This is Rescue

Slow, cautious steps forward until flames strike out toward skin and eyes burn. Another step. Then one more.

“Do not come any closer.”

A shepherd’s staff forgotten. The arm of a cloak raised as a shield from the heat.

“Take off your sandals. The place where you are standing is holy ground.”

Dirt-caked sandals set aside.

Bare feet, bare soul. Holy ground.

“I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”

Tanned hands trembling. Head bowed in fearful reverence.

Flames licking the sky, but the bush below remaining unconsumed. No branches breaking, no leaves withering.

“I have seen the misery of my people. I have heard them crying out in their slavery, and I am concerned about their suffering.”

In Egypt, the backs of the chosen break under the weight of bricks and the beatings of slave drivers. Nightly cries for deliverance are thrown at the skies. Weeping and wondering and waiting.

“So I have come down to rescue them.”

A hesitant yes from a man born in secret, hidden in a basket, and raised among princes.

“I will be with you.”

Plagues. Passover. Parting seas.


Disobedience and doubts and decades of wandering in the desert.

Provision and prophecies and promises.

Then silence.


Quick, panicked steps forward, fear flickering in wide eyes.

Knocking on a closed door. Then another door. Then one more.

A walking staff forgotten. The arm of a cloak raised to wipe a sweat-drenched brow.

The place where you are standing is holy ground.

A desperate call for help. Dirt-caked sandals tripping on gravel. Refuge found in an unassuming corner of a crowded city.

I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.

Tanned hands trembling, unsteady voice sending pleading prayers up to the sky.

A cry of new life as light is born into the darkness.

I have seen the misery of my people.

A soft palm and tiny nails and wrinkled fingers inspected and kissed by a virgin who quietly learns a lullaby.

Dark hair and pink cheeks and little arms gently scrubbed by the calloused hands of a man who has only known the rough work of sanding wood.

I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.

Woven together in a womb. Formed from flesh. Born from a cry of pain onto a bed of hay. From a frame of faith and innocence into a cave, dark and damp.

So I have come down to rescue them.

A stable as the holy of holies, the dwelling place of the Divine. A manger as the altar where the Sacrifice lie swaddled and snug. A shrill, tiny cry as the call to worship.

I am with you.

Angels rejoicing. Shepherds running through the streets. Deity resting.



When I think of Yahweh, I think of power, might, a thundering voice. I think of God in the Old Testament, sending plagues on the Egyptians, parting the Red Sea, leading with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

But then He came to us as a Baby. He gave up every ounce of strength, everything we associate with Divinity. He showed us the length He would go to save us.

He showed us what Emmanuel truly means – not just God with us on a mountain, handing down commandments. Not just God with us in a bush that blazes but doesn’t burn up. Not just God with us, leading us through the desert.


When He became incarnate, He became intimate. Closer than walking in a perfect garden beside us, He placed Himself in our arms.

He placed Himself in the womb of a girl so He could one day place His Spirit in our hearts. He challenged everything we thought we knew about God, showing us true love is messy and painful and often takes time.

“God said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you. This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.’”

I Am. Yahweh.

Teaching and guiding and freeing.

Drying tears, healing hearts, breathing life into those paralyzed by fear and shame and disease.

Reaching out to the outcast, healing souls in desperate need of hope.

Provision and prophecies and promises fulfilled.

Jesus. Yahweh is salvation.

Back bearing the weight of wrath, palms pierced with nails driven by hatred.

Then dawn breaks and life defeats death.

The stone is rolled away and the curtain separating God and man lies on the floor, ripped in two, forever breaking the silence and freeing us from slavery to sin.  Inviting us to come if we believe this good news that is truer than feelings and more certain than what our human eyes can see.

Emmanuel. God is with us.

The name we still remember on the other side of His first coming and in anticipation of His second.

I have seen the misery of my people…I have come down to rescue them…I will be with you.

This is rescue.

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21


(Find the story of Moses and the burning bush in Exodus 3)

Christmas Sale!

Happy December and welcome to the Christmas season! Let’s start off the celebration with a sale!


From now until the end of December, you can snag a copy of All of This for only $15! Or grab one for a friend too and get them both for $25!

