Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Deep Thoughts: Trust

(Evolving part 2?)
I woke up this morning praying - sometimes God "wakes" me up thinking about someone or something and I know that it's what I need to pray about. Usually, if I'm honest, its the thing I've "worried" about all night in my sleep.

Today I woke up praying - God I give it all to you - my life, my job, my family, everything.

In my "brain" I know that's what I need to do. I need to give it to God and trust that things will be taken care of - it may not be how I would have fixed it, but ultimately, it will be taken care of the right way - God's way.

Two of my favorite Bible verses tell/remind me of God's plan for my life:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6
and
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" - Jeremiah 29:11.

But, like a lot of things, sometimes by "brain" and my "heart" don't seem to be on the same page.

Right now I'm repeating these two verses over and over in my head - and trying to "let go" of the things I'm worried about - because honestly, in each situation that worries me, there's absolutely NOTHING I can do except TRUST God.

That's where I'm at. Still evolving. Wondering where this new year (ya know that birthday thing was a week ago) will take me.

Remembering one important fact (thanks Maxie Dunnam for "burning this in to my brain" at Asbury).....

God is good - All the time.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blog Tour: Licensed For Trouble (Review & Interview)

PJ Sugar is back, ready for more trouble, only to find out that her life continues to go, well, not exactly as she planned in the third installment of the PJ Sugar Series: Licensed For Trouble.

In the novel, PJ is not only striving to earn her investigator license, but also trying to figure out exactly why she has inherited the Kellogg family mansion.

PJ also comes to terms with her adoption into the Sugar family - which Warren chose to reveal in specific ways in this installment.

"Being adopted, PJ always felt less than her sister – that there was something inherently 'not right' about her," Warren said. "She didn’t look like her sister, or her mother, and regardless of how beautiful she was, she felt less.

"So, this thinking made her thirsty for approval in an unhealthy, and then even rebellious way.  The series has been about her coming to terms with the fact that God never saw her as less…but as just right…and more."

PJ's quest for her identity has been a theme through the entire series. Warren sees parallels between her biological and spiritual identities - and how it shaped her life.

"I wanted to run a parallel theme about adoption and our identities in Christ in this story, and it seemed right that PJ’s birth origins be revealed," Warren said. "I started with this premise…what if you found out you were a child of royalty…how would that change you?  And then, I wanted to extrapolate that to…Hey!  You’re a daughter of the King!  That should change you!."

Warren said PJ's struggle to find her identity is common in all children - but  specifically takes place in the life of an adopted child.

"Adopted children struggle with identity in different ways than biological children," Warren said. "They wonder at who they are, how much their genetic make up determines their personality, their choices, even the way they see life.

"I wanted to show this through the differences between PJ and her sister.  I wanted to also draw out the element of spiritual adoption – and how that binds us all together in the family of God.  Much of PJ’s mistakes, challenges, personality quirks and even her spiritual journey are founded in the identity of being adopted, whether she understood that or not."

Through the three books, Warren said PJ has grown in a variety of ways.

"PJ has gone from a reckless, wandering woman, to a woman who has faced her past and figured out how to go forward," Warren explained. "She’s wiser and stronger and I think walking, finally, in the path God has for her.

"Of course, all authors learn from their characters – I especially loved researching what it meant to be co-heirs with Christ.  I think it made me understand my own identity better."

Warren hopes readers will walk away from this novel with a new understanding of their relationship with God.

"God delights in who [you] are and [you] can do nothing to impress him, except to respond with joy that He loves [you]," Warren said. "I think we walk around thinking God is angry with us, when in fact he has great compassion on us."

Looking ahead
Warren often integrates suspense, romance and faith in her novels - including the PJ Sugar series.

