Saturday, August 31, 2013

Winner Announcement for Laura Frantz’s “Love’s Awakening”


Every writer will be encouraged to read what this grateful winner has to say about how the Lord used fiction in her life.
The time has come to announce the winner of Laura Frantz’s, “Love’s Awakening,” which will release in September with Revell Publishing. Congratulations to Cheryl Veenstra! You are the winner of this novel, which is the second in the Ballantyne Legacy series. Everyone who read "Love's Reckoning," has waited anxiously for the second book’s release. Warning! Book stores had better beware! September is almost upon us and I’m sure there will be a stampede of eager readers to purchase this novel. Hopefully, they have ordered more copies of this much awaited novel.
I asked Cheryl if she wanted to share something about herself or about winning Laura’s novel and she kindly responded. She asked me to select what I wanted from her e-mail…but I didn’t want you to miss any of her thoughtful words...



Thanks so much for writing and for the opportunity to win Laura Frantz’s book!  What a fun surprise gift and a real encouragement to me!  I so enjoyed reading your interview with Laura!  I always recommend her books to my friends...I love the way she weaves in fascinating history with a great love story that points us to the Lord!
I’ve always loved to read but didn’t have much extra time while raising three kids the last 23 years.  My youngest daughter was born with spina bifida 15 years ago and her health issues/disabilities have kept me busy (but blessed)!  I found myself learning those toughest of lessons.....when life throws you a ‘curve ball’ and you find yourself on a road you never expected to travel.   God is good....all the time.   But three years ago, I found myself in a totally unexpected crisis of faith when my other daughter (my ‘healthy’ one) suddenly had serious health issues and missed her last two years of high school because she was so ill.   I hit a wall spiritually and God felt so very far away and silent (for the first time in my life).   We were in the hospital for more days than I could count and I just felt so numb.  I picked up a few Christian fiction novels at our local bookstore, just to help pass the time.  (I’ll admit, I felt kinda guilty at first.  I should be reading the Bible...or devotionals...but to be honest, I just wanted to ‘escape’ real life for a bit.  Become engulfed in another time and place...another person’s story and challenge....maybe to feel like I wasn’t alone in my struggle to survive this crazy life).  
During those tough three years, it was humbling to realize that God often used the verses, lessons and stories in Christian fiction to touch my heart and draw me closer to Him, even in the midst of life’s trials when my faith was faltering due to life’s stresses.   More times than I’d like to admit, I would burst into tears as an author, put into words, exactly what was in my heart!  In that moment, I no longer felt alone in my struggles.  I felt.... seen and heard and understood.  God has given me many hugs through Christian fiction books.  I finally started to hear His voice again.   It may sound strange, but it’s true! 

Hahaha...that was probably a LOT more than you wanted to hear from me.  But thanks for listening!   I’m still processing the last many years and figuring out what God is teaching me.  Feel free to pick out what you may (or may not want to) use.
AND...Thank you for your wise words and thoughtful observations in your blog...especially about God using us, even when we are imperfect and weak!  I look forward to reading it in the future too!  The following verse touched me tonight while reading through some of your past entries ....”And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessings and favor] Who has called you to His {own} eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely and strengthen, and settle you.”  1 Peter 5:10 Amplified Bible

I attached a picture of my family.  I’m so thankful that God has restored the health of my oldest daughter.   Two of my kids are grown and out of the house now...thankfully, we still have one at home....I’m sure not ready for an ‘empty’ nest yet!!
God Bless and THANK YOU again!!  I look forward to following your blog...



  1. Inspiring post, inspiring woman of God.

    1. Hi Deb! I'm so used to spelling out your name! Thank you for sharing my blog post info with your friend. I love it pulls people together in a way that wouldn't have happened otherwise! Yes I think of how faithful and inspiring Cheryl is and Laura too! Wow!! I feel so blessed to have been getting to know them through this author interview/book give away! I'm just toe dancing happy.

  2. Oh, I so second Deb's comments - Cheryl has a beautiful testimony AND a beautiful family! Love the photo as it makes things so personal. Bless you, too, Sue for bringing us together this way and letting His light shine a little brighter :). I pray Love's Awakening brings a special blessing.

    In Him,

    1. Hi Laura! Sorry your having trouble with your browser but thank you for signing in anyway as Anonymous!! What a blessing you have been throughout this book offer time! Thank you sooooo much! Cheryl you have my deepest respect and appreciation. I will look forward to your visits to my blog! So glad you have been blessed. I look forward to hearing what God is doing for you in the future!! :)

  3. What a gracious e-mail and a lovely, heart-warming story. She sounds like a perfect person to win!

  4. I'm so happy for this special lady. I know she'll enjoy this book! Sweet hugs!

  5. Thank you Lavender Dreamer!! I so very heartily agree! :)