Christian Fiction at Amazon

Thursday

Spirit of Sweetgrass

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Introduces
SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS
Integrity/Thomas Nelson (March 6, 2007)
by

Nicole Seitz
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: NICOLE SEITZ is a South Carolina Lowcountry native, and freelance writer/illustrator published in South Carolina Magazine, Charleston Magazine, House Calls, The Island Packet and The Bluffton Packet.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelor's degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Nicole is an exhibiting artist in the Charleston, South Carolina area where she owns a web design firm, and lives with her husband and two small children.


ABOUT THE BOOK: Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins is a 78-year-old sweetgrass basket weaver who sits on the side of Hwy. 17 in the company of her dead husband, Daddy Jim. Inspired by her Auntie Leona, Essie Mae finally discovers her calling in life and weaves powerful "love baskets," praying fervently over them to affect the lives of those who visit her roadside stand.
Relations are strained with her daughter Henrietta, who thinks Essie belongs in a retirement center. If Essie can't pay $10,000 in back taxes to save her home, she may have no choice.
More tensions: her grandson EJ wants to marry a white girl, Essie discovers that a handsome man she's trying to find a girl for is gay, and her daughter carries a hidden secret. When she's faced with losing her home and her stand and being put in a nursing home, Daddy Jim talks her into coming on up to Heaven to meet sweet Jesus-something she's always wanted to do.
The SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS shifts less successfully to the afterlife, where her Gullah-Creole ancestors surround her; but soon, her heavenly peace is disrupted, for she still has work to do. Now Essie Mae, who once felt powerless and invisible, must find the strength within her to keep her South Carolina family from falling apart. Together, with Daddy Jim, they team up to return to Earth and battle two spirits conjured up by Henrietta's voodoo that threatens to ruin an attempt to save the sweetgrass basket weaving culture.

Monday

Defiant Heart by Tracey Bateman

This Week Christian Fiction Blog Alliance Introduces
Defiant Heart by Tracey Bateman
Avon Inspire May 8, 2007
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tracey Bateman lives in Missouri with her husband and four children. Their rural home provides a wonderful atmosphere for a writer's imagination to grow and produce characters, plots, and settings.

In 1994, with three children to raise, she and her husband agreed that she should go to college and earn a degree. In a freshman English class, her love for writing was rekindled, and she wrote a short story that she later turned into a book. Her college career was cut short with the news of their fourth baby's impending arrival, but the seeds of hope for a writing career had already taken root.

Over the next several years she wrote, exchanged ideas with critique partners, studied the craft of writing, and eventually all the hard work paid off. She has over twenty-five books published in a variety of genres.

Tracey Bateman believes completely that God has big plans for his Kids and that all things are possible to anyone who will put their hope and trust in God!

ABOUT THE BOOK: Will Fannie be able to keep her family...and her heart, safe and find a new life on the frontier? Book One of the Westward Hearts series, orphans Fannie Caldwell and her two young siblings, have spent the last three years as indentured servants under a cruel master.

Desperately wanting a better life for her brother and sister, Fannie devises a plan to secretly join a wagon train heading west. Her plan immediately runs into trouble when the handsome, yet bullheaded, wagon master Blake Tanner refuses to allow an unmarried woman on the train. But Fannie's determined...she'll escape and go west with or without help!

As life on the trail tests everyone's endurance and faith, Fannie soon realizes the perils of being a single woman on the frontier. Witnessing Fannie fend off one scare after another, Blake slowly recognizes how much he cares for this alluring young woman.

Will Blake sacrifice his own dreams and guide Fannie to safety? Or will Fannie's stubborn independence keep her from finding true love?

Wednesday

Tribulation House by Chris Well



EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! An extra special post is coming out
today, May 11th, for
an extra special author. The man who started to ball rolling for FIRST,
Chris Well, has a new book out and we have decided to give him an extra
plug.