"I love all three of these!  I like to call these the 'perfect SMW book,'" Warren said. "Okay, perfect may be going a bit far, but…I love suspense, and I love romance…and a great book is ultimately a journey of truth "

Her next three books will be "stand-alone" novels and will be set in a fictional town in northern Minnesota called Deep Haven - a location where her first three books were set (Happily Ever After, Tying the Knot and The Perfect Match).

She said her next contemporary novel will come out in time to be a "great beach read" in Summer 2011 - My Foolish Heart.

"It’s a story about a talk show host to the lovelorn who has never had a date…until the 'perfect' man moves in next door," Warren explained. "But will she be able to recognize him?"

Her next historical novel, Nightingale, is set for a November 2010 release. It is the story of a Red Cross nurse "who falls in love via letters with a POW…until she discovers a secret about him that might just destroy them both."

What I Thought
I've really enjoyed reading the PJ Sugar series. This book - the third installment - was no exception. I read it from cover to cover within 48 hours of its arrival in my mailbox.

I've appreciated PJ's struggle for identity Warren has integrated within the series. While Warren chose to have PJ's struggle center around the questions of her birth, I think many women will identify with the sub themes of figuring out who you are as a person and as a child of God.

While I wasn't adopted - trust me, I have the "family nose" to prove who I am biologically - I have struggled at times with my identity as a child of God - especially as my life hasn't followed the "10-year" plan I had wen graduating from Seminary.

In the PJ Sugar series, Warren has created a way to talk about issues of identity and faith by using fiction - which sometimes works better than even the best "spiritual formation" book.

The novels, at the simplest level, will give you a book that is fun and engaging to read. On a deeper level, it may just give you the nudge you need to really dive into your own identity as a Christian - and you may find yourself growing in faith - just as PJ.

I give this novel & this series at least a 4.5 out of 5. The characters are great, the writing superb and as always, Warren has left me wanting more. I can understand why she has "ended" the series with three books, but I truly think PJ's exploits and adventures as a private investigator - and well, her romance with Jeremy Kane could fill many many pages. (Can you imagine the trouble PJ could get into planning a wedding - all while running after bail jumpers.......)

I appreciate everything Warren has put into this series, and look forward to her upcoming releases.

More About Licensed For Trouble: 
PJ Sugar receives shocking news that she's inherited the Kellogg family mansion. Though she has no idea why, the timing is perfect-PJ has clearly worn out her welcome at her sister's house.

Unfortunately, the mansion is in shambles, and PJ is short on cash. Rescue comes in the form of Max Smith, a mysterious handyman willing to trade his services for PJ's investigative skills.

But PJ already has a full docket with cramming for her PI license and nurturing a growing romance with her boss, Jeremy Kane. Can she take on Max's case without dropping the ball?

Find out more about book one, Nothing But Trouble and book two, Double Trouble.

About The Author

Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of 24 novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year.

Warren's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike.

A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!.

She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Warren makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at: www.susanmaywarren.com.

Online Resources
Buy it online

My Reviews of Warren's Other Books
Sons of Thunder (Review)
Double Trouble (Review)  (PJ Sugar Book 1)
The Great Christmas Bowl (Review)
Nothing But Trouble (Review & Interview) (PJ Sugar Book 2)

It's A Contest
Enter PJ Sugar's "Sweet" Giveaway
Enter PJ Sugar's

Licensed for Trouble, Susan's brand new PJ Sugar novel, is in stores now! To celebrate the release, we’re giving away a Kindle!! You can enter using Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail using the icons below.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a A SWEET Kindle prize package that includes:
  • A brand new Kindle (Free 3G, 6”, Latest Generation)
  • The entire PJ Sugar series by Susan May Warren

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest.

Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on September 2.


Be sure to check out the blog tour here or purchase a copy of Licensed for Trouble here!

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

Blog Tour: Amish Proverbs (Review & Interview)

It’s been said that good things come in small packages - and that’s one way readers might describe the newest book by Suzanne Woods Fisher, Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life.

