one of my favorite heroes. He developed such a protective and noble character despite the circumstances of his upbringing. Yet he was filled with grief and guilt over his past, things he did to survive and to ensure his adopted sister and brother survived. Mostly for them. He was also a confirmed bachelor, figuring he was no catch – who would want him after what he had done?
Abby was such a complex character. Her larger size and the way her father made it so clear he was disappointed she wasn’t a boy combined to make her feel insignificant and yet she was confident in her abilities as a baker and had a great strength of character. I loved her generous heart and even the way she treated Sophia with kindness despite the vitriol aimed Abby’s way whenever this former friend was around.
One of the things I appreciated the most about Abby’s size is how the author showed how Zach was attracted to her. Not despite her appearance, and not just because of it. His words to reassure her that he wouldn’t have married just anyone to help them were some of the sweetest!
I thoroughly enjoy marriage of convenience stories. The situation driving Abby to propose to Zach was one I’ve not seen used before. And I liked that even though Zach turned her down initially, he fathom the idea of Abby marrying anyone else. That they had a slight relationship prior to the marriage and that they had been attracted to one another was also very sweet.
The title ties into several themes. One being that Zach wasn’t much of a communicator, sometimes speaking more eloquently with grunts than words. Another being the need for words to be shared between the two regarding their pasts – each harbored secret shame that they dreaded having to reveal yet knew they needed to. Words and openness were also needed when gossips took an innocent situation and blew it out of proportion, preying on Abby’s self-consciousness and insecurities.
An enemy seeking to harm her, secrets from her sister’s past, and the awkwardness of being married to an- almost stranger all combined to make an interesting story with sweet spiritual encouragement throughout.
I do feel it necessary to mention that the author doesn’t hide the fact that Zach and Abby are physically attracted to one another. This ended up being a subject woven throughout the story as they determined not to consummate their relationship until they knew each other better. This was tastefully handled yet I mention it for the frequency in which it occurs. For this reason, I do not recommend it to younger teen readers.
More Than Words Can Say is a delightful story that lovers of historical Christian romance with a touch of intrigue will enjoy.
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Settings – Real or Imagined?
by Karen Witemeyer
One of the key decisions an author has to make before she begins to write is selecting the setting for her story. And the first choice she faces is the question of whether to use a real or imagined location.
Roughly half the stories I have written are set in fictional towns. The use of a fictional setting allows an author greater freedom to manipulate the environment of her characters to fit her plot. This provides a great deal of flexibility. However, there is something special about setting a story in a real place. First, readers who are familiar with that place never fail to get excited about seeing a town they recognize in print. Second, if an author can find historical photos and documents, she can add a wonderful layer of authenticity to her setting that might otherwise be missing. Third, an author may turn up fascinating tidbits when studying the history of her setting that find their way into the story and bring a flavor the author never could have supplied on her own.
This was the case as I wrote More Than Words Can Say. All of the stories in my Patchwork Family series have been set in real places. Pecan Gap, Texas for More Than Meets the Eye, Honey Grove, Texas for More Than Words Can Say, and coming this fall we’ll travel to Gainesville, Texas for the concluding novella, More Than a Pretty Face.
Researching each location brought its own unique discoveries, but I have to admit that researching the small town of Honey Grove brought this history-loving girl a special level of joy. For example, there is a legend about how the town got its name that I knew needed to be incorporated into my story. Legend has it that when Davy Crockett was on his way to join the fight at the Alamo, he stopped in a grove of trees and set up camp. There were so many bees in that in letters to family and friends, he called the place a “Honey Grove.” He carved his initials into one of the trees and intended to return and settle there after the war. Unfortunately, as we know, Crockett did not survive the Alamo and therefore did not return. One of his friends, Samuel A. Erwin, later found the grove and became the first settler in 1839. Many people recall seeing the initials carved into Crockett’s bee tree even into the early 1900s, which led me to believe that this legend was based in truth. It doesn’t play a pivotal role in my story, but if you watch for it, you’ll find it mentioned.
Discovering the Honey Grove Preservation League’s website proved a tremendous boon. Their online historical resources are some of the best I have ever come across. Historical photos, newspaper articles, government records—it was like stepping through a time portal every time I visited. And I visited often. Thanks to the Preservation League, I was able to mention real people and places in my novel. Places like the Commercial Hotel, the home of James Gilmer that was built during my time period, Wilkins, Wood & Patteson Dry Goods, and Dora Galbraith Patteson’s millinery shop on the east side of the town square.
While Zacharias Hamilton and Reuben Sinclair are completely fictitious characters, there really was a lumberyard located on the corner of Sixth Street and Rail Road. As fiction authors are wont to do, I did take a few liberties with Honey Grove’s history.
To my knowledge, there was never any city ordinance banning women from owning businesses in town, which was a key plot point in More Than Words Can Say. In addition, Mayor Chester Longfellow was a complete invention of my imagination. The true mayor of Honey Grove during this time period was J.H. Smith, a man who served in that capacity from 1888-1897. He must have been a well-loved city official to hold office for nearly a decade. I paid brief homage to him by having him step back into office when my fictitious mayor resigned.
I hope you enjoy stepping back in time with me into historic Honey Grove, Texas. Zach and Abigail might not have lived there in truth, but I like to believe their tale is a representation of the many amazing love stories have taken place in that sweet little town through the years.
The Power of Words, June 15
She Lives to Read, June 15
Real World Bible Study, June 15
Carla Loves to Read, June 15
Baker kella, June 16
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, June 16
EmpowerMoms, June 16
Daysong Reflections, June 16
Through the Fire Blogs, June 17
Genesis 5020, June 17
Lighthouse Academy, June 17
Bigreadersite , June 17
Among the Reads, June 18
All-of-a-kind Mom, June 18
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 18
For The Love of Books, June 18
C Jane Read, June 19
Inspired By Fiction, June 19
Mary Hake, June 19
Hallie Reads, June 19
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 20
For Him and My Family, June 20
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 20
Living Life Free in Christ, June 20
Connect in Fiction, June 21
Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 21
Splashes of Joy, June 21
Pause for Tales, June 21
Stories By Gina , June 22
Worthy2Read, June 22
Blossoms and Blessings, June 22
Southern Gal Loves to Read, June 22
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 23
Connie’s History Classroom , June 23
Vicky Sluiter, June 23
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 23
Wishful Endings, June 24
Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, June 24
Simple Harvest Reads, June 24 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Texas Book-aholic, June 24
A Baker’s Perspective, June 25
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 25
amandainpa , June 25
janicesbookreviews, June 25
Britt Reads Fiction, June 26
Quiet Quilter, June 26
Older & Smarter?, June 26
A Reader’s Brain, June 26
LifeofLiterature, June 27
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner , June 27
Christian Bookshelf Reviews, June 27
Inklings and notions, June 27
Emily Yager, June 28
Lukewarm Tea, June 28
By The Book, June 28
The Becca Files, June 28
To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away a grand prize that includes More Than Words Can Say, More Than Meets the Eye, and a $20 Panera Bread gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e4f4/more-than-words-can-say-celebration-tour-giveaway