My Newest Baby

People often ask me which of my books is my favorite. I tell them that my books are like children—I’ve labored hard for many months to give birth to each of them, so how can I choose a favorite? Yet the birth of each new book is very exciting for me. And now I can announce that my newest baby, “Where We Belong,” is here!

I wrote a brief summary of the story in my last blog, and told how it was loosely based on the true story of two remarkable, self-educated sisters, Margaret and Agnes Smith who made the discovery of an important biblical manuscript. Their story inspired me because the sisters felt God urging them to pursue a calling that was “out of the box” in their Victorian era, yet they didn’t allow the social and cultural expectations of their day to stop them from doing it. What if we all lived that fearlessly for God?

I studied very hard when I was in high school so I could go to college and become a clinical psychologist. I clearly recall the day when I met with my high school guidance counselor for advice on which colleges to apply to, and he told me I should re-think my goals. The most suitable careers for women, he said, were teaching and nursing. I didn’t listen to him.

I chose to attend Hope College because I wanted a Christian foundation for my education. And I majored in psychology. Imagine my surprise when my college advisor told me I should pursue a teaching certificate along with my psychology major. He explained that I would need a Master’s degree or PhD. to become a clinical psychologist and I would probably get married and have children before getting that far. I would be wise to have a teaching career to fall back on, he said. (The generations of women after me can be grateful that they aren’t limited to two career choices!)

In hindsight, I can see that it was God who was advising and directing me all along. I’m not sorry that I never became a clinical psychologist. And I’m glad that I worked as a teacher for several years. Majoring in psychology gave me the chance to study human behavior, which helps me immensely in creating my characters and stories.

Each of us will hear a lot of voices telling us what we should do, and what we ought to do, and what society expects us to do. We’ll also hear our own inner voice telling us we can’t, that we aren’t smart enough, or talented enough, or good enough. I hope my newest novel will encourage readers to ignore those other voices and listen to God’s. Like the sisters in “Where We Belong,” we can examine the gifts and resources we’ve been given, along with the unique passions that have touched our hearts, and then decide if we want to live fearlessly for God or not. As you read this story, I hope you’ll decide to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). What a difference it will make!

If you would like a chance to win one of two free copies of “Where We Belong,” be sure to leave a comment below or go to my website www.lynnaustin.org to enter.

 

Congratulations to Bonnie Jean Fulcher and Patti H who were chosen by Random.org as the winners of an autographed copy of “Where We Belong.” Please look in your email for instructions on how to claim your prize.

147 comments

      1. Your books have been some of the most influential fiction of my Christian life, and life in general. The characters and insights are so relatable and inspiring!

    1. You are my favorite author because you so brilliantly weave a rich historical plot with fascinating characters! I can’t wait to read this newest book!

    2. Sounds like a wonderful read. Have added it to my book wish list and can’t wait to read it. Love stories that are based on true event. None of your other books have ever disappointed – so looking forward to reading this one.

    3. Your books have been some of the most influential fiction of my Christian life, and life in general. The characters and insights are so relatable and inspiring!

    4. I started reading your books when I was 15 and four years later I still re read them and keep on finding new things and eagerly await the new ones you write. They have been a large part in my Christian walk and have encouraged me to keep pushing forward with my faith. Thank you so so much for writing them and I can’t wait to read this one too!

  1. I’m greatly looking forward to this story about these two sisters and their remarkable experiences! Thank you for sharing the inspiration for your book, Lynn. I love hearing about the backgrounds behind a story. Like these sisters, I too am trying to learn how to use the gifts and resources I’ve been given, along with my unique passions, in a way that I can live fearlessly for God! Thank you also for sharing your personal experiences about your education, your journey finding what career to pursue, and how God was directing you the entire way, even though you may not have realized it at the time. This is very timely and encouraging for me as I am actually at the stage in my own life where I am trying to determine my goals and think about college and beyond. Thanks for all your entertaining and inspiring novels! Though I mainly enjoy reading classic literature, you are one of the few modern authors that I love to read!

    1. Sabrina….Greetings after reading your comment I hope you win the free offer. I could not of said it better. I am one of four sisters and one of two that are still here on earth. I thank God every day that I can love another day here. No matter what our journey is or where it takes us know there is a greater plan in the making.
      Jackie.

  2. Thank you for the background information! Love the Proverbs scripture. I love your books, and I can’t wait to read this one. I love Christian fiction, where a good story and eternal truths are told. Thank you for the chance to win.

