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DVD Review



I apologize for not being more active, but not having other reviewers or books to review, it's been a little difficult. However I want to let you know about this wonderful DVD "God's Not Dead." Working at the library I found it on our shelves and took it home. When I brought it back I raved about it. I wanted to take it out again, but it seems word gets around. It's always on hold for someone else. That's great.

The opening scene is in a freshman college philosophy class. The professor states he is an atheist, and asks that if everyone will sign a paper with 3 little words on it he can dispense of the dust and get to the subject. Those 3 words are "God Is Dead." One student cannot sign that. He is given 3 chances to argue the case of the existence of God before the class.

Fueled by hate on one side and a determined love of God on the other this is not your simple movie. The poor kid researches and goes off on a journey of his own to state his case. The end is nothing short of amazing. I guess telling people stuff like this is one of the reasons I can't get a hold of it a second time. It's really that good.

For more you can go here:
http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/synopsis

To purchase a copy try these links:
Amazon
ChristianBook.com
Barnes & Noble

May our Lord be with you now and always. Remember, God is in control, even when things look like they're crashing all around you. David

Friday, July 20, 2007

CFRB Booktrailer Updates

I know it's a bit out of the norm, but I've added the Lost Genre Guild's promotional video to the Booktrailer page. Hosted by Grace Bridges, it's put together in a very commendable fashion. It also covers several of the books we have or soon will be touring. Check it out. - David

Friday, July 13, 2007

Seven Tours, Seven Stars

Just because we aren't currently touring a book, doesn't mean I should let this blog go silent. The fact is we have just completed our seventh tour. Each one has been really great. And although I was personally honored to have Terri Blackstock as our most recent guest, a very talented and mature writer, I'd have to say that there are some equally great "stars" on the rise. One of the things I've noticed among writers, especially Christian writers, is the feeling of camaraderie. There isn't a battle going on here to see who's the best. Any competition is carried out only to help ourselves and one another become even greater writers. So, let's look back over the past tours.

In January we toured ARMS OF DELIVERANCE, by Tricia Goyer. Tricia was already an established writer, although I had never heard of her before. Her book about two female reporters during World War II and the challenges they faced was an excellent springboard for CFRB.

In February we toured LIGHT AT THE EDGE OF DARKNESS, compiled by Cynthia MacKinnon. This anthology of Biblical speculative fiction was absolutely awesome. These writers are not only talented, but committed to the Lord, something you can sense in their works. Biblical speculative fiction was something new for me, and it actually covers a lot of territory, from light fantasy to supernatural thrillers (horror).

In March we toured THE CHRONICLES OF SOONE: HEIR TO THE KING, by James Somers. This interest mixture of fantasy and science fiction made for one of the most intriguing works I've read in a long time. His 2nd installment, THE RISE OF LUCIN is something I'm looking forward to reading.

In April we toured INFINITE SPACE, INFINITE GOD, compiled by Robert and Karina Fabian. This anthology of science fiction with a Catholic twist is utterly amazing. I love the way it deals with some social/spiritual issues, such as do clones have souls, how do you define life, as well as dealing with prejudice. While I still found LIGHT AT THE EDGE OF DARKNESS more to my liking, I have to admit that this is one superb work that should be on every fiction readers' shelf.

In May we toured PETTICOAT RANCH, by Mary Connealy. This was an old western, romantic/suspense that had me laughing at the way she played her characters against each other. It was refreshing and so realistic, hence the laughter. If I never back a romance again I will continue to rave over PETTICOAT RANCH. It's an amazingly fun read.

In June I was honored to have THE 3RD COVENANT, by me, David Brollier, toured by CFRB. I love it, but that's a biased appraisal. However, I can tell you that it was nominated by Deadly Ink for the BEST MYSTERY NOVEL OF 2006, and the WhoDoneIt newsletter carried me as their feature author for July. I'll let them and the other CFRB members brag about me if they wish.

