INTERVIEW WITH THE DIAMOND MINE
The following is a re-print of the interview as posted on https://diamondsinfiction.blogspot.com/
The Rough Diamond Writers: Mining for the Lord's brilliance among the gemstones of Christian Fiction.
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Encouraging others to let GOD heal. Plus a Giveaway.
Help me welcome Sondra Umberger to the Diamond Mine.
Be sure to enter the giveaway for an E-copy of this great trilogy.
Sondra is a new author to me. Let’s learn about her together.
Renette: Welcome Sondra, before we jump into your books. Tell us a bit about yourself. What kind of things do you enjoy for fun?
Sondra: Great to be here. My first passion is fun. I love to have fun even when I am working. My second passion is travel. I arrived home yesterday after exploring the treasure of God’s creations in the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Cave exploration takes you into a world of imagination. I was amazed at the beauty of the stalactites, stalagmites, columns, popcorn, pearls, chandeliers, and what is called bacon formations. It is called bacon, because it looks just like bacon hanging from the walls of caves. This cave was exceptional because, in the past, it was an ancient underwater reef. Talk about a kaleidoscope of design and formations; I was in constant motion pointing out all imaginary characters coming into focus, similar to cloud watching.
Renette: Wow, how awesome to see GOD’s creativity and beauty. He shows Himself everywhere, doesn’t He? Traveling to see new things is such fun. Where else have you been?
Sondra: I love to travel and have traveled the world. I have explored over 60 countries and hope to continue with travel as I have a new book brewing in my mind that takes place in Jerusalem. I would love to return to the Holy Land to explore and do some research on an upcoming book.
Renette: Speaking of books I understand you have a few to share with us today.
Sondra: Yes, I am excited for the opportunity to share with you and the audience about my trilogy, UNRAVELED-REWOVEN. Below is the description of the trilogy. Each book stands alone, but it is very connected to the following book in the series. The titles themselves give you a hint at what the books entail—just a quick sneak preview. I can’t resist. Book One: ROBBED, Book Two: RIPPED, and Book Three: RESTORED. The three-book series is a story of trauma to triumph, victim to victor, and regret to restoration. Hopefully, I have wet your appetite for more.
A trilogy based on true events
Author: Sondra Umberger
Renette: Tell us more. Which character will we love?
Sondra: The books are novels based on a true story written from the three main characters’ point of view, which are: Catherine, the adult, Catie, who is Catherine as a child, and Marion, the Christian counselor.
I believe each character offers something unique to the reader. CATHERINE is open and raw about her struggles. She speaks out of the things, so many women are thinking and feeling but are too afraid to say. She takes the reader through the process of finding the courage to address her fears in order to find healing and wholeness.
CATIE is Catherine as a child. She is a spunky little kid that will capture your heart. She gives a child’s perspective and shows how lies and beliefs are introduced and reinforced or built upon through life’s experience. Catie’s pure childlike faith inspires others to cling to the truths of the Bible as Catie did---as her very life depended upon it for survival.
MARION, the Christian counselor, plays a vital and powerful role. She tackles the struggles by asking probing questions that assist Catherine, Catie, and the reader to search their hearts for answers. Marion equips the characters and the reading audience with the word of God and encourages the application of Biblical principles in order to overcome the many battles we all face. The books are written as novels but they address the real issue with real solutions. Regardless of the character’s circumstances, my books offer hope, the truth, and the answer through JESUS!
Renette: Can you tell us why you chose these stories and this subject?
Sondra: The key point in writing the trilogy UNRAVELED-REWOVEN was to emphasizes the redemptive and healing powers of Jesus Christ and how the scars and pain from the past and devastating sins of the present need not be permanent. The books are a great testimony of how God can use everything in our lives, even evil deeds, to accomplish His ultimate purposes TO SET US FREE. I want to give others hope through my books, showing that healing comes in and through God. The Lord himself proclaimed that it is the truth that sets us free.
Renette: Writing this kind of trilogy must take a lot of energy and inspiration. How and where do you find them and the time to write?