Or, you know, buy them for your whole group of friends (4 or more) and get a free ebook!

I’ll sign them and include a custom message for you. Plus, shipping is FREE! YAY FREE!

The sale is good all month, but order by December 18th to make sure you’ve got it by Christmas.

‘Tis the season,


P.S. The annual Christmas blog posts are on their way! I’ve got three finals and one more paper separating me from some quality writing time. But the Christmas stuff is coming :)

Unwritten Melody Blog Tour

unnamedHey, friends! I’m thrilled to welcome Tessa Hall to the blog as we celebrate the release of her YA novel, Unwritten Melody! I met Tessa through an online writers group a while back, then we later realized she has family in my hometown. So one day, we met for coffee…and now we’re on this writing journey together!

I’m so excited to share Unwritten Melody with you, because it’s a story worth sharing. I’ve read it a couple of times already, and I definitely recommend you add it to your reading list.

So stick around for lots of fun stuff…including info about the book, the official soundtrack for the story, and even a giveaway at the end of the post!

About the book 

Does breaking free require breaking the rules?unnamed1.jpg

Cassie Gilbert lives every day in the shadows of her deceased mom’s rebellion. But now that she’s seventeen, she finds herself longing to break away from her grandmother’s suffocating rules, experience what it’s like to be a regular teenager, and fulfill her songwriting dreams.

James Russo, former American Spotlight contestant, escapes to small town Willow Creek, SC hoping to flee from his tarnished past. When a school project pairs him with the shy principal’s granddaughter, he’s determined to get to know this Emily-Dickinson-obsessed and typewriter-using girl. His plan? Convince Cassie to co-write songs for his demo album.

As Cassie gets to know James over “project meetings” (more like opportunities to match her lyrics with his melodies), she becomes intrigued by his sense of adventure and contagious passion for music. But soon, his past becomes exposed. Cassie’s left to wonder—did she make the same mistake Mom did by falling for the bad boy?

Then, Grandma’s control pushes her over the edge. Cassie must choose between remaining in the chains of yesterday, or delving into her own freedom by completing the melody her mom left behind.

Book Links:

The Official Soundtrack to Unwritten Melody

From Tessa…

If you can’t already tell based on the title of this book, music serves as a significant thread throughout the story. Its soundtrack is consisted of a mix of country and pop-rock music – both of which represent Cassie and James.


Despite the fact that I’ve grown up in a fairly small and southern town, I was never a huge fan of country music. At all. I couldn’t listen to an entire song without having my skin crawl. But the summer before my senior year of high school, something changed. I don’t even know why or how – but I started listening to a few songs in this genre. Then a few more. Soon, country music became almost an obsession of mine. I couldn’t get enough of this music that I once had insisted I would never have an appreciation for. Ever.

I fell in love with the way country music reminded me of my hometown. I fell in love with the sound of it, and the way that almost each song tapped into my emotions and seemed to tell a story. (I’m not referring to the songs that are only about girls, beer, and trucks. Haha)

I believe this served as an influence for the creation of the Willow Creek, SC – the setting of Unwritten Melody.


When I wrote the first version of Unwritten Melody, the country music station on Pandora played on repeat. I would come home from a day of college classes, make a cup of Keurig coffee, turn on Pandora, open my manuscript, and the music would automatically transport me into the scene I was working on at the time.

Country music doesn’t just serve as the soundtrack to this story; it’s woven into it. Since Willow Creek is a small, country town, the country music station is usually a default in most of the resident’s vehicles. It’s the only secular music that my protagonist, Cassie, is allowed to listen to.

So as you can imagine, most of the songs on this soundtrack are – you guessed it! – country. But since we can’t exactly neglect the style of music that James performs, you’ll find pop-rock music mixed into this playlist as well. (James is, in fact, the hero of the story. ;) )

Here’s a sneak peak into this playlist, featuring songs that, in my opinion, seem to highlight the book’s theme and/or significant moments. Don’t forget to click here for the full soundtrack on Spotify!

