Fan Friday With Guest Author Latayne C. Scott

Today I’m delighted to introduce a guest Author on my blog, Latayne C. Scott. As a history buff, I’m excited about reading her new release. For those who leave a comment we will be doing a guest drawing for a free copy of her book.

Author Latane ScottGQ0T1022RTLatayne C. Scott is the author of sixteen published books, including the most recent Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament’s Most Infamous City (Howard/Simon & Schuster, 2013.) She also writes magazine articles and poetry, and is the recipient of Pepperdine University’s Distinguished Christian Service Award for “creative Christian writing.” She blogs with five other novelists at, and on her own blog,


For every story there is a backstory with a story. . .

I realize that most of Michelle’s readers love fiction. And I write fiction – murder mysteries like Latter-day Cipher, published by Moody—and have several other novels awaiting publication.

But God gave me a great challenge when an archaeologist friend, Dr. Steven Collins, approached me about co-writing a non-fiction book about a discovery he’s made that is rewriting history in a literal way. For seven years, under the auspices of the government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, he’s been excavating the long-buried site of Sodom—as in fire-and-brimstone, Sodom and Gomorrah.

All the drama of divine destruction, all the thrill of discovering artifacts! Embedded in the layers of the dig are broken and tumbled mud bricks, smashed and charred pottery vessels and other day-to-day objects, and human bones—all violently churned into a tell-tale, ash-filled matrix.

This is a book of topography and chronology and geology too, for this is a highly-documented document about a highly-documented excavation.

But how to draw the reader’s imagination into layers of dirt? That’s whereLatayne C, Scott Book cover my novelistic talents came into play—telling the story of a man who faced down the entire archaeological world’s speculations in order to follow Bible geography to its inevitable destination: the massive site of Tall el-Hammam just northeast of the Dead Sea. That’s the story behind the story.

But there’s another story behind that one. Just as the book contract from Howard/Simon & Schuster was in the mail to Dr. Collins and me, my husband Dan fell terribly ill with Guillain Barre Syndrome. He entered a paralysis so profound that for days his eyes didn’t even dilate. He spent six weeks unconscious in an ICU, and then four more months in other hospitals. I lived in the ICU for those six weeks, and practically lived in the others, too.

Without me even asking, my church, the Mountainside Church of Christ, organized itself into email lists and volunteer rosters. My book became their project. Dr. Collins turned all the data over to me.

For the four months it took me to write the 73,000 words of that book, the members of my church brought me meals and took over my other responsibilities, and sat at my husband’s bedside while I sat out in my car with a laptop and wrote in two-hour spurts (the life of my computer’s battery), with notes sticking out of the air conditioning vents and the crevices of the dashboard. At night I wrote using a lap desk or a small portable table in corners of the hospital rooms.

My two adult children and their families pitched in joyfully. Other friends near and far came and helped, sent money, encouraged me when the doctors continued to say that he wouldn’t survive the pneumonia, the intubations, the coding episodes, the kidney procedures, the C. diff, the hallucinations when he “awakened” months later.

But the book got written. It was a group project, you see: people who saw a vision for a book. In the midst of all that, we made my deadline. We wrote the book.

I hope when people read it they see not only the excitement of a world-class archaeology discovery. I hope they honor a man, Dr. Steven Collins, who believed the Bible not only for its doctrine but also for its geography and biographical details. I hope they read every endorsement from other experts as they praise Dr. Collins.

And I hope they see a whole community of people, regular, everyday heroes, who helped me write a book under the direst of circumstances.

All of this points to a great God, in whose name all of this was done.

I’d like to give away a signed copy of this book – to be chosen at random from the names of everyone who comments to answer this question:

What examples have you seen of a church rising to meet the needs of a member in trouble?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

17 thoughts on “Fan Friday With Guest Author Latayne C. Scott

  1. Me! Me! I want to win this book! If I don’t I’ll go buy it, though, because Latayne has caught my attention with her description of it.

  2. I have seen a local church help financially and emotionally, with no fan fare or need of recognition, a family that lost a baby.

  3. Rebekah Carpenter says:

    Betta View Hillls church of Christ came to the aid of a woman and her adult daughter who were living in a storage shed after their home was destroyed in a violent storm while they tried to rebuild as money allowed. The older woman’s mother a member of a church of Christ in Oklahoma called our church after several other area denominations turned them away. The women were not members but they did rally to aid in building the house and getting the women out of the shed.

  4. I love this testimony of Christ’s love played out for you and Dan, Latayne!

    About a year before attending our church, I heard a story that drew me to that congregation. A local family needed a large location for the funeral of their son who was killed at war. Their church wasn’t big enough. The church I attend was. They opened their doors to this family. They paid for the funeral luncheon. The preacher stayed to scrub tables. They took the idea of Christ’s Church beyond denomination or membership. I love that.

  5. Sarah Thomas says:

    Love how your church wrapped its arms around you. Knowing the “backstory” makes this book even more wonderful.

  6. Amy Simpson says:

    I’m with P. T. Bradley. I have it on my wish list, but I’d rather win a copy! Sounds fascinating.

  7. I would like to read this book from Latane

  8. ellen22andersen says:

    Ten years ago I was admitted to the hospital for surgery. I had to have 24 hour supervision from family or friends. It was right in the middle of my family moving and having to meet with an attorney to finalize the deal. Individuals from the church came and stayed with me so my family could go about the business needed for the move. Those people continued to support my family through that time and beyond.

  9. dtopliff says:

    Wow, what a story. I teach college-level biblical archaeology and have been to Israel 5 times so far, including doing some dig work there, so relate lots. I’m also on my 5th dual-chamber pacemaker so know what it is to have people do for you which I learned to appre. though I would have rather done for myself–produced some char. change there. Your book sounds fascinating. I’d love to win but whether I do or not, I need to find it & read it. Blessings!

  10. lindajwhite says:

    Latayne, I am astounded at the support you received AND your tenacity! Can’t wait to read this book!

  11. You are all blessing me with your examples. Isn’t the Body of Christ a wonder indeed? I’m going to be rejoicing with whomever wins the copy of the book!

  12. PT, you made my day with your enthusiasm. Lowell, I like the “no fanfare” aspect you pointed out. In fact, most of my church family is surprised that I am honoring them by telling others. One person said, “That’s just what we are supposed to do. It’s no big deal.” But that kind of service is a very big deal to the recipient.

  13. Bek, we know all about people helping people, don’t we? I often think that without the kindnesses of others, I could be in a shed myself. Or worse. Susie, what a tender story about the family. And I know you’re a writer because of the details — the preacher scrubbing tables. You should put that in one of your books.

  14. Sarah, I do feel so loved. And Amy, your chances of winning are as good as anyone!

  15. Harlingenwomenoffaith, thank you so much. And ellen22anderson, you know as I do how greatly we feel gratitude to the Lord for His earthly hands.

  16. dtopliff, I’m very anxious to hear your opinion of this book. Did you know this excavation is the largest active one of all Israel and Jordan? Linda, thank you for your enthusiastic support. I appreciate it!

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