Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blog Tour Sign Up: Soul Control by C. Elizabeth

C. Elizabeth will be touring March 3 – 28 with her young adult paranormal romance, Soul Control.  We are looking for reviews (paperback & ebook both available), interviews, guest posts, first chapter reveals and book spotlights. Deadline to sign up is February 28. If you would like to host this tour, please fill out the form below. Thank you!

“Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil.”

Words that ring true for seventeen-year-old Saydi Gardiner upon discovering her ancestry.  But if she has doubts, further confirmation is forthcoming and it comes in the form of a wickedly gorgeous Nathanael Braxton, when he steals her heart and cuddles into her sole – the last place the boy should be.

Nineteen-year-old Nathanael’s unrelenting good looks aren’t the only thing that make him dangerous – and he knows it!  However, his caring human side struggles with a loyalty – a loyalty that binds him to the hunt for the soul that will give his family the power they seek. There’s only one problem: When he finds her, Nathanael falls in love with his prey – Saydi.

Blog Tour Sign-Up Form

Deadline to sign up is February 28

*This tour is full.  Thanks to all participating reviewers and tour hosts!

Buried Threads by Kaylin McFarren Virtual Book Tour Highlights

It's so sad to see our authors go, but in tribute we do a recap of the highlights of their blog tour with us at Pump Up Your Book.  Today we're highlighting Kaylin McFarren and her Buried Threads Virtual Book Publicity Tour.

About the Author:

Kaylin McFarren is a California native who has enjoyed traveling around the world. She previously worked as director for a fine art gallery, where she helped foster the careers of
various artists before feeling the urge to satisfy her won creative impulses.

Since launching her writing career, McFarren has earned more than a dozen literary awards in addition to a finalist spot in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart Contest. A member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers, she also lends her participation and support to various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest. 
McFarren currently lives with her husband in Oregon. They have three children and two grandchildren.
Her latest book is Buried Threads (Book 2 of the Threads series).

Visit her website at www.kaylinmcfarren.com.

About the Book:

Rachel’s mouth sagged. “You mean you’re really a monk? But how’s that possible? You’re not even wearing a robe, and your hair…” 

He simply smiled.

 A disturbing prophecy sends a treasure hunting duo on an urgent race to rescue a country in Kaylin McFarren’s heart pounding new novel,  Buried Threads. Full of erotic suspense and wild adventures, this is one trip that readers will never forget!

Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen work together as the successful owners of a treasure hunting company. But a seemingly simply assignment – to track down a priceless gem that is believed to buried in a shipwreck deep within the Sea of Japan – takes a starling, and dangerous, turn.

Faced with a monk’s dark prophecy that a natural disaster will soon strike Japan, killing millions, Rachel and Chase must embark on the mission of a lifetime in order to uncover the three cursed samurai swords that can avert the catastrophe.

Chaos ensues as their adventure takes them from shark infested waters and creepy caves to haunted hidden tombs and a confrontation with Yakuza gang members.

Time is running out as the prophecy’s day of reckoning draws near. Will Rachel and Chase succeed before disaster strikes?

Purchase at AMAZON

When I was a teenager going out on dates, I remember in every movie there was always an obligatory love scene – whether it was relevant to the story or not. This became a great opportunity to hit the candy counter, eventually returning with two cokes and an enormous bucket of popcorn. Looking back, I find myself wondering exactly why this would happen. Was it just that boys weren’t interested in love?

-- Guest Blogging at The Book Faery Reviews

Although I’m a relatively new author when it comes to writing romantic suspense, one suggestion that immediately comes to mind for fellow authors is to begin your story by stating what’s at stake while providing a glimpse at the challenges your hero or heroine are forced to overcome. I love a good mystery and have discovered that mystery authors tend to be more closed mouth and secretive about ultimate sacrifices and goals in their stories. Suspense authors, on the other hand, risk giving too much away by divulging all the elements of their stories way too early, which makes writing in this particular genre a bit of a balancing act.

