Thursday, May 2, 2013

Susan Braun's Memoir *I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY*

Back Cover Blurb:
Is it possible to emerge unscathed from an evangelical upbringing? Yes, as surely as David slew Goliath! 

I Love to Tell the Story is Susan Barnett Braun
s account of growing up Baptist in a small midwestern town, touching on many cultural icons common to those who came of age in the 1970s. Braun recounts childhood obstacles, which loom as large as the walls of Jericho in her eyes. She encounters a trio of Sunday school mean girls who make King Herod look tame. She worries about being ugly as sin due to her chubbiness, glasses, and braces. Shes so consumed with the idea of Jesus imminent return that she wonders whether its even worthwhile to brush her teeth at night.
Humorous, poignant, and ultimately triumphant, I Love to Tell the Story will stay with readers long after the last Vacation Bible School craft stick cross has fallen apart.

Book Excerpt: 

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy, weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you, full of pity, love, and pow’r.
I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior, O, there are ten thousand charms.

This was it. The big day. I shifted back and forth, scratching an itch that had just popped up. Now! All I had to do was walk to the front of the First Baptist Church sanctuary and tell Dr. Silver that I wanted Jesus to be my Savior. Simple as that.

Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome, God’s free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance, every grace that brings you nigh.
I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior, O, there are ten thousand charms.

The organ and piano’s melancholy, minor notes heightened my anxiety. I dug my fingernails into the pew ahead of me, where they made little dents in the wax. Go! Just go! I wanted to be a Christian. I had imagined this moment many times, but somehow, walking down that aisle now seemed impossible. Going to the front of the church! In front of all those people! I glanced up at the spinning ceiling fans, cooling the sanctuary as they spun and spun and spun. Little beads of sweat rolled down the back of my neck, and it felt awfully warm for the first week of June.

Let not conscience make you linger, nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth is to feel your need of Him.
I will arise and go to Jesus, He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior, O, there are ten thousand charms.

Dr. Silver shifted from one foot to the other. He gazed out beseechingly into the congregation and then moved his eyes to the floor, hands clasped in front of him. Nobody had responded to the invitation yet, and I kind of felt sorry for him. He looked forlorn. And yet, I was like a slinky, stuck between one step and the next. Why couldn’t I make my feet move?
I had been thinking about accepting Jesus as my Savior for years, for my entire conscious life, actually. And lately, Dr. Silver’s admonitions about hell, “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, my friends,” had scared me half to death. Mom often woke me up during the night, telling me to stop grinding my teeth because it sounded so terrible. Who wanted to spend eternity listening to that awful sound?
But each week, when the invitation arrived at the conclusion of the service, I hesitated. Maybe next week. Really, my chances were pretty good to make it another week. I was only nine years old. But, as I’d learned in Sunday school, none of us were guaranteed tomorrow. I might develop a fatal disease that would claim me within days, or there was the often-repeated example that I might walk right out of church and be hit by a truck. You just never knew.

Author Bio:  
I began writing as a child. Other kids would be outside playing; I’d be in my room, either reading or writing a book. My fourth grade masterpiece, “The Mystery in Maine” still lives on my bookshelf!

I grew up, became a teacher, and still did writing here and there – a few devotionals and several tips for teaching magazines. After getting married and having three daughters, I stayed home with my girls and began doing more writing.

I began a blog in 2008 and each Friday, I blogged about a childhood memory. Wanting to leave memories in written form for my kids, I wondered whether I might weave several of these memories from my Midwestern childhood in the 1970s into a book.

I attended the Write-to-Publish conference in 2011 and learned much there. I completed my memoir, focusing it on the church where I grew up and spent so much time.

“I Love to Tell the Story: Growing Up Blessed and Baptist in Small Town Indiana” was published in December 2011.

Since that time, I’ve written two Christian fiction stories for young readers (elementary age), and a biography of Mad King Ludwig II for young adults. My latest book, a biography of Kate Middleton for elementary students, will come out this summer.

Links to find me on the web:

Purchase the book at:

Susan Braun is giving away a kindle copy of her ebook I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY  The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Patsy said...

This book sounds so interesting! Would love to read it!


apple blossom said...

I'm intreigued I grew up in Northern IN...Michiana area

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

spangldlady said...

I would love to win this book. I grew up Baptist too,[still am] singing songs like this. The old hymns are beautiful and while I like some of the new I get really close to the Lord when I sing the old ones. Thank you for sharing Jesus in this way. Blessings! Darlene

Teela said...

Its nice to see where people are open about their religious background and it's CHRISTIAN! I am a scrapbooker and girls, it is difficult to find a Christian site. Seems like all the girls that are blowing & going are those out of Utah church. So, this is refreshing and I do hope to win and read your book.

Rose Milligan said...

This sounds like a really interesting book. Thanks for having the giveaway.


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