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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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Sunday, 14 January 2018

The Æglet's Answer (Book Two in the Kinsman's Tree Series) by Timothy Michael Hurst

The Æglet's Answer 

Introducing The Æglet’s Answer, the second novel in the epic adventure series from Timothy Michael Hurst. 

Return to a land full of supernatural wonder. Return to the world of The Kinsman’s Tree.

Their mission to locate the Kinsman thwarted, Company Jasper yet languishes in the clutches of the perverse Doctor Scarsburrow.

Meanwhile, Nat’s discovery of the Kinsman’s Tree brings him into contact with friends old and new. Employing mysterious abilities and the aid of an unlikely ally, Nat plans his return to Sakkan with hopes of rescuing his mother and friends from captivity. 
But little does the young Etom know that his involvement with the Kinsman’s Tree will call down unwanted attention on his friends back in Endego, placing them in danger.
The Guru's Review:

I was asked by the author to review this novel pre-release. I am so glad he did. 

All I can say is that this novel is beautiful and tender! 

I have not read a novel that is so infused with the Spirit of God, not only from the Spirit's inspiration to the author but also in the novel itself, as a character! But not as a physical character but as He is in reality and as we know and experience Him, as a Spirit. He talks to the main characters, with words of instruction, encouragement, guidance and even firmness bordering on discipline, He acts in their lives supernaturally with signs and wonders. In other such novels, the Spirit's presence may be only a few times, but in this novel, it is very frequent. And it is such a joy to behold and to read. I found this to be very uplifting and satisfying.

Hurst has created an unforgettable story here. His imagination is very complex and detailed (as shown in the previous debut novel in this series, The Kinsman's Tree, but also in this one). His world-building is excellent, and reflects his imagination, and is solid with depth and many layers. I mentioned about this in my review of the previous novel. This provides a firm foundation for the characters and plot arcs. But in this novel what enhances all this and takes this to the next level is the inclusion of the Spirit of God and many biblical aspects that God desires us to live by in order to be heirs and children of God. All this adds wonderful layers of spiritual depth and insight. 

We have water baptism, healing of the Stain and Blight (the former a physical sign of sin and the latter where it proliferates into major body systems and causes death), manna in the form of a Rhema, tongues of fire on the characters head, (akin to being filled with the Spirit), living in the Vine, (being connected to each other through the Spirit of God), Resonance (detecting the will of the Spirit and other spiritual attributes towards living in the Spirit and with each other), the many fruits of the Spirit, Asteri, (messenger angel from the first book) providing physical and spiritual assistance and instruction to the main characters and others. Reading more of these in-depth in an absolute joy and pleasure to read. The chapters relating to Nat in the Sanctuary where he experiences all of the above-mentioned aspects and the life they live there is just another uplifting experience and filled me with peace, serenity and appreciation for who my Creator and God is and what He has done for me on every level. It is enough to make to you worship Him while you are reading this! 

What I found very clever and very effective is the way Hurst integrated the biblical and supernatural aspects of these concepts into the various story arcs and character conversations. In doing so, he has avoided coming across as preachy or these concepts sticking out like a sore thumb and not seeming to fit into the story. This integration is seamless and does not appear to have come from the Bible at all but from the world building or the theology he has created for the world of the Etom, Men and every other creature. Christians will identify this and realise how poetic he has achieved this integration. I chuckled as well as appreciated the inclusion of actual Bible verses in the story or conversation from either Miyam, Asteri or Nat and again these did not stick out as obvious unless you have read these from the Bible. The other aspect of this is that these verses have been placed very appropriately to either highlight these aforementioned aspects or to reinforce them. 

I highlighted most of these aspects in the ebook edition and in looking back on them, it seems to show that these are all how we should be living as Christians, how we are to regard and treat each other, how to have a right relationship with God via the Spirit, how to deal with conflict and deal with our negative emotions and nature. All these based on submission to the Spirit and allowing Him to have His way in the situation we are in. This is very evident through Nat and Sayah. Having both of these characters willingly and immediately seek the Spirit for guidance, repentance and instruction is such a breath of fresh air in a novel such as this. It definitely highlights an important discipline for Christians. Why do we need to battle in our own strength when the battle belongs to the Lord? It is Him, through His Spirit that battles this for us when we allow Him to. No wonder the Bible says in Zechariah 4:5-7, 
Then he replied, “This is the word the Lord spoke to Zerubbabel: You won’t succeed by might or by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Armies.
The gap in time from when the first novel, The Kingsman's Tree, was released and now has worked against me in truly appreciating this novel for its beauty and tenderness. I wanted to read this first novel before this new one, but time and life events prevented me from doing so. Now having finished this new novel, I can now see that any reader who attempts to read this novel must first do themselves a favour and read the first one again. They will then fully appreciate the flow from the first and see how all the spiritual aspects fit in so well with each other, and how the worldbuilding from the first strengthens and reinforces that of this novel. I plan to do this with the third novel, read from the first and continue on to fully appreciate not only the third novel but this trilogy in its entirety. Such is the craftsmanship of an author that Hurst has developed into. If the reader is unable to read Book 1 first, then I feel that they should reread the last chapter or two of Book 1 as this will assist with chapter 2 of The Æglet's Answer.

