Monday, June 30, 2014

On the Spotlight: Hope’s Decree, by Angela McPherson


Hope's Decree eBookGenres: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Published: August 13, 2013
Untold Press www.untoldpress.com
Word count: 94 000
Pages: 284
Blurb:
When everything else is lost, there is always hope.
While most teens want an epic senior year, Trinity Whitebone hoped for a normal one. Being seventeen was hard enough. Having the emotions of everyone around you in your head made life more than a little difficult.
Until Blain Heros enrolled.
He screamed hot-god in jeans with just his walk. His intense stare warmed her skin like a thousand suns. Unfortunately, his interest in her seemed to run from blazing to freezing in the span of moments and left her nothing but confused. She could deal with things not being normal, but when life goes from strange to dangerous…
Trinity is the direct descendant of Pandora and fated to rectify the terrors released into the world by her curious ancestor. With powers she didn’t know existed and abilities she never wanted, Trinity tries to walk away from everything her life had become. She thought she could turn her back on her fate, until a band of rogue immortals discover who she is and will do whatever it takes to control her powers. Trinity is left with one decision…Embrace fate or die trying.
What reviewers are saying! 
“Greek mythology entwined with high school drama. Exciting.” — Joanne Wadsworth, Author of Protector
“Phenomenal book! Hope’s Decree is a YA novel that will have you hooked from the first chapter.” — Laura Thalassa, Author of The Unearthly
Excerpt:
Over an hour into my work out on the elliptical, sweat covered my brow and a few curls had broken free from my elastic band, making them stick to the sides of my face and forehead. When I grabbed a towel to wipe the sweat away, my legs felt wobbly and weak. I bought a bottle of water from a vending machine and headed out.
In the parking lot, I saw the sky had darkened considerably, elongating the shadows. As I walked back to my car I realized the birds in the nearby trees slowly became silent.
Stopping, I scanned the street. Not a single person was out. Even the cool breeze when I left the gym had stilled, almost as though everything had frozen in time.
Without warning, my stomach rolled. Almost instantly I felt nauseous as the familiar dread of darkness surfaced inside of me. The force became so overwhelming I doubled over, gasping for air.
As I focused on breathing, deep guttural laughter echoed in the stillness nearby. My head snapped up, my eyes searching for the man in my dreams. My brain worked in overtime, wondering how my dreams had finally crossed the barrier into reality.
The laughter came again, only closer this time. He wanted me, wanted me to surrender the light of life to dwell in the darkness of death. My panic increased as my heart thundered in my chest. I couldn’t think clearly.
A few feet away, a man appeared, though he looked more or less the same age as me. Tall, well built with chestnut hair stopping at the hard angle of his jaw, and his eyes as black as a raven’s feather. He didn’t look like the same person from my nightmares. Not that it mattered–his presence still terrified me.
His lips twisted into a sinister grin, a mixture of evil and pain so clear I could taste it on my tongue. I tried to ease my panic and think clearly, but just like in my nightmares, I was losing.
“Who are you and what do you want?” Much to my surprise, my voice stayed even.
“You don’t know, do you?” He tilted his head to the side, watching me with amusement in his dark eyes. He slowly held a finger in the air and then began making circular movements. The motion created his own personal whirlwind, lifting the hair around his face.
He continued to walk toward me, controlling the wind with his finger. My panic increased; my insides felt like they were being stretched thin, ready to snap in half at any given second.
“What do you want?” This time my voice quivered at the end.
“You have got to be kidding me, right?” He shook his head. “This is easier than I thought it’d be.” He must have read the perplexed look on my face because he started laughing–hard. I would’ve been offended had I not been so freaking scared.
His thoughts and emotions become stronger with each step he took, overpowering my ability to shut off the inner darkness wanting to be set free. I wasn’t sure which way was up or down, left or right, and it didn’t matter. 
angelaAuthor Bio: Angela McPherson
Born and currently residing in Midland, Texas, Angela shuffles three busy children (not including her husband) all over the place. She works in a busy pediatric doctor’s office as a nurse during the day, and writes at night. She is addicted to coffee——who isn’t? And firmly believes chocolate can fix all——especially chocolate ice cream. She laughs a lot, often at herself and is willing to try anything once (she thinks). When Angela isn’t rushing kids around, working or writing, she’s reading. Other than life experience, Angela turns to a wide variety of music to help spark her creative juices. She loves to dance and sing, though her kids often beg her not to.  
Twitter: @abt3mcpherson

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Book Review: ‘Stolen Dreams’ by Christine Amsden


