Tuesday, December 9, 2014
I love the Protestant Reformation (keep reading because it gets better), partially for non-theological reasons.
My devotion exceeds Luther, Calvin, Knox, or Tyndale. I include da Vinci, Galileo, and Copernicus as well, men whose revolutionary ideas enriched a sixteenth-century world barreling from the restrictions of the Middle Ages into the light of the Renaissance.
Courage and intellect created counter-cultural heroes then. And those traits define my protagonist, archaeologist Grace Madison, in the first two books of the Parched series: When Camels Fly (May 2014) and The Brothers’ Keepers (November 2014).
When I began percolating about The Brothers’ Keepers, Grace’s character, and the seminary backgrounds of the troupe of octogenarian theologians who assist her and her family, led my thoughts to the Reformation. I admit that I went willingly.
The Brothers’ Keepers is a tale of international suspense: theologically sound and scientifically correct. It is liberally sprinkled with Grace’s warped humor and slight sarcasm, and extolls contemporary family dynamics—in a family not unfamiliar with espionage and danger.
It opens in Brussels, when Grace learns that her beloved daughter Maggie has disappeared in France, and that her son’s bride has been attacked in Switzerland. In a five-star review of When Camels Fly, one reader described Grace as a Mama Bear protecting her cubs. Her growl from Belgium in the opening chapter of The Brothers’ Keepers resonates around the globe, attracting family and friends to Paris to begin the search for Maggie.
Grace inspires that kind of devotion as a vigorous, joyful woman trying to live fully in the image of Christ.
Maggie inspires devotion of a different sort. As the object of affection from two very dissimilar young men, her professional success as a hydrologist balances her epic failure as a sweetheart. Will she accept the repeated proposals of the all-American who is as loyal as a drooling golden retriever? Or will the handsome sayan (helper) for Mossad break through her Herculean defense mechanisms to win her heart? And where in the world is she, anyway?
“The nut didn’t fall far from the tree,” Grace’s husband Mark says of the mother and daughter, and Grace has heart issues of her own. She and Mark are working to rebuild a thirty-year marriage after growing apart. The healing process complicates life-threatening situations in When Camels Fly and The Brothers Keepers, but reveals the devotion they still share.
Using clues Maggie has left at the American Church in Paris, where she was last seen, the Madisons pick up the trail of an ancient relic that they hope will save her life. The desperate journey crosses four centuries and three continents. Difficult choices endanger everyone the family and their friends love, and compromise nearly every belief they hold dear.
And in the end, they discover that to save themselves, they must first rescue an old friend who deceived them.
If he’ll let them.
As with When Camels Fly before it, The Brothers Keepers is all about doing the right thing. Because sometimes, doing what’s right is all that’s left.
A member of the venerable Explorers Club, NLB Horton returned to writing fiction after an award-winning career in marketing and a graduate degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. She has surveyed archaeological digs under Syrian and Lebanese heavy artillery fire in Israel and Jordan, explored the Amazon River and Machu Picchu after training with an Incan shaman, and consumed tea on five continents—and while crossing the North Atlantic.