Matched

April 18, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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Matched

***This is a secular title.

 

Can you imagine living in a Society that controlled what you ate? You had to rely on them to deliver your meals each day, and they dictate what you ate? Every move you make is watched, and you can’t even cook or attempt to grow your own food…how would you cope?

When I attended a Christmas party for one of my writers’ groups over a year ago, one of the attendees recommended this book. I thought it sounded like something I’d like to read since the premise reminded me of the Twilight Zone.

On Cassia’s seventeenth birthday, she attends a ball…a ball where she is matched with her future partner. Living in a futuristic, communist region, Cassia has always trusted the Society – those that rule her region.

When she views her mate, she’s shocked to see her best childhood friend, Xander. But, then his picture fades and is replaced with Ky.

The Society says they’ve made a mistake and Cassia’s ideal match is with Xander. However, she can’t get Ky out of her mind. And when she sees him, and they speak, his words opens up doors into the unknown, things that are forbidden in their region.

I enjoyed this book for the most part. However, I doubt I’ll be reading the rest of the series. If you enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, futuristic novels, then you might like this one. I thought the setting seemed realistic for a communist, futuristic region. The people can’t even cook or get their own food, they rely on the government to deliver their food to their homes – each meal arrives encased in a foil tray, piping hot.

Can you imagine living in a Society that controlled what you ate? You had to rely on them to deliver your meals each day, and they dictate what you ate? Every move you make is watched, and you can’t even cook or attempt to grow your own food…how would you cope?

Heaven Is For Real!

April 16, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo!

Have you ever known anybody who’s had a near-death experience, and claimed to have visited heaven? How would you describe heaven?

Colton Burpo was a child who suffered from a serious illness. During a medical operation, he told his dad (Todd Burpo) that he’d gone to heaven. While in heaven he saw Jesus, John The Baptist, dead relatives, animals, etc.

This is a popular book that’s been made into a movie. When I read this book, I’d wondered if there were many people out there who’d experienced heaven. I know I’ve heard of a few people, on TV and in the media, who claim they’ve been to heaven during a near-death experience.

I enjoyed this book, but, wonder what would’ve happened if Colton Burpo had not survived? I know if I’d lost a child, my faith would weaken…a lot! But, if Colton had not survived, we would not be reading about his miraculous journey to heaven and back!! This book has touched so many lives. It’s a book about having a deep faith in Jesus, the faith of a child!

So, have you ever known anybody who’s had a near-death experience, and claimed to have visited heaven? How would you describe heaven?

 

Iscariot by Tosca Lee – Interview!

April 14, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

 

An Interview with Tosca Lee, Author of Iscariot

 

History has called him many things: Thief. Liar. Traitor. Reviled throughout history and infamous for his suicide, he is the man whose very name is synonymous with betrayal . . .

 

And the only disciple that Jesus called “friend.”

 

Judas.

 

But who would take a journey through the Lenten season with Judas, of all people?

 

The answer: readers of New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee's Iscariot, in which Lee dares to delve into biblical history’s most maligned character—from his tumultuous childhood to his emergence as the man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But more than the story of one man, Iscariot is a view into the life of Jesus that forces readers to reexamine what they thought they knew about two of the most famous—and infamous—religious icons in history.

 

The study guide, “A Journey with Judas," is available to book clubs and small groups free along with daily devotionals from now until Easter at Tosca's website.

 

Who is Tosca Lee, and why did she choose to write a book on the Bible’s most controversial character? An interview with the award-winning author of Havah: The Story of Eve and the Books of Mortals trilogy (with Ted Dekker) follows.

 

Q: How did you start writing biblical fiction?

 

A: I kind of fell into it, actually. Around 2000, I wrote this story about a fallen angel. I did it in six weeks. And then it took nearly seven years to sell. When we were doing the deal, the editor said, “What else do you have?” I rummaged around and found one page I had done a year before of a very old Eve starting to tell her story. I don’t know why I started writing that, but I pulled it out and said, “I have this!” And they bought it. It eventually became the prologue to Havah: The Story of Eve.

 

Q: Why Judas? Of all people—why did you choose to write about him?

