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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shades of Mercy

The Christian Fiction Blog Alliance introduces today
Shades of Mercy
River North; New Edition edition (September 1, 2013)
Anita Lustrea
Caryn Rivendara

Authentic. That’s the word heard over and over when women describe Anita Lustrea. She is a popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats, and an amazing communicator as co-host of the award winning Midday Connection radio broadcast. Her deep desire is to communicate freedom to women and help them nurture and care for their soul. Anita is the co-author of “Come to Our Table: A Midday Connection Cookbook” and “Daily Seeds from Women Who Walk in Faith”, a Devotional for women. Her first solo venture as an author releases in November, 2010, “What Women Tell Me: finding freedom from the secrets we keep.” Anita and her husband, Mike Murphy, a pastor, along with her teenage son John live in the Chicago suburbs. When she’s not traveling or speaking, you can find her reading and drinking a venti hot tea at her local Starbucks. 

Caryn is a sought-after writer and speaker. She’s the author of four books—Shades of Mercy: A Maine Chronicle (River North, September 2013), Known & Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms (Revell, April 2013), Grumble Hallelujah (Tyndale House, September 2011), and Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. (WaterBrook Press, March 2009)–and a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s Her.Meneutics as well as columnist for Re:Frame Media’s ThinkChristian blog. She has written dozens of magazine article. Her work has appeared in such publications as Christianity Today, Relevant, FamilyLife, and Engineering and Mining Journal (you read that right). Caryn leads workshops and speaks at conferences and church groups across the country. She’s also a regular guest on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection with Anita Lustrea and Melinda Schmidt and has been featured on such radio shows as The John and Kathy Show, Changing Worldviews/WOMANTalk with Sharon Hughes, I Thought She Said with Faith Daly, The Paul Edwards Program with Paul Edwards, and Talk from the Heart with Rich Buhler, among many others. Caryn also appeared on The Harvest Show. Caryn earned a B.A. in English from Calvin College and attended the University of Chicago’s publishing program. She lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Rafael, her three kids, a rescued pit bull terrier, two hermit crabs, and several tank fulls of who-knows-what-kind-of fish. Caryn and her family are members of Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, Illinois, where Caryn recently joined the worship staff. 
It's 1954 and the world-even the far Northwoods of Maine-is about to change. But that change can't happen soon enough for fourteen-year-old Mercy Millar. Long tired of being the "son" her father never had, Mercy's ready for the world to embrace her as the young woman she is-as well as embrace the forbidden love she feels.  When childhood playmates grow up and fall in love, the whole community celebrates. But in the case of Mercy and Mick, there would be no celebration. Instead their relationship must stay hidden. Good girls do not date young men from the Maliseet tribe. At least, not in Watsonville, Maine. When racial tensions escalate and Mick is thrown in jail under suspicion of murder, Mercy nearly loses all hope-in love, in her father, and in God himself. 
If you would like to read the first chapter of Shades of Mercy, go HERE.
The book link is:

My Thoughts:
Having the opportunity to read Shades of Mercy was such a blessing!  What the authors of this book have given their readers is a story that addresses a huge scar in our history and an even larger scar for our present times - racism and injustice.  Through the story of Mercy and Mick, Lustrea and Rivadeneira, shine a light on the ugliness of judging another human being by the color of their skin or the "people" they come from rather than treating others with the dignity they deserve due to being created in the image of God.  The struggle of loving God and loving thy neighbor...even those very different from one we all deal with every day.  The characters in this story, especially Mr. Pop (LOVED him and his wisdom), help the reader to flesh out what loving they neighbor looks like practically in our daily lives.
Lustrea and Rivadeneira write with bold truthfulness, peeling back the curtain on a part of the depravity of humans, but at the same time, they offer a tender love story that because of the transforming power and relentless pursuit of God and His grace, withstands so much to survive.  What a lesson is taught in Shades of Mercy...a very important one for us all!  Get this book and be prepared to be challenged and encouraged to "seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God."