StolenDreams_med-193x300I can’t believe this is the last book in the Cassie Scot new adult paranormal mystery series! I really have enjoyed this series a lot.
If you’re new to the series, I advise you to pick up the books in order:
In this the final installment, talented author Christine Amsden brings the infamous Scot vs. Blackwood family feud to a close, but not without filling her story with enough intrigue, mystery, twists and surprises to keep you thinking about the characters for a long time.
And this is, really, the biggest draw in these stories, the characters, especially Cassie and Evan. Cassie has been such a likable protagonist throughout the series, smart and strong and opinionated, yet caring and warm-hearted. Evan –yes, arrogant, condescending and overprotective Evan — has also been the perfect hero. They were school sweethearts…until Evan’s father stole her powers from her and gave them to Evan, thus starting a conflict between them that brought them to the depths of despair, especially for Cassie.
There are many subplots in this book, but the main problem happens when Cassie’s father is killed and she and her family think that Evan’s dad is the one responsible. The primary storyline has to do with finding out if this is true or not and, if not, then who, in fact, is responsible.
There are many surprises in Stolen Dreams, and I enjoyed all of them. Fans of romance will especially enjoy the focus on Cassie and Evan’s relationship. I loved the ending. In sum, this was a wonderful series, and the author delivered a satisfying closure. I wonder what she will come up next? I’m certainly going to be on the lookout for her future books.
My review was previously published in Blogcritics Magazine. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Guest post by Sharon van Ivan, author of 'Juggle and Hide'

I enjoy writing, but I am a high-level procrastinator.  This is the first book I’ve had published.  I am not good at promoting myself or even letting people read my work.  If it hadn’t been for friends, friends who were also writers, and my husband, Charles Pfahl, the manuscript would still be in a file in my office and I’d never mention it to a soul.  Other people have taken care of this.  Other people have made it possible for me to send Juggle and Hide out into the world.  On my own.  No way.  So any help I can get from anyone is better than what I can do for myself.  I’m older now and it’s about time I start sharing my stories with others.  Someone might even be helped by something I write.  So many things have happened in my life that have turned me into the survivor I am today. I’m hoping that now that Juggle and Hide has found its way out into the world, that I will be able to begin a new book very soon. I have lots of ideas running around in my head, but the sorrow I feel from the recent loss of my husband, has taken precedence over everything else.  In time, I’m sure I’ll write again.  Hopefully, I can put into words the love story that was ours.  We met at my wedding reception for my first marriage in 1968.  He married someone else, too.  Then we were just friends.  Later we met again – after we had both been divorced from our first loves -- and became lovers and moved in together for two years.  We lived and worked in New York – in a huge loft in Hell’s Kitchen.  Because of our alcoholism and drug addition, we didn’t last long.  We split up, married other people again, and then both of us moved all over the place till we ran out of steam and ended up in New York at the same time (and also both divorced again).  I had already stopped drinking and drugging by then and was two years sober.  He was in very bad shape and was staying with friends only blocks from where I was living.  He got my phone number from an old friend.  We had dinner.  I did my amends for my part of our difficulties back in the 70s and he asked me to help him.  We were together after that for twenty years.  Twenty sober years and it was a wonderful time for both of us.  Then came cancer and death and here I am on my own living one day at a time.  Should be able to write about our story soon.  Or at least be able to write something again.  Grief lasts forever, I think.  

---------------------------

Title: Sharon van Ivan
Genre: Memoir
Author: Sharon van Ivan
Publisher: Cygnet Press
Find out more on Amazon
Juggle and Hide is award-winning writer Sharon van Ivan’s dizzying story of her unconventional, often harrowing, and 
sometimes hilarious life. With a childhood split between time with her alcoholic mother in Akron, Ohio and her gambling dad in Brooklyn, New York, as well as other challenging family members along the way, she was destined to find comfort on the edge and in the company of highly creative and self-destructive individuals.
Hers is a story of getting drunk and getting sober, of triumphs and failures in her work as an actor and screenwriter, and of exhilarating love affairs, including her twenty-year relationship with the renowned artist Charles Pfahl. The book is quirky and compelling, and engaging on many levels. Sharon takes the reader on a roller coaster ride into the depths of personal tragedy with unexpected outcomes.
—————————————-
Sharon
Sharon van Ivan lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her two cats, The Duke and Earl.  She was born in Brooklyn New York and couldn’t wait to move back to New York when she grew up.  Her parents divorced when she was a baby and she lived with her mother in Akron, Ohio, until she returned to New York in her early 20s.  There she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and was a working actress for many years.  But she was always writing.  Her debut as a playwright was when she was 10 years old and living in Sacramento, California.  She wrote about the hardships of a young girl in Mexico.  The play was so good, it was presented to the whole school.  Sharon was mortified and did not write again until high school.  Then when she had a writing assignment, she would dream about it the night before, and write it just before class.  She was an A student in English.  Not the most popular person in school, however.
Growing up with an alcoholic and, therefore, mentally ill mother and a mostly-absent father (plus a slew of stepfathers) was a challenge that Sharon met head-on – as she had no choice. Later in life when she did have a choice, the patterns had already been set and she followed a similarly disastrous road until she found show business, a great psychiatrist and the love of her life, the renowned realist painter, Charles Pfahl.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Interview with Kerry Peresta, author of 'The Hunting'

Kerry Peresta's publishing credits include a popular newspaper and e-zine humor column, The Lighter Side, and short stories in the published anthology, That One Left Shoe, and her debut novel, The Hunting, contemporary women's fiction, released by Pen-L Publishing. She spent twenty-five years in advertising as an account manager, creative director, and copywriter before deciding to devote more of her time to writing. She is currently working on her second novel, participating in writing conferences, and serving on the leadership team of the Maryland Writers' Association. Kerry was a single mother for many years to four great kids, all grown and successfully carving out their own unique paths. She and her husband live in the Baltimore metro area.

