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Title: Tremors of Doubt
Author: Lael Harrelson
Genre: Contemporary Amish Alternative
Release Date: March 19, 2018
Would the will of God ever lead a young woman against the counsel of family and church? For a young Mennonite woman who wants to make a difference in the world, growing up on the mission field in Haiti should be the perfect fit. But not for Callie Zimmerman. Raised by her aunt and uncle after the death of her parents, Callie works beside her aunt cooking, cleaning and sewing each day as the men head off to serve the community. She longs to do more to alleviate the poverty and sickness that surrounds her, but tradition and her uncle forbid it. On the eve of her twenty-third birthday, struggling with hopelessness as another year passes, Callie pleads with God to open a door for her. The prayer has barely left her mouth when she finds a stack of letters with secrets about her parent’s deaths and their excommunication from the Mennonite church. Devastated, Callie cries herself to sleep, only to be awakened a few hours later by her uncle with the startling news the Noah Koehn has asked permission to court her. Is one of these the answer to her prayer? Would exploring her parents past mean losing a future with Noah? Is it worth the risk?
I loved this book. I thought it was very good, I felt connected to the characters, especially to the main character who was Callie. She lived in Haiti with her aunt and uncle since her has passed away. Now that Callie is grown she wants discover her own way. To make a difference wherever she lives, she goes from Haiti to Colorado then back to Haiti. To find out why she does all the traveling read the book. Loved all the people she met along the way. I really enjoyed the writing of Lael Harrelson, definitely knows how to bring the characters to life. I received an complementary copy of the book from Celebrate Lit, I was not required to post a positive review. This opinion is my own.
About the Author
Raised by a fun loving, atheist single mom who struggled with depression and mental illness I spent my childhood backpacking around Europe, visiting yoga communes, eating vegan, living on a houseboat, then an old pony express outpost in the backwoods of Montana. My teen years took a drastic turn when my mom got saved, got married, and joined an ultra-conservative Mennonite church. Faith, step parents and unquestioning obedience is a dangerous combination when mixed with mental illness, legalism, and heavy handed physical correction.
I became a confused believer with a heart for Jesus but drowning under a sea of rules, regulations, and legalism. I became a missionary teacher and then a nurse and escaped to the mission field, the one avenue open to single women. I taught VBS on Indian reservations, led school for missionary children in Haiti and Africa. All around me was heartache and disease and glaring need. I longed to make a difference but was limited to working on the mission compound – teaching, cooking, cleaning. Work outside the walls of the compound was reserved for the men.
On a furlough, I met my future husband – a new believer who wasn’t looking for a door mat in a wife but a partner. As he grew in his faith, I reexamined mine and what Biblical womanhood looked like. Timidly at first, but then eagerly, as I discovered a new relationship with Jesus Christ based on grace and not performance. I left the Mennonite church and married the love of my life twenty years ago. We have five beautiful teenagers, two by birth and three through adoption from Haiti. My husband is adopted and God used my time in Haiti to prepare me to understand my children’s culture and language and ease their transitions home.
Two people in my family have mild Asperger’s and one has Reactive Attachment disorder, PTSD, and ODD. Our house is not a quiet, well greased machine but a chaotic, happy, crazy, nerve racking, love filled oasis where we all try to help each other grow and thrive. I am so thankful for my life – the good and the bad. I feel blessed to have experienced so many unique situations and to love and be loved by so many wonderful and eccentric people. It is from these experiences I draw the fiction stories I write. I like to think of them as fiction with grit – fast paced and entertaining stories that make you want to read till the very last page while at the same time tackling real life issues – legalism, abuse, divorce, adoption, Asperger syndrome, mental illness, etc.
Guest Post from Lael Harrelson
To the casual observer, Haiti is a magical island of swaying palms, laughing children, and azure blue oceans, but for one who takes the time to look deeper, a darker truth emerges. Starvation. Desperation. Darkness. Hopelessness.
Callie’s church is a shining beacon of family values, sincere faith, and simple living but, again, for one who takes the time to dive deeper, there is a hidden trail of broken spirits, crushed dreams, and oppressed women and girls.
Drawing inspiration from my experiences as a Haitian missionary and former Mennonite, I hope you will find Tremors of Doubt not only entertaining but life changing as you follow Callie’s journey through self-doubt, crushed dreams, love triangles, life changing secrets, and fragile hope as she navigates being the daughter of Haitian missionaries on an exotic Caribbean Island where danger is lurking just below the surface.