Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Carrie!
The novelette is set in the 1990’s and tells the story of a missionary couple serving the underprivileged in the Mississippi Delta area of Memphis, TN, and seven-year-old Clayton Jenkins. If you’re a fan of foster care and adoption themes laced with a message of faith, hope, and God’s sovereignty, you might like this one.
Behind the Scenes is a prequel to the novel I’m hoping will be published in the near future. In the novel, Clayton loves his life as a behavioral psychologist and homeless shelter manager but, at twenty-eight, he longs to marry and have a family. When he collaborates on a foster care case with court-appointed special advocate Amanda Wright, a link between Amanda and a shelter resident sends the trio down a path of discovery none of them could have imagined.
When dreams disintegrate, is God really working behind the scenes for good?
Mississippi Delta missionaries Camille and Raymond Richards are heartbroken over the impoverished people they encounter daily. Having grown up poor in South Alabama, they understand that lifestyle, which compels them to serve families struggling with perpetual poverty.
At age seven, left to fend for himself, Clayton Jenkins longs to be part of a loving family. A family where his parents never leave him home alone. Where his Mama showers him with attention and his daddy plays with him.
From the moment she meets Clayton, Camille envisions the waif as their son. But that was ridiculous. The boy had parents. And she was pregnant. Did compassion for the child skew her perspective?
Or was God working behind the scenes, formulating a plan far greater than they could imagine?
Get to know Clayton as a boy in Behind the Scenes in this short character interview. I hope you’ll love him as much as I do!
Q: What’s your favorite food, Clayton?
A: For breakfast, pancakes with lots of syrup. But I really like scrambled eggs and bacon too. For supper, probably spaghetti. No, make that pepperoni pizza.
Q: What about your favorite movie?
A: I’ve never been to the theater but I saw “Homeward Bound” at Desmond’s house last month. He’s my best friend, and his daddy rented the movie from Blockbuster and let me watch it with them. I really like animals, so I guess that’s my favorite right now.
Q: How did you feel when your parents left you home alone for a week?
A: At first, I was scared, but after a couple days, I decided that didn’t help me none, so I kept telling myself to grow up. I was almost eight, so I wasn’t a baby anymore. And we lived on a dirt road with not many people around, so I reckon that helped. I figured most of the bad guys probably lived in Memphis.
Q: What about food? How did you eat?
A: I ate breakfast and lunch at school, and after the first time I had asked to spend the night with Desmond on a Saturday night and go to church with them on Sunday, his parents let me stay over every weekend. They were always happy when I went to church, and I was happy to eat dinner and supper there on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. The only time I was really hungry was night time.
Q: How did you meet the missionary couple, Raymond and Camille Richards?
A: Every Saturday I played touch football with Des and some neighborhood boys in a field across the street from our house. The missionary people stopped one day giving out toy cars. I got a shiny red truck-looking one. It was sweet!
Q: What did you think about Raymond and Camille when you met them?
A: They were nice, and the lady was pretty and looked a little like my teacher. I got a somersault feeling in my belly being near her. It was weird, but I liked it.
Q: Did you see the couple anymore after that?
A: Yeah. They went to Desmond’s church so I saw them there once, and then again at the clinic down the road a piece. She’s a nurse and helped me when I forgot my inhaler. My life changed forever that day.
Q: How do you feel about the struggles in your life and how everything turned out?
A: It ain’t been easy, that’s for sure, but I’m happy now. Well, most of the time anyway. I don’t understand why things happened like they did, but I figure God must know what He’s doing. It’s like He had a plan all along or something.
I hope you’ve enjoyed a small peek into the characters in Behind the Scenes. If the story sounds interesting to you, please consider subscribing to my Hope Collective newsletter to get your free copy as a thank you!
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Thanks again for hosting me, Carrie! I’d like to leave readers with my theme verse: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)
As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life. That’s why she’s passionate about inspiring others through writing hope-filled fiction and highlighting other Christian authors on her blog.
Deena is an active member of ACFW and two Virginia writer groups, board member of ACFW Virginia, founder of the Marathon online writer’s group, 2019 Foundations contest finalist, 2019 First Impressions contest double finalist and winner, and 2021 Genesis contest finalist.
She lives with her husband near the coast in beautiful Virginia. When she’s not writing, reading, or serving in her church, you’ll find her hanging out with family and friends and doting on her seven grandchildren.
Overcoming with God visitors, thank you for welcoming Deena
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