 

A: Several years ago, an editor—the same editor who acquired Demon and Havah—suggested a story on Judas. I’d already done a fallen angel and Eve, after all. I flatly refused. Too much research. Too much controversy. Too hard. But the idea started following me around. Finally, about a year later, I was sitting in this New York restaurant eating dinner and found myself scribbling a scene between Judas and his mother on the paper tablecloth. I knew then I was a goner. I realized I wanted to become this disciple Jesus called “friend,” wanted to slip into his skin and sit down next to this enigmatic teacher and healer that people to this day call “Messiah.” I wanted to see and experience him, for myself.

 

I tore the scene off, shoved it in my purse, and called my agent a few days later, hoping he would talk me out of it. He didn’t. After two years of research, with much fear and trembling, I started writing.

 

Q: Did you always want to be a writer?

 

A: Writing was never the plan, even though I’d won some contests growing up in school. Ballet was my first love—I danced with a local ballet company as a teenager and spent my summers studying dance in Kansas City and New York. But within a few years I literally outgrew ballet: I’m nearly six feet tall en pointe. After a torn groin and other injuries, I knew it just wasn’t going to happen. The summer after my freshman year in college, I decided I’d take a stab at writing a novel. I wrote it. It got rejected. It’s still in a crate down in my basement like a skeleton. I’m afraid to look at it. It’s probably got three arms and two heads.

 

Q:  What’s the coolest thing about writing biblical/historical fiction?

 

A: We all know the story of Judas, of Adam and Eve—of myriad other two-dimensional characters we first met as flannel board characters in Sunday School with just the barest detail to define the morality tale of their lives. But if these were real people, then they had hopes, aspirations, influences, and motivations. There’s always more to the story. And that makes them much more like us than we might care to admit. That’s scary. Inevitably—and this happened with Iscariot, too—there comes a point about halfway through the story where I realize I’m no longer writing Judas’ story, or Eve’s… but my own.

 

Q:  Iscariot has been recognized as a Best Christian Fiction title of 2013 by the Library Journal and has been nominated for several other awards. Why do you think Iscariot resonates with readers?

 

A: I think because like Judas, we are all seeking answers. We are seeking some kind of deliverance—maybe not from Roman occupation, but from a situation, or a fear, or a sickness, anything. We are looking for answers, and expecting God to intervene in certain ways. I think we all identify with trying so hard to do the right things, with having expectations for how God will act, and how, if I do this and that, God will do this and that. But it doesn’t always work out that way, and the question becomes how we will respond. I think we all can identify with that. And I think we all find ourselves completely ruined, in the best and worst of ways, by love we cannot understand.

 

Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?

 

A: I love to adventure travel—whether it’s fishing for piranha in the Amazon or trekking through the Balkans, every now and then I just have to get out of town. And I cook. There was a time when I could burn water and ruin cereal, but today I make a pretty mean quiche and haven’t managed to poison anyone in years.

 

Q: What’s next for you?

 

A: The Queen of Sheba! I figured it was time to be a girl again.

 

 

For more on Tosca and her books, including the free reading guide “A Journey with Judas," go to Tosca's website.

Tosca is hosting a special Easter giveaway! You must enter by April 19th on her website!

 

 

 

A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke

April 12, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke

***Note, this is a secular title.

How would you feel if your husband/wife died, and then discovered he/she was hiding serious secrets about his/her life?

I really enjoyed this book…a lot! Eva is happily married to her husband Jackson, but, suddenly, Jackson is swept away by a strong oceanic wave while fishing…her husband is now dead, and now she must move forward with her life, alone. Eva is finding it hard to grieve by herself, she wants to bond with other people who really knew and loved Jackson.

Jackson has always been strangely silent about his past, and Eva has never met any of his relatives. Her life takes an interesting twist when she flies to Tasmania to meet Jackson’s father Dirk and his brother Saul. Both Dirk and Saul want Eva to leave Tasmania and return to England, but, Eva refuses. She desperately wants to find answers to her unanswered questions about Jackson’s life, and as the story unfolds, she discovers that her husband wasn’t the man he portrayed himself to be.

I enjoyed reading this book! I especially loved the way the author tapped into the reader’s senses. I really liked the descriptions of the scenery of the beaches of Tasmania. The underwater sea life sounded amazing, making me want to take a dive into the waters of the South Pacific!

