A Conversation with Deborah Dee Harper

Deborah Dee Harper is a Christian author of humorous and inspirational books for both children and adults. Her latest release is Faux Pas, A Road’s End Mishap.  The title kind of gives away the lighthearted intent, doesn’t it? I read the first book in the series, Misstep, and have to say, she mixes giggles in with mystery and suspense rather well. If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries and small town books, you’ll definitely like this one. But grab a blanket when you read it, because there’s lots of snow in the story.  And chickens and other … er … animals.

I invited Deborah to stop by and tell us a little about herself, her writing, and her latest release:

Deborah: Recently, my oldest daughter, Darice, and youngest grandchild (5-year-old Molly), and I moved from Tennessee to Alaska where my daughter has a job as a veterinary technician. I write fulltime and take care of Molly while her mom’s at work. We lived on an Air Force base up here in Anchorage five years ago and loved Alaska’s natural beauty so much we decided to return. I spend a lot of time, when I’m not writing or watching Molly, taking photographs. When my daughter isn’t working, we spend our time hiking trails, splashing in glacial streams, and chasing wildlife. Since we’ve been here these last two months, we’ve seen about two dozen black bears, several moose, a fox, eagles, Dall sheep, otters, porcupines, loons, ducks, and an Arctic hare—all in the wild. We also hiked to a glacier. It’s an invigorating way of life and one I’m glad we’ve been able to expose Molly to while she’s still young. I, on the other hand, am getting older by the minute, and I’m happy to be able to do these exciting things while I still can!

Of course, we miss our family members in the “lower 48” and plan to visit often. Even better, we hope they’ll come here to help us explore the Last Frontier.

You write humor in the main Christian genre. What other genre tags would you add to your stories?

Deborah: I’d add mystery (maybe cozy mystery) since my books in the Road’s End series all have a mystery in them midst the humorous events of the story.

I have another book (the first in a new series, I hope) that will explore the very real war Christians are fighting with the dark forces of sin and Satan’s fight against us. It’s darker than the Road’s End series—much darker—but then there’s nothing funny about sin or the forces aligned against us. With this series, I guess I’d tag it as a spiritual thriller.

If you could embark on something brand new that would change your life, what would it be?

Deborah: I think I’d either become a professional photographer or study the Bible thoroughly. I mean thoroughly. One of my favorite parts of my books is when my protagonist, Pastor Hugh Foster (former Air Force chaplain), gives a sermon. I love writing sermons! I sometimes dream of being able to spend my days in His Word and forgetting the mundane parts of living, but soon realize that the dishes and laundry have to be clean regardless of how much I’d rather think about God!

Why humor? What do you hope to accomplish/achieve with your novels?

Deborah: I believe God gave us a sense of humor to not only entertain one another and ourselves, but to also help us get along. Nothing bonds people of differing views as quickly as good-natured humor. I love to portray my characters as Christians with the typical character flaws—egotism, pride, gluttony, gossip, etc. Christians aren’t perfect, and I think being upfront with that knowledge helps to bring in the secular audience and convince them that we know we’re not perfect. We’re no better than they are, except we’ve accepted Christ into our hearts and had our sins forgiven by Him. In that regard we’re immeasurably more blessed, and I hope to bring others to Him through my humor and the knowledge that His love is unending and forgiving. I’m hoping that by using humor in my work I’ll be able to reach some readers who would not otherwise read a Christian book.


More about Deborah

Deborah Dee Harper currently resides Alaska with her oldest daughter and youngest grandchild. There she writes inspirational and humorous books for both children and adults and takes thousands of photographs. When she isn’t writing or taking photos, she stalks moose and other wildlife, survives earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, endures the long, dark, frigid winters, revels in the endless summer days, and is awestruck by the rippling northern lights of the Alaskan night skies. She also leaps mountains in a single bound and wrestles grizzly bears along hiking trails. (Not really. Just making sure you were paying attention.) Whenever she can, she loves being with her other daughter, son-in-law, and three grandsons in Kentucky, and her son, daughter-in-law, and two more grandsons in Michigan. (For real.)


