Monday, March 11, 2013

Interview and Giveaway with Mesu Andrews!

Welcome, Mesu! This is your third Biblical fiction book, right?
Earlier today I reviewed your newest book, Love in a Broken Vessel. It's based on the Biblical story of Hosea and Gomer. What is the hardest things about writing a fictional book based in Biblical fact?

Great question! Good fiction must be believable to be engaging, but we serve a miraculous God—and miracles by their very nature are un-believable! What reader, in their right mind, is going to believe a righteous man would forgive his prostitute wife for repeated acts of adultery? Seriously. But the Bible says Hosea did it, so making the Truth BELIEVABLE is the biggest challenge I’ve found. Our God is too big for believable! So making the main characters believable is most important, which means they must be flawed—like you and me. Their lives are messy. Sometimes it’s tough to see a biblical character we’ve idolized suddenly fictionalized to express his doubts, his fears, his sins. For other readers, it’s quite liberating to think even the heroes of faith struggled as we do. At the end of the day, I keep reminding folks…MY BOOKS ARE FICTION! And my goal in writing them is to always stir hearts to a passion for God’s Word.

I can definitely see how making it believable could be a huge challenge. Now, I’ve got to wonder…what has inspired you to choose more obscure Biblical characters like Hosea and Gomer?
I NEED to understand God’s Word. It’s a compulsion, really. When I was a kid, my parents and grandparents argued about doctrine, and I thought I’d never come to any real conclusions about my faith. I was wrong. After a few years of serious and systematic study of the Bible as a single story, I certainly don’t know all the ins-and-outs, but I know enough of the history to know my future. And I feel secure in the God Who reveals the Truth to anyone who seeks Him with their whole heart. My first real quest began with the Song of Solomon and ended with the book, Love’s Sacred Song. I wanted to know about the woman who inspired that kind of love in King Solomon—a man with 700 wives and 300 porcupines (I know, concubines—but I’d be a porcupine if I had to be a concubine!). Then I wanted to know Job’s wife’s name, and I wanted to find out from historical documents if she got a bad rap or she was really that surly.

That became my debut novel, Love Amid the Ashes. For the third book, I was intrigued by a prophet who would marry a prostitute of so little renown. Her abba Diblaim was mentioned nowhere else in Scripture, and Gomer seems plucked from the rotten apple tree. Where did she come from? Had they known each other before? Was there anything in Jewish legend that might help shed light on who she was? These are some of the questions that helped fuel my curiosity for Love in a Broken Vessel.

Love it! What is the biggest thing you’d like a reader to take away from Love in a Broken Vessel?

I want someone to turn the last page and know beyond a doubt—“I am not too broken for God to fill with His love.” I think sometimes we hurry to serve, to pour out the love God pours in, but those months I spent on a sickbed taught me that sometimes God simply wants to love us. He doesn’t care what we DO for Him. He wants us to sit still and be filled. Let Him pour Himself in—fill in the broken places, soak up His healing presence. Yes, at some point, He’ll find a perfect use for us “cracked pots” as Patsy Clairmont calls us. But for a little while, let the Lord minister to those broken places. Feel His overwhelming love.

I think that came across very clearly. Do you have another book in the works yet?
I do! The Shadow of Jezebel is scheduled to release March 2014 (Revell):

Princess Jehosheba (Sheba) wants nothing more than to please her Baal-worshiping abba, Judah’s King, and his first wife Queen Atalyah, the daughter of notorious Queen Jezebel. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the king’s household, Sheba realizes her dark skills as Baal’s priestess reach beyond the world of earthly governments. When both light and darkness align, forcing her to marry Yahweh’s high priest, Sheba enters the unknown world of Yahweh’s Temple. Her husband shows her Yahweh’s truth and a love beyond hope, but can Sheba overcome Jezebel’s lingering torment? Can Yahweh use a fallen priestess to shine the unquenchable light of His love to faithless Judah? The Shadow of Jezebel—Meet the woman who saved a king, delivered a nation, and preserved the Light of the World.

Wow, sounds awesome! It’s going to be hard to wait until MARCH! Finally, what’s a random fact about you that most people don’t know?

I eat a whole wheat bagel with butter and honey on it almost every morning. Our grocery store bakery makes THE BEST bagels in the world, and it’s a treat I look forward to every morning! (That and my coffee with French vanilla creamer, of course.)

French vanilla creamer – one of the best! Thanks so much for coming, Mesu.

Back to me... Readers, I encourage you to check out her website:

Now for the giveaway! Want to read Love in a Broken Vessel? Of course you do …and if you haven’t decided yet, check out this trailer:

Yup, it’s a good book. Read my review here. Enter in the Rafflecopter below! Only United States and Canada addresses, please. Best of luck to each of you!

**NOTE: I'm sorry that it just says "An Awesome Prize" for what you're entering for...I forgot to change that to this book. And I don't want to change the widget now that it has entries! Forgive me, and rest assured -- you ARE entering the right giveaway.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kiri Liz said...

I haven't gotten into Biblical fiction yet, mostly because I'm still working my way through the old English classics. This one looks interesting, though!

beckie said...

I love to read biblical fiction. Mostly because it usually tells waaaay more about the woman's point of view than one would usually read.

Amy C said...

I have not read either one. But do have both in my HUGE to be read pile.

Riley said...

