I’m thrilled to announce that the first book of the REFLECTIONS series is live on Amazon. In fact, it’s available in three formats and at discounted rates if you buy the print version and add on either digital or audio (or both).
Better yet, it’s so pretty.
I know the woman on the cover isn’t authentic to first century dress. Scroll down to see the covers of the other three books in the series. I did much better using authentic models on those covers.
But, I’m SO overjoyed to have my first self-published title recovered and rebranded under my InkSpired imprint.
Also, I’m doing some live author events in November. I hope you’ll be excited enough to get an autographed copy that you’ll plan to attend.
REFLECTIONS: Where it Started
This started years ago as a seed planted from a Facebook quiz.
I know. That’s crazy. But if you’ve followed this blog for long, you know that I get story ideas from many strange places.
“I don’t think I’m anything like Mary the mother of Jesus. I mean, God chose her to be the mother of His Son. She must have been perfect.”
A comment from a friend on Facebook that went something like that planted the seed for this story in my heart and mind.
Because I had felt similarly. In fact, I’d retaken the silly Facebook quiz because I’d gotten Mary the mother of Jesus as my first answer, and I thought, “NOT!”
But why? Aside from the Catholic compulsion to saint Mary and pray to her for absolution of sin (which doesn’t have a basis in scripture), why would any human who lived be “perfect” or “above me”?
Because I don’t have the right perspective. I think that the fact Peter, Paul and Mary are written about in scripture means they are superior human examples. (Bonus points if you thought “The sixties folk singing trio?” when you read those names.)
They are human. God used them as examples.
None of them are perfect. The only perfect person to live? Jesus Christ.
And suddenly, I felt an urge to tell Mary’s story so people would see her as a woman who God chose to mother His Son. What would she feel? What would she think?
Well, scripture is clear she pondered many things in her heart.
And there you have the title.
The first version of this book was self-published on CreateSpace in 2015.
This updated version includes two additional scenes and a section of lesson plans so the book can be used in Sunday school classes or youth groups to help teenagers grasp the humanity of Mary of Nazareth
REFLECTIONS: A PONDERING HEART
This is the new cover and blurb, as well as some reviews of the first edition.
From Handmaid to Madonna: a journey fraught with agony
My father asked me to keep the strangest parts of this story to myself, but I’ve always worked my thoughts out best when I put them on parchment. So, this journey begins the day an angel informed me I would have a baby—before I was even married.
On that day, the girl who loved her goats and spent time making cheese to sell disappeared.
Once Joseph realized I hadn’t betrayed him, life settled into a new pattern. In the next few years, I traveled further than I had in the fourteen years before them. But my spiritual pilgrimage had barely begun.
“You’ll call him Jesus,” Yahweh’s messenger told me. The old man in the temple prophesied that my soul would be pierced with many sorrows. From Judea to Egypt and back to Nazareth, swords of sorrow struck my heart and mind.
Jesus was only the first of five sons I would mother, but his life changed us all. For the better, yes, praise Yahweh. But not without conflict.
God’s promises always come to pass. Could I learn to embrace the painful with the same sincerity as the joyful?
As old Simeon told her in the temple, a sword pierced her soul – again and again. And the killing blow was yet to come…
What readers of the earlier editions are saying:
“This is an excellent fictional account of what it might have been like to walk in Mary’s shoes. The author did not take any verses out of context, but simply allowed the reader to see the human side of Mary.” Barbara, winner of Goodreads copy
I started reading this at 9:00PM on Dec. 23. I thought I could start and then finish it on the 24th. Well, let me tell you – I was up in the wee hours of Dec. 24th, not being able to stop reading once I had started. Sharon Hughson has done a beautiful job of putting words to paper on this narrative of Mary’s thoughts from the time she was approached by an angel about a virgin birth. There are no words to sufficiently describe this BEAUTIFUL story. As a mother and a lover of my Lord – this book moved and touched me deeply.
Vicki from Wyoming.
This was a great story and I can’t stress that enough. It was an in depth look at how things may have been for Mary after she found out she would give birth to Jesus up to his ascension. I learned so much about their customs and saw things from a different perspective. I highly highly recommend this book!! – Mary, 5-Star Amazon Review
This isn’t the typical book I’d pick up and read, but found I was hooked from the first page. I’ve often thought about Mary, not only as the Blessed Mother, but as a woman. Mary is perfect, and as a Christian woman that’s an intimidating standard to live up to. This book takes a brave look at Mary’s life and shows the human side to her, bringing the reader into her world and her mind. I wish this was required reading for CCD classes! Not only was I drawn into Mary’s story, her fears, her hopes, her dreams, I was amazed at the historical detail and the biblical accuracy as well. Highly recommended! – Jessica, 5-Star Amazon Review
Sharon Hughson took the little bit of information contained in the Bible, with (probably) a great deal of research, and a bit of literary license – managed to write a very realistic rendition of what Mary’s story quite possibly looked like. I was utterly impressed with what I read. I am without a doubt looking forward to reading the rest of the series!!! – E. Eblin, 5-Star Amazon Review
This book will give you a new perspective on the life of Jesus. – Shonda, 5-Star Amazon Review
REFLECTIONS: Where it’s Headed
So far, I’ve written two additional stories for this series. The second book, A LABORING HAND, is Martha of Bethany’s story. It didn’t receive the same stutters of awe and amazement from my beta readers as Mary of Nazareth’s story did, but it is the story I was most compelled to write during November 2018.
The third book is Mary of Bethany’s story. It’s truly a young adult book, so it also includes a section of lesson outlines. It’s also the most worrisome of the three stories. At the moment, I’m revising and polishing it so I can get it to my editor by October 11th. I’m sure she’ll need to work more magic on it than either of the other stories needed.
The fourth book in the series is roughly outlined. It’s Salome’s story, and I’m struggling with where it needs to start and end. What is the point of this story?
For me, I’m writing it to understand Salome’s audacious request that her sons sit at Jesus’ right and left hand in His kingdom. I’ve always been stunned by this short scene in scripture.
But other than a few passing mentions, scripture tells us much less about Salome than any of the women I’ve written about. That means there’s more room for my imagination.
And more chance I’ll blunder the story completely and turn off all my readers.
I’d appreciate your prayers as I tackle this story in November. I want to explore my thoughts, of course, but I really want to tell the story God wants told.
My Author Schedule
Now that I’ve rambled on about this series. Let’s get specific about the release of A PONDERING HEART. The best way to stay informed about my author events, is to follow me on one of these platforms:
If you want the full rundown and opportunities to give me input about what I’m writing next, you should join this Facebook Group.
I’m hosting two book release events:
The “in-person” event will be held at Cathedral Coffee in Scappoose on Friday, November 8, 2019 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM.
The Facebook Event, which will include a couple of live videos, a giveaway for an autographed copy and several FREE copies of both digital and audio copies of A PONDERING HEART will be held on Saturday, November 9.
Here’s a link to the event. Plan to attend for your chance to win series bookmarks, an autographed copy of the first book OR the entire REFLECTIONS series on eBook.
Of course, if you’re willing to pay $10 and shipping, I’m happy to send an autographed copy of the paperback anywhere and include a FREE audiobook code with it.
Just complete this form: