Monday, November 30, 2020

First Fruits by Melanie Campbell


Melanie Campbell

One old piece of writing advice is to “write what you know.” The worthiness of said advice is up for interpretation. In my Whispers of Grace series, I’ve taken what I know—both literally and emotionally—and created a trilogy of stories. The stories are deep, yet full of hope. Though many say they can’t put the books down, these are not light or easy reads. One of my goals was to take the reader on a journey in the life of someone they otherwise may not be able to identify with. It’s what I believe God gave me the ability to do.

One Way Home, the second book in my series, was released on November 1. Who knew my second book would be released in the middle of a pandemic, political upheaval, and economic uncertainty? In the midst of such sorrow, who wants to read an emotional book about a recovering alcoholic? As my sales numbers remain discouraging, I’ve questioned God’s timing on the release of this book.

This is the faultiness of my human, earthly thinking.

In Deuteronomy 26:9-11, the Israelites are commanded to allow the first crops to ripen just prior to harvest. They were then to offer those crops as an act of worship and as a blessing on the rest of the harvest. The Whispers of Grace series are my first published books. I’ve given them to God. All my profits from the first book, One Woman Falling, are being donated to charities who assist families affected by abuse and addiction.

You see, these books are not about sales numbers or best-seller’s lists. God gave me a ministry in the writing of these stories, a mission to reach others with a message of hope in real-life situations that seem impossible to overcome. I have poured my own life experiences, my complete heart, my best writing, into these stories. They are for Him and His purposes, not my own. These are my first fruits.

In James 1:17-18, James says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” (ESV version)

Every good gift, including the stories God gives us to tell, comes from the Father of light. There is no variation or shadow due to change. The turmoil of the year 2020 doesn’t stop God from doing His work or His truth from being known. His light shines in the darkness. The work that is from Him is eternal, unhindered by the times in which it was birthed.

I know my books will end up in the hands of readers who need them, whether it be today or ten years from now. From God’s good, eternal hands into the hearts of those who need hope.

I have poured my own life experiences, my complete heart, my best writing, into these stories. They are for Him and His purposes, not my own. These are my first fruits. @MelanieJean_27 #amwriting

One Way Home

She’s hanging by a string—with only one chance left.

A recovering alcoholic and longtime widow, Sharon has struggled to build a new life. She’s made amends with her only daughter, Cassie, who’s been through a treacherous divorce. Cassie’s daughter, Renee, too young to understand her grandmother’s earlier mistakes, has become the light of Sharon’s life.

But Sharon can’t seem to escape from her past. Her mother’s deathbed confession haunts her. Convinced the answer to truly overcoming her addiction lies with her biological father, Sharon sends off a DNA test in the hope of finding him. When the results of the test aren’t as revealing as Sharon anticipates, she and Cassie team up to find the truth.

Meanwhile an old flame shows up. Sharon doesn’t think she can ever love again, but what Johnny offers seems like a dream come true. His charm and kindness shine so bright, Sharon can almost believe he’s changed.

As the search for her father continues to frustrate and tensions escalate with Cassie, Sharon wonders if leaving it all behind for a life with Johnny will save her crumbling heart.

Will the truth set Sharon free? Or it will it be the final blow to her sobriety?


Melanie Campbell is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and ACFW. Her debut novel, One Woman Falling, won the 2020 Oregon Christian Writer’s Cascade Award for contemporary fiction and was a finalist for the Selah Award for first novel. One Way Home, the second novel in her Whispers of Grace series, released November 1, 2020. Melanie is passionate about social issues and holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Oregon, which she obtained during her stint as a single mom. She’s now married and lives in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley with her family and several spoiled pets.