Please join me in welcoming Melanie Campbell to the blog today to talk about her new novel, One Last Stand!
ONE LAST STAND by Melanie Campbell
SERIES: Whispers of Grace #3
GENRE: Women’s Fiction (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Mountain Brook Ink
RELEASE DATE: July 20, 2023
Cassie’s reclaimed her life and Sharon has recovered from alcoholism.
They can finally rebuild their lives. . .or can they?
Cassie Peterson is a busy single mom excited about her future. She feels confident at work, her seven-year-old daughter is thriving, and the college education she longs for is on the horizon. Then there’s Matt, the youth pastor of her church, where both Cassie and her mother attend. Matt and Cassie have been dating for nearly a year, and he’s more than she ever hoped for in a man. It looks like all her dreams are coming true—until a startling letter arrives in the mail.
Cassie’s mom, Sharon, never thought she’d be a ministry leader, but that’s exactly what she’s doing at her church. Frank, her co-leader in the Higher Focus Recoverygroup, is passionate about his faith, recovery and helping others—he might even help Sharon forget about the man she can’t stop loving no matter how hard she tries.
When a scandal rocks their church leadership, Cassie and Sharon are caught up in the middle of the collateral damage. Can their family stand against the forces intent on destroying them? Or will their dreams crumble, piece by piece?
Other Books in the Series
by Melanie Campbell, author of One Last Stand
One of the fun things about writing a story is that I’m never entirely sure what my characters will say. This may sound strange, but I’ve heard the same from many other authors. Whether it’s our subconscious guiding our fingers on the keyboard or the Holy Spirit at work, sometimes the characters in the stories we write speak directly to us or put into words a truth we know in our hearts but haven’t been able to express.
In my latest novel, One Last Stand, one quote early in the novel was the kind that puts into words a truth that has been in my heart. In the scene, Cassie and her mother, Sharon, are discussing Cassie’s reaction to a surprise piece of mail. Cassie admits she dismissed her gut instinct about the letter, believing her emotions were an inappropriate response to what she read. Sharon challenges that thinking:
“You can feel something, and it can be true. Sometimes it seems like you dismiss your feelings because you don’t trust them.”
In One Last Stand, a few years have passed since we first met Cassie in One Woman Falling. Despite the passage of time, Cassie is still healing from the years of emotional and psychological abuse she experienced during her previous marriage. What often happens to women in these situations is that they don’t hear their own intuition anymore. I think this happens for a couple of reasons. One is a matter of survival. To endure the lies and manipulation they are subjected to, women will learn to ignore the voice inside them screaming that things aren’t right. Another is a matter of conditioning. When someone is constantly belittling you, dismissing your thoughts and feelings as trivial, and basically doing everything possible to destroy your sense of self and worth, their words become the “voice” you hear—even when the abuser is not there.
In One Last Stand, Cassie has built a great life. Her young daughter is thriving. Cassie’s job is going well, and she is pursuing her dream of getting her college degree. Meanwhile, she has established a deep and loving relationship with Matt, and it looks like their love story will end with wedding bells. While all these things are wonderful, Cassie is not fully healed from the abuse she endured. Like other women who have been set free from the situation, there isn’t an immediate regaining of her sense of self or intrinsic value. It takes time to hear her own voice again, and when she does, she often feels like she can’t trust it. This might be in part because she let herself end up in an abusive relationship, but it’s also because she must re-learn to hear her own voice.
The truth in this quote becomes central to how Cassie deals with the challenges she faces in One Last Stand. Are her feelings true to the situation, or is she perceiving things through the lens of hurt and low self-esteem? Where is God’s voice amid her inner turmoil? Who does He say she is?
The ironic but beautiful thing about Sharon’s words of wisdom for Cassie is that a similar truth is paramount to Sharon finding her own happily ever after—if she can just admit what her heart is telling her.
In that way, I think Sharon’s words apply to all of us. We can’t dismiss our feelings, but we do need to look at them through the lens of Truth before we act on them or let them keep us from stepping forward into a beautiful new future.
Melanie Campbell wrote her first story when she was eight years old and has been in love with the power of storytelling ever since. Her debut novel, One Woman Falling, won the 2020 Oregon Christian Writer’s Cascade Award for contemporary fiction.
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 Texas with her family and several spoiled pets.
Connect with Melanie on her website.
Melanie Campbell is offering a print copy of One Woman Falling and One Way Home to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read One Last Stand by Melanie Campbell?