Monday, September 24, 2012

Follow Your Heart

Humphrey, Sandra McLeod. They Stood ALONE!: 25 Men and Women Who Made a Difference. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2011

From Christopher Columbus to Margaret Meade, from Cady Stanton to Jackie Robinson, They Stood Alone! By Sandra McLeod Humphrey shares, in a few pages each, the stories of twenty-five men and women. People from the past, and people from the present who chose a path that forced them to move out, away from the crowd. Men and women who chose to stand alone against the beliefs and expectations of their culture or times. They all became people who changed their world and ours.

Each chapter begins “Imagine this… Your name is…”  following is the story of one of twenty-five real-life heroes and heroines any of which anyone would be glad to have their child trust as a strong role model. Taken from the pages of science, sociology, sports, and adventure, these stories will provide insight to children, teachers, and parents.

The last chapter is an inspiration to today’s youth to discover and develop their passion, to have the courage to follow their hearts, to follow their dreams, to step out onto a path, away from the crowd, to stand alone and change their world.

Sandra McLeod Humphrey provides notes for each piece taking readers to broader pictures and a bibliography to expand the stories she has told, and stories yet to be told. Readers will need to get copies of this book that won the Mom’s Choice Award, for each child in their classrooms, for each child in their home, or for each grandchild they love.

A retired clinical psychologist, Humphrey has written other books focused on moral education for children including Hot Issues, Cool Choices, If You Had to Choose, What Would You Do? and Dare to Dream!

Monday, September 17, 2012

           Neale, Michael. The River. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 9/18/2012. ISBN-10: 1401688489 ISBN-13: 978-1401688486 List price for Softcover and Ebook  $16.99
         Neale, Michael. The River. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 9/18/2012. ISBN-10: 1401688489 ISBN-13: 978-1401688486 List price for Softcover and Ebook  $16.99
       Neale, Michael. El río. Nashville: Grupo Nelson, 18/09/2012.  ISBN-10: 602559252 ISBN-13: 978160255925 Prescio de lista del libro de bolsillo y Libro Electrónico Fecho

       Neale, Michael. The River. Oasis Audio, 9/18/2012. Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged. ISBN-10: 1613752733 ISBN-13: 978-1613752739 List price $19.99
·        Neale Michael. The River. Waterville, Maine: Thorndike Press. ISBN-10: 1410452255 ISBN-13: 978-1410452252 Large Print Softcover (10/5/12) list price $14.99 Large Print Hardcover (11/6/12) list Price $32.99
          Neale, Michael. The River Discussion Kit. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 11/6/12. ISBN-10: 1401677738 ISBN-13: 9781401677732  list price $19,99
          Neale, Michael. The River Experience (Soundtrack) – Digital MP3 Download (320 kpbs) id475948881 $9.99 10/26/11

Already a sermon series and a live musical multimedia experience, The River is about to crash into a waterfall of books.

Stuck in the Denver airport, two men share delay time sitting next to one another. Gabriel Clarke is returning home to Corley Falls, Colorado. He has just run the world’s Top Ten Most Dangerous and Beautiful Rivers for National Geographic. Gabriel shares his story with his fellow traveler, and we experience The River.

Five year old Gabriel watched his father, a second generation river guide; climb down the treacherous rocks to save the man who went over the falls in a yellow kayak. Over the falls into Firewater Gorge on the Whitefire River. He watched it all unfold. His hero disappeared into the white water of the river. All he had left was a bag of old Benington marbles and a hole in his heart.

Gabriel’s mom rented the back room of Mr. Earl and Miss Vonda’s home outside Cairo, Kansas. As he grew up helping on the farm, quiet and sad at home and at school, Gabriel felt like he was “Looking at life through the bottom of a Coke bottle – blurry and ill-formed. He could see laughter and joy of the other side of the thick glass, but he couldn’t hear or experience it.”

As he grows, rivers run through Gabriel’s life. A finger-sized river created by a mysterious marble man at the county farmer’s market to show his marbles at their best. A painting of the river in North Carolina where his second-grade teacher grew up. The Arkansas River on the border of Kansas and Oklahoma where Mr. Earl taught him to fish. Rio, Gabriel’s dog who saved his life. Eventually full-circle Gabriel comes to the banks of the Whitefire when his friend Jimmy invites him on a camping trip.

