Michael Hosea owned this hero girl from that day forward, becoming the greatest, most epic literary hero that all others would be judged by. I insisted my closest friends read it until they did. They all thanked me afterward and one purchased copies as Mother's Day gifts for her family. Another lady in my bible study I shared it with was able to talk about how it blessed her on a mission trip in Nicaragua. Another lady on the mission had also read it and sparked an impromptu book discussion. When that lady returned home, she purchased twenty four copies, one for every member of the mission team. Once you experience this story you can't help but want others to have the opportunity to be changed by it also.
When I first envisioned Fiction Hero Features, in the recesses of my heart lived the hope that maybe, someday, I would be able to feature Michael Hosea. That someday is today and I thank God for giving me the desires of my heart in His time, not mine. Thank you to Francine Rivers for continuing to be such an inspiration, and for saying yes. Thank you to Beverly and Margaret at WaterBrook Multnomah, Katie at Tyndale, and Alicia at RandomHouse who helped make this possible. A special thank you to two of my crit partners and loyal blog followers, Joannie and GKE, for their help and encouragement with this one. I'm blessed to have a Miriam in you both.
About Redeeming Love:
California’s gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.
Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.
Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father’s heart in everything. Michael obeys God’s call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel’s every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.
But with her unexpected softening comes overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband’s pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does…the One who will never let her go.
A powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea, Redeeming Love is a life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love.
Gallant Score:Michael's chivalry is a natural product of his virtue resulting in a life completely devoted to serving Christ. That's not to say Michael is perfect. He would be the first one to say so, which only adds to his depth of character. In thought, word, and deed, Michael strives from his core to live out his faith and love like Christ--sacrificially, completely, unconditionally, and steadfast. Moments that stand out are his visits to the Palace. I'd bet the farm he was the only man in the place keeping his pants on and his hands to himself. Then not hitting Angel back the first time she leaves. Setting Paul straight when he very freely gives his opinion of Michael's new wife. Stopping to help the Altmans when they were stranded and then taking them in for the winter. I could go on and on for paragraphs but will skip to the most powerful moment of Michael's gallantry for me as a reader.
Angel decides to confess the worst of her past, determined to shatter forever the bond forged between them by Michael's love for her. Instead of casting her out, giving up on her once and for all as she knew he would, Michael again goes to the Lord to draw strength. He then overwhelms Angel with acceptance, love, and compassion. This is my all-time favorite line from the novel.
She destroyed his dreams, and he made her wind chimes.
Wounded Score:Angel breaks Michael's heart, deeply and often. Most of the time intentionally drive him away because of her own wounds, and through that we witness the toll giving unconditional love requires. A touch of this orange predates Angel and the beginning of the novel. Michael did not come west alone and lost someone very dear to him on the journey. One of the things that never, ever fails to touch my heart no matter how many times I read this book is that the deeper the pain, the closer Michael draws to God.That is a huge chunk of what makes Michael the hero he is.
Softie Score:Michael's tender and often humorous side is so endearing as he loves Angel to wholeness through Christ. Both the reader, and Angel, spend so much time seeing this side of him it is easy to forget he has fists and knows how to use them. When this is finally made into a movie, that will be one of the toughest scenes for me to watch. Michael charging up the stairs at Murphy's, kicking in the door, taking back his wife, and fighting their way out. Even in those moments when there is nothing soft about him, you understand and love him as much as when he's melting your heart with his compassion and gentleness.
Stupid Strikes:Not in a million years. He's Michael Hosea.
|Orange Heads to the Nth Power - But They Wouldn't All Fit|
Swoon Score:Michael is love. Not the tingly feeling, not the Valentine's Day, greeting card, riot-inciting man-gorgeous our culture has come to equate with swoon-worthy. Okay, yes, Michael actually does elicit that from most readers, particularly me, but way beyond that Michael is the personification of God's love. Journeying with him as he lives that out over and over and over again, not only in Angel's life but all around him, is what leaves readers indelibly changed by Redeeming Love. Before I read this novel, it was my heart's cry to truly know the love of man so powerful he would be willing to sacrifice everything for me. To die for me. I'm a girl who grew up in church and in the Bible, yet it took Michael Hosea to remind me I'd already been given that love at the cross of Calvary. I have that love. It was mine already to discover, to come home to, and more importantly, to give to others. It is why I believe so strongly in this book and this hero--because Michael Hosea leads straight back to my truest hero, Jesus Christ.
New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English and journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market, and her books were highly acclaimed by readers and reviewers. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, a mother of three, and an established romance novelist.
Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith. First published by Bantam Books and then rereleased by Multnomah Publishers in the mid-1990s, this retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea, set during the time of the California Gold Rush, is now considered by many to be a classic work of Christian fiction. Redeeming Love continues to be one of the CBA's top-selling titles, and it has held a spot on the Christian bestseller list for nearly a decade.
Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes—all bestsellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for numerous honors, including the RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, and the Holt Medallion in Honor of Outstanding Literary Talent. In 1997, after winning her third RITA Award for inspirational fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers of America's Hall of Fame. Francine's novels have been translated into over 20 different languages, and she enjoys bestseller status in many foreign countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, and South Africa.
Francine and her husband, Rick, live in northern California and enjoy time spent with their three grown children and taking every opportunity to spoil their grandchildren. Francine uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and she desires that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.
The FHF Exclusive:Francine's schedule didn't permit an exclusive but this is directly from the author.
The story of how Redeeming Love came to be Redeemed.
I'll say it again. I believe so strongly in this book and this hero because Michael leads straight back to Jesus Christ, who loves you more than you can possibly fathom. So I've assembled an AMAZING prize pack.
"As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. "
Also available at:
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Every person who leaves an answer will be entered in the giveaway drawing that ends at Midnight central time on June 13th. I have to have a way to reach you so if your profile doesn't link to an e-mail address, leave it in a spam-fighter format like whynot (at) itwilldo (dot) com.
Joy W. Doering gets a second entry for correctly guessing the hero from the last post. Congrats!!!
And because I want so, so much to get this book from "I've heard of it" to "Oh wow," like it happened for me, if you will share this post and tell me in your comment you did, I'll put your name in the drawing twice. Now then, let's play!
Who would you cast as Michael in the movie? As Angel?
How did Redeeming Love impact you?