Hurst definitely lives up to what he says in his Bio: 
I am a writer who believes that the life lived best is lived in service to God and that only under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit one might produce a worthwhile work. I seek to craft entertaining, enriching, and inspiring tales that glorify the Lord in confidence that the Holy Spirit will use them to change and draw people closer to Jesus Christ. 
In simply offering myself in surrender to the Spirit, I have discovered the satisfaction of worshipping the Lord as an instrument of the writing process. I believe my experience be confirmation of God's calling on my life, and pray for every person is as deeply transformed in reading these stories as I was in writing them. To Him alone be the glory.
 After reading this novel, I did wonder if Hurst lives out what he has so masterfully depicted in relation to the spiritual aspects of this novel. His Bio above gives clues to this so I am not surprised. It is a great asset to novels like with its author well experienced in spirituality to write such novels like this with convincing spiritual aspects. 

I must make mention of Hurst's description of the Passion (of Christ). I must confess that it must be very daunting for any Christian writer to write about the crucifixion of Christ. I can imagine all the mixed feelings they have about this, do they feel worthy to do it justice, will it lead the reader astray, will they capture the Biblical essence and honour it as well as God? The list must go on! But Hurst has depicted a very God and Bible honouring account. He has paid careful attention to the reader being a spectator here but for me, it was more, it was as if I was there with Nat, Sayah and Asteri but felt the emotions strongly as Nat did as if I was connected to Nat in some way. It is one of the best accounts of the Crucifixion I have read in a Christian novel and one I won't forget. Hurst's account had me in tears! Why does this always happen when I am on public transport!

Authors love to include subplots that are intertwined in the main story. This is not different here. I wondered what a Æglet in this novel had to do with Book 1, and what this answer was referring to. This novel opens with the introduction of the hatching of two aeglets and their subsequent early life. We witness the bullying from the female aeglet towards her brother and how the parents favour their female offspring (Gael) and are almost dismissive of their male offspring (Sayah) for not living up to the aegle standard and behaviour. Hurst establishes these dynamics and other aspects of the aeglets lives over one long chapter. Just when you think you have had enough of this plot line and start wondering where Hurst is going with this, he commences Chapter 2 simultaneously joining this plot line with that of Nat's continuing journey from Book 1. I won't spoil it for the reader but this introduction is very clever and it from this point on that you hit the road running and cannot put the novel down. 

I can see that readers will become fond of the new characters of Miyam, Sayah and many others. They may even despise Gael for her self-centred arrogance and pity towards Sayah. They will love being reunited with the many characters from Book 1, Nida, Shoym, Asteri, Demsey, Rae and many others. I was very impressed with the maturity that he exhibited responding to the situations he is involved in this novel but especially as he responded to the Spirit's call and the transformation that the Spirit made in him. It was just like 2 Corinthians 5: 17, 
Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. (Amplified Bible)
The same can be said for many others including Sayah, and characters from Book 1. I have made mention of the life that Nat lived in Sanctuary and when this is reproduced in Endego this life is very reminiscent of the early Christian church after Pentecost. It is a great allegory and fits in very well with this storyline. This reproduction of Sanctuary in Endego sets up the ending of this novel in one spectacular way and brings all the spiritual aspects together for one explosive and climatic ending. It gets back to what I mentioned before in that the battle belongs to the Lord. I found this final confrontation one that is very spiritually uplifting and I pray that readers both Christian and non-Christian alike will see that despite their circumstances, God is there to battle for them as long as they remain faithful to Him and allow Him to have His way in their circumstance knowing that whatever the outcome, this is the perfect will of God. This confrontation definitely shows how Sovereign God is and all powerful. I found it a huge booster to my faith, but then again, this entire novel is a boost to one's faith! It shows there is always hope while God is Sovereign and in control.

However, just when you think Hurst has tied up all the loose ends nicely, you are reminded of one unfinished plot arc (that has been a thorn in the side of Nat and Endego community) and this is now tied with one almost forgotten character from the first book. And it is in this setting that sets the scene for the final novel. And you leave the novel wondering where this is going to go in the final novel. A cliffhanger of sorts but it definitely has your curiosity piqued and the anticipation high. 

I finished this novel with one word in my mind, "WOW!" This is a great novel and one I won't forget in a hurry. It has entertained me greatly, it has uplifted and challenged my faith, it has drawn me closer to God, and it has encouraged me to be more discerning of the Spirit (Resonance in this novel). 

