Contemporary Christian Fiction discussion

Book Discussions (Monthly) > Mar. The Price of Trust with author Amanda Stephan/Spoilers

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message 1: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melanieinoh) | 28 comments Just got my book from Amanda! Thanks so much, excited to get started on it and to have some discussion on it :)

message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Yay!
I hope you love it~ I'm excited to discuss it as well. Thank you for letting me know it arrived :)
Have a great day!

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Melanie, where did you buy it?

message 4: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melanieinoh) | 28 comments Elisa I won it from the drawing at the beginning of the month :) I would share it, but Amanda graciously signed it for me :)

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, I didn't know that! Ah, well congratulations. Signed copies are always fun. =)

message 6: by Trish (new)

Trish (trishag) | 385 comments Mod
I turned this older thread into the "official" March Spoiler book discussion so discuss away!...

P.S. This is as early as it gets for me;) Mornings are not my friend heehee!....

message 7: by Trish (new)

Trish (trishag) | 385 comments Mod
I have to admit that I haven't read it yet:( March snuck up on me as always I forgot how short of a month Feb. is...
BUT don't wait for me... I'll join in on discussion shortly:) Enjoy!

message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Good morning all! Teric and I have already been duking it out on another post, but we're going to move things over this way. I'll copy and paste ~

Teric said:
"Alright, Amanda,

You said bright and early. So, being as that I'm the only happy camper around at the present, I might as well kick off the first question:

I've read in an interview where you stated you had initially written The Price of Trust for your daughter. Can you give us a little background or insight into that? What made you decide to turn a personal story into a public one?

Thanks, friend, and blessings!"

Here's my answer:
"I've always written. I'm a picky reader and when I can't find a book that I like, I'll write my own. So, when hubby *had* to have a new computer for school, he said I could use it ~ (probably not a good idea!) I started typing a story for my kids, my daughter especially, because I wanted her to know that she doesn't have to put up with abuse. I wanted it to be an encouragement.

When I had finished the book (102,000 words) I was really excited and I mentioned it to hubby that I was finished. He printed it out, and asked me to try at least one time to have it published. He had to use Scriptures on me, I was so reluctant. He even wheedled and said he'd be rather upset if I didn't. So, I tried ONE time, and the rest is history.

I guess you could say that this book was actually a love letter to my children."

Thank you Teric, for kicking us off this morning! I hope you enjoy your bag of water and glass of chips...

message 9: by Darlene (new)

Darlene | 74 comments I've never participated in book discussion before, so I will observe for just a bit till I get the hang of things. Ok...I will ask this (twisted my own arm). Who do you like to read Amanda? What authors influence you?

message 10: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melanieinoh) | 28 comments Amanda, it isn't typical to find an author that writes a love letter to her children that has physical and mental abuse as part of the plot.
What would you say is symbolic in your story of the abuse? Would you say the symbol of the physical abuse to Carly represents the abuse the world gives to God's children?
What other people and circumstances in the story are symbols for something in our Christian walk?
Melanie :)

message 11: by Darlene (new)

Darlene | 74 comments I seem to be commenting on two different threads. Is there one we should be commenting on?

message 12: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melanieinoh) | 28 comments Darlene I think you are on the right one here :) Unless we both are lost :)

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm not sure, I'm seeing two threads this whole discussion is taking place on. Haha, I'm lost.

message 14: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melanieinoh) | 28 comments yep it is under book discussions and general :) So should we all switch to the general category??

message 15: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hi all!
Actually, I think Trish wanted this one to be used as the book discussion thread. But, I get a notice to each so wherever you post, I'll follow!

message 16: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments This is the thread we're supposed to be using, but I'll answer on either!

First and foremost, I'd like to thank each of you for taking the time out to read my book. That's a little scary for me, as it holds so much of my heart!

I'll start with Melanie's comment. Melanie, you asked "What would you say is symbolic in your story of the abuse? Would you say the symbol of the physical abuse to Carly represents the abuse the world gives to God's children?"

Yes and no. When Carly entangled herself with a man such as Ian even against her father's guidance, she set herself up for a world of hurt. As parent's, we're not to keep our children to ourselves when they grow up, but to train them up and teach them. No one loves their child like a parent, and no one wants their child to succeed more than a parent. So it is with God. He, our Heavenly Father, wishes to protect and guide us, and when we just don't listen, we end up reaping the rewards, or paying the consequences.