The second book in my Road’s End series, Faux Pas, was published by Write Integrity Press on July 4th of this year. It continues the adventures of the zany residents of Road’s End, Virginia, that began in the first book, Misstep.

In Misstep, Hugh, Melanie, and their neighbors take on a group of drug pushers out to exact revenge on the beloved caretaker of the Road’s End Christ Is Lord Church. In Faux Pas, the President of the United States visits Road’s End for the wedding of Hugh and Melanie’s daughter Amanda to Jonathan Sterling, the only nephew of the president. Let the good times begin. The third book in the series is Misjudge, and in that one, the president decides to return to Road’s End for a peace summit. Needless to say, that little village isn’t the best place on earth to promote peace.

Join Colonel Hugh Foster, retired Air Force chaplain, and his wife, Melanie, as they take on the job of innkeepers at The Inn at Road’s End, and begin their retirement years with the cranky, set-in-their-ways senior citizens of the tiny, historic village. Never has being retired been as exhausting or as funny as it is for the Fosters.

Review excerpt (verified purchase/Amazon): “I truly wish there were a real Road’s End. I’d love to visit all the quirky characters there. Deborah Dee Harper has written another laugh out loud funny story about the antics of a (very) small community, most of whose residents rank up there in the senior citizen category … Read this book when you’re feeling down. You’ll be laughing in no time!”

CLICK TO PURCHASE THE BOOK


You can find Deborah Dee Harper in the following places:

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/Deborah-Dee-Harper-190053721052292/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/deborahdeetales

Website: https://www.deborahdeeharper.com/

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In the Waiting Room

“Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.” Isaiah 40:31

I hate waiting.

It seems like wasted time to me.  So, when I was reminded of the scripture above–it kind of felt like chastisement. Just a little bit.

This would be my conversation with that sweet spirit I should be listening to during those waiting times:

Sweet Spirit: “What are you thinking about?”

Me, tapping my foot: “Why is he so late? Doesn’t he realize my time is important too?”

Sweet Spirit: “Maybe there’s a problem. Maybe you should pray for him.”

Me: “Maybe.”

Maybe, God is using this waiting time to teach me something. Maybe it’s during the waiting times that we can mount up with wings like eagles and soar.

But how can I fly freely when I’m griping and complaining, and stewing over my precious time?

I turn my thoughts to prayer, and another passage of scripture comes to mind…

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas have been arrested and thrown in jail. They’re waiting. Waiting for morning, waiting to find out their fate. Are they whining and complaining? Crying and mad? Throwing a pity party?

None of the above.

Verse 25-26: “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.” NIV (bold & italics are mine)

They were praying and praising God.

VERY IMPORTANT POINT — “and the other prisoners were listening to them.”

Sometimes we’re throwing a big fit and others are watching…and listening. But if you react with grace, follow the whispers of the Sweet Spirit in your heart…you might not witness the drama Paul and Silas and the prisoners did, but you may make a very positive impression on those around you–the other folks in the “waiting room.”

When you’ve shown grace and patience in the face of difficulty, your coworkers may trust you with their troubles. Your children will learn to react in kind. Your situation may calm and change.

Paul and Silas had to have been weary from their very troubled day. But through prayer and praising God, they mounted up with wings as eagles. Paul’s presence of mind saved lives and paved the way for many to receive faith that night. This would not have happened, had he harbored angry thoughts and allowed himself to brood on their bad situation.

One more thing: Though the prison doors swung open, and the chains fell off, no one moved. No prisoners fled the scene. This saved not only the prisoners’ lives, but the lives of the guards.

And opened the door wide for those who saw the whole thing to enter into the Kingdom of God.

As a result, there was great rejoicing, instead of mourning and loss.

Are you weary from waiting? Reassure yourself through prayer and praise. Then try quieting your thoughts, to hear the voice of that Sweet Spirit.

Have you had a “waiting room” experience that resulted in renewed faith and energy?

Tweet: Do you hate waiting? Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.