Hello, this is my first visit to your blog(:
I haven't read anything by Mesu Andrews, but this story looks really interesting. I am a huge fan of historical and Biblical fiction. I would love to read this book!

Cathy said...

I haven't read anything by Mesu Andrews but just added her books to my TBR pile. They all look really good!
Thanks for the giveaway!

Mesu Andrews said...

Hey y'all!
It's so fun to "meet" readers through blogs like this--and OH MY! What a fun blog this is!!!

I hope you enjoy Love in a Broken Vessel, and if you're interested in Job's story or the Song of Solomon, you can check out my other books too.

I think Beckie's comment is true. Today's biblical fiction is often written from the woman's point of view and gives us a whole new perspective on the stories we thought we knew. Researching God's Word is a passion for me, so diving into the culture brings out so much meaning. I hope you'll keep in touch!

Sandy Rousseau said...

Love, love , love your books Mesu!

Bookishqueen said...

I read both the other Love novels. I really liked them.

Kimberly Snell said...

Sounds like a good book to read! Wonder if my library has it? Something to keep in mind in case I don't win :D

Anonymous said...

I have not read anything by Mesu yet, but I have Love Amid the Ashes on my Kindle and my friend has all her books who said I could borrow then anytime! Definitely looking forward to about Jezebel!

Carissa said...

So far I have only read one author who writes Biblical fiction. Can't wait to read another this book sounds like it would be a great book.

karenk said...

i have both of mesu's novels...thanks for the chance to read her latest one.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Mesu Andrews said...

Hey, gals! Fun to see some familiar names here as well as some new friends! Thanks for stopping by!

I love to see new biblical fiction readers. It's a genre that's picking up steam after being somewhat dormant for years. There are some really fantastic new writers in this genre...Tessa Afshar, Jill Smith, T.L. Higley and others.

And definitely check out your libraries. I know I've just done a marketing blitz to all libraries in IN, OH, and AZ, but libraries will often order books if they have several readers request titles!

Blessings, gals!

Patty said...

I've not read any of Mesu's books, and it's been a long time since I've ready any biblical fiction. Would love to win this book, anf that next book 'The Shadow of Jezebel' sounds great!

KayM said...

I haven't read anything by Mesu Andrews, but I do really like Biblical fiction. One series I recommend is Legacies of the Ancient River by Angela Hunt. They are about Joseph.
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

eliza elliott said...

I also haven't read biblical fiction...I haven't read any of her books and was delighted to find yet another author to look up.

truckredford at gmail dot (com)

squiresj said...

Second attempt to win your book. Maybe I'll get lucky on one of them.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

squiresj said...

Second attempt to win your book. Maybe I'll get lucky on one of them.
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Mesu Andrews said...

How fun to find new friends! I hope you find a way to get a free book! If you don't win one here, keep an eye on my Facebook Page. I'll be announcing other giveaways there!

Anonymous said...

I've never read any books by Mesu Andrews. Song of Deborah by Bette M. Ross is a good book. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Anonymous said...

No, I have not read anything by this author, Mesu Andrews, but I would love to eliminate that by winning this book. Thanks for this interview.
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Charity U said...

Yay for all these entries, and good luck to one and all! I know, that totally contradicts itself, but none the less.

And MESU, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate that, and I know the readers do too. Way to make us all your friends! :)

Mesu Andrews said...

Thanks for stopping by, Rose and Maxie! I haven't read The Song of Deborah that Rose mentioned, but I do love to read biblical fiction myself, so I may try to find that one! Thanks for mentioning it.

Morgan G. said...

those sound like really cool books!!

Hannah America said...

I don't believe I've read any Biblical fiction before.

Raechel said...

I love Biblical fiction - well, most at least. I highly recommend "Pearl in the Sand" and "Harvest of Rubies" by Tessa Afshar.

I have not read any of Mesu Andrews. I started one of her book a while back ("Love Amid the Ashes") but wasn't able to finish it before it had to go back to the library. It is still on my "to-read" list though!

Mesu Andrews said...

Hey, gals! Raechel...I LOVE Tessa's books!!! And Hannah...word of caution. All biblical fiction is not created equal. Some of it tells a story in biblical TIME but not necessarily about biblical people--which isn't bad! It's all fascinating to me, but it's important to know what you're looking for. Morgan, I hope you'll check into the story! Thanks y'all for stopping by!

Becky said...

Mesu this would be my first book - but I'm really looking forward to reading your books. I do love Biblical novels - they tend to give us a clearer view of what really happened - though in your own words. Would love to try and win this one.

Mesu Andrews said...

Hi Becky! I'm so thankful you're willing to try a new author! Please keep in touch, and let me know what you think!

Mary Beth said...

I haven't read any of Mesu's books yet, nor have I really read any Biblical fiction, as far as I can remember. I need to fix that! :)

debbie curto said...

I haven't read any of her books but love Jill Eileen Smith

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any of her books but can't wait to start!

Cindi A said...

Mesu is a new to me author. From reading the interview, I think I would enjoy her books.

Please enter me to win a copy of Love in a Broken Vessel.

Mesu Andrews said...

Hi Mary Beth, Debbie, Lisa, and Cindi! I'm so glad you're willing to try a new author! If you do read Love in a Broken Vessel, please visit me on Facebook and let me know what you thought. Thanks so much for stopping by!