Wednesday, February 29, 2012

KJV American Patriot's Bible

The American Patriot's Bible, KJV
The Word of God and the Shaping of America
By Dr. Richard Lee
Format: Hardcover
Edging: White
Trim Size: 7.30 x 9.40 x 1.80
Page Count: 1640
Retail Price: $44.99
ISBN: 9781418548919

This beautiful Bible can be purchased from Thomas Nelson or Christianbook.com

My Thoughts:

My first impression of "The American Patriot's Bible" was how well constructed and beautiful it is. The hard binding is nice and tight and lays flat making it easy to read. In the beginning is an illustrated presentation plate and numerous pages for your family records, ie: husband and wife family tree, children, grandchildren, church and service records, deaths, and even a place for special family history and ancestors of interest. Also included is a map of the United States, a chart when the states were added and the Seven Principals of Judeo-Christian Ethic (which our forefathers followed).

There is so much to love about this Bible. It is not only beautiful to look at, but full of information that made our United States a great nation. There are full color pages that highlight important parts of US history and throughout the Bible are many famous people who were important to making the United States a great nation. There were many moving articles, but one sticks out for me:  the founder of the Hilton Hotel chain had a prayer printed in many well known magazines on July 4, 1952 -this  prayer is included in its entirety.

This is the King James Version (KJV) and is one that every American would be proud to have in their Christian library. Because of its beauty and theme, this is perfect for gift-giving and would make a wonderful gift for those who are serving or have served in the armed forces. It would also be a wonderful gift for that favorite history student or teacher.

About This Bible:

THE ONE BIBLE THAT SHOWS HOW ‘A LIGHT FROM ABOVE’ SHAPED OUR NATION. Never has a version of the Bible targeted the spiritual needs of those who love our country more than The American Patriot’s Bible. This extremely unique Bible shows how the history of the United States connects the people and events of the Bible to our lives in a modern world. The story of the United States is wonderfully woven into the teachings of the Bible and includes a beautiful full-color family record section, memorable images from our nation’s history and hundreds of enlightening articles which complement the historic King James Version Bible text.

Features include:
  • Full-color presentation and family record section
  • 48 beautiful full-color insert pages including memorable images from America's history
  • The historic King James Version Bible text, large print
  • 1600 Bible pages (illustrated, two-color) with: 80 full-page articles, 70 half-page articles, 104 quarter-page articles, and 66 book introductions
  • Index and concordance

This Bible is part of the Signature Series line of Thomas Nelson Bibles.
American Patriot's Bibles sold to date: More than 125,000
The King James Version—The most successful Bible translation in history with billions of copies published.



I received this Bible through the Booksneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

#SisterQueensVirtualBookTour #Giveaway Sophie Perinot Guest Post


Today as part of The Sister Queens tour, Sophie Perinot has written a fascinating blog post for us. She is also giving away one copy of her new book to one lucky reader. (see below)


“No Lace I Beg You” – Confessions of a Closet “Description Minimalist”

I am a woman somewhat out of place in my own genre. I just don’t care what everyone’s dress looked like. Gasp if you will. Pummel me if you must. But when I am reading a historical novel and the characters attend a ball (or some other elaborate court festivity) and the author begins to offer me – in exquisite and doubtless accurate detail – descriptions of what everyone is wearing, the decorations, the meal, my eyes glaze over and the skimming commences. Skimming is NOT good.

Do you remember the moment in the 1995 Andrew Davies' adaptation of Pride and Prejudice when Mr. Bennet shouts,“No lace. No lace, Mrs. Bennet, I beg you!”? Well that’s me.

Obviously description has its place in historical fiction. Historical writers are “world builders” in a way that writers of contemporary fiction are not. If you write a novel set in 2012 you can rely to some extent on the knowledge and experience of the reader to fill in the details. We can all imagine, for example, what a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt look like– even if you imagine Levis Jeans and I imagine Joe’s. The same may not be said for a dress in the le saye style worn with a Spanish farthingale. Descriptive details can transport a reader to a time and place and give our historical stories authenticity. But I would argue it’s the quality of those details and not their quantity that does the trick.

So how does a writer pick the right details?

I don’t know what other writers do but I start by asking myself this question—is this descriptive information something that will help the reader OR is it something I want to include because I want to show off my research? Yes, I’ll admit it, sometimes when I’ve done a lot of really great historical digging, when I know exactly what was danced, worn or said on a particular occasion, it seems a shame to leave it out. But a shame for who? That’s the trick. So if I am feeling the urge to put in detail just because I have it, then chances are I’d better leave it out – or at least 99% of it. If on the other hand the detail benefits the reader than in it goes.

Of course that raises another question—what uses of description are beneficial to the reader? I would argue that appropriate and successful description needs to do at least one of the following:

1) Help the reader get inside a character’s head. For example, in The Sister Queens while Marguerite is awaiting her groom on her wedding night she examines the carvings on a prie-dieu. Her reaction to image of a gilded holy spirit dipping low over a swooning Mary tell the reader a great deal about her frame of mind.

2) Place the reader firmly in the historical setting in a given scene. Ice on the top of Eleanor’s basin reminds readers there is no central heating and it is pretty nasty, even indoors, in an English winter thirteenth-century-style.

3) Forward the plot or make a plot point clearer or more feasible. For example, an author might describe the myriad of layers of clothing a female character must put on to put the rigors of a daring escape involving running and riding into perspective.

4) Build the atmosphere where atmosphere is important. For example in The Sister Queens the description of a character praying continuously under her breath helps build the atmospheric tension in a sick room where a King is expected to die.

