Tuesday, 31 March 2015

#bookreview and launch: Michael by @plynne_writes

There is only one path.

Born mortal along with his three brothers, Michael is an Archangel with a specific role: hunt fallen angels and send them back to Hell. He is determined in his mission, never straying from his appointed path, until he meets Lake Divine, and discovers there may be more to his beliefs than blind duty.

But Lake is not who he seems. Offspring of a human and a fallen angel, a Nephilim, Lake must choose his own destiny: give in to the coldness and embrace the dark, or seek the light and rise above the sins of his father.

Two paths lay before them, but only one has the potential to destroy them both.

Annnddd.... Here's my review! 

Michael (Path of Angels #1)Michael by Patricia Josephine
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, for this one, I'm going to ask you to disregard my ratings for now, and read the review.

First of all, I would have to put up a theological disclaimer. Just because I read this book doesn't mean that I agree with it. That happens. I picked up this book because Patricia was organising a cover reveal and book launch tour and I wanted to support her. I read the blurb and it sounded like something I sometimes read. You know, paranormal stuff. Angels and Nephilim. Not often, though. What I didn't realise was that it was slated under LGBT as well. And well, New Adult, which means this needs an 18+ sticker somewhere on the review. But anyway...

So in Michael, four angels have been born as humans with a specific mission to hunt fallen angels and send them to Hell. Because apparently, that's the only way "good angels" can appear on earth. Okay.
Well, part of what Michael and his 3 brothers do is also dispatch Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. The complication comes about when Michael meets, and falls in love, with Lake Divine, a lost and hurting young man - who turns out to be a Nephilim. (Which is teaser enough - read the official blurb and go lurk on Patricia's blog if you want teasers!)

And so... how do I justify a 3-star review here?

Theologically, I would give it a 0. Or maybe a 0.5. There are so many things I disagree with here, beginning with angels being incarnated as humans, and ending with angels being able to reject the will of God. I don't have a clear stand on Nephilim, so I'm going to hold off on that. (Random related discussion and theories were bandied about here, though.) I also have views on homosexuality, predominantly on whether it should be practiced by people who profess to be Christians (or to follow God), not so much on those who say they don't believe anyway, so the plot line presented in this book opens a whole new can of worms. Which I will not go into.

Readability wise, if you disregard everything above which I said I disagreed with, Michael is actually a very fun read. It's pretty short - less than an hour's read (I read it over 2 dinners) - so it's not like you have to labour at all to finish the book. Inherent prudishness aside, I actually enjoyed it once I finished blushing.

View all my reviews


About the author:

Patricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment.
She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Where to find Patricia:

Twitter | Website | Google+ | Wattpad | Goodreads

Monday, 30 March 2015

#Bookreview: Translucent by Dan Rix

I was actually hoping to get this up in time for his launch on March 19, but so many things came up (even though I finished reading it in Feb) that I just couldn't find the time to write the review.
So anyway, here it is.

Translucent (Translucent, #1)Translucent by Dan Rix
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Leona Hewitt has secrets to hide and the strange meteorite she and her best friend, Megan, found in the San Rafael Wilderness is just one of them. The longer Leona holds on to the little rock, the more possessive she is about it. And then she realises that the strange gooey stuff that rolls off the rock can make her invisible.

As much as I love Dan Rix (his writing, I mean), I have to say that this one didn't quite cut it for me. Maybe because Leona Hewitt is the kind of girl that I avoid in real life. Maybe because this alien-type premise doesn't always do it for me. But hey, it's a Rix, right?

It felt like there was too much build up over "the secret" (I know what you did last summer, anybody?). After a while, I was like, just tell me already and stop hinting. You know, because this is just a little too much. It also segues off into something vaguely like a ghost story towards the end, and I really don't like ghost stories (A little of a Pretty Little Liars premise going on there, I think - not that I ever watched the whole series, only the first one or two shows.)

Still, I'm curious to know what happens in the next book. Because I still think it's highly unlikely it's going to be a ghost story.

