pinterest-7bf66.html Reviews by Peter: Guest Post: John Stacy Worth and his Grace Finder Saga and Other Writing.

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I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading debut author's novels or those author's who have not had many reviews thus providing them much needed encouragement 

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Monday, 1 January 2018

Guest Post: John Stacy Worth and his Grace Finder Saga and Other Writing.

Today I am spotlighting novelist and man of many talents, John Stacy Worth. I came across John when I discovered his novel, Remnant, on either a Facebook or Amazon link (not sure which, I come across so many novels and authors!). I was intrigued by the title and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered this novel was about Noah and the building of the Ark. Some might say, "Not another Noah's Ark novel!" but I find this topic fascinating and love the different take on it by these authors. Makes it very speculative. As you read John's post below, you will find a unique take on this topic and I must say it is one that I have not considered but shows another aspect of God's character and His heart towards us!

So sit back and let John introduce himself and talk about his novels and his writing.

Over to you, John!

First, thanks to Peter for his fantastic blog and for giving me the opportunity to guest post here.  I'll start by posing and then answering the two basic questions: Who is John Stacy Worth and why did he feel the need to give the world yet another Noah story?

Here's a picture of me, taken in my backyard a few months ago. I feel a little funny talking about myself, you know like I might come across as pretentious or arrogant, but I think of John’s gospel and how he described himself as “...the disciple Jesus loved.” That strikes me as simply good-natured humor and a healthy sense of identity in Christ.

So, in that spirit, I’ll introduce myself as a beloved son of God and a grace embracing artist, author, husband, father, friend, and family man.

I’ve been drawing images on paper since before I could read, and once I learned to read I wrote stories to go with them. And vice-versa (I digitally create all the covers for my books using Manga Studio and Photoshop).

I’ve also realized that, through those two Callings, I’ve been commissioned to impact the world around me. Ultimately I want the love of God to spill from my pages and onto the ones who find my books. Psalm 23 says it so well “... my cup runneth over.” As authors it’s our inkwell that overflows, to bless the world with our surplus; our abundance of truth, life, and love.

In my opinion, there’s so much misunderstanding about the heart of God, both inside and outside the church. Which only stands to reason, right? I mean, God is so big, how could anyone claim to have all-inclusive or even accurate knowledge about Him? They sound like rhetorical questions, but they're not. While we are limited in our understanding, that doesn't mean we can't know our Father. And though His entirety is beyond complete comprehension that doesn't mean He doesn't reveal Himself to us, collectively and individually, to show us who He really is; His character, His person, His heart.

He does this by placing His Spirit inside us and others to whom He's made himself known. I have a view of Yahweh as a loving Father and know him as Daddy. Another believer may have a deeper understanding of another facet of His person. And as believers gather together and share our individual Relationship with one another, we can come away edified and enlightened. That’s why we need one another, a solid grounding in Scripture, and the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth.

As for the type of books I write, I describe it with the tagline “This ain’t your mama’s Christian Fiction.” Which means the subject matter leans more toward speculative fiction (a fancy term for science fiction, fantasy, and any assortment of weird mashups). I don’t write or make art exclusively for the Christian market, but neither do I exclude my brothers and sisters. I know that even after my salvation experience, there were a lot of things I just couldn’t understand, some well-intentioned - but wrong - teachings I bought into, and some wrong conclusions that I came to on my own. Even now I keep reading and learning new things about Daddy that I didn’t know before. So while I’m not trying to “preach to the choir”, I still want them in the audience. To be entertained, edified, and even to be a sounding board to let me know if I’m spot on, a bit out of tune, or way out in left field.

Ultimately I want to change the world, even if it’s in a small and simple way, by presenting a true portrait of my King. Yeshua is not some boring and stern killjoy, looking down in disapproval at the unwashed masses, as many inside and outside the church have unwittingly (or in some cases intentionally) depicted Him.

Because our faults don’t define us. Only Yeshua defines us, through the value He placed on us when He stepped in as a sacrifice to ransom us from the accuser. We are loved so deeply, have so much worth in the eyes of our King/Father/Brother/Husband/Redeemer. So while I long to see the Bride realize and embrace her identity, I also direct my message to those who may have been wounded, disillusioned, or have grave misconceptions about the heart of the One who loves us all. That’s my message: Daddy loves you!