In July, as I stated, we were honored to have Terri Blackstock as a guest and toured her new book TRUE LIGHT. This is the 3rd book in her Restoration Series, and it's interesting how she takes a global catastrophe and uses it as a vehicle to teach Biblical truths. In TRUE LIGHT the focus is on forgiveness. For too long this teaching has gone unpreached, untaught, and overlooked, yet it is so very necessary to our walk as Christians.

If any of these pique your curiosity you can go back over the past 7 months of posts and see more written about them, go to our CFRB Booktrailer page and view a trailer made for each of these books, or Google the author or book title. You may also find these books on Amazon with reviews written there. If I were you, I'd go to the booktrailer page first. It will give you a taste of what each book is about. Then you can decide which one you want to look into further. After that, well, purchase a copy or two. If you find one really great, and other names start coming to mind you may want to consider buy thing as gifts.

Having said all of that, don't forget that the year isn't up and we have other tours lined up. Beginning with the first full week in August we will be touring THE DUKE'S HANDMAID, a historical fantasy. I want to call it high fantasy, but Caprice Hokstad, the author, reminds me that it doesn't meet the requirements as it doesn't have dragons, magic potions, etc. Yet it does have a Tolkien feel about it which I'm sure you will all enjoy.

David

Friday, July 06, 2007

TRUE LIGHT, by Terri Blackstock

Day 7 Saturday



As you can see, if you've been following this week's posts, or read TRUE LIGHT, there's an lot in this book. Woven in and out of a truly suspenseful story are many different Biblical teachings. I have only just scraped the surface. Terri Blackstock has proven herself to be one of the top Christian fiction writers I've ever come across. That's no reason to read her book. The reason for reading her book is because it grabs you, entertains you, and when you are finished, you find you have also learned things along the way.



In one of Terri's earlier works she wrote words to this affect, to the reader at the end of her novel, “If reading my novel doesn't drive you to study God's Word, then you have no business reading it ... and I had no business writing it.” You don't find that kind of dedication among writers very often. So take her book, put it someplace near your Bible. After you have finished with your prayer and Bible study, open up her novel and enjoy the riches it contains. Never, however, let those words, or the words of anyone else, displace the riches found in God's Word. I think she would have liked me to say that.



In a very real sense, Terri is my mentor, as both a Christian and as a writer. She sets the bar high and challenges herself to do more for the Lord each time she writes. Yes, she promotes her books, but make no mistake, sales comes in a distant 2nd to doing the will of God. This is how I want to write. I hasten to say that I haven't achieved that yet, but my goal is to do just that. So I thank Terri for her example, her love of Christ and her commitment to the Lord. These are her legacies. Long after people remember what her books are about, they will remember that Terri Blackstock, first and foremost, was a servant of the Lord. May we, who also write for Jesus, seek to have the same said about us.



Thank you Terri, for being able to share your book and some insights about you with your readers, and with me. You have been a blessing to me since we first began emailing one another. I am sure that I'm not the only one. God has taken your talent and enhanced it with His might and power. He could only have done that if you had placed your work in His hands.



I heartily recommend that everyone of you visit her website and read more about her. Read about where she came from, where she's heading. See all the other wonderful books this woman of God has written. Learn from her as you would any person who walks closely to the Lord. - David Brollier




Featured at Amazon


Be sure to visit Terri's website and find out a lot more about her and her writing than you'll find here. Terri Blackstock: Up All Night Fiction

Thursday, July 05, 2007

TRUE LIGHT, by Terri Blackstock

Day 6 Friday



In Prison Like Joseph


Those of us who know our Bible stories remember the story of a man named Joseph. Joseph was the Mark Green of his day. He was sold to slave traders by his brothers, ended up in Egypt, in the service of Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard. He found favor in Potiphar's house so that he was given charge of everything under Potiphar. Then his wife tried to seduce Joseph, and when he ran she claimed Joseph tried to rape her, showing his cloak as evidence. Joseph was sent to prison. Even there Joseph found favor so that, eventually he was the head trustee over the other inmates. Two men had dreams, Joseph interpreted them, and much later Joseph was called to tell Pharaoh his dream. From then on Joseph was 2nd only to Pharaoh in all of Egypt.



In TRUE LIGHT Mark has similarly had to deal with living under the reputation of his father and brothers. This makes him one of the “usual suspects” any time something goes wrong. Still Mark rises up, time and again, to be one of the most caring individuals in all of Oak Hollow. His genius at creating new ways of using discarding and useless items makes him something of a celebrity. Yet, when Zack is gunned down for a deer and Mark comes home with a deer the same day he's back on the “usual suspect” list. At first he tries to run, but realizing he'd only be hurting others he surrenders to Sheriff Scarbrough. Angry, lonely, afraid, in jail he overhears a plot that nearly gets the sheriff killed. He asks God what to do and is given the wonderful task of cleaning the toilets. Shortly afterwards he is vindicated and becomes one of the volunteer deputies, along with Doug Branning and Brad Caldwell.


The message is one that I've noticed and commented on time and time again throughout the Bible. God will humble those who do not humble themselves, and will raise up those who do humble themselves. When you lift yourself up, often God breaks you down. Yet, if you lower yourself before God, He then lifts you up, even before others.


Of course we must be willing. We must be willing to find ourselves falsely accused. We must be willing to “clean toilets” if that's what God calls us to do. We must avail ourselves to God, not try to prove our innocence. When we do we find God working in us to work out His own justice, one that is far more righteous than any we might work out. We also find ourselves where God wants us ... doing His will. These actions, while we may not believe them to be so, can be the turning points in our lives ... if we will just take a lesson from Joseph and from Mark Green. Don't hold on to grudges. Don't try to prove your own innocence. Let God do that. It's a very relaxing way of walking in the way of Christ. In doing so we find, as does Mark, those “little” things go a long way in convincing others of His love.


Is there an Oak Hollow in your life? Do you find that you are often the Mark Green of a situation? Recently, after a teaching on forgiveness I ran smack into something of the sort. My first response was to get angry. Even though I kept my mouth shut, well, for the most part, this anger grew inside of me. Yet something else was going on. God kept pleading with me to forgive, to release that one from my anger so I wouldn't end up a hostage of my own making. As I was brewing on the matter the woman postal carrier came up and said, “I really liked your book. The way you presented the plan of salvation is so clear.” We talked for a bit and I found that her name was Magdela. Isn't it interesting that God sent me this woman to remind me of His love? At one point I told her how I was feeling. Her response wasn't to take sides, not really, but she said, “Do you need a hug?” Just as Jesus had Mary Magdeline following Him during His missionary journey to encourage Him, to wash His feet, to simply love and be there for Him, God sent me my own Magdeline, named Magdela. As I hugged her my anger and bitterness began to seep out of me, overpowered by the love of God.


Yes, I know what it's like to by a Mark Green in an Oak Hollow. I know what it's like to be falsely accused. Like Mark I struggle with forgiveness. Face it, the were wrong. I had to learn that it wasn't my job to judge. It was my job to forgive. So, like Mark, I struggled, and in fact couldn't even sleep right, until I had settled the matter with God. - David Brollier



Featured at Amazon


Be sure to visit Terri's website and find out a lot more about her and her writing than you'll find here. Terri Blackstock: Up All Night Fiction

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

TRUE LIGHT, by Terri Blackstock

Day 5 Thursday



Split Down the Middle


The loss of modern technology splits Oak Hollow. I suppose a more accurate word would be shatters, but when we look close we see the division – givers and takers, good and bad, accused and the guilty. That last one may strike you as odd, but not everyone who is accused of something is guilty of it, as Mark Green well knows.