  • “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson
  • “Get Out of This town” by Carrie Underwood
  • “Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood
  • “Inside Your Heaven” by Carrie Underwood
  • “Thank God For Hometowns” by Carrie Underwood
  • “More Than Miles” by Brantley Gilbert
  • “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes
  • “Invisible” by Hunter Hayes
  • “Beautiful Things” by Gungor
  • “On a Night Like This” by Dave Barnes
  • “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias
  • “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol
  • “Through Your Eyes” by Jenny & Tyler
  • “Goodbye Town” by Lady Antebellum
  • “Kiss Me Slowly” by Parachute
  • “Walk Away” by Jon McLaughlin
  • “Tattoos on This town” by Jason Aldean
  • “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry
  • “Can’t Get Over You” by Anthem Lights
  • “You and Me” by Lifehouse
  • “For You I Will (Confidence)” by Teddy Geiger
  • “Changed” by Rascal Flatts
  • “Something in the Water” by Carrie Underwood


Questions for you…

Do you listen to music as you write? Does it serve as an influence or inspiration to your writing in any way?

About Tessa

Tessa Emily Hall_Headshot3.jpgTessa Emily Hall writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show others they’re not alone—and because she remembers the teen life like it was yesterday (or a few years ago). The debut novel she wrote at 16-years-old, PURPLE MOON (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) was a Selah 2014 Finalist. Her second novel, UNWRITTEN MELODY, releases with Clean Reads November 2016. She’s the Founder of, a magazine that inspires teens to embrace their calling. She also enjoys helping writers achieve their dreams through her internship at Hartline Literary Agency.

When her fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, Tessa can be found making healthy homemade lattes, speaking to teens, decorating her insulin pump, and acting in Christian films. She writes in a small town nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Southeastern coast. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on her blog, mailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website.

Connect With Tessa

Blog Tour Schedule

Don’t miss the next blog tour stop! Be sure to visit the following blogs on its designated tour date. You can also email tessaemilyhall (at) gmail (dot) com and request to receive the Blog Tour Packet. At the end of the tour, Tessa will send you the downloadable PDF that will contain all of the content from each blog tour stop.

Tues., November 1 – Christ is Write
Wed., November 2 – Adriana Gabrielle Writes
Thurs., November 3 – The Depth of My Faith
Fri., November 4 – Sarah Ruut
Mon., November 7 – God is Love
Tues., November 8 – The Bibliophile Angel
Wed., November 9 – Emily Rachelle Writes
Thurs, November 10 – Word Changers For His Glory
Fri., November 11 – Christian Teen Book Reviews
Mon., November 14 – Phyllis Still
Tues., November 15 – In The Bookcase
Wed., November 16 – Girl Meets Publishing World
Thurs., November 17 – Anna Schaeffer
Fri., November 18 – Ramblings of a Writer
Mon., November 21 – Naomi and Books
Tues., November 22 – Reading is My Superpower
Wed., November 23 – Zerina Blossom’s Books
Thurs., November 24 – Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud
Fri., November 25 – Labor Not in Vain
Mon., November 28 – Barbara Bruitt
Tues., November 29 – Katy Kauffman
Wed., November 30 – Jen Pheobus
Thurs., December 1 – Northern Belle Meg
Fri., December 2 – 2Me From Him
Mon., December 5 – Nicole Quigley
Tues., December 6 – The Destiny of One
Wed., December 7 – Catherine Castle
Thurs., December 8 – Rachelle Rea Cobb
Fri., December 9 – Leslie L. Mckee


Enter for your chance to win the Unwritten Melody Prize Pack! Two winners will be selected and announced on Tessa’s blog the final day of tour (Friday, December 9th) and will be notified via email.

This prize pack includes…

  • E-copy of Unwritten Melody
  • Signed paperback copy of Purple Moon
  • Unwritten Melody mug, filled with goodies
  • Unwritten Melody swag, including a bookmark, pen, and poster
  • Starbucks mocha flavored instant coffee
  • Free Unwritten Melody: Page-By-Page Secrets PDF
  • Handmade journal
  • Typewritten thank you note

Click the following link to go to the giveaway page: a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Sound of Silver Birthday Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY!

blog-tour-graphic-2Hi, friends! Today’s post is a part of The Sound of Silver birthday blog tour, and I’m so excited to introduce Rachelle and her books to you! The
Sound of Silver
is Rachelle Rea Cobb’s second installment in the Steadfast Love series – an inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century!