Her novel, The Hunting, is available in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble (bn.com), and her website.

Visit Kerry at www.kerryperesta.com.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at
the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The protagonist in my debut novel, The Hunting, is shaped by my adventures when I was a single mom-in-progress. My character’s life is frantic, her thought processes like butterflies in a jar. Mom to three teens, advertising account executive for a daily newspaper, she figures the most expedient way to date is online. She becomes addicted to the rush of male attention at her fingertips, with disastrous consequences. A central theme resounds throughout the story: before a woman can attract the right kind of man, she must become the right kind of woman.

After a stint in a love and relationship addiction recovery group for women, I experienced multiple epiphanies about becoming the right kind of woman. One, I was clueless about what a good marriage looked like; and two, male attention does not necessarily equal heaven on earth, no matter what the sitcoms and Hallmark movies say. The most important thing, I learned, is contentment. A woman is much more desirable when she is content and happy within herself and her belief system instead of tripping over her high heels running after the perfect guy to somehow make her feel whole.

I figured my personal safari through this particular jungle would make a great story, but it is enhanced for staying-up-til-three a.m. appeal.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

It was fun to write! I built the characters on people I’d known and gave them bizarre characteristics and hilarious detail. I encountered multiple landmines, however, stumbling around the first novel landscape. Here are some of my hard-earned lessons:

⦁    I edited as I wrote. Not a good idea. I got off track and had to go back and re-read large portions to remember who did what. Write first, edit later.
⦁    Critique groups are very helpful. You can find them online (LinkedIn has some good ones) or in your community. I enlisted a group of beta readers to read as I wrote. I’d send ten or so chapters to someone I trusted (with experience and could be objective – not a close friend or family member) to give me impartial input. They caught things like – why did the character start out in Charleston and end up in Galveston? Why was the kid fifteen in Chapter Ten and thirteen in Chapter Twenty-One? Et cetera. I saved all these comments until after I was done with the first draft, then compiled them and used that to do my first re-write.
⦁    A clean manuscript is a happy manuscript. Must edit before querying – not only spellcheck but also for a thousand usages of suddenly or however or he/she nodded. Self-edit until you are blue in the face, then hire an editor for the final pass before querying. If you self-publish, hire an editor before taking the plunge. A publisher or agent won’t even look at a manuscript that is not impeccable. The less editing needed, the better chance for grabbing that gold ring.
⦁    Set goals for yourself. A writer friend told me to write a thousand words a day and eventually I’d have a book. Simple, but true. That became my goal. And eventually, I had a book.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My publisher is Pen-L Publishing - I found them on Twitter. There are amazing resources to be found on Twitter. Self-publishing was not an option for me.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

It surprised me how little promotion a publisher does. The real work starts after the book releases! Next time around I will be better prepared.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m 81,000 words into the first draft of my next novel. My goal is 100,000 words, working title is The Deadening. It’s the story of a woman who married young, abdicated her choices and opinions to her husband early on, focused on raising kids and trusted her husband to take care of everything else. Not the best idea, in her particular case. The book unfolds in a hospital, where she lies paralyzed. I am rapidly approaching the heavy breathing stage of the book.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Facebook and Twitter. FB, because it is an expedient way to connect with friends and family; Twitter because the tweets are hysterical. Some mentalities are just too bizarre to ignore – why can’t I be that witty, I ask myself as I favorite their tweets. It is also a good resource for editors, smaller publishers, and especially book marketing gurus. I am trying to figure out Goodreads, but it is frustrating. Why can’t they make this stuff simple? On a side note, of course I use both to promote, promote, promote. My FB friends are sick of my Amazon link by this time, I’m sure.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Repeated relationship failures should be a clue to women that something is not working. Doing the same thing over and over again is defined as insanity. If it’s not working, time to point the finger back at ourselves and figure out why, before our choices affect our kids or career; or weird men we’ve met online stalk us.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I always have final words because it is somewhat difficult to shut me up.

Triumph in difficult or impossible situations inspires me. My books applaud the bold and brave women who fell into a ditch but managed to climb out. A little creative embellishment, a dash of suspense, and I’m off to the races.

My first book is dedicated to single moms, the bravest women on the planet. My fervent hope is that both encouragement and entertainment lie within the pages of my rollicking, snarky, page-turner, The Hunting. And maybe…it just might prevent a little insanity in someone’s life.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In the Spotlight: Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy by Jermaine Gadson


Title:  Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy
Author: Jermaine Gadson
Genre: Spiritual
Publisher: Crossbooks – Division of LifeWay (June 2014)
ISBN:  9781462736362—Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781462736355—Soft Cover
ISBN: 9781462736348—eBook


