Forever After (or planting seeds, VBS, and Hallmark movies)

Renee Ann Smith —  June 27, 2011 — 12 Comments

“‘I remember going to this church one summer.’ Her voice was almost a whisper. ‘It was a Vacation Bible School or something—and they invited all the kids in the neighborhood. Mom made Becky and me go, and they talked about that—about Christmas. I thought it was so weird . . . talking about Christmas in July. But there was something I always liked about that.’

Part of the set for my church's VBS--happening this week!

‘I’m going to go out on a limb,’ he risked, ‘and say maybe God planted a seed in your heart way back then.’

She looked skeptical. ‘A seed that’s supposed to grow into what?’

He grasped for an answer that wouldn’t scare her off. ‘Into knowing Him. I think God knew we’d have this conversation one day. And I think He wanted you to know that you can know Him . . . just like you know me.’

She gave a humorless laugh. ‘Wow. You and God are pretty tight, huh?’

‘Oh, yeah’—he held up a hand and crossed his fingers—‘we’re like this.’

She nodded, leaning forward, so much hope in her eyes. ‘But how do you know, Luc?’

‘You just know’—he placed a hand over his heart—‘in here.’
~~from Forever After by Deborah Raney

If an author wrote about folks helping out in Vacation Bible School or teaching a Sunday school class or sharing a passing word about the Lord with a friend or neighbor, it wouldn’t make for a very exciting plot. I probably wouldn’t buy that book. Yet those are the moments that lead to reclaimed lives and eternal happy endings.

So it is with Jenna, the focus of Deborah Raney’s novel Forever After. She thinks of her past as a time filled with hurts and disappointments. But that’s when important seeds were planted that blossom years later—in spite of her poor choices, lack of forgiveness, self-doubt, and personal fears.

As in “real life,” God puts people in Jenna’s way to show her glimpses of His heart. One of the key players is Luc, a wounded hero whose faith—though a bit battered and bruised—shines like a beacon in Jenna’s world.

Luc, Jenna, and the other characters who inhabit Hanover Falls experience realistic problems and heartaches as they struggle to figure out how God wants them to live out their lives each day. Along the way, they find love, joy, and eventually peace. I loved seeing small seeds of faith grow to fruition in this sweet story. I’m glad I paid a visit to Hanover Falls. This book will definitely join my list as one I’d enjoy seeing made into a Hallmark movie!

Deborah Raney

Would you like to visit Hanover Falls? Follow this link to purchase a copy of this book. ***Many thanks to Glass Road Public Relations for providing a copy of this book for me to review.

About the author: Deborah Raney has written more than twenty books. Her newest series is The Hanover Falls Novels, published by Howard/Simon & Schuster. Follow this link to visit Deborah’s website.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

12 responses to Forever After (or planting seeds, VBS, and Hallmark movies)

  1. I think that book will soon be mine to read. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Blessings to you!

  2. Thanks for the review! Sounds like a gem!

    BTW, I heart Hallmark movies!

  3. Well…I like pretty much every book you recommend…so I’m guessing this one too. But my summer list is already WAY too long… 🙂
    Still–just want you to know how encouraging it is to visit you site and see things recommended that I wholeheartedly support. Alcorn’s book Heaven is one of those closest to my heart….

    • Even though I already believed in Heaven, reading Randy Alcorn’s book changed my life! . . . I’ve discovered so many great blogs that I can’t keep track of them all. I began following some folks on social media to make it easier to see when they post and what they’re up to. So now I’m following you on twitter, Kara! I may not always comment, but your posts are too lovely to miss!

  4. I meant to include…thanks for joining us at NOBH 🙂

  5. This book seems to get nothing but great reviews from all the blogs I follow. Love the category, I wish it were a hallmark movie. LOL.

  6. I love books I can imagine being Hallmark movie. Great post.

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