Christian Fiction at Amazon

Wednesday

Wedgewood Grey, by John Aubrey Anderson

John Aubrey Anderson's writing is steeped in Mississippi's fertile fields and history dating up to the social upheavel of the 1960s. His novels are peopled with those telling their personal stories: black and white, good and evil; and drawn from the soil of the Cotton Belt's social history, from Anderson's backyard:

Anderson: "I was born and raised in my grandparents’ home, five miles north of the setting I chose for Abiding Darkness. That little cotton country town is within a rifle shot of two rivers, a bayou, a double handful of lakes, and endless acres of woods. Add that backdrop to a culture that offered an umbrella of protection for children while allowing boys to roam the countryside with firearms and fishing poles..."

"Wedgewood Grey, The Black or White Chronicles Book Two," Exciting new Christian thriller by John Aubrey Anderson. 2007.FaithWords
One bleak night, in the middle of a wet April in a 1960s Mississippi community, evil is aroused. In the dark stillness of midnight, an innocent black woman is attacked by a mob of white men. Mose confronts the men from behind his twelve-gauge shotgun, and people die.

In 1962, an old black man and his grandson move into the country near Pilot Hill, Texas. He and the 10-year-old boy are fugitives, running from the certain injustice they know they'd receive from a justice system that will hold them liable for killing two white teenage boys determined to kill them. And, Mose and his grandson are fleeing something else, something more terrifying.

Missy Parker Patterson, who as a child stood at the epicenter of the first demonic war at Cat Lake, returns in the aftermath that follows Mose Washington’s disappearance to discover that the demonic beings have been anticipating her return . . . and so begins the second battle of The War At Cat Lake.

Wedgewood Grey is a story about the impact our choices make in our lives and the lives of those around us, when we choose between good and evil--choices that real people are sometimes forced to make.

Anderson's novels, "Abiding Darkness" and "Wedgewood Grey," are receiving good reviews. I'm currently reading "Wedgewood Grey" and find that I can't put it down. It's fast paced and filled with characters I've quickly learned to care about, and some I hope never to meet.

You can read the first chapter of the novel that begins this supernatural thriller series, "Abiding Darkness," at FIRST

Read more reviews from CFBA's Reviewer List and at Infuzemag
"Wedgewood Grey," Anderson,Amazon.com ISBN: 0446579505

Tuesday

Take a Writing Quiz Using AP Style

"Mastery of the language -- from the rules of grammar and punctuation to the nuances of meaning -- is the basic skill necessary for good copyediting and headline writing." Take the test, then find more writing help at JProf.com

Select the correct answer according to AP Style book:

1. V-J Day and V-E Day can be used vice-a-versa; that is, they are used interchangeably for the end of WWII.
a. Change V-J Day and V-E Day to V.J. Day and V.E. Day
b. Change vice-a-versa to vice versa
c. Both a and b.
d. No changes, correct as written.


2. Both the Mississippi and Missouri Valleys lie on the 25th parallel along with Virginia, the Virgin Islands and Vietnam.
a. Change Mississippi and Missouri Valleys to Mississippi and Missouri valleys.
b. Change the Virgin Islands to The Virgin Islands
c. Change Vietnam to Viet Nam.
d. Both a. and c.
e. Correct as written.


3. The very Reverend Jesse Jackson vied for a videotex data system belonging to Vermont’s chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
a. Change The very Reverend Jesse Jackson to The Very Reverend Jesse Jackson.
b. Change Videotex to either videotext or teletext.
c. Change Vermont’s chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to Vermont’s chapter of the VFW.
d. Correct as written.


4. Dr. Vandyke said Vitamin B-12 and Valium are effective in the fight against vulgar venereal diseases.
a. Change Vitamin B-12 to vitamin B-12
b. Change Valium to valium
c. Both a. and b.
d. Correct as written.


5. The Viscount preferred a Victrola verses a videocassette recorder, or was that vice versa?
a. Change Viscount to viscount
b. Change Victrola verses a videocassette recorder to victrola vs. a VCR.
d. Change verses to versus
e. Correct as written


6. In Vietnam's villages, the Vietcong preferred vienna bread, vienna coffee and vienna sausages to vitamin A shipments from Virginia.
a. Change Vietcong to Viet Cong
b. Vienna should be capitalized in all cases.
c. both a and b
d. Correct as written.


7. Volkswagen of America, Inc.'s stockholders gave its company’s vice president VIP treatment when they presented him with a company VTOL.
a. Change Company’s vice president to company’s Vice-president
b. Change VIP treatment to very important person’s treatment as first reference.
c. Change VTOL to vertical takeoff aircraft because VTOL is acceptable only on second reference.
d. both b. and c.
e. Correct as written


8. Volunteers in Service to America thought Vice President Al Gore’s vote-getting tabulating amounted to the same thing as “voodoo economics” or so one VISTA member voiced while viscerally vying for Vandyke’s bottle of Valium and vitamins.
a. Change Volunteers in Service to America to VISTA because the full name is never used.
b. Change Vice President Al Gore to Al Gore, VIP, since he is no longer the vice president.
c. Delete One VISTA member voiced vernacularly—because she shouldn’t be voicing anything vernacularly, especially about Al Gore’s vote-getting tabulating! The idea of it! Hmmp!
e. Delete One VISTA member voicing vernacularly on any subject about the former VIP Al Gore; she should be ashamed of herself for her audacity, and for taking poor Viscount Vandyke’s bottle of Valium. It ought to be illegal.
f. Change nothing, it's beautifully written.

Answers to be posted as soon as I find them.....

Saturday

“Give Me Liberty,” by L. M. Elliott.


