Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Paula Rose Michelson Presents No Other Choice - Book 1 of What Promises To Be Outstanding Series! This has been added to my personal favorites for 2015!

Decree of Alhambra

As you read ‘No Other Choice’ please remember that our heroine’s story occurred while the Decree of Alhambra was still in effect. Before you begin, imagine what it would be like to grow up in a world where you were taught that who you are and what you believe might lead to your being arrested for life or killed and that what you experience could happen to your family. Those choices are the reason our heroine sets out on the journey you are about to experience. As she does, she thinks about America and silently repeats a line of Emma Lazarus’s poem, which says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me …” --Preface

As they entered the building and turned down a dark corridor all Naomi could think was, now what will I do?

The man pointed to a chair in a stark office. Steeling her resolve, she entered, sat down, and clutched the old, brown, leather suitcase to her chest. Seeing an official take a man into a room, she heard his interview begin. The door shut. Her mind raced, now what… what now, demanding an answer. She closed her eyes, and tried to think of one but there were none. No answers for immigration, and she had known there would be none even before she ran away from home in the middle of the night without a goodbye or a note explaining. Aware that running away from the reality of being a Jew in a country that allowed only those of one faith, and that one not hers, to live there, she had planned to find her uncle once she was allowed into America and help him bring their family here. Tears formed. She blinked them back, certain that if she cried; she would never be allowed to enter America.


No Other Choice:

The Naomi Chronicles

By Paula Rose Michelson

I've read at least one other novel that took place during the religious persecution of Jews in Spain as provided for under the Decree of Alhambra. I have never been able to understand, in any way, how the Christian Church found it acceptable to use violence against those who had beliefs different from the Church; namely, the Catholic Church at that time. While the broader historical perspective is heinous in detail, I found the personal insight into just one life, Naomi, to be a truly outstanding revelation of what those individuals suffered on a personal basis, which continues, in my opinion, to a small or greater extent to today...

Naomi had proven to be a danger to her family back home due to her looks. I chose Lauren Bacall to act on behalf of Naomi--she's always had an interesting look different from others. It was natural for Naomi to try to act to save her family by leaving home when she was just a young girl. She was fortunate to become a companion to an elderly blind woman with whom she'd become close as she took care of her on the boat to America.

But she died before they had landed and the family quickly told Naomi that her services would no longer be needed...Meaning that they were no longer willing to sponsor her entrance to the United States! What was she going to do?
Aware that she would be sent back, the teenager muttered, “Oh, Adonai, I cannot go back there!” When she heard her own words, she thought, perhaps in America I should speak with Adonai in English, so she pled, “Oh, God, please help me … I cannot go back there!” 
The old woman who sat down while Naomi was speaking asked, “Would you like to stay in America?”
 “Si!” Fearing the woman might not understand her, she switched to English. “I mean, yes… yes, I would. I would love to stay.” 
“I will arrange it for you.” Naomi gasped. Maybe God is watching out for me after all! The small man leaving the office caught Naomi’s eye, and motioned for her to enter. When she stood, the old woman whispered as she rose. “Say nothing. Let me talk.” 

That was the day that Naomi met La Senora, an old woman who came to the Immigration Office, when needed, to save young girls from being sent back to their homeland. She was introduced to Naomi as her sponsor, her Tia, your auntie...

Soon she was at her new home in what was then called Spanish Harlem...
You may wonder why I include "There is a Rose in Spanish Harlem" since this song was written later; however, some of the words reminded me of this story... You see, Naomi never came out during the day.. Specifically, Naomi went into the home of her new Tia and never came out again except to run errands perhaps when required... Years passed and she aided Tia in her work, never becoming acquainted with or meeting friends, other than the other girls that came into that house and then left to move on to a place that was arranged for them
What Naomi did do, however, was make use of the large library in the home and learned much about what was done to ensure that teenagers, left on their own, were not ever sent back...

Readers will easily assume, and be correct, in thinking that Naomi had been picked, out of all those who had come into that home, to be the new Tia. She did not know that until death had announced it to the world. Many were surprised and several tried to step in and take over, thinking this mouse of a girl was not prepared to handle what she discovered was a rather large estate... Naomi proved everybody wrong...

Perhaps she would have stayed there until she, too, died. But one of the men who had been helped by the Tia had come back and fell in love with Naomi... Again, she had to face the question, What was she going to do

Naomi had safely held her true identity a secret from everybody. Even her name was not her own. How could she consider an intimate relationship--even though she had for years longed to have exactly that!?