*I received a free copy of this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review

View all my reviews

Friday, 27 March 2015

#poetry: Eden


Death came into the garden
Early in the ancient story of Earth
With the solemn understanding
That knowledge, the wisdom of the world,
Would bring eventual
    permanent death

Juxtaposed beside the tree of Life
The eternal connection to
The Uncreated One, like a permanent
    Tether to the internet -
Full of wisdom, beauty, perfection,
    Accessible - at no cost.

Until death came and demanded his due
Because Adam, wise in his own eyes,
Headstrong in his wife's love
Ate.

Then death
Stalked us in the hallways
Grieved us in the hollowness of our hearts
Beckoning, always beckoning.

So we waited for the second Adam,
For the second chance at life
For the crushing of the serpent
Finding
That death defeated did not bring instant relief

So we wait still for the second Eden
Because the Earth still groans
Still waits
For the fulfillment
Of time.

And God waits.
With us.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

#bookreview: The Wind Catcher - Jeff & Erynn Altabef

WC Release

This fantasy adventure series is steeped in American Indian culture and so much more.

Winner: Mom's Choice Award -- Silver Metal
Winner: Awesome Indies -- Seal of Approval
Recipient: Readers' Favorite -- 5 Star Review

Juliet Wildfire Stone hears voices and sees visions, but she can't make out what they mean. Her eccentric grandfather tells her stories about the Great Wind Spirit and Coyote, but he might as well be speaking another language. None of it makes any sense.
When she stumbles upon a series of murders, she can't help but worry her grandfather might be involved. To discover the truth, Juliet must choose between her new life at an elite private school and her Native American heritage. Once she uncovers an ancient secret society formed over two hundred years ago to keep her safe, she starts to wonder whether there's some truth to those old stories her grandfather has been telling her.
All she wants is to be an average sixteen-year-old girl, but she has never been average- could never be average.
Betrayed by those she loves, she must decide whether to run or risk everything by fulfilling her destiny as the Chosen.
"Wind Catcher is a suspenseful, wonderfully written story that will capture your attention and hold it prisoner. A book that you won't want to escape from. Brava!" - Stephen Fisher, Readers' Favorite Book Reviews
Get your copy now on
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FREE with Kindle Unlimited!



Wind Catcher: A Chosen NovelWind Catcher: A Chosen Novel by Jeff Altabef
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wind Catcher is the story of Juliet Wildfire Stone and how she has to choose between ignoring her Native American heritage in order to live the new elite, rich life her mother has built for her and submitting to the strange, old-fashioned ways of Sicheii, her grandfather, and the voices and visions in her head. It's a classic coming-of-age story with a side dose of fantasy, dipping generously into Native American legends.

Overall, Wind Catcher is a fine novel told in the voice of a very uncertain sixteen-year-old Juliet, who wants nothing more than to go back to her old life before Bartens, and, when things get decidedly weird in a Native American way, to go back to Bartens and fit in with the rich, popular kids (or maybe just Katie) without worrying about strange symbols, secret societies and whether Sicheii is really a murderer.

Trust seems to be a major theme of the story, as it is in a teenager's life. Can Juliet trust Sicheii, who is acting extremely cagey? Can she trust her best friend Troy, who doesn't seem as supportive as he used to be? What about her mother who's often lost in her own world? When things turn strange, and long-held secrets are revealed, who can Juliet really trust or believe? The Altabefs do a fine job with this theme, allowing Juliet to stumble through misplaced trust and unwarranted fears.

The one thing that put me off about this debut novel by Jeff & Erynn Altabef (hence the lower rating) is the pacing. It felt like it took forever to get anywhere, with Juliet dithering about the same thing over and over again (realistic, I know, but trying in a novel), and when it felt sufficiently built up and raring to go, it was almost over.

Still, if you love coming-of-age stories told in first person, this would be the book for you.

I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review via Novel Publicity.

View all my reviews


And Now for the Prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 23 March 2015

#atozchallenge: 2015 Theme Reveal #atozreveal

Because I'm obviously off my rocker, and because 83% of voters said I should join the A to Z challenge, and because I obviously thrive on stress and overdoing things, and because I suddenly thought of a theme on Saturday...