But even when description serves a narrative purpose, I would still argue that brief is best. If you want independent proof, I challenge you to read the description of Egdon Heath at the start of Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native. If you are eager to continue reading the book after that lengthy description I tip my hat to you. Personally, I was so bored and traumatized by this particular piece of descriptive writing that, even thirty years after I read it first, just calling it to mind is painful.

About the Author:

Sophie Perinot writes historical fiction. In Spring 2012 her debut novel, The Sister Queens, will be released by NAL. Set in 13th century France and England, The Sister Queens weaves the captivating story of medieval sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence, who both became queens – their lifelong friendship, their rivalry, and their reigns 

Ms. Perinot has both a BA in History and a law degree. She left the law to pursue artistic interests, including writing. An avid reader, especially of classic literature, and life-long student of history, it seemed only natural that Sophie should write historical fiction. As someone who studied French abroad and a devotee of Alexandre Dumas, French history was a logical starting point. An active member of the Historical Novel Society, she has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences. 

Active among the literary twitterati as @Lit_gal (a moniker she also uses at Agent Query Connect www.agentqueryconnect.com), Sophie is a regular contributor to the group writers' blog "From the Write Angle"http://www.fromthewriteangle.com. Find her on facebook atwww.facebook.com/sophie.perinot.author.

For more information, please visit Sophie Perinot's WEBSITE. You can also find Sophie on her blogFacebook and Twitter.

Giveaway!!!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

YHWH The Flood, the Fish and the Giant: Ancient Mysteries Retold by GP Taylor & Paula K. Parker

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card authors are:


and the book:

Authentic (June 1, 2010)

***Special thanks to Mike Parker for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:



GP Taylor is the New York Times best selling author of such young adult novels as Shadowmancer, Wormwood, and The Tizzle Sisters. He resides in England on the banks of a river in the midst of a dark wood, an arrow's flight from the Prince Regent Hotel.


Visit the author's website.



Paula K. Parker is a U.S.-based playwright and author whose works include stage adaptations of the Jane Austen classics, Pride & PrejudiceSense & Sensibility, and EmmaYESHUA: The Vine, The Demon & The Traitor, the sequel to "YHWH," is scheduled for release in the spring of 2012.


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

YHWH is a collection of 20 Old Testament stories, re-told for the Harry Potter generation. 

In a world where Children are probably more familiar with Harry Potter than Jesus, it’s often hard to encourage them to read the Bible in its traditional form. YHWH introduces the wonderful Bible stories to them in a way that captures their imagination YHWH is based on the scripture but adds description and other allegory to make the stories come alive.
The project is supported by Walk Through the Bible Ministries who teach the Bible to over 40,000 school children each year. It could be used by Christians as a tool for evangelism and would be ideal as a gift for children and young people unfamiliar with the classic Bible narratives.

Product Details:
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Authentic (June 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1860248004
ISBN-13: 978-1860248009



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


YWHW: The Flood, The Fish & The Giant
By GP Taylor & Paula K. Parker
Authentic Media