What are some of the other “splits” we can see in TRUE LIGHT? I see a division between loyalty and betrayal. On the one hand Deni Branning is fiercely loyal to Mark, while others dedicate their time to framing him. The reasons become clear in the book, but as far as Deni is concerned we see a living out of 1st Corinthians 13. What is love? It is something that doesn't boast in itself, doesn't think evil of another, believes and endures all things. That's what Paul says in this powerful chapter on love. Although we are just beginning to see love blossoming between Deni and Mark, it is this love that forces her to believe in his innocence, even to fight for it with little more than her wit and her pen.


On the other side of this coin we see betrayal. I can't give you the names without ruining the story for you, but these were people Mark should have been able to trust, although he always knew them to be otherwise. While some may not call this hate, it sure isn't love, and it accomplishes the same thing as hate. It destroys, or at least attempts to destroy.


There's another one I see is between Sheriff Scarbrough and his deputies. Here's a man with a job to do, ill-equipped to do it, and hardly getting paid anything. He's sick, but he pushes on. His deputies begin to desert him one by one. They aren't getting paid enough to do the job they're called to do. And that's just the point, they were called to do a specific job. Money at this point is next to meaningless. It takes dedication and commitment to stay on the job. It would seem the town is sorely lacking men to fill this roll. That just makes things harder for Sheriff Scarbrough. Have things cropped up in your life where you could take the sheriff's road and dedicate yourself to it, no matter what, or turn around and quit? Which have you done? Which have I done?


While Mark's story is certainly the central thing that's going on, I think we all too easily overlook Sheriff Scarbrough. Even Deni gets seems to get more coverage than him, but his role here is crucial. His story is crucial. As Christians we are called to a task that isn't always pleasant. I have been told that speaking about God is inappropriate. Yet, I view my job as a Christian as one of standing at the edge of a bottomless chasm and crying out, “Don't jump!!!” Will someone tell me what's inappropriate in that? The only negative thing about this is that I do it far too little. Often my voice is stilled by my own personal concerns. When we start looking at this as something we are called to do, like the deputies, then maybe we can repent and start making a difference in this world.


Terri, I apologize if I'm using your book as a springboard for a sermon. That isn't my intent, but your story brings to mind so many different Biblical points I feel driven to share them. This, folks, is the reason I write. Not to become famous or rich (picture me laughing here). I write because I have a truth inside me that the world needs to hear. It's really quite simple and you don't need to be a writer to get it out. It's simply this, “Jesus loves you. Did you know that?” - David Brollier



Featured at Amazon


Be sure to visit Terri's website and find out a lot more about her and her writing than you'll find here. Terri Blackstock: Up All Night Fiction

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

TRUE LIGHT, by Terri Blackstock

Day 4 Wednesday



The Heart of the Matter


We've come to know Mark Green in Terri's first book of the series, LAST LIGHT. He is the obvious scapegoat for anything that goes wrong in Oak Hollow. When a young man is shot for the deer he killed it isn't surprising to see this happening all over again.



What is surprising is how Mark grows under all this pressure. At first he wants to run, but then he realizes that won't solve anything. He begins a long, difficult task, of learning what it really means to forgive. This, I believe is the heart of the story.


I find it refreshing to hear Christians talking more and more about forgiveness. While there are still some serious dents in our armor, it is this teaching that will help us get back on Christ, our sure foundation. In the past I've heard messages on love, on condemnation, on the gifts of the Spirit, all kinds of messages, but for some reason people seemed to be afraid of the message of forgiveness. The reason becomes clear as you watch Mark's life in TRUE LIGHT ... forgiveness is not easy.


This is an odd statement coming from someone who has no right to come before our Father God were it not for the forgiveness He has shown me. If Jesus can look down from the cross and say, “Father forgive them (and in that He included you and me), why can't I find the same grace to forgive others? And that is where Mark Green finds himself.


To make matters worse, we have this prevailing feeling that we only need to forgive if we are in the wrong. The opposite is actually the truth. It is when others are in the wrong they need our forgiveness. Mark finds that it doesn't matter that he's innocent. What matters is that he forgives, and that is difficult for him to do, yet he does so anyway.