On the surface, the book is filled with “pithy” sayings and photography representing the Amish life. On a deeper level, it provides readers not only with an introduction to the Amish faith, but also  an introduction to proverbs that come from both the Bible and other cultures.

Fisher created Amish Proverbs after writing Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World.  For that book, she turned in a variety of extra proverbs to be included in the final manuscript, which led her editor to consider a book filed simply with proverbs. The sayings found in Amish Proverbs come from, in part, from the Pennsylvania Dutch culture.

“Every Amish person is Penn Dutch, but not every Penn Dutch person is Amish – that’s my own saying!,” jokes Fisher. “The Penn Dutch culture grew out of an Eighteenth and Nineteenth century migration period in which many Europeans of German and Swiss descent moved to Pennsylvania.

“They share the language—an oral language that is a dialect of German. That’s one of the reasons there are so many sayings—proverbs are teaching tools that grew out of an oral tradition. They’re brief, pithy, profound, and easy to remember.”

Fisher’s family – on her mother’s side – is Penn Dutch. She grew up with many, many sayings shaping her family life. Some she said, were sweet, some clever, others corny and some were “spot-on!” Many of her family sayings helped shape her book.

“Many (most) are from The Sugarcreek Budget (taken with permission) from the scribes who write weekly letters to the Amish-Mennonite newspaper,” Fisher said. “Others are from a book called Proverbs of the Pennsylvania Dutch by Edwin Miller Fogel. I also interviewed C. Richard Beam from Millersburg University, who is translating the Penn Dutch language into English.”

Setting Up The Proverbs
Fisher divides the book into a variety of themes including family, hard work, time or character. She even included a section “just for fun” to help highlight the Amish sense of humor.

She said it’s hard to pick one favorite proverb, because they fit a variety of situations.

A few of her favorites include:
    “It’s better to have your wife on your team than on your back.”
    “Blessed are they who have nothing to say, and who cannot be persuaded to say it.”
    “A happy marriage is a long conversation that ends too soon.”
    “The difference between courtship and marriage is the difference between the pictures in a seed catalog and what comes up.”

Many of the proverbs strike a “poignant” cord, explained Fisher.

“'The forest would be quiet if no birds sang except the best,'” Fisher said. “As a writer who struggles with self-doubt, that proverb just hits the nail on the head for me.

“Proverbs belong to everyone – even King Solomon borrowed many proverbs from the ancient Egyptians,” Fisher continued. “It’s difficult to trace the root of a proverb to the original source—if some sound familiar, it’s because they have changed and evolved through the centuries.

“Also proverbs are part of every culture – they help us to learn about what a culture valued and observed in daily life.”

Fisher said she hopes readers not only take away an appreciation for the Amish people, but also start collecting proverbs on their own.

“They’re such wonderful little reminders – for us and for our kids – to help us live a life pleasing to God,” Fisher said. “It might be fun for families to make up their own proverbs or sayings. It’s part of creating your own unique family story. Here’s a few we’ve made up: ‘Get it done before the fun,’ and ‘Compare…and despair!’”

A Special Note
Amish Proverbs contains five or six photographs which were taken by Fisher.

“I took them as I was doing research for Amish Peace. Look on page 118 to find my favorite,” Fisher said. “It’s a horse named Strawberry, who just had a colt.”

Fisher said she is very thankful for everyone who reads her books.

“A book without readers is just words on a page (that’s mine!),” Fisher said. “I enjoy connecting with readers through my website – www.suzannewoodsfisher.com) or on Facebook or Twitter.”

Want To Find Your Own Proverbs 
Anyone can subscribe to The Budget, explained Fisher.

“I’ve learned so much from studying it – about the life of the Amish, about what thye value and hold dear. For example, stillborn babies have obituatires. The Amish love children and celebrate each one.

“A warning to non-Amish, though—the scribes’ letters can be more than a little tedious. I have had to wade through a lot of non-essential information to find small gems of essential information.

