The Fields are Ripe

I had no idea what would happen.

When you know the end of the story, I believe you will understand why I did not have “Christians” in mind when I wrote: “The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness”. Instead, my thoughts were centered upon the lost and searching world. So, I wrote this novel in full focus of mainstream America and all its cravings for love and fun. Mixed in the story are two critical life-and-death decisions that are made my millions of people every day. The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness is a fiction story that has both characters and suspense steeped in 21st century realism. You probably are one of the characters, or have a relative that matches one.

My inspiration was to write what is called a cross-over Christian novel that could hopefully make its way into both book markets and touch hearts. I struggled over how far I should let my characters go into what some would cast as worldly. Sometimes I cried as I wrote. Sometimes I laughed. There were times when I felt God so strong in what I was writing that I got goose bumps. Finally it was finished, and with a click of the computer mouse I let my story sail to my publisher.

Facing true facts, Christians are fully saturated with devotional books and religious sermons, and novels that stay on the soft side and are predictable. Another book like those would be like a thousand more in the market, which would be destined to get lost. The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness gives the Christian a fresh novel that deals with real life, yet has Godly precepts as the end result.

So I went to my computer, and everything in my life stopped once I decided to do this. I had only one initiative — to bring the lost heart to know the lover of their soul (Jesus), and to do it in a story that touches real mainstream life and witnesses to the forgiveness and saving grace in Christ the Savior. The character, Ellie, is the spiritual leader in this wealthy family, whom I placed in a penthouse condominium in New York City. She is perfect — steeped in the spiritual freedom of Christ and His salvation, yet not so stiff-necked that it would chase people away. Twists and turns are in this story on every page, with the world presenting itself in different ways, yet the “wonted voice” of forgiveness and redemption holding tight.

This book was released May 3, 2022 and it appears that I may have inched into a tiny edge of the secular world, but in a troubling way. What has happened is that one of the category labels which Amazon, and other book distributors have placed on my novel, is flatly false. Amazon has labeled one of their categories for this book as LGBTQ-EROTIC. How could this have happen? There is nothing in this book that even hints of LGBTQ-EROTIC. The team working with my Christian publisher believes that the book distributors misunderstood the word “Wonted” in the title. Instead, their minds latched onto the word “Wanton”, which means lewd and sexual. When I discovered this false label I felt like dropping to the floor in despair. I became exhausted with fear and I was depressed with all sorts of negative thoughts. Mostly failure.

My first inclination was to get angry with God. Why didn’t He intervene during the editing conversations regarding the title? Why would He let this title be printed, when in His omniscience (all knowing) He knew this false label was going to happen? I was literally shocked! It seemed that the last page of the book — which is an invitation to accept Christ — was actually mocking me.

Then, a friend looked into world statistics on the LGBTQ-Erotic population and told me that this population of people are just a small group compared to the global population of almost 8 billion. Still, that bit of information didn’t help much, because the false label was there for the world to see…even for Christians! The whole matter seemed to be an attempt by the minions of Satan to destroy my work. Well, maybe that is another grandiose thought of mine — assuming that my work might be a threat to Satan. But I truly desire to believe that the message of love and forgiveness woven throughout “The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness” is powerful enough to cause success, and a sustained battle against Satan.

Shortly after the false category discovery my publisher emailed a message to me – “God is still on the throne. No weapon formed against a child of God will prosper.” I appreciated that reminder. Then word also came to me from one of my pastors. “I get it,” he said, regarding my inspiration to gain a cross-over book. He went on to say, “The book would make a great forum for Christian discussion.

My point in sharing this with you is that there are many ways for you, my cyber friends and blog family, to use this book, besides simply reading it. First, it would be an excellent book to give as a gift to your family members and friends. It would also be a good book to plan a forum (small or large group of people) for an interesting exchange of sharing, even spiritual blessing. It would be a good start for a small book club, with three or four people. You could also give the book to a neighbor, to witnesses without being “preachy” about your personal faith. There are many ways this book can be used.

Sharing this article on Facebook would also be a great help. Lots of ways, lots of opportunities. God says His Word will not return void. I encourage you to use this book as an evangelical ministry. (To be honest, this is the most humbled post I have written, and it is with carefulness that I have clicked the mouse.)

If you have not read this book, I encourage you to get a copy. It is available on Amazon and at all stores where books are sold. I believe that you will be blessed as you read the story and see how powerfully God works in the lives of each character. It’s a story for both the Christian and the secular audience. The fields are ripe for harvest!

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God bless you!

23 thoughts on “The Fields are Ripe

  1. Myheartscry says:

    I love that you are trying to reach out beyond the Christian market. A crossover book. I just got my book. When I’m reading it, I’ll be thinking and praying for those reading it that don’t know God’s grace and salvation.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Linda Raha says:

    I always think that writing should be a joy, as well as work. Crafting a story is no easy thing. Writing a book is a journey…sending it out into the world is another matter altogether. I do believe that a book stands on its own, no matter what. The story is there, and it is up to the reader to determine the personal value for themselves. I think your pastor is right; this book will find a ‘home’ in many places. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Mary Cates Author says:

    Linda, you are right. The reader always determines the value of a book, depending upon their personal needs. Most often with novels, it is simply to be entertained. Thank you for your insight and have a blessed day.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Diane Siemers says:

    Looking forward to reading The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness. You may feel that it was a mistake for the book to be listed in the wrong category but there may be someone who reads this book that would not have read it. God has his way of working things out in ways we would never think of.


