Monday, February 11, 2008

Healing Stones by Nancy Rue and Steve Arterburn

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Healing Stones

(Thomas Nelson January 1, 2008)


Stephen Arterburn & Nancy Rue


With one flash of a camera, Demi's private life becomes public news. She doesn't know it yet, but her healing has just begun.

Christian college professor Demitria Costanas had vowed to end her affair with a colleague. But she gives into temptation one last time...and a lurking photographer captures her weakness for all to see. Quite literally, she's the woman caught in adultery. And almost everyone--herself included--has a stone to throw.

Enter Sullivan Crisp, a decidedly unorthodox psychologist with his own baggage. He's well-known for his quirky sense of humor and incorporation of "game show" theology into his counseling sessions. And yet there's something more he offers...hope for a fresh start.

Reluctantly the two of them begin an uplifting, uneven journey filled with healing and grace. By turns funny and touching, this story explores the ways humans hurt each other and deceive themselves. And it shows the endlessly creative means God uses to turn stones of accusation and shame into works of beauty that lead us onto the path of healing.

An auspicious debut for a candid yet tender series about pain, healing, and God's invitation for second chances.

My Review

There are some books that, after you have read them, you know without a doubt you will never, ever be the same again. Healing Stones is one such book. This book speaks to the very heart of what grace and mercy are all about. There is nothing hidden. The ugliness of sin is depicted in such raw wretchedness you want to turn away from it. The pain of remorse is so poignant and real that your own nerves are left feeling raw. The price of sin embraced and unrepented is shown in gory detail.

And yet…the gentle touch of God’s forgiveness and the loveliness of His still, small voice will whisper His promises to you as the characters discover what it means to forgive and be forgiven. When you read the final pages of this book, you will weep with joy over all that Christ has done for His children, for you will feel His touch in your very marrow. And you will never read the parable of the woman caught in adultery the same way…ever again.

A dramatic description of a book? Perhaps. But for me…for where this message finds me in my own walk of faith and in the midst of my own trials…this book will never be forgotten. For it is written in Christ’s precious blood upon the pages of my heart.

Meet the Authors

Stephen Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries—the nation’s largest faith-based broadcast, counseling and treatment ministry—and is the host of the nationally syndicated “New Life Live!” daily radio...

By 1996 Nancy was a full-time writer. The Christian Heritage Series made that possible. She was writing those books from the early 1990's until 2000.

And then a new opportunity came along--the Lily series. If she ever doubted that she was going to make it as a writer, man, that little red-head put those fears to rest! And, of course, Sophie followed Lily, with some teen and grown-up books in between -- plus the non-fiction books designed just for you.

Nancy and her husband live in Tennessee now, overlooking a beautiful lake, lots of sycamore trees, and the rocky Tennessee hills. They have a bright yellow power boat named BANANA SPLIT which you can find us on no matter what the weather. Marijean and her husband live nearby with my three grand-dogs and three grand-cats (and two grand-snakes . . .)

Steve Arterburn dropped by to chat about Healing Stones: Welcome Steve!

1. This is a new joint venture for you as a writing “team”. How did this get started? Will you write all of the novels together?

I have terminal ADD so I may be confused on this, but I wanted to write fiction. I wrote some and the plot and ideas were good but the art of fiction writing was not there. Nancy Rue and I had worked juvenile fiction when I was in charge of Women of Faith. I created a character named Lily that she developed. Not only did she develop the character, she developed the series into a multi-million best selling series. So naturally I thought she would be great as a partner in this series. And great partner is an understatement. It has been just amazing to write with her.

2. Was the concept behind the story intended as a modern-day telling of the parable of the woman caught in adultery from the beginning or was there another driving force behind the plot?

As we began to develop the story of this flawed woman who sought help from Sully, Nancy came up with Sully leading her to look at the parable and compare herself to the woman who experienced the grace of Christ in the midst of the harsh judgment of the stone holders.

3. Adultery has never been “easier” with the internet and easy access to pornography. Do you think this makes forgiveness easier or more difficult for married couples? In short do you think couples view the internet sites as adulterous and how do you feel the church is combating this in today’s marriages?

First of all, having been married to an unfaithful wife who actually had a site on while we were married, I can tell you an emotional affair on the internet or a physically adulterous affair in a bed is no easier to forgive today than at any other time. It is always close to impossible outside of the power of the Holy Spirit. Fortunately, the church is combating this head on. Every Man’s Battle and Every Woman’s Battle have sold millions in response to the problem.

4. Was all of that emotion as draining to write as it was to read? I think my heart hurt most of the way through this book! This was some strong stuff to deal with!

I would get a lump in my throat in almost every paragraph and even this weekend started crying when I reread the ending of sacrificial love. I was moved at the plot points and then when Nancy fleshed them out,and it brought back so many horrific memories of betrayal, it really tapped into my pain.

5. Sullivan Crisp is obviously going to be the driving force in this series. Will his mentor, Porphyria continue to appear as well? Can you tell us a little about the next book and when we can expect to see it?

She is there because she is such an important part of his life. The next book, Healing Waters, is about a woman who struggled with what I struggled with so much of my life. She has a weight problem. And anyone with a serious weight problem has a life problem, needing much more from food than just nutrition.

6. How has this story impacted your life? I know it has certainly made me examine my own concept of forgiveness toward others – especially in light of how much I have been forgiven?

The actions of Rich did indeed make me examine my own journey of forgiveness. At first I literally wanted to kill her. As I healed I just wanted her to die of a chronic illness. Then just keep the chronic illness and live. Then just a boil would do. And then finally I began to pray for good things for her. Then I knew I had healed and forgiven.

7. Can you share a word of encouragement with your readers? What exciting things is God doing in your life right now?

There is no excuse to live under the condemnation of others. Satan wants you to live in shame while Christ wants you to claim his death as paying the full price of it. At our Healing Is A Choice and Lose It For Life workshops we see people in despair, suicidal and helpless, leave with a new desire for living and a new hope for the future. I conduct these and it is what I love to do best. I hope some of our fiction readers will find their way to those workshops.And one of the most exciting things in my life is having an amazing wife, and a 17 month old baby and a 17 year old daughter and two step sons 10 and 8. These are the best days of my life after spending some very tough times walking in the valley of the shadow of death.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Great interview.
I loved Healing Waters - it is a story that can be life changing for the reader.