Rachelle is also the author of The Sound of Diamonds, the first book in the series, and a newlywed! This summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the series!

Keep reading to learn more about her book, get to know Rachelle better, and enter a REALLY cool giveaway she’s hosting!

About the Steadfast Love series

In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?

About The Sound of Silver

The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One fights for faith, the othepicture2r for honor…

After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song

Find The Sound of Silver on…
Amazon Paperback:
Barnes & Noble:
Books a Million:

New to the series? Here’s where the story starts in The Sound of Diamonds

Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.picture3

With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle’s castle. She doesn’t dare to trust him…and yet doesn’t dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her, but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope…or be overcome.

Find The Sound of Diamonds on…
Barnes & Noble:
Books a Million:

About the Author

unnamed.jpgTimes gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago–her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She’s a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South.

Enter the Giveaway! 

unnamed-2.jpgEnter using the Rafflecopter form below to win a beautiful necklace created by Baubles, Beads, and Stuff and your choice of any one of Rachelle’s three books (the series begins in Book One, of course, but in case you have one or two of her books already, Rachelle will gladly send you the next one to read!).
International friends, the paperback & necklace giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive an e-book.

Follow the link to go to the giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. A very special thank you to Rachelle for the opportunity to help celebrate The Sound of Silver and the rest of the Steadfast Love series!

And thank YOU, readers, for stopping by! Be sure to snag a copy of one of Rachelle’s books to curl up with on a chilly autumn weekend!


Happy 1st Birthday All of This!

On July 25, 2015, All of This was released to the world. I had some things I needed to get booknew-pages.pngorganized before I announced the release, but it popped up on all of the retail sites on the 25th (surprise!). Then, on July 31, my littlest sister and I made a video announcing the release.

Leading up to the debut, I posted quotes and story snippets…but I first mentioned the story back on June 13, 2013Three years ago.

It’s been a journey, friends. Three years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. And today? I’ve learned so much about writing and publishing and marketing, but I still have pretty much no idea what I’m doing. It’s an adventure that is challenging, wonderful, and wonderfully challenging. There have been days when I just wanted to quit, and days where I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything other than writing stories my whole life.

Every time I sign a copy of All of This, I include Romans 8:28, which says:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV, emphasis added)

Purpose. That’s the theme of all of this…and the theme of All of This.

Nothing is wasted. A thread of grace runs through our lives. God ties all of our loose ends together. He weaves the beautiful and the sorrowful, the easy and the difficult, into something that shows the world who He is. He is the author of life and breath and faith and love. I write to tell His story – the true story of a God who loves us so much He died to reunite us with Himself.

So here’s a quick look back at the journey All of This has taken…from the blog post in which I first told you all I was writing a novel, to now as I glance over at my bookshelf and see a copy of All of This – tangible proof that God’s dreams for our lives are worth it all.

Click on the links below to follow the journey! 

Image Gallery:

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Happy 1st birthday, All of This. And thank you to you, dear readers, for following my life story and my Sadie’s journey. Let’s all stay tuned for whatever comes next :)

For His glory,

New to All of This and want to learn more about the story, as well as how to get a copy? Click here!


Friends! In celebration of the first birthday of All of This, I want to share something with you.

Below, you’ll find a deleted scene from All of This. The scene takes place during Sadie’s first night in Georgia – it fits in at the end of chapter 2.

I love this scene because of how it lets you see a little more of Kurt’s and Melina’s personalities and the way they interact with each other. I also love the way it shows how grumpy  and spoiled Marigold – Melina’s cat – truly is…and how he basically decides Sadie is his arc-nemesis.

It’s a really fun scene, but I had to cut it from the book in order to keep the story flowing at a good pace. Only a few people have seen it before now.

Click the link below to read the scene:

Schaeffer_All of This_Deleted Scene_Marigold

P.S. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for more All of This birthday surprises this week!


Reflections from TGCW 2016

Hi, friends! Popping in to let you know I’m over on the SEBTS Women’s Life blog again. This time, I’m talking about my trip to The Gospel Coalition Conference I went to in Indianapolis last month. Click here to read it!

Have a great weekend!