All that said, the first duty of a fiction author is to entertain. To use fiction to express Truth with clarity, enthusiasm, excitement, and passion. All to keep the reader turning the page; so caught up in the tale that the joy is palpable; the struggle and pain elicit real tears; and when tragedy strikes the reader gasps aloud, only to smile with satisfaction at the final triumph. To pull them in so completely that the story resonates long after the book is closed.

Because often then, in that aftermath, seeds of truth begin to take hold, as preconceived notions are reconsidered. Perhaps old prejudices can be seen for the burdens they are. Old lies are exposed and dismantled. Hardened souls become soft soil again, so a Father’s heart can be felt instead of feared. And a shift occurs, as the bitter see they are truly beloved, the rejects realize they are royalty, and the doubters become disciples of the only One who has ever been worth following.

I can’t say that every reader comes away with a grand revelation of God’s love, but I do find that reviews like this awesome 4 Star review that I recently received are among my favorites:

Not bad


“Christian Fiction isn't usually my thing but this one isn't bad. Likable characters, enough action to keep me interested, and the author even managed to talk about his version of god without getting preachy. I will definitely read more of his books!”

(Thanks, Donna. You rock!)

Here's a more detailed Amazon 5 star review that I also appreciate:


This was my first foray into Christian Fiction and I must admit I had some trepidation, including irksome, irrational thoughts like, “Is this book going to be like the old animated television series Davy and Goliath? Don’t get me wrong, I loved that series – as a kid – but was looking for so much more as an adult.

John Stacy Worth’s Remnant delivers the goods – and then some!

In Remnant, Mr Worth has woven a compelling story about Noah in the years preceding the launch of the ark. His storytelling style and prose conjure up vivid images of the decadent, dangerous, soon-to-be-damned world Noah and his inner circle live in.

I found myself drawn into the story immediately, transported back to an era of rampant paganism, adultery, and murder. As Mr Worth so aptly stated in the notes at the end of Rampant, “This Ain’t Your Momma’s Christian Fiction” – it is so much more. Filled with distinct, intriguing, believable characters, the story motors along, drawing us deeper and deeper into Noah’s world and the challenges he faces being a God-fearing man in an era of wickedness and deceit.

Chapter headings provide pleasing signposts for where the story heads next, but in no way detract from the action. Quite the opposite, as more often than not the action developed in unexpected ways, which heightened my anticipation and drew me further into the story.

I will warn you about this: after completely ensnaring your attention Remnant ends with a cliffhanger – but do not fret. Our kind and clever wordsmith, the aforementioned Mr Worth, has a heart and CPR will not be necessary - Books 2 and 3 in the series, Reprobate and Requiem, are already available to appease our desire for more, more, please!

Thank you, Mr Worth for creating Christian Fiction that is highly entertaining! Now on to book two…

(Thank you as well, Dr William Rubin! You rock as well!)

Now if all of that seems overly dramatic or too darned serious, let me put it another way by relaying my author bio, but in the first person and with a little more exposition near the end.

My books have no Amish folks (cool as they are), no 1800s Western setting with a focus on romance (and Western Romances do indeed rule - just check out “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers if you don’t believe me). My fiction is more like, “Did you ever wonder how you might kill a Behemoth?” Or, more importantly, "What's Leviathan taste like?"

And such crucial questions as, "Can a vampire get saved? What were the Nephilim really like? What happened to those Cherubim and that flaming sword guarding the entrance to Eden?"

I’ve been writing and illustrating stories like these since I was old enough to trace comic books. I grew up reading every Tarzan novel I could get my hands on, then moved on to Asimov, Tolkien, Orson Scott Card ... you get the picture.

Since those days (way back in the twentieth century) I served in the U.S. Navy (14 countries and about every island in the Caribbean), spent a year as a High School Science Teacher, then a Chemist for Merck Pharmaceuticals, and now I’m employed at a Nuclear Power Plant.