    • Mary Cates Author says:

      Thank you! Yes, I do keep pushing. If I let up I will wither and blow away. When I get discouraged there is always an inspiration of some sort that gets me going again. My work for the Lord is worth the “push”, even if I see no results. I believe it is there……somewhere.


      • Mary Cates Author says:

        Another thought regarding my “push” to get my newest book out: He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. (Eccles. 11:4) For sure, all has been heard before, but writing it in the Voice of the Lord is always new to man’s ear. The end of the story is to fear God and believe what Jesus Christ is God, who came to save us all. that is what my authorship is all about.


  5. Nancy says:

    God is a master at using mistakes for good. Maybe there’s a plan to have someone read it who may have never picked it up otherwise. I look forward to opening the pages of your book soon, Mary.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jessy B. says:

    I am reading your book now that I am taking a rest. And it’s a great! I am a firm believer that nothing happens by chance. I believe that with your book being miscategorized it is because it has to reach someone looking for a novel to read in that particular genre. We never know how the seeds we plant come to fruition. However, I do believe your book is meant to reach the lost. It’s a true tale of forgiveness and redemption. Be encouraged!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Cates Author says:

      Jessy, your response to my recent blog post and the spiritual support of my book was like good medicine for my soul. I’ve been a little down, and it lifted me up. You have encouraged me with your words. My husband walked by the kitchen counter while I was drinking my morning coffee and I had just finished reading your response. He asked me why I was teary-eyed. I handed him my cell phone and said, “read this comment from a Follower of my blog — it’s so good.” When he finished reading it he said, “I agree with this 100%”. Thank you Jessy. You are a gem. And there are others just like you who have logged in and encouraged me. God has His people everywhere. I am truly discovering this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jessy B. says:

        Aw Mary! Sending you hugs! Be encouraged! I’m glad to have helped. You have such a way with words it is a blessing and a gift! Keep writing!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Jean Crider says:

    Hi Mary, I did not know you were an author and a very good one! I found out after church on Sunday at dinner with a friend who told me about you. So I immediately ordered your book on Amazon, ” the wonted voice of forgiveness” and received it on Monday and finished it on Tuesday. I could not put it down, it is captivating and encouraging and very well written. I will give this book to others and tell many of your God given talent in print. I can’t wait to see you and give you another hug. I love how the Lord allowed us to meet. Jean

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beth Alisan says:

    Mary, I just finished reading my copy last night. I read this post before finishing it. Thus my prayer as I read was that the false label would bring readers who are on the verge of making life altering decisions like Marco, Katie, and Marie and that this story would point them back to the Lord. I posted my review on Amazon today. I don’t know how long it will take to show on your end, so I’m including my review here as well. I was so excited to get to the end of the book and learn you have another one on the way!!

    Review: “Throughout this book, Cates paints a clear picture of God’s grace, mercy, and providence For me, Katie and Marco’s story exemplifies two verses Jeremiah 29:11- ‘For I know the plans I have for your plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” and Proverbs 3:7- “Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil.” I gave this book 5 stars for several reasons. First, the characters are relatable. I would love to be able to sit down and chat with Katie and Ellie over a cappuccino. Second, Cates describes places in New York City and Sicily where the characters live and visit in such a way I wanted to learn and see more. I found myself putting down the book and hopping onto Google Earth to visit Gramercy Park, Catania Cathedral, Piazza Del Duomo, and Mount Etna. Finally, Cates delves into several difficult issues and handles them with great sensitivity. She presents each in such a way that you can see the case for each side as well as the ramification or blessing that comes with each choice.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mary Cates Author says:

    Beth, your comments and the review of “The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness” on Amazon has excited me as well as humbled me. I loved writing that story, but all virtual roses go to the Lord. It is His Spirit that puts the words on the pages. Thank you so much! You and other bloggers are my lifeline as I struggle to gain an audience for Jesus and have opportunity to keep writing. I love your review. I’m copying it now to show my husband, and Gail – my copy editor. It’s priceless and I hope I will always be humble and thank God for this blessing.


  10. Wise Hearted says:

    I have been working on a Memoir for the past 11 years. We moved two years ago and my health declined drastically so I have laid it aside once again. I tease my daughter she may have to finish the last chapter if I don’t get the inspiration to finish. It’s about forgiveness and trusting on the power of God forgiveness of us that has been the focus of my life since meeting Jesus. I must buy this cross over book of yours today. Blessings.


  11. Mary Cates Author says:

    Dear Wise Hearted, I thank you for your meaningful comment and mentioning that God’s forgiveness has been the focus of your life since meeting Jesus. I believe this book: “The Wonted Voice of Forgiveness” will bless you as you read it. I would appreciate you getting back to me and letting me know. God bless you, and I hope you get inspired to finish the last chapter of your Memoir.


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