Chapter One: The Fall

   In the early light of morning, by the Tigris River that ran through the valley of Gan-Eden, a long, black serpent slithered in and out of the eucalyptus trees. The creature was followed at a distance by a small and fearful rat. Wherever the snake went, so the rat followed, but always far enough away so the bright white teeth that were hidden in the snake’s mouth could not strike it. The cobra cared for nothing but itself. It neither ate nor slept, but just slid through the undergrowth as it sought a place to hide from the sun. The serpent raised itself up and puffed out its hood, then stopped and tasted the air as it flickered its blood-red tongue. Every creature in the garden sensed the advent of death and all was silent. Sensing warmth nearby, the snake edged closer to the body of a man that lay as if unconscious in the clearing of the forest.
   As the first rays of sunlight broke against the tall trees, the snake sniffed the face of the bearded creature. He smelled different from any other beast of the forest. It was then, with no human eye to see, that the snake began to slowly transform. Inch by inch, the scales of the creature quickly disintegrated and took the form of pure, white skin. As if it were being peeled, the snake changed in appearance. Its head grew and took on the countenance of a man. As the snakeskin peeled back, the rest of the body emerged. It was distinctly human, the only trace of what had been the cobra were the slitted eyes and two sharp fangs that edged his ruby lips.
   Soon, the snake was no more. Its transformation was complete. The creature was angelic, tall, with long thin fingers. Waves of white hair were brushed back to reveal a chiselled face – the beauty of which no one on earth had ever seen.
   ‘Wormwood … do you always have to stay in that form?’ the creature asked the rat as it crawled over the stump of an old tree and looked up at him.
   HE … might not see me like this. I feel safe if HE can’t see me.’ The rat replied, as it brushed its face with clawed hands that looked quite human.
   HE sees everything. There is nothing in the universe that HE can’t see.’ The man replied angrily.
   ‘But Lucifer, HE was your friend and master,’ the rat answered without thinking.
   ‘As HE was yours, Wormwood. Then the Creator cast us out – just for thinking we were His equal.…’ Lucifer answered as he looked about him, knowing he was being overheard. ‘And now, not only does the man Marah inhabit this place, but the Creator in his wisdom has made that – a friend for Marah; the man created from dust – blood and gall – now has a companion.’
   Lucifer pointed to the body of a woman who lay on the ground in a deep sleep. She was covered in eucalyptus leaves, her long black hair trailing in ringlets across her dark skin.
   ‘She is … very beautiful,’ Wormwood answered as he looked down at the woman. ‘Is she an angel?’
   Lucifer looked at Marah. He traced his finger along Marah’s naked skin and dug the nail into his flesh until he came to a long wound in his side.
   ‘Interesting …’ Lucifer mused as he traced the wound. ‘It looks as though HE has taken a rib to form this other one.’
   ‘Shall we kill them?’ Wormwood asked. ‘We killed many angels in heaven until Raphael put an end to our war.’
   ‘Not yet,’ Lucifer answered. ‘I think that here will be a fine place to wage our war on the Creator. If HE has one weakness, it is compassion. If I were King of Heaven, I would not have allowed us to live. All HE did was cast us down to this place. Even with our rebellion, He showed kindness. How foolish is HE?’ Lucifer asked the rat.
   Wormwood did not speak. He stared at the woman and watched her breathing. Lucifer reached out and touched her face.
   ‘What will we do with them?’ Wormwood asked.
   ‘There will be time; after all, we have all eternity,’ Lucifer answered quickly as he heard footsteps in the forest.
   Suddenly changing back to the shape of the serpent, Lucifer slithered quickly into the undergrowth. Wormwood darted to the cover of the trees.
   Gan-Eden was still. The scent of death had vanished. Marah lay on the ground as if asleep. Around him, bushes covered in blossoms were once more humming with bees. The trees shadowing him were alive with birds singing, building nests and pecking at the ripening fruit. Animals walked up to gently sniff at the sleeping humans and then wander into the brush. The footsteps drew closer and closer. From amongst the trees and bushes, a breath as warm as sunlight and deep as eternity flared the nostrils of the man as the voice echoed, ‘Marah … awake.’
   Marah’s eyes shifted under closed lids and gradually opened; without turning his head, he looked around, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of Gan-Eden. Yawning he stretched, extending his arms, and touched … something.
   He turned to see a figure sleeping on the ground. It was like him … but it wasn’t.
   ‘Creator,’ Marah asked, ‘… what … is this?’
   The voice that had awakened him echoed in response, ‘She is woman. She will be your companion and your helper. Your wife. All the animals in the garden were made male and female. It was not good for you to be alone; in the entire garden, there was none equal to you. I caused you to fall into a deep sleep and took one of your ribs and, from that rib, I created her.’
   Marah rose to his knees to inspect the sleeping woman. He brushed away the leaves that covered her body. Her skin was soft as a butterfly’s wings and thick dark lashes brushed cheeks the colour of peaches. Hair the shade of a raven’s wing flowed from her head, covering her to her thighs. Her lids fluttered and then opened. The eyes inspecting him were almond-shaped, their colour reflecting the grass beneath her. She looked at Marah curiously and reached to touch his face. She laughed; the sound was as light and fresh as the mist that arose each morning.
   Taking her hand, Marah helped the woman to stand. Wife, he thought. A companion and a helper. Like me, but not like me.
   ‘You are bone of my bone,’ he told her, ‘and flesh of my flesh.’
   Her brow wrinkled, as if not understanding.
   Marah cupped her cheek. ‘You are “woman”,’ – then he touched his side – ‘for you were taken out of “man”.’
   The woman opened her mouth, working to shape full lips. ‘Mmm … aaahhh.…’
   Touching his chest, he told her, ‘I am “Marah”.’
   ‘Marah,’ she spoke as if tasting the word.
   Pointing to her, he said, ‘Havva.’
   That is good,’ the voice of the Creator echoed through the trees.
   Havva looked around for the source of the voice and then looked at Marah, her brow furrowed in question.
   ‘That is the Creator,’ Marah said.
   Havva looked at him and smiled. It was as if she knew all of what Marah spoke.
   ‘The Creator is good,’ Havva answered.
   Marah smiled. ‘Yes, He is.’ Taking her hand, he said, ‘Now come … let me show you Gan-Eden.’
   Together they walked through forests and meadows, up hills and down into valleys, enjoying the feel of soft grass beneath their feet. Marah led Havva to a river; releasing her hand, he jumped into the water, laughing. Turning, he extended his arms. ‘Water.’
   ‘Water,’ she laughed and jumped, gasping as the cold water hit her skin and filled her mouth and nose.