I thought the story was gripping, making me turn the pages to see what happened next. I’d highly recommend this as a great read. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

So, how would you feel if your husband/wife died, and then discovered he/she was hiding secrets about his/her life?

Sunday Brunch! The Disappearance of The Saints!

April 6, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

What do you think about God making the Saints disappear? Can you believe that the disappearing saints who are lifted up to heaven don’t die, there’s no body, they just disappear?

Awhile back, I had a Sunday Brunch blog post about the disappearance of Philip. Well, I’d heard that there were other scriptures in the Bible where the Lord made the Saints disappear. Ironically, I read and reviewed a Chris Well book recently, and in that novel, he listed some other scriptures that had disappearing saints.

I think it’s oh, so amazing and awesome! Do you think something like that could happen today? I think it’s possible, but not probable. Depending upon who it was, I’m sure that person would be missed by friends and loved ones, people would be wondering what had happened to him/her. There may be those who would know that the missing person was lifted up by God, but, it’s highly unlikely that all would believe.

Also, to be lifted up by God, disappearing, with no dead body behind…well, I’d think the one being swept up by God would have a unique, highly-personal, very deep, relationship with God. It’d be a relationship that most of us wouldn’t even begin to understand.

Here are the scriptures:

ENOCH
Genesis 5:24
24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Hebrews 11:5
5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

ELIJAH
2 Kings 2:11-12
11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.

JESUS – This instance is in a different vein than the rest on this list. However, I felt compelled to include this one since it’s familiar to most Christians and it helps to illustrate what I’m talking about.
Luke 24:3-7
3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”

PHILIP
Acts 8:39-40
39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

What do you think about God making the Saints disappear? Do you think something like that could happen today? Leave a comment!

~Cecelia Dowdy~

- See more at: http://ceceliadowdy.com/blog/2011/11/sunday-brunch-disappearance-of-saints.html#sthash.kw47slKh.dpuf

An Amish Garden Book Giveaway – The Winner!

April 2, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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The winner of An Amish Garden Book Giveaway is:Paula Osborne – Pembroke Ga

 

 

An Amish Garden

April 1, 2014 Posted by novelistcd

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An Amish Garden by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer, and Vannetta Chapman

Do you garden? If so, what do you plant in your garden?

This is a nice, heartwarming novella collection. Each story is centered around an Amish garden.

In Beth Wiseman’s Rooted For Love, Rosemary has been in love with Saul for a long time. They dated as teens and she abruptly ended their relationship, not giving Saul a reason for her actions. In spite of the breakup, her feelings for Saul have continued to grow over the years. An accident brings Saul back into her life, and he’s now helping her to care for her neglected garden. Can the truth be uncovered so that Saul and Rosemary can find their way back to one another?

In Seeds Of Love, Sadie takes special care of her mother’s heirloom tomatoes, planting all of the seeds. Her mother is dead, and these seeds are precious, her tomatoes have to sprout so that she’ll have more seeds to plant next year. But, trouble stirs with her plants and she doesn’t know if her love interest, Eli, can help her.

In Flowers For Rachael, Rachael takes special care of her garden while caring for her sick grandfather. She spends too much time alone, and her grandfather wants her to socialize with other young people. Gideon loves Rachael, and when pretty flowers start popping up in her yard, from a secret admirer, Rachael wonders if Gideon is the culprit. Does he have feelings for her after all?

In Where Healing Blooms, Emma discovers a runaway teen in her barn. What is she going to do? A widow, she’s caring for her mother-in-law while resisting her attraction to Ben, who’s recently returned and lives next door. Ben is her old beau, but, he had to leave the Amish country to travel and write articles about his adventures. Now he’s ready to return to Amish country and settle down. He’s got his eye on Emma as a mate, but, doesn’t know if she shares his feelings. Emma is busy, helping those in need while tending to her beloved garden. Does she really want Ben around?

I really enjoyed each of these stories. I especially liked the idea of centering each novella around a garden.

Do you garden? If so, what do you plant in your garden?

~Cecelia Dowdy~

 

 

 

 

Noah – The Movie – I Hated It! :-(

March 30, 2014 Posted by novelistcd