Now, I also wanted to show that physical as well as mental abuse happens to Christians too. It's not just a secular problem, and as Christians, we need to seek God on everything, even matters of the heart in an effort to guard against these things. Again, Carly went against the guidance of her father and ignored his warnings, just as we Christians sometimes ignore God and make our problems worse.

When Carly finally opened up to Joe is symbolic of when the Christian finally gives everything over to God and submits. Submission in our society has been changed to mean something ugly, but it's actually a freeing experience. When we submit to someone who loves us more than life itself, there is such happiness that it's incomprehensible. That's what Joe and Carly's love for one another represent.

Billy is an example of what hatred can do. He's the symbol of the world. He hated the fact that he was losing someone he thought he could love and he wanted to strike out at that person, almost causing her to lose her life.

Sam & Sue are symbols of how Christians should be an encouragement to one another. So many times I've seen Christians hurt other Christians that it's discouraging and depressing. We were meant to bear one anothers burdens, not BE a burden!

There are more, but I'd like to know what symbolism you found, and tell us your thoughts!

message 17: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hi Elisa! I'm pasting your comment here, so we'll know where to go ~

Elisa wrote:
Amanda, it's honestly nice to hear about your stories. I know I haven't read the book so I can talk about that, but I'm honestly impress with you completing a book within a year! I've been at the same story for four years, haha, so one year and not even doing it hardcore is amazing.

Hats off to you.

It sounds like you had a positive, very creative environment for your writing to flourish. And that's always a great thing. =)

Oh, and I think that every book has facets of a writer in it, whether we realize it or not when we're initially writing it.

I guess my other question would be why Christian fiction? I noticed on your blog that you said you write only "clean" fiction. What exactly does that mean? (I'm such a question freak, sorry if that was too much).

I love questions!!! Please please please ask! I'm a question freak too, so you're in good company!

I agree ~ every book has facets of the author. When I write, I show little pieces of myself and you get a glimpse of my heart.

I write Christian fiction because I'm in love with God. He's brought me through so much I want to do everything I can for Him. I want something uplifting. Encouraging, even. I want to help and be a blessing to others.

By 'clean' fiction, I mean I wanted to write in such a way that if the Preacher came to my house I wouldn't have to hide my book. I wanted this book in church libraries. I don't want to be embarrassed in any way.

message 18: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hi Darlene! Here's your comment and my answer -
Are you working on book 2? If so, is it a sequel? Or a stand alone?

Oooh, I love these kind of questions! Yes. I'm working on a sequel to The Price of Trust. It will be stand alone, but you'll gain better understanding of my main character which is....

Billy Pruitt! Yes, Billy became my favorite character in T.P.O.T., and I wanted to flesh him out and continue his own story where he meets.... ;)

message 19: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hello Courtney! I'm so glad you could join us. I've pasted your comment below -

I am a youth leader at my church and we have a couple of young girls that have struggled with abuse and I really found this book to be great to pass on to those girls! I've had my own personal experience with abuse too and to put it in to words would be hard but I like that you did just that Amanda, for your daughter! Truly amazing! Are you working on any other new books?

Thank you, Courtney, first for working with those girls. That's a great service, and I applaud you for it!

I am no stranger to abuse myself. Unfortunately, I'm finding that so many women have dealt with some form of abuse, that it's frightening. Yes. Abuse happens. No, it is never pretty, no matter if it's physical, mental, or sexual, and it leaves lasting scars on the receiver. BUT! God is God and He can take those issues and fix that broken heart and mold that person to make a vessel fit unto honor. Thank you for sharing my book with those young women. I hope it's a blessing to them.

Yes, I'm working on other books. The sequel to T.P.O.T. deals a little more in depth with abuse, but I shy away from bringing out too much into the open because I personally don't want to read books like that. I don't want to make my readers so uncomfortable that they won't read my other works.

I'm also working on another series (3 so far) that deals with different issues. All these are fiction, and all are Christian.

