More Sure than the Sun is Published! (And the Story Behind A Torch in the Empire Series)

   “And you’re absolutely sure of all this?” Lucas asked.
   Abigail gazed up at the rows and rows of seats in the massive amphitheater bathed in sunlight.
   “As sure as I am that the sun will rise tomorrow morning,” she said. But then she thought about it and changed her mind. “No, more sure. The sun might not rise tomorrow. But I know Jesus is alive and my Savior. My hope in Jesus is more sure than the sun.”

   That’s a little snippet from my new book: A Torch in the Empire Series Book Two: More Sure than the Sun, which I am so excited to share is now PUBLISHED!!!
   You can read the back cover blurb and order the book from my family’s online store here. It’s also available as a paperback and a Kindle ebook on Amazon.
   The beautiful cover art you see above was done by my talented friend Grace Obenhaus who also did some of the inside illustrations. There are also illustrations by my amazing family and yours truly.
   And now I’d like to share with you a bit of the story behind me writing this series.
   When I was a little child, there weren’t many movies I liked. I got scared watching Winnie-the-Pooh and Stuart Little. But I loved Bible movies. I enjoyed watching The Greatest Story Ever Told, and the Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible cartoons were my favorite. I enjoy watching a variety of movies now, but to this day, my favorite movies are Bible-based (Risen and Paul, Apostle of Christ). So you can see I’ve loved the true stories from the Bible and Biblical fiction for as long as I can remember.
  But even though I’ve always loved stories, it wasn’t until I was about 14 that I realized I wanted to write books. First I started writing fantasy. Then I started writing some nonfiction.
   So when did I decide I wanted to write historical/Biblical fiction?
   Well, music and singing are a big part of my family’s life. One day we were listening to music and singing and the song “Thief” by Third Day came on. As I listened to the song, I thought about the thief hanging beside Jesus, and I wondered if he had any family. The idea came to me to write a story about the daughter of the thief on the cross.
   Fast forward several years: we moved a few times, writing was put on the back burner for a while, and when I did pick my writing back up, I finished my nonfiction first (Do Justly). Then I started writing a fantasy that had also been on my mind for some time.
   It was while we were living in a camper for a while that the historical fiction idea came knocking again. My mother and siblings and I were watching some extra movies around Christmastime, and one of the movies we watched was the 2016 version of Ben-Hur. Now, I know a lot of people don’t like this new adaptation because of all the changes from the book. Once I read the book, I was disappointed with some of the changes, too, and there were definitely a few things I would have done differently were I making the movie. But to get to the point: I loved watching that movie, and it gave me a huge burst of inspiration to write a historical fiction story. I remembered my idea from years earlier to write a story about the thief’s daughter, and the wheels started spinning, as they say.
   First I finished the fantasy I was working on (The Invisible Guide). Then I started on the historical fiction. By this time, the thief’s daughter had become a secondary character named Aunt Moriah in the story of a brother and sister named Jesse and Abigail set during the rule of Roman Emperor Nero.
   How did that happen? C. S. Lewis said once said, “It came. I doubt if we shall ever know more of the process called ‘inspiration’ than those two monosyllables tell us.”
   And I think Mr. Lewis is right. The story just came to me. Although I can tell you where many of my ideas for the story came from, there are some bits where all I can say is that “It came.” 
I believe I first learned about the Christians being persecuted under Nero from watching the Storykeepers cartoon movies. I found their courage and faith in the midst of facing such horrific persecutions very inspiring. I wanted to have that same faith and love for Jesus. I wanted the courage to stay strong in the faith even when faced with torture and death. And that’s what I hope you come away from this book with. I pray you’re freshly encouraged that Jesus truly is worthy of our everything, and that our hope in Jesus is more sure than the sun.
   I originally planned for this to be one book geared towards older teens. But then while listening to my mother read aloud to my younger siblings and me, I realized I wanted it to be something mothers could read aloud to their children. So it became three shorter books. My hope is that it’s a book the whole family can enjoy!
   Well, that’s the story!
As always, remember that “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it,” (1 Thess. 5:24).
All for Him,
Savannah Jane


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