About the Book
Book: Full Circle
Author: Athena Dean Holtz
Release Date: February 11, 2017
Athena’s driving desire for affirmation and attention pulled her away from her family, husband, and children into what she thought would bring happiness. Deceived by Scientology, forays into mysticism, and twelve years in a restrictive and legalistic cult, she lost everything—her marriage, relationships, home, business, money, and reputation.
This is the candid and inspirational story of how her eyes were opened, how God restored what had been lost, and gave her the desires of her heart, including a new love.
Click here to get your copy.
Q&A with Athena Dean Holtz
1. If you could invite one person to dinner, who would it be and what would you cook?
I would invite Sheila Walsh over to dinner and make her my mother’s signature dish, flank steak marinated with a combination of soy sauce, mustard, fresh garlic, and honey. Along with that I’d serve burnt butter rice (cook the butter until it’s bubbly brown and then cover the white rice with it…nummmmm!) and fresh broccoli. The salad would be butter lettuce with mandarin orange slices and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
The reason I’d invite Sheila is because I love her transparency and her willingness to tell her story of hiding behind Christian ministry even with major wounding from her growing up years. I relate to that and am always encouraged by those who allow others to see their flaws and bad choices and learn from them.
I’ve interviewed Sheila on my radio show, Always Faithful Radio, been with her on the Women of Joy tour, and was interviewed by her on the 700 Club back in the late 80’s about the Vietnam Veteran’s Conference CBN hosted. So having her for dinner would be somewhat of a full circle for me!
2. How did writing this book grow you spiritually?
This book came out of my blog posts from 2012-2013. The blog entitled Not Afraid to Tell My Story was my processing the trauma and deception I’d just come out of and as I searched for understanding around the 12 years of spiritual abuse I’d experienced. So the journey of researching spiritual abuse and Christian cults and asking God to show me where I’d opened up the door to the enemy to deceive me was game changing for me. I grew during that time of being in the wilderness, after losing everything that mattered to me, as I allowed God to reveal to me my part in the traumatic loss I endured. I came out of the writing of this book with much more depth and compassion for others whose lives have been destroyed by those in positions of authority.
3. Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.
The 40 year old sailboat we take out onto the Puget Sound as often as time and weather allows is currently named “The Tertian Quid” – but the original name of the boat when my pastor-hubby bought it some 18 years ago is still embroidered in the curtains down below. Yep, you guessed it…“ATHENA”
4. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazarro, Streams in the Desert by LB Cowman, No More Faking Fine: Ending the Pretending by Esther Fleece, Trusting God by Jerry Bridges
5. Favorite quote?
All people–believers as well as unbelievers–experience anxiety, frustration, heartache and disappointment. Some suffer intense physical pain and catastrophic tragedies. But that which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God; our suffering has meaning and purpose in God’s eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good. -Jerry Bridges (Trusting God)
Thank you Athena for your time letting us get to know you better!
About the Authors
Athena Dean Holtz has been at the forefront of Christian custom publishing for the last 30 years. The co-founder of WinePress Publishing, she now leads Redemption Press. Author of three previous books, and a highly-rated personal blog, she serves as president of the Northwest Christian Writer’s Association, is a president’s club member of the Christian Women in Media Association, and a member of Advanced Writer & Speaker Association. She recently retired as host and interviewer on “Always Faithful Radio,” KCIS, Seattle. Married to Ross Holtz, pastor of The Summit, Athena enjoys her grandchildren and time spent sailing. The couple makes their home in Enumclaw, Wash.
Inger J. Logelin is a freelance writer, author, and senior editor of Redemption Press. Ministry experience includes pioneer church planting among the Inuit, and a wilderness camp for First Nations youth of Canada, as well as short-term missions around the world. She and her husband make their home on Whidbey Island, Wash.
More from Athena
When people hear about my Job-like experience with the modern-day Cinderella story ending, I often hear remarks like “WOW, that should be a movie!” It has been six and a half years of full-on redemption and restoration and, honestly, I still pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming this!
After 12 years of spiritual abuse that left me a shell of a person, devastated and distraught, I began a breathtaking journey of healing for all the loss I’d endured. The loss of my 18 year marriage, destroyed relationships with my adult children, the death of my well known publishing company and destruction of my career, along with the fatality of my credit score as I lost my home, my income, and all material things that meant anything to me. Those 12 years of deception cost me big time, but we serve a Romans 8:28 God who uses all things, even that, for good.
I’m on the other side now, healed and restored, proclaiming the faithfulness of a God who used what the enemy meant for evil … for good! I love the creativity He uses in the redemption process … to think He would allow me to be a pastor’s wife now … hand-picked by my pastor-hubby’s late wife of 49 years … with restored relationships with my adult children and grandchildren … to be a radio show host interviewing authors whose stories ring of the faithfulness of God … to steward well another publishing endeavor called Redemption Press … so many full circles where God’s sovereignly connects the dots and brings insight that mends my soul.
I’m excited to share my story with you, to be authentic and transparent, and to reflect the glory of God. I pray that you’re encouraged by all that God has done, and that you’re left with a healthy dose of hope in His faithfulness and His ability to bring good out of bad, every time.
And now, I’ll leave you with an inviting peek into some trivia about my life…
My Uncle Skeeter is a famous actor, James B. Sikking. Known for his part as Howard Hunter on Hill Street Blues and Doogie Howser’s Dad.
When I was 14 years old, I owned 7 horses and showed most of them in horse shows across the country, with my last official show being Madison Square Gardens.
I absolutely LOVE Vizslas…also known as Hungarian Pointers…I’ve had 2 of them over the last 14 years and am addicted. They are THE COOLEST dogs!
I used to work for Helen Reddy, as an administrative assistant to her manager/husband, and before that, for the manager of Rufus & Chaka Khan when they recorded their first hit, Tell Me Somethin’ Good.
My Grandma’s house overlooked the Santa Monica beach and originally belonged to the silent movie star, Mary Pickford.
When I was five years old, my grandma, Dr. Sue Sikking, was the honored guest on the popular TV show “This is Your Life” with host Ralph Edwards. I was part of the cast when our family surprised her with our attendance, and fervently tugged on Mr. Edwards suit jacket to try to get his attention!
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 7
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 8
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 9
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 10
CarpeDiem, August 10
Artistic Nobody, August 11 (Author Interview)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 12
Texas Book-aholic, August 13
Girls in White Dresses, August 14
Power of Words, August 15 (Spotlight)
A Reader’s Brain, August 16
Inklings and notions , August 17
Just the Write Escape, August 18
janicesbookreviews, August 19
Simple Harvest Reads, August 20
To celebrate her tour, Athena is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and signed copy of her book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.