If Hurst continues to write novels with such depth of imagination, worldbuilding and so Biblically and spiritually in tune with the Spirit of God, then both Christian and non-Christian alike are going to be fed spiritually and challenged. The former as an encouragement to have a better relationship with God and to appreciate who He is, while the latter to see that there is hope from the world we live in and that God is seeking them to be restored to Him. As Hurst says, 
I believe my experience be confirmation of God's calling on my life, and pray for every person is as deeply transformed in reading these stories as I was in writing them. To Him alone be the glory.
Highly recommended. 

World building 5/5

Characterisation 5/5

Story 5/5

The Spiritual level rating below is based on the following book that I use: 


Spiritual Level 5/5

Enemy Spiritual Level 4/5 

Overall Rating 4.8/5 Stars
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Spiritually, based on my review and on the following reference booklet,


A Spiritual System for Rating Books by David Bergsland, and that The Æglet's Answer contains elements of the criteria of what constitutes Christian Spirit-filled Fiction outlined in this booklet, together with David Bergsland we award Timothy Michael Hurst with

The Reality Calling Spirit-filled Fiction Award


Congratulations, Timothy!

To buy or preview this novel, click on the BUY/PREVIEW icons on the image below: 

Saturday, 6 January 2018

His Sign: The Wait Is Over: A Paranormal Urban Fantasy by Mary C. Findley

His Sign: The Wait Is Over: A Paranormal Urban Fantasy

Drew Goddard's war against evil began long before someone tried to shoot him and he got a strange, lighted symbol bursting from his chest. Blacklisted from his intelligence contracting career, he thought paranoia or insanity explained his ruined life until a golden-eyed woman with tattered wings and interdimensional powers helped open his eyes to a spiritual battle raging over him. 

A discouraged minister, a handful of manna, and a trip to Abraham's Bosom convince him that Christians waiting for a sign need to wake up and acknowledge God's working in the life they live every moment. Drew's world fills with powerful enemies and unlikely allies. 

Who or what are the Sethites and why (and from what) do they protect him? Why is a farm producing a miraculous bumper crop for the first time in years? Can he trust the person he suspects most of wanting him dead and solve a puzzle that may save people marked for genocide from physical and spiritual foes?

The Guru's Review: 

Really loved this one! And it is so good to have this one being her first novel in 2 years! I loved her description of how this novel came about. All inspired by the covers she received as a gift, as she explains, 
Many people know that I’ve spent the last two years not writing much of anything. A few blog posts, some editing work, but the only publications in those two years have been volume 5 of our homeschool curriculum, Conflict of the Ages V: The Ancient World, Student and Teacher Editions and the summary version, Under the Sun: A Traditional View of Ancient History. That’s not much production for two years. I plinked away at some works in progress, but accomplished very little.
In October, however, I received as a gift some great images from a stock image site called Neostock, and got inspired to create an urban fantasy cover, possibly to sell as a premade, since I’m also a designer. Three Neostock images appear on this cover. The more I talked about the idea behind it with author friends, the more inspired I got to write the story myself. 
So I began to work on that story, with the working title, His Sign, and by the end of October I had over 10,000 words. I was very excited to be writing again. How many believers are “waiting for a sign” about how to serve God? This is the story, partly allegory, partly urban fantasy, of one man’s journey after getting a sign he couldn’t ignore. You’ll find a pinch of C.S. Lewis, a sprinkling of Frank Peretti, a dash of Pilgrim’s Progress, and a lot of intent to be faithful to the Scriptures rolled into an offering to readers looking for something different in Christian books.
I love authors backstories to why they write the fiction they do and Findley's backstory is unique. This was one of the reasons I chose to buy this book. She does not disappoint in the elements she has mentioned above. This is one engaging and fast-paced novel that you will want to read in one sitting as I wanted to. Life, however, had other ideas and I finished it in two days. But that was a great two days!

I was impressed with Mary's message in this novel about waiting for a sign about how to serve God. I can relate to this. I don't believe God has made this a minefield but for us, we tend to make it such. Hence, her message. Serving God can be in the most practical way where we are with what we are doing or as diverse as using our talents He gave us to do this in specific ways. I regard reviewing Christian fiction as a way of serving Him and using the talent He gave me to do so. Writers do the same.