-- Confessions of a Reader 

Remember to show, don't tell! I’ve heard this over and over again and it is the most common mistake among new writers. The fewer blocks of description or passive writing you include, the better. Avoid "info dumps" where you include sections of  research information and background details you might consider important. This will only serve one purpose: bringing your story to a screeching halt and turning it into a boring textbook. Instead, focus on current events or the overall point of your storyby including realistic dialogue and fun, action-packed scenes.

-- Guest Blogging at Acting Balanced 

Every book of fiction has a pivotal point for the reader that they can’t forget. What do you think is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Kaylin: I believe this occurs when Rachel convinces Chase to put aside his fears and keep going when he's almost killed by a swinging blade in a ghastly cave. Rachel's dedication pushes her to succeed and her growth is tremendous when compared to her original character flaws.
--Interviewed at PUYB Virtual Book Club
Personally, I think writers struggle to define success because there’s always another hill to climb, another obstacle to overcome. The first time I ever experienced a taste of real success was when I received my first piece of fan mail. The note was kind and generous with compliments, but it was also the first time I ever felt appreciated for something I wrote (other than the Mother’s Day poem my Mom loved when I was twelve). That was a great feeling and one that gave me a sense of what true success means to a writer.

-- Interview at Blogcritics 

For more than forty years, I’ve been fascinated with the arts and culture of Japan and have been fortunate in being able to travel across Asian with my family on numerous trips. Due to my husband’s business interests and roots stemming from Japan, I’ve had the remarkable opportunity to develop personal, long-term relationships with Asian shipping agents, politicians, company executives, sword masters, puppeteers, religious leaders and talented geikos and maikos who reside and perform in Kyoto’s Gion District. But to be honest, my fascination with the Japanese underworld truly inspired me to write this story.

--Interview at Bound by Passion

When trying to define true erotica, I’ve learned it’s nearly impossible to come up with an accurate or complete answer. This genre flows like a river, branching out into suspense, mystery, fantasy, science fiction and paranormal along the way. For some, erotica is a genre of its own. It’s not necessarily filled with explicit sex, although it might be laced with sexual imagery and language. And like romance, it quite often depends on sexual tension. In addition, it’s far removed from pornography, since the story within the book canstand alone despite sexual overtones. Erotica can also feature a vast range of explicitness, types of sex and even how frequent it appears on paper. As a result, publishers and division such as Ellora’s Cave and Brava utilize a ranking or rating system to better prepare readers for what’s waiting under the covers.

-- Guest Blogging at Sarah Ballance

Well developed characters, different points of view and a more than fair introduction into the Japanese culture, make this a page turning read.  Adding just the right touch of romance, and plenty of descriptions of the world in which the story takes place, Ms. McFarren’s book captivated me on an almost visual level.

-- Reviewed at Queen of the Night Reviews

The story is a smattering of suspense, romance, mystery, and a thriller. I loved that! There is legit something here for everyone to enjoy. There's also a little bit of a paranormal kind of angle with a character that was entirely awesome!

-- Reviewed at Must Read Faster

Excellent story, quick moving, dramatic, twists and turns you will not see coming, some hot and steamy scenes (definitely not for the under 18 set), it was just a very enjoyable read.
-- Reviewed at Not Everyone's Mama 

BURIED THREADS is an extremely well written novel that is classified as “romantic suspense.”  I found it to have more action and mystery than romance.  It’s a sequel to  SEVERED THREADS, but is definitely a stand alone novel.  Kaylin McFarren’s writing style is smoothly flowing, allowing the reader to become immersed through vivid descriptions.  I found the treasure hunting adventures to be very intriguing.  The romance is “hot” but is woven into the story in a way that doesn’t overtake the mystery and action.  I greatly enjoyed this book and it was hard to put down.  I will be reading more books by Kaylin McFarren.