   He held her hand as they waded through the water. Fish darted between the man and woman, tickling their legs and feet with brightly coloured fins. Marah showed Havva how to drink the water with cupped hands and wiped her dripping lips. Then they left the river and walked to a nearby tree. Plucking fruit from a laden bough, Marah handed one to Havva.
   ‘Peach,’ he bit into the ripe flesh, juice spurting and dripping to his chest. ‘Mmmm …’ he nodded.
   She bit into her peach; her eyes widened at her first taste of food. She nodded and laughed as the juice ran down her chin. After eating several more peaches, they plunged back into the river to wash their skin and then laid down on the bank to rest in the sunlight.
   As the sun slipped down the sky, changing from golden to orange, to disappear beyond the horizon, Marah led Havva to a spot beneath a massive oak. He showed her how to pull up armfuls of tall blades of grass and lay them on top of each other. When the pile of grass reached their knees, Marah sat down and reached up to pull Havva down next to him. He lay on his back, with his hands cushioning his head. After a moment, Havva lay next to him and placed her head on his chest. As the sky darkened the moon arose, creamy and full, and stars scattered like diamonds across the expanse. The man and woman’s breathing slowed and before they fell asleep, they heard, ‘That is very good,’ whispered across the night sky.
   Through the days that followed, Marah showed Havva the length and breadth of Gan-Eden. As they wandered, they tended the plants. Marah showed Havva how to use a sharp stone to cut the pips and seeds from the fruit they ate; they stuck the seeds in the ground. ‘From these, the Creator will make more grow.’ They would climb the trees to toss down fruit for the animals that couldn’t reach it. And in the evening, the Creator would come. Not that they saw the Creator; they felt His presence as the sun warmed their skin and heard His voice whispering through the sky. They would talk about all they had done and the Creator would instruct them about the needs of the animals and plants in Gan-Eden.
   Be fruitful and increase in number,’ the voice of the Creator whispered in their hearts, ‘fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.’
   One golden day when the warm wind blew in from the west, Marah and Havva followed the bank of the Tigris to where it met with the Euphrates to form the Great River. The waters rolled and cascaded, frothing over rocks. On the bank of the river, stood two trees. Both were gigantic, taller than any other tree in Gan-Eden and laden with ripe fruit, filling the air with spicy sweetness. As they looked across the waters, the Creator spoke. The voice echoed across the sky.
   This is the centre of the garden,’ the Creator spoke above the sounds of the rushing water. ‘The trees in the middle of the garden are the tree of life’ the wind blew ruffled the leaves on the tree on the right, ‘and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.’ The leaves on the left tree waved in the breeze.‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely taste death.’
   ‘Marah,’ Havva asked, ‘what is “death”?’
   ‘I do not know,’ he told her. His face had grown solemn and thoughtful. He was not laughing now. ‘But we do not need to know. It is enough that the Creator tells us not to eat from the tree.’ He took her hand and looked into her eyes. ‘We will obey.’
   She nodded hesitantly. ‘We will obey.’
   As they turned to go, Havva caught sight of an animal she had not met. From a distance, it looked like the branch of a tree it curled around, but its skin glistened like a lizard.
   ‘Marah, what is that?’ she pointed to the snake as it bowed from the branch.
   He looked. ‘That is Serpent.’
   ‘Why does it not come and greet us?’
   Marah shrugged. ‘I know not.’ He took her hand. ‘Come, I saw pomegranates. Let’s eat some.’
   As they walked away, Havva felt an itching sensation between her shoulders. Looking back, she saw the serpent watching her; it looked as though it was smiling.
   Time passed slowly in Gan-Eden. Havva had grown accustomed to the land. She knew where to find the best pears and apples, when to pick the raspberries and how to choose the ripest tomatoes. All was well. The Creator walked in the land by the river and they listened to His voice as the sun set and the moon rose out of the mountains.
   One morning, the sunlight streamed into her eyes and woke Havva. She looked over at Marah; he was sleeping on his side, with a large leaf covering his head. She smiled at her husband, who snorted and rubbed his nose, and snuggled into their bed. Havva stood up to gather food for Marah and herself.
   Wandering, she plucked an apple from a nearby tree; the fruit was sweet and crunchy. She washed the sticky juice from her fingers. She pulled a large leaf from a tree and used it to gather fruit for Marah and herself: more apples, raspberries, dark red cherries, peaches, a small melon. When she came upon the pomegranate tree, she found herself standing near the Great River and the two trees the Creator had told them about.
   The fruits on both trees were unlike any she had seen before: larger than any Havva had gathered, and their fragrance made her mouth water and filled the glade with its essence.
   ‘Havva,’ a voice said from deep within the glade.
   She turned. There, slithering towards her was the serpent. As it neared, she could see that it began to slowly change and stand up on two legs. It looked like Marah – its eyes were tilted slits, the mouth wide. The creature shuddered joyfully.
   ‘How do you know my name?’ she asked.
   ‘We all know that Havva and Marah are favoured by the Creator,’ Serpent spoke, hissing out each word. ‘I see you are gathering food,’ it said. ‘Have you come to pick fruit from these trees?’ It walked towards the tree on the left.
   ‘But not fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,’ Havva answered.
   ‘Is it true that the Creator really said, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’
   ‘No,’ Havva said. ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but the Creator said, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”’
   ‘You will not surely die,’ Serpent said. ‘The Creator does not want you to eat it, for He knows that when you eat the fruit, you will be wise like Him, knowing good and evil.’ Plucking a fruit, it bit into the flesh. Serpent closed its eyes and hissed, ‘No other fruit tastes so good.’
   Havva took a step closer to the tree. The fruit was large and plump, its aroma filling her head. She dropped the leaf filled with the fruit she had gathered. None of the fruit I picked looks or smells as good as this, she thought. Surely becoming as wise as the Creator is a good thing.
   Slowly lifting her hand, she reached up and – hesitantly – touched the nearest fruit. It was firm and ripe; one slight tug and the fruit fell into Havva’s hand. She sniffed it; the aroma was sweet and set her mouth watering. She extended her tongue and licked it. She waited … nothing happened … no death … it tasted like the dawn. She took one bite – then another and another. She consumed the fruit, grabbed another and ate it. Hand over hand, she ate several pieces of fruit, unable to assuage her hunger.
