What a Privilege!



The lyrics of an old, treasured hymn remind me “what a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer.” And it’s an even greater privilege for me to join in prayer every month with a trusted group of friends and fellow authors. The six of us have been praying together through the magic of Skype for some time, now. We live thousands of miles apart—Elizabeth Musser is in France, Susan Meissner in California, and the rest of us (Robin Johns Grant, Deborah Raney, Sharon Garlough Brown, and I) are scattered around in the middle in two different time zones. Yet we “meet” regularly to pray for each other and for our calling as writers.

Being an author can be a lonely and isolated profession at times, but we don’t need to feel alone. My prayer partners understand the challenges that come with editors and deadlines and book contracts. We can pool our collective wisdom to help each other resolve problems, while offering sympathy and understanding. All six of us know how difficult it is to balance our writing, our faith, and our family lives, and how a concern in one area effects all of the others. Their prayers have helped me maintain that delicate balance and have enriched my books.

During our on-line prayer times and in the weeks between meetings, I’ve felt reassured, knowing my friends are praying for me, just as I’m praying for them. Along with their prayers, my partners have offered me wisdom, understanding and friendship. And when we’ve seen answers to our prayers, all six of us celebrate and rejoice together.

“Oh, what peace we often forfeit!” the hymn says. “Oh, what needless pain we bear! All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” Praying together is life-giving. Shared burdens are lighter, shared joys more joyous. Might you be able to find a group of friends to pray with on a regular basis? Distance is no longer an obstacle thanks to modern technology. And the benefits of communal prayer are life-changing.

To enter the giveaway for Where We Belong, sign up for my newsletter!

If you have already signed up for my newsletter, thank you! However, to qualify, I’ll still need record of your entry through the link above. (Don’t worry! You won’t be signed up twice.)

More giveaways can be found on each blog post of the Transformational Fiction Giveaway Tour.

 Visit my sister in faith and fiction Elizabeth Musser to learn How It All Began and a chance to win her novel The Sweetest Thing! Click the picture below to visit the next blog post from my friend, Elizabeth.  


Launch Day

There are two days I look forward to the most in my writing life—the day I turn in the finished manuscript of my novel, and the day the novel is finally released to the public. Tomorrow is launch day for my newest book, “Legacy of Mercy.”

The novel is a sequel to “Waves of Mercy” and features the same main characters. Geesje DeJonge is a 67-year-old widow who told her story of immigrating from the Netherlands in 1847 in the first book. Anna Nicholson is a wealthy 23-year-old woman from Chicago who is engaged to a wealthy banker, and is just beginning her walk of faith under Geesje’s guidance.

I never planned to write this sequel. Aside from my biblical fiction, my books have all been stand-alone novels. But since Anna is only 23, readers of the first book begged me to write about what happens next in her life. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to find out what happens next, too.

As part of my book launch, I have several fun events planned. If you’re in the area, I would love to meet you at one of them and sign a brand-new copy of my book for you.
• On October 2, I’ll be speaking at Christ Memorial Church in Holland, Michigan at 7:00 pm about my writing process and the inspiration for both books.
• On October 4, I’ll be speaking on those same topics at Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Michigan at 7:00 pm.
• I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Holland on Saturday, October 6 from noon until 2.
• And I’ll be at Georgetown Township Public Library in Jenison, Michigan at 7:00 pm on October 9.
• Last but not least, we’re planning another luncheon and bus tour to visit some of the sites around Holland that are mentioned in my books. (Contact Tam Velderman for more information about the tour at tamvelderman@yahoo.com)

So, how do I entice you to want to read “Legacy of Mercy” without giving away the plot? Well, there’s a mystery that Anna will be trying to solve with a little help from the Pinkerton detectives—a real agency founded in 1850. You may enjoy solving it along with her.
The story takes place in the Gilded Age when society women wore beautiful gowns like these and the one shown on the book cover.
The Gibson Girl hairstyle was a popular look.
And wealthy Chicagoans were building over-the-top mansions to replace the homes destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire.
And staffing them with servants at their back and call.
Every good novel needs a love story, and I hope readers will enjoy the one I’ve created in “Legacy.” Sorry, I can’t tell you who the lucky lovers are, but I hope you’ll be surprised.

