Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Up Close and Personal with Author Shana Burton of Flawfully Wedded Wives

I've been keeping up with this series. This page-turner kept me up all night! In Flawfully Wedded Wives, Shana's characters kept my head spinning. Thank God this circle of friends not only have each other, but they also have a God who never leaves or forsakes them. Each character's storyline is unique and keeps you riveted until the conclusion. Sullivan's plight was so close to my heart.

Scripture Reference: So many scriptures come to mind regarding this novel, but the one that sticks out is, Romans 5:8 "But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

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Synopsis:
Just when Sullivan, Lawson, Kina, Angel, and Reginell finally think they’ve gotten life figured out, fate steps in and throws them all a curve ball, adding fuel to the drama that seems to follow the ladies wherever they go.
First Lady Sullivan Webb’s lingering questions surrounding daughter’s paternity motivate her to seek out her own absentee father, but her search uncovers secrets that threaten to destroy the lives of those she loves most.

Kina Battle’s new celebrity status as the winner of a popular weight-loss reality show goes to her head and quickly as she shed the unwanted pounds from her figure. However, Kina isn’t prepared for the harsh backlash when her secrets are exposed and people begin to question if she is the devout Christian that she’s led everyone to believe she is.

Lawson Kerry Banks could get over her husband’s affair if the evidence was staring her through the eyes of his love child, Simon.  Lawson’s refusal to accept Simon force Garrett to choose between the woman he loves and the child he’s fathered.

Life as the wife of a high school football coach lacks the excitement that Reginell Kerry’s former life did.  It certainly lacks the financial security that pulling down $1000 a week as an exotic dancer afforded her.  When the bills start to pile up, Reginell goes back to doing what she knows best, only this time it may cost her more than she’s willing to pay.

Angel King’s broken heart finds a safe place to mend in the arms of electrician Jordan McKay.  He respects her decision to abstain from sex until marriage, loves the Lord, and adores her.  However, Jordan is harboring a dangerous secret that could destroy their relationship and leave Angel brokenhearted once again.

The ladies often fall victim to being led by their hearts instead of their heads.  This time, they have no other choice but to listen to the voice of the Lord.

A Talk with Shana
Shana Burton, Author of Flawfully Wedded Wives
Me: What was your inspiration behind Flawfully Wedded Wives?  
Shana: Since Flawfully Wedded Wives is a part of a series, I had to write it to finish telling these women’s stories. However, what inspires with this series is my wanting it to be an outlet for hurting women. Even though it’s fiction, I write about real women and real situations. These characters are Christians and have a relationship with the Lord, but that doesn’t stop them from making bad decisions or missing the mark. They lie, they cheat, they have abortions, their marriages fall apart, they fight, and cuss each other out. At the end of the day, however, they grow as individuals and in their walk with the Lord. They’re not doing the same things in book three that they were doing in book one. Through these books, my hope is that women see that they don’t have to be perfect in order to still make progress.

Me: What is the take-away message you’d like to share with your readers? 
Shana: With each book of the Flaws series, there is an overarching theme. It was forgiveness with Flaws and All. Accountability was the theme for Flaw Less. With Flawfully Wedded Wives, the take away is the power and gift we have as a result of being under God’s grace. I think people worry so much about trying to be perfect that we forget or don’t know that God’s grace covers a multitude of sins. His grace is more than sufficient. We don’t have to live in bondage and condemnation.

Me: How can readers connect with you? 
Shana: The easiest way to connect with me is on Facebook at Shana Johnson Burton or Author Shana Burton. I’m also on Twitter and IG at Shana J Burton. I usually do two or three book events every month, so it’s pretty easy to catch me.


Here's a brief excerpt.

“Write a question down that you want one of us to answer,” said Reginell.  “It can be anything, but try to avoid ‘yes-no’ questions.  Write your questions on the paper, fold them up, a drop them into this cup.” She pointed to a coffee mug. “Who wants to go first?”
            Kina raised her hand.  “I will.  My question is What is something you’ve done that you’ll never do again?”  Kina crumpled the paper.  “Outside of letting my weight get back up to three hundred pounds, I’d have to say I’ll never let people walk all over me again.  That’s something I’ve always done, even as a kid.  I never spoke up for myself or fought back.  I could never go back to being that weak person I was a year ago. Nice girls finish last.  I know because I used to be one of them!”
            “All right, Sully, you’re up,” said Reginell.
Sullivan unfolded her question.  “What do you need more of right now? Let’s see… Shoes, sex…”  Sullivan tapped the side of her head.  “What I really want more of right now is time with my father.  We’ve missed out on so much time and so many years that are gone forever.”
Lawson patted her on the back.  “In Joel, the Bible says the Lord will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten.”
Sullivan raised an eyebrow.  “Is ‘locusts’ how we’re now referring to Vera?”
 “Sully, that was mean,” chided Lawson.
“You’re right,” granted Sullivan.  “I’m being way too hard on the locusts.”
            Angel spoke up.  “Vera has her issues—I’ll give you that— but she stuck around.  She didn’t abandon you.  Your father did.”
            “Who’s next?” blurted out Sullivan, unwilling to entertain negative talk about her father.
“I’ll take a gander at it,” ventured Angel.  Fill in the blank. Love is…”  She thought it over.  “Love is…elusive.  It is for me anyway.”
               Lawson wrinkled her nose.  “Why do you say that?”
               “Look at my track record.  When is the last time I had a relationship that was actually productive?”
                Sullivan proceeded gingerly.  “Well, Angel, sometimes you have to look at the common denominator.”
                Angel frowned.  “What’s that?  That all the men I chose are incapable of being in a committed relationship?”
                “No, that they all dated you.  You’re the common denominator,” said Sullivan.
                Kina nodded.  “She’s got a point, Angel.  When you fall in love, you fall hard and you fall quickly.
“Take a look at your relationship history.  You met Duke in college, claimed love at first sight and married him a year later,” recounted Lawson. “You were engaged to Duke again six months after his wife died.  Then you dove in headfirst with his cousin.  I warned you about taking your time with Jordan, and what did you do?  You slept with him on your second date, and now you’re pregnant by a man who you barely know at all.  Had you taken your time before giving your whole heart, those relationships may have turned out differently.”
 Angel was stuck.  “I either move too fast, and I end up hurt or I move to slow and end up alone.”
 “All right, I’ll go next,” Reginell volunteered.  She silently read her question and frowned.  What did you want most as a child that affects you as an adult?  I don’t even think I know what that means.”  Reginell thought it over.  “The only thing I wanted as a child that affects me as an adult is having the opportunity to sing.  It’s the only thing I’ve ever been good at or that made people pay attention to me other than taking my clothes off.”
 “Reggie, I hate to hear you talking like that,” lamented Lawson.  “Do you really think that stripping is the best God has planned for you?  If you would turn your life over to Him, you could live a life better than you ever imagined.”
Reginell sighed. “All right, Lawson, it’s your turn.”
“My question is ‘Are you happy?’”  Lawson sighed.  “At this moment, yes.  It’s hard not to be when you’re in this fabulous place with no worries and no drama and no baby-mamas.”
Kina leaned forward.  “What about when you get home?”
“Home is a whole other matter entirely.  It’s not up to my husband to make me happy; it’s my job to do that because happiness is a choice, but Garrett plays an undeniable role in that.  At this point, I really don’t know what to do to fix my marriage or be happy in it.”
Sullivan reclined back on her beach towel.  “Why don’t you stop trying to fix and let God do it?”
Reginell shook her head.  “How is it that y’all have advice for each other but can’t figure out your own lives?”