Thanks for joining us and for the questions!

message 20: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hi Mr. Steve! Here's your comment:
I hope this doesn't put you on the spot, Amanda, or embarrass me because I wasn't paying close enough attention, but I am soooo curious about who was making the prank calls to Carly at the store. I know it wasn't the ugly man who bought boxes of nails because Carly caught him peeking at the number to pass it on to Ian long after the calls started. And who was the guy at the mall who confronted Kelly and Carly? Are these just mysteries we have to ponder? Thanks.

Bwah ha ha! I love those parts. My mind was going a million miles a minute...
I left it open to the imagination of the reader because so many times, the reader makes things worse than what they really are.
But, the prank calls at first were all Billy. Then, when the ugly little 'nail' man came in, that's when Ian started calling.

Mystery Mall Man was just that. A mysterious crony on Ian's payroll. Ian had contacts everywhere, and although this one wasn't brought in to further harass Carly, Ian did want it plain to her that he still had her under his thumb in an odd sort of way. And that he was having her watched, because that's just creepy.

message 21: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Now, I have a question for you readers. We all know that first impressions can be deceitful, so I'm curious.
What was your first impression of the book?

message 22: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melanieinoh) | 28 comments Amanda wrote: "Hi Darlene! Here's your comment and my answer -
Are you working on book 2? If so, is it a sequel? Or a stand alone?

Oooh, I love these kind of questions! Yes. I'm working on a sequel to The Price..."

It will be exciting to read about Billy's journey. One who you think it lost to the world because of his family and one we may think that is lost to God.
The hopeless being found.. love those stories!

message 23: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melanieinoh) | 28 comments Amanda wrote: "Now, I have a question for you readers. We all know that first impressions can be deceitful, so I'm curious.
What was your first impression of the book?"

My first impression came immediately when you had Carly praying to God. It was like a breath of fresh air, knowing that this book was going to be one I could read. I do read 'secular' books on occassion, and I am always taking the risk that I may not finish it. If it starts to make me feel like I shouldn't be reading it I stop. It was so nice to feel like I could snuggle in for the duration and read the whole book! Loved how it had her prayers and talking to God, not just saying she prayed or she called out to God. Having God be a main character in the story, not just having a 'clean' story makes a true Christian novel in my mind.

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Amanda, so cool that there's a discussion of your book on here! I loved, loved, loved this book! It's a definite MUST READ! All of you wondering whether it's good or not, trust me, you HAVE to read it!

message 25: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Melanie wrote: "Amanda wrote: "Hi Darlene! Here's your comment and my answer -
Are you working on book 2? If so, is it a sequel? Or a stand alone?

Oooh, I love these kind of questions! Yes. I'm working on a s..."

Ah, so do I, Melanie! We have a tendency to look at sin as either big or small and shy away from those people like Billy that are mean and hateful. But, if we look at sin the way God looks at it, there isn't big or small ~ Jesus died because of them all.

"I am the wretch the song talks about." :)

message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Amanda wrote: "Hi Darlene! Here's your comment and my answer -
Are you working on book 2? If so, is it a sequel? Or a stand alone?

Oooh, I love these kind of questions! Yes. I'm working on a sequel to The Price..."

AWESOME! I think Billy will be a great character to continue telling the story on. He's definitely dynamic and I can see a great many changes ahead for him.

message 27: by Amanda (last edited Mar 03, 2011 08:06AM) (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hi April! I'm so glad you could join us, and thank you for the plug for my book. What an awesome encourager you are! :)

Melanie & April ~
Yes, when I finished TPOT, I felt that there was so much more that needed to be said about Billy. What changes would a person like him have to go through? Someone who had seen and been on the other side. Someone that felt his own worthlessness, and yet was told that he was loved. That is a great story in itself, and I just couldn't leave him alone like that! So, expect some serious things for Billy.

message 28: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melanieinoh) | 28 comments I live on a farm, and my DH grew up on a farm, so farming is near and dear to me. I paid close attention to the farm when Carly was there :) And of course I have some suggestions :)
My question is do you live on a farm or did you consult anyone about the farm facts?
What other professionals did you consult?

message 29: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hi Melanie ~
Yes, I live on a mini farm, and I love it. I was raised rural and taught to be self sufficient and self reliant. Most of the farm scenes came from memories that my father shared when he was young. I do that a lot in my writing ~ I guess it's my way of preserving a memory! :)

message 30: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments New question to readers ~
Was there a particular character that you could identify with? And why?

