I’m honored to have my friend and fellow author, Hannah R. Conway here today to share about an incident in her past that helped stir a scene in her new release, Up in Smoke! She’s also graciously offered to giveaway an e-book copy of her novel. So stick around until the end for your chance to win!!
With the holiday season well underway, I’m reminded of many merry Christmas memories, and one not so merry memory. I was in the seventh grade when only days after Christmas, our home caught on fire. Devastating. The smell of smoke, ash, and damp smoldering wood—unforgettable.
As a youth, I recall feeling quite vulnerable. Where would we stay? What would I wear? All of my beloved Christmas gifts, gone. Looking back on that moment now, with the perspective of an adult, I cannot help but recognize the fear my parents must have felt. The anxiety. The financial worry. Your life’s work—up in smoke. But thank God we were all okay.
Christmas seems to help us remember what’s really important, but so does a fire. The fire destroyed our home, but the firefighters were able to get out what was most important to our family—pictures.Though many of our family photos were singed, we still have them. A few items of significance were also able to be saved, like our childhood rocking horse, baby crib, and the kitchen table. Will still eat at that table when visiting Mom and Dad.
My latest novel, “Up in Smoke”, includes a house fire scene. I wanted my characters, Leanna and Garrison, to come to a point where all they had in life was what actually mattered. Up until this point, Garrison and Leanna had made some unwise life decisions, and Leanna, well, that girl just needed some prayer. Poor Garrison jumped hurdles to win her heart and prove his love, yet she held on to her pride and past hurts. Silly woman! So, I used a fire to help her see the light per say.
It’s interesting that the same blazing fire that provides heat, light, and life also has the potential to consume, and ruin. How appropriate for God to use such a powerful force of nature to give analogy to how He works in our life, and even in the life of Leanna and Garrison.
We, as believers, are being refined, tested “as fire tests and purifies gold”, and that process, is, well, often painful.
God’s Word tells us trials are tests. Trials help us to have strong faith and strong faith will bring praise and honor when Jesus returns. It’s like He’s saying, “this is gonna burn, but it’s gonna be so worth it, just wait and see.” And I believe Him. We should believe Him. He’s worthy of our trust.
It’s through the fire, through the trials, we begin to learn what really matters. Whether it’s an actual house fire, a moral dilemma at work, or simply life’s ups and down, the dross, “stuff” of life that doesn’t matter, bogs us down, or the sin in our life that needs to go, melts away one trial at a time.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but, Thank God For Trials! Thank God for changing me, for the gift of refinement, and for taking the time to do so.
Merry Christmas, Dear Readers! May God refine you into a glorious work of art that is worthy of honor and praise when Jesus returns.
Hannah Conway is a military wife, mother of two, middle school teacher, and speaker. Her novels are a deployment experience of their own, threaded with faith, and filled with twists and turns sure to thrill, and encourage. Hannah is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My book Therapy. She and her family live in Tennessee.
~What motivated you to start writing novels, Hannah?
This deep, deep desire; like, if I didn’t write, I would explode! Truly, I’ve enjoyed creating stories from a very young age, I simply needed to live a little before putting anything permanent down.
~What author would you most like to meet?
Just one? I’d have to say Tosca Lee. Her stories pull me in, keep my up way past my bedtime, and leave me salivating for the next novel. Fan-girling a bit over here!
~Where do you see yourself with your writing 5 years from now?
You know, I have a few goals regarding my writing career. I plan to write one book and one novella each year. Within five years I plan to write full-time for a living—say goodbye to the classroom, and increase my speaking platform. Lofty? No way.
Up in Smoke is available on Amazon.com
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Now it’s time for the Giveaway. Leave a comment to unlock several chances to win an e-book copy!