Today it is my great honor to introduce you to Carlene Havel. Carlene is not only a talented author, she’s also an incredibly sweet, considerate person. Carlene was one of the first friends that I made when I joined Prism Book Group. Back when I was just learning the ropes, I went to an online book release party and met her. Her funny comments cracked me up, and I knew that I wanted to get to know her better. My instincts served me well; Carlene is a gem and a terrific friend. Throughout my time in Prism, she has been so supportive. If you’re looking for a genuine person with a real love of Christ, that person is Carlene. I feel very privileged to have her on my blog today.
Danele: Hi, Carlene! I’m so glad to be able to talk with you!
Carlene: Hello, Danele. I’m excited to be here.
Danele: I’m excited to have you! I really loved your book, Baxter Road Miracle. Every time I read one of your stories, I’m amazed at how you manage to make your characters come alive.
Carlene: Thank you!
Danele: Now, Carlene, I know my readers are eager to learn more about you. Can you tell us the circumstances surrounding your decision to give your heart to Christ?
Carlene: When I became an adult, I decided I didn’t need anyone—God included. I wanted to live on my own terms, without rules or restraints. Consequently, my life became bondage disguised as freedom. That’s not to say there were no good times, but I had a hunger that nothing seemed to satisfy.
Danele: Isn’t that the truth! I can remember feeling like Christianity was just a bunch of rules that were determined to keep me from having any fun. But when I shoved Christ away, that’s when I learned the truth. Freedom is ultimately found only in God. I know it sounds strange, but it’s only when I’m totally submitted to Him that I find the peace and fulfilment that my soul craves. Nothing satisfies quite like the Lord.
Carlene: That’s true.
Danele: When you were living life on your own terms, what turned you around?
Carlene: The unexpected death of a very close friend caused me to take stock. I spent several months searching for something to cure the emptiness inside me, finally relenting and going to church. There I discovered Jesus, the answer, the solution, my all-in-all.
Danele: That’s so beautiful! Jesus really is our all-in-all. When I committed my life to Christ, it was like I found the missing piece to my soul. God’s love totally satisfied that deep inner longing that I felt. What amazed me was that God’s love wasn’t like human love. It didn’t have limits or conditions. When I was praying, I would feel His love encompassing me, and it felt like I was floating in a huge, huge ocean. It’s hard to explain, but I think that Ephesians 3:17b-19 explains it best, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” I love that verse! Do you have a favorite Bible verse, Carlene?
Carlene: I dearly love the whole book of John’s gospel.
Danele: Oh! Me too!!! When I was in Bible Quiz, my favorite year was the year we studied John. John chapters 3 and 10 are A-mazing!!! The Gospel of John is FANTASTIC.
Carlene: Yes–but wait–I can’t exclude Romans.
Danele: Isn’t that true??? Romans contains the Roman road to salvation. It also has Romans 8:28. And Romans 8:38. And Romans 10:9-10. Oh! You’re right! The book of Romans is wonderful!!! But is there one particular verse that’s your favorite?
Carlene: One verse? Hmm…
Danele: LOL! It’s like trying to pick between a diamond, an emerald, and a ruby, isn’t it? But I’m not letting you off the hook. Give me just one.
Carlene: How about the second part of John 9:25? “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see.”
Danele: That’s a good one! Can you tell me why it’s so special to you?
Carlene: I love that verse because it describes my own situation.
Danele: Mine too, Carlene! I can’t believe that I ever thought I could live without God. It’s like I really was blind. That’s a beautiful verse!
Carlene: If you ask again tomorrow, I might give a different answer. There are so many wonderful truths in the Bible.
Danele: Isn’t that the truth! Now, Carlene, there are so many people hurting in this world. What would you like to say to them?
Carlene: There is always hope in the Lord. He warned us we would face troubles. However, when He is there alongside, we can get through all of life’s difficulties.
Danele: That’s so true. I never would have made it through my illness and quarantine without God. He’s not just a “nice idea.” He’s a LIVING FORCE, and He wants to help us through all of our heartaches and worries. All we have to do is ask. Now, Carlene, I’d love for you to tell us a little about your latest writing project.
Carlene: Sharon Faucheux, my writing partner, and I are knee-deep in an experiment.
Danele: That sounds exciting! What are you doing?
Carlene: We are self-publishing a book of short stories called Dried Flowers. It’s a potpourri including time travel, fantasy, a mail order bride, and a modernized fairy tale. A couple of the stories take place in the eighteen hundreds, while others are contemporary. There’s no overt Christian message in Dried Flowers, but it’s all good, clean fun.
Danele: Dried Flowers sounds like a blast!! I can’t wait to get my greedy hands on it! I dearly love a good read. Can you give us a list of the other books you’ve written and a link where we can find them?
Carlene: Sure! A Hero’s Homecoming, Baxter Road Miracle, and Here Today Gone Tomorrow. With my writing partner Sharon Faucheux, I’ve written: Daughter of the King and The Scarlet Cord (books about Michal and Rahab in the Bible). http://www.amazon.com/Carlene-Havel/e/B008M9J8JA/
Danele: Carlene, it’s been so much fun talking with you today! Thank you so much for being here!
Carlene: Thank you for hosting me on your blog—which has taken off like a kite in the wind. I always appreciate you and your words of encouragement.
Friends, Carlene is such an incredible person! If you would like to learn more about her or her books, please click on the links below. I hope you have a wonderful day!