Speak No Evil

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by Mary Hamilton

When people ask me what it was like to grow up at a camp, I say it was a bit like living at Disneyland. My dad served as director of the camp for nearly twenty years, so I lived where everyone else came for vacation. Winter weekends included ice skating on the frozen lake and tobogganing down a long chute to go skimming across the ice. But summers were the best. Summer meant weekly opportunities for new friendships, as well as swimming, boating, campfires, and sports, including staff/camper softball games.

Of course, there were also the usual friendly pranks, like running someone’s underwear up the flagpole, dumping sand or cereal in a counselor’s bed, and dipping the hand of a sleeping cabin mate in warm water which was supposed to make them wet the bed. (It never worked.) The counselors usually pulled a few pranks on each other, too. Like the giant three-legged bullfrog left in the dresser drawer of one of the girl counselors. I think the whole camp heard that scream.

But camp wasn’t always fun and games. Some campers arrived with serious baggage from home. In the 1960’s, the same unrest and racial divisions that swept the United States could be felt at camp. One black youngster seemed bent on rebellion. My dad called him into his office to talk with him. During the conversation, the boy noticed a popular image of Christ on Dad’s wall. He jabbed his finger at the picture and demanded to know why Jesus was always portrayed as white.

Dad conceded. “The historical Jesus probably did look more like you than me.” He pulled a black marker out of his desk and offered it to the young man. “You’re welcome to change it if you’d like.”

The boy hesitated, unsure and probably a little suspicious of the offer. But finally, he took the marker and scribbled on the cheeks of the image. The young man left Dad’s office and caused no more problems for the counselors, maybe because he understood that God’s love for him wasn’t dependent on his skin color.

My Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series is a testament to the camp ministry. Bible camp especially is a place for kids—and adults—to get away from the pressures, influences and challenges of daily life. A place to get quiet and listen to what God might be saying. Camp is where God changes lives.

Camp marks a turning point for so many teens. They may be battling self-image problems, relationship troubles, family issues. But at camp, they discover Christian fellowship with young people their age. They may meet a counselor who is willing to listen and understand. And hopefully, they find someone who points them toward the Lover of their soul, the One whose grace is sufficient for all their needs.

Speak No Evil blurb: 

Speak No Evil

Taylor Dixon knew having his little sister, Marissa, at camp would be a pain, but he never imagined the pain would go so deep.

At 15, Taylor wants nothing more than to get his drivers license. But Dad says he must prove he’s responsible by staying out of trouble. Marissa’s adventurous spirit is what usually lands him in trouble, but she’s the only one who believes in his dreams.

Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp expecting the usual sermons, softball and swimming. Instead, he discovers a vintage Mustang in the camp’s machine shed, and the owner’s invitation to help restore it fuels his dream of becoming a racecar driver. But Marissa falls for Taylor’s snobbish cabin mate, and her thirst for excitement pulls Taylor into a rivalry of words and deeds that threatens to destroy not only Taylor’s hopes of getting his license, but also his dreams for the future.

Can Taylor keep a lid on Marissa’s antics? And will the message hidden in the old car’s engine change his attitude before it’s too late?


Mary HamiltonAward-winning author Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. Her experiences during twenty years of living at the camp, as well as people she knew there, inspired many of the events and situations in her novels. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Christian Authors Network (CAN), and Texas Association of Authors (TAA). When not writing, Mary enjoys a little amateur photography, knitting, reading, and spending time with her family. Mary and her husband live in Texas.

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  1. Good novel! And I love the new cover.

  2. Diana Fontenot

     /  June 9, 2017

    LOVED the entire Rustic Knoll series! They might be aimed towards tweens, but I totally suggest parents to read as well! Great messages for adults as well!! Mary is a great Christian writer and person. She’s really good at photography as well!!


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