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I met Willow a couple of years ago, online. I don’t remember who commented on who’s blog first, but I do remember reading her words and thinking, this girl can write.

And, as an added bonus, she’s funny!

Maybe it was because she wrote about things that made sense to me. Family. Kids. Relationships. Messing up.

And she wrote about it all with humour and style, and always from the point of view of a (as she describes herself) recovering pharisee.

If you aren’t religious at all you might not know what that means. But if you’ve ever come across a religious person (like me), then you have met one.

Pharisees lived in Jesus’ day, and he was forever calling them out. Saying things like, Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, and calling them hypocrites. For what had happened was that in an attempt to keep the Jewish law, they’d become extremists, keeping the letter of the law but totally missing the intent. One of those, can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees kind of things.

It’s easy to slip into pharisee-ism. It’s easy to focus on the do’s and the don’ts, and to lose sight of the who’s and the why’s and especially, the One. It’s easy to become judgemental. To strain gnats. Yep, been there done that, and will probably do it again.Thank you, grace.

So… Willow’s book.

I was so excited to find out she had written her first novel, and even more excited when she said she would send me a copy of it. I received it in the mail, opened and read her note, and then put it on the shelf with the other beauties waiting for my attention once summer arrived.

And then it did. And I sat down one day last week and read Willow’s funny, funny book in one, gigantic gulp.

From the book’s back cover:

Facing a cataclysmic identity crisis, pregnant Haley is battling for her very life – her life as an eco-chic, vegan Christian, that is. She hadn’t counted on being thrust into a war zone when she agreed to leave her East Coast life and go with her husband, Rick, to the Montana outback for the summer. And she certainly hadn’t counted on attending a ladies Bible study in a smoky, rancid saloon. Rather than run from it, though, Haley decides it is her God-given mission to subdue and educate the redneck forces that discount her superior vocabulary and sophisticated hairdo. With no help from Rick or his freaky Aunt Win, Haley dives headfirst into her mission only to find herself sucked irretrievably into a maelstrom of humiliating mishaps.

With tensions mushrooming as fast as her belly, will Haley see that she is actually living out the reality of the scripture, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”? And just how many car explosions and massive wardrobe malfunctions will it take for her to realize that it is her own judgments of others that are boomeranging back on her?

This is a sweet and funny story. It’s the best kind of Christian fiction, well-written and self-deprecating.

So…

I’m giving away a copy.

I’d love to share Willow’s book with you! Because it’s a great book, and also because I appreciate all of you so much. Thank you for reading this little blog of mine. Really.

I’m ordering another copy of The Epic Undoing of Haley Ann Ewing today, to give away. Leave a comment on this post, if you’d like a chance to win this, and at the end of the day I will make a draw.

UPDATE:

THE WINNER OF THE BOOK DRAW WAS KIM. PLEASE EMAIL YOUR ADDRESS TO ME AT janellerosss @ yahoo.ca, AND I WILL SEND YOU THE BOOK AS SOON AS IT ARRIVES. CONGRATULATIONS! AND THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED. WE’LL DO THIS AGAIN SOON.

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