I doubt if many of us share Anna’s extravagant lifestyle, but many of us have shared her journey to find God’s purpose for our lives. It’s a theme that’s very dear to me because it also took me a long time to discover my purpose. I love to share my story whenever I’m invited to speak at events because it’s the story of God’s faithfulness. I don’t have the time or space to share it here, but I hope that Anna’s journey will inspire readers who are still seeking.

Finally, I’m giving away two free copies of “Legacy of Mercy” to help celebrate launch day. One winner will be randomly selected from among my newsletter subscribers (go to www.lynnaustin.org to subscribe.) The other winner will be chosen from those who leave a comment below. Good luck! And I hope you enjoy “Legacy of Mercy.”

An Invitation

A week from today, I will be leaving on a book-signing and speaking tour in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. Believe me, I know how blessed I am to have this opportunity, especially after already visiting Germany earlier this year! Many people have told me how much they enjoyed traveling with me the first time so I’ve decided to invite you all to come along with me this time, too.

I will be posting photos on Facebook and Instagram (@Lynnaustinbooks  #lynnaustin) and on this blog. You can expect a few of the usual tourist pictures, but I also hope to post some of the fun and unusual things I see and experience.

When I return, I want to give away some souvenirs from those three countries to thank you for traveling with me. I’ll pick out something special from each place and add a copy of my novel “Where We Belong” to each package.


The two main characters, Rebecca and Flora Hawes, loved to travel even though they lived in the Victorian era when women weren’t allowed to travel the world unescorted. When you read their story, it will take you on another adventure.

If you’d like a chance to win one of these souvenir packages,

you need to do three things.

  1. Please stop by my website, www.lynnaustin.org and sign up for my newsletter. Congratulations! You are already here..now just put your email into the box on the right side of this page.
  2. Follow or like me on Facebook.
  3. If you have Instagram, follow me here also.

If you’re already on my newsletter list then you’re already entered! (Sorry, but postage costs limit me to US addresses only.) Last date to enter is June 16.

If you think of me, please pray for safety while traveling, and for rest and strength and good health for me and all those traveling with me. And especially pray for God’s blessing on the speaking opportunities He’s given me. These include bookstores, ladies’ breakfasts, churches, and a Christian book festival. It’s an opportunity and responsibility that I don’t take lightly!

In Marburg, Germany I’ll be celebrating the 100th anniversary of my German publishing company, Francke, which has been doing an excellent job of providing quality Christian books since 1918. Congratulations to them! I am honored to partner with you.

So, what’s on your travel “bucket list?” Where would you most like to go if you had the chance?

Schönes Deutschland: Beautiful Germany

What a trip! It was so surreal to be touring Germany with Ken. I often had to keep pinching myself to see if I was dreaming. We saw miles and miles of this beautiful country and had the opportunity to meet some of the most warm and inviting people I’ve ever met.  Would you pull up a chair and allow me to share my trip pictures with you?

I took my latest two characters, Rebecca and Flora with me as traveling companions since they loved to travel so much. If you follow me on Instagram @LynnAustinBooks, you saw the many different places we took the book Where We Belong. Here I am with one of my German friends, she is holding the German version of Where We Belong and on the table is Fly Away.

I spoke in many different venues, including at a church that is in a castle. It was a blessing to meet so many wonderful people.

On Sunday I spoke at two Christian Church services. They were both such joyful services with young families and seniors and every age in between.  It was so amazing to me that Christ’s Church can survive and thrive even when persected.
It also made me realize how much we take our religious freedom for granted. I have never suffered for my faith. We are free to go to college or pursue any career we want. I wonder how many of us would admit to being Christians under such circumstances?

I was completely surprised to find this beautiful hot air balloon basket on stage next to my podium. I was speaking about the book Fly Away and this was a wonderful visual addition.

Anyone care to translate?

We were caught in our own polar vortex! It was so cold!

The food, oh the food! Warm bread, apple strudel and so much more. Ken and I had our fill of some of the most delicious treats while we were there.