   ‘Havva!’ shouted another voice. She whirled around, a fruit in one hand and a half-eaten fruit in the other.
   Marah stared at her, stared at her hands. ‘What have you done?’ he whispered.
   Havva stepped towards her husband. ‘Marah … I woke before you … wanted to gather food … the serpent told me that the Creator didn’t want us to be like him … I ate one … the fruit is unlike any we have eaten before … nothing happened … I’m the same –’
   ‘No,’ he shook his head, ‘you are different….’
   ‘I am like the Creator….’ She lifted the uneaten fruit to his mouth. ‘Don’t you want to … be like Him?’ She lifted the other fruit and took a bite. ‘They are wonderful.’
   Marah stared at his wife … opened his mouth … and took a bite.
   The ground was soon littered with fruit, some eaten, some just bitten into. Other fruit was just thrown to the ground and smashed underfoot in their haste to grab more. No matter how many they ate, their hunger remained.
   ‘Marah …’ she said, her voice anguished. ‘Something is different.’
   ‘What do you mean?’ Marah asked, his mouth full of fruit.
    ‘I do not know. We should know,’ Havva’s voice was rough and sharp as a stone. ‘We ate the fruit … the serpent said we would be wise as the Creator and know everything.’
   ‘Havva …’ Marah said, ‘the serpent is not the Creator and we did as he told us, not as the Creator told us.’
   Havva grabbed her waist. ‘Marah … something is different … in me.’ She doubled over, crying out in pain. ‘Something is twisting inside.’
   Running to the river, Havva retched as she coughed up the half-eaten fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It twisted her guts and stuck in her throat as she retched and retched. Again and again she tried to rid herself of the pain in her stomach and her heart. She was distantly aware of Marah kneeling next to her. She heard his cries of anguish and pain as he emptied his stomach of the fruit.
   Reaching out, she pulled a leaf from a nearby bush and wiped her mouth. Not enough. She grabbed another and, opening her mouth, wiped her tongue. Still not enough.
   Pulling leaf after leaf, the man and woman tried to clean the feeling from their mouths, their bellies, their hearts. Shivering, Havva took fig leaves and knotted the ends, until she had formed a covering for herself. Noticing that Marah was also trembling, she formed a covering for Marah.
   ‘Marah … Havva …’
   They looked at each other, hearts pounding.
   ‘The Creator,’ Marah whispered. ‘He is coming.’
   ‘He will see us … He will know.’ Havva said. Turning, she ran down the path, stumbling over rocks and stumps, scratching her legs on bushes, until she found four trees that leaned towards each other. Several small bushes growing at their base formed a small shelter. Dropping to her knees, she crawled inside. A moment later, Marah crawled in beside her. She could hear Marah’s heart beating in fear.
   Marah … Havva … where are you?’ The leaves on the bushes trembled … ‘Marah?’
   Marah looked at Havva and shook his head. ‘I must answer …’ Taking a shuddering breath, the man stuttered, ‘I-I am in here …’
   Where is Havva?’
   Havva looked wide-eyed at Marah, who nodded.
   ‘I … I am in here with Marah.’
   ‘Why are you in there?’
   ‘We heard you in the forest and we were afraid you would see … us … as we are … naked … so we hid from you.’
   Who told you that you were naked?’ the Creator spoke in a sad whisper. ‘Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?
   The pain in the Creator’s voice tore at Marah, the knowledge of his disobedience too heavy to confess.
   ‘The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’
   ‘Havva.’ The woman cringed under the weight of His voice. ‘What is this you have done?’
   Havva’s thoughts were as rapid as her heartbeat. What can I say? How do I explain?
   ‘It was Serpent. He told me it would make me like you …’ her voice dropped to a tearful whisper, ‘and I ate.’
   The leaves at the door to their shelter began trembling, shivering, as the wind began blowing, howling. The presence of the Creator rose above the earth, His voice swelled to cover all creation.
   Serpent, because you have done this, you are cursed above all the creatures of the night. You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.’
   What will He do to us?’ she whispered.
   ‘Havva.’ The woman wrapped her arms around her legs and laid her head on her knees. ‘You will give birth to children and they will bring you pain. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’
   ‘Marah.’ The man turned from his wife, as the Creator spoke to him. ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat of it”: cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’
   A sudden, sharp sound rent the air. It was unlike anything that Marah or Havva had ever heard before. It pierced their ears and tore at their hearts.
   Marah … Havva…’ The Creator’s voice sounded as painful as their hearts. ‘Come here.’
   Marah dropped to his knees to crawl from their hiding place; after a moment, Havva followed. Standing, they looked around. Nothing seemed different about the land … yet it was. There, by a bush, was a slaughtered sheep. Its throat was cut, blood issued from its fleece, mixing with the dust of the earth.
    The voice of the Creator rose above the trees again, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.’
   The ground under the man and woman’s feet trembled and shook, as the sky grew blinding white. In fear, they watched as a figure descended from the clouds to stand in front of the two trees. It had the shape of a man, with wings like the mighty eagle. His face was terrible to see. In his hand was a flaming sword.
   Looking at Marah and Havva, the angel lifted the sword and opened his mouth. ‘GO.’
   The word echoed from one end of Gan-Eden to the other. Fire flashed from the sword; a tree near the humans erupted into flames.
         Grabbing Havva’s hand, Marah began running, screaming, as first a tree and then a bush exploded before them.
   They came to the edge of the river where Marah had first showed Havva how to drink and swam across the river, choking on the water that filled their nose and mouth. They crawled out of the water and collapsed on the riverbank, panting. After his heart and breathing had slowed, Marah rolled over and pulled himself to his knees. He looked up and gasped.
         Havva grabbed his ankle, too afraid to look. ‘What is it?’
         ‘They’re gone,’ Marah’s voice was ragged.
         ‘What’s gone? The serpent?’
         ‘No,’ Marah dropped to the ground next to his wife. ‘The tree of life … it is gone. Gan-Eden has disappeared.’
         Turning, Havva looked behind them. Across the river, beyond the far bank, was … nothing. There were bushes, forests, and hills; but they were not those of the garden. Arching her neck, Havva looked in one direction and then turned to look in the other. Straining her eyes, she could not see the massive tree of life or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were … gone!
   ‘Marah, where is it? Did the Creator destroy the land?’
   ‘I don’t think so. I think Gan-Eden is hidden from us. Maybe one day, He will let us return.’ He reached down and took Havva’s hand and pulled her up. ‘… For now, we must find shelter … the night is coming.’

