Author Interview · Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to Isaiah’s Legacy Blog Hop — STOP #16

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1 Week ~ 24 Blogs ~ 3 Incredible Prizes!

Learn a little about Isaiah’s Legacy and enter multiple giveaways while picking up CLUES at each stop. Compile all the clues, submit the final PHRASE at the last stop, and you’ll be entered to win one of 3 Grand Prizes

What are the prizes? They’re completely unique to the winners!

Mesu will contact each winner personally to chat about what they would most like to see in Israel, and then she’ll SHOP for just the right gift while touring Israel, March 6-19! She’ll then purchase a personal and memorable gift specifically chosen for each of those three winners and ship them to each one when she returns. How fun is that?!

How does the Scavenger Hunt & Blog Tour Work?

  • Begin at Stop #1. At the end, you’ll find a CLUE and a link to the next stop. Progress to each stop IN ORDER.
  • Collect all the clues—in order—and submit the full phrase at the last blog stop in the Rafflecopter form. Every stop has a clue, so be sure not to skip any along the way!
  • You may enter the final giveaway only once and win only one grand prize. 
  • The Hunt begins 2/19/20 at noon EDT. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, 02/25 at midnight Eastern.
  • For best results, hunt through our list using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).

There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have a whole week! As you visit each blog, it’s our hope that you get to know Mesu’s BFF team and discover the heart behind Isaiah’s Legacy.


Greetings!

75640634_10156797956076824_3453505781633122304_oMy name is Nicole Santana. Isaiah’s Legacy is the second book I’ve helped promote on Mesu’s BFF team. I love Mesu’s depth of research and the way she brings Biblical figures to life. To learn more about me and the books I review, click HERE.

Want to dig deeper into God’s Word about the king in Isaiah’s Legacy? CLICK HERE to check out the FREE downloadable Bible study on Mesu’s website.

When Mesu asked what topics team members wanted to share on our blogs, I chose a Q+A because after reading Isaiah’s Legacy I had some serious questions I needed answered. LOL!

Q+A — Gifts, Plans, & Dreams

When did you know that writing was your gift?

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Mesu & Shannon

I knew writing was my gift after writing my fifth book, The Pharaoh’s Daughter. I even remember the exact moment the realization dawned. I was sitting across the table from my editor (Shannon Marchese, pictured), and she started talking about a bunch of technical, writing gobble-dee-gook. Protagonist, antagonist, pacing, tension, etc. I stopped her and said she needed to speak in laymen’s terms because I had no idea what she was talking about! 

I just write the stories from my heart. I’m reminded how much I still have to learn about the craft of writing at every writer’s conference I attend. Feelings of inadequacy still whisper in those dark moments of doubt. I’m still amazed anytime I’m nominated for an award. It all feels very surreal. So, when I say writing is my gift, I really mean that. Without the Lord’s intervention each time I sit down at my keyboard, I couldn’t even write a Facebook post!

What inspired you to write Isaiah’s Legacy?

For years I’ve loved the name Hephzibah because it means the Lord’s delight. She was mentioned as Manasseh’s mother, which made her King Hezekiah’s wife (2 Kings 21:1). Bearing those two roles meant she was married to Judah’s most righteous king and was mother of Judah’s most wicked ruler. Talk about torn!

At the time of my research, my daughters were in the midst of their difficult college years. It was as difficult for me to accept my girls being adults as it was for them to transition from college to the adult world. I tried to imagine how hard it would have been for Hephzibah (Zibah) to adjust to her twelve-year-old son becoming king—having authority over her. Yikes!

Not only did he have all authority, but he used it to lead their nation into pagan worship, destroying everything Zibah and her husband had built. Yet somehow she remained God’s delight. Whoa. I wasn’t very delightful when dealing with my young adult girls. I wanted to delve more into Zibah’s maternal heart, to write her story. Isaiah’s Daughter and Isaiah’s Legacy were born.

Isaiah’s Legacy has some seriously dark stuff in it, how did you stay in a positive mindset?

Most writers need to “go deep” to write new content. We can edit with little interruptions here and there, but in order to write the first draft, we need uninterrupted, large chunks of time to immerse ourselves in the characters and their stories. 

That’s great if it’s a happy little romantic comedy, but for most of us, it’s an emotional roller coaster. Isaiah’s Legacy was even more challenging because Manasseh’s journey into sin was so evil. I oftentimes spend 12-14 hours a day in front of my laptop when creating the first draft. It’s intense. But I couldn’t do that with Manasseh’s story. Not with the research or while writing. I had to break it up with light-hearted activities to purposely draw my mind back to God-honoring things.

It was actually a very revealing process. When I reached the places I needed a break, I realized those were the spots my readers would also need a break. Even knowing Manasseh finds redemption in the end isn’t enough to keep someone reading unless we have heavy doses of HOPE sprinkled in along the way! It was necessary for me—and my readers—to keep writing and reading in order to reach the absolutely awe-inspiring grace we see in Manasseh’s salvation.

It was worth every dark word to write those scenes of redemption! I wrote the last two chapters sobbing and praising the Lord. I’ve never experienced anything like it! All praise to the one, true God!

We women wear a lot of hats. How do you successfully juggle all of your hats?

Wow—did you have to say “successfully?” LOL! I juggle them, but sometimes I’m not sure how successfully. I’ve confessed to several people that 2018 was a tough year. Three rough drafts, two book releases, twin grandbabies, and a career change for my hubby—never been closer to a rubber room in my life.

In 2019, we rebuilt our marriage and have vowed to stay off the gerbil wheel. I adore my readers and love sharing God’s Word through my books, but my family is more important. In 2020, we’re adding things back to our schedules carefully, talking through each commitment and making sure it fits the overall plan of our priorities.

Better communication with my husband and others in my household has been crucial. Sabbath rest is a MUST—absolutely no work on Sundays now that we’re no longer in vocational ministry (including no social media or email). I try to be at my computer by 9am, check SM and email only twice a day, and stop working by 6pm. It doesn’t always work, but it’s at least my goal.

When I begin writing the next book project (when we return from Israel), I’ll do some crazy writing weeks, but they’ll be the exception instead of the norm.

What’s one Biblical story you haven’t tackled yet that you’d like to one day write about?

I’ve always said I plan to write only one New Testament story—ever. It will be my last book for two reasons: 

  1. It will be the most emotional journey I’ll ever tackle.
  2. I won’t want to look at any rankings, reviews, or reader feedback on it.

I want to write about Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and her relationship with Him after He begins His ministry. The ups and downs. The fears and (yes) disappointments. The joys and unspeakable sorrow. The awe and absolute worship from one who knew Him like no one else. 

To do it well will take at least a year of research (perhaps more), and I’m not finished with Old Testament characters that fascinate me yet. Mary will come someday. Not yet. And, frankly, no publisher will touch it. I’ll likely publish it myself. Someday. Thanks for asking.

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to write down your CLUE before clicking to the next stop.


Here’s Stop #16 Stuff!

The clue to write down: me

Welcome to STOP #17

Bookmark STOP #1 so you can check the tour schedule and get back on track if at any point you get lost or find a broken link.

Enjoy the hunt!

3 thoughts on “Welcome to Isaiah’s Legacy Blog Hop — STOP #16

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