I’m happy to have Carole Brown stop here for a guest post during the blog tour for her novel, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter the giveaway.
Author: Carole Brown
Published: October 21, 2013
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Word Count: 90,000
Genre: Women’s Fiction – Christian Suspense, Romance
Content Warning: Contains adult subject matter, such as abuse within cults
Recommended Age: 16+
Synopsis: How far would YOU go to avenge the murder of a daughter?
Caralynne Hayman is angry and bitter over the abuse and death of her eleven-year-old daughter from the hands of her religious group, The Children of Righteous Cain. When her husband suffers a sudden heart attack, she does nothing to help him. In her eyes someone needs to pay, and if that means all of the men in the group, then so be it.
Dayne MacFarland is sent away to college by the senior elder of the group to learn ministry. When he returns after finding salvation, determined to bring the truth to the people he’s known all his life, he rediscovers Cara and realizes the love he once felt for her is still deeply embedded within his heart.
Dayne faces men unwilling to turn their backs on the cult training he despises. Cara faces men who follow their leader in abuse toward their wives and the young girls of the group. Cara is considered rebellious and inappropriate to befriend. Dayne is the apple of Elder Simmons’ eye—until he takes a stand against their teachings.
Can Cara overcome the feelings that have governed her most of her life? Can she learn to trust Dayne, and most of all a God whom she sees as uncaring—if he’s really there at all? Only Dayne’s prayers and love can reach Cara and show her the way to redemption, and Cara must recognize and accept God’s love and forgiveness before she goes too far.
How the Redemption of Caralynne Hayman Came About
By Carole Brown
My husband and I have traveled a lot through the years. We’ve run across some interesting and unusual situations, counseled some odd cases, and ministered to some strange people. We enjoy it, and I suppose that’s why we enjoy keeping up with different current events throughout the country.
One such event caught our attention awhile back: the Texas cult. As I was looking for another plot idea (I’m a suspense writer) my husband, Dan, came up with the plot of a cult. But we needed to answer certain questions to develop the plot fully.
- What was it about the cult that was unusual?
- Who would the primary character be?
- What would cause a conflict between them?
Answering those led us to these questions that needed answers.
Since we’d decided on an abusive cult, what habits/rules did they push? I wanted something that could be (supposedly) traced back to ancient Biblical days (which I didn’t go into great detail in TRofCH, but hope to in the sequel.
I wanted to show how twisted misguided people can become when they “overdose” on too much authority and power and also a mild warning against believing everything promoted to us, even when it comes under the name of church, leadership, or well-known.
The main character, we decided, needed to be–not just a woman–but a mother who loses a daughter because of the actions of the cult. It intensified the emotions and created a problem that was at once humongous and dangerous.
I had to make Caralynne likeable, hence her great love for her two remaining daughters, her fierce loyalty to her friends, and her strength even when faced when fear from her circumstances and wicked people.
Yet to make her realistic, I also had to show her anger and bitterness: the major reasons for her lust for revenge. How can a mother lose a daughter–anyway is hard, but from abuse? It’s beyond thinking about. How much blame does a mother shoulder? Is it hard to forgive the perpetrator? Of course. Some can never get to that place. Some don’t want to. Yet I hold to the belief that for a person to have peace, there must be some kind of forgiveness. For the purposes of this book, that’s what I aimed for.
The death of a daughter would evoke emotions in a mother: anger, bitterness, and for Caralynne–a woman who has never seen real Christianity–a desire for revenge. Misguided, yes, but feelings that could easily rise up in any normal mother although most would rein in those feelings.
Once we’d brainstormed these the plot exploded.
I researched tattoos and shopped for just the right one that would symbolize what I wanted for a “cult brand.” It also had to go along with the first chapter, and be the right tattoo that would bring fear in certain situations. In this case, for a child. Ordinarily, the eye I chose wouldn’t bring fear, but for a child, seeing something fearful along with that, it was the perfect tattoo.
As I gathered more information about cults, This was vital because to bring the story alive, I needed to see how they tick. What brings people to the place where they will give their lives for a cause–in normal people‘s eyes, wrong causes? Why do people believe their leaders are correct? What kind of background could cause members to honestly think their group correct?
I needed just the right names for Appalachian people.
The setting had to hold an atmosphere of closeness and secludedness that would seem real, scary, and appropriate for the events in the book.
It was a tough book to write in many ways. I acknowledge it’s also a tough book to read to many–definitely not for the weak-hearted. I tried to show hope shining through the darkness throughout the book, and if I succeeded, if I caused readers to show more sympathy for the hurting people in the world, if I encouraged one abused soul that there is hope, then writing this book fulfilled its goal.
About Carole Brown: Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?
Blog Tour for The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman Giveaway. Prizes include the following:
- If the winner is in the U.S., they will receive the following: Copy of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, Copy of West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, $15 Amazon Gift Card, Handmade Table Runner, Handmade Apron, and Hand decorated recipe box.
- If the winner is INT, they will receive the following: eBook copy of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman, eBook copy of West Virginia Scrapbook: From the Life of Caralynne Hayman, an eBook copy of Hog Insane, and a $15 Amazon Gift Card.
Click on the link below to enter the giveaway: