Sunday, 2 February 2014

Guest Blog: Paula Rose Michelson - "Beginning Anew"

Naomi and Chaz know that miracles really do happen, for at a friend’s wedding they reaffirmed their love and are Beginning Anew! Yet there are consequences that the couple must face. Will Chaz love and protect his wife? Will Naomi learn to trust Chaz? Find out in the first novel of Paula Rose Michelson’s four-book saga, The Naomi Chronicles.

Previously, in Book 2 of Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing Naomi’s journey from pain to faith where she dealt with her husband’s rejection of her, and Chaz discovered that secrets were kept from him, and began his own journey of discovery that enthralled readers. While their friends planned to use Nicco and Lucinda’s wedding to bring Chaz and Naomi together again, God had His hand on this star-crossed couple. 

Before that, Book 1 of Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing let readers experience Naomi’s journey from adolescence to womanhood, from frightened isolation to heiress with a mission, and responsibility many would shirk placed upon her shoulders, and kept them guessing especially when they realized that Naomi guarded two secrets. When Naomi married and fell in love with Chaz, she decided to tell him about herself. Before she could, Lola, a teenager she rescued from immigration, revealed her secrets. Hearing Chaz’s hate-filled words, and seeing many in Spanish Harlem turn away from her, Naomi fled.

About the Author

Paula Rose Michelson is the wife of Lutheran Pastor, and Chosen People field Missionary, Ron Michelson. This Messianic author of faith books founded LAMB Ministries, which helps women recover from trauma and abuse through the effective use of Scripture and prayer. She asked God to give her a unique work, and while praying about the lost tribes of Israel, she believed the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) called her to write about the hidden Jews. She wrote the Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing and The Naomi Chronicles Books because of her heart response to that commission.


Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1dE3Y8b 
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1h4TEtm

Excerpt: “Que Sera, Sera…What Will be, Will Be"

            When Naomi heard the side gate close, she told Chaz, “I am glad they have gone.” 
            “You did not like them?”
            “I like them very much. It is just that something….does not seem right.”
            “I know you want us to spend time together, just the two of us. Right?” 
             “No…not really.” Naomi thought of Iberia’s whispered words. “Has something bad happened?” 
            “Nothing that you need worry about.”
            “Chaz, do not treat me like a child! Whatever has happened, I have a right to know the details. Especially if the store or anyone we know is involved!” 
            “Do not worry. I will take care of you.” 
            “I did not marry you because I needed to be taken care of!” 
            “I did not mean to say it that way, but sometimes it would be best if you let me be the man around here and, for that matter, outside of our casa as well.” 
            “Forgive me…I am used to knowing about everything that goes on around here. Not knowing makes me fearful.” 
            “Yes, I see that.” 
“I need to calm down….perhaps a walk would be good.”  
            “I agree…un paseo es una buena idea.” As he unlatched the side gate, Chaz asked, “Where should we walk to?”
            “Do you mind if we walk to the market? I need to check in with the staff and pick up something for dinner. On the way back, we can see how the build out for your office is coming along.” 
            “All right.” Forcing a smile, Chaz turned in the direction of the market. “How does anyone mange without you?”
            “I am not as important as you think. Everyone who works for me knows their work gives them a good wage, so they work hard, and that makes my job much easier.”  
            “Have you ever had a problem at the store?” he asked offhandedly.   
            “A problem? No, I have never had a problem and neither did Madre Vieda. When people are treated with respect, they naturally treat you the same way.” 
            “That is usually the case.”
            Trying to act as he wished, Naomi walked silently beside Chaz for a while, but finally had to ask, “Has something happened at the market?”
Chaz grimaced but did not respond.
“I overheard Joshua telling you about something while you were showing him the loft. Is that the something you do not want me to know about?” 
            Chaz took her to the park where Nicco and Lucinda were married, found a bench, and motioned for her to sit down. “A girl was beaten up behind the store the night our friends wed. Florita found her. She is staying with them until she is healed.”  
            “Then it had nothing to do with us or the market.” 
            “Well, yes and no.” 
            “What are you trying to tell me?”
            “I am not trying to tell you anything!”
            “Tell me what happened,” Naomi insisted as she stood, “or someone at the store will!” 
            “I hoped we would have a few days to ourselves before we had to deal with this! But I know you will hear of it soon, so let us speak about it now!” 
            “Alright,” Naomi agreed as she braced herself for the worst. 
            “Before I tell you, I want you to repeat after me…”
            “Que? What do you need me to repeat?”
“Take a deep breath, think of Messiah, and say que sera, sera, what will be, will be like you do on laundry—”
            “But this is absurd!”
            “Naomi…”
“Oh all right…que sera, sera…what will be, will be. Now tell me!”
            “Desi told some of his friends about the way Lola came on to him while he was unpacking the groceries for your Amiga group. Before I left for Texas, I told her to leave our casa. She did and got into trouble. From what I heard, I think she was trying to come on to a young man. One thing lead to another and—”
            “And what?”
            “And since Desi told them she robbed you of your honor, she was pulled or dragged behind the market and beaten.” 
            A look of horror crossed Naomi’s face. “Will she be all right?” 
            “Of course…she is a little scraped up and bruised. She has a few cuts, but Joshua said it was nothing serious.”  
            “Then this is not my problem. You were right to have me say, que sera, sera, what will be, will be!” Naomi exclaimed. She put her hand in his while gazing into his eyes.
            “I am proud of you.”
            “You are proud of me for doing nothing?”
            “It is interesting that this amazes you!” Chaz exclaimed as they resumed their walk. “For some, doing nothing is better than doing something.” 
            Naomi stopped and stared at him.
            “Okay, let me put it another way. I am happy to see that you know where to draw the line.”
            “You speak in riddles!” Naomi laughed as they entered the market together. 

“Hello, you two,” Flora said as she waved them over to her checkout counter. “Why are you here?”   
            “We took a walk and decided to pick up something for dinner.” Naomi smiled at her employees while they nodded their approval.   
            “What? Are we amateurs?” Flora bellowed with delight. “We know what it’s like to be newlywed!” 
            “What do you mean?” 
            “Since none of us thought the two of you would want to go anywhere this soon, when Francis came in this morning and told us you dined with them last night, I put two and two together and…After all, it does not take a genius to realize that you had not called for a delivery since you came home.”       
“Since I did not call, how did you know what to send?”  
            Flora tried to suppress a happy laugh.  “I packed up your regular order, and since I am married, and know what men like to eat, I put in some special things for your esposo as well. Desi is delivering everything now. By the time you get home, the groceries will be unpacked and put away.”  
            Naomi smiled at her, aware that Flora had done this to bless them. “Gracias.”
“Oh, Naomi, no fue nada.”
“Your nothing is something to me, Flora.” Flora opened her mouth to speak, but before she could, Naomi asked, “Are things all right at home?” 
            “You know?”
“Yes, Chaz told me.”
“As well as can be expected.”
            “Good.” Leaning across the conveyor belt, Naomi whispered, “Since you have unexpected company, a little something extra will be in your next paycheck.” 
            “That is not necessary, but it would help if Doctor Montoya could drop by.” 
            “I will call her and arrange that.” Naomi squeezed Flora’s hand. “There will be no bill.” 
            Turning towards Chaz, Naomi exclaimed, “They are handling everything so well that I may never need to worry about the market again!” 
            “Thank you for the complement, La Señora,” her staff said as she left the store.

Once the door to the market closed behind them, Naomi exclaimed, “What a strange turn of events!”
            “What do you mean?”
            “Madre Vieda told those she had business dealings with to call her La Señora. She thought using this title gave her the respect she needed when dealing with those who might be inclined to think less of her, an unmarried woman with little education.” 
            “That was absurd! How could a single woman pretending to be married instill trust? What would have happened to her if anyone found out?”
         “Nothing. Everyone knew she was single.” 
            Chaz chuckled. “So she took a title that did not belong to her, but does belong to you.” 
            Naomi smiled as they walked back to their casa. “For all the years I lived under Madre Vieda’s roof, La Señora was a title that belonged to her, never to me. Today, when the staff called me a married woman, I felt the title fit me, as if someone had invented it just for me.” 
            “I am glad you told me.” Chaz drew her hand to his lips and kissed it. “I know our marriage is a perfect fit for both of us.” Chaz opened the gate to the front yard, and they entered, walked up the path and up the stairs together. Before the front door shut, Naomi hurried to her office, called the doctor, and asked her to visit Lola at the Lopez’s house. Finished with her call and glad that the ‘Lola’ issue was not her responsibility, Naomi entered the kitchen.

Beginning Anew Reviews

“Wow! I am stunned at the bravery and courage I just experienced in reading Beginning Anew. It is magnificent…A beautiful testimony of God's love and guidance! I personally feel that it was my favorite of the entire series! It seemed to truly get to the heart of the characters. It also left me wanting to know more about Chaz and Naomi...I want them to have children and be happy and grow old together. I feel that Naomi has missed so much and deserves to live a joyful and abundant life which was denied her in the past!” —Rhonda Nash-Hall
“Each book is better than the one before - and I wouldn't have thought it was possible. More than romance - real love. In one of the paragraphs we read, ‘Looking at her husband with unrestrained joy, Naomi nodded. “Please do not misunderstand me; I was content to go on as I had. Then you came along and turned my life from one of unknown waiting to an accompaniment, where each of us supports and enhances the other. Like a duet, where one takes the major keys and the other takes the minor keys.”’
As you read, be still and let your soul sway to the music of their song. Paula Rose is God’s gift to His family and this woman’s writing is her gift to us. A gift should never be rejected, especially when it is from God and our sister both.” — Author, Allison Kohn

“A riveting read! As in the previous two books, the characters come to life and leap right off the pages. The reader is given the privilege of getting to know them on a personal level and walking with them through this segment of their journey. With marriage vows renewed and the truth of their heritage and their shared faith in Messiah now out in the open, Naomi and Chaz can begin to live the life they feel they have been given to live through the love they share. Yet secrets still linger…there is a certain tension in the air.  All that Naomi thought she knew about the sheltered life she had lived was not as it appeared, and the revelation of that truth will bring about events no one is prepared for. Paula Rose Michelson takes us on a journey through not only the love that Naomi and Chaz share and their quest for a life together, but through their journey in Spanish Harlem under the specter of anti-Semitism that may just raise its ugly head in more pronounced ways as the story line goes on. The ending of this portion of their story will leave you wanting more and anxiously awaiting Book Two!” —Nicole Anderson
“Being a humble student of literature, please know I do not say this lightly - with her latest work Beginning Anew, Paula Rose Michelson has offered us a work which is quite impeccably written – inclusive of a wonderful knack for keeping one interested and wanting more. It is deeply moving, and with such a genuinely bright and meaningful message...so much so that I believe it is important to say that Paula has truly made the world a better place through this work.” — Author, Dr. Glen Hepker
“Paula Rose Michelson writes in an engaging and beautiful style, leading her readers on a fascinating journey together with Chaz and Naomi. It’s an emotional story that many readers will be able to relate to, no matter what faith they belong to. The characters are real, and their struggles are believable and life-like. A wonderful novel that will inspire you, educate you, and keep you turning the pages until the very last line.” — Author and college professor of creative writing, Julia Gousseva
“This book covers the first week of the newlyweds’ story who have now recommitted to each other after their fall out in the Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing Book Two. As with the author’s other books this story is well written with a poetic quality that draws the reader in. I enjoyed the book very much. The author gives great depth to all the characters, especially Chaz who in the last book discovered he was a Jew and is now shocked at the change of attitude towards him by those who were once his friends. Although I didn’t like her in the other books, Lola is there again and what happens to her in this book comes as quite a shock, and made me feel more sympathetic towards her. I certainly understood Naomi’s anger when Chaz informed her that Lola was coming back to stay with them, as no one else would take her in. But without giving away a spoiler…Lola becomes good!” — Vonnee Lee (author Y.I Lee)
“Beginning Anew starts with the two lovers marrying (again) and embarking on a life together in trust. Both need to learn to open up and much of the story is about their inner worries and fears as they plan to live together away from the house for immigrants and move into their own home. Interspersed are historical segments about the poor treatment of Jews in Spain and stories about a woman who was running the house for immigrants some 70 years ago.
Naomi and Chaz are great characters, full of depth and thought; they have wonderful and helpful friends, not least amongst them a Catholic Priest who supports them regardless of their faith being different to his. As a true Christian, he has nothing but love and tolerance for others. This comes particularly timely as Naomi’s existence as Jew (even in 1967) exposes her to some hostility. 
The book also speaks of God’s gift to his children, Jesus the Messiah, and his expected return to earth. This religious theme is handled particularly well since the author portrays it with love and enthusiasm but without a hint of persuasion or teaching. All she does is paint a vision of a time (when this Messiah comes) when religious differences will no longer matter, which in my view is a world we should all aspire to. And until that time comes her characters swear to do as much of this work for tolerance as they can.
There are also some very interesting segments about Columbus and his first settlements on the new continent and much historical detail. Once again Michelson has written a great account of history and a pledge for tolerance. The story will continue in another book, which I look forward to reading”. — Author, Christoph Fisher
“The continuation of Naomi’s story is no less than spiritually riveting in Beginning Anew. As the title suggests Naomi and Chaz are doing just that, beginning anew, as husband and wife. They are trying to put the past behind them, but the master wordsmith, Ms. Michelson does not allow that to happen. The past is indeed a huge part of this story. Chaz is tested in his faith and while he walks through the valley of the shadow of doubt Naomi is there to comfort him and show him the way. Naomi is going through her own challenges of deceit and vengeance. The Lord leads her to the answers and she in turn finds herself helping the same person who has hurt her. Throughout the book Naomi also learns more about her American “Tia” and the relationships Tia had in the past.” — Author, Katie Mettner


Ms. Michelson relies heavily on the word of the Lord in her writing to show us exactly how Naomi and Chaz are feeling. She does it in a way that demonstrates her faithfulness and wisdom in the scripture and instills an inspirational feeling and understanding in the reader. Chaz and Naomi’s story is about redeeming love and the importance of letting God lead you and carry you in times of turmoil. Beginning Anew is the renewed commitment to a love story of the ages. Naomi and Chaz’s story will captivate you and leave you feeling inspired, and end leaves you ready to find out more about how their story unfolds. I give Beginning Anew five stars for being a captivating labor of love that leaves you speechless, breathless and profoundly altered in your beliefs about love.” 

2 comments:

Paula Rose said...

Lindsay,

I tried to post but it seems that what I wrote went into the either, so I'll try once more, and pray that my thank you appears.

Your blog is much like you, lovely and inviting. If asked where I would wish Beginning Anew: The Naomi Chronicles release information to be shared, I would want someplace like this.

When I add that together with your wonderful review and the portion of the novel you chose, I find myself wishing you lived near so I could hug and thank you.

However, since we live half a world apart, I'm hugging you in my heart.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Thanks for the Hugs, Paula! Hugs back to you! I wish you all the best and such success with your writing.