September 28, 2011

Book Previews - An Ocean Away & Blood Covenant

 Here are two new books that released earlier this year by author Lisa Harris. Enjoy!

 AN OCEAN AWAY: Historical romance with thread of suspense from Summerside Press, March 2011.

Dateline: 1921—Northern Rhodesia and New York, New York. Lizzie MacTavis is determined to remain with the people with whom God called her to work along the banks of the rugged Zambezi River in southern Africa.

Andrew Styles, an anthropologist and explorer, has been commissioned to bring Lizzie back to New York City at any cost. With a fortune at stake, Lizzie is caught between two worlds when she is finally forced to return to the United States and discovers her life is in danger. Will Andrew turn out to be Lizzie’s nemesis or hero?

BLOOD COVENANT: Book two in the Mission Hope series from Zondervan Publishing, Feb 2011.

Paige Ryan and Nick Gilbert are trapped in an overpopulated African refugee camp where an outbreak of measles erupts and renegade soldiers block their only way out. Desperate for vaccines, they must put their own lives in the hands of God as they fight for the safety of the refugees under their protection.

A few words from Lisa:

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?

There are numerous examples in the Bible of men and women who God called to serve Him in an extraordinary way through His power. Gideon was victorious with only three hundred men, a handful of trumpets, jars, and torches. Esther saved her people from the threat of death, David was a shepherd boy who became king of a nation, and I could go on and on.

God calls us in the middle of our ordinary, run-of-the-mill, take-out-the-trash- and drive-the-kids-to-school routine. So stop and ask yourself this one question. How do you see God calling you to make a difference in your world? He’s the one who will give you the strength to do extraordinary things for Him.
  
As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?    

As I started doing the research for Blood Covenant, for example, I found myself afraid that my readers would find the plot unbelievable. Surely the story of a humanitarian crisis dealing with so many issues—from cholera to measles to rebels—could only be fabricated and would never happen in today’s world. Yet as I read story after story of individual refugees I found myself weeping with them over what they experienced. And I realized that, if anything, I had sanitized my story to make it more believable, because the facts tell another story.

According to the international aid organization Doctors Without Borders, there are forty-two million people in the world who have been displaced by war and violence. 

Read that again: forty-two million. 

So while the story behind Blood Covenant, including the setting, is fictional, the issue of those being forced to leave their homes with nothing more than the clothes on their back, often after witnessing murder, rape, violence and kidnappings, is very real. But in spite of this horror, I didn’t want to stop the story there. Drawing from my own experiences across Africa over the past twenty years I wanted to tell a story that went beyond the adversities and gave a message of hope.

This research has made me want to listen closer to God and how He wants me to reach out to those hurting around me. We’re not all called to live overseas as missionaries, but we all can see those living near us who need God’s grace, forgiveness, and love. It might be a hurting neighbor down the street, a lonely teen in your youth group, or a tired young mother in your apartment building. God can and does use ordinary people like you and me to do extraordinary things. 

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Award-winning author Lisa Harris has been writing both fiction and nonfiction since 2000 and has more than fifteen novels and novellas in print. She currently lives with her family in Mozambique, Africa, where they work as missionaries. Visit her website or Heart of Africa blog
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