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Friday, September 30, 2016

Lorilyn Roberts Answers Questions About Writing, Family, John 3:16 Network , and Future Books - Part One



Question:  How do you find time to write: 

Lorilyn:  Until recently, as a single mother, most of my time revolved around my family. My youngest daughter just started her first year of college this month, and my oldest daughter recently moved into her own apartment. I feel like I've entered into a new chapter of life and am still adjusting to the change. The home is much quieter, but it does allow me more time to write 

Several years ago, recognizing how involved I was in their lives as a single parent, I felt it was important to pursue my own dreams when they became older. 

I also work very strange hours as a full-time broadcast captioner. I half-heartily think about how many people have read my captions around the world and imagine what it would be like if that many people were reading my books.

When we were doing book launches in the John 3:16 Network, that took up much of my free time. I love doing TV and radio appearances, but they are also time consuming, so I haven’t done as many as I would have liked.

Sometimes I’ve focused more on charitable pursuits. In the fall of 2014, my younger daughter and I took books to orphans in Nepal. Over the last two years, the John 3:16 Marketing Network has donated books to the Wakulla Correctional Facility near Tallahassee, Florida. Prisoners have read and reviewed about three hundred books.

Question:  How many books do you write in a year?

Lorilyn:  This last year I wrote two books, but it left little time to do other things. I plan to take a break before writing the next book in the Seventh Dimension Series, so I will probably write only one book in the next several months

Question:  Tell us about your John 3:16 Marketing Network of Christian Authors.

Lorilyn:  Currently, the John 3:16 Marketing Network is closed to new members. Once we stopped hosting book launches, I realized there were other groups more beneficial to new and upcoming Christian authors. Promoting books, whether mine or others, and writing simultaneously is hard, and as much as I enjoy marketing, my passion is writing.

A core group of authors in the network continues to encourage each another in marketing and writing. Many blessings come from the members who are active, and even those who have moved on still connect in various ways.

If a new author or wannabe author wants to join a Christian group or receive mentoring, I would recommend for nonfiction writers, Shelley Hitz, who has a “Training Authors for Success” website. For fiction writers, I would recommend Jerry Jenkins’ new writers guild. Both groups help authors with writing and marketing.

If you are an author with some history of writing books and want the camaraderie of other authors who have been at this for a while, contact me and we can talk. I occasionally bring in authors free of charge.

My original desire, once we stopped doing launches, was to provide one‑on‑one mentoring for new writers launching their first book. Many “roaches” out there promise the universe and give little in return. They often involve the outlay of too much money, and authors are burned because they don’t know any better. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the time. I prefer to think of marketing as a ministry, not a business endeavor, and I’ve struggled to make that switch to a business model, but that could always change.

Question:  Tell us about your newest book this year.

Lorilyn:  I just published the fourth book in my Seventh Dimension Series, The City.

Question:  Tell us what brought about the creation and writing of the Seventh Dimension Series.

Lorilyn: After I published The Donkey and the King, I wanted to do a series of picture books, but picture books are expensive to produce, especially when you hire an illustrator. Publishing them is not economically viable as a POD book. I found it hard to sell at a price point that people would pay, and I couldn’t afford not to recoup the costs on future books. I also knew I needed to wait to write more books until Joy was older. She was only seven at the time, and I realized that it was unfair to devote that much time to writing books when she was still so young.

When Joy was eleven, I wrote Children of Dreams. Even though I had kept all my notes from both my daughters' adoptions, I was afraid if I waited any longer, I would forget the story. Over a decade had passed since I had adopted Manisha. 

After the thrill of writing my adoption memoir, I wanted to write more books, but I recognized I didn’t have the expertise to write fiction. Some things I wanted to write about from my life could only be told as fiction.

Once I saw my limitations as a writer, I went back to college to obtain my Masters of Art in Creative Writing from Perelandra College. In order to graduate, I had to write a full-length novel. From my coursework, I developed the first book in the Seventh Dimension Series that included the animal characters from The Donkey and The King.

I included issues from my life—bullying, abandonment, failure, and fighting. I was a pretty wounded kid. I can identify with that kind of teen. At the same time, I also had a deep longing for God.

I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but I had some Jewish friends, and their sense of community was something I wanted. I was jealous for their God.

The little dog from The Donkey and the King, Much‑Afraid, was also my childhood pet. The real Much‑Afraid, Gypsy, came to me during a

thunderstorm. When we buried her many years later, a sudden thunderstorm appeared out of nowhere. We had to hurry as lightning flashed all around. I promised at that moment, when I was fifteen, someday the whole world would know about Gypsy—the dog God gave me. I share her story in my adoption memoir Children of Dreams. I could say more, but I’ll let readers read the book rather than summarize it here. (Children of Dreams is a 2016 Readers' Favorite Award Winner in the Memoir category.)

I have written four books in the Seventh Dimension Series. One or two more books remain to be written. A great deal of research goes into my writing. Even the second book, The King, required research into chariot racing in the first century.
The words I write will live on after I’m gone. Someday I’ll stand before God and give an accounting for every book I’ve written. I’m intimately aware of the importance of making sure I draw people to God, giving hope, and showing that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. The concepts of forgiveness, hope, and purity find their way into the fabric of my stories, pregnant with suspense, mystery, and hopefully, twists and turns that keep the reader guessing.