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy by author Jermaine Gadson is a must have resource for believers who want to be well equipped to be victorious against the strategies of the devil. The devil is cunning and deceptive, and he will stop at nothing to keep God's people from reaching their potential in Christ. In this book, Pastor Gadson discusses how the enemy uses temptation, seduction, fear, isolation, guilt, shame, and other such things in order to steal and destroy a person's life. Satan works tirelessly through various means and mechanisms to keep sinners from hearing and being receptive of the Word of God, in order to prevent them from being saved. If you have family or friends who are not born-again, this resource will help you to identify schemes that the enemy may be using to keep your loved ones from being saved. This book is intended to equip the Body of Christ to wage a good warfare against the strategies of the enemy. It is not God's will for His people to be taken advantage of by the enemy because of ignorance. This book exposes who the enemy is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will try to do in the future, as an enemy of God's people. This book is written for the everyday believer to be able to understand and use. However, it is also a helpful tool for Christian leaders to be able to identify specific ways in which the enemy desires to attack them in order to steal their influence, kill their destiny, and destroy their reputation and ministries. In this regard, it is an encouragement to the Body of Christ to guard and protect their spiritual leaders.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One
Know Your Enemy
Before engaging in battle of any kind, it is very important to be familiar with the opposition. The more you know about your enemy, the greater you will be equipped to fight against them and be victorious. Knowing your enemy includes being knowledgeable of their strengths, weaknesses, habits, origin, and the like. When you are knowledgeable about your adversary, you become empowered to develop a plan of action or strategy to adequately defend against their opposition, overcome their threats and defensive mechanisms, and ultimately defeat them.
Athletes and those who follow sports are familiar and acquainted with this principle. Coaches and players spend hours upon hours viewing video recordings of not only their own team, but of their upcoming opponents as well. They view recordings to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses as revealed by previous games, and they do the same to identify strengths and weaknesses of the next team they have to face.
This principle is certainly pertinent in the area of the military as well. No military general, or top ranking official who has authority over military personnel will in their right mind authorize the use of military force without adequate information concerning the enemy to be attacked. Right decisions require right information. This is especially true if you want to come out victorious and on top.
Now that we can see the importance of this principle from a natural standpoint, it makes sense that this would also apply spiritually in relation to how we are to do battle with our spiritual enemy. As you read this book, I hope that you will be able to see the importance of this material in helping you towards this very end. The reason this book is so important is because the person reading it is like a ballplayer looking at tape of his or her opponent or a military general gathering intelligence on a terrorist organization. When you know where your enemy came from, what your enemy has done in the past, and what your enemy is presently capable of, you are more readily prepared to wage a good warfare and defeat him in any present or future encounters you may have.
The Origin of Satan

Since we are dealing with the concept of knowing your enemy, it is important to understand the origin of where the enemy discussed in this book, Satan, also known as the devil, comes from. Here is what is considered to be the biblical account of Satan’s demise, in Isaiah 14:12-15:
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.”


The story of Satan originates in the heaven. In his beginning, he was created as an angel of God, who was called by the name of Lucifer. Lucifer was one of God’s chief angels, and as a consequence was given much power and authority. However, because of pride and jealousy towards God, his creator, he rebelled against God, wanting to be worshipped as a god himself. Through his rebellion, he lead one third of the angelic host to follow suit (Revelation 12:4). Today, Lucifer and the one third of angels who rebelled with him are now known as Satan and demons. The devil along with all the other demons, are simply fallen angels. They are angels who rebelled against God, and as a result were cast out of heaven, and striped of their original responsibilities and places of angelic authority (Jude 1:6).
The Point of No Return

Angels have a special and unique role in the plan and purposes of God. Often in the Scriptures, as well as in other literature, angelic beings are referred to as the “sons” of God. This references the fact that the origin of all angels is God, the One who created them.
Adam, the first human being, is called the “son” of God in Scripture as well, simply because he originated from God who created him (Luke 3:38). Adam did not have an earthly father because he was the first human being. God was his father by mere fact of his creation. In the same way, angels are “sons” or children of God. Angels are spirit beings, and human beings are spirit beings at their core, and God is the Father of spirits. Therefore, God, who is a Spirit Himself, is the Father of all spirit beings (Hebrews 12:9). God has created all beings, angels and humanity, for His own glory and purpose.
Nonetheless, there are distinct differences between the angelic and human races that are vitally important to understand. The angelic race was primarily created to serve the purposes of God and His creation. The human race was primarily created for the pleasure of God, to be the glory of His creation. From this we see a difference in the distinct beings in how they were created in relation to God. Though all beings were created to praise and worship God, angels were created to serve God, and human beings were created to love God.
Without going any further into a deep discussion of angelology, demonology, or anthropology, the study of angels, demons, and human beings respectively, for the purposes of this discussion, there is one fact that is paramount. This fact is rooted in what I have stated above in connection with the purposes and differences in why angles and humanity were created. All angels, as far as we know, were created to serve God, and to stand in His presence. In this sense, they are primarily servants, because they were created to serve and do the biding of the Father. Therefore, sense their primary relationship with God is based upon their service to God, the moment that they choose to disobey God; they forfeit their privilege of being able to perpetually stand in God’s presence and to be called in His service. In other words, an angel who sins cannot be forgiven. Someone might say that this is not fair, how can God not forgive an angel who sins. The reality is not so much that God will not forgive, but rather that the angel has become so corrupt that they have no room in their heart for repentance. For example, do you literally think that Satan has, is, or is going to repent and turn from his wickedness? No way! Consider this; the angels get to experience the very presence of Almighty God, continually. God has invested in them powers, abilities, and responsibilities to govern and care for heaven, earth, the galaxies, and the universe. They enjoy the lavish luxury of heaven eternally. Is a person who is willing to give all this and much more up worthy of reconciliation?
Human beings on the other hand have the ability to repent. Therefore, a human being’s eternal destiny is not eternally lost because of sin. We have hope because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
This whole concept of Satan being our enemy, is not so much that Satan is concerned about us on our own account; rather, Satan is jealous of our relationship with God, and the position of authority that God has given to us as a race of spiritual beings. Our fight against the enemy is not just about us. The enemy attacks us because he knows that we are the glory of God’s creation. The devil’s attack on us is really an attack against God. The enemy cannot do anything to hurt God directly because God is God. However, instead of coming against God, whom he knows he cannot defeat, he comes against the ones that God loves.
Think of it this way, the devil is a criminal master mind. If you have ever watched TV shows or movies, where crime was involved, you would notice that whenever a criminal mind wanted to cause harm to an individual or manipulate the individual to do what they wanted, they would either kidnap, threaten to do harm, and actually do harm to someone of whom the individual loved. This is not a concept that originated in the entertainment industry to keep us on the edges of our seats. This is a tactic that originated with Satan, which he is still using today, and will continue to use until his ultimate demise.
The Outcome of Satan

Satan is a sore loser. He lost the battle against Michael and the angels of God in heaven when he rebelled, so he is trying to do as much damage as he possibly can against humanity, and desires to take as many people to hell with him as possible (Revelation 12:7- 12).
When Satan led the rebellion against God, he had to fight against Michael the archangel and the army of angels who remained faithful to God. Satan and his forces lost, of course. As a result, they were cast down to the earth. By God creating mankind to rule the earth, God was in essence creating man from the very beginning to exercise dominion and authority over Satan and his demons. Satan seizing the opportunity to deceive Adam and Eve through tempting them to disobey God was his way of salvaging what little spiritual power he had left, in order to seek vengeance against the God who had created him and banished him for his corruption. And so, the saga continues. However, we already know what happens in the end. Lucifer, now known as Satan, and all those who followed him, will ultimately be defeated and sentenced to eternal punishment and damnation.
So, for us, we must understand that the fight against the enemy is a fixed fight. We have already won, for the battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s. Our God has, is, and will forever be, victorious!
Names of the Devil Throughout the Bible

I want to conclude this chapter by giving you a list of the names of the enemy, as they appear in the Scriptures. In a Hebraic and biblical perspective names are very important.
Names denote the character and destiny of the named. In the listing below you will see that the various names of Satan that are used are a description of his nature, character, and being.
1. Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12)
2. Satan (Zechariah 3:1; Revelation 12:9)
3. Tempter (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5)
4. Enemy (Matthew 13:39)
5. Devil (Luke 4:2, 13; Revelation 12:9)
6. Beelzebub (Luke 11:15)
7. Ruler of demons (Luke 11:15)
8. Liar (John 8:44)
9. Thief (John 10:10)
10. The prince of this world (John 12:31)
11. The evil one (John 17:15; 1 John 5:18)
12. The god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)
13. Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15)
14. Prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2)
15. The spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2)
16. Adversary (1 Peter 5:8)
17. Abaddon (Revelation 9:11)
18. Apollyon (Revelation 9:11)
19. Angel of the Bottomless Pit (Revelation 9:11)
20. Dragon (Revelation 12:7)
21. The serpent of old (Revelation 12:9)
22. Accuser (Revelation 12:10)

About the Author:



Jermaine Gadson is the Senior Pastor of Faith Ministries, Inc., a non-traditional church located in Birmingham, AL. Prior to starting Faith Ministries, he served as an associate minister, youth minister, and pastor for local churches and ministries in the greater Birmingham area. While, growing up in the Baptist church, he gave his life to Christ at an early age, and is a third generation minister of the Gospel.

He holds a B.A. in Religion with a Concentration in Congregational Studies and a Minor in Classics from Samford University, and a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University. He is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Beeson Divinity School.

Gadson enjoys reading, writing, sports, outdoors, movies, and spending time with his family. He is happily married to his wife Kristy and they have one beautiful daughter, Khloe.

Visit Pastor Gadson online at www.JermaineGadson.com.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Dr. Jay Grimstead's Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible Book Blitz - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible coverTitle:  Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible: Proclaiming the Truth on 24 Controversial Issues
Author: Jay Grimstead
Genre: Religion/Theology/Instruction
Publisher: Nordskog Publishing, Inc.
ISBN:  978-0-9882976-5-4

Purchase at: http://www.nordskogpublishing.com/book-rebuilding-civilization.shtml

About the book:

False teachings threatening to corrupt the Church forced the leaders to join in councils, where they codified the orthodox teaching of the Bible into creeds received by the Church as faithful distillations of Scriptural truth and as a bulwark against future corruption. Error, heresy, and outright paganism are today common in churches that were once sound. Even many “better” churches have little depth to their teaching and are silent on critical issues of the day, and even in some paganism masquerades as Christianity.

This book is the fruit of the work of hundreds of theologians and Christian leaders working throughout a 37-year period to define and defend the key Biblical points on 24 controversial issues — which would not even be controversial if all believed like Jesus and Paul in the inerrancy of the Bible.

