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Thursday, March 19, 2015

#ThursdayThoughts: Guest Post by NLB Horton

Good Morning Friends,

Well I don't know about you but I'm about done in with all this rain. Don't get me wrong, I know it is necessary and welcome in most cases but I'm more of a sunshine person. Rain is wonderful but seriously? I doubt we've had a full seven days in the last few months of pure sunshine. If it's not raining, it's overcast and gloomy.....

Alas that's SW Louisiana weather.

Speaking of overcast, our guest today has a story about visiting the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome!

I'll let her tell you about it....

We are One in Christ

I toured the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome this fall with a delightful young archaeologist. She was a graduate of the Pontifical Academy of Archaeology, a fine Vatican institution of world-class scholars and practitioners. I was privileged to access areas closed to the public, and to pick the brain of someone involved in excavation there.

All morning, she and I crisscrossed tunnels, chapels, and crypts, shuddering in damp cold created by tuff rock leeching water from the Tiber and nearby Mediterranean. We discussed the symbolism of unexpected menorahs. The open-armed poses indicating salvation in frescoes two thousand years old. And the oldest known depiction of Mary, mother of Christ, something I was eager to see.

We smiled at the generosity of the catacomb benefactor—Priscilla—who donated land under her family villa so that early Christians could bury their dead. Then we had a geeky discussion about puzzling depictions, wondering if they could represent theophanies—appearances of God.

This was easy, educated conversation between a twenty-something Catholic, European, single woman and a fifty-something Protestant, American, long-married woman. The differences in our backgrounds and generations were erased by the love of Christ and we were unified by His crucifixion.

Thanks be to God!

The Brothers’ Keepers combines travel, intrigue and the global impact of a strong woman.

In The Brothers’ Keepers, we meet archaeologist Grace Madison who is in Brussels cataloguing looted antiquities when her son’s bride is attacked in Switzerland. Her day careens from bad to catastrophic when daughter Maggie disappears in France.

Coincidence is a luxury Grace cannot afford as history — saturated in espionage — is repeating itself. The Madison family converges on Paris and begins a frenzied search to locate Maggie. A cuneiform clay tablet is their only lifeline, detailing a legend intertwining Solomon, Martin Luther and the Fourth Crusade. As they navigate a deadly, 4,000-year-old artifact trail that crosses three continents, they will jeopardize hearts and lives to preserve the ones they love. As time runs out, they discover that to save themselves, they must first rescue an old friend who is deceiving them at every turn. But will he let them?

In the midst of traversing the world, Grace is also faced with trying to save her family by rebuilding her marriage. The roles a woman will assume throughout her lifetime can be varied and complex. It’s difficult to fit any woman into a “one-size-fits-all” box, and this is certainly true of Grace. With strong female characters, The Brothers’ Keepers affirms the impact an intelligent woman who wrestles with a vigorous faith can have on the world and her own personal relationships.

One of the inspirations behind The Brothers’ Keepers was a highly dangerous situation Horton’s own family was involved in while on an archaeological survey as part of her master’s degree program at Dallas Theological Seminary. “I stood at the edge of the tel Dan (Israel) archaeological dig pit with my husband and two then-teenage children. Heavy artillery fire began booming from Syria as staccato machine-gun reports peppered near the Lebanese border. An Israeli Defense Force plane broke through cloud cover. I hoped they could see we were unarmed! Grace Madison was born from this

The Brothers’ Keepers is the second book in the Parched series, named as such to bring awareness to the life-threatening truth that sources of potable and economical drinking water are severely limited in many areas of the world, even in the U.S. Horton believes as stewards of God’s creation, Christians have a unique responsibility in this area. She also hopes the book will draw in different kinds of readers. “I hope Grace portrays a demographic of Christianity that is intelligent, fair and fearless because of its belief in God’s empowerment, one attractive to non-believers because these Christians live their faith with realism and love.”

The Brother's Keeper can be purchased at Amazon in Paperback & for Kindle and at Barnes and Noble (Nook).

NLB Horton returned to writing fiction after an award-winning career in journalism and marketing as well as earning her Master of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. She has surveyed Israeli and Jordanian archaeological digs, tossed a tarantula from her skiff into the Amazon after training with an Incan shaman, driven uneventfully through Rome and consumed gallons of afternoon tea while traveling across five continents.

For more information about NLB Horton, visit www.nlbhorton.com, become a fan on Facebook (NLB-Horton) or follow her on Twitter (NLBHorton) or Pinterest (nlbhorton).

Sounds like an interesting experience and an intriguing book!

I hope you enjoyed this week's Thursday Thoughts. Stay tuned for another Saturday Spotlight & Tuesday Treasure!

Until later...take care & God Bless!

1 comment:

NLB Horton said...

Thanks for sharing my delightful memories of Rome, as well as information about The Brothers' Keepers, book 2 in the Parched series.

I very much appreciate it.