2015 edition: The A to Z of (mainly) Worship Songs

Why worship songs?
Because these are the songs that have been impacting my life. I'll be choosing songs that have stayed with me through the years, have impacted me in the past or are currently impacting me at the moment. (Also because I've been working through a lot of songs for Easter, so... I have songs running through my head)

Why mainly?
Because I've already got most of the list but there are a few alphabets that don't seem to have a song. So if I can't find a worship song in time, I might choose another song, or maybe write a random post. 

But why no fiction?
Because I've already signed up for Camp Nanowrimo and I've committed to 30 hours of editing over the month of April. So no. Really. No time to write. REALLY WAN.

Ok. Back to doing important things.

Friday, 20 March 2015

#bookreview: Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern by @selahjtaysong

Having read this through a really busy period, I feel as if I won't be able to do it full justice in my review, but I'll try anyway.


Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern (Dreams of QaiMaj)Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern by Selah Tay-Song
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Icer Princess, Stasia of Iskalon is convinced that she is close to finding V'ltruhst, a vast cavern from ancient legend that she has been Dreaming of. However, Flame King Dynat of Chraun, compelled by the Fire Spirit, has launched a war against Iskalon, intent on destroying the Icers' city and capturing all the princesses. Thrust into leadership when her family is captured, Stasia has to find the right balance between saving her people and following her Dream.

Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern (DVBC for short!) draws you into a magical world, where two races who can draw the T'Jas from cold and heat, called Icers and Flames, are pitted against each other. Humans, those without the magic of T'Jas, are unfortunately caught in between as guildsmen and assistants amongst the Icers and as slaves amongst the Flames. It feels like she might be inserting some social commentary here, but it's probably only going to be evident in the second book.

Tay-Song's writing is a pleasure to read - detailed enough to bring you into the scene at will, and yet broad enough for you to fill in the gaps with your imagination. The only thing that broke it for me in several parts were the interludes where Maia's story, set in Khell, brings in an ancient tribal-like feel that's far removed from the rest of the story. It's only towards the end when the two storylines merge does it begin to fit together. I suppose this is something like what Brandon Sanderson has been doing in the Stormlight Archives. I would have liked the interlude to have been maybe a little more connected though.


* I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

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DVBC is available here!

---

Check out Selah’s latest book, Dream of a City of Ruin, available today! The tale of QaiMaj continues in this gripping sequel to Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern:

War simmering for three thousand years is poised to explode on the surface of QaiMaj. The outcome might free the scattered survivors of an ancient disaster from tyranny, or destroy them forever.

Torn from familiar caverns in the midst of her own war, stranded in the icy lands of Khell, Queen Stasia of Iskalon knows nothing of the conflicts shaping QaiMaj. Her only guides are legends told by a Khell Healer and her own prophetic Dreams of her people suffering in a dark, ruined city. Unwillingly allied with the man who destroyed everything she holds dear, struggling to define her identity in the face of so much loss, stalked and assailed by death-hungry Dhuciri, Stasia sets out across the vast wastelands of QaiMaj to reach the city of her Dreams.

But Svardark, the ruling dynasty on QaiMaj, already knows she has surfaced, and they will stop at nothing to find her in...

Dream of a City of Ruin 
Dreams of QaiMaj Book II

A random day in my life

  • K:‎ lol God gave u 10 fingers. got so many piesmeh
  • Me:‎ potato got no fingers wan
  • Me:‎ so obviously got too many pies d
  • Me:‎ potato going to become a pie
  • K:‎ backside


And that was.... a day in the life of Anna Tan.

This happens tomorrow, and apparently I have the second slot:


On a side note, what would you look for in attending a Literary Festival?


P/s - two reviews coming up, long overdue for launches yesterday and today! 
While you wait, check them out on Amazon:

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

#guestpost: Why I Read (and Write) Fantasy by @selahjtaysong

{Where we take a mini selah from book reviews for a guest post from the lovely Selah!}

The deeper I get into writing my epic fantasy series Dreams of QaiMaj, the more I’ve started to think about why I’m still driven to read and write fantasy. Last fall I had a kind of slump after I drafted book three in my series. For some reason, I didn’t want to read fantasy anymore.