-- My Book Addiction Reviews

This book will truly take you on a journey like no other. Everything from goblin sharks to reincarnation with mystery, suspense, mystical elements and some very steamy romance. There is no way you can't find something to love with this book. I am so in love. I can't wait to dive (no pun intended) more into this world with the first book and book three. Don't go into this expecting you are going to have things figured out. You won't have any idea until the very end. Highly recommend this read and it is definitely a favorite for 2013. 

--Offbeat Vagabond

Monday, December 30, 2013

Napoleon by Emilia Rutigliano

Title: Napoleon
Genre: Women’s Fiction with an Attitude
Author: Emilia Rutigliano
Publisher: Emilia Rutigliano
Pages: 387
Language: English
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

They say that when a student is ready, a teacher appears.
What they don’t say is where to register, and how to matriculate in that teacher’s class.
That is a divine gift.
Veronica had it all:  the looks; the brains; the personality; and the wardrobe.  Not to mention a perfect husband, a fabulous career and two adorable children, until the perfect husband leaves her for another woman.
Thus begin the daily routines of a typical New York City immigrant with ambition whose teachers keep appearing, and for whom divine interventions keep affording new opportunities. 
Though it starts like ordinary connections going through the tried and true, each relationship continues to delve into parts of her own universe that Veronica didn’t know existed.  A universe that is suddenly open to her.
This is a different kind of heroine…
Welcome to the New American Dream, Dare to Dream…

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Death: A Personal Guidebook by Jeremy Kagan

Title: My Death: A Personal Guidebook
Genre: Spiritual/Self-Help
Author: Jeremy Kagan
Publisher: Balboa Press
Pages: 124
Language: English
Format: eBook

This is a powerful memoir of a near-death experience. After a Native American sweat lodge, the author loses control of his body and then his life. He begins a passage that leads to a personal hell. He discovers a way to escape and emerges into an amazing exploration of the soul’s journey. In this intense adventure, there are insights into stages of consciousness and encounters of blissful perfection. This spiritual, inspirational book is meant to be an aid to removing the universal fear of the final journey we are all taking.

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE.

Monday, December 23, 2013

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A with Young Adult Fantasy 'The Flight of the Griffin' C.M. Gray

C.M. Gray is here at the book club today to talk about his new young adult fantasy The Flight of the Griffin!

More about C.M. Griffin:
Born in England, C.M. Gray spent most of his youth growing up in the Essex countryside. A beautiful part of England, close to the Suffolk border, but he was born with the need to expand his horizons, so as soon as he could get a passport at the age of just seventeen he packed a backpack and went exploring!

A slightly risky decision, and one his parents were not too taken with, yet a number of years later he is still traveling…. but with a slightly larger bag. Over the years, C.M.Gray has been lucky enough to live and travel in many many parts of the world, met some incredible people and experienced some amazing places. In fact, he has now lived for more years outside of England than he ever spent living there – It is, after all, a very big and exciting world!

During his journey he worked and trained as a carpenter and a house restorer… picked more types of fruit over the years than he knew existed – from grapes in France to avocados in Israel. After living in Israel for a year, he was lucky enough to be invited to travel with the Bedouin in the Sanai desert for several months and then moved on travelled around India and then called a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayan Mountains home. A short while later he had changed tact, bought a suit and did a stint as a stock broker in the clamor of central Hong Kong.

To celebrate the millennium he traveled back to Europe, then found and restored an old farmhouse in deep rural Burgundy, France… but then looked to the open road and spent an number of years in Amsterdam… but the winters were cold so he went south again in search of the sun.

Always vowing to return and sink some roots back in English soil… he hasn’t quite got there yet, but maybe someday, it seems there are just too many interesting places out there to see first! He does, however, live a little closer to England now, just outside of Barcelona in Northern Spain, in the middle of the forest with his dogs and two wonderful children, he claims the Pyrenean mountains and forests of northern Spain are a great place to write and let his mind do the traveling.