"And those newspapers come weekly! The pile stacks up quickly. I might recommend ordering just one sample copy for $4, to get an idea of what it’s all about, before subscribing. - The address is: P.O. Box 249, Sugarcreek, OH 44681.”

What I Thought 
I really like the simplicity of this book. It's a great "coffee table" book - filled with a lot of great words of wisdom and some beautiful photos. If you know someone who likes to read about the Amish, or someone who likes to read simple and awesome sayings, I think this would make a great gift!

More About Amish Proverbs
Simplify your life with Amish wisdom Through firsthand research and personal relationships, Fisher has collected more than 200 proverbs that uncover the rich heritage, folklore, faith, values, history and essence of the Plain People. 

These proverbs serve as teaching tools and maxims for practical living--but they're not just for the Amish. They're for anyone who seeks God's wisdom and truth for everyday circumstances. 

Ranging from the simple to the profound, from the serious to the humorous, these sayings will stick with you through life's joys and sorrows. 

With beautiful full-color photos throughout, Amish Proverbs is the perfect gift for any occasion.

About The Author
Suzanne Woods Fisher is the CBA bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, Amish Peace, and Amish Proverbs.

Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Benedict eventually became publisher of Christianity Today magazine.

Fisher is the host of a radio show called Amish Wisdom and her work has appeared in many magazines. She lives in California. Find out more about Fisher at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com  

Online Resources
Buy Amish Proverbs Online
Reviews of Fisher's Other Books
The Choice (Review & Interview)
Amish Peace (Review & Interview)

Enter & Win  
On This Blog: 
 Want to win your own copy of the Amish Proverbs?
Post your own family proverb or wise family advice (or even tradition) as a comment on this blog - by Sunday, Sept. 5. One winner will be chosen randomly from the entries.

But wait - there's more!
Suzanne's Amish Proverbs just hit the shelves.
To celebrate she's giving away a KINDLE and throwing a party!
Let the fun begin. See below for info and links.

Find out more about the book, Fisher and the blog tour here.  
Enter Suzanne Woods Fisher's  Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway!

Simple Wisdom giveaway=

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles. The Prize Pack (valued at over $205.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6", Latest Generation
* Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher
* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher
 
To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on September 1.

Sweet Kindle Giveaway 
Join Fisher for a Wrap-up Party on September 1!
Fisher will announce the winner of the Simple Wisdom KINDLE Giveaway, chat with readers, and give away copies of Amish Proverbs and The Choice!

Be sure to join her at 8 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Fisher’s Author Page  

Be sure to check out the blog tour here or purchase a copy of Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life!  

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Evolving

Life is evolving right now.
I wish I could explain more.
Let's just say, taking a vacation last week let me stop, declutter my brain a bit,
and well, begin to hear God again.

It's not that I wasn't listening, I just couldn't hear him over the noise of life.
I've also started reading "Choosing to See" by Mary Beth Chapman.

Wow.

Her new memoir, outlining life - especially since that faithful day - May 21, 2008, is in one word - POWERFUL.

It arrived on the right day, and well, God is using it to say SEE I'm here.
In fact, I think I've found my "second" word for 2010 - SEE.
More on this, but this much to say.
I'll continue writing book reviews, but this blog is going to evolve a bit.
It will have more of me and well, my choice to SEE where God is working in my life.

I wish I could say more, but right now, I feel like a big ball of mush.
I'm trying to sort out emotions, decisions and life.
I'm trying to listen to less of the world and more of God.
I'm going to choose to SEE where God is, not wait for God to catch up to my plans.

So stay tuned. I think this is going to be an adventure.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blog Tour: His Princess, Girl Talk With God (Review)

You’re the daughter of the King!

Like a loving father, God holds you in the palm of His hand. He loves you no matter what you wear, what you say, what you’ve done, or how you feel. And He wants you to live a wonderful life.


