An unprecedented tale of tragedy and triumph amid the backdrop of the Civil War through the story of Tad, a very clever slave boy who comes of age as America’s war reaches the sea islands of South Carolina.
“Every night, I sleep with someone different. John Adams. Earnest Hemingway. Napoleon Bonaparte. A pharaoh, king, or queen. I never know who my husband’s bringing to bed with us.”
Peter Leavell’s love of history began in bed. Reading late into the night, he devoured the past. In the fourth grade, his teacher told stories of settlers and Indians. Oh, how he hated the recess bell!
After high school, Peter majored in Biblical Studies, but fell in love with his Biblical Archeology class—some say (not him) more than the woman he met and married. After dabbling in business, spending all of his time dreaming of the nearby Bent’s Fort and the Sante Fe Trail, it was time to get a History Degree. So he packed up his wife, and two children (where did we get those, honey?) and left for Boise, Idaho. What should have taken five years took him three. He has a BA in History from Boise State University.
While in college, he wrote a list of obscure stories that he believed might make fantastic historical fiction novels, and then promptly lost the paper. But he remembered a handful, researched one, and after the pain and trials of writing a novel, whisked it off to Operation First Novel in 2011—a classy contest put on by the Christian Writer’s Guild.
Then he almost died.
One day he ran fifteen miles. The next, he could barely make three. And a week after that, he lay in bed without the energy to get up. His muscles shriveled.
Panic attacks struck. Two conversations in the same room were exhausting and confusing.
His wife did everything she could. First, the doctor. Blood tests then a waiting game. And while they waited, organic foods, rest, and prayer.
Diabetes ran in his family. As did many forms of cancer. As if he needed another reason to panic.
He felt useless to everyone around him, and his wife and children wandered in and out of his life. He lay in bed, helpless. Alone.
He’d never really needed God. Of course, everything he did, he gave God credit. But now there was nothing he could do for God. Except pray. So he did. He gave the test results to God. He gave the contest results to God. He gave his family to God. And worked on his will.
One verse penetrated the deepest part of his soul. Hebrews 13:5. Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
It took this problem to make him realize that Christ’s arms had always been around him. He just thought he’d never needed Him.
The doctor called in November of 2011, and asked him to come in immediately, no appointment needed.
You are too young to have this problem, he said. But you have stopped making testosterone.
And by the time the Christian Writers Guild announced the winner of Operation First Novel, Peter was able to stand next to Jerry B. Jenkins and Byron Williamson and accept the $20,000 check, as well as a contract with Worthy Publishing.
As his writing career progresses, and as Jesus wraps His arms around him, Peter will be dedicated to writing about history, lives who point to Christ, and those who change the course of history forever.
Peter’s first novel, Gideon’s Call, was released on October 23rd, 2012, and is available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Christianbooks.com.
Listen to his interview with Chris Fabry Live!