As you will have noticed, his writing is mostly fantasy and he says that many of his experiences in Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East come to life in his writing. He has seen and done some pretty strange things on his travels, and bumped into some amazing characters, so writing fantasy is almost like writing fact for him… you just wouldn’t believe it if he presented it as fact – there are people and things out there in this world of ours that would simply amaze you!

His latest book is the mystery/thriller The Flight of the  Griffin.

To explore his life and writing more, please visit his webpage and blog at https://author-cmgray.blogspot.com

About The Flight of the Griffin:

The Kingdom is dying… 

The Darkness is coming… the balance between Order and Chaos is rapidly shifting and the world is falling towards evil and horror, and all misery that Chaos will bring. 

But there is hope… 

Pardigan’s had enough, he’s only 12, but he’s breaking into the home of one of Freya's richest merchants... and he’s doing it tonight… 

A burglary that will change their lives forever sets four friends upon a quest, a race against time, to locate three magical objects and complete an ancient and desperate spell. 

Sailing their boat The Griffin, the crew are quickly pursued by The Hawk, an evil bounty hunter and master of dark sorcery, and Belial, King of Demons and champion of Chaos who seeks to rule the world of man… yet first he must capture the crew of The Griffin and end their quest… 

Purchase your copy at AMAZON US or AMAZON UK

Thanks for coming to the book club today, Chris!  Before we begin the interview, I have to ask.  Who made that beautiful cover?

Chris: It really is awesome isn’t it! I’m thrilled, it really completes all the hard work it took to write and edit the story. The wonderful cover for The Flight of the Griffin was made by a very good friend of mine, a very talented graphic designer, Adriana Haganu. I struggled for ages trying to find a good cover and came up with several on my own, but they just didn’t scream PICK ME UP AND READ ME… which is what a good cover is meant to do! I looked around the web and saw some good designers, but they were either far too expensive for this poor old indie author, or they all seemed to specialise in the Romance genre. Covers with beautiful girls or young men naked to the chest! Adriana came up with this fantastic fantasy cover that has elements
from the story and is an amazing work of art, I absolutely love it, I hope you do too!

How did you get into the YA genre and do you think writing for young adults as a male adult has any drawbacks?

Chris: Okay, well firstly, I think there is a whole world of confusion with the genre YA. For so many people now YA means young love, eyes meeting across a room and moments filled with passionate embraces, but that of course is romance. I don’t write romance, I write fantasy books set in fantastical times. Adventures where clues are followed and demons walk the pages. I’m found in the Young Adult genre because The Flight of the Griffin doesn’t contain graphic violence, no steamy sex scenes and my characters don’t scream profanities at each other! The Flight of the Griffin is a great read for all ages. Young Adults as old as seventy read my books, and I know that because I get emails from readers of all ages, right up to seventy years old so far!

Being a male writer offering stories to younger readers? Why no, it’s great. My readers aren’t going to read about smouldering looks and heartfelt love, but they will read of smouldering dragons and burning ships! There are amazing male writers that, like me, offer stories to all ages. It hasn’t been a problem for Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) Rick Riordan with his Golden Compass Trilogy or Phillip Pullman and his Percy Jackson books!

Who is your main character and would you like to tell us more about him/her?

Chris: The main characters, for there are four of them, are the crew of the small sailing ship The Griffin. Pardigan is twelve and he’s the one that gets them all into trouble all the time. He has, as we say in the UK, sticky fingers… he’s a thief! Tarent and Quint are both fifteen, they do all the sailing of the boat and try to keep them all from starving, and the youngest member of the crew is Loras. Loras is the studious member one the group and can always be found with his nose in a book or gazing up at the stars. In the early part of the book a little magic takes place and transforms them as they set out on their quest. The other protagonist on the side of The Griffin crew is a girl called Mahra… she is a little older than the boys, just a bit, and acts as their guide on their quest, Mahra has some really interesting talents. So many girls that read The Flight of the Griffin and email me saying they love Mahra! My daughter, aged eight, has already requested the part should it ever get put into film!

What about secondary characters?  Would you like to introduce them?

