Monday, March 30, 2015

Wakulla Book Review: Am I Okay God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension, by Lorilyn Roberts





Summary: A devotional of hot topics that affect the lives of teens and young adults with excerpts from the author's book, “The Door.” It explains how Shale dealt with these issues in her own turbulent life and how 
God brought her through them.

Author’s Purpose: In writing this devotional, the author reaches out to those going through tough times. Each devotional touches on a particular issue in young adult lives.

Theme: Hurt, pain, uncertainty, fear ‑‑ Lorilyn Roberts uses the experiences Shale survived to encourage 
those in like positions and those likely to experience 
the same.

Thesis: Ultimately, no matter the issue, God is the 
one to supply relief. God is our helper, provider, protector, and is in control of the outcome.

Author's Stand on Controversial Issues: Throughout the writing of this devotional, the author takes the reader back to Shale's life and struggles. In bringing us time and again to how she dealt with these things, she also shows us turning to the Lord and seeking His stand on morals and temptations is the 
road to delivery.

Enjoy the Book: Yes. The book is well written and presented. Its quotes are accurate, and its references to “The Door” allows it to be a source “companion.”


*~*~*~*

Reviewed by: R. Pechler a Wakulla Book Review

I want to personally thank all the men who are reviewing the books written by JOHN 3:16 AUTHORS. I am thankful that we are able to bless them and appreciate the encouragement given to us by their reviews. 

Their insights, comments, and encouragment means a lot. Steve said I (Lorilyn Roberts) could visit the prison and I hope to do that sometime in the near future. I ultimately look forward to the day when we are all free in the Lord's presence to worship together our Risen King!

Each WEEK (Usually on Tuesday), we are posting reviews from Wakulla Correctional inmates of 
John 3:16 books. 
Inmates are loving the new books from John 3:16 authors. Chaplain Steve Fox  is adding the new books to the prison library in this initiative to "change lives to ensure a safer Florida."



Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review: Only One Way Home by Deborah Heal

Only One Way Home - Fun, Romantic, Unique!

Author: Deborah Heal


Published: January 2015
Kindle $4.99
Print $10.99
Buy on US Amazon

Reviewer: Cheryl Colwell
My Review:
Deborah Heal continues to amaze me with her creative stories and passion for historical research.
"Only One Way Home" is the second book in this delightful series, but it's not fluff.

Professor Merrideth Randall is researching her client's genealogy, but that search drops the reader in the middle of the Cherokee Nation's Trail of Tears. Heal's dramatization held me spellbound and left me feeling grief and relief at the same time. If you love inspirational romance, history, and mystery, don't miss this series. 
 
Summary:
Professor Merrideth Randall’s latest after-hours genealogy consulting gig takes her and friends Abby and John to the small southern Illinois town of Golconda on the Ohio River.

She expects to have to research the old-fashioned way at the courthouse. But thankfully, her client’s ancestor Matthias Frailey once hung out in Golconda’s ancient Ferry House inn, and that means Beautiful Houses, Merrideth’s time-rewinding software, will work after all.

I was given a copy of this book to read. The opinion express is my own.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Wakulla Book Review: Crooked Lines, by Holly Michael


WAKULLA BOOK REVIEW

Crooked Lines [by Holly Michael] follows the story of Rebecca, a young girl living in Wisconsin and Sagai, a young boy living in India. Rebecca dreams of one day going to India, while Sagai dreams of becoming a priest.

The book follows each of their lives, the choices they make, lessons learned, struggles, and tests of faith endured while working toward each of their ultimate goals. The author uses hardships, sidetracks, and uncertainty to illustrate the crooked zigzag lines that make up life while God’s ever present hand is guiding us.
This book would be an excellent read for young adults unsure of their future and God’s purpose for their life.

The main theme of Crooked Lines is that God is always there, never letting go, even when we cannot feel His presence in our lives. If we are able to put our trust in Him, to keep pressing on, He will guide us to where He wants us to be.

The thesis of the book is clearly stated in the first chapter with a quote from Romans 8:28. “For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” NIV


My first foray into Christian literature, I enjoyed Crooked Lines. It allowed me to look back and see the good that comes out of the hardships and struggles. I would definitely read another book by this author. 

Reviewed by: Nathan L., a Wakulla Book Review

Each WEEK (Usually on Tuesday), we are posting reviews from Wakulla Correctional inmates of 
John 3:16 books. 
Inmates are loving the new books from John 3:16 authors. Chaplain Steve Fox  is adding the new books to the prison library in this initiative to "change lives to ensure a safer Florida."



Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review: Dead Dreams by Emma Right

Dead Dreams 

A young contemporary adult psychological thriller and mystery. Book One.

Author: Emma Right
Product Details
Kindle $1.99
Paperback: $10.99

Reviewer: Cheryl Colwell

Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family in the sidelines, an heiress for a roommate, and dreams that might just come true. Big dreams--of going to acting school, finishing college and making a name for herself. She is about to be the envy of everyone she knew. What more could she hope for? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality.

Review:
I don't usually read YA, but this story was too compelling. Great character development and well written, this story brings the best of mystery and suspense, ending with a titillating
twist that makes you anxious to read the book two ASAP.



