Saturday, March 21, 2009

Latest in Christian Fiction

Marlo Schalesky has a new book out (love the cover too) and it's entitled If Tomorrow Never Comes! Here's a peek:

They say you should reach for your dreams. 

This time, they’re wrong…

Childhood sweethearts Kinna and Jimmy Henley had simple dreams—marriage, children, 

a house by the sea…everything they needed for happily ever after. What they didn’t plan on was years of infertility, stealing those dreams, crushing their hopes.  Now, all that’s left is the memory of young love, and the desperate need for a child to erase the pain. Until…

Kinna rescues an elderly woman from the sea, and the threads of the past, present, and future weave together to reveal the wonder of one final hope. One final chance to follow not their dreams, but God’s.  Can they embrace the redemptive power of love before it’s too late? Or will their love be washed away like the castles they once built upon the sand? 

The past whispers to the present.  And the future shivers.  What if tomorrow never comes?


A Bit About Marlo:

Marlo Schalesky is the award winning author of seven books, including her latest novel, If Tomorrow Never Comes, which combines a love story with a surprise ending twist to create a new type of novel that she hopes will impact readers at their deepest levels. Marlo’s other books include Beyond the Night (just nominated for a Christy Award – yay!), Veil of Fire (winner of the 2008 ACFW Book of the Year, historical category)and Empty Womb, Aching Heart- Hope and Help for Those Struggling with Infertility.

Marlo is also a California native, a small business owner, and a graduate of Stanford University (with a B.S. in Chemistry!). In addition, she has earned her Masters in Theology, with an emphasis in Biblical Studies, from Fuller Theological Seminary. Marlo lives with her husband and five young children in a log home in Central California.

When she’s not changing diapers, doing laundry, or writing books, Marlo loves sipping Starbucks white mochas, reading the New Testament in Greek, and talking about finding the deep places of God in the disappointments of life. 

A chat with Marlo:

How did you come up with the concept for If Tomorrow Never Comes?

If Tomorrow Never Comes began with a single image that popped powerfully into my mind – an old man, walking along a foggy beach at dawn, bending to pick up an old locket from the sand.  The rest of the story grew from there.  The funny thing is, when you read the book, you’ll find that Kinna finds the locket, not an old man.  But originally the image of the locket in the sand was so intriguing to me that I kept thinking about it until a story began to develop.


How closely is If Tomorrow Never Comes based on your personal experience? 

In If Tomorrow Never Comes, the main characters are struggling with the fall-out from infertility.  I’ve spent most of my adult life – 15 years – dealing with infertility and miscarriage.  I’ve had some successes along the way, and whole lot of failure, disappointment and pain.

So, as far as plot-line goes - what happens to the characters and how they’re changed and challenged through the book - that is uniquely Kinna & Jimmy’s story.  But the emotions, the fears, the questions they face are things I drew from my own experience.

The longing for a baby that seems like it will never be fulfilled.  I’ve been there.  Month after month of trying and failing.  Turning into year after year.  I’ve been there.  Frustration.  Doubt.  Wondering how God could possibly love me in the midst of this.  Been there.  Having to pry my white-knuckled fingers off my own hopes and dreams.  Been there.  Choosing to love anyway.  Choosing to believe anyway.  Choosing to trust God anyway.  Been there.

It seems that just about every deep and meaningful thing I’ve learned about God, I can point to my journey through infertility and say, “Yeah, infertility taught me that.”  It taught me that I’m not the god of my life.  God is.  It taught me there are things I cannot control, cannot achieve, no matter how hard I try.  And sometimes we must choose to live the life God has given us, with love and hope, even when it’s not the life we dreamed. 

Because infertility taught me that God calls us not to the pursuit of our dreams, but to love.  “Love one another,” Jesus says.   “Love your neighbor as yourself.”              God taught me that through the journey of my own infertility.  My hope is that If Tomorrow Never Comes will reveal the same truths to others as well.


What is the symbolism for the title If Tomorrow Never Comes?

The idea behind the title is that the choices and decisions we make today dramatically impact our future, our “tomorrows,” and not only ours but the tomorrows of others as well.  Choosing to love, choosing to do right despite pain, disappointment, and sorrow, allows tomorrow to come.  But choices made out of desperation, fear, and clinging to our own desires can cut off the future God wants for us.

We don’t know, we can’t see, what tomorrow holds.  So all we can do is do what’s right now, love now, trust now.  Because God sees the whole of our lives and weaves all things together, even those hard and painful things, in a way that will make a beautiful masterpiece in the Kingdom of God. 

So, really, the title means that if we choose love today, if we choose sacrificial love, God will hold our tomorrows in His hand.  That’s what’s at the heart of If Tomorrow Never Comes . . .the choice to love, the choice to believe, the choice to let go of our dreams in order to embrace His.  To do it today, for the sake of all our tomorrows.

Check out Marlo's website here, and I hope you'll check out If Tomorrow Never Comes.

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