  3. We are excited to read your new book! My daughter and I are reading _Candle In The Darkness_ to my 5th-grade granddaughter who will take a test on it this week for AR at school. All of your books are very moving, enlightening, faith-building, and life-impacting. Thank you, Lynn Austin, for your contributions to growing our lives!

  4. So many of your books have not only thoroughly entertained, but grown my faith as I feel your heart and God’s direction through it, in every chapter.
    Thank you for your diligence.
    Love you.

  5. I am eagerly waiting for your new book. I have all of your books in my library – I am never disappointed. For some reason your writing resonates in my soul. I have followed your new launches for years. I am proud to be on your launch team! I love books that have depth and no bad language (so hard to find in today’s books) so I appreciate your writings so much. May God continue to bless you and anoint you for writing!

  6. Thank you for the chance of winning this book. Sounds wonderful and I love that you gave some background on it.

  7. I am so looking forward to reading Where We Belong. I have all of your books and could never pick a favorite, as they are all so beautifully written. You have been blessed with such a gift to create the stories that touch so many people. Thank you for sharing the gift of your writing to your devoted readers.

  8. Looking forward to reading this book. Each of your books that I have read remain with me long after I’ve finished them.

  9. Oops I guess my first comment replied to someone else’s …
    Very excited for your new book! I have six sisters and love stories about good sister relationships ❤️

  10. Lynn, I’m so excited to read this book. I’ve read, loved and shared all of your other books Now I’m anxiously awaiting this one!

  11. I’d love to win a copy! Even if I don’t, I’ll be reading this book soon. Your books are too few and far between! Love them!!

  12. I love that you don’t have a favorite. Who can have a favorite child? So glad you have another book coming into the world! Love hearing your own story & how the Lord guided your steps.

  13. I have long enjoyed your books and only recently discovered that you, too, are from west Michigan! Even better! Looking forward to another great read!

  14. Hello! Love, love, love your books! (A Proper Pursuit is my favorite, though)
    I can’t wait to read this one soon.

    Take care and thank you for listening to God’s directions!

  15. I have 2 sisters and 2 daughters so I know I will enjoy reading this new book! I just finished Keepers of the Covenant and will be starting On This Foundation next. I want to listen to God’s voice more than the voice inside me or the voices around me. I know this book will be an encouragement to me and other women as well. Thank you for sharing the background on this book and impacting our lives!

  16. What a blessing it is to live now! We like to think we have plans- I went to school and graduated with a BME, taught one year in the public system, and realized, this is NOT where I should be. God gave me a love for music and education, but I’m a stay at home mom educating my two older children and a “nurse” researcher for my youngest son. Better to go and do what God calls us to! It sure saves us a lot of grief! I can’t wait to get my hands on and devour this book. I’ve been waiting for a good read for MONTHS.

  17. Hello ma’am! I am happy to see a new book from you. I am presently reading “Waves of Mercy” and believe me,I am so captivated by the book.
    I love your books so much. Keep writing ma’am!

  18. Congrats, Lynn!! What a wonderful story line – looking forward to reading Where We Belong!! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

  19. Thank you so much for your encouraging (and entertaining) Christian fiction books. Because of your series Chronicles of the Kings, I never read the Bible passages about the Israelite kings the same way as before. I now have a deeper understanding of their obedience and disobedience before God and how that affected the history of God’s people. Thanks for that.
    This year, I joined the city libraries here in Johannesburg, South Africa, and took out Eve’s Daughters and Though Waters Roar. Both books were easy to read and so enjoyable; I loved the hidden story in Eve’s Daughters.
    I’m still on the lookout for A Woman’s Place although I read the sample online and couldn’t put my phone down. I can tell that Where We Belong will be as good as my favourite work by you – A Proper Pursuit.
    May God continue to bless you as you write.

  20. It’s exciting and hard to wait for your new “babies” to arrive. So many of us anticipate them and keep wishing you’d have twins. Thank you for stories. I love telling my friends about your books.

  21. You are one of my most favorite authors because you opened up the Old Testament to me and helped me love the Bible even more! I think I’ve read all your books and I can’t wait for this one!

  22. I love all your books and am looking forward to reading this one. I would have a hard time picking a favorite of yours. I’ve enjoyed everyone I have read.