This coming of age story is intensely emotional and masterfully written. Neale is an excellent storyteller. A Dove Award winning song writer, Neale’s songs are recorded by a who’s-who list of contemporary Christian artists. This is one book the reader will need to get at least two copies of, one to keep, and one to give to another reader. A great book for book clubs or Bible studies to read and share. Neale will make you hold your breath, laugh, cry, all the while healing the hole, not only in Gabriel’s heart, but in yours, as well.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Unwanted

Carter, Daniel L. The Unwanted: The G-6 Chronicles (Volume 1). CreateSpace (May 10, 2010).  ISBN-10: 1477479724 (sc) ISBN-13: 978-1477479728 (e)

In Chicago, FBI Agent Nick Catlin spent months setting up a sting on Damon Hannah’s business, INYO Industries, that supposedly focuses on high-end medical equipment. It is clear there is a leak in the FBI team.  Twice an enormous explosion has obliterated all traces of genetic manipulation and murdered five babies and ten or more adults. Each time Hannah has moved his operation to a new city.

Now, fourteen months after the Chicago murders, Catlin has traced Hannah’s operation to Poughkeepsie, New York. This time, as the explosions begin just ahead of Catlin’s raid, nurses Janet Renard and Michele Townsend manage to get the five infants under their care into the backseat of Janet’s jeep. Running just ahead of Hannah and Catlin, Janet and Michele transport the children to Oklahoma. Janet’s uncle, Leigh Barrus, her only living relative, has a vast ranch there.  They fix up a cabin, far removed from any roads or houses, and Janet and Michele take on the seemingly insurmountable task of mothering five unwanted children.

Because of genetic manipulation the babies grow at an abnormal rate, at twenty-four days they need solid food, at nine weeks all can roll over in their cribs, and at four months, they speak their first words. Each child begins exhibiting extraordinary gifts. Uncle Leigh teaches Mama, Aunt Shelley and each of the children to keep their eyes on God not on the concerns their gifts cause or on their fear of discovery.

The back of the book says in part: “Born out of vengeance, five discarded children must fight to keep their family safe. Millions of lives stand in the balance as sacrifices are made. This family will never be the same as heroes rise and fall.”* A book where the bad guys are bad and the good guys try really, really hard to be good.

The cover will draw the reader into the manipulation of the DNA of innocent children, the power, the love, and the anger that carries this book.Written as Janet’s journal, here X-men for Christian readers begins. Mystery, science fiction, adventure, romance: something for every tween, teen and adult that has ever felt helpless, unwanted, or alone. Carter has incorporated his love of fantasy and science fiction with his fascination with the spiritual principalities of the Bible and given us a new paranormal fantasy. He gives us a book where the bad guys are bad, and the good guys try really, really hard to be good.

Carter has penned a story that will keep readers up at night wondering what will happen next. The tone is consistent and reasoned, exciting and compelling, the reader will gladly suspend their disbelief. Contemporary social, economic, ethical, and political issues are incorporated while conforming to the reader’s expectations of an adventure in the near future. There are enough unanswered questions and partial possibilities to make the reader look forward to the trilogy and the series to follow.

* The G-6 Chronicles: The Unwanted Trilogy, (accessed September 8, 2012)

Monday, September 3, 2012

For Real Human Writers

Acheson, Carla. Inspire Me to Get Writing (Writing Fiction). Booklet 1 of the “Inspire Me” series. July 2011.

Written for real human writers, Acheson bases her book on two years of weekly writers’ workshops. She gives “uncomplicated guidance, tips, advice, and inspiration for both the non-fiction and fiction writer” regardless of experience level.
The booklet includes three sections: 1) Why write? (both good and bad reasons) 2) What is a writer? (confidence and mistakes) 3) What is your excuse? (time management, inspiration, getting creative.)
Acheson includes exercises, story starting prompts and tips for creative writing. She approaches writers as friends and colleagues rather than students, saying “If you have the time to read, the will and desire to be impressive, plus a decent/moderate command of the English language, you need no more tools in your tool box than your personal creativity and your brain.”
Informally written, Acheson encourages balance, self-discipline reminds us “nothing we do or know is trivial” and “the only way to inspire yourself is to seek inspiration inside or out.” But don’t wait for the muse for motivation.
Acheson is a full-time free-lance writer from Gibraltar. As a creative writing consultant she guides, advises, and encourages new writers every week.
The booklet often felt like a promotional piece for the booklets to follow rather than a well-focused treatise on inspiration. Her story prompts were weak and her writing of sometimes felt disjointed, as if she had so much to say it was hard to get it all down. But lots of good tips and things to think about.