I am very excited to participate in the blog tour for Preacher on the Run today! You may remember that I reviewed this book some months ago. Well, today I get to share several goodies with you all: a guest post by the author, a character interview, an excerpt, and a giveaway!
The Guest Post
What I Love About History (by Jayna Baas)
History has always fascinated me—not the names, places, and dates, but the stories. True stories, with real-life heroes and villains. The Revolutionary War was (and still is) my favorite era. There was no question as to whose side I was on, as there sometimes was with the Civil War. The Revolution was at a safer distance than the World Wars, which were just recent enough to worry me (although I’m now interested in some aspects of WWII—my struggles with fear greatly lessened when I came to the Lord). And the Revolution certainly had a lot of heroes to choose from! When I decided to write a historical novel, the era of America’s birth was an obvious choice.
But I didn’t want to write about the stories everyone else wrote about: the Boston Tea Party, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge. So I did my research and picked North Carolina, where British and American soldiers waged a vital conflict that rarely makes headlines. And in North Carolina, I discovered the Regulator Uprising.
The less known a historical tale is, the better I like it. I think that’s what first interested me about these everyday people standing against corrupt government. The same principle applied when I was introduced to the history of Baptists in early America. This was classic good-versus-evil stuff that most people didn’t even know about! When I learned about the Baptist influence in the Regulator Uprising, well, that was a story waiting to happen.
Yet as I read and wrote and reread and rewrote, I found that the story isn’t just about the Baptists after all. It’s about believers following God as best they knew how, whether they believed just like I do or not, and how their beliefs affected what happened to them. It’s about the way freedom of spirit inevitably leads to freedom of thought, which inevitably leads to conflict with tyranny. It’s about true liberty of conscience, whether an Anglican extends it to a Baptist or a Baptist extends it to an Anglican. That is the true story of all history—where there is freedom, there is growth. When we offer freedom to others, we allow God to do His own work in His own way. And that is what truly fascinates me about history: God at work in all His children, redeemed to Him out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
The Excerpt (From Chapter 24)
Robert found Susanna playing with Gunning’s pile of wood chips. It required a good imagination to see the wood chips as Susanna saw them– fine dishes and all manner of good things to eat. Robert sat down on an upended log and said, “Your mama says you’ve been asking questions about God.”
Susanna looked up. “Mama explained some things. But I don’t understand why God made folks that are so ugly to each other. Like Mr. Drake is to you.”
“That’s not God’s fault, pumpkin. It’s ours.”
Susanna squinched up her face. “Ours?”
“Remember the story Mama and I tell you about Adam and Eve in the garden?”
Susanna nodded. “Everything was perfect until they ate from the one tree God told them not to eat from.”
“Did God make them do that?”
She shook her head. “No-o.”
“Then it wasn’t God’s fault that something bad happened.”
“But He could have made them not eat the fruit.”
“What if I made you love me, whether you wanted to or not?”
“But Papa! I do love you!”
“I know, pumpkin. But if I made you love me, would that be real love? Or just a have-to kind of love?’
“Have-to, I guess.”
“God didn’t want Adam and Eve to love Him with a have-to kind of love. He wanted them to choose to love and obey Him. If you let someone choose, they might choose the wrong thing, right?”
Slowly Susanna nodded. “Sometimes you tell them what the right thing to choose is, and they don’t choose it anyway because they think they know better.”
“That’s right. And that still happens today, just like it did in the garden. God wants us to love Him and do good. That’s why He made us. But He wants us to choose to do it. He wants Mr. Drake to love Him. But Mr. Drake thinks he knows better, and he’s made the wrong choice. ”
“But does everybody have to choose? Even me?”
“Everyboody. Even you.” He thought, Shame on you, Boothe, your daughter needs to know these things, and where have you been? Fleeing as a bird to your mountain, that’s where.
“Mama says folks who don’t believe in Jesus don’t go to heaven. Is believing the same as choosing?”
“Well, the Bible says in one place, ‘Choose you this day whom ye will serve,’ and in another place it says, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ So God uses both words.”
Susanna bit her lip. “I don’t think I’ve done that yet. But I want to. I’m scared not to go to heaven. And I know I don’t love God very much, because sometimes I’m bad–” She was crying now. “And I don’t want to stop being bad, but I do want to stop.”
“Jesus will help you want to stop, Susanna. He’ll forgive you for all of that. It’s like a gift He wants to give you. All you have to do is take it.”
Susanna nestled up tight against Robert and he up his arm around her. “Just tell Him what you told me, Susanna. He’ll understand.”
