Friday, September 27, 2013

Murray Pura: Creating Characters That Readers Want To Emulate In Life

Everyone's Story welcomes multi-published and award-winning author Murray Pura. For some time I've seen Murray buzzing around on the web, awed at the array of novels and devotionals he has written. I'm honored that he accepted the invitation to guest appear this week. Both readers and writers will benefit from his perspective on writing a historic-based character that resonates a kindred heart to the contemporary soul. And, check out the amazing Book Giveaway that Murray is offering to 6 commenters. Murray is looking forward to replying o your comments.


Book Giveaway:
Murray is offering 6 commenters their choice of 1 PDF format of either these novels: THE LAST WALTZ or SWEET CHILD OF MINE or A ROAD CALLED LOVE or THE ROSE OF LANCASTER COUNTY or either devotionals ROOTED or STREAMS. Each is for personal use only and cannot be loaned or distributed. Details of each book are found either on Murray's website (see below for link) or on Amazon. The winner will be announced here on Friday, October 4th, between 5-6 PM EST. For convenience, please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks! 


WHY I WRITE by Murray Pura

I have served as a pastor for 25 years and also done missions work in nations as diverse as Ireland, Italy, Colombia, and Nepal. All during those years I was writing when I had free time.  I used the stories in the pulpit in Canada and the United States, I used them on the mission field, reworked them as dramas and acted them out in churches and in the streets. Whatever kind of story I wrote one thing had to be consistent – fiction or nonfiction they all had to be stories that were carriers of truth.

In 2010, in God’s timing and not mine, doors began to open for writing contracts with publishers I never dreamed would be interested in me. Some wanted devotional and theological books but most wanted fiction for the millions of readers who were hungry for well-written stories that would inspire, challenge, motivate, and, yes, delight. So I set out to do those very things with the tales that began to fill my imagination.

I have always loved historical fiction because while technology and clothing and cultural norms may change, people do not. The human in the 21st century can connect with the human in the 17th century because both are living souls made in the image of God, both are broken, both seek redemption and restoration and wholeness, and both are trying to find their way in a world and a life and a faith that is not always easy to understand or embrace.

In the same way that contemporary fiction allows readers to see themselves in the stories of other people in the world of 2013 and 2014, historical fiction permits them to see themselves in the stories of people of decades or centuries before. What I like to do is take ordinary men and women, the same sort of persons that my readers are, and plunge them into extraordinary circumstances – the outbreak of World War One, the battle lines at Gettysburg, the deck of the USS Arizona on the morning of December 7th, 1941, the witness stand at a witches trial in Colonial America, a prison camp in Nazi Germany in 1945. I want my readers to get totally involved in the drama of the moment and all its difficulties and dangers and grace.

How will the men and women in my stories pray? How will the Bible help them through peril and outright disaster? How will they help one another when a loved one is lost in combat or to a terrible disease? What words will come to their lips when it is time to speak out and save a human life? When will they fight? When will they lay down their swords?

What begins to happen with my readers is they take on the same struggles and decisions and wonder what they would pray, what passage they would seek out in the Bible, how they would bear up under the loss of a child or spouse, what words they would find to speak truth at a trial where everything was lies. They choose to emulate the faith of characters that never gave up and never stopped believing. They too choose to live and love and overcome, finding God and his grace during the darkest moments of their lives. And by doing so, and living out the story in their own hearts and souls, they begin to grow.

For the day comes when for many what was once fiction becomes fact. Some are thrown into the extraordinary circumstances of 9/11. Some open the door to two uniformed officers with hard news about their son. Some must somehow survive the ravages of a hurricane that has destroyed their home and is threatening to destroy their life. Many have only the Bible and prayer to turn to when everything in their world is turned upside down and inside out.

That is why I write.

Murray's Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author Murray Pura on Everyone’s Story: Why contemporary readers enjoy historical fiction. (Tweet This)


How does story serve an author and author serve story? Visit with Murray Pura for insights. (Tweet This)

Murray Pura: Creating characters that readers want to emulate in life. (Tweet This)

#ChristianFiction #BookGiveaway of Murray Pura to 6 commenters. Be one! (Tweet This)


Author's Bio:
Murray Pura was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, just north of the Dakotas and Minnesota. His first novel was released in Toronto in 1988 and was a finalist for the Dartmouth Book Award. Since that time he has published a number of novels, two collections of short stories, and several nonfiction titles including the Zondervan books Rooted and Streams and the Baker devotional Majestic & Wild. He has been a finalist for several awards in the US and Canada and in 2012 won the Word Award of Toronto for Best Historical Novel. His book The Wings of Morning has been nominated for several literary awards in the United States including Best Inspirational Romance and Best Historical Romance. Murray lives and writes in southwestern Alberta and is currently published by Barbour, Baker, Harper One, Zondervan, and Harvest House as well as several other publishing houses. His releases for 2013 include: Ashton Park, The Rose of Lancaster County, A Road Called Love, Seven Oaks, The Painted Sky, Whispers of a New Dawn, Beneath the Dover Sky, and An Amish Family Christmas.