This book states the Bible’s position on 24 controversial issues and explains why each document needed to be written. It offers the global Body of Christ tools for reforming the Church and motivating Christians to live in obedience to Christ and to all commands in the Bible intended for us.

Excerpt:

“We heartily invite all Christians on this planet who desire to live in obedience to the Bible in all areas of life at all times, to form themselves and their local churches into “United Spiritual Armies” at the city and county levels, and to establish a network with other such churches and “spiritual armies” at their state and national levels with the goal of making Christ King of their cities and nation. We invite you to join with us in applying these 24 DOCUMENTS to the life of the Church and in making 2 Cor. 10:5 a reality. By that we mean that together we are called by God to destroy “speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Grimstead photo color

About the author:

Dr. Jay Grimstead was born in Bismarck, ND. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1957 from Sterling College in Sterling, KS. He graduated from Fuller Seminary in 1961 with a Masters in Theology (ThM) and later received a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree. He spent 20 years on staff with Young Life Campaign, a ministry of clubs and camping to evangelize and disciple non-church teenagers.

In 1984 he founded the Coalition on Revival which created the 17 World-view Documents which state the biblical principles for the various spheres of life and the “blueprints for how the Bible applies to the fields of: Law, Government, Economics, Education, Science, the Media & Arts, Medicine, etc.” Under his leadership, COR organized the International Church Council Project in 1992.

In 2004 and 2005 he organized theological committees in Guatemala, San Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama to discuss and defend certain of the 22 Theological Documents of the Church Council Project which had been translated into Spanish. A year later, Dr. Grimstead gathered national leaders from various fields to create the “24 Year Plan to Rebuild America upon the principles of the Bible.”

Dr. Grimstead now lives with his wife, Donna, a registered pharmacist, in Murphys, CA. They have two grown children, Julie and Guy.  Dr. Grimstead’s favorite hobbies are mountain climbing and playing jazz and blues on his trumpet.

To learn more about Dr. Grimstead and his work, please visit http://www.nordskogpublishing.com/book-rebuilding-civilization.shtml
Pump Up Your Book and Dr. Jay are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
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  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • This giveaway begins June 2 and ends on June 27, 2014.
  • Winner will be contacted via email by July 2, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Interview with A.S. Bond, author of Patriot

A.S. Bond

A.S Bond is the pen name of Alexandra Pratt, an internationally acclaimed travel writer and journalist. As the author of seven previous books, Alexandra’s own adventures have taken her around the world, from the cloud forests of Central America to D.C.’s corridors of power. When writing Patriot, Alexandra drew on her experience of leading an award-winning canoe expedition in Labrador, later the subject of Lost Lands, Forgotten Stories; A Woman’s Journey to the Heart of Labrador (HarperCollins , 2002 and Eye Books 2005). Like her heroine, Brooke Kinley, Alexandra has also lived in Washington D.C. and worked as a journalist. Now married and based in the west of England, Alexandra works as a freelancer and also writes adventure thrillers under the pen name A.S.Bond. Patriot is the first title in her Adventure / Political Thriller series of Brooke Kinley Adventures. For more information and the latest news, visit http://brookekinleyadventures.com/




Connect with A.S Bond: 


About The Book

Patriot

Title: Patriot, A Brooke Kinley Adventure
Author: A.S. Bond
Publisher: Castle Books
Publication Date: April 24, 2014
Pages: 346
ISBN: 978-1497519541
Genre: Adventure / Political Thriller
Format: Kindle / Nook / Paperback

Patriot is an Adventure / Political Thriller that is a cross between Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt meets Janet Evanovitch’s Stephanie Plum. The book can be compared to Tom Clancy, or Robert Ludlum.

What would you do for your country? In Afghanistan, a US Army Patrol is devastated by an enemy with sophisticated weaponry, while in D.C., Pentagon staffer Scott Jenson tips off the ambitious young reporter Brooke Kinley about a billionaire businessman’s involvement in terrorism. But why is the White House determined to protect this businessman, and why does the answer seem to lie in the Canadian wilderness? In a dangerous journey to the remotest parts of the world and the darkest corners of men’s hearts, Brooke races to prevent a catastrophic attack on America, but can she uncover the real traitor?

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Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE


Author Interview


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

My earlier published books (written as Alexandra Pratt) have all been about true life adventures, whether that’s my own as in Lost Lands Forgotten Stories, which was an account of my canoe expedition across Labrador in Canada, or other people’s, as in The Day The Island Exploded, which told the story of my father-in-law’s escape from an erupting volcanic island in Antarctica. I’ve had lots of other adventures and experiences that, for one reason or another, didn’t make it into a book (although I do write travel features for magazines), so I decided to draw on this well-spring of experience and curiosity about the world for a fictional title. Choosing to write an adventure thriller was a no-brainer at that point and my heroine, Brooke Kinley, came into being very quickly! She’s now as real a person to me as anyone I’ve ever met.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Writing Patriot, A Brooke Kinley Adventure was much harder than I thought I would be. I’m a journalist and a non-fiction author (writing as Alexandra Pratt) and that’s really tough to do. I thought writing fiction would be so much easier. Virtually no research! Characters unconstrained by reality! No, no no. Devising the plot was my first challenge, especially thinking of something original (it is amazing how fragments of things you’ve read spring into your mind and masquerade as original ideas). I tend to start with the concept, then break it down into main elements and then down again into chapters, then I go through it to ensure I have all the twists in the right place, no loose ends etc. Then I start writing and it all goes up in the air again! I had to do lots and lots of research (although I could take liberties with some things. Patriot is a thriller, after all!). Everyone has their own approach; a good friend of mine who is also an author just starts writing and sees where it takes him. I could never do that. The big tip I would give anyone is this; when the manuscript is completed, put it in a drawer for a while. A good long while. Then, take it out and re-read with fresh eyes. It is amazing how many characterization problems, plot flaws and typos will jump out at you. Then, get a professional editor to go over it. Don’t skimp here by asking your friend or aunty who ‘likes to read’. Editors and proofreaders are professionals and you can’t produce a professional work without them.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Patriot is self published and this was a very difficult decision for me, because I’ve been a traditionally published author for the past 18 years. I turned down a three book deal from an American publisher to go ‘indie’ with this, my first thriller, and it’s been quite a journey! Most new authors just don’t realize that a book deal with a traditional publisher (large or small) does not mean there is a huge publicity budget assigned to you (or even any budget at all). There won’t be launch parties, national book tours or huge advances. All this is reserved for a tiny handful of (very) well established authors. The rest get a few press releases and some social media. Everything else you must do yourself. You then have a few weeks to make a splash in sales before your book quietly disappears from bookshelves. And with it your dreams. Now that self publishing has become truly possible in the past few years, there are, in my opinion, just three reasons to go with a mainstream publisher; the biggest is ‘kudos’. Nothing says ‘I’m a real author’ like the name of a familiar publishing house on the spine of your book. Secondly, most of the mainstream press is wary of reviewing self published books and that’s a real drawback, although it is changing, slowly. Thirdly, maybe you don’t know enough about publishing (business, technology, marketing etc), or have the time to do all the other jobs required to launch a book. These are all good reasons, which is why I struggled with the decision to go indie for almost two years. I’m not saying I won’t ever sign with a traditional publisher again, but I’d need a very good reason to hand over 75-93% of my book’s revenue to someone else.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

With Patriot, A Brooke Kinley Adventure as my first self published novel, I was surprised at just how much hard work is involved! I approached it as professionally as any publishing company and just managing the entire process was a full time job for several months. First, I had to research all the options for self publishing, right down to the minutiae of ISBN numbers, distribution options etc. This took two months. Then, I had to organize the editing, the formatting, the jacket design, the publishing (print and ebook), the marketing, my business arrangements and make everything run to schedule. I have new respect for publishers. Doing it yourself means doing the job of at least five professional people – and that is in addition to doing your own job, as author.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am working on the next Brooke Kinley Adventure and I can reveal here that it will be titled Messiah. And no, it has no religious theme in the way we would understand it today. That’s just to keep you guessing! This book will take my heroine Brooke once again to a remote part of the world, where her adventures lead her into a situation with international ramifications. As ever, there is plenty of suspense, thrills and action. It will be out next year. I’m also working on another novel which is set – mostly- in London. Although it’s also a thriller, it leans more towards the crime end of the genre and is very different in tone to the Brooke Kinley Adventures.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

It has to be Goodreads.com! And I’m loving Twitter, too. I’m @brookekinleyadv

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I suppose, on some level, I wanted to show that an action thriller can have a female protagonist who is just as courageous and exciting a character as any male lead. Yet there is no agenda behind the subject or events in this novel. It is simply designed to be a great, page-turning read and according to what my readers and reviewers have said so far, I’ve achieved that.

Q: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?

If you love the kind of book that keeps you turning ‘just one more page’ when you should be asleep in bed, then this is the book for you! It starts with a bang in Afghanistan and this sets off a series of events that leads our heroine deep into the wilds of Canada, out into the Atlantic onboard a hijacked motor yacht and ultimately, to Washington D.C. The twists and turns will keep you guessing right ‘till the end! It’s received 5* reviews everywhere, by both lovers of traditional thrillers and those who are open fresh ideas and cross over genres. Is it an adventure thriller? A political thriller? Or 21st century women’s fiction? You tell me!


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Keeping Memories Alive by Meryl Ain

Keeping Memories Alive
By Meryl Ain

My mother would have turned 93 this year. When she died after a brief illness in November 2006, although I knew she had lived a long life, I was bereft.  There is never enough time with a loved one.

My mom was my best friend, a reliable loving, comforting, and wise presence in my life.  I spoke to my mother several times a day. When there was a lull at work, she was the one I called. When something wonderful happened, I called her. When something challenging happened, I called her. When I needed advice, she was the one I trusted. I could always count on her to be a calm and intelligent sounding board.

She looked at least 10 years younger than she was, and even when the freak cancer attacked her, her mind and heart were still intact. Although I was happily married with three grown sons, a daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter, I confess I didn’t know how I was going to go on without my mom. In addition, although I was in my 50’s, I was now officially an “orphan,” my father having died after a long illness a year and a half before.  It meant that I would not be able to call her when our other sons became engaged, nor would she be at their weddings. She would not enjoy seeing our granddaughter Grace, who was then less than two, grow into the beautiful and talented eight-year-old she is now, nor would she even know future grandchildren.