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot #SisterQueensVirtualBookTour



Sister Queens
Author: Sophie Perinot
Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade; 1 edition (March 6, 2012)
ISBN: 9780451235701
Recommended for Ages 18 and up
Genre: historical fiction

About the Book:
Like most sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor were rivals. They were also queens.
Raised at the court of their father, Raymond Berenger, Count of Provence, Marguerite and Eleanor are separated by royal marriages--but never truly parted.
Patient, perfect, and used to being first, Marguerite becomes Queen of France. But Louis IX is a religious zealot who denies himself the love and companionship his wife craves. Can she borrow enough of her sister's boldness to grasp her chance for happiness in a forbidden love?
Passionate, strong-willed, and stubborn, Eleanor becomes Queen of England. Henry III is a good man, but not a good king. Can Eleanor stop competing with her sister and value what she has, or will she let it slip away?
The Sister Queens is historical fiction at its most compelling, and is an unforgettable first novel.

My Thoughts:

Eleanor and Marguerite were sisters, who like all sisters, were rivals. This rivalry ended up extending on into their marriages - they wed kings that were also rivals. Unlike politics, Eleanor and Marguerite were sisters who bridged their differences (as sisters do) and learned from one another.

Told from each sister's point of view (alternating chapters)"Sister Queens" is well written and appears to be well researched. It does take some liberties in the romance department that I personally could have done without, but does make a point and does seem to have a place in the story.

I really don't know which sister I took a liking to more. As the story progressed, my feelings changed towards each of them. I think I grew along with them.

This very interesting novel brings to life Medieval history from the female point of view and makes me thankful that I was never the princess I wish I had been in my childhood fantasies!

Because of the sexual content, I would only Recommend this novel to the adult audience.

About the Author:

Sophie Perinot writes historical fiction. In Spring 2012 her debut novel, The Sister Queens, will be released by NAL. Set in 13th century France and England, The Sister Queens weaves the captivating story of medieval sisters, Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence, who both became queens – their lifelong friendship, their rivalry, and their reigns

Ms. Perinot has both a BA in History and a law degree. She left the law to pursue artistic interests, including writing. An avid reader, especially of classic literature, and life-long student of history, it seemed only natural that Sophie should write historical fiction. As someone who studied French abroad and a devotee of Alexandre Dumas, French history was a logical starting point. An active member of the Historical Novel Society, she has attended all of the group’s North American Conferences.

Active among the literary twitterati as @Lit_gal (a moniker she also uses at Agent Query Connect www.agentqueryconnect.com), Sophie is a regular contributor to the group writers' blog "From the Write Angle" http://www.fromthewriteangle.com. Find her on facebook at www.facebook.com/sophie.perinot.author.

For more information, please visit Sophie Perinot's WEBSITE. You can also find Sophie on her blog, Facebook and Twitter.

This book was supplied by the publisher for participation in this blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Gathering of Waters" by Bernice McFadden

Gathering of Waters
Author: Bernice McFadden
Publisher: Akashic Books
ISBN: 9781617750311
Paperback 250 pages

About the Book
Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi--a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.
Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.
Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till's spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.
Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town's families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism--both disturbing and riveting--combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Beloved.

My Thoughts:

Bernice McFadden has a true gift for storytelling. She illustrates it well when "Gathering of Waters" starts out being told from the point of view of the town of Money, Mississippi. Her lyrical prose will draw the reader in from the very first sentence and will captivate the reader all the way to the very last word.

I love Bernice's writing style and I deeply appreciate her gift to weave a story. I have read her books before and this is one is written in the same style and prose. As much as I have enjoyed her work in the past, I have found something has changed - not with her work, but within me and it ended up making me quite uncomfortable with the things that take place in this book. Bernice has always had an edge to her stories - something that I've enjoyed, but this time, it wasn't the same for me.

"Gathering of Waters" is a historical piece, but it also includes some sexual subjects that I found quite repulsive and with that said, I cannot give a unbiased or fair review. I'm torn between the gift McFadden has for storytelling but the content pulls me in another direction.

To learn more about Bernice and her work, you can visit her webpage at: http://www.bernicemcfadden.com


I received a copy of this book from the author to read and honestly review.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Creative Slow-Cooker Meals: Use Two Slow Cookers for Tasty and Easy Dinners [Spiral-Bound] by Cheryl Moeller

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Harvest House Publishers; Spi edition (February 1, 2012)

***Special thanks to Karri James, Marketing Assistant, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cheryl Moeller is a seasoned mother and a standup comic. She is also a syndicated columnist with her own blog (www.momlaughs.blogspot.com) and contributes monthly to several online parent websites. Cheryl has coauthored two books on marriage with her husband and has written for www.mops.org and Marriage Partnership. Cheryl does comedy for parenting classes, MOPS groups, wedding or baby showers, church retreats, women’s conferences, and those in line at the grocery store.

Visit the author's website.



SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:




From the celebrated coauthor of The Marriage Miracle comes a new kind of cookbook and a new attitude toward planning meals. With an eye toward the whole menu, not just part of it, columnist Cheryl Moeller teaches cooks to use two crockpots to easily create healthy, homemade dinners.