I’m better now—I just finished reading Tad Williams’ Dragonbone Chair and am starting Kushiel’s Dart by Jaqueline Carey, but the episode got me thinking. Why do I read fantasy?

My first thought was that I read fantasy now because I have always read it. When I was a child, I was socially awkward and isolated (no big surprise that I became a writer!) Fantasy was my escape from isolation. Lucy, Dorothy, and Alice were my best friends as a child.

But it wasn’t for the cast of characters alone that I read fantasy. After all, I spent considerable time with Laura Ingalls and Anne of Green Gables, too. But fantasy had another layer, the ability to transport me to whole other worlds. Narnia, Faerie, Wonderland, Oz, these were my playgrounds as a child. The books I read took me out of the boring real world and sent me on magical journeys through these illustrious landscapes.

As an adult, I read fantasy for largely the same reasons. I’m lucky today to not be as lonely as I was as a child, so I don’t need fantasy friends anymore, but I do still enjoy spending time with them. In epic fantasy, I find a cast of characters that represent different facets of my personality, which guide me through emotional experiences simultaneously unique and universal.

In epic fantasy, I am still transported to awe-inspiring places. I have traveled as an adult and experienced some of the amazing sights of the real world, but I am still spellbound by the magic of Lothlorien, the darkly beautiful Shadowlands imagined by Tad Williams, the searing and ancient Rain Wilds of Robin Hobb’s Farseer series.

When I write fantasy, I seek to create these same experiences for the readers. I write for adults rather than children, simply because I am inspired to write adult themes, but I do seek to elicit a sense of child-like wonder even in the adult reader. When I build characters, or as I think of it, get to know them, I try to bring to the page the same qualities that I enjoyed in the characters I knew as a child. Kindness, curiosity, boldness; these are traits that endear us as readers and encourage us to be better people, at any age.

When I write fantasy, I aim to craft a variety of settings that are awe-inspiring in their beauty or danger or scale, unique (not something a reader can experience by traveling in the real world), and full of magic. As the first reader of everything I write, I always look for my writing to transport me to amazing places in which to have a thrilling adventure.

Tell me, why do you read fantasy? If you write, what are you trying to do when you write fantasy? Leave a note in the comments!

---

 Selah J Tay-Song is living proof that if you persevere, you’ll catch your dreams. She decided to be an author at the age of six. It took her 25 years to learn how to write a book. Today she is the author of the award-winning Dreams of QaiMaj series, described as magical, poetic and engrossing. When she’s not writing epic fantasy, Selah blogs about everything she wished she knew before she wrote her first book. When she’s not writing, Selah is stalking the urban river otters that live near her home in the Pacific Northwest.

Follow Selah on the interwebs:
Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads


Check out Selah’s latest book, Dream of a City of Ruin, available March 20th, 2015! The tale of QaiMaj continues in this gripping sequel to Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern:

War simmering for three thousand years is poised to explode on the surface of QaiMaj. The outcome might free the scattered survivors of an ancient disaster from tyranny, or destroy them forever.

Torn from familiar caverns in the midst of her own war, stranded in the icy lands of Khell, Queen Stasia of Iskalon knows nothing of the conflicts shaping QaiMaj. Her only guides are legends told by a Khell Healer and her own prophetic Dreams of her people suffering in a dark, ruined city. Unwillingly allied with the man who destroyed everything she holds dear, struggling to define her identity in the face of so much loss, stalked and assailed by death-hungry Dhuciri, Stasia sets out across the vast wastelands of QaiMaj to reach the city of her Dreams.

But Svardark, the ruling dynasty on QaiMaj, already knows she has surfaced, and they will stop at nothing to find her in...

Dream of a City of Ruin 
Dreams of QaiMaj Book II

To pre-order the paperback with free shipping ($19.99 total), click here!
To pre-order the ebook for $4.99, click here!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Young Adult Science Fiction Multi-Author Event

Science Fiction is the hottest genre right now. Add in some best selling authors and Young Adult books and you have an event not to be missed. So come celebrate these awesome YA Science Fiction Authors with us! Giveaways, book exclusives, games and more!

