Monday, February 27, 2012


What do you see?

When you look at the above picture, what description pops into your head?

Half-empty glass, or half-full?

If you said half-full, you’re probably an optimist, while the rest of us focused on the half-empty or negative side.

This idea is a theme I explore in my soon-to-be released Love Inspired Suspense, Shades of Truth. The hero works undercover in a youth detention center, and because he was once a young offender and now faces them day in and day out in his job, he is pessimistic about their rehabilitation prospects.

The heroine is quick to point out that he overcame his past to make something of his life. Why doesn’t he think others can, too?

Of course, he really hasn’t overcome his past. He’s merely spent the rest of his life trying to atone for it.

I watched a loved one be tormented by such guilt—unjustified guilt. No matter what anyone said, he couldn’t get the lie out of his head and forgive himself.

As I started writing Shades of Truth, I didn’t consciously set out to touch on this theme, but after answering numerous blog interview questions over the course of my book releases, I’ve come to realize that this need to break guilt’s bondage is a common underlying theme in many of my novels.

What does that have to do with my half-full glass analogy?

Well, because of his guilt, my hero brings a heart full of sadness and regret to those he counsels, instead of the hope the heroine and another pivotal character exude. It’s easy to tell someone that they need to forgive themselves and look on the bright side. It’s much harder to do.

Your turn: Has guilt over something you did, or said, or didn’t do, impacted your life? Were
you able to overcome the feelings? How?

Shades of Truth won't be in bookstores until mid-March, but if you’d like it now, click here to order from Harlequin at 20% off, and use coupon code FREESHIPAFFO to receive free shipping until Mar 31st.

I love to connect with readers, and have created some “extras” to enhance readers’ experience of my books. Check out these and other resources for both readers and writers at
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Until March 4th, enter to win a copy of Shades of Truth at Goodreads. Open to residents of US, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain 


  1. Done and done, Sandra. I'd been thinking of placing an order with HQ anyway so this gave me a boost.
    And that guilt thing? Not good. Our minister likes to use the scripture that says God will not "re-member" our sins, i.e. He won't give them legs, to use a newspaper analogy. We shouldn't either.
    Good luck with the new release.

    1. Thanks so much, Alice!!! I love your analogy, very memorable.

  2. We were talking about this at church yesterday. Discussing the myths we 'believe' about the atonement. And harboring guilt for past wrongs that we've already laid at Jesus' feet was one of them. We're so eager to snatch those fallen moments back even though our Savior died so we wouldn't have to keep them. And no matter what we do will never be enough -- not without Jesus. We were encouraged to accept that gift an show our appreciation by not giving it back!

    1. Kav, it always astounds me that we are "eager" to snatch those fallen moments back. But it does seem to be so true. That sounds like it was an inspiring sermon.

  3. I am so excited about your new book, Sandra!

  4. A kid was recently paralyzed in an ice hockey game near here (story in this week's Sports Illustrated). I keep thinking of the poor kid who checked him who will have to deal with this the rest of his life even though the kid who is paralyzed insists the other boy did nothing wrong. "He was just playing the game." Guilt. Regrets. If only... Much harder to accept forgiveness than to go on blaming yourself.

  5. Even when logic tells us we are not guilty for something, it can still have an adverse effect. I'm recently started writing a manuscript on a similar theme at present. God is more ready to forgive us than we are to forgive ourselves. I would love to read your book so have entered the comp.Lovely to have a giveaway that included us in Australia.