  23. I’m counting the hours. I have read all your books and I can’t wait until tomorrow. It’s like waiting for Christmas!

  24. Can’t wait to read the newest book. I still think often about Waves of Mercy. I have recommended it to all my friends. They have all enjoyed it as much as I did.

  25. You have so many fans! Great Authors usually do. Of course I’d love to win anything you’ve written. But, my heart is heavy right now , a family member was killed in Vegas last night. I think I’d like to see you give it to one of those who will need time to heal physically and emotionally. If it brings a little lightness to their day, that’s where it should be. I know the odds are very small that I would win, but if I do. Please consider my idea.

  26. I can’t wait to read your book! You are such a great author and your books have helped me understand the bible better, it was like a light bulb went on. It also got me thinking more about the sabbath, a day of rest.
    Susan Goetsch

  27. Looking forward to reading another one of your very insightful books! So glad you pursued God’s calling on your life.

  28. I would love to read. This looks like a lovely book. I wished I had the ability to have traveled to some of these places before they became over seen.

  29. Thank you for the back story of the sisters, and your story about listening to God’s voice. I so often, nearly always, wonder where God’s voice is in my life. I wonder if it isn’t my own voice. Only in hindsight do I find God’s leading.

    I look forward to reading your new “baby.”

  30. I absolutely love reading your books. I’ve read a few and even shared the ‘Candle in the Darkness’ series with both my parents. My father’s a big civil war fan and read the trilogy in record time. The trilogy may have been the first novels he read outside of school (celebrated his 50th HS class reunion this year).

  31. This book sounds great. Just heard a sermon on not letting others decide what you can or can’t do. On listening for God’s voice and doing what He wants you to do. Can’t wait to read this book!

  32. Exactly what I needed. I want to become a doctor, but my science teacher never believed in me. And now I’m determined to fight for this dream no matter if people say I can’t. Believing in Phil 2:13. Excited to read this book and get inspired.

  33. Story looks intriguing! I also loved hearing the story behind the story. Authors do so much research to make a novel…thanks for your hard work! Looking forward to reading it!

  34. Thank you, Lynn, for telling a story that is sure to inspire many women to use their gifts as daughters of Zion who belong to Jesus Christ. I’m eager to read and review your newest baby, Where We Belong.

  35. I have not read all of your books yet but the ones I have,i really enjoyed,can’t wait to read this one as well. It sounds very interesting.

  36. Lynn: You truly have an incrediable writing gift from the Lord!! I read every book you write and recommend your books to others every chance I get to do so. I’ve been waiting for the release of “Where We Belong” – can’t wait to read it! Your light shines brightly – thank you for being a woman who is genuine in your walk with the Lord.

  37. I’m excited to read this new baby. I recently read the Chronicles of the Kings series and am got hooked on your writing.

  38. Hi Lynn, my daughter, a librarian, suggested you as an author for me, about 3 years ago, and she got me started on audio books. I purchased my own copies of your audio books the series of Gods and Kings. These books have brought the old testament to life for me. I’m so thankful. Now when the pastor mentions a section in Bible – Zechariah, Hezikiah, etc, they have so much more meaning to me, and I’m learning the deeper understanding of the words from the Bible, as I remember bits and pieces of the story, and what happened before, and what is going to happen next. I’m now half way through the audiobook Gods and Kings for the second time, and cant wait to get in my car to drive home and hear what happens next. Thank you

  39. Love your books! I am looking forward to this one. I have learned so much about the Bible and about history from your books. Thanks for your research and work.

  40. I just can’t wait to read your newest “baby “. I have read e-v-e-r-y book you have published and reread many. “Where We Belong” is my choice for our “Book Buddies” read for November!!!!

  41. It’s always an exciting time when one of your new books is released. It is said that you don’t miss something you never had but somehow I know I’d miss your stories. I sure am glad you did not become a clinical psychologist.

  42. Love your books and this one sounds so exciting. Can’t wait to read it. I hope I win, but I will get it by hook or by crook. LOL Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  43. Lynn, myself and our book club love and devour your books. You were so gracious a few years ago and did a phone chat with us that most of us will never forget. Thank you so much for all the effort and research you put into your books, it shows. Plus, it’s like a history lesson almost each book. Thanks again for you, your books and a give away!

  44. I’m really looking forward to reading your new book! I was number 7 in line for the book when I signed up for it last week at the Lake County, Indiana library.