So, give all your attention to:


Chris
Well

and his
book:

TRIBULATION
HOUSE

(Harvest House 2007)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chris Well is founder of FIRST. He is
an acclaimed novelist and award–winning magazine editor and has
previously written the “laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers” Deliver Us from
Evelyn
and Forgiving Solomon Long(one of Booklist’s Top 10 Christian Novels of
2005). He has also contributed to 7ball, Infuze, and Alfred Hitchcock’s
Mystery Magazine. Chris and his wife live in Tennessee, where he is
hard at work on his next novel.


AND NOW...THE FIRST
CHAPTER:



~1~


I might as well just tell you right now, I killed Reverend Daniel
Glory. Back there at the church, in his study.

But this is my story. Don't let anyone tell you different. My dad
always said we all write our own story. Of course, I guess that's why it
worked out so well for him.

Why did I kill Reverend Daniel Glory? Sure, it was an accident. More or
less. At least, I think it was.

I don't know, we were arguing about the Rapture and it kind of got out
of hand and then I just --

Wait. Wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up.

This all started about three months ago, when Reverend Daniel Glory
told us we needed to do our Tribulation House earlier than --

Oh. Wait.

Okay, I guess this actually started last year when Marvin Dobbs left
the church. Our church. The Last Church of God's Imminent Will.

A year ago last summer, Marvin left with some of the other families to
start a new church, and he took his Armageddon House" multimedia show
with him.

You do know about Armageddon House, right? Every Halloween for the past
three or four years, Marvin and our team put together a special
multimedia presentation explaining the Great Tribulation, which ends with the
Battle of Armageddon.

Wait -- you don't know about the Great Tribulation? It's that
seven-year period between the Rapture and the Triumphant Return of Jesus Christ,
as described in the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel and the Apostles
Paul and John. After the Lord Jesus takes His Bride home, there are
going to be seven years of horrible judgment inflicted on those who are
left b --

What? The murder of Reverend Glory? I'm getting to that.

Well, anyway, when Marvin left to form his little offshoot splinter
group, we discovered he had actually trademarked the name "Armageddon
House." Imagine that.

When the board at church met to discuss the matter, we considered doing
Armageddon House anyway without him. Just reconstruct it from memory
and copy or use materials from previous years. Use the same name,
business as usual. Just ignore the cease-and-desist letter, let God and His
angels work that out.

But we decided we didn't want to be associated with Armageddon House
anymore. I mean, if Marvin and his new "fellowship" planned to stage
their own Armageddon House, the risk of confusion in the marketplace was
enough to rebuild ours as a brand-new event.

Which is how we ended up with Tribulation House. It was an opportunity
for a new beginning. We went through a whole list of potential names --
I came up with Kingdom Come, but was voted down -- before we settled on
Tribulation House.

We sat down and worked through the whole grid. Instead of imagining how
to simply explain or show a picture of each bowl of wrath and each
trumpet of judgment, we created an entire theatrical event.

Yeah, we could have set up the charts and graphs and the overhead
projector. But today's audience, this last generation, they're kind of jaded
about flannel graph presentations, know what I mean?

These kids today, with their Spongebob Squarepants and their
American Bandstand and their Buffy The Vampire Slayer,
they need the bells and whistles and the like.

The kids don't need a lot of explanation. They need a demonstration.

You see, that was the challenge, wasn't it? It's one thing to say "the
moon was blackened" or "the waters turned to blood" or "men were stung
by enormous flying scorpions" -- but how do you make it happen right
here, right before their eyes?

In the end, we created Tribulation House: A full-sensory immersive
interactive dramatic theatrical evangelistic event that simulates what it
will actually be like to live through the events of the Great
Tribulation. An entire full-service prophetic experience.

You'd be surprised how much of it we accomplished with sound and light.
We developed the various rooms throughout the church basement. Some
college kids created soundscapes for each event. We wrote up a full script
for the actors; they played everything from people caught up in the
events, to the world armies fighting the Most Holy, to the father of lies
himself, bound and thrown into the pit for a millennium.