Through a variety of devotions, filled with stories, love letters from God, scriptures and prayers, Sheri Rose Shepherd strives to remind young woman that God loves them - as His Princess.

Shepherd, a former Mrs. United States, uses her past - as a young woman raised in a dysfunctional home who battled depression, an eating disorder - as a way to connect with today's young women.

Shepherd also draws from the rejection and pain she felt, as a student struggling with dyslexia, when an English teacher told her she was "born to lose."

Now a sought-after speaker and bestselling author - with more than 1 million books sold - Shepherd strives to provide encouragement and Biblical truth to young girls everywhere.

What I Thought
I really liked the format of this book - it's kind of like a gift-book. It's pretty, feminine and well, a small compact book that is girly. I think the outside makes this a "pretty" book to give to teen girls.

Sounds like I'm judging a book by the cover? Well I am. But once you open up the book, you find the words just as beautiful - and potentially life changing - for girls struggling with identity, sex, friendship, peer pressure and more.

I liked the simplicity of this book. The personalized devo, a letter of truth from God and a corresponding scripture. Simple, direct and to the point.

I look forward to not only putting this in the church library - but also encouraging girls I care about to read it.

About The Author
Sheri Rose Shepherd is a woman who can relate to almost any woman’s battle. This former Mrs. United States grew up in a dysfunctional home and was severely overweight as a teen.

As a young woman, she battled depression and an eating disorder. She understands the pain that comes from a broken home and she knows what it means to fight for freedom from your past.

In spite of an English teacher telling her she was “born to lose” and a learning disorder—Dyslexia—Shepherd has (in God’s strength) become a Best Selling Author, with more than One Million books sold, and her latest book, won the 2010 Retailers Choice Non-Fiction Book of the Year.

Her teaching was named the #1 Show of the Year on the Focus on the Family Broadcast and her life story has been featured on Lifetime Television and the Notional Billy Graham Telecast

Shepherd  has been speaking at churches and women’s retreats for 15 years; she has a very refreshing way of bringing the Word of God to life. She knows how to renew the Eternal Hope in our hearts. Her speaking style is humorous, heartwarming and inspires every one to make their life count for eternity. She loves speaking at women’s retreats of any size and currently is on the Extraordinary Women’s Tour with: Chonda Pierce, Angela Thomas, Karen Kingsbury, Mercy Me, Matthew West and Jeremy Camp.

Find more about Shepherd on her website.
Find her on Facebook
Find her on Twitter

Online Resourcs
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
CBD
Local Book Stores
Online Excerpt

About The Publisher
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet. For more information, visit http://www.revellbooks.com/.

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blog Tour: It's A Book Giveaway!

Updated:
Congrats to Carol - for winning the copy of this book!

Looking for a book to read, as you wrap up your summer vacation?

Why not pick up Julie Cave's first book - Deadly Disclosure - as a slightly "deeper" summer read?

You can read more about the book - and my interview with Cave - here.

In the meantime, if you'd like a chance to win your own copy of Deadly Disclosures ...here's how you can do it!
(Deadline is 6 p.m. CST, Sunday, Aug. 15)
1) Post your favorite "summer book" to read in the comment section below.

2) Get a Second Entry by Twittering about the contest -
Note: You must use the hashtag #myscrappylife to be eligible.

Tweet this: Win Julie Cave's Deadly Disclosure. Visit http://bit.ly/myscrappylife for details. #myscrappylife

Want to know more about Cave? You can follow her at www.facebook.com/julieacave and www.twitter.com/julieacave. Her website - www.juliecave.com – has her blog, sneek peaks of upcoming releases and information on how she developed her characters and storylines.

Coming Soon
Cave's next book in this series: The Shadowed Mind comes out later this year.

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by New Leaf Publishing Group. This review or interview was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail. 

Blog Tour: The Bishop (Review)

The game is on.

FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers's cutting-edge skills are about to be pushed to the limit when a young woman is found brutally murdered in Washington DC. 