Young Adult Science Fiction Multi-Author Event March 19th from 5:30-9PM.

You can enter the big $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway at the bottom of this post! Don't miss it! YA Banner FB Header

Join the event!

The authors are excited to see you on the 19th but in the meantime, check out these amazing titles!
Meritropolis
ManyLivesOfRubyIyer_cover The Legacy Human (Singularity #1) FINAL anyone
Perception-LeeStrauss-cover_600x927 2mos Kay-BrokenSkies-17612-CVR-FT-v1 (2)

Schedule of events!

5:30-6:00 – Angela Scott
6:00-6:30 – Laxmi Hariharan
6:30-7:00 – Theresa Kay
7:00-7:30 – Lee Strauss
7:30-8:00 – Pavarti K Tyler
8:00-8:30 – Susan Kaye Quinn
8:30-9:00 – Joel Ohman
9:00 – Pavarti (Announce Rafflecopter winners - Enter at the bottom of this post!)

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 15 March 2015

In the fullness of time

There's this thing about the word "fullness". It sounds pregnant. It feels as if you're waiting. You're waiting for the stars to align; for a culmination of something - not just anything, but something significant. Something definitive.

And sometimes you think that it is time. You're ready. And yet, the time is not yet full; not yet ripe. You are ready, but you are not yet pregnant enough with the weight of expectancy, the thickness of glory or the heaviness of His heart that it can be birthed.

And if you do not wait until the fullness of time, your dream bears the risk of being stillborn. 

Is that why broken dreams abound in the church? Because we have tired of waiting on the Lord until it is His time, until it is the right time, but we hurry into things before we are ready and watch our efforts go to waste.

Sometimes we might be ready, but the people may not be. The conditions may not be. And there is wisdom in waiting.

Fullness.

The earth groans and waits for the coming of the Lord.
But He cannot come because we are not ready.
Our hearts must grow heavy with His burdens, our mouths must be filled with His cry.
For justice. For mercy. For love.
For goodness, kindness and peace.

And your heart must break, must yearn, for the coming of the King; for the righting of wrongs, for the lifting of heads.

And He fills your heart with His burden and His fullness.
Until the fullness of time and you are ready.
Then you are birthed [alive, victorious, redeemed, renewed!] in His glory.

Galatians 4:4-7 (ESV)
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.



Semua harta di dalam dunia | All the treasures in the world
Semua tahta yang dapat tergapai | All the thrones that can be grasped
Takkan bisa menggantikan kasih Bapa | Cannot replace the Father's love

Semua karya yang t'lah terlukiskan | All the [artistic] works that have been drawn
Semua nada yang telah terdengar | All the melodies that have been heard
Takkan bisa menyaingi cintaMu | Cannot rival Your love

Sampai habis bumi berlalu | Until the world has passed away
Sampai siang malam menyatu | Until day and night become one
Kan kupuja dan kusembah Engkau Ya Bapaku | I will adore and worship You, my Father
Sampai namaMu ditinggikan | Until Your name is exalted
Di setiap hati dan bangsa | In every heart and nation
Kasih sayangMu dan setiaMu kan menyertaiku | Your love and faithfulness will [continue to] be with me

You are holy, holy
Holy is the Lord.

* I apologise for my crappy translating skills. 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Goodbye, Terry.

Today, I is the sad.

I loved the Discworld books, especially the Tiffany Aching & Witches series and the later Vimes novels. It's sad that there will be no more.

Here's a list of posts I've labelled "Terry Pratchett". There are probably more which I forgot to label, especially in the early days before I started tagging stuff.

News article here.

#bookreview: The King's Mechanic

The King's Mechanic: Beauty and the Beast (Treasures Retold #3)The King's Mechanic: Beauty and the Beast by Katharina Gerlach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The only reason Luna Ramirez isn't locked up in the castle's dungeon is because she's a great mechanic and the King wants her to fix the machine that the Royal Mechanic invented before he went missing. When the King crashes the machine and nearly dies, Luna finds herself in worse trouble than before - now she has to do all she can to keep him alive, both for her own protection and for the good of the kingdom.

