I have a new release this month, a novella set in 1830’s California, Alta California. At the time Alta California was still Mexico. The Ranchero’s Gift, is part of my Land of Promise series, comes between Bandolero(Book 1)and The Ranchero’s Love(Book 2). Many people ask where an author gets the idea for a book, so I thought I would share my inspiration for The Ranchero’s Gift.
My husband and I were visiting our daughters’ church one Sunday morning. The Pastor had a conversational speaking style and sat on a stool in front of the congregation. I always enjoyed his messages, but this one struck a chord with me.
As he spoke, he related a story I hadn’t heard before. He talked about Abraham Lincoln purchasing a slave woman at an auction. As Abraham Lincoln walked away with the woman he just bought, he turned to her and told her she was free—he was giving her freedom.
The woman was startled, not expecting this and asked if she was free to go anywhere, do anything and say what she wanted. Lincoln told her that would be true, she could do whatever she wanted. Her response was to say that she wanted to go with him because he gave her freedom.
An astounding story, but the Pastor followed the opening story by talking about Jesus paying the price for us and then giving us our freedom. Jesus doesn’t demand that we love Him, or that we follow Him. He gives us the freedom to choose what we want to do. I understood what the newly freed woman meant when she wanted to follow the person who took away her bonds.
I had trouble focusing on the rest of the message that morning. I couldn’t quit thinking about being granted freedom in similar circumstances and what a person—particularly a woman—would do. How would you react to this unexplainable gift?
I also remembered being a young Christian and feeling the need to “pay God back” for all He’d done for me. Every time I did a service for Christ, I lifted it up as a payment. As if I could do anything to repay Christ for His gift. Plus, the attempt to pay Him, meant His sacrifice was no longer a gift. God taught me a hard lesson about gifts, one I’ve never forgotten. I decided to explore that theme as well.
Thus, was born the story of Maya and Yaniv in The Ranchero’s Gift.What happens when a young woman is sold and then given her freedom? I hope readers enjoy the story, but even more I hope the character’s struggles help the reader think about the gift they’ve been given and what they are doing with that gift.
What do you choose to do with the gift Jesus has given you?
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God…”Eph. 2:8
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Gal. 5:1