Bonus verse: We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. Colossians 1: 11-12 MSG

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Prequel to a Love Story

Allow me to introduce you to Rebecca Lewis (of the Newport Lewises).

Known as a “robber-baron,”  Rebecca’s grandfather cashed in on the westward movement, buying up land and selling it to the railroads. He amassed a fortune. Then, according to his neighbors, he built an obscenely large mansion. Still, his fortune grew.

He had hoped to pass his vast holdings down to his son, but Rebecca’s grandfather died without a will. His wife lost no time filing suit. A long court battle lined the pockets of a couple of lawyers. The rest of the fortune was split between Rebecca’s father and his stepmother.

 

Rebecca was raised by servants, while her parents sailed back and forth across the Atlantic to party and gamble away what was left of their money. In Amelia’s Legacy, her life was already changing as a result of her parents’ wasteful lifestyle. She was left to close up the houses, and dismiss the servants.

In 1929, her father returned to the States to make one last attempt at recovering what he’d squandered. The stock market crashed, and took all hope along with it. He was devastated.

This is backstory–sort of prequel to Carlotta’s Legacy. Rebecca Lewis knows all about struggle. She’d been treated like a princess by her grandfather, and ignored by her parents. She doesn’t expect or understand love.

Riccardo “Ricci” Alvera was raised by parents who were devoted to one another. They were Italian aristocracy, living in the heart of Umbria, in a villa built by his mother’s great-grandfather. Tradition and faith guided all their decisions.

When his father died, Ricci returned home from the military to take over running the estate. There were financial difficulties, but with the help of a faithful servant, he was able to bring it back.

The estate was flourishing when he set out to woo and win the heart of an American woman he’d met while stationed in the Alps. She resisted at first, but he was determined. Though he knew his mother would never approve, he would not give up.


You’ll find Rebecca and Ricci’s story in Carlotta’s Legacy. July 11 ONLY it’s on sale for 99 cents on Kindle.

Carlotta’s Legacy is Book two of the Legacy series. You can download it here: getBook.at/Carlotta

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Tweet: Known as a robber-baron, Rebecca's grandfather cashed in on the westward movement. https://ctt.ec/0VX8E+ #Sale - #99c

Tweet: Known as a robber-baron, Rebecca’s grandfather cashed in on the westward movement. https://ctt.ec/0VX8E+ #Sale – #99c

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Up the Down Side

Happy Fourth of July!

Fireworks! Yay!

Fireworks. Yawn. Every night for a week before and after the fourth. Diminished sleep. Dogs freaking out. Are those mortar rounds? Really?

Have you ever noticed? There’s a down side to everything.

Yes, it’s summer. I love summer. Downside? Hot. Humid.

Upside? Take a look–

Homemade stuff. Yum!
Gorgeousness!

Downside…yeah, well, they have a purpose, too. As long as they stay on their side of the screen, I’m okay.

We’ve had a mild summer so far, but I know the heat and humidity are…

Just around the corner…

It’s not really that bad in Kentucky. Some days it’s more like a swamp (without the alligators). Air so thick, you can slice it with a knife. Monsoon-like rain, coming up from the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical storms. Hurricane remnants.

Upside? Oh, yes. →

 

 

 

I don’t know, looks like to me, the upside far outweighs the downside. Bright, sunshine-filled days. Birds singing. Squirrels frolicking in the yard.

Yeah, well, that could pretty much happen any time of year here in Kentucky.

Here’s just a few of my favorite summery things:

  • Summer festivals
  • picnics!
  • produce stands
  • swimming holes
  • long hikes through the woods
  • walking the ped-bridge over the Ohio River

I think maybe, just maybe, the way to go is not to look for a downside at all. Maybe just look up. Enjoy the view. Live like it’s summer all the time. OK, maybe that would be hard if you live in Minnesota or Wisconsin. But you can find an upside to every downside if you try.

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.–Psalm 5:3 NKJV

What’s your favorite thing about summer? What makes your heart sing on a brilliant sunny day?

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