A Deep Haven novel, Book Four
Tyndale House Publishers
Unknown to her tiny town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley spends her nights as Miss Foolish Heart, the star host of a syndicated talk radio show. Millions tune in to hear her advice on dating and falling in love, unaware that she’s never really done either. Issy’s ratings soar when it seems she’s falling in love on-air with a caller. A caller she doesn’t realize lives right next door.
Caleb Knight served a tour of duty in Iraq and paid a steep price. The last thing he wants is pity, so he hides his disability and moves to Deep Haven to land his dream job as the high school football coach. When his beautiful neighbor catches his eye, in a moment of desperation he seeks advice from My Foolish Heart, the show that airs before his favorite sports broadcast.
Before he knows it, Caleb finds himself drawn to the host—and more confused than ever. Is his perfect love the woman on the radio . . . or the one next door?
What readers are saying:
“My Foolish Heart is a heart pounding romance that explores deep fears and how to overcome them through the perfect love of Jesus Christ. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting. I felt like I was right there in a small Minnesota town, from the dialect to the Walleye fish burgers by the shore. Susan May Warren knows how to draw a reader into a book and make them forget it’s only words on a page. She creates an experience.” ~ Amazon.com reviewer
“It was a great book! I’m unfamiliar with PTSD and this story really brought it to life for me in a way that made sense. I could identify with the characters and found myself caught up in the story so much that I read all 350+ pages in less than 24 hours. This is Christian Fiction and Romance at its best!” Amazon.com reviewer
Behind the Pages:
Life is scary. Why do unexplainable things happen—tragic accidents, disease, terrorist attacks? When watching the news, I find myself searching for a loophole—some guarantee that something like that won’t happen to me, my husband or children. Like when I hear about the girl in a tragic three-car accident because she was texting. Well, I never text and drive, therefore, I won’t get into a tragic three-car accident. Loopholes!
If I could, I’d make some sort of bargain with God for the earthly safety of my loved ones. But life doesn’t work that way. So what to do with the fear that could paralyze us, cause us to panic, and finally barricade us into our homes?
The answer: God’s perfect love casts out fear.
While writing this story, I was struggling with my children leaving the nest—going off to college and out of the safety of my arms. I wanted, with everything inside me, to pull them back, to keep them safe. So, wanting to set Issy (and myself!) free, I took apart that verse, let it seep into my life.
Perfect, in the Greek form of this adjective, means complete. As in, all-encompassing. As in, nothing is lacking, and it touches every corner of our lives. Add the word perfect to the word love and we might have some answers about how to handle fear. Love, meaning affection, benevolence, feast of charity. (I love that—a feast of charity. Tasty, delectable, never-ending charity!) See, in God there is no evil. Not one smidge. We sometimes act as if God doesn’t care about the bad things that happen to us. Or even worse, that He is somehow laughing behind His hand at our hurts.
This is the problem with putting human attributes on God. He is always, 100 percent about invading our lives with His love.
Invading? Yes. Complete means that He loves us into our dark corners. It makes me think of a wave crashing into a cave, washing every part.
In short, we can’t escape His love, His benevolence. Even in our darkest moments, His love is there.
Hard to imagine, isn’t it? If anyone knows my testimony, they know about the violent years my family lived through as we served as missionaries in Russia. But if I allow God into my memories, I see Him there, pouring His perfect love into every corner. His grace, His love, is always greater than the wounds the enemy can inflict.
Life without God’s love is terrifying. But God’s perfect—complete, overwhelming—love drives out fear.
Try this: next time fear overwhelms you, praise it away. Start singing the truth. Then step forward in the knowledge that God loves you (and your loved ones!) perfectly.
That perfect love even includes deep wounds. Like the loss of loved ones, and—for Caleb—the loss of his leg and his future. I recently listened to Capt. Scott Smiley, a soldier who lost his sight in a car bomb attack in Iraq. His courage and continued faith struck me, especially when he told the audience that he was better off now. That God was using him in a way he could have never imagined. That is trust in God’s perfect love. I want that kind of faith; I believe that kind of faith changes lives, and that is the faith I gave to Caleb. He reminds me that we are not responsible for the things that happen to us, but only for our response to these things, and that God can use our surrender for the good of others.
Sometimes, our wounds are not physical, but emotional. Like Lucy’s. In today’s world, it seems that losing your virginity to your high school sweetheart is almost expected. But it shouldn’t be. And neither should we, as a society, overlook the damage that giving oneself away before marriage might do, what lies one might hear as a result. I wanted to show how both Lucy and Seb were wounded by their choice, but also how God could give them a fresh start in His perfect love for them.
In every book I look for that profound moment from the Lord to show me how He wants to change me through the writing of it. That moment came when I wrote, God had the ultimate “foolish” heart. He loved people who might never love Him back. I stared at that line for so long I almost deleted it. It felt blasphemous. God is not foolish. But He is love. Big, overwhelming, incongruous love that looks foolish. A love that, even now, doesn’t seem wise. I mean, really, has He taken a look at the people He loves recently? What a mess they are! (And I’m not looking at anyone but myself when I say that!) But see, that’s the amazing part.
His love is perfect. Not messy. Not uneven. Consistent. Overwhelming. Freeing.
And He offers it to us, no strings attached.
May you have a foolish heart for Christ, just as He had for you.
Thank you for spending time in Deep Haven, reading Issy, Caleb, Lucy, and Seb’s story. If you are interested in more Deep Haven stories, check out Happily Ever After, Tying the Knot, and The Perfect Match.
In His love,
Susan May Warren