Today on the blog we welcome acclaimed novelist Susan May Warren as she writes on forgiveness.
Enjoy, and don’t miss out on the giveaways and questions for readers at the bottom!
Agent K: Do you know the most destructive force in the universe?
Agent J: Sugar?
Agent K: Regret.
Men in Black 3
Do you have a moment, a snapshot in time, that you keep seeing in your rearview mirror? I have many. Like the time I turned away from the staircase, intending to lock the gate, just long enough for my daughter to fall down the stairs in her walker. Or the time I glanced down to adjust the radio right as a deer appeared in the middle of the road.
What if, in that moment, the one you long to snatch back, you did something unthinkable, something you could never fix? Like accidentally ran over someone crossing the road?
And what if it was your best friend’s wife?
This is the tragedy behind my new novel, Take a Chance on Me. It explores the emotions in the aftermath of a terrible accident, emotions still as raw and fresh as they were three years ago, when the accident happened.
How do you move past tragedy and not let it haunt you? How do you forgive—and should you have to? My hero, Darek Christiansen, doesn’t think he should have to forgive Jensen Atwood, his former best friend, who caused the accident. It just seems too much to ask. Besides, Jensen hasn’t exactly asked for forgiveness.
But Jensen feels trapped. Sure, he’s heartbroken by the accident, but when the town—and Darek—started pointing fingers, it forced him to defend himself, leaving no room for grief. For sorrow.
Standing on the sidelines is Claire, their childhood friend, and the best friend of Darek’s late wife. Claire longs to figure out how to help them, but she feels paralyzed by their grief, and by her own.
Into this mix walks Ivy, the new assistant county attorney, who has no idea that she is the reason behind all the turmoil. See, three years ago Ivy was the clerk who helped craft Jensen’s plea bargain—an agreement that set him free from prison in exchange for community service in Deep Haven. She just knows that finally, finally, she’s found someplace to call home. And for a girl who’s grown up as a foster kid, home is all she wants.
Poor Jensen just wants to leave town as soon as his community service is finished. But it seems the town isn’t interested in helping him get the hours he needs, and if he doesn’t log more time soon, he’ll go to jail anyway. Until then, he works as a handyman around town and sneaks into the venues where Claire plays with her band, the Blue Monkeys. Thankfully, he’s also on hand to help Claire—whether she wants him to or not—after her grandfather injures himself. Maybe he can prove to her that he is innocent, or at least sorry . . . and figure out a way to show her he loves her.
More than anything, Darek longs for a fresh start, especially since he has his own regrets from that night, namely the fight that pushed his wife out of the house and onto that highway. But he has no idea he’s falling in love with the woman who set Jensen free, or that he’s walking back into the pain he longs to escape.
The good news is that there is healing—and a future—if they are willing to take a chance on forgiveness and love.
Take a Chance on Me also introduces the rest of the Christiansen family, all six of the colorful adult children and their parents, who are trying to figure out how to help their children lean on their legacy of faith in a fragile and frustrating world. Click to find out more about each member of the family.
Regret comes at you when you least expect it. But if you’re willing to take a chance on forgiveness . . . you might just find yourself no longer looking over your shoulder.
Thanks, Susan, for your thoughts on forgiveness as they relate to our lives and to the characters in your novel.
Attention giveaway lovers, if you stop by the Take a Chance on Me page on Goodreads, you have an opportunity to enter to win a free copy! 5 winners will be chosen on 4/30.
In addition, here on the Tyndale blog enter to win a great Minnesota themed prize packed giveaway and get to know the Christiansen family! Hurry now, giveaway ends 4/30.
For more on Susan and her new novel, Take a Chance on Me, she can be found online:
At her website:
At her blog:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanMayWarrenFiction
Or follow her on Twitter @SusanMayWarren.
QUESTIONS FOR READERS:
Forgiveness can often be a hard pill to swallow—both asking forgiveness and giving it willingly. If you were in Darek’s shoes, what would it take for Jensen to earn your forgiveness? What does it mean to forgive? Must we always forgive the follies of others? What does God want us to do?
Thanks for reading!