When we do not forgive we hold the offending party hostage, and in turn are kept hostage to our own sin. Yet, when we release them by the power of forgiveness we find that it is we who are also released. I urge everyone who reads TRUE LIGHT to do a study on forgiveness in your Bible. You will be amazed at the power God wants to unleashe into our lives ... if we will only forgive. - David Brollier



Featured at Amazon


Be sure to visit Terri's website and find out a lot more about her and her writing than you'll find here. Terri Blackstock: Up All Night Fiction

Monday, July 02, 2007

TRUE LIGHT, by Terri Blackstock

Day 3 Tuesday



The Testimony that powers the Writer.


With her permission, I'd like to re-post Terri's testimony. It's not one of those, “I killed 18 people and then I accepted Jesus,” kind of testimonies. It's one that I can relate to on a personal basis. Perhaps you can too.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


In many ways, I could be described as a Prodigal Daughter, even though I never openly rebelled against God.
I was raised in the church, baptized at 10, and saved at 14. I walked closely with Christ through my teen years. However, as I reached college age, I grew lukewarm in my faith. Though I attended church, I stopped praying and reading the Bible, and I focused more on things of the world than on spiritual things.


When I began writing romance novels in 1982, I struggled briefly over whether to write books that dealt openly with sex. I managed to rationalize it, however, and when my work became popular, I told myself that God was making it all happen.


When my 13-year marriage ended in 1990, it was a terrible tragedy for me, but I now believe God used it to help me turn back to Him. I moved back to my hometown, where I found a church that offered a divorce recovery ministry and an active singles program. Through that ministry, I began getting my life back on track. I met my husband, Ken, through the church and we married in 1992.


But I still wasn't able to give up my romance writing. I told myself I was reaching more people that way than I could writing Christian fiction. I disregarded the fact that what I was writing was helping no one -- in fact, my work was full of lies that pointed people away from God instead of to Him.


In 1994, Ken realized he had never had more than an intellectual knowledge of Jesus. He came to know Christ as his Lord and Savior, and became the spiritual leader that I had yearned for all my life.


Ken's example rekindled my own fire for Christ. I finally saw that my work was an obstacle between Christ and me, and a stumbling block for others. It didn't matter how many people read my work; if I couldn't tell them what I knew -- what would solve their problems and change their lives -- it was of no good.


Since I've made my commitment to write books that glorify God, He has opened door after door for me. I am excited about using my gift to challenge other Christians and point unbelievers to Him.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Thank you for sharing that with us Terri. Personally, I feel the attack against the 'good' kids in the church goes unnoticed until things get way off track. I have dealt with this 'falling away' and 'returning home' just as Terri has. Although my story is a bit different, the main theme is the same ... God's love isn't limited by our understanding of Him. He is still the Father awaiting the return of His prodigal child. This we find difficult to understand. We find it hard to understand why He would love us at all. Yet the comfort, the renewal, the joy we receive when we finally return to our Master's side cannot be measured. In sharing this I hope that if there is one out there who feels they have slipped out of God's hand and are no longer reachable ... think again. As it says in Psalm 103, “He knows our frame, that we are but dust.” He awaits your return, just as He did for me and for Terri. Don't delay. You'll only really know true joy and peace when you return home. Thank God Jesus paved the way for us. - David Brollier




Featured at Amazon


Be sure to visit Terri's website and find out a lot more about her and her writing than you'll find here. Terri Blackstock: Up All Night Fiction

TRUE LIGHT, by Terri Blackstock

Day 2 Monday



In each of Terri Blackstock's “Restoration Series” novels, she has placed us in a world without electricity. As such people have to devise ways of doing things that were routinely done for them. Water, sewage, transportation, lighting and cooking were only a few of these. Now it is winter. Don't you love a novel set in winter when the temperature is in the 90s? Yet, the cold presents a new set of obstacles; scarcity of food, heat and the need for lighting is intensified.



