“Unlikely Praise” features Candi Canaberry, a terrific musician who leads the Praise & Worship team in a small, but growing, evangelical Texas church. She is a Worship Leader with lots of rules, a teacher at the local college, always dresses in skirts or suits, wears high heels even though they hurt, and she likes to be in control of every aspect of her life.
Pastor Charles is like a father figure to Candi and wishes to prepare for the growth that will occur when the church building expansion is complete. The Pastor knows that Candi will need help with her mounting duties and that she would never ask for it, so he invites someone new to the congregation to help out. One problem. The Pastor neglects to tell Candi and she feels her leadership role in the church is being threatened.
Candi wants to follow God’s plan for the church as well as for her life, except that the ‘new guy’ is former rock star, Samuel Blackledge, who arrives complete with long hair, tattoos, holey jeans, and musical expertise grounded in years on the road.
Hmmm…did someone say ‘oil and water’?
In addition to the obvious style clash, both musically and personally, they both have secrets. The Pastor knows the secrets, but lets them deal with telling each other – with occasional nudging.
In a clever nod to the role of technology in the modern church, Rossi begins the chapters with emails from the Pastor, communicating to Candi and Sam his grand plans for everything from music competitions to youth ministries. The two musicians are not completely comfortable with the ever-growing ‘to-do’ lists, but each has trust in God to show the way.
“Unlikely Praise” is a faith-based book, with some serious, very current, occasionally funny, topics at its core. Rossi’s novel peeks at behind the scenes church dynamics, with a Pastor that has to balance disparate gifted members of the congregation, a Worship Leader who works hard to bring out the best in her quirky talented band, and a handsome newcomer/outsider thrown into the mix.
There are no murders, but “Unlikely Praise” is a book about second chances and forgiveness for serious past mistakes, with a little romance and mystery thrown in. Some of those mistakes? Out-of-wedlock children, embezzlement, jail time, and drugs. Rossi’s Pastor Charles Littleton challenges Candi and Sam to act out their faith, not just give it lip service.
Please visit www.carlarossi.com for more information about Rossi and her other books.