  45. Dear Lynn, I am an English teacher who has read your book, “Strength of His Hand” to my class every year for the last 6 years. I have read almost all your other books – the only one I’ve missed is “Fly Away” and I am going to order that today. I would love a chance to get this new book for free. I am going to order one for myself, but if I won, I would give the book to my friend, Holly, who introduced your books to me when we first became friends 8 years ago. It’s her birthday today!

  46. This is exactly the book I need to read right now as I explore just what God has planned for me. I am at a big change period in my life, and God has made me keenly aware that everything I have done and experienced thus far plays an important role in what he has planned in my upcoming adventure! I used to think I was interested in so many things that I never became really good at any one thing, but now I realize all those interests are needed for my next adventure!

    Thank you, Lynn Austin, for your willingness to share your gift from God with us! You have an amazing talent!

  47. A former student of mine introduced me to your writing almost 6 years ago. Since then, I have devoured every book you’ve written…and looking forward to many more! Thank you for writing with passion and faith!

  48. I’m looking forward to reading this new book. I appreciate the Christian perspective you bring to your characters.

  49. Hi, Lynn–I found your books just this past year and have been enjoying them greatly. The first one I read was “Until We Reach Home”, which I enjoyed immensely. Your talent is blessed by God and so glad you have chosen to use this for His honor and glory. I am also a writer, but not nearly in the same sphere as you, and appreciate good solid stories and clear writing. I look forward to reading your latest offering! God bless you!

  50. I was hooked when I read your first book, Lynn. I do all my reading on Kindle, and would love to have “Where We Belong” for Kindle or in paperback.

  51. Your newest book sounds wonderful! I had no idea you majored in Psychology! No wonder your characters are so relatable!

  52. Your new book sounds like exactly what I need to read right now. Our budget is tight, so I would be so blessed to win a copy. If not, I will put it on my wish list ! I am struggling after many twists and turns in the road of my life with where God wants me to go from here. I also have a son who has a moderate learning disability… he is wonderfully gifted in some areas and struggles in others… and I really want to be able to get him to a place where he can learn woodworking (the old fashioned way) and where we live there is nothing for him… so I need to step out in faith and do something to help him to achieve his goals… and I do feel called to do this… but it is scary as well. So this book sounds like it would be an encouragement !!!

  53. Thank you Lynn for all your great books.They are among my favorites! I really enjoyed Pilgrimage-thanks for being so open&honest! Shiela

  54. I LOVE your writing. I’m so sorry that you labor for months writing, and I devour the book in just a few hours.
    Also, I confess household duties go undone and sleep eludes meanwhile.
    My hubby probably prefers that I not win a copy.

  55. Lynn ~ I too started out as psych major at a Christian college, but did want to be an elementary teacher, which I did become. I’ve always admired Christian authors who do historical, and/or biblical novels and invest so much research into the times and places that I feel I have been there and that I have learned more than if I’d studied it on my own. I have a dear friend who moved from California to Holland, MI and your stories have given me great insight into that part of MI also and her life there also. I’m on the list to get your newest and favorite book soon. Keep writing and using your gifts!

  56. While I can’t afford to buy these books, I always wait breathlessly for our local library to buy them in! Keep up the amazing work!

  57. I’ve just discovered you this year and have been enthusiastically reading most of your books! Looking forward to reading your latest…they just keep getting better and better. I really appreciate all the research that goes into each one, I feel like I am learning more about each time period and experience I read about.

  58. I grew up just a little ways south of Hope College! That’s so cool. Yay Michigan!

    I often think about whether I’m holding myself back, and I try to make adjustments as needed. It’s definitely still a work in progress!

  59. This was a delightful read, Lynn. Thank you for drawing us back in time, then further back again with this time slip adventure. Blessings to you!

  60. Thanks, Lynn, for such a great introduction to your newest book ‘baby’!

    I’ve been recommended your books, especially Chronicles of the Kings, but I think I’d prefer to read a book such as this, which is not based on factual history. I’ll keep browsing for ideas of what book to start with 🙂

  61. Hi Lynn, congratulations on your book, Where We Belong! It sounds very interesting and hope to read it soon. I have it on my very looong TBR list. I appreciate the Christian faith woven within your characters and storyline.
    Blessings, Tina

  62. I am currently reading Where We Belong. I have to say you never disappoint! I’m having a hard time putting this book down. I’m so in love with the characters and love their outlook on life. Thanks again for another awesome book!

    God bless
    Shonda

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