I was in a funk, going through the motions but not really enjoying it.  I was told it would get better after a year and that I needed closure. I began speaking with my friends about how to achieve it and came to the conclusion that there is no closure with those we love deeply. They are in our lives and in our hearts forever, although they are not physically present. Some keep alive their memories through small acts, such as looking at photos and making recipes.  Others do big things to carry on the legacies and values of their loved ones, such as establishing foundations. 

My mother was essentially a cheerful, optimistic person.  When I was bored, sad, or depressed, she would say: “Get yourself a project.” A project could be anything from cleaning out a closet to writing a book. My mother had actually written two unpublished manuscripts, one about her life as a WAC in World War II, and another about her family history. 

So I decided my project would be to interview people about how they keep alive the memories of their loved ones. I was hoping to get ideas from them, and to heal myself. I enlisted the support of my husband, Stewart, and my brother, Arthur, and together we captured the stories of more than 30 individuals who created tributes – big and small – as living memorials.  The project was therapeutic and cathartic for us; not only did it give us wonderful material, but it turned into an inspiring book and an amazing tribute to my mom.  

It is our hope that those who read The Living Memories Project will find comfort and meaning through honoring the never-ending influence of those who are no longer here.
Here are some ways our interviewees have kept alive the memories of their loved ones:
By telling stories and anecdotes about the deceased
By making memory books, and looking at photographs
By remembering and sharing advice, and following it
By preparing recipes for holidays and other special occasions
By writing prose or poetry
By making a memory quilt
By listening to or composing music
By acts of kindness and/or charity to honor a loved one
By endowing a scholarship in the name of the deceased
By establishing a foundation to carry on the values of the loved one.

About the Book:



Three years after the death of her mother, Meryl Ain was still unable to fill the hole that the loss had left in her life.  In talking to friends, Meryl discovered an
insight shared by those who had successfully overcome grief; there simply is no closure.  It was a breakthrough for her. She writes, "Our loved ones will always be with us if they are not forgotten. It is up to us to integrate them into our lives in a positive way that reflects their unique personality, values and spirituality. In that way we keep them alive in our hearts and minds always."

Meryl enlisted the help of her brother, Arthur Fischman, and her husband, Stewart Ain, and began a quest to interview people who had moved beyond mourning through meaningful action. The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last by Meryl Ain, Ed.D., Arthur M. Fischman, & Stewart Ain (March 2014, Little Miami Publishing Company, Trade Paperback, 196 pages, $18.95, ISBN:978-0-9882553-7-1) is a result of that research.
  
The Living Memories Project presents more than 30 interviews with both celebrities and others who share their experiences and the projects they undertook to memorialize their loved ones. The authors have sought to demonstrate that any tribute, big or small, can be a meaningful way to preserve memories of loved ones. Establishing a foundation or scholarship, using a recipe on a particular holiday or family occasion, creating artwork, embarking on a project or even an entire career – all could be traced to a specific talent, interest or value of the deceased.  Each chapter offers a rich first-person history that will engage and inspire readers of all faiths.

Among them are:
·         Linda Ruth Tosetti, who made a documentary film about her grandfather, Babe Ruth, to highlight his humanitarian side – a value she cherished and believed was often overlooked in Babe’s biography. Ruth was a German-American, who publicly denounced the Nazi persecution of the Jews in 1942.
·        Liz and Steve Alderman, who established the Peter C. Alderman Foundation to honor the memory of their 25-year-old son, who was killed on 9/11 at the World Trade Center. The foundation trains doctors and establishes mental health clinics on four continents to treat PTSD.
·        Eileen Belmont, a quilt designer who helps others preserve their memories of deceased loved ones through the creation of memory quilts. 
·        Singer/songwriter Jen Chapin (daughter of the late folk rock icon Harry Chapin), who carries on her father’s legacy of music and feeding the hungry.
·        Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma (sister of Yo-Yo Ma), who keeps the memory of her father and music teacher /mentor alive through the Children's Orchestra Society and her poetry.
·        Robert Meeropol (son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed as spies by the US Government in 1953), who established the Rosenberg Fund for Children to help children whose parents are imprisoned.
·        Author, actor and raconteur Malachy McCourt, who presents his unique take on how he keeps alive the memory of his brother Frank (Angela's Ashes) through the Irish tradition of song and story.

Not everyone can create a foundation, fund an orchestra or make a documentary film, but the authors' hope is that readers will find inspiration from the wide range of actions they read about. The authors are currently compiling narratives for the second volume of The Living Memories Project and welcome input from readers.

Purchase your copy:

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About the Author:



Meryl Ain holds a BA from Queens College, a MA from Columbia University Teachers College, and an Ed.D. from Hofstra University. She began her career in education as a social studies teacher before she became an administrator. She is also a freelance writer specializing in issues related to education, families, parenting, and children and has contributed to Huffington Post, Newsday, the New York Jewish Week and The New York Times. She embarked on The Living Memories Project after she lost both her father and mother within a year-and-a-half. She and her husband Stewart live on Long Island and have three sons, three daughters-in-law and three grandchildren.

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