Her killers continue a spree of perfect crimes in the Northeast, but with nothing to link them to each other, Agent Bowers faces his most difficult case yet--even as his personal life begins to crumble around him.

The Bishop is a gripping, adrenaline-laced story for readers who are tired of timid thrillers. Strap on your seat belt and get ready for a wild ride.


WARNING: This book contains violence and graphic descriptions of disturbing crime scenes. It takes the reader inside the minds of psychopathic killers.

What I Thought
If you like James Patterson, but are looking for a character who not only wrestles with evil, but also with his faith, than you may want to check out the novels which comprise the Bowers Files, written by Steven James.

The Bishop, the latest book in the series is gripping. It pulls you in - leaving you wanting more and more. You want to keep reading to discover who or what is behind the evil which fills its pages.

Surprising twists and turns along the way - along with a slightly cliff hanging ending - will leave you eagerly awaiting James' next book, which sadly, will not be available until 2011.

While this was the first book I've read by James, (yes, again breaking my rule to jump into a series mid-book), I was able to read the book without much confusion - and it made me visit the local library to see what other books by James were on its shelves. (Unfortunately, it was book two, so now I've read book 2 and 4, but not 1 and 3 in the series....ugh).

While the publisher provides a warning about the content - it is a bit graphic (but in reality, nothing more than Criminal Minds or CSI)  - there should be another warning - do not start reading unless you have time to devote to its pages; because you may just not stop reading it - causing you to lose vital amounts of sleep.

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, I'd definitely give this book a 4.5.  I'd like to read the entire series in order - to completely grasp the character development I imagine takes place over the course of the series.

Meet The Author
Critically acclaimed author Steven James has written more than twenty books, including the bestselling thriller series The Bowers Files. One of the nation's most innovative storytellers, Steven developed his skill as a performer at East Tennessee State University (MA in storytelling). He lives in Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.

Find out more about Steven by visiting his website: http://www.stevenjames.net
Visit his writing blog: http://stvjames.blogspot.com/
A website devoted to Patrick Bowers - the main character in the Bowers Files: http://www.patrickbowers.com/

Find James on Facebook: Click here.

It's A Book Launch
Steven James Launch Party!

*To attend the Facebook Party on August 4th, you will need an active Facebook account. Go to www.facebook.com to sign up.

Online Resources
Amazon
CBD
Barnes&Noble
Local Book Stores
An Online Excerpt - The Bishop

Other Books In The Bower Files
The Pawn
The Rook
The Knight

A Word From James:  
“Why I Write about Evil”
In my books I want people to look honestly at what our world is like, both the good and the evil. The evil in my books is not senseless; people’s lives are treated as precious and I want my readers to hurt when an innocent life is taken. The only way to do that is to let them see it on the page and then reflect on its meaning.

I think that an effective way of dissuading someone from doing something is to make them see it as deeply disturbing. And the only way to make people disturbed by evil is to show it to them as what it really is. I believe that including graphic material within the broader context of a redemptive story, just as the Bible does, is appropriate when trying to reveal the truth about human nature and our relationship with the Divine. For the record, when I write my novels I strive to:

   1. uphold the dignity and worth of human life,
   2. as much as possible avoid showing violence on the page (most of it occurs off the page, in the mind of the reader),
   3. show that ultimately, hope does not come from inside ourselves, but from God,
   4. honestly portray the universality of evil,
   5. celebrate life, love, imagination, beauty, and family,
   6. validate the purpose and meaning of life within the context of the broader scope of God's story, and
   7. tell the truth about the world--exposing the grief and horror as well as championing the hope and joy.

I believe that the Bible includes graphic material to show how far we as a race can fall, and how far God came to rescue us from ourselves. That's what I hope to do in my novels as well.

To read the entire article from Steven James on this topic, visit his blog.

About The Publisher
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet. For more information, visit http://www.revellbooks.com/.

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.
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