Susanna sniffled. “Jesus, I want You to forgive me and take away all the bad things I do . . .”
As Robert held his daughter close and listened to her simple prayer, he knew that this was exactly where he was supposed to be.
The Character Interview (with Magdalen Boothe)
Great Books for God’s Girls: What things from your childhood as a southern belle prepared you to be the wife of Robert Boothe, a pastor and Regulator?
Magdalen Boothe: I never thought I would marry a circuit rider! And didn’t it surprise Papa! Yet God had His hand on us. Living on a plantation near busy trade routes, I learned to be hospitable to people from all walks of life. I took my education very much for granted, but when I saw how few frontier women could read and write, I thanked the Lord that I could be a help to Rob in that respect—such an intelligent, thoughtful man needed someone who could help him articulate his thoughts. While church members have joked that I wrote Rob’s sermons, it’s true that I often transcribed his notes for him.
GBfGG: What is something you wish you had learned before getting married?
MB: I wish I had learned how to be alone. Plantation life is very busy. When I first married Rob, I was utterly unprepared for the long, lonely stretches while he was riding his circuit. And the idea of obtaining your own food, your own clothing, your own everything was quite a change from my upbringing.
GBfGG: What is one funny thing that Susanna, your daughter, did as a young child?
MB: She was a little thing of two years old when we settled in Ayen Ford, and she was all excited about our garden. We had some lovely baby carrots and parsnips when it came time to thin the plants. But I couldn’t understand what was wrong with my lettuce—sallet, as mountain folk call it. Then one day I went looking for Susanna, and there she was in the garden, pulling up the lettuce to see if it had roots like the carrots yet. She looked up at me very sadly and said, “Not yet, Mama,” and then she stuck the poor little plants back in the ground and patted the dirt around them—just as she’d been doing all spring, apparently. Little wonder they hadn’t been growing!
GBfGG: I know there were trials as well as blessings in being Robert’s wife. What is an unexpected blessing that you found during the happenings in Preacher on the Run?
MB: I was immeasurably blessed by the way folks came together to help us and help each other. While I struggled with times of immense fear in which only God could be my stay, I was constantly surrounded by fellow believers who were always willing to offer a helping hand or simply pray with me. When we all placed our attention on helping others, it made the dark days easier to bear. There is no blessing like knowing you are loved.
And the giveaway!
Prize: One signed copy of Preacher on the Run, one necklace hand-stamped with “In God I Trust,” and one bookmark with a Bible verse and book cover art.
All entrants will receive free recipes from the colonial era.
To enter: CLICK HERE!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and learning more about Preacher on the Run and it’s author! For your convenience, here is the blog tour schedule, in case you’re interested in learning more.
Nov 2: Leona @ Great Books for God’s Girls (http://www.greatbooksforgodsgirls.wordpress.com) Guest post, excerpt
Nov 3: Madi @ Madi’s Musings (http://madismusingsblog.wordpress.com/) Book review, interview
Nov 4: Kaitlyn @ Maidens for Modesty (http://www.maidensformodesty.com) Book review, guest post
Nov 5: Laura @ Beautiful Things (https://beautifulthingsbylaura.com/)
Nov 6: Malachi @ Brainstorms With Rain (http://brainstormswithrain.wordpress.com) Excerpt
Nov 9: Abby Rose @ Photos by Abby Rose (https://photosbyabbyrose.com/) Book review
Nov 10: Kelsey @ Kelsey’s Notebook (https://kelseysnotebookblog.blogspot.com/) Guest post, excerpt
Nov 11: Lauren @ Novels That Encourage (https://www.novelsthatencourage.com.au) Book review, interview, exclusive ebook giveaway
Nov 12: Abigail @ Read Review Rejoice (http://readreviewrejoice.com/) Excerpt, book spotlight
Nov 13: Callie @ An Unfinished Story (https://anunfinishedstory.home.blog) Book review
Nov 16: Tara @ Tower in the Plains (http://www.towerintheplains.wordpress.com) Book review
Nov 17: Kelly-Ann @ Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama
Nov 18: Kassie @ Soldier Girl Stories (http://soldiergirlstories.com) Book review
Nov 19: Natalie @ Kenmore Pines 1 (https://kenmorepines.wordpress.com/) Book review, interview
Nov 20: Michaela @ Tangled Up in Writing (https://tangledupinwriting.com) Book review, excerpt, guest post
Nov 21: Giveaway winners announced in Rafflecopter widget and on Books by Jayna (https://www.booksbyjayna.com)