Chris: The antagonists in The Flight of the Griffin centre around just a few unsavoury characters. Our story begins when Pardigan decides to break into the house of one of the cities wealthiest merchants, Bartholomew Bask. Bartholomew, a rather rotund and older gentleman, and I use the term gentlemen rather lightly, and he is, of course, justifiably furious that his valuables have been pilfered. He hires a very nasty bounty hunter, Matheus Hawk (The Hawk) and together they take off in pursuit of the thieves. The characters of Bartholomew and Matheus are a joy to write and are in some of the best parts of the book, I love writing their parts. They are truly awful people and view the world in totally self-centred ways - you are going to love hating them!

Every book of fiction has a pivotal point for the reader that they can’t forget.  What do you think is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Chris: Okay, well without giving too much away, the story is set about the crew’s quest to unite three magical objects. The second of these objects is supposed to be somewhere on an Island called Minster. After sailing there and leaving their boat in the harbour, they travel inland and visit an isolated race of people in search of their item. As they later try to leave the island, the antagonists are closing in. A host of demons have already made one vicious attack and are closing in again, whilst unbeknownst to the crew, Bartholomew Bask and Matheus Hawk are awaiting them close to their boat back in the harbour. The way ahead for the crew is unclear and the reader just cannot see how they will be able to move on in search of the third and final item, our pivotal moment comes as they make their attempt at escape.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell your readers?

Chris: I would like to thank you for reading this interview and thanks so much to you, Dorothy for having me here today. I would also like to say whether you are a reader or a writer, stretch the limits of your passion, search the winds of your mind for the edges of your imagination and enjoy the enchanted worlds authors of every genre try to create; reading and writing are awesome. Oh, and I hope you will join the crew of The Griffin on their quest, they are going to need all the help they can get!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Blog Tour Sign Up: 'Til I Find You by Greta Bondieumaitre

Title: 'Til I Find You
Genre: Chick Lit/Romance
Author: Greta Bondieumaitre
Publisher: Greta Bondieumaitre
Pages: 92
Language: English
Format: Paperback, Kindle

No one knows how bumpy the road to love is more than Tisha Cole. After years of excruciatingly embarrassing dates, the 25-year-old receptionist is ready to hand in her dating license, but her cynical cousin, Drew, will not let her. She knows that finding Mr. Right has always been Tisha’s ultimate goal in life and short of joining the search herself, Drew plans on doing whatever it is in her power to help Tisha find him. When they cross paths with two best friends and a very sexy entrepreneur, there’s a slight change in plans.

Drew who has always been adamant about keeping her single status begins to doubt her immunity to Tisha’s lovesickness.

Tisha has hit the jackpot with not one but two perfect dates! Where next will her quest for love take her when she decides to upgrade her relationship—with both men!

Two not-so-sweet cousins, three not-so-honest men. With the many potholes and crossroads along the way, will Tisha ever reach her destination?

Blog Tour Sign-Up Form

Deadline to sign up is January 31

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A + Book Giveaway with Kim Hilton, Author of Closet Words

We welcome Kim Hilton to PUYB Virtual Book Club! Kim is here today to talk about her Christian/inspirational book, CLOSET WORDS. Ask her a question in the comment section and we will pick one of you to win a copy of this book! The contest will begin today and end on December 22. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Only those leaving comments are eligible to win. Winner must reside in the United States.

More about Kim:

Kim Hilton, MCC, PCC, has a master’s degree in Christian counseling. Founder of Closet Words Ministries Foundation, Kim is a teacher on prayer and listening to God. An avid writer of several books, Closet Words was chosen as the first book to be published with the proceeds going to Closet Words Ministries Foundation. A sought-after speaker and Bible Study leader, Kim has spoken at both national and local events. She resides with her husband on a farm and enjoys spending time with their six grown children and grandchildren. For more information on Kim Hilton or her work, please visit: www.KimHilton.org.

Welcome to the Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Club, Kim. We’re thrilled to have you. 