Who wants to read a predictable book? I must make the reader read until the very last page to know how the story ends. 


Part two of Lorilyn's interview will be posted in a follow-up blogpost. Visit to learn more about her books.

Contemporary Thriller by Jim Baton, Book Review by Lisa Lickel

front cover

A Way Out of Hell
Book two of the Peace Trilogy

Ebook $5.99
Print $15.99

About the Book
When ISIS turns your city into a living hell… ISIS unleashes a reign of terror across Indonesia. As a former jihadist, Abdullah knows all too well the high cost and absolute ineffectiveness of fighting such violence with violence. He accepts the impossible challenge of finding the ISIS cell hidden in his city, and disbanding it non-violently. But time is running out, and there may not be any city left to save. Meanwhile, he has to protect his adopted daughter Sari, a Christian university student, who is one of ISIS’s targets. Together they come face-to-face with the holy warriors of mass destruction and strive to overcome that evil with good. In this riveting sequel to Someone Has to Die, Jim Baton introduces us to the real people caught in the web of terrorism, with their wide variety of backgrounds and motivations, and the possibility that they, too, can change.

Baton has racked up an impressive amount of endorsements for his very fine work, Someone Has to Die and A Way Out of Hell, including a former congressman. Although I trip but am willing to reason over his website declaration that Christians and Muslims worship the same Father, I can read his fiction and appreciate his craft for sharing a story that is frightening realistic and full of possibilities.

A Way Out of Hell is a sequel to the 2012 story, Someone Has to Die. Both are set in Indonesia, a heavily Muslim country, but one actively fending off radicalized Muslims who promote one world extreme sharia dominance through acts of murder and terrorism. Obviously portraying the fascinating setting and culture in a natural manner draws in a reader unfamiliar with this part of the world. A sympathetic peacemaker who sees and acknowledges his human flaws, the societal failures and resulting loss of his family through divorce and murder, Abdullah makes his purpose one of not giving in to hate and cruelty; to look beneath the reasons and meet needs in a positive way that is able to turn and pass it on. The back cover description shares the story. My review is simply that the writing is stellar, the story riveting and excruciating and occasionally embarrassingly true when Baton showcases who is willing to risk peace at all costs and who doubts it can be done. This is the ultimate lesson in meeting extreme prejudice head-on and refusing to blink. Baton makes me believe.

Told through multiple characters, A Way Out of Hell is a lengthy but page-turning, cringe-worthy tale of extraordinary people in an alien setting, whether native or guest, forging peace and brotherhood without thought of price.

About the Author
Jim Baton (pen name) has spent the last 20 years living in the Muslim world, where he’s been involved in a variety of peace and reconciliation activities including interfaith dialogue, training elementary through university students in peace principles, and bringing Christians and Muslims together to pray.  His real name and photo won’t appear on this site to protect his identity from radical groups where he lives out his faith.  When in America, Jim is available to speak to groups that have a heart for loving those of the other religion and can protect his identity.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Wakulla Book Review - Seventh Dimension - The King, Book 2: A Young Adult Fantasy by Lorilyn Roberts

Summary: The King continues the adventure from The Door. However, the twist in this book is that it's through the eyes of Daniel. All the things that happened with Shale had another side of the story to be told: Daniel's. 
The King, however, opens up more twists and plots to weave through in search of some destination for these two.

Author purpose: Clearly two purposes are available.
1: Entertainment
2: To provide readers a view of what the search for the Messiah is like.

Author Theme: Seek and ye shall find. Know that your treasures are in heaven, not on earth.

Thesis: One has to believe in the Messiah in order to receive all the blessings that He has in store for us.

Author Stance: A couple of good points come up that Daniel struggled with in the book.

1: Honor over love.
2: No sexual relations before marriage.
These topics were covered very well.

Enjoy: An absolute must if you read The Door. And if you read The King you'll have to read The Castle as Roberts leaves you hanging again. Thank you, Lorilyn.

Reviewed by J. Clark.


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. 

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."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Power of Story - John 3:16 Book Review of "Someone Has to Die" by Jim Baton

"Someone Has to Die" shows the real struggle between the major religions of the world, Christianity and Islam, and to a lesser degree Judaism, in a story that touches the heart. 

"Someone Has to Die"  demonstrates in a powerful way that reconciliation is possible if people are willing to change. "Someone Has to Die" would be an excellent book for Christians and homeschooling families to read, as the author has interwoven much of the fabrics of each faith. 

"Someone Has to Die" can help Christians to understand Islam. I appreciated that the author did not whitewash the complexities of the two faiths, and the clashes at times had tragic outcomes. The characters were well-developed, and the storyline realistic. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.



JIM BATON has spent the last 20 years in the world’s largest Muslim nation, building bridges between Muslims and Christians who both desire peace. His speaking and writing call people out of fear and into authentic friendships that can change the world.