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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Guest Post: Erin Lorence with DOVE STRONG

Erin Lorence
Today my special guest is Erin Lorence, another Pelican Book Group author. She lives in Bonney Lake, Washington with her husband, Brian, and their two daughters, Brooke and Savannah. Her lifelong love of reading, her gratitude to God, and her enjoyment of hiking in Central Oregon all inspired her to write the Dove Strong Trilogy. 

Here's the book blurb:

Dove Strong loves God. She loves standing chin up, fists clenched when facing Satan’s attacks. But there’s one thing she doesn’t love—other people. So when this spiritually-gifted, antisocial teenager is chosen to join other believers in a trek across Satan’s territory, rattlesnakes and evil-intentioned Heathen aren’t her biggest challenges. But failure isn’t an option. In a month, the Christian Councils will decide the Reclaim, a vote on whether there’ll be a war between Christ’s and Satan’s followers to take back America. It is up to Dove, God’s messenger for peace, to reach her Council in time. Because if she doesn’t, things could get bloody.


And now for an excerpt!
With a gasp, I leaped over to the spot next to my shoes—the place I’d left my clothes. On all fours, I patted around on the hard—now puddled—white squares. As if my missing tunic shirt and pants had somehow become camouflaged. 
I whirled around, searching. I pried open a small door next to my legs and stuck my head into its dark, cluttered depths. 
Slowly, I shut it, rolled back onto my heels, and hid my face. 
My clothes—they were gone. Completely. Utterly. Gone. 
I crouched there for about five seconds. 
Then I got mad. 
It took me another few frustrated moments to figure out how to wear the one towel in the room that wasn’t maple leaf sized. No matter how I tried, it wouldn’t cover all the skin it needed to. I wrapped the towel under my armpits and around my wet underclothes, which left my shoulders, arms, and the lower half of my legs still showing. 
I yanked open the door, expecting to trip over Melody. 
I didn’t. 
She’d vanished. 
Not my biggest problem right then. 
“Where are my clothes?” My hands death-gripped the towel while I stormed at Wolfe. He sprawled on a cushioned bench, holding up a skinny, rectangle electronic. Then he dropped it. The whistling died. 
Where are my clothes?” I was ultra-conscious of my gangly, fish-belly white legs and arms. A startling contrast to the deep tan of my face and hands. 
He stared. 
Rage boiled up, staining the room red. A snarl started deep inside. I began to shake. “Where are my clothes?”
He eased upwards and backed away. “Whoa, bird girl. Relax.” His hands went up. “It was just a...a...I’m washing them—they’re in the machine. Hang on.”
In two strides, he left the room. His head reappeared. “By the way, seriously nice tattoos. Uh, right.” 
A minute later he returned holding a dripping wad of brown material. He handed it to me with a cough. “They’re a bit damp still. Should I throw them in the dryer?” 
My anger drained away. Leaving me with a hole in my chest. 
I shook out my tunic shirt—a hand-woven, goodbye gift from my mom, aunt, and grandma. The fibers were created from special plants grown on our property. The Breastplate of Righteousness design stitched on the front tilted lopsided. Pathetic. 
My traveling outfit hadn’t only been a surprise but a tribute to the Armor of God from the Bible. The one my family knew I loved. And the only tangible reminder of my family I’d brought with me. 
“They were all stiff and brown. And I—"
“They’re supposed to be that way.” 
“See, they’re still good.” He snatched the crumpled pants and flattened them. “They’re not ripped or nothing.”
Under his hands, the symbolic belt around the waist frayed and twisted like old corn silk on a compost heap. 
I took them back and lurched toward the white room to put them on. 
I will not cry over pants. I will not
“That,” he spoke from closer than I’d expected, “is the most wicked sword tattoo I’ve seen in my life.” 
I slapped my left hand over my right arm, hiding part of the ornate Sword of the Spirit that ran from shoulder to elbow. 
He leaned over me. “What’s that on your other arm? Oh, it’s a shield—nice, the way it wraps around. I wouldn’t have taken you for the inked type. Hey, I can see part of one above the towel. Something gray?”
I yanked the damp cloth up to hide the Breastplate of Righteousness no one was supposed to see. 
But the moisture at my eyeballs dried. I still had Trinity’s more permanent reminder of herself and home. 
God gifted my cousin with the ability to create beauty out of anything. Out of nothing. 
She told me once that when she met an object, her mind automatically saw its potential. To her, a body was a blank canvas. She’d been adding artwork to her own body for years—something her mom was OK with. My mom wasn’t so supportive of tattoos. 
Of course, that hadn’t stopped me from accepting Trinity’s offer a few months ago. I couldn’t pass up a permanent reminder of my spiritual protection and weapon. All guaranteed by my Lord’s mighty power. 
“Your ma and pop OK with so many?” 
“Where’s Melody?” 
“Ha! I didn’t think so. My grandma didn’t do the conga either when I got mine. Did you see it? I’ve only got one. On my back. Not as cool as yours but...OK, OK. Don’t go all postal on me again. Bite-sized screamers right outside. See? Through the glass there? Those are her boots behind the woodpile. She’s staring at the clouds or something.”
I nodded, not bothering to check. That girl was obsessed with sun sets. Every night, she’d watched the blue horizon melt into oranges and pinks while I’d set up camp. But tonight’s sky was way too thick with gray clouds for color. 
“It took her roughly, oh, one millisecond to bail on you when she realized it was only her and me.” He flashed a hangdog expression, which I didn’t buy. “I don’t think she likes me.” 
“Try not tackling her so much.”
He was still cracking up when Melody screamed.

Erin's website:  www.erinlorence.com
                            www.dovestrong.com
                                                      
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6 comments:

Erin Lorence said...

Thanks for hosting me today, Penelope! I sure do appreciate it.

marilyn leach said...

Sounds like a good read. May your readers be blessed. Cheers

Barbara M. Britton said...

Congratulations on DOVE STRONG, Erin. I can't wait to dive in.

Penelope Marzec said...

Erin:

It has been a pleasure to have you as a guest!

Carol James said...

What a great story! I can’t wait to read it.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Sounds like a great book Erin!
Good luck and God's blessings
PamT