The Brandenburg Gate. Stunning to be looking at history with my own eyes.One of my most touching memories from this trip was meeting a young woman who grew up in the former East Germany before the wall came down. When the communists were in control, her family was discriminated against because they were Christians. The teachers and other students treated her differently in school. She wasn’t allowed to go to college or choose her own career. I can only imagine her parents’ pain to see their child suffering because of their faith. Christians were always closely watched and didn’t dare to take a misstep.

Here is the village that my ancestors are from.

This is the church my great-grandfather probably attended before he immigrated to America in the 1880s.

A mini-Austin.

I wish I could have taken you all with me. It was a truly amazing trip and I am so grateful. I wasn’t doing specific research for a project but I must say I was inspired by everything we saw for future books.

Just for fun, here are some of my books with their German counterparts. Can you figure out which books go together? I will choose a winner from the comments and send you a signed book. Have fun! Be sure to join me on Facebook, I will be posting the answers as soon as I get my body back to Eastern Standard Time.

The notice in the newspaper intrigued me. It called for volunteers to help with a hot air balloon race, which was taking place in a few days in a nearby park. I remember thinking, “Hmmm. Maybe I could use this experience in a novel someday.” We lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada at the time, and my children were small, but I talked my family into volunteering with me, thinking it might be a fun experience. And it was!

We were assigned to a balloonist on the day of the race, and our first task was to help him unload the wicker gondola, burners, fans and a huge canvas bag from the back of his pickup truck. Then we set to work pulling the enormous balloon from the bag and spreading it out on the ground. And I do mean enormous! It could have covered our entire house. Next, we set up fans in front of the balloon’s opening and held it open like a huge mouth until the cavity was filled with air. My husband and another volunteer held onto the guide ropes at the top of the balloon so it wouldn’t blow away before we were ready.

Meanwhile, the balloonist set up the gondola and burners, and attached them to the balloon, which was rising up as it filled with air as if coming to life after a long slumber. In fact, we were surrounded by swelling balloons on all sides. What a magnificent sight!

The balloonist had warned us to cover our ears when he fired the burners but I forgot, and the sudden roar made me jump out of my shoes. The warm air from the burners gave the balloon lift and it rose to its full height, tugging against the ground ropes as if ready to soar. It was time for the pilot to jump aboard and take off along with all the others. They would be sailing on the wind and following a chase balloon, which would be dropping a marker flag somewhere in the countryside, wherever the wind took it. The balloon that managed to drop a flag closest to the marker would be the winner.

Our pilot’s gondola was very small, so none of us got to ride with him. But as soon as he took off we became his chase team, following along behind him in his pickup truck so he wouldn’t be stranded in the middle of nowhere when his fuel ran out. The chase was an adventure in itself! We had to watch the skies and the roadway at the same time, always trying to keep the balloon in sight. Winnipeg is divided by two rivers, so we had to backtrack a few times in order to find a bridge across them. Things got exciting with all three kids searching the skies until we spotted our balloon once again.

It landed safely in a farmer’s field outside of town, and he was very happy to see us roll up a few minutes later in his truck. After we helped him stuff the gigantic balloon back into the bag and reload all of the equipment, he drove us to the park to retrieve our car. All in all, it was a fun way to spend a summer evening, and the experience of a lifetime for our family. Years later, one of our kids confessed that he took adventures like that one for granted when he was young. It wasn’t until he spent time with his school friends that he realized not everyone’s mother was a crazy writer who volunteered for outrageous experiences like this.

And guess what? If you read my newest book, “Fly Away,” you’ll find that my characters also volunteer for a hot air balloon race. Nothing is ever wasted in the life of a writer! “Fly Away” was successfully launched four days ago as an e-book and in print. An audio version is also in the works. It tells the stories of two very different people—one learning how to live and the other how to die. But it isn’t a sad book at all. In fact, my early readers tell me they laughed out loud in places. If you would like to enter for a chance to win one of two free copies, be sure to join my newsletter by adding your email in the box on the right side of the screen and scroll all the way down and leave me a comment below.

And while you’re waiting to see if you win, be sure to check your local newspaper like I did to see if there are any interesting adventures you can volunteer for. You don’t have to be a crazy writer (or one of her children) to have fun. Enjoy!