message 31: by Darlene (new)

Darlene | 74 comments Amanda wrote: "Now, I have a question for you readers. We all know that first impressions can be deceitful, so I'm curious.
What was your first impression of the book?"
Amanda, my first impression? The first thing I thought of was a book I read with a similar plot to it. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what book it is, not that it matters much. While there were some similarities between the two books, the main character running from abuse etc., I thoroughly enjoyed The Price of Trust and felt you did a fantastic job. I felt I could sympathize with your characters. My grandmother was abused and my current project deals with domestic violence within a marriage, so I found your account of abuse extremely helpful and enlightening. Hopefully this all makes is late, and I am so tired! LOL Hopefully the spelling is alright as well...too tired to spellcheck any words I, please forgive me.

message 32: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments LoL Darlene! I hate when my head is so fuzzy my sentences don't make sense. It happens often. You should see me when I'm trying to teach math and I'm fuzzy. Sheesh! I have to grab the coffee pot and plunk it down on my desk so I have an endless supply on hand!

Actually, you made perfect sense. Yes, there are many books out there that deal with abuse and such issues. I just hope the book you read wasn't very like mine! :)

I hope you have a bright, unfuzzy day!

message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Amanda, you're a math teacher?

message 34: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hi Elisa ~
I'm a homeschooling mom, so technically, I teach it all! ;)

But, I have a question for you. I know you haven't read my book, and I don't want to leave you out. So, the question is, what types of Christian books do you read? Sci-fi? Thriller? And, who is your favorite Christian author?

Have a good one! :)

message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, homeschooling is hard! How old are your kids? Hopefully they're not doing Algebra 2 or anything like that yet. I did my last two years of high school through homeschool. Let me tell you, I was a little slacker, haha. Learned a lot though, especially about time management and God, funny enough.

Aw, you're so nice. Honestly, I'm really into fantasy stories. Guess you could say I was hooked on 'em as a kid. Sci-fi is pretty much my second love, though I think my inner hopeless romantic tries to shove romance novels into the mix more often than not.

So yeah, fantasy, romance, contemporary fiction, and definitely sci-fi are up there at the top. I'll read a thriller or suspense novel only if it's good and highly recommended by someone who knows my taste in that area. I'm picky.

But that's part of the reason I started up my own publishing business. Have you seen any good Christian books in those genres (aside from romance and contemporary fiction) that are, well, good? Haha. I wanted to find Christians who feel the same way and publish them. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks again for still keeping me in the loop even though I haven't read your book yet!

message 36: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (courtneymel) | 15 comments I completely conected with Carly, it's weird how many things I connected on! I came from a broken marriage and then I also lost my biological father! Lots of the reasons that I started dating horrible guys was due to the hurt from both instances. I dated a guy when I was 17 for a year and half that was abusive to me! It wasn't until I met another Christian guy that told me I was worth more than that garbage that I broke it off. After I ended things with the abusive guy he stalked me for years. It was not bad like in the book but it was not fun either. He called me constantly, I had to change my number 3 times. He would drive by my house all the time. He even followed me after I got married. I finally moved enough for him not to find me again. He did find my brother and asked him about me but my brother refused (obviously) to give him any info about me. Scary situation! I am now almost 30 and I teach youth group in my church. I have used my testimony of this relationship many times to girls that have gone through this and to warn the others about the dangers of abusive relationships! I really connected with this book and I think that is why I read it so fast! I really do believe God is in the restoration business and can restore broken hearts like that of Joe and Carly! I hope this answers your quetion about what character I related too!

message 37: by Steve (new)

Steve Groll | 18 comments My first impression of The Price of Truth was: Now here is a book that is not a fantasy/science fiction that I might actually enjoy. And I did! I find that most of the Tate published authors write very enjoyable books. Amanda is a great addition to their group of writers. Abuse is something I never had to deal with, but my wife grew up in an abusive home with an abusive stepfather. As hard as Carly had it, she could at least leave. Being a child trapped in an abusive home is the worst. Even as a mature middle aged woman, she still suffers from post traumatic stress.

Elisa, Christian fantasy is growing rapidly. There are web sites and blogs dedicated to the genre. Below are a couple blogers dedicated to Christian fantasy. And as I mentioned above, there are also several websites dedicated to this genre.

