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The Way Home
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Through God and Faith, all questions will be answered.

Title: The Way Home: The For Hymn Mystery Series Book I
Author: Paula F. Blevins

Publisher: Publish America; (March 2003)

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

ISBN: 159286113x

Paperback: 160 pages



Rating: Highly Recommend


June 25, 2004


Elizabeth Perkins had a very troubled childhood.  She lost her mother as she was born and her father died in an "accident" seventeen years ago. She has suffered recurrent dreams of this trauma for many years and the spirits of her parents cannot rest within her heart. She meets the man of her dreams. He is a very spiritual man with strong and unwavering faith in God and the scripture.  He is the one destined to lead "Lizzie" back to God and she is on the brink of finding happiness.


Her fiancÚ's life is now threatened and Lizzie's world is about to delve back into a cycle of loss and sadness. She has already lost her mother and father; must she loose her fiancÚ Ryan Denlinger as well? She utilizes the images that trouble her as she sleeps to recreate the scene of her father's death and the days she spent by his lifeless body as a child. These painful memories and sleepless nights lead her to a startling realization. Is it possible that her father's death and the threats on Ryan's life are related? As she finds her way "home" she will find that God has been with her in many forms. She wants a closer relationship with God and her fiancÚ will take her there if he survives.


This book will serve a dual purpose. It will satisfy those looking for a good mystery with a surprising and unexpected ending. It will also serve to remind those that follow God or the ones who have lost "the way home" that God is alive and will guide you to your purpose and peace if you have faith. It is suitable for any audience, young or old and it is timeless.


Pick up a copy for yourself and for anyone trying to cope with loss. The therapy found within these pages is for anyone and everyone who may feel that their life is tumbling from their hands.



Reviewed by Tyrone Vincent Banks


An Interview with Paula F. Blevins




To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


In The Way Home, Book I of the For Hymn Mystery Series, Elizabeth Perkins (Lizzie) is about to be married in two weeks to Ryan Denlinger. Lizzie's life is structured and well organized; therefore, preparations for the wedding are down to final details. However, dreams about her father's accidental death plague her, becoming more vivid and troubling as the wedding approaches.


Her fiancÚ experiences several life-threatening events in the few weeks prior to the big day. Through these troubling occurrences, Lizzie comes to realize and accept the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ. This amazing grace that she feared would distort her world, in fact gives all new clarity to her life and dreams, and takes her on a journey that will ultimately lead her home.


With her new perspective on life and the reopening of the old investigation, it becomes apparent that her father's death and Ryan's 'accidents' are in fact related.


In Come to Me, the second book of the For Hymn Mystery Series, Eryka Skidmore (Lizzie's friend from Book I) finds herself thrown into the middle of a crisis. Her boss is missing, his secretary resigns, and the two were last seen leaving together. Could these circumstances indicate an act of indiscretion as it appears? Or, could there have been foul play?


Now all of the responsibilities at work have fallen to Eryka. With everyone at the office turning to her for leadership, Eryka attempts to maintain business as usual, but obstacles appear at every turn. Her focus is then forced to change from merely managing the business to finding her boss in order to save the company and possibly herself. Her search eventually leads her to renewing old friendships and developing new love, and ultimately becomes more dangerous than she ever dreamed. Only her faith in God sustains her through the harrowing conclusion.




Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?


I grew up in Pataskala, Ohio, just east of Columbus. Even though I did not like reading then, it was an important part of my family. I am so thankful that my parents and teachers taught me to do it, and to do it well. When I did read for school reports, it was almost always a mystery! I did enjoy writing stories and poems. Some of those really early ones from third grade are still around my house. 



Who were your earliest influences and why?


My parents were my earliest influences. Dad wrote wonderful poems, sermons, and stories. Mom saw my potential for writing and kept after me, and after me, and after me.



What would a typical day be like for a writer?


I devote one to two days a week to just writing while my kids are at school. Each day, as time permits, I do a little writing, some promotion, checking email, reading the newspaper for ideas, and computer work. Story and character ideas are recorded as soon as they hit even if it is the middle of the night.



How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


About ten years ago, I started writing and creating activities for several children's magazines, such as, Humpty Dumpty, R-A-D-A-R, and Young Salvationist. The venture into books started just a few years ago. 



Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?


It is definitely more difficult for me to write nonfiction. I have a hard time taking all of the information, condensing it, and still making it sound interesting not like a textbook. I admire those writers who can do that well.



Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?


There have been times that I've been discouraged and wondered whether it's all worth it. But then, someone a reader, one of my kids, a friend, or family member, will ask me about my projects at just the right time. It will be just the lift I need to take another step. 



What is the hardest part about being a writer?


With three young kids, finding the time has always been the most difficult part in the writing stage of the books. It seems I have more ideas than time permits. Once the books have been published, the promotion becomes the most challenging aspect of being an author.



Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?


In addition to writing, I enjoy spending time with my family, music, reading, sewing, crafting, scrapbooking, taking walks, vacationing at the beach, and playing the piano. Many of my ideas have occurred while doing these other things that I enjoy. Incorporating other activities, and the likes and dislikes of a character into the story, helps to make a more rounded, believable person.  



Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?


A good sacrifice for me has been giving up a lot of television watching. I now enjoy relaxing in other, more beneficial ways.



What question do you get asked more than any other?


"How long did it take you to write that book?"



Whats the coolest thing a reader has said to you?


I love hearing from both non-readers as well as avid ones, 'I just couldn't put it down,' or 'I just had to read it again.'  But, the most touching is when a reader realizes that their everyday faith can be interwoven into a good story just like in real life.



What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?


They are relating well to the characters, and the message of hope and of God's love has been inspirational to them. My readers truly keep me motivated!



Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?


Yes, 'people watching' is fun and productive! I love to note movements, characteristics, speech patterns things that might not be perceived by everyone, but make great character traits. 



Who are some of the authors you consider to be "don't miss"?


Being the mystery fan that I am, I love Mary Higgins Clark. My Christian fiction favorites include Lori Wick, Beverly Lewis, and Dee Henderson. 



If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?


Refine your craft. Learn to show and not tell the whole story. Be persistent, and don't give up.



What kind of movies do you enjoy?


I guess that I'm the girl who loves the typical 'chick-flicks'. An adventure story, without too much violence and foul language will sometimes can my eye as well.



What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldnt want to live in?


I enjoy visiting a lot of the bigger cities like Chicago, Boston, Paris, New York, and Washington D.C. While they are wonderful to visit for a few days, this country girl would never be at home living there. 



Whats the strangest question youve ever been asked in an interview?


Well, I have to be honest... I've never been asked about what city I've visited and never wanted to live in. That took me by surprise. 



Whats the best part of being a writer?


The best part is being able to share God's love and touch so many lives in a positive and yet entertaining way. I've seen kids who have had no interest in reading or writing suddenly think it's cool to do so.  And adults, who thought reading (especially Christian works) had to be heavy, hard, boring, or preachy, learn that it doesn't.



What's next?


I have several manuscripts now at different publishing houses awaiting their decisions. Three of them are for children a first chapter book series (found on my website), a Spanish/English picture book, and a story picture book. Also, I have a Bed and Breakfast mystery series in the works, which takes place in the Appalachia area. The third book in 'The For Hymn Mystery Series,' is finished and with the publisher. Soon, I'll firm up plans and begin serious work on the fourth book in that series.



To contact Paula or for more information:


email to:  paulab07@paulafblevins.com





Betsies Literary Page thanks Ms. Blevins for her time and this interview. We wish her great success for all future works.