The King's Mechanic is a steampunk-esque tale of court intrigue, which reminds me a little vaguely of Here Be Monsters! (maybe just the inventions bit). It's a little whimsical with a very likeable and spunky female protagonist.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

The King's Mechanic on Amazon today. Get it here.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

#bookreview: The Legacy Human by @susankayequinn

The Legacy Human (Singularity #1)The Legacy Human by Susan Kaye Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's hard to write a review of this book without drawing a little comparison to The Hunger Games. Except that the goal of the annual creative Olympics is to choose the next four legacy humans to ascend - to become a human/machine hybrid that can live forever.

Elijah Brighton (Eli) desperately wants to ascend - just so that his mother can ascend with him and have access to the cure she needs for the illness that is ravaging her. Three problems stand in his way: his mother hates ascenders, his Ascender Patron won't sponsor him to the games, and he can't actually paint anything spectacular unless he falls into a fugue state - but he can't figure out how to do that at will.

When Eli miraculously finds a sponsor and makes it to Agon just a few days before the Games, he soon finds that the Ascenders themselves are playing games of their own - games that he may not survive.

In The Legacy Human, Quinn takes you into a world of dichotomies. It's hard to decide whether the post-Singularity world is a dystopian or a utopian one:
Those who have Ascended, embracing the gift of a nanotech-enhanced brain, have evolved into something better - infinitely more intelligent, enlightened, compassionate, empathetic, beautiful - just perfect in every way. And with all the tech at their disposal, they're more capable of taking care of Earth than ever.
The Legacy Humans, however, descendants of those who refused to ascend four generations ago, have lost the right to choose. They're preserved - cared for, fed, treasured - as the origins of the Ascenders, but the cities are ghetto-like and resources are severely limited.

And in the midst of this futuristic backdrop, Quinn draws her young adult readers to ask this age-old question: the question of your soul. Matthew 16:26 asks: "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" And whilst The Legacy Human doesn't answer that in spiritual terms, it places you in a world where you understand its relevance.

View all my reviews

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Faith, fear and costs

I was thinking of not writing this, but then I decided that I should, if only so that I would remember.
I don't know where to begin.

---

The point is to not let your fear keep you from where faith wants to lead you. (Paraphrased from Pr Greg Devries.)
But that is where I live sometimes; camping out in past miracles, too afraid to move on to the next thing because I don't know where I'm going or what it will look like. Because I cannot yet (properly) split who I am from the things I do. And I am afraid of how spectacularly I will fail and how that will destroy me.
I don't know why I'm convinced I will fail. Probably because I don't have a workable plan.

And bang into my paranoid, kiasu (afraid to lose), kiasi (afraid to die), Asian heart came also this word that from eternity, God plants a seed in time - he sees a need on the earth and creates a person to deal with that problem/need... and takes into account your psychological need to plan, to think, to change your mind a gazillion times, to stress out about the future, to go crazy thinking of plan A and plan B and plan C and dither and then shrugs and goes "off you go now." (Super paraphrased from Pr Quoc).

It's freaky that when you finally go for prayer (because you've been subconsciously avoiding it for a while) the pastor quotes "Satan has asked to sift you like wheat" in his prayer and then goes on to pray for freedom from depression, which is what you've been denying for a while. Because you're not even sure what depression looks like. Because you're living just fine and everything is carrying on as usual.

And somewhere in the midst of this is where I come to the point of this post, which was really the culmination of the notes I wrote in church one Sunday:
Do not jump from security to security. It's okay to be insecure while you trust God. Because that's trust.
And along with that gem comes the feeling that the time is coming to say goodbye soon. Not to say that it will happen very immediately, or that I've figured out what's going to happen, but that the word positioning and timing are becoming very, very important and relevant, especially considering that I've been reworking the notes for Following Jesus in the Real World for Cley discussions. And that maybe if the goal is to make an impact in the arts in Penang, as you've prayed about, as you've written about and talked about, and moaned about, it might be time to count the cost and position yourself where you need to be. Even if it's a pay cut and an end to free trips to the US. Even if you don't know yet where that is going to be or what it's going to look like.