Tate Publishing is owned by a Christian family and they publish a lot of Christian fiction

message 38: by Steve (last edited Mar 04, 2011 11:16PM) (new)

Steve Groll | 18 comments All this talk about living on a farm is making me jealous. I think I will get myself an ant-farm. Do you think that will help me to fit in better?

message 39: by Amanda (last edited Mar 04, 2011 03:49PM) (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments LOL Steve! Um, I'm not sure you will feel as though you fit in, but an ant farm is a farm, so sure! Go ahead! And then, my son will be jealous because he's always trying to bring critters in ~ bleh!

We've had so many different animals inside this house, it's not funny. Robins, red-headed woodpeckers, chickens (yes. They were in a cage,) cats, dogs, fish, finches, triops, blue jays, etc. etc. I'm just glad the cow wouldn't fit in through the door! :) Our daughter still tries to get us to fit a horse inside the chicken house.

message 40: by Steve (new)

Steve Groll | 18 comments Amanda, you're a regular Dr. Dolittle.

message 41: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hi Elisa ~
You've got quite the eclectic taste in books! But that's a good thing, I'm sure.

Our kids are growing FaSt! Our daughter will be completing Algebra 1 this year, so Alg. 2 is next year. She's working on French and Danish at the same time as she's seriously addicted to learning.
Our son will be in Pre-Algebra next year (oh joy) so my work is definitely cut out for me, but I really enjoy it.

message 42: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments You know, my brother used to think I was crazy when I would 'talk to the animals'!


message 43: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hi Courtney & Steve ~
I'm sorry you had to deal with abuse (your wife as well, Mr. Groll,) but I'm so glad you're working with the younger generation. It's important to have a Christian influence at this time in their lives. Even if only one hears and applies that they're worth more than that, then that's a victory!

message 44: by Aileen (new)

Aileen Stewart I love chickens! When I was growing up my best friend lived on a farm. My favorite thing to do was gather the eggs. I think that's what influenced my characters.

message 45: by Aileen (new)

Aileen Stewart Have you finished the next book in the series yet Amanda?

message 46: by Amanda (last edited Mar 04, 2011 06:55PM) (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Aileen wrote: "Have you finished the next book in the series yet Amanda?"

Hi Aileen ~
I'm glad to see you!
No, I haven't finished it yet. After I finished TPOT, I started right away on another book, (a stand alone) and when that one was finished, I started another. That book (#3) got so big, that I had to part it into a series (#4). When #4 was finished, I was cooking dinner one night and an idea for another part in that series jumped right in front of the TPOT sequel that I was working on at the time. So. That's why I tell people I'm currently working on books 5 & 6 ~ because neither have stopped.

Does any of that make sense?! No wonder it's said that writing is the only accepted form of schizophrenia...
just kidding, all you authors! :)

Question to all you TPOT readers:
When Carly met Joe's ex, Amy, what was your first reaction? Did you pity her? Could you picture her in your mind, and what could she symbolize in the world?

message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

First off, Steve, thanks for the links! That's awesome, and I'm excited to read through them.

Amanda, I actually always thought my taste was really exclusive! Glad to see it's not. And French and Danish? Wow. Danish must be complicated!

message 48: by Trish (new)

Trish (trishag) | 385 comments Mod
OK...Amanda, please tell me what happened to the Kindle version of the book? I read the free Kindle sample last night, tried to buy it then & now, & it seems to have just vanished from Amazon.
I was going to suffer through reading it on my iphone, but now I can't even do that....Uuugh! Should I just buy it & wait for snail mail?...this is unexpectedly crazy:( & I'm sooooo late! I've been queezy sick all week that I haven't been able to read with everything spinning....Sorry guys!!!

message 49: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hi Trish ~ I don't know where the Kindle version went. Ugh. I'll have to send another email to my publisher. Hopefully it'll be back up soon!

message 50: by Steve (last edited Mar 04, 2011 11:26PM) (new)

Steve Groll | 18 comments I find it fascinating that Billy is one of the strongest and most interesting characters in the book even though he is given very little ink. You did an excellent job with his development and how you used him. It really causes you to wonder what things were like in his home after his conversion and how his relationships in the community changed.

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