Don’t worry about your dinner being reduced to a mushy stew. Each of the more than 200 recipes has been taste-tested at Cheryl’s table. Join the Moeller family as you dig into:
  • Harvest-time Halibut Chowder
  • Salmon and Gingered Carrots
  • Mediterranean Rice Pilaf
  • Indian Chicken Curry
  • Apricot-Pistachio Bread
  • Shrimp Creole
  • Rhubarb Crisp

... and many more! Perfect for the frazzled mom who never has enough time in the day, Creative Slow-Cooker Meals gives readers more time around the table with delicious, healthy, frugal, and easy meals!

Product Details:
List Price: $14.99
Spiral-bound: 272 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers; Spi edition (February 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736944915
ISBN-13: 978-0736944915



AND NOW...THE FIFTH CHAPTER (click on pages to enlarge):














My Thoughts:

This delightful cookbook is a wonderful addition to anyone's kitchen cookbook collection, but unlike many cookbooks, this is going to be one that will be used, and used a lot!

Cheryl Moeller has created a cookbook full of interesting and delicious recipes that will delight your family. Unlike other slow-cooker cookbooks, she uses two cookers to create her meals - an idea that I find brilliant and at the same time wonder why I didn't think of it. Make both a dessert and main dish, or a side dish along with the main meal and never again will you have to wonder what else you need to whip up to complete the meal.

Our family has enjoyed the recipes I have made so far and said they are looking forward to trying more! This creative cookbook is perfect for the busy mom or working woman.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow

A Darkly Hidden Truth
The Monastery Murders, Book 2
Author: Donna Fletcher Crow
ISBN: 978-0-85721-050-0
Paperback 384 pages
$14.99
Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Publisher: Monarch Books, distributed by
Kregel Publications
Publication: January 2012

About the Book
Felicity has decided to become a nun. She departs to visit convents in spite of her mother's imminent arrival and Fr. Anselm's request that she and Fr. Antony recover a missing priceless Russian icon before the Patriarch of Moscow arrives at the community for Holy Week. Felicity's discernment journey takes her to Rempstone, Norwich, London, and Walsingham, but her discovery of a friend's murdered body in a shallow grave, the disappearance of more icons, the shooting of a London art expert just after she visits him, the disappearance of Antony, and finally the abduction of Felicity and her mother teach her far more about motherhood, life, and love than she could learn in any convent retreat. Breathtaking chase scenes, mystical worship services, dashes through remote water-logged landscapes, the wisdom of ancient holy women, and the arcane rites of The Knights of St. John of Malta keep the pages turning. And will Felicity choose the veil--or Antony?





My Thoughts:

Donna Fletcher Crow caught my attention a bit over a year ago with her first of the Monastery Murders series "A Very Private Grave". Her attention to historical detail and intertwining those details with thrilling plots make her books impossible to put down.

In "A Darkly Hidden Truth", Felicity and Fr. Antony are again involved with finding a missing icon that turns into much more than they bargain for. Rich with Church and English history, it captivates the reader not only with the detail, but the wonderful characters, clues, red herrings, and story line will keep the reader turning its pages to see exactly what happens next.

Although this is the second book in the series, one can easily read this book as a stand alone. There is enough back story that the reader shouldn't feel like they are "coming into" a series and really missing out.

Donna Fletcher Crow is one of my favorite authors. To be able to pen a second book in a series as captivating or possibly even more so than the first, illustrates what a talented writer she truly is! Now, just to be able to patiently wait for the third in the series...

About the Author:

Donna Fletcher Crow is author of more than thirty-five novels. She has twice won first place in the Historical Fiction category from the National Association of Press Women, and has also been a finalist for "Best Inspirational Novel" from the Romance Writers of America. She is a member of The Arts Centre Group, and Sisters in Crime.

If you would like to learn more about Donna or her work, you can visit her website at: www.donnafletchercrow.com


I received a copy of this book to read and honestly review for this Kregel Blog Tour.

Frantic by Mike Dellosso

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Realms (February 7, 2012)

***Special thanks to Jon Wooten of Charisma House for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Mike Dellosso is the author of numerous novels of suspense, including Darkness Follows, Darlington Woods, and Scream. He is an adjunct professor of writing at Lancaster Bible College and frequent contributor to Christian websites and newsletters. Mike is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers association, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance, the Relief Writer’s Network, and FaithWriters, and he plans to join International Thriller Writers. He earned his BA degree from Messiah College and his MBS from Master’s International School of Divinity. He lives in Hanover, PA, with his wife and daughters. Hometown: Hanover, PA


Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Gas station attendant Marny Toogood thinks it’s just another ordinary day on the job until an urgent message from a young girl in the backseat of a car draws him into a daring rescue attempt. Now he is on the run with Esther and William Rose from their insane “uncle” who thinks it is his mission from God to protect William, a boy with incredible faith that gives him supernatural powers.

As they face kidnapping, underground cults, and other evils, can Marny trust the simple faith of a child and stand his ground against a power so twisted?