During this book tour, you've openly shared about your childhood; one that was filled with violence, abuse, and poverty. Do you feel your difficult childhood influenced your writing?

Yes, as it kept me searching for something better. Many people go through difficulties and even a difficult childhood…but it’s the frame of mind about it that takes you to a better place. The “it will make you or break you” mindset so to speak. I chose to allow my past to make me stronger rather than weaker. I began writing at an early age. It was an outlet to many feelings that I was unable to speak.

What influenced your decision to pursue a Master’s degree in Christian counseling?

This was a personal preference. I wanted to gain as much training as possible in this area.

Why did you decide to include copies of actual handwritten pages from your prayer journal in Closet Words?

In my initial draft of Closet Words, I included one of the handwritten pages from the journal. It was a unanimous request to see more of the original pages. Also, by including the originals it shows that these words are indeed a product of a journal with pages written at different times of day and night.

There is a Reflections and Study Guide section included in Closet Words. How does this complement the earlier sections of the book?

I decided to write the Reflections and Study Guide after Closet Words was finished. I wanted to show how these words from God indeed complemented and confirmed scripture. And because Closet Words is very thought-provoking, I knew the Reflections and Study Guide would help prompt discussion and thought. Over 90 hours were spent in writing the Reflections and Study Guide.

Can you tell us about some of the Bible studies you’ve led?

I have led various Bible studies. Currently I am teaching three different studies. I have broken Closet Words into Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3, dividing the book in ten chapter groups. Because each chapter builds one upon the other, I teach classes based on where you are in your journey in Closet Words.

What can you tell us about Closet Words Ministries Foundation?

Closet Words Ministries Foundation is dedicated to the global support for Christian education, training and support of basic life requirements for those in need.

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

Closet Words is a call to action for Christians to find within themselves their true commitment to God. Chapter One to the end, each chapter builds upon the other, calling the reader to a deeper, closer and more committed relationship with God. Closet Words is truly a bugle call to the modern day Christian.

God wants us to take our Christianity seriously. It is time the Christian believer answers the bugle call.

Questions for our readers:

  • How have challenges in your life strengthened your faith?
  • Have you ever kept a journal?
  • Do you participate in Bible studies?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Cloud Seeders by James Zerndt

Title: The Cloud Seeders
Genre: Young Adult/Teen/ Dystopian/ Science Fiction
Author: James Zerndt
Publisher: James Zerndt
Pages: 268
Language: English
Format: Paperback, Kindle

Serve Your Country, Conserve Your Water, Observe Your Neighbor

This is the slogan of the Sustainability Unit and of a country gone eco-hysterical. After nearly twelve months without rain and the hinges of the world barely still oiled, Thomas and his younger brother, Dustin, set out across a drought-ridden landscape in search of answers. What they discover along the way will change their lives, and their country, forever.

The Cloud Seeders weaves humor and heartache, as well as poetry and science, into a unique novel that defies categorization.

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dreamer by Phillip L. Davidson

Title: Dreamer
Genre: Faith-based military fiction
Author: Phillip L. Davidson
Publisher: Phillip L. Davidson; 2 edition (September 4, 2013)
Pages: 383
Language: English
Format: Paperback and eBook

Is the Dreamer good or evil? As war looms between Britain and Argentina over the barren Falkland Islands, Major David Elliott is having nightmares. Long ago, in a dark jungle near Cambodia, he failed to do his duty. That duty was to execute a member of his team. David's weakness eventually led to his team's capture. Tortured by the Viet Cong, they revealed the dark secrets of the CIA's Phoenix program. Forced to leave the service in disgrace, his men now live in the 'darkness'. What do the dreams mean for them? David's wife, Sonia, sees them as harbingers of evil things to come. A revolutionary in Argentina before the war, she escaped to America and became a citizen.