Connect With Murray At:

92 comments:

  1. Wow! Eight books in 1 year. That's awesome. Congratulations! All of the books sound intriguing.
    pat at ptbradley dot com

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    1. Hi, Pat. I appreciate your visit. Even if I wrote full time I'm not sure if I could create that many books in one year. Murray is blessed with pure focus :)

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  2. Hi Murray. I'm a historical writer too, and I love how, as you point out, human nature never changes. As readers, we can escape into an unknown world while emotionally connecting to a historical character's needs and struggles. I already own your book Ashton Park, and as soon as I've met the heavy demands of my next contract, I look forward to reading it. Blessings,
    Tessa

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    1. Tessa--it's so nice to see you again. I'm thankful for authors like you and Murray ♡

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    2. Thanks Tessa - it's excellent that you're writing! It's great you dropped by!

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  3. Murray, your books are so wonderful. I love to read them. It was really interesting to read about you and your ministry. I wish you continued success in all facets of life. You are a great example to others, including myself! Keep on writing! Sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com!

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    1. Welcome to Everyone's Story, Sonja. I'm glad you enjoyed learning something new about one of your favorite authors.

      Hope to see you again.

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    2. thank you Sonja - sweet to see you here!

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  4. A man of many talents. It amazes me you write from Civil War, Romance, Devotionals and Western. I'm probably missing some. You are a wonderful writer no matter what you are writing. I love your books.
    Blessings
    joeym11@frontier.com

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    1. Diana, I'm glad to see your visit today. And happy to see how well loved Murray's books are.

      Hope you'll be back for more visits here.

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    2. hi Diana!!! THANK YOU!!!

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  5. I so enjoy all of your work. Civil War and the Painted Skies are two of my favorites. And a road called love was amazing as well. You are s blessing and an insperation. I am in awe of what you have accomplished and have done in your work for the Lord. You continue to ministervia your stories. Thank you sir! And as long as you continue to write them then I will continue to read. Blessings sir
    brooksjanice6564@gmail.com

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    1. Welcome, Janice, to Everyone's Story. What a devoted fan Murray has in you :) Do check back in a while to see his reply.

      You're entered in the Giveaway. I hope to see you again.

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    2. you're very kind Janice! thank you!

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  6. Donita CormanSeptember 27, 2013

    I love to read about times in history to learn about that time period. It takes me away to eras that my ancestors lived in. Its fun to read about times other than the present. donitacorman@yahoo.com

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    1. I'm happy for your visit, Donita. I agree--history comes alive especially when we realize our ancestors have lived during the times we're reading about.

      Do come back again!

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    2. blessings Donita - thx for swinging by!

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  7. Love your writing, Murray! Historical fiction is one of my favorite type of books to read.
    Kathy Faberge
    finulhour@sbcglobal.net

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    1. Thanks for visiting today, Kathy. Sounds like a good historical novel brightens your day :) Hope to see you again.

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    2. Kathy! Superb to see you here! Thanks!

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  8. I have to say what attracts me to authors who write historical fiction is their knowledge of the topics. I love the historical fiction genre most because it adds richness to the characters....the locations and the story line. I love to learn about history and imagine myself through the characters point of view.

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    1. I so appreciate your visit today, Halita. Also, I'm intrigued by your perspective of what you enjoy in a good novel.

      Blessings.Hope to see you again.

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    2. nice to see you here Halita!

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  9. I love historical fiction. Murray's books not only teach about history but about the trials, struggles, and miracles which are a part of our everyday lives. He is prolific, turning out one book after the other, but those books have the hallmark of Murray's quality writing. Well done, Mr. Pura! Joy Ross Davis

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    1. Welcome, Joy. I'm glad you can join us here today. Sounds like you can count on Murray for a compelling read :) Hope you'll return to Everyone's Story again for another visit.

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    2. the angels be with ye Joy!

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  10. I love Historical Fiction, it teaches, reaches and preaches to me all in a way that draws me closer to God, makes me hunger for more learning and helps me reach out to others and share about the books as well. My Home school daughter LOVES learning History this way!

    Rose sounds so interesting in your book!
    mandn@wisper-wireless.com

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    1. Thanks for visiting with us. I love when fiction is written so well that it walks off the page and enters into our present and hearts. Your daughter is surely way ahead of the game when it comes to learning history--what a blessing.