A Quiz and a Giveaway!

S__A35FNow that my Restoration Chronicles series is complete, I’m giving away a free set of these three books to one of my readers. The series is based on the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, so take this True/False quiz first to see how much you remember about them:

Ezra & Nehemiah Trivia Quiz

1) Both of these men were born in Jerusalem.

Modern Jerusalem
Modern Jerusalem

2) They lived during the time of Queen Esther.

3) Ezra served as a priest of God.

4) The King of Persia granted the exiled Jews permission to return to Jerusalem and provided funds to rebuild God’s Temple.

5) When the Jews returned to Jerusalem from exile, Ezra encouraged them to intermarry with the people already living in the land.

6) Israel’s neighboring nations helped the Jews rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Model of Temple in Jerusalem
Model of Temple in Jerusalem

7) Nehemiah held an important position in the Persian government before going to Jerusalem.

8) There were women who helped Nehemiah rebuild Jerusalem’s wall.

9) Nehemiah and his co-laborers worked on the wall with one hand and carried a weapon in the other hand.

10) Ezra and Nehemiah celebrated the completion of the wall together.

Me in front of Nehemiah's Wall in The City of David in Jerusalem
Me in front of Nehemiah’s Wall in The City of David in Jerusalem


1) False – The Jewish people had been carried into captivity by the Babylonians and both Ezra and Nehemiah were born in exile.

2) True – The time periods of these two biblical books and the Book of Esther overlap.

3) True – He traces his genealogy back to Aaron, the first High Priest (see Ezra 7:1-5).

4) True – A copy of his decree is found in Ezra 1:2-4.

Torah Scroll
Torah Scroll

5) False – When Ezra learned that some Jews had married idol worshippers, he took drastic action (see Ezra 9-10).

6) False – Their offer to help was refused for fear they would mix their idolatry with true worship (see Ezra 3:1-3).

7) True – He served as a cupbearer to the Persian king, a position of great trust similar to a secret service agent who guards the president.

8) True – As unbelievable as this sounds, it’s true (see Nehemiah 3:12).

9) True – They refused to let their enemies halt their work (see Nehemiah 4:16-18).

Looking down at Nehemiah's Wall
Looking down at Nehemiah’s Wall

10) True – Nehemiah 12:27-36 describes the celebration and says that Ezra led one of the processions.

ShofarHow did you do? Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know all of the answers. I didn’t either until I began researching this series! But you can learn everything you need to know by reading my Restoration Chronicles. Book One, Return to Me, tells how the Jews who had been exiled to Babylon returned to their homeland to rebuild God’s Temple—the same Temple where Jesus later worshipped (although it was greatly embellished by King Herod). Book Two, Keepers of the Covenant, tells the story of the second wave of immigrants who returned, led by Ezra the teacher and priest. Book Three, On This Foundation, tells the story of Nehemiah, who took a leave of absence from the Persian king’s court to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.




One lucky reader will win a free set of these 3 books. Just follow the link to leave a comment on my other blog, Inspired by Life and Fiction, and I will pick a winner http://inspiredbylifeandfiction.com/a-quiz-and-a-giveaway/

On This Foundation

It’s always an exciting day when my newest novel arrives in the mail, hot off the press. It’s especially exciting this year because On This Foundation is the third and final book in my biblical fiction series, “Restoration Chronicles.”S__ACB9

When readers asked me to write more biblical fiction like my “Chronicles of the Kings” series, the stories of Ezra and Nehemiah immediately came to mind. These two leaders showed enormous courage when they left Babylon and returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and the city walls. On This Foundation tells how Nehemiah, who was the cupbearer for the King of Persia, became the architect and builder of Jerusalem’s defenses. In spite of fierce opposition and death threats from his enemies, he never doubted that the hand of God was with him.3-Lynn in front of main portion of Nehemiah's wall

I did extensive research in Jerusalem before I began writing this series because my goal is to stay as close to the scriptural text as possible—not adding to it, but merely filling in some of the historical and cultural background. Here are some of the pictures I took on my research trip:6-Nehemiah's wall 1

It was so amazing to view the archaeological discoveries in Jerusalem and actually see and touch Nehemiah’s wall, built more than 2,400 years ago!IMG_0970

And seeing the steepness of the slope made me appreciate how difficult his task must have been.1-Looking down at Nehemiah's wall

Chapter three of the biblical book of Nehemiah lists all the men who volunteered to rebuild a section of the wall. Then verse twelve offers this intriguing piece of information: “Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters.” I wonder what inspired these young women to volunteer for such an undertaking? And I wonder how the men working alongside them responded! You’ll have to read the book to see how I imagined these unique women’s story.

It’s my hope that these novels will bring the Bible to life and not only help readers visualize the stories, but also to see biblical characters as real flesh-and-blood people. It’s my prayer that the novels will draw readers back to the Bible so they’ll read it for themselves—and maybe understand its relevance to their own lives just a little bit better. Enjoy!S__A35F

To help me celebrate the release of “On This Foundation”, please email your name and e-mail address to LynnAustinBooks@gmail.com by Wednesday September 23rd for a chance to win one of two free copies.

And for my readers in the SW Michigan area, please join me at the Kregel Parable Christian bookstore in Grandville, Michigan on Thursday, October 1 from 7-9 pm where I’ll be speaking and signing my new book. I would love to meet you!

KEEPERS OF THE COVENANT Kindle Giveaway and Live Author Chat with Lynn Austin!

keepers-pinterestBook two of The Restoration Chronicles series, Keepers of the Covenant, weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God’s unwavering love for His people.

I am celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and a live author chat webcast on October 21st.


One winner will receive:

-A Kindle HDX

-Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin

Click here for more info:

Keepers of the Covenant Lynn Austin





Enter today by clicking here. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 21st. Winner will be announced at the Keepers of the Covenant LIVE webcast event on October 21st. Connect with me for a fascinating evening centered around God’s unwavering love for His people. I’ll be hosting a Biblical fiction book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in The Restoration Chronicles, and much more!

So grab your copy of Keepers of the Covenant and join me with friends on the evening of October 21st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!

Keepers of the Covenant

{More about Keepers of the Covenant}

The Old Testament Comes to Thrilling Life in the Latest from Lynn Austin

In one life-changing moment, the lives of the Jewish exiles in Babylon are thrown into confusion and despair when a decree arrives from the king’s palace in Susa. It calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet Jewish scholar and teacher, is suddenly called upon to lead the community as they seek God for a reason for this catastrophe. When a second decree arrives, authorizing them to fight back, Ezra is thrust into the role of military leader as they defend themselves against their enemies.

When the battles come to an end, Ezra’s brother Jude is dead and Ezra is required by the Law he so diligently studies to marry Jude’s widow, Devorah, and provide an heir. Fatherhood changes Ezra, and he asks God to make a way for him and the other exiles to leave Babylon for good and return to Jerusalem. His prayers are answered and the exiles move to Judea to revitalize worship at the temple–but the fight to keep God’s Law is never easy. As more and more of his community are tempted, a new battle emerges…this one for the survival of God’s covenant and the souls of His chosen faithful.

Facebook Party and Giveaway!!

1382996_433331673441961_612305774_nTravel back in time with me to the Old Testament! Grab your copy of “Return to Me” and join me for an author chat party on October 22nd at 8:00 PM EDT (that’s 7:00 Central, ReturntoMe_mck.indd6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)!

Click JOIN to RSVP and then come back to this page on the 22nc (I’ll send you a reminder!) and follow the link to the party page.

During the party I’ll be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills, and announcing the winner from the Kindle Fire giveaway (enter here: http://bit.ly/15NM3G3), and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways, too: books, gift certificates, and more!


Know somebody who loves to read or loves biblical history? Bring your friends! Just share the link to this page or click INVITE FRIENDS.

I ALMOST FORGOT!! I’ll also be giving you an exclusive look at the next book in the series!

To see what others are saying about “Return to Me,” visit the blog tour: (http://litfusegroup.com/author/laustin)

General entry link: http://litfusegroup.com/lynn-austin-return-to-me (This link is for folks who don’t want enter via Facebook or don’t have FB accounts.)