But more important than all of these wonderful life experiences is that I’m happily married with two awesome sons; I still love to draw and make up stories; I love God, and will talk about Jesus if you give me half a chance.

I’ve also finally come to grips with the fact that, at my core, I am an artist. As I’ve described it to friends: I can’t not draw! I can’t not write! God put it in my heart to create, and when I do I feel his pleasure and manifest presence. I can sense His Spirit cheering me on and co-labouring alongside me. It’s such a holy, profound joy and privilege.

As for why I felt the world needed yet another version of Noah’s tale, I wrote the first draft of this series over ten years ago. My initial purpose in writing the story was to "move Noah out of the nursery".  Many think of Noah in terms of children's toys, nursery décor, and a bearded old man--a disservice to a mighty man of God, in my opinion. As I delved into the tale, seeking answers to the questions of "Where would his sons find their wives?" and "What was the antediluvian world like?", other fictionalized versions of the story seemed, to me at least, to regard the Flood as simply an act of God's judgment. Many versions seemed to depict Noah as harsh and judgmental, intent on seeking God's justice above all else. Which is not how I saw him at all. Noah wanted as many people on that ship with him as possible. Moreover, the Bible states that "Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD." With that verse as my touchstone, I began to also wonder if the flood itself might have been an act of grace.

Upon writing, I chose to explore how God would show His grace to each of the main characters--how He would stir the hearts of each, and move on their behalf according to their deepest needs.  My ultimate goal is for the reader to realize Father God is intimately interested in us all, has reached out to all of us in love, and pours out grace for every circumstance, though not always in the ways we might expect. Through reading my fictional version of Biblical accounts, I hope that people come away feeling as though they have trod alongside Noah and his family, with a deeper appreciation of God's grace, and a fuller understanding of the sort of men and women these "grace-finders" must have been. 

A word of caution: Book One, Remnant, (and the other books in the Grace Finder trilogy) deals with some mature themes. The worst events either occur off-screen or end quickly. But I would rate it as PG-13, about as graphic as the Bible. My hope is that readers will be moved by the intricate web of relationships between characters that are relevant and real, while also being caught up in the fast-paced adventure upon a world that seems, on the surface, so unlike our own.  At the heart of the book is the fact that regardless of time or place, all of humanity has the same core need, a right relationship with our Maker, that can only be achieved through His saving provision of grace. Which is why I titled the series 'The Grace Finder Saga’, a tale of Noah unlike any you’ve ever read (or seen in a movie).

My books can be found at various online retailers (book one, Remnant, is permanently free; I also promote my fiction at Fiction Worth Reading and offer book two of my trilogy, Reprobate, for free when folks join my reader's group at http://jsworth.com.

Here’s an excerpt from book three, Requiem, to share a conversation between Lamech and his grandson, Japheth. It showcases the struggle I think we’ve all felt when the dreams of our hearts take a backseat (sometimes necessarily or temporarily so) to the duties of life.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Start of Excerpt~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lamech squinted at him. “Are you always so duty bound? If you amass skills simply because you feel it is your obligation—to preserve knowledge and to ensure survival—then what pleasure is there in that? Regardless of what you apparently think, there is joy in simply learning how to do a thing.”

Japheth squared his jaw. “I have no time for luxuries such as joy. I do have a duty, one that I fully intend to perform.”

The old man sighed. “There should still be time enough in life for enjoyment. Love, for instance. I’m assuming you desire a wife?”


“I desire whatever God plans for me, whatever He provides.”

Lamech put a hand on his grandson’s shoulder. “His plans are to prosper you. He loves you, Japheth. This world may indeed be coming to an end, but don’t for a moment think that He still doesn’t delight in blessing those he loves. Life is His gift to you, and He wants you to enjoy it. To live it to the full.”

Japheth was not convinced. Still, his heart had been stirred by the suggestion that his hopes might be more than just foolish dreams.

Excerpt From: “Requiem” by John Stacy Worth. This material protected by copyright.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End of Excerpt~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To fill you in on a bit more of the trilogy: As I alluded to before, I grew up reading Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I later moved on to Piers Anthony, Asimov, Stephen R. Donaldson, then Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, really too many to mention.