Because you need to live in the here and now. Because your heart cannot be divided across geographical space and your life cannot be divided over segmented time. Because your tenuous focus needs to be refined and refocused and not spread over a gazillion things at once, because frankly, you are a pretty horrible multitasker.
And your call, for now, is here until God says otherwise.

The dream sustains us through the process.

But your heart also needs to respond.
Be it unto me according to Your Word. 

Friday, 6 March 2015

Winter bloom

Winter has broken, he declares.
She stares out at the naked trees. It's still chilly.
But it has broken. He's there behind her suddenly, his hands warm against the small of her back. The darkness has lifted.
She turns and looks into his eyes, searching his with her own. Has it?
He smiles, then cocks his head to the left. You've said your goodbyes. Why?
It felt right. 
It is.
But now? Or when?
In the fullness of time.
She rests her hand in his. Hesitates. And the other?
You trust me in this?
I need to. She smiles. I've always needed to, haven't I?
In time, beloved. All in its time.
Will he pursue? Is it -
He holds a finger to her lips. Trust me.

---



---

Like a flower in bloom
Pushing through the winter
To face a new spring

So the seasons come and go
And you are released
To something new again

Break the bands of fear
That enclose your heart in steel
Release your hold on fear
As at My feet you kneel
And I speak freedom over you
I speak release into your life
The long night has passed
Come; bloom with the sunrise

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

#bookreview: Passing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby

Passing Through PerfectPassing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Benjamin Church returned to Grinder's Corner, Alabama after the war, he dreamed of becoming a mechanic. But days turned into months, and months turned into years, and Benjamin finds himself stuck working on his father's farm to support his young family. The tragic death of his wife changes his life forever and Benjamin must find a way to get his only son, Isaac, out of the South with its deep-rooted racial prejudices to a place where he can build a future in spite of the colour of his skin.

I picked up this book free for review via ebooksforreview.com mainly because I have been on Bette Lee Crosby's mailing list for a while and I wanted to find out what she really writes about (can't remember when/how I got on the list anymore).

It seems that I have been reading an amount of historical fiction relating to the race relationships in America lately, starting with Touched with Fire and Fire and Dust. While those two are written about events in the middle of the war itself, Passing Through Perfect is an excellent "follow up" story of events that take place almost a hundred years after the abolishment of slavery in America. I think it says something about humans that, even though the law has been changed decades prior, the attitudes and traditions of the communities and the prejudices they hold had hardly changed at all.

Passing Through Perfect presents a little slice of life of that time and age, demonstrating how one man's prejudice can destroy a life and how another's open-mindedness and generosity can help rebuild it.

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Monday, 2 March 2015

New Release: The Legacy Human (Singularity #1) by Susan Kaye Quinn #YA #SF


INTRODUCTORY PRICE 99CENTS - limited time
ebook and print

When transcending humanity is the prize, winning the Game is all that matters.
Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.
The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn’s new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.

WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING:
“If I were a movie producer, I would option this in a heartbeat.”
“This story is so intense I felt I couldn’t get a proper breath.”
“Science fiction with philosophical depth.”


Win paperbacks of The Legacy Human and Mindjack Trilogy, as well as other great prizes, and chat with some AMAZING Sci-Fi author-friends (check out the line-up below!). Giveaways run ALL DAY (9a – 9p Chicago Time, GMT-6)

SCHEDULE - Chicago Time (GMT-6) on March 2nd
9a - 10a - Sue (Singularity)
1p - 2p - Jennifer Wells (Fluency)
2p - 2:30p - Endi Webb (Terran Gambit)
3p - 4p - Rysa Walker (Timebound)
5p - 5:30p - Wes Davies (Binary Cycle)
5:30 - 7p - Sue (Singularity)
7p - 8p - E.E. Giorgi (Chimeras)
8p - 9p - Jessica Keller? (Saving Yesterday)
9p  - Sue - PICKING WINNERS

Stop by ANYTIME to enter giveaways;  stop by during the guest-host hour to chat! (Join the party now!)