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    2. I like the Rose character too - some characters really stay with you and you wonder how they came to be - bless you & your daughter

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  11. Donna Moore ForkerSeptember 28, 2013

    Bless Your Writing Skills!

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    1. Donna, I appreciate you dropping by. Glad to know you enjoy Murray's writing.

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    2. that's very kind of you Donna!

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  12. I haven't read any of Murray's books, but after reading his guest blog, I want to. He articulated so well why I too write historical inspirational fiction.

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    1. Hi, AnnaLee. Nice to see you :) It's wonderful when history is never forgotten because a contemporary author can honor the time period so well.

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    2. bles your fiction writing AnnaLee

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  13. Hi Murray,
    My wife and I both love historical fiction, because the sad truth is that in those days there was more reason for people to be noble, honorable, graceful, moral, and spiritual. I believe people read historical fiction, especially that with a Christian world view, to clear their minds of the unfortunate offerings we call entertainment today.

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    1. Patrick, welcome to Everyone's Story. Congratulations on your own historical novels releasing.

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    2. aye aye and blessings on all your historical fiction Patrick

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  14. I love Historical Fiction. Read your book "Ashton Park" and loved it Murray:-) I think that's great that your goal of writing is to help people learn to live a better story in their own lives. So far, I only have one book out there, but that's been my goal too:-) Congrats on all the books you've got coming out this year...that's so great!

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    1. Lorna, it's always a pleasure to see you here... anywhere :)

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    2. Hi LornaFaith - thank you so much & I pray you may write many many more books

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  15. I love to read all of your books each one is different and that makes reading intresting I enjoy most things about history thank you for writing such good books always Karen

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    1. Thanks for visiting today, Karen. I appreciate your reader's perspective on what makes a book a good read. Hope to see you again.

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    2. thank you so much for your encouragement Karen

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  16. I would read your books Murrary, angelachesnut246@gmail.com

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    1. Hi, Angela. Best wishes in winning one of Murray's books.

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  17. The Rose of Lancaster County looks good.

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    1. Welcome to this blog, Bonnie. I can just imagine Murray smiling when he reads your comment. Please check back later for his reply.

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    2. thank you Bonnie (((smile)))

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  18. I would love to be one of the winner's for Rooted devotions.

    Historical Fiction is my favorite genre. I appreciate the research the authors do to place their characters within the event/happenings of the day. So much more than we may have learned in school, and greater accuracy. Thank you. I have my eye on an extra copy of Murray's novel, Beneath the Dover Sky! An Amish Family Christmas ~ the cover reminds me of the Christy series!

    Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. Kathleen, thanks so much for visiting today and sharing what captures you, as a reader, to enjoy a book.

      Hope to see you again. Check back a bit later on for Murray's reply.

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    2. Thanks for all your warm reviews Kathleen

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  19. As I was reading Murray's love of historical fiction, I could so relate to what he was saying. I write historicals for many of the same reasons. I loved his story, The Last Waltz.

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    1. Nice to see you, Tamera, on Everyone's Story. Judging from so many positive replies here historical novels definitely have a strong pull for readers and a lure for writers.

      Hope to see you again.

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    2. Thank you for your good words, Tamera

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  20. Elaine, you said it so well, probably not even realizing it: Mr. Pura makes the characters come off the page...but he also somehow enables us to go INTO the page and become part of the story. We feel like we personally know the characters and are reading a loving, newsy letter from them. Sometimes joyful, sometimes sad, sometimes angry or regretful, but always "personal". I don't know how he does that in so many genres, and I'm a fairly new reader to his books, but I'm hooked!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Carol. I'm glad you enjoyed Murray's segment. He certainly is blessed to have you as a fan.

      Hope to see you again.

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    2. You're so kind and deep with your words Carol - thank you

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  21. Linda Dianne StoweOctober 01, 2013

    Hi Murray,I just want to say how much I've enjoyed several of your books and your commentary on how it all came about.I'm always excited about what the next book series will be about.You mentioned how your experiences helped you with your ministry and it brings to mind a favorite minister ,I use to love to hear.He used nursery stories to preach sermons and he tied it all to some story in the Bible and it was so interesting to me how he was able to do that and tie it all in.I think with you and him ,it's a gift.I'm sure God uses authors the same way He does ministers to get His message across to people that might not other wise learn of it.I appreciate everything ,I've ever read that you wrote.keep up the good work.Blessings to you!

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    1. Linda, I greatly appreciate your visit today. I appreciate your viewpoint of how and why Murray's stories ring true to you.