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Interview of Dianna Benson by Lorilyn Roberts on Her Newest Book - Persephone's Fugitive



Dianna Benson is a member of the John 3:16 Marketing Network, but I (Lorilyn Roberts) got to know Dianna better when she almost went with me to Nepal to distribute Christian books to orphans. 

Shortly before the trip, however, she was hit by a car while biking. Subsequently, she was laid up in the hospital for several days with a long recovery afterwards. I wondered how that impacted her relationship with God and her writing. 

I am blessed today to have Dianna with us to share her writing journey over the last year and her newest book, Persephone’s Fugitive, in this short interview.

LORILYN: Dianna, thank you for taking a few minutes to share with us the release of your latest book, Persephone’s Fugitive

DIANNA: Thank you for having me.

LORILYN: First, tell me how you are doing five months after your accident?

DIANNA: Yeah, on August 31, 2014 (on my oldest daughter’s 21st birthday) I was bicycling – I was in a crosswalk with a stop sign when a car failed to stop at the stop sign and failed to stop in the crosswalk and struck me. I’m still battling injuries, and some of them are permanent (damage to my left hand is one), but I’m doing tons better and I’m right handed, so life moves on.  

LORILYN: Where were you in the writing process of Persephone’s Fugitive when this happened?

DIANNA: On August 15 (so two weeks before my bicycle accident) I delivered the book to my editor and she was working on copy edits, so I was working on my next book.

LORILYN: As a Christian, I’m always looking for God’s redemption in the hard things that come our way. How did the accident affect your life and writing?

DIANNA: My first thought after I regained consciousness (I was only unconscious for 30 seconds maybe): “I’m glad someone hit me instead of me hitting someone.” 

That may sound strange, but I’d rather be injured than deal with the responsibility of hitting a bicyclist with my car. The driver was a seventeen-year-old and he was so freaked out (I felt a little bad for him). 

Keep in mind that I’ve been an EMT for a decade so this high trauma scene was normal for me, except this time I was the patient. 

My second thought after I regained consciousness was about my dad’s death in a bicycle accident when I was a junior in high school (after my dad’s death, I was on my own from that day forward until I married my amazing husband). For my three children’s sake, I’m so  grateful I survived my bicycle accident – I don’t want my children to endure losing a parent like I did at such a young age (my kids are 21, 18 and 14).

Life is hard, but that’s the point. Through our trials and tribulations, God is building our souls so when our flesh dies, our souls are developed to where God wants them to be for our life in eternity. 

In Persephone’s Fugitive (and in all my books), I want readers to see how my characters don’t just “get through” or try to “get over” the difficult stuff in life; instead, my characters accept the pain that difficult events in their lives cause them, and they move forward with a renewed sense of understanding in themselves, in life, and in God. 

This applies to me as well (not just my characters). Every stepping stone in life (large to small and everything in between) leads me in the right direction for me at that time in the chaotic river of life. God's hand is always there, but I must choose to reach for it so He can keep me balanced to prevent me from falling into the river. In the times I'm floundering in the river from a fall, I reach for God's hand, and He lifts me out of the river before I drown.    

LORILYN: I completely agree, Dianna. Thanks for sharing that. As an author, I’m always interested in how authors come up with their story ideas and plots. What is your creative process like?

DIANNA: Like my respiratory system exhales and inhales, each day throughout the day my mind automatically develops scenes and dialogue, always suspenseful in nature and typically opening scenes – this is my ongoing daily writer brain at work. 

With opening scene ideas in abundance for me, I keep a document of them all and pull from that list when the time arises. When I start a new book, I take an opening scene idea and simply write from there on paper with a pencil, allowing my muse to play until I have a full rough draft for my eyes only (meaning, I lock away my inner editor and critiquer and just have fun with the characters and the story, writing it at the seat of my pants; however, at times I’m a plotter even during the rough draft phase). 

            


*** SPOILER ALERT *** Reading Persephone’s Fugitive (including the book blurb) before The Hidden Son (Book One in the Cayman Islands Trilogy) will ruin the ending of The Hidden Son. However, both books are standalones. 

DIANNA: When a routine 911 call turns deadly, Paramedic Sara Dyer finds herself held at gunpoint by Jason Keegan, an injured psych-ward patient charged with murder. The situation spirals out of Sara’s control when the confrontation becomes a tense standoff between Keegan and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

As Keegan’s hostage, Sara fights to save them both before he blows them up. She realizes his warning to the Cayman police is no empty threat since he’d rather die than spend the rest of his life in a prison cell. Sara soon discovers Keegan is just as determined to survive as she is - provided he can escape Grand Cayman and disappear forever. As she struggles to trust in God’s protection, help from an atheist turns her struggle into a lure away from her faith.

LORILYN: Is it part of a series?

DIANNA: Yes. Persephone’s Fugitive is Book Two in the Cayman Islands Trilogy. Book One is The Hidden Son (released 2013).

LORILYN: Thanks for sharing with us today your newest book. Where can readers purchase Persephone’s Fugitive?










Dianna T. Benson is the award-winning and international bestselling author of The Hidden Son and Final Trimester. Persephone’s Fugitive is her third release. An EMT and a HazMat and FEMA Operative since 2005, Dianna authentically implements her medical and rescue experience and knowledge into all her suspense novels. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children. www.diannatbenson.com