Product Details:
List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Realms (February 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616384808
ISBN-13: 978-1616384807


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:



     
    The night Marny Toogood was born it rained axheads and hammer handles.
  His grandfather made a prediction, said it was an omen of some sort, that it meant Marny’s life would be stormy, full of rain clouds and lightning strikes. Wanting to prove her father wrong, Janie Toogood named her son Marnin, which means “one who brings joy,” instead of the Mitchell she and her husband had agreed on.
 But in spite of Janie’s good intentions, and regardless of what his birth certificate said, Marny’s grandfather was right.
 At the exact time Marny was delivered into this world and his grandfather was portending a dark future, Marny’s father was en route to the hospital from his job at Winden’s Furniture Factory where he was stuck working the graveyard shift. He’d gotten the phone call that Janie was in labor, dropped his hammer, and run out of the plant. Fifteen minutes from the hospital his pickup hit standing water, hydroplaned, and tumbled down a steep embank- ment, landing in a stand of eastern white pines. The coroner said he experienced a quick death; he did not suffer.
 One week after Marny’s birth his grandfather died of a heart attack. He didn’t suffer either.
 Twenty-six years and a couple of lifetimes of hurt later, Marny found himself working at Condon’s Gas ’n Go and living above the garage in a small studio apartment George Condon rented to
 
1



 
    Mike Dellosso 
him for two hundred bucks a month. It was nothing special, but it was a place to lay his head at night and dream about the dark cloud that stalked him.
 But his mother had told him every day until the moment she died that behind every rain cloud is the sun, just waiting to shine its light and dry the earth’s tears.
 Marny  held  on  to  that  promise  and  thought  about  it  every night before he succumbed to sleep and entered a world that was as unfriendly and frightening as any fairy tale forest, the place of his dreams, the only place more dark and foreboding than his life.
  On the day reality collided with the world of Marny’s night- mares, it was hotter than blazes, strange for a June day in Maine. The sun sat high in the sky, and waves of heat rolled over the asphalt lot at the Gas ’n Go. The weather kept everyone indoors, which meant business was slow for a Saturday. Marny sat in the garage bay waiting for Mr. Condon to take his turn in checkers and wiped the sweat from his brow.
    Man, it’s hot.”
    Mr. Condon didn’t look up from the checkerboard. “Ayuh.
Wicked hot. Newsman said it could hit ninety.”
    “So it’ll probably get up to ninety-five.”
    Mr. Condon rubbed at his white stubble. “Ayuh.”
He was sixty-two and looked it. His leather-tough skin was
creased with deep wrinkles. Lots of smile lines. Marny had worked
for him for two years but had known the old mechanic his whole
life.
    Mr. Condon made his move then squinted at Marny. Behind
him Ed Ricker’s Dodge truck rested on the lift. The transmis-
sion had blown, and Mr. Condon should have been working
on it instead of playing checkers. But old Condon kept his own
schedule. His customers never complained. George Condon was
the best, and cheapest, mechanic around. He’d been getting cars
and trucks through one more Maine winter for forty years.
    Marny studied the checkerboard, feeling the weight of Mr.
Condon’s dark eyes on him, and was about to make his move
 
    2



     
Fr antic 
when the bell chimed, signaling someone had pulled up to the pump island. Condon’s was the only full-service station left in the Down East, maybe in the whole state of Maine.
 Despite the heat, Mr. Condon didn’t have one droplet of sweat on his face. “Cah’s waitin’, son.”
 Marny glanced outside at the tendrils of heat wriggling above the lot, then at the checkerboard. “No cheating.”
    His opponent winked. “No promises.”
    Pushing back his chair, Marny stood and wiped more sweat
from his brow, then headed outside.
    The car at the pump was a 1990s model Ford Taurus, faded blue
with a few rust spots around the wheel wells. The windows were
rolled down, which probably meant the air-conditioning had quit
working. This was normally not a big deal in Maine, but on a rare
day like this, the driver had to be longing for cool air.
    Marny had never seen the vehicle before. The driver was a large
man, thick and broad. He had close-cropped hair and a smooth,
round face. Marny had never seen him before either.
    He approached the car and did his best to be friendly. “Mornin’.
Hot one, isn’t it?”
    The driver neither smiled nor looked at him. “Fill it up. Regular.”
    Marny headed to the rear of the car and noticed a girl in the
backseat. A woman, really, looked to be in her early twenties. She
sat with her hands in her lap, head slightly bowed. As he passed
the rear window she glanced at him, and there was something in
her eyes that spoke of sorrow and doom. Marny recognized the
look because he saw it in his own eyes every night in the mirror.
He smiled, but she quickly diverted her gaze.
    As he pumped the gas, Marny watched the girl, studied the
back of her head. She was attractive in a plain way, a natural pret-
tiness that didn’t need any help from cosmetics. Her hair was rich
brown and hung loosely around her shoulders. But it was her eyes
that had captivated him. They were as blue as the summer sky, but
so sad and empty. Marny wondered what the story was between
the man and girl. He was certainly old enough to be her father. He
 
3



 
    Mike Dellosso 
looked stern and callous, maybe even cruel. Marny felt for her, for her unhappiness, her life.
  He caught the man watching him in the side mirror and looked at the pump’s gauge. A second later the nozzle clicked off, and he returned it to the pump. He walked back to the driver’s window. “That’ll be forty-two.”
 While the man fished around in his back pocket for his wallet, Marny glanced at the girl again, but she kept her eyes down on her hands.
 You folks local?” Marny said, trying to get the man to open up a little.
    The driver handed Marny three twenties but said nothing. Marny counted off eighteen dollars in change. “You new in the
area? I don’t think I’ve seen you around here before. Lately, seems more people have been moving out than in.”
  Still nothing. The man took the money and started the car. Before pulling out he nodded at Marny. There was something in the way he moved his head, the way his eyes sat in their sockets, the way his forehead wrinkled ever so slightly, that made Marny shiver despite the heat.
 The car rolled away from the pump, asphalt sticking to the tires, and exited the lot. Marny watched until it was nearly out of sight, then turned to head back to the garage and Mr. Condon and the game of checkers. But a crumpled piece of paper on the ground where the Taurus had been parked caught his attention. He picked it up and unfurled it. Written in all capital letters was a message:
    HE’S GOING TO KILL ME











     
    4

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

AddThis Share Buttons