In this novel, Drew is given one very specific and unique sign of what his calling is. He cannot ignore it and get away with not using it. And he can only use it for God's purposes. Only when he submits to this calling and uses it for God's purposes does he find fulfilment and peace. In the process, he transformed more into the likeness of God's character and less of his own. Is Findley trying to tell us something here? You betcha! And I applaud her for doing so! As Mary quotes in the "Author's Note",

God may not give us a sign as tangible as those given to Drew Goddard and his friends, but that does not excuse us. We were never supposed to be sitting around waiting for a sign, anyway.
I love the other message Findley included in that as Christians we should also be concerned about our fellow Christians who have lost their way and not just those people who do not know Jesus yet. I can relate to the former. I have seen so many of my fellow Christians stop going to church or abandon their relationship with Christ for many and varied reasons then are left alone by the Church. Is this because Christians/the Church find it easier to witness to the unsaved rather than to those who are saved but have fallen away? It was very refreshing having the character of Jonas have as his mandate from God to minister and harvest those who have fallen away from Christ. Findley makes the point here that we as Christians interpret seeking after lost sheep as described in the Word as those who do not know Him yet but as she illustrates in this novel, the lost sheep includes those who have had a relationship with Jesus but have lost their way for many reasons. These like the unsaved still need reconciliation to God. I almost cried out, "Preach it, Sister!"

Mentioning issues like this and having Findley address them in her novels, shows the extent of her knowledge and understanding of the Word, its application and power when applied to the Christian life. There are many examples in this novel with the Christian characters herein, where she shows her expertise here. For the discerning and receptive Christian reader, this is such a joy to read and be ministered to. Findley includes this as part of the developing plot and characterisation without it coming across as preaching to the choir or the unsaved. To achieve that is a talent and a very effective outcome.

One of the other drawcards that drew me to this novel was the Sethites. I pricked my ears at this as the mere mention of these people inevitably leads to a discussion (or sadly, argument!) about who were the Sons of God were. Were they the sons (descendants) of Seth (who coupled with the daughters of men/Cain) or were they the fallen angels who had sexual relations with human women and created the hybrids known as the Nephilim of Genesis 6:4? Findley has chosen the former based on the book her husband and herself wrote (The Conflict of the Ages Part 2, Teacher Edition, The Origin of Evil in the World that Was). I bought this book to investigate their reasoning and to see how compelling a case one of the authors who they quote makes as indicated in the Author's Note at the beginning of the novel.

This works well in this novel and lends itself to the world building she has created. She describes them through Hass one of the Sethites, 
Sethites.....means descended from Seth, the son of Adam and Eve who started the line of men who called on the Name of the Lord. His descendants were powerful for God until they interbred with Cainites - descendants of Cain who stayed in rebellion. Sethites corrupted the powers they were given and made monsters.
Despite the effects of the curse from this, they are protectors of the ordinaries (humans such as Drew). Hass and the other Sethites are sent to be guardian and protector of Drew, Jonas, his wife, and Nomie. Findley uses this to develop unity, team building and camaraderie between the Sethites and the ordinaries. It from this aspect that Findley introduces many of the supernatural and spiritual warfare elements of this novel and this adds yet another layer of action, intrigue and suspense and also gives Findley another avenue to expound more spiritual wisdom and knowledge of the Bible, and how the Christian characters learn to trust God and rely on His Word and its application. This is a great part of this novel and forms part of the glue that cements this novel together. The deliverance from demonic oppression is a bit simplistic but fit in well with the story and most importantly still show the power of God over the power of satan and his minions. In this novel, there is also monster type entities and a Qareen (a type of creature, similar to a genie, that can be controlled to do the bidding of a master, who is in possession of their heart. Qareens are shapeshifters and will take on the form of a person's deepest, darkest desire to seduce and then kill the victim).

I am so glad this novel is not a standalone as I feel Findley is on a winner with this new novel. The only aspect I stumbled on was the ending. It ends very suddenly and I wondered if there were some pages missing. I contacted the author and discovered that this novel is a serial so this ending is planned and meant to be like this. Findley has definitely ended this with plot lines that need to be resolved so this will obviously be the focus on the next novel and I can see that there will be some great plot lines in this next and subsequent novels. Again, I say Findley has a winner with this series. I am waiting in anticipation and dare I say impatience for this next instalment.

As a result of my concerns over the abrupt ending, the author contacted me asking if I would like an amended ending that rounds off the plot ready for the next instalment but does not change the original plot arcs at the end. I have read it and it is much better. It prepares the way for this next instalment and leaves the reader satisfied with this novel's events. Kindle buyers should be notified via Amazon of this update and if anyone else would like to receive this update in ePub or mobi format, the author can be contacted on 
mjmcfindley@gmail.com

Highly recommended. 

World Building 5/5

Characterisation 5/5

Story 5/5

Spiritual Level 4/5

Enemy Spiritual Level 4/5 

Overall Rating 4.6/5 Stars 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Spiritually, based on my review and on the following reference booklet,


A Spiritual System for Rating Books by David Bergsland, and that His Sign contains elements of the criteria of what constitutes Christian Redemptive Fiction outlined in this booklet, together with David Bergsland we award Mary Campagna Findley with

The Reality Calling Redemptive Fiction Award


Congratulations, Mary!


To buy or preview this novel, click on the BUY/PREVIEW icons on the image below: 

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).