Hi, reader friends! Today’s featured author is a new favorite of mine and I’m eager to visit with her (and read more of her stories)! Sondra Kraak is sharing five favorites, bookish news, and a newsletter freebie with y’all!
about the author
Sondra Kraak is a Pacific Northwest native stuck in the mountains of North Carolina.
Along with her mountain man and two elementary aged children, she lives on a street called Orchard, tries to keep the fuzzy yellow bugs off her bush beans, and plays lots of animal Yatzhee.
An English major who went on to get her masters in Biblical studies, Sondra delights to write historical romance that not only entertains but nourishes the soul.
She has three books out that take place in Washington State. Someday she’d like to write Bible studies. Or children’s books. Or music (she plays the piano at her church).
One thing she does not wish to write: her own life story. She’ll leave that to Jesus, who will do a far better job than she could.
five favorite worship songs
Sondra: I’ll be honest, as a perfectionist, I can easily feel like a failure when it comes to writing, family life, ministry—anything. The noise of social media can overwhelm an introvert like me, and sometimes I feel like I can’t keep up with all I need to be doing as an indie author.
And for that reason, I want to share with you five favorite worship songs that ground me in my relationship with Jesus and help dispel the distractions of comparison, perfectionism, and a me-first culture.
As a worship leader at my church, worshipping through song is a crucial part of my life, both privately and corporately. When my house is dark and quiet, and I’m the only one left awake, these are the songs I sing and pray over myself and my family.
Beth: I completely relate! These favorites are going to be such a blessing!
What a Beautiful Name (Brooke Ligertwood, Hillsong)
Sondra: I could give long testimony to the power of the name of Jesus, but this isn’t the place. There is a line in here I had to theologically wrestle with (again, not the place for a treatise, so I’ll restrain myself), but once I made peace with it, I’ve had this song on repeat.
One of the most powerful songs I’ve come across in the way it glorifies Jesus.
Beth: I haven’t heard this song before. It is lovely!
I Will Follow (Kristene DiMarco)
Sondra: This song echoes the Psalms, as so many worship songs do, and I love the bold proclamation it makes, a proclamation that stirs such longing in me that I would indeed be faithful. He is faithful when we are not.
And the ukulele sound at the beginning . . . 🙂
Beth: This is another new one for me and I really love it!
We Will Not Be Shaken (Brian Johnson, Bethel Music)
Sondra: I’m going to sound melodramatic here, but this song makes me yearn in my spirit. It purports a heavenly reality that seems contrary to what we witness around us.
How can we say that we won’t be shaken when so many Christians are being shaken by persecution, hardship? Ultimately, this is a song of trust, a song of declaration that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. And I love the piano opening.
Beth: Ah, yearning for our heavenly home is a good thing! 🙂
No Longer Slaves (Jonathan David Hesler)
Sondra: Talk about an identity reset, if you feel burdened by circumstances or personal struggle, remind yourself that you’ve been adopted into God’s family, with all the benefits and rights of the Son (presuming Jesus is your Savior).
Beth: Excellent reminder!
Like Incense/Sometimes By Step (Brooke Ligertwood, Hillsong)
Sondra: Again, she’s one of my favorite voices in worship music. This has been top on my list for years . . . because of Psalm 119, one of the most precious scriptures to me. “O Lord Jesus, turn your eyes upon me, for I know there is mercy in your sight.”
The mercy of Jesus is almost too wonderful to bear up beneath, which is why, I think, a common worship posture is on our knees.
Beth: That’s five new songs for me! We sing mostly hymns at our church and listen to hymns with a blue grass or country vibe at home. Here’s one of my favorites to sing, My Worth is Not in What I Own (Keith & Kristyn Getty ft. Fernando Ortega)
Tell us about your latest release.
Sondra: I really love this one. Tristan and Anna make a beautiful couple. And there’s something about a wounded hero who finds hope and grace and has to humble himself before his lovely heroine.
Such a Hope (Paths of Grace, book 1) by Sondra Kraak
Washington Territory, 1871
Anna Warren grew up on the seat of a wagon, the daughter of Seattle’s busiest freighter. After her father’s death—a tragedy away from home—she returns to their cabin on the outskirts of Seattle, seeking the sense of belonging that eluded her childhood. But will her desire to pray for miraculous healing for the sick and wounded endear or alienate her to the community?
Her most aggravating challenger is also her staunchest defender and has brown hair and eyes, stands six feet tall, and farms with unchecked tenacity. Tristan Porter. This farmer her father had befriended holds more secrets than Yesler’s Mill holds logs.
When ugly rumors arise about her spiritual gift and her property, Anna fears her quest to find belonging will be thwarted.
Tristan holds the truth to set her free, but revealing it will require him to face the disappointments of his past and surrender his plans for the future—a sacrifice he’s not sure he can make.
Beth: I’m looking forward to reading this one!
Tell us about your next release
Sondra: My upcoming release, Three Words and a Kiss, is the third in my Love that Counts series. I’ll be honest, it’s not coming together as smoothly as I’d like. Maybe that’s why I chose to do five favorite worship songs? I need perspective.
Not the official back cover copy, since I haven’t written it yet, but here’s a bit about the book:
When a woman sets out to rescue everything wounded in her path, who will end up rescuing her?
Cameron Wallace has the perfect life. He hammers iron during the week as the town’s blacksmith, and hammers the Word of God on Sundays as the town’s pastor. With friends and an unexpected mantle of leadership, he’s been able to keep the irrational actions of his mother buried in the past—until the investor who bought his smithy arrives in a wave of spontaneity and impulsiveness and confirms his belief that women and their emotions are unreliable.
Samantha Klein doesn’t mean to flip Cameron Wallace’s life upside down, but his discomfort with her arrival, as well as her immediate infatuation with him, must yield to higher ideals. Having been exiled from Seattle for embarrassing her upper class family, compassion drives her to formulate plans to help the two friends she left behind—a Chinese refugee and a prostitute. Little does this impetuous heiress realize, those plans invite trouble to the entire town of Pine Creek.
This book has a bit of everything: refugees, orphans, the tension between upper and lower classes, an impulsive character, an over-thinker, a hint of mystery, and of course romance.
Love that Counts series
Beth: I’m really enjoying this series from Sondra Kraak so far!
Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Sondra!
What song reminds YOU to stay grounded in your faith, reader friends?
Be sure to add these great books by Sondra Kraak to your tbr!