Archives For Diana Wallis Taylor

One woman desperate for hope. One Savior with the power to heal.

Book blurb from Amazon.com: A beautiful girl blossoming into womanhood, Mary has high hopes for a life filled with learning, family, and young love. In one dreadful night, all of that changes. The nightmares come first, then the waking visions of unspeakable terror, until Mary hardly remembers her dreams for the future.

Can the Most High deliver her from this torment? How long must she wait for healing?

This vivid portrait of the enigmatic Mary of Magdala comes to life in the hands of an imaginative master storyteller, Diana Wallis Taylor.

My take on the story: I love Diana Wallis Taylor’s sweet, simple way of telling a story. In this book, she presents Mary Magdalene as a normal, happy young girl who is forever changed by a traumatic event. Though Mary survives the incident, she begins to let fear rule her mind. In spite of the efforts of her family, she cannot live a normal life. Her mental deterioration continues until she becomes a woman possessed. Though I knew from the Bible account that Jesus would free Mary, I hurt with her as she fought those battles in her mind and eagerly turned pages to get to that miraculous encounter.

Diana Wallis Taylor made Mary and her world real for me. As I read about Mary’s struggle through so many wasted years, I couldn’t help but contemplate the debilitating affect fear can have on any of us—if we let it. And I was moved to thank God for the peace and freedom that come from His healing touch on our lives. This is a story you won’t want to miss. You can pick up your copy of Mary Magdalene at this link. ***Thanks to Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for providing my review copy.

About the author: Recently named “Writer of the Year” by the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild, Diana Wallis Taylor has been writing since the age of 12 when she sold her first poem to a church newspaper. She won first place in the San Diego Book Awards for her short story, “Phipps and the Jay”; First place in Christian Romance for her book Smoke Before the Wind. First place in Christian Fiction for her manuscript, “House of the Forest”; Second place last year for Martha in the Reader’s Favorite Book Review and Award Contest.

Diana lives with her husband Frank in San Diego, California. Between them they have six grown children and ten grandchildren. She enjoys speaking and sharing her heart with women of all ages. In addition to her speaking and writing, she serves on the Board of the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild, the Board of her church, sings on the worship team, and enjoys taking part in Professional Women’s Fellowship. You can find Diana at this link.

This week I’m linking up with Your Thriving Family and Beholding Glory.

I have favorite books for every mood or season of life I’ve experienced. When I rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 (on Good Reads or Amazon), I give 4’s to the novels that are well-written, suspenseful, and engaging. I save the 5’s for those books that mean something more to me.

A 5 is for a novel that has helped me grow as a person, comforted me, filled up a crack or two in my heart, or bolstered my faith in God. I think Martha by Diana Wallis Taylor earned a 5 because it did all of these things. This lovely story brought to life a woman I’ve long admired. Martha was specifically mentioned in Scripture as a friend of Jesus. He felt at home in her house, visited frequently, and trusted her to make his followers comfortable as well. I loved how the author depicted Jesus speaking to Martha’s heart and making Himself a part of her life, as in this excerpt . . .

“The disciples, enjoying a respite after long hours on the road, were in a mood to celebrate. Thomas pulled a kinnor, a small harp, from his sash and began to plunk its strings, sending a simple melody through the courtyard. Mary picked up her lyre and joined in the music. Jesus seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself, his eyes dancing with the music. Martha suddenly felt like celebrating with them.

As the hour grew late, Jesus rose from the table and his disciples, ever aware of his movements, rose with him. Martha hated to see them leave. ‘Master, you are welcome to sleep here.’

Jesus at Martha’s hous

‘You are kind, Martha, and a generous hostess, but we will retire to the Mount of Olives for the night.’

‘Will you come again?’

He smiled and she was lost in the depths of his eyes. ‘I must travel a long way, but whenever we are in this area again, we will come.’

Jesus glanced to where Thomas and Mary were talking quietly. ‘I believe at least one of my disciples has good reason to return also.’ His eyes danced and Martha was filled with love for him—not the love she’d known with Thaddeus, but a holy love, deep and abiding. It didn’t matter what others said about him. She knew who he was.”

The author created a beautiful inner voice for Martha. I found myself hurting with her as she bids farewell to loved ones, struggles to release cherished dreams, and prepares to embrace a solitary life. The peace that Jesus gives Martha felt real to me. Both those who have experienced that peace—as well as those who are seeking it—will enjoy this novel.

Also, I thoroughly enjoyed the happy ending Diana Wallis Taylor imagined for her sweet main character. Did it happen that way for Martha in real life? Someday I’ll ask her!

***Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Revell for providing my review copy of this book. Don’t miss this uplifting story! Follow this link to purchase your copy.

July Giveaway Contest: At the end of July, I’ll be giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one fortunate commenter. All you need to do to be entered is comment on any eligible post up until July 31st. (I will label the contest posts.) I will then submit all names to the Random Number Generator to determine a winner. I will submit your name as many times as you comment, but you also have a great chance of winning by commenting on just one post! Today’s post is the First Contest Post.

***So feel free to comment and also tell me if you’d like to be included in the drawing. Or you could just leave a comment to say hello. (We bloggers love that!)

Journey to the Well: You can order Diana’s first book from Amazon.com at this link.

About the author: Diana Wallis Taylor lives with her husband Frank in San Diego, California. Between them they have six grown children and ten grandchildren. She serves on the board of the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild and is active in Christian Women’s Fellowship. Follow this link to visit Diana’s website.