And then one of those "Spanish roses" was picked up at Immigration and came to live--everything started moving toward a collision course!

One of the things I quickly thought about was Naomi's inability to practice her faith..to sing out, to worship with others, instead of hiding her weekly quiet times during which she was able to communicate with God... I have always enjoyed many Jewish songs, such as from The Fiddler on the Roof...

Naomi had left home because she looked too Jewish and was causing problems for her family who had to hide and act as those who had been converted... She had no family. She had been forced to abandon her hope to find and stay with her uncle. She had no one when Tia had died. Now she was faced with what to do with her future... With no family to talk with, to help her decide...

Now she was falling in love, but had absolutely no experience with a relationship with a man...and there were so many secrets... But then he introduced her to a song...

“I bought a song for you … for us.” He hoped that she would understand what he implied and searched her face. Satisfied, he put the music on and led his bride to the imaginary dance floor. “I believe this song is one that you have never heard. It was popular in the fifties. I selected it for you because it speaks of us. Listen to the words and you will know, beloved, how much I understood about you even though we did not know each other as well as we do now when I selected this gift. Even the things that you had not shared with me, somehow I knew about them.” 

Naomi smiled and struggled to quiet her racing heart. She wanted to experience the song the way Chaz envisioned she would and took a deep breath to calm herself. She saw Chaz’s eyes fill with expectation and worried that she might not have the reaction he wanted. However, as suddenly as they had come, her concerns evaporated. It feels as if an angel has sent a message to my heart, she thought as the song filled the garden and she discovered the exquisite 
beauty of Chaz’s love for her while they danced together as Johnny Mathis’s sang, “Until the twelfth of Never, I’ll still be…” the beating of Naomi’s heart eclipsed the music, for it was all she heard until Chaz said, his breath hot against her skin, “I did not know how much I needed you until you found me.” Naomi nodded but could say nothing for those few words were all could think because they were her truth. Naomi happily beating heart rejoiced as the music swirled around them; and she smiled up at him.

 “What fragrance are you wearing, my beloved?” she heard him ask as he pulled her closer and sighed. Chaz’s kiss was slow and sweet. “Since you have decided to just listen, I will tell you that I never thought it would be like this.”


The church, with its spires and stained glass windows, came into view. Aware that the shortest route home required her to walk by the church she knew she must take it if she was to return before Chaz missed her. The edifice appeared to overshadow everything else, and memories of early evening twilight on Friday nights in Spain surfaced. She smiled as she saw in her mind’s eye how her mamá would gather her and her sisters together, make sure they were dressed in their very best, walk with them to the church, and have them light their candle.
She could almost hear her admonish, "Always remember we use their practice to hide our own. When you light your candle, pray to El Shadai, and he who is unseen will hear you even though we are in a place that does not know him.” When she turned the corner and looked at her home, she breathed a sigh of relief. She opened the gate, thought about her mother’s faith, and told herself, I can do this.

I was so moved by this book that I knew it was one of my personal favorites for 2015... It is hard to accept that anybody could ever be persecuted because of their faith and yet it happened, and still does... The book is timely, yet historical. Have we reached a point when we accept all religions as the right of choice for each individual? We all know that many have not... Read this story and you will not only sympathize, but you will be able to emphasize with Naomi as she struggles to be able to live...with her faith... I loved this and am already looking forward to the next book in the series.

No matter what religion you follow, this book will speak to you...about tolerance, about freedom of religion, about prejudice and the murderous results of some of those feelings! May we continue to move together toward understanding and love...This book, this story will help...all you have to do is let the words speak on behalf of the Naomi's of this world...


The wife of Lutheran Pastor and Chosen People Ministries field missionary, Ron Michelson, while a Church Ministries Coordinator for the mission her husband continues to serve in, Paula Rose Michelson asked God to gift her something unique to do. Little did she know that hearing Messianic believer and Pastor, David Hocking speak about Zion being both the land of Eretz Yisrael (Israel) and the Jewish people would lead her to research what befell the Spanish Jews (Sephardic) before, during and after the Inquisition. Beginning to write, word spread and some Sephardim contacted her to offer their stories. However, Naomi had already begun telling this dyslectic artist about her life, which is now a six volume romantic inspirational faith saga. 
Other books - both fiction and nonfiction followed - but at her core, Paula's desire to faithfully depict Gods love, compassion, and forgiveness are the reason she continues to write. And having founded LAMB Ministries in 1988, Paula knows the biblical tools God taught her, which she faithfully passes on to women suffering from trauma and abuse are needed by all, so she includes a few within the pages of each book.

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