Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Story Behind the Inspiration for my Recently Released Mystery, Dangerous Sanctuary

 Hello and welcome to the Girls Succeed blog!
Dangerous Sanctuary by J.Q. Rose
Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined 
she would be caring for a flock that includes
 a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.
I'm excited to share with you the release of my new book, Dangerous Sanctuary. The
 romance/mystery was released by Books We Love. I must confess, I have been working toward the dream of having a print book published, so my publisher made that dream a reality! Come on and do a happy dance with me to celebrate!!  

The main character is a female pastor, Pastor Christine Hobbs. This blog is all about the stories behind the scenes. People often ask what inspiredme to write a book featuring a woman pastor.
Girls Succeed! by J.Q. Rose
Inspiring and empowering girls
to achieve success
in their dream careers.

Actually it started because I interviewed a female pastor for my book for girls, Girls Succeed: The Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. I was intrigued with the pastor's story about her entry into the ministry at a time when it was basically a man's career. When she discovered women were making breakthroughs into becoming ordained ministers in a few denominations, her dream of becoming a minister became a reality. She succeeded in earning her Master of Divinity Degree at Yale University Divinity School and was ordained by the General Conference of the Mennonite Church in Pennsylvania.

At the time I interviewed her she was the District Superintendent of the West Michigan United Methodist Church Conference. She was responsible for sixty-nine United Methodist churches and their pastors. Her devotion to God, her determination, and her great experiences sparked the idea for the story. 

That same year, a woman was assigned to our local church. I learned even more about being a woman pastor from her e.g. no one tells a male pastor he’s wearing cute shoes! With these two exceptional role models, I created the character of Pastor Hobbs. Since I’m a mystery writer, Pastor Christine had to be one of the murder suspects and what a contrast to have the good pastor accused of such a horrendous crime.
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Now you can meet the Pastor who inspired the book, Pastor Laurie Haller.
Pastor Laurie Haller, Christian minister
Pastor Laurie Haller is busy this week because it's a special season in the Christian year. It's Christmas time. Christians celebrate Christmas because it is the birthday of Jesus Christ who was born in a manger. God sent Him as a baby to teach us about God's love and forgiveness.

When Pastor Laurie was a little girl, she felt a longing to tell the story of Jesus and share His love and kindness. Through her ministry, she wanted  to help transform this world into a better place for everyone.

Laurie pictured playing with a turtle
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Excerpt from the chapter, Serving God, in Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women

Growing up in the lush, green countryside in Pennsylvania Dutch country in southeastern Pennsylvania, Laurie was able to live in the midst of God’s handiwork.  The magnificent, fertile rolling hills provided farm families with bountiful harvests and open space for grazing animals.  Laurie loved playing outdoors. She, her two brothers, and sister attended the Mennonite church with their father and mother.  The people in this church set her on the path to knowing and loving God and her desire to serve God as a pastor.
“I felt called to be a pastor when I was a little girl, but women were not allowed to be pastors in my denomination, the General Conference Mennonite Church. I decided to study church music in college and graduate school with the idea that I would serve as a Director of Music in a church,” Laurie said.
However, when attending graduate school, she discovered there were women preparing to be pastors in her classes at the seminary. The seminary is a university that teaches students who want to work in the field of religion. Still feeling the call within her to serve God, Laurie enrolled in the seminary after completing her Masters in Music degree. She studied to become a pastor. 
Laurie had never met a woman pastor, but she knew several male pastors whom she admired.  She had to discover her place as a woman in this job.  By the time Laurie graduated from the seminary, the General Conference of the Mennonite Church accepted women as pastors.  She was ordained which means she was received into the ministry of the church.
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You can learn more about Pastor Laurie and her career as a Christian minister in Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. Click the underlined Amazon to read a sample and download the interactive e-book-- Amazon

Questions, comments, waves and hugs gladly accepted. Send them along in the comment box below. I love to hear from readers.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!!

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