The murder of Reverend Daniel Glory? I'm getting to that.

So we were working out the blueprints for creating Tribulation House as
a major theatrical evangelistic full-sensory ministry outreach. We had
debated the merits of various slogans for the event -- the leading
contenders were WE'LL SCARE THE HELL OUT OF YOU; GET RIGHT OR GET LEFT; and
THE TIME IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK. While the first slogan was a
favorite of several board members, for its bracing, truthful stance, in the
end we worried that the neighbors would misunderstand. So we went with
the second slogan, for its simple, instructional message.

And I remember that our chief carpenter, Bill Broadstreet, was giving
us his estimate for the physical construction to be done on the project.
Suddenly, Reverend Daniel Glory burst in with some news.

"Friends!" There was a glow on the Reverend's face unlike we had seen
before. The man stood there in the doorway to the church basement,
leaning against the doorframe, wheezing to catch his breath. "Jesus is
coming back!"

The room was silent. We all stared. At first, we wondered why he was
saying this right then. After all, he preached on this topic every week.
But then he dropped this bomb: "And I know when!"

Okay, that was a new one. Collectively, everyone in the room gasped.
One of us, I don't even remember who it was, asked, "When, Reverend?"

"October 17."

Five months.

"5:51 a.m." Reverend Daniel Glory waved the papers clutched in his
hand. Later, I would wonder what he was waving at us. His Bible study? His
calculations? All I know is he grinned ear to ear and said, "The
Rapture is going to happen at 5:51 a.m. on October 17."

Everyone around the meeting table reacted differently. Some were
stunned into silence, others screamed with joy. One noisy woman loudly sobbed
and clapped.

Reverend Daniel Glory came into room, face aglow with thrill and
exhaustion, and dragged a chair from the wall over to our table. He sat,
waiting until everyone was silent again. "I now have incontrovertible proof
that the Rapture takes place this coming October."

I'm sure I grinned bigger than anyone in the room. "What reason do you
have to say that?"

Reverend Daniel Glory looked at me and winked. "Why stop with one
reason, boy? I got one hundred and seven of 'em!"

Of course, you know what this meant. We were going to have to step up
the production of Tribulation House.

(I still can't believe it's not Kingdom Come.)