Nathaniel Dunn, an 11-year-old boy, arrives in America to find his new world filled with hardship and loss. His mother dies of ship fever, and his father abandons him, selling himself and son Nathaniel into indentured service to pay their passage.

On the Virginia plantation where he serves, Nathaniel gains a friend—Moses, an African slave. Moses looks after Nathaniel, and Nathaniel teaches Moses the alphabet.

The plantation master declares bankruptcy and sells everything, separating Nathaniel and Moses. A blacksmith buys Nathaniel’s contract at auction, then loses his temper and beats Nathaniel.

Basil Wilkinson, a school teacher, takes pity on Nathaniel, and sells valuable books to scrape together enough money to outbid the blacksmith for Nathaniel’s contract. In return, Nathaniel offers Basil his grandfather’s German flute, but Basil teaches him to play it.

Nathaniel goes to Williamsburg to live with Basil. He begins an apprenticeship to a Williamsburg carriage house where he meets Ben, a young idealist. Conflict develops quickly and the reader roots for Nathaniel and his friends as the carriage shop becomes caught up in opposing Loyalist and Patriot sympathies.

"Give Me Liberty," an historical novel written for age groups nine and up, is an excellent supplement to social studies curriculum, adding rich detail of daily life in Colonial America.

Elliott captures the struggle of the era through her portrayal of common people living out their lives in a period of social upheaval. Her characters display a strong sense of loyalty mixed with desire for self-determination. Nathaniel questions whether the revolution fueled by Patrick Henry’s words, “Give me liberty or give me death,” will apply to slaves like Moses:
“If Moses is fighting for the British to secure his liberty, something wasn’t right with the patriot cause.”

Elliott’s style is fun to read and filled with delightful descriptions such as this of Basil: “He was an angular, older man, all elbows and knees it seemed, like a grasshopper…., and his eyebrows were hairy and a bit wild, sticking almost straight up.” Readers who’ve had the pleasure to know Latin teachers can easily imagine Basil’s mixture of humility and wit.

An added bonus, Elliott includes period English lyrics “borrowed” by the Colonist’s and reworded as Patriot songs.

In a touch of irony, Ben, a zealot—but a poor-student—is wounded before he’s called to fight. Through Basil, he learns the value of words to support the cause; while Nathaniel—a good student—decides to fight alongside Basil as Patriots. Ben says to Nathaniel: "You’re stronger than you think, Nat; I’ve learned that steady men make better leaders.”

“Give Me Liberty” raises important issues for classroom and home school discussions. Neighbors, good and honest people, find themselves on opposing sides of the Revolutionary War; and many question the morality of slavery’s continued existence in colonies fighting for liberty. Guided by Basil, Nathaniel and Ben grow in wisdom and character, each adopting for himself Thomas Jefferson’s vision of the inherent “nobility of common man.”


Read More about L. M. Elliott
L. M. Elliott Essay, HarperChildrens Reading Group Guide PDF, Elliott on Reenacting,
Revolutionary War Reenacting Brigade

Give Me Liberty,” L. M. Elliott, HarperCollins Children's Books, 2006. ISBN:0060744219.

Elliott has written two YA historical novels, “Annie, Between the States,”

and “Under a War-Torn Sky"

Friday

Book Review: The Freedom of the Soul, by Tracey Bateman

Book Review: The Freedom of the Soul by Tracey Bateman

The Freedom of the Soul is Tracey Bateman’s second book in the Penbrook Diaries. It follows The Color of the Soul, which introduces the series’ characters. Color tells the story of a black newspaper reporter, Andy Carmichael, and his struggle to lead a life of hope and dignity, while safeguarding his young family from the inhumanities foisted on black families living in pre-Civil Rights Georgia.

In The Freedom of the Soul, Bateman probes the dynamics of human relationships between black and white Georgia, during the height of Jim Crow excesses. Carmichael returns to Oak Junction to cover the trial of a powerful state senator’s son, Sam Dane, Jr. Dane is accused of ordering the Klan-murder of an interracial couple; the young woman was Carmichael’s niece.

Underscoring these incendiary events, all characters are acutely mindful of the familial ties between the Carmichaels and Danes: Sen. Dane is Andy Carmichael’s biological father. One hundred years after freedom, black and white descendents of Penbrook plantation have inherited the consequences of their ancestors’ selfish passions — as well as their sacrificial love — woven between the barriers of slavery, fear, and racial hatred.

Meanwhile, out in Oregon, Shea Penbrook attends her grandfather’s funeral. Alone, she returns to the dilapidated farm house she’d shared with him—her last living relative. While rummaging through boxes in the attic, Shea discovers her family’s secret, buried for more than a 100 years in the pages of diaries written at Penbrook plantation by her great-great-grandfather. She decides to return to Georgia in search of love, family, and acceptance.

Tracey Bateman is more than a historical romance novelist. She tackles honestly the uncomfortable issue of race relations of the recent-past, relations that in some communities may not be the past at all. Bateman writes about the harsh judgment experienced by those who dared to cross society's racial taboos, judgment meted out by those who categorize human hearts along racial lines.

Bateman weaves her story seamlessly, as characters in the 1840s live out their lives on the pages of Freedom, alongside but never intruding on the 1940s characters that live with the awful price exacted on innocent lives for the sins of selfish, hate filled men and women.

On a lighter note, Bateman hooked me with her "Dear Readers" introduction letter to Freedom, where she tells of an ancestor who ran away to Mexico to marry a young slave woman who'd nursed him back to health. Readers, like me, who enjoy historical romance novels written from a Christian perspective, will love the Penbrook Diaries. I highly recommend both novels.