Breath of Heaven (2017) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

Breath-of-heaven-FB-Banner-copy

About the Book

Breath-of-Heaven coverTitle: Breath of Heaven

Author: Alana Terry

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Release Date: December 9, 2017

She hasn’t fallen out of love with her husband. She just can’t stand his church.

Nobody told Katrina being a pastor’s wife would be easy. But she never imagined that the stress she and her husband would face from his new job could so easily destroy their marriage.

In spite of her mother’s disapproval, Katrina marries a pastor whose job immediately plucks her away from her music, her symphony, and the city life she loves and plants her in the small town of Orchard Grove, Washington.

If she knew going into her new life that she’d be sacrificing her music career for a congregation full of gossips and backbiters and that the pressure of her husband’s new job would turn him into someone she hardly recognizes anymore, she might have reconsidered marrying him in the first place.

Unfortunately, it’s too late to do anything about that now.

Or is it?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

alana terryAlana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

Guest Post from Alana Terry

I used to think being a pastor’s wife would be glamorous. Now I know better!

Although I’ve loved the different churches where my husband has been called to serve, being a couple in full-time ministry can definitely take its toll on a marriage.

Breath of Heaven is a novel in my Orchard Grove Christian women’s fiction series, which deals with real-life couples facing real-life issues. In Breath of Heaven, two newlyweds are thrown into the world of church politics, and the honeymoon period is quickly over.

I wrote this novel to give an inside peek at what it’s like if you’ve never been a pastor’s wife as well as to offer some hope and encouragement to women who know the stress of being married to someone in full-time ministry.

My Thoughts

Ephesians 5:1-2 states, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” These two verses illustrate one of the main themes I believe Alana Terry wants her readers to glean from this very well-written novel. The main character of Breath of Heaven is Katrina. Katrina is a very young, newly married woman. Her husband, Greg, is the pastor of a little church in Orchard Grove, Washington. I’m going to be honest, I struggled hard with the congregation at Orchard Grove Bible Church. They are selfish, self-focused, underhanded with their comments, and SO gossipy. They frustrated me at almost every turn. I’m an introvert through and through, so the idea of people being up in other peoples’ private business is abhorrent to me. I was right there with Katrina every time she complained (in her head) about the congregants and their very annoying ways. About 3/4 into the book, however, I started to dislike the thoughts I was having about these busybody characters. My thoughts were not imitating Christ, and I didn’t like it. Instead, I began to consider how Jesus would have treated those people. I know for a fact that He would have shown them love because it says so right in Ephesians 5:1-2. He would not have been judgmental. He would not have had rude thoughts about them. And, He would not have wanted to make excuses to get away from them. Jesus would have just shown them His love, His kindness, His mercy, and His grace. Ephesians 5:1 tells me to imitate God, not tear people down, which means I need to show people love, kindness, mercy, and grace — even people who seem undeserving.

Reading this novel convicted me of my tendency to judge. I judge people and it’s a really nasty habit. Like Katrina, I realize that I am no better than anyone else. I sin, too. There is a moment in the novel where Katrina states, “The problem with sins was they were like dirty dishes. No matter how many you confessed, there were still more to be forgiven for the next day.” The real problem is that we go about our day doing things we do not realize are sins. I get frustrated when I am driving because someone cuts me off and I have to slam on my brakes hoping I don’t hit the guy. I judge the person to be a jerk. BAM! I just sinned. I feel justified to call the driver who cut me off a jerk, but that is my sin of judgement smacking me right in the face. Katrina is totally correct — confessing our sins to Jesus often feels like an endless list that never goes away no matter how hard we try. Thank goodness Jesus “gave Himself up for us” so we have a way to a cleaner heart and a clear path to God.

I felt Alana Terry did an excellent job of illustrating how naive we can be when we first get married. When we are six we see marriage through rose-colored glasses and stick to this rosy picture as we get older even though evidence points otherwise. Then we are shocked when our rose-colored glasses are removed. We’re blown away by how hard marriage is — at least I was. What Katrina goes through during the first few months of her new marriage was a struggle to read because it reminded me of my first two years of marriage. They were exceptionally tough years, and my husband and I had a few really dark days — days we weren’t sure we were going to make it through. I absolutely loved when Katrina realizes that her husband is not responsible for “completing her.” It took me two solid years to learn this lesson. The only One who completes me is God, likewise for Katrina in this story. Once I learned this lesson, my marriage became a gift from God rather than the burden I had allowed it to become.

Alana Terry is a fabulous storyteller. Her writing is stellar, her characters — especially Katrina — are so well written and realistic, and her story line is captivating. I really could not put this book down. This was the first book that I’ve read by Alana Terry, but it definitely won’t be my last. I am so glad I got the opportunity to read Breath of Heaven. It was a blessing to me for several reasons, but mostly because this book held a mirror up and I realized I have a lot of work I need to undertake — with God’s help, of course. If you are looking for a great novel to escape into, I highly recommend Breath of Heaven.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


GIVEAWAY

breath of heaven giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a grand prize of books 1-3 in the Orchard Grove Christian women’s series (paperback or ebook)!!

Click below to enter.

Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

https://promosimple.com/ps/d06f/breath-of-heaven-celebration-tour-giveaway


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21 thoughts on “Breath of Heaven (2017) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

  1. Kay Garrett says:

    Thank you for your wonderful review on “Breath of Heaven” by Alana Terry and for being part of the book tour.

    I have this book on my TBR list and would love the opportunity to read it sooner than later.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula Shreckhise says:

    I really need to read this. I have been a pastor’s wife for many years, through many struggles. Hubby didn’t become a pastor until 10 years after we married( Navy, a civilian job and Bible School came first) it is hard at any age. But we made it to our 49th Anniversary and after being retired, he’s at it again! Our pastor is deployed by the Army for a year. It is half over! And he shares duties with two other retired pastors and the elders.
    I empathize with pastor’s wives. It is not easy!
    Thanks Nicole, I will look forward to reading this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bellesmoma16 says:

      Paula, I thought a lot about you when I was reading this book. Not because I think your marriage is anything like the one in the story, but because of the church congregants and how the pastor and his wife deal with them. I definitely want to hear your thoughts on this book after you read it for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

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