Tribulation House earlier than --
Oh. Wait.
Okay, I guess this actually started last year when Marvin Dobbs left
the church. Our church. The Last Church of God's Imminent Will.
A year ago last summer, Marvin left with some of the other families to
start a new church, and he took his Armageddon House" multimedia show
with him.
You do know about Armageddon House, right? Every Halloween for the past
three or four years, Marvin and our team put together a special
multimedia presentation explaining the Great Tribulation, which ends with the
Battle of Armageddon.
Wait -- you don't know about the Great Tribulation? It's that
seven-year period between the Rapture and the Triumphant Return of Jesus Christ,
as described in the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel and the Apostles
Paul and John. After the Lord Jesus takes His Bride home, there are
going to be seven years of horrible judgment inflicted on those who are
left b --
What? The murder of Reverend Glory? I'm getting to that.
Well, anyway, when Marvin left to form his little offshoot splinter
group, we discovered he had actually trademarked the name "Armageddon
House." Imagine that.
When the board at church met to discuss the matter, we considered doing
Armageddon House anyway without him. Just reconstruct it from memory
and copy or use materials from previous years. Use the same name,
business as usual. Just ignore the cease-and-desist letter, let God and His
angels work that out.
But we decided we didn't want to be associated with Armageddon House
anymore. I mean, if Marvin and his new "fellowship" planned to stage
their own Armageddon House, the risk of confusion in the marketplace was
enough to rebuild ours as a brand-new event.
Which is how we ended up with Tribulation House. It was an opportunity
for a new beginning. We went through a whole list of potential names --
I came up with Kingdom Come, but was voted down -- before we settled on
Tribulation House.
We sat down and worked through the whole grid. Instead of imagining how
to simply explain or show a picture of each bowl of wrath and each
trumpet of judgment, we created an entire theatrical event.
Yeah, we could have set up the charts and graphs and the overhead
projector. But today's audience, this last generation, they're kind of jaded
about flannel graph presentations, know what I mean?
These kids today, with their Spongebob Squarepants and their
American Bandstand and their Buffy The Vampire Slayer,
they need the bells and whistles and the like.
The kids don't need a lot of explanation. They need a demonstration.
You see, that was the challenge, wasn't it? It's one thing to say "the
moon was blackened" or "the waters turned to blood" or "men were stung
by enormous flying scorpions" -- but how do you make it happen right
here, right before their eyes?
In the end, we created Tribulation House: A full-sensory immersive
interactive dramatic theatrical evangelistic event that simulates what it
will actually be like to live through the events of the Great
Tribulation. An entire full-service prophetic experience.
You'd be surprised how much of it we accomplished with sound and light.
We developed the various rooms throughout the church basement. Some
college kids created soundscapes for each event. We wrote up a full script
for the actors; they played everything from people caught up in the
events, to the world armies fighting the Most Holy, to the father of lies
himself, bound and thrown into the pit for a millennium.
The murder of Reverend Daniel Glory? I'm getting to that.
So we were working out the blueprints for creating Tribulation House as
a major theatrical evangelistic full-sensory ministry outreach. We had
debated the merits of various slogans for the event -- the leading
contenders were WE'LL SCARE THE HELL OUT OF YOU; GET RIGHT OR GET LEFT; and
THE TIME IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK. While the first slogan was a
favorite of several board members, for its bracing, truthful stance, in the
end we worried that the neighbors would misunderstand. So we went with
the second slogan, for its simple, instructional message.
And I remember that our chief carpenter, Bill Broadstreet, was giving
us his estimate for the physical construction to be done on the project.
Suddenly, Reverend Daniel Glory burst in with some news.
"Friends!" There was a glow on the Reverend's face unlike we had seen
before. The man stood there in the doorway to the church basement,
leaning against the doorframe, wheezing to catch his breath. "Jesus is
coming back!"
The room was silent. We all stared. At first, we wondered why he was
saying this right then. After all, he preached on this topic every week.
But then he dropped this bomb: "And I know when!"
Okay, that was a new one. Collectively, everyone in the room gasped.
One of us, I don't even remember who it was, asked, "When, Reverend?"
"October 17."
Five months.
"5:51 a.m." Reverend Daniel Glory waved the papers clutched in his
hand. Later, I would wonder what he was waving at us. His Bible study? His
calculations? All I know is he grinned ear to ear and said, "The
Rapture is going to happen at 5:51 a.m. on October 17."
Everyone around the meeting table reacted differently. Some were
stunned into silence, others screamed with joy. One noisy woman loudly sobbed
and clapped.
Reverend Daniel Glory came into room, face aglow with thrill and
exhaustion, and dragged a chair from the wall over to our table. He sat,
waiting until everyone was silent again. "I now have incontrovertible proof
that the Rapture takes place this coming October."
I'm sure I grinned bigger than anyone in the room. "What reason do you
have to say that?"
Reverend Daniel Glory looked at me and winked. "Why stop with one
reason, boy? I got one hundred and seven of 'em!"
Of course, you know what this meant. We were going to have to step up
the production of Tribulation House.
(I still can't believe it's not Kingdom Come.)


Well's style is entertaining, a tad-bit "cheeky,"and extremely funny. His satirical, but gentle, treatment of modern-day evangelical/fundamentalist/pentecostalist's rather in-bred, sometimes glaringly-blind-spots is good medicine for the Church body. Chris Well is not disrespectful, not irreverent; his comedic enema will move many of us to do some serious reflection--after we stop laughing, that is. Recommended.