      Please come back for more visits :)

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  22. thank you Linda - those are very very kind words

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  23. Murray, you KNOW that I LOVE Painted Sky with lovely Miss Diana Darling--you just make me wait too long in between. ;-) Plus, I'm thinking maybe Diana's friend Victoria, needs to pop in for a visit at the end too. ;-)
    I am looking forward to reading some more of your books, and would love to win one. Thanks,
    Vicki
    vmarney(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  24. PS It was fun hearing more about your personal self, and I still don't know how you keep up with all the different series and genres. Quite impressive, Mr. Pura!
    Vicki

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    1. Hi Vicki. I love how intimate you are with Murray's characters--a true sign that he writes strong characters that stay with his readers.

      Hope you will visit again.

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    2. Hi Vicki! Thanks for all your comments. Well, you focus on one storyline at a time. Over the next few days it's Painted Sky 7.

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  25. I love Murray Pura's books. But He knows that already and that I am waiting for him to write a special one just for girls ages 8 to 12. He knows lol

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  26. hi Debbie! now don't forget the young heroine in Sweet Child of Mine is 11 when the story opens - it really is a YA Civil WAr story so snag it quick before Bobby Lee does.

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    1. Debbie, so nice to have you visiting with us today. I vote for Murray to write an all-out YA novel too... and yes, Murray, I'm really on your side. :)

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  27. All of the books sound sounds wonderful.
    Have a great week. augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com..

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Emma. Do check back tomorrow evening to see who the 6 winners are of Murray's Giveaway.

      Hope to see you again.

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  29. HereI am again, Murray. I am planning on learning how to do PDF from our Sr. Celeste soon. Would so love to win anything you write!!!! Keep me in mind and enter me "pretty please"!!!!! Mary Lou K

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    1. Greetings, Mary Lou. I treasure your excitement over my guest, Murray. Hope to see you again for more visits.

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    2. cheers our beautiful sister! thanks for dropping by & thank you for your enthusiasm!

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  31. I love all different genres. I really like Historical fiction and Amish fiction, I started the Rose of Lancaster County. What I have read I really like. Thanks Murray for all you do in the christian fiction world. You are a blessing keep doing what you are doing. God bless

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    1. Hello, Tammy. Sounds as you appreciate a good book that helps tp transport you back into time, which Murray does. Good to know.

      Wishingq you a lovely day.

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    2. such kind & encouraging words - thank you so much Tammy!

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  32. Sounds like you use your books not only as a pleasure for people to read you are also teaching through your novels. Can't wait to read your books.

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    1. Welcome, Jan. I'm glad you enjoyed Murray's segment. Hope to see you again.

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    2. that's true Jan - entertain, engage, encourage, enlighten

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  33. Murray, I enjoy your books, I love the feelings and emotions in the characters and how they find faith, love and trust in others as well as themselves. The Road Called Love Series was one of my favorites and I hope that possibly you can continue another series in the lives of these characters. I feel as if I am right there in the moment, whether it be in your Amish stories or you Western stories. You are an amazing writer.

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    1. Thank you Anon! I liked writing something different like Road & I do hope I get to do it again!

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    2. Thanks for your visit, "Anonymous." I appreciate your visit. Blessings.

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  34. This has been one of the best weeks ever on Everyone's Story, although based on the number of comments still coming in for beloved author Murray Pura I'm not quite sure if this week is ending :)

    Murray, I thank you for an extraordinary week. The major lesson I've picked up is that readers love your stories because you know who your reader is and exactly what type of story they seek and you go after entertaining them and giving them hope through your characters. May you continue to be blessed by your gift and be a blessing to the many who pick up a Murray Pura novel or devotional.

    And thanks for the awesome Giveaway--you will be making 6 readers very happy! And the 6 winners are:

    Vicki
    Angela
    Kathleen (Lane Hill)
    Kathy Faberge
    Pat Bradley
    Diana Montgomery

    Happy reading to all 6 of you!! Murray and I will contact you in direct emails.

    Blessings to all.

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  35. Becky PoundOctober 04, 2013

    Congrats to all the winners, love reading your books. I have learned not to start one right before I go to bed, end up reading late into the night! Thanks so much for "good" reads!

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    1. Becky, that's so nice to extend your congratulations to the Giveaway winners.

      Saying that an author's book keeps you up all night is a writer's dream come true :)

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  36. I love your comment about "God's Time". Sometimes it's hard to wait for that time to come. I am very glad it came for you, Murray!

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  37. I just recently discovered your books but what I have read love them, I don't write but sure love to read....when I was a child we didn't have much money to do things with but my books were my adventures....thanks for some awesome reads!!!!!

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Debi. Books also got me through a lot of rough times during my childhood.

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