So, while my trilogy is based on the flood account of the Bible, it reads like Epic Fantasy. You'll find prophets, street urchins, warriors, and royalty; rituals, visions, and incantations; political and personal betrayal; dragon-riding giants battling a ragtag band of misfits, sword fights and drawn bows; love, loss, sacrifice, and redemption; unrelenting faith and the timeless struggle of good versus evil. And with the first two books available free via a permafree Book One and an opt-in for Book Two, really what do you have to lose? Give it a chance; you'll be glad you did!

My stand-alone novel is a short story collection, "Transdimensional Detours". There are 8 stories averaging 5000 words each, so 40k in all. At $3.99 I consider it a great buy. That’s ten thousand words per dollar. Some may think that's too pricey, and that's okay.

But picture this: a cool Fall morning (or evening) curling up with eight intriguing tales and a warm cup of Starbucks, which, if you're like me, you'll drop $3.99 on that coffee without even blinking. (But nobody’s saying you can't have your coffee and speculative fiction too.)

And let me give a quick rundown of what you'll get. The ebook short-story collection includes aliens and endangered species, moonlit swamps with sacred dragons, a time travelling physician, a drug-dealing artist haunted by visions of his past and possible futures, an island filled with historic ruins and ancient magic, a vampire beguiled by an ageing herpetologist, and much, much more.

Get Transdimensional Detours on Amazon here. 

Other sites, here.


And to make sure you don't miss them, here are the links to complete the Grace Finder trilogy:

The Grace Finder Saga:





Book One, Remnant: Amazon FREE!

Other sites click here. FREE!!










Book Two, Reprobate (FREE!): http://jsworth.com/











Book three, Requiem, only $2.99 on Amazon.

Other sites click here. Again only $2.99.






And here's a link to sample a free story from Transdimensional Detours:

Fledgling - Bookfunnel link (This will give you a good idea of the quality and type of stories you'll find in that collection.)

I apologize if the wrap up for this seemed like a sales pitch. Actually, no I don't. It was a sales pitch.  But a very fair one. As anyone who labors at a craft or skill will understand, I unapologetically believe in my work and would not put it out there if I didn't know in my heart that it would be a blessing to those who receive it. (Maybe my books would make a nice gift or birthday present for that special bookworm in your life.) I know God has given me something to say, and I always strive to give more than I get. That’s why there are links to get you two free books and a sample from my short-story collection.

Thanks again to Peter Younghusband for affording me the opportunity and honor to introduce myself and my work here. I really appreciate it and can’t say enough about how wonderful and selfless he has been. His blog is a much-needed advocate for authors and an invaluable resource for readers. (Peter, if you’re ever in the States, look me up. I may live in the middle of nowhere, but I can show you some astounding swamps. No crocs as large as you have in Australia, but more alligators than you can shake a stick at. Alas, no vampires. At least none that I know of.)

Peace everyone. I’ll leave you with a few more links where I can be found:



I was recently featured in The Toombs County Magazine and this article showcases my writing and novels. 

To read the article, click on this link: Man of Stories 

I have also written, drawn and published comic books: Kidfriendly Comics.





(The above two photos and the photo of John at the beginning of this post are used with permission of Eric S. Love of LOG.IC)


And please drop me a line, I love to hear from fellow authors and readers.  jsw@jsworth.com

Sincerely,

John Stacy Worth

Thank you, John, for giving us an insight into your writer's mind and passion for writing for God's Glory and using the talent He has given you to do so. I am looking forward to reading your books in 2018 and I pray others will also. It has been a pleasure having you as a guest blogger on this site. Please consider visiting again! 

John, I will definitely take you up on your offer if I do visit America! Thanks for the kind invitation!

Readers and reviews are an author's best asset, so I encourage any reader who likes reading in the genres of Christian inspirational, science fiction and fantasy, biblical fiction, to consider reading the Grace Finder Saga and submit a review on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest (or any other social media you subscribe to).

1 comment:

  1. Impressive. J S Worth is a man of many talents yet a man of faith, thought and conviction. The best I can do is use other's illustrations or 3D tools to make my graphics, so to be able to illustrate one's own is awesome!

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