TRUE LIGHT begins with a young man named Zach, hunting and killing a deer to feed his family. It's a good kill ... until he turns around and finds a gun pointed at him. Police show up, the deer is gone and suspicion falls on Mark Green, Oak Hollow's local scapegoat.



In TRUE LIGHT we witness the polarizing of the different people in town, the prejudices arise to deadly levels. We see a young man who, while on the run, takes the time out to help a needy family. We watch in awe as some people band together with one goal, to see that Mark Green pays for what he has done. We see the blossoming romance of two people under the worst of circumstances, and the struggling with forgiveness a Christian sometimes endures.



All of this makes for one fantastic story, but before you turn the page and say, “Those stupid people” examine yourself. What would you do under these extreme conditions? Would you side with those intent on a swift “justice”? Or would you dig to find out the truth? Woul you have the strength and courage to love, even when everyone else was against the one you loved? Would you learn the power of forgiveness? Folks, this isn't about some fictitious people. It's about you and me, the struggles and trials we face in our faith. It's about the kinds of people we meet each day and whether or not we are willing to love them as Christ commands.




Featured at Amazon


Be sure to visit Terri's website and find out a lot more about her and her writing than you'll find here. Terri Blackstock: Up All Night Fiction

Sunday, July 01, 2007

TRUE LIGHT, by Terri Blackstock

Day 1 Sunday



Terri Blackstock is one of the most extraordinary writers of Christian fiction I've come across. Her Christian titles alone have sold over 5 million copies. I, personally, was introduced to Terri's writing by my mom. The book was CAPE REFUGE and the first of her Cape Refuge series. When I checked to see what other books she may have written I was amazed. I've read almost everything she's written. With her new “Restoration Series” Terri takes on a new and fresh style that separates these writings from all her past works, and indeed from any other writer I've come across. For more about Terri click on the link below to her website. It's amazingly both simple and full of information about her and her work.



TRUE LIGHT is the 3rd book in Terri's “Restoration series”, so if you haven't read the first two I strongly recommend it. For those who haven't, it seems only right to bring you up to speed, or TRUE LIGHT isn't going to make much sense. So let's go back a bit and give you some background to this story.



The first book in the series is LAST LIGHT. The opening nearly takes your breath away. A self-absorbed, adult daughter and her middle executive-type father have just gotten off their plane. Before they can get off the tarmac everything goes deathly silent, as all electrical features in any kind of product cease to function. A plane crashes behind them and then another. Watches have stopped. Cell phones don't work. Cars don't run. Even the electric doors to the terminal have to be opened manually. We go from eerie silence to chaotic shouts, screams and cries. Doug and Deni Branning's lives are about to change forever, as is everyones. In the chaos that follows we find rebellion rising up in Deni as she wants to get to Washington, DC and be with her fiance. Setting out alone, on foot, turns out to be a bad idea. I'll let you read the rest for yourselves.



In the 2nd book, NIGHT LIGHT, the chaos continues. Lines that began to be drawn between people are more clearly seen. As in the first book, there are those who have chosen to work together, and there are those who think the only way they can survive this crisis is to steal from those who have. When an apartment full of people without even clean water is found the Brannings have to chose whether they will help them, or let them survive the best they can on their own.



The stories follow the lives of the Branning family, and those close to them. By just looking at their once affluent neighborhood we get a glimpse at what the entire world is going through. By the end of the 2nd book we find out what is causing the problem and what our government is doing to combat it. Yet more importantly, we see Doug, Kay, Deni, Jeff, Beth and Logan Branning struggling to live a Christian life under some of the most difficult of circumstances. This series asks a question; If this really happened, how would you respond? Upon that question we realize that our trust must be in the Lord.



Tomorrow, TRUE LIGHT, the continuing story of God's presence in a world gone crazy because of fear. So stay tuned, visit some of the other member's sites, visit Terri's site, and enjoy the tour.




Featured at Amazon


Be sure to visit Terri's website and find out a lot more about her and her writing than you'll find here. Terri Blackstock: Up All Night Fiction

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