Now, Captain Alvarez, head of the Argentine Secret Police, wants her back. He devises a plan that lures her into returning to Argentina where she is imprisoned on Los Estados Island. Meanwhile, a mystical creature has summoned David and his former team to gather once more to honor the 'covenant,' a pact they made with each other when they believed their lives were coming to an end. Together, with an errant priest, Father Perez, they reluctantly agree to assault Los Estados and free Sonia. As they travel across Mexico, Central and South America, they encounter the CIA, Contras in Nicaragua, the M-19 narco terrorist group and the United States Navy; while all along being shadowed by the mystical entity. Is the entity God or Satan? Will submitting to the will of the entity allow David and his men to stand in the light of men once again? Is the Dreamer good or evil? You decide.

Dreamer is a tale of redemption, honor, courage, belief in God and betrayal! If you enjoy military fiction, this book is for you.

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Sign up by December 20th by emailing Cheryl at ccmal(at)charter(dot)net.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A + Book Giveaway with Ronald Kirk, Author of Thy Will Be Done

We welcome Ron Kirk to PUYB Virtual Book Club! Ron is here today to talk about his Christian living book, THY WILL BE DONE. Ask him a question in the comment section and we will pick one of you to win a copy of his book! The contest will begin today and end on December 13. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Only those leaving comments and an email address are eligible to win. Residents of the United States to win.

More about Ron:

Jesus Christ confronted Ron with His salvation late in his college career at the University of California, Berkeley. Graduating in 1974, he became a professional landscape architect. In entering his first church ministry, a lack of a Biblical material on education led him to the Christian History Movement and the works of R.J. Rushdoony. Since 1980, Ron has studied and taught the Biblically and historically identified applied-faith theology and philosophy outlined in this book. Its principles have now long proven themselves in the curriculum and methods of pioneering day and home schools founded and administered by Ron. His work has been published internationally and translated into Spanish. Gloriously married since 1971, Ron and Christina have five children, five more sons- and daughters-in-law, and eleven grandchildren, all walking with Christ. American Heritage Christian Church ordained Ron as a minister of the Gospel in 1984.

Ron and Christina are now staff members with New Hope Uganda Ministries. According to Jay and Vickie Dangers of New Hope Uganda Ministries, “Through what you have imparted to us, your lives have touched thousands of people on at least four continents, probably five, and the ripple effect is continuing.”

Professional website: www.getwisdom.us

Welcome to the Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Club, Ron. How nice to have you with us.
Before we get into your book, can we talk about Nordskog Publishing? I’ve represented several of their titles over the past few years. Can you tell us the goal of this publishing house?

Ron: After a long successful career as founding publisher of Powerboat Magazine, Jerry Nordskog wanted to contribute to the Gospel and the Biblical worldview. Our mutual friend, Chris Hoops, accordingly persuaded Jerry to enter book publishing. Nordskog Publishing seeks to provide important Biblically-based content on subjects largely neglected by the Christian trade press. We want to expand exposure of the church to the view of the faith that says everything belongs to Christ, and that He uses all of life to serve His Gospel and Kingdom purposes. We are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ—a much larger duty than we might often assume.

How did you come to be involved with Nordskog and how does your role of theology editor impact the books they publish?

Ron: Jerry and I have a long history. My dad worked for his dad from the early 1950s when I was a toddler. So I have always known Jerry. In the 80s we met up again after over a decade, both of us attending Marshall Foster’s monthly Christian history seminars in his home. Since then, Jerry has been a faithful supporter of my educational ministry and a very dear friend.

After Chris Hoops, could no longer serve as theology editor due to illness, Jerry asked me to give it a try. We found our views of the Bible and Christian life very well corresponded, and therefore, he asked me to review submitted manuscripts for possible publication. In addition, once we accepted a manuscript, I would further assist our authors to refine their Biblical thinking, where needed, in order to make every book a true partnership between author and publisher.

Let’s talk about Thy Will Be Done: When All Nations Call God Blessed. The Publisher’s Preface provided by Gerald Christian Nordskog states the Lord’s Prayer and The Great Commission are the focus and goal of your book. While most are familiar with the former, perhaps they are uncertain on the latter