Welcome my dear friend Angela Ruth Strong to the blog today!
She's here to share her thoughts on the story behind her "Finding Love" series of books.
This is a special day for Angela because it's the official release date of her latest book in the series, "Finding Love in Eureka, California"! So please wish her a "Happy BOOK birthday" in the comment section after you read her guest post.
God bless you!
~*~Four Weddings and a Symbol
A guest post by Angela Ruth Strong
When I first started writing Finding Love in Sun Valley, I didn’t want to preach a sermon on getting saved. I wanted to create characters who were already Christians and who learned to make better decisions for their lives by reading the Bible. With this goal in mind, I basically integrated a Bible study on water into the novel.
Unexpectedly, the book became the first in a series, and with every sequel, I picked another part of nature to study. It took me deeper into the Word so that the sermon was preached to me. In case you haven’t read my books yet, I’ll sum the messages up for you.
Finding Love in Sun Valley—Water. God hovered over the water on the very first day of creation. As water is essential for life, it plays a big part in Bible stories from floods to fishing to healing to baptism. Ultimately, my characters learn to trust God for living water. And they are drawn together by God’s call to “come to the water.”
Finding Love in Big Sky—Stars. Being a Christmas story, the star was an easy choice. The setting is even at Bright Star Ranch, and the movie producer who is developing this book for film, has retitled it Bright Star Christmas. In this one, I shared the idea that God leads us all the same way he led the Wise Men to baby Jesus. The symbolism here is about how precious we are to Him. Like stars in the sky that God calls all by name.
Finding Love in Park City—Mountains. Park City hosted part of the 2002 Olympics above Salt Lake City because of its majestic mountains, so it’s the perfect setting for my characters to overcome the figurative mountains in their lives. It’s also the perfect place for God to “meet” them as He does on so many occasions in the Bible. It’s through CJ’s love of her son that she sees how much God must really love us to sacrifice His own son on a mountain.
Finding Love in Eureka—Trees. Oh man. This one rocked me. I read every verse in the Bible on trees and made a connection I’d never made before. In the beginning, we are cursed and lose access to the Tree of Life. In the end, we are given the Tree of Life once again. All because in the middle, Jesus died on a tree and took our curse upon himself. This connection is especially powerful for my heroine who stops reading the Bible when she gets to the part about children being cursed for the sins of their fathers up to four generations. She doesn’t think this is fair to either her or the adopted siblings in her family tree, but eventually, she seeks understanding. Being set in the Redwood Forest made this lesson of redemption even more real for her.
Though I consider Eureka to be my “least Christian” novel, it has the strongest message for Christ. It humbled me and made me fall in love with my savior all over again. And that’s really why I write Christian romance. To show that a romance can’t be a love story if God is not involved because God is love.
So though I started out not wanting to preach on salvation, every wedding I ever write about will be a symbol of how God is the bridegroom and we are the bride. My characters may live happily-ever-after, but only because we get to live happily FOREVER after. And that’s worth writing about.
Angela lives in Idaho with her hubby and teenagers.
She also works at an airline and teaches yoga because she'd rather get paid for her hobbies than actually work.
That doesn't mean writing is easy, but her readers are worth it. She's got a lot more fun stuff headed your way, so check it out at www.angelaruthstrong.com.
Blurb for Finding Love in Eureka, California: Raised in a family of six adopted siblings, Genevieve Wilson fights to keep her dysfunctional brothers and sisters together, but everyone still seems to leave.
If she’s not good enough to prevent her birth parents or siblings from abandoning her, then there’s no way she would ever be enough to have a lasting relationship with the successful pilot from work…which is exactly what makes him a safe subject for her daydreams.
Matt Lake is dating the perfect woman and working a great job. Life is easy until he starts to enjoy hanging out with the airline employees more than with his girlfriend—one redhead in particular. He tells himself he’s only intrigued by Gen’s quirkiness, but nobody else makes him smile the way she does.
Can Matt give up the flawless life he’d planned in exchange for the messiness of love? And if so, will Gen risk her heart on reality when it’s never paid off in the past?
Buy Angela's book on Amazon