Sondra: Many women have a shoe collection, but I seem to have a hat collection, as I wear many hats; as a Christian counselor, a wife, ordained minister, author, sister, friend…you get the idea. So, I had to make the time. At first, I just starting writing, letting the story pour out of me. I would write in between appointments, and if I had a client cancellation, the keys would sound loud, tap, tap, tap, for the whole duration.
Once the books were written, I knew I needed more time and took a sabbatical to do the editing and fine-tuning. The inspiration was from God. I was obedient to give a voice to the story he asked me to tell.
Energy, I’m not sure. I was dancing as fast as I could and still was burning the candle at both ends. Coffee was definitely my friend during some long sessions, but I admit writing captivates me.
Renette: It is so interesting to learn how each author writes. We all are facing obstacles, trials, and unique issues in today’s way of life. What is one piece of advice you would like to leave us with?
Sondra: What I have learned as a faith-based counselor for almost 20 years is that false perceptions and lies can be seared into our minds through a tragedy or a significant emotional event. Examine your thoughts for truth. Examine your problems through becoming a truth seeker. The storyline in my books help others learn about the battle for the mind and how trauma, abuse, betrayal, misspoken words, and various other circumstances can be used to distort our views of God, ourselves, and others. Most problems are rooted in our identity. If you don’t know who you are, you set yourself up to let someone else define your identity. I’m not talking about what you do; I am talking about a much deeper sense of how you identify yourself. As a child of God, I know who I am. I understand that I will continue to face struggles, disappointments, and an onslaught of challenges, but I also know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I hope my words bring you hope and encouragement.
Renette: I love that you want to share and encourage others in how to let GOD heal them. Anything else you‘d like to tell us before we go?
Sondra: I’d love to give away an E-copy of the entire trilogy. God is our great physician and is gracious to bring us healing in various ways. I’ll choose one winner who briefly shares an experience where the Lord brought them hope and healing.
Renette: Thank you, Sondra, so kind of you. Folks jump right in with your comments to be entered in the drawing. Be sure and leave your email address so we can contact you.
Thank you, Sondra, for the wonderful interview. It has been a blessing having you with us.
Sondra: Thank you for having me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my story. You have been awesome, and I’ve enjoyed our interaction. I hope your audience is blown away by my books and that they find hope and healing as they cruise the pages of UNRAVELED—REWOVEN. Blessing to you all, Sondra
Sondra Umberger, Christian counselor, an ordained minister, and President of Healing Hearts Ministry, Inc., and Connecting to Christ, offers faith-based materials and counsel on how to prevail
through the challenges and struggles of life. Sondra instructs on a variety of topics, including confronting and overcoming abuse.
Sondra loves to laugh and enjoy outdoor activities and adventures with her husband in the vast playgroundUSA.
Thank you for joining us today. May you be blessed by HIs SONshine.
CATHERINE—must face her suppressed childhood memories, secrets hidden for decades, from when her family called her CATIE. Fragments of haunting images creep out of her subconscious and merge into one recurring nightmare.
Determined to unlock the mysteries of her past, Catherine seeks Christian counseling with MARION. Together they reopen terrifying windows in time Catherine nailed shut nearly thirty years ago. A time she refers to as her lost years.
Catherine fights to remember the horrific abuse of her dreadful, deceiving stepmother. She battles to save herself, and her baby brother, CHARLEY, from the evils of the Satanic occult, a world that few people realize exists; a diabolical can of worms.
A time—meant to be forgotten.
When HUNTER enters her life, spawning an unexpected relationship, Catherine’s pursuit of truth takes new twists and turns. While Catherine unearths her youth, digging for the truth, new perils arise as her husband; HUNTER’s dark secrets are exposed.
Secrets—meant to be concealed.
Frightened and fragmented, only seeing pieces to the puzzle, Catherine perseveres. Images appear. Secrets revealed. Questions are answered as the recollections unravel. Catherine experiences God’s provision, protection, and exercises the unique gifts he gave her as a child.
As darkness is uncloaked, a spiritual battle erupts. Is it all too much?
Will Catherine overcome the formidable odds stacked against her?
Will she trust an invisible God and a husband whose betrayal amplifies her brokenness?
The unspoken—is exposed.
When all feels lost, discover hope, healing, and redemption.
What was once unraveled is now rewoven.