~Guest Post by author Emerald Barnes
How does that happen, you ask? I know it sounds crazy, but I’ll explain.
I wanted to write a novel that embodied an overweight teen who found love. I was tired of there not being overweight protagonists in books because I was an overweight teen (still am an overweight adult). I struggled with wanting to fit in but not fitting in because I was fat. And finding a boyfriend who wasn’t ashamed of me was even harder. Even if they did like me, they wouldn’t tell me because they would get made fun of for even considering dating me. It was a vicious cycle, one that tormented me endlessly through high school – and even some in college.
I missed out on an opportunity to date an amazing guy because I thought he’d never want to date someone like me, but it turns out, he did. Actions in high school led me to doubt myself, and I didn’t want that to happen to anyone else. So, I took pen to paper, so to speak, to combat this senseless bullying, but my novel didn’t feel right. There was something missing, something that I didn’t want to admit was missing. Heart.
I had plenty of emotions. I could make the girl shy and emotional because it’s exactly what I felt, but I wanted the story to have more. I needed to tug on some heartstrings.
Being a Christian, I knew exactly what the novel needed. It could no longer be the light-hearted romance I wanted it to be. It had to be something else. It needed a deeper message, and that message was that God loves us. I wanted people to know that God would move mountains – or send His angels – to prove that He loved us, and that He wants us to love ourselves for who we are, not what the world wants us to be.
Keeping this in mind and how He showed me that He loved me, I added in some supernatural to the novel making it what it is today.
Now each novel in the series has these added elements, although they don’t all focus on learning to love yourself; although, it’s still a huge component to the novels. Before We Say I Do, the short story that follows Entertaining Angels, is based upon forgiveness. Chase needs to learn to forgive in order to be truly free, while book two, Delivered by Angels, deals with a teen girl who cuts herself. It’s a little darker than Entertaining Angels, but there’s a need to reach teens who deal with self-harm through cutting, alcohol or whatever.
My goal in writing this series is help people overcome whatever it is that is holding them back from truly loving and learning to be themselves.
I want to help as many people as I can, and I hope to do that through my books.
Madison Andrews can’t face her reflection in the mirror. All she sees is a big, fat nobody. Yet, deep inside she longs for something more, something that’s not skin deep.
Along comes Zach, the new guy in school. He’s smoking hot and totally out of her league. She somehow catches his eye, and he makes her feel beautiful for once. But just as she gets close to Zach, her nerdy best friend, Chase, won’t let Madison doubt her true beauty, no matter how many meals she skips.
Even as Madison begins to realize that she is more than what she thinks, darker forces are at work, darker than the lies and mocking from her peers, stopping her from amounting to her full potential. Can Madison find true happiness in her own skin?
More about the author and her books:
Before We Say I Do:
Following the best-selling first book of the series, Entertaining Angels, comes Before We Say I Do, An Entertaining Angels Short Story.
Chase Sanders and Madison Andrews are about to declare their love for one another in the most sacred of ways. Everything has been going perfectly, especially when an old friend returns to town to stand by Chase’s side on their big day. But is Zach there to see their union, or is he concealing the truth of why he’s actually back in town?
Chase has lived perfectly fine without his father around, but now that his father is divorcing again, he is seeking forgiveness. Chase can’t look at his father, let alone forgive him.
Before Chase and Mads can say “I Do,” Chase must first learn to let go of the past before the dark forces that haunt his nightmares come to life.
*This is a short story and isn’t a prequel to Entertaining Angels. In order to understand it, you’ll need to read Entertaining Angels first.*
About Emerald Barnes:
Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it.
She mainly writes suspense/thrillers in the YA genre, but she dabbles in other genres and her books are enjoyed by all ages! She’s constantly working on new novels and has more ideas than she knows what to do with. She blogs which takes up more of her time than she anticipates but loves it so very much! She’s also a volunteer at the World Literary Cafe which is amazing, and she is a crazy grammar nazi who proofreads novels!
She’s an auntie to three beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews who take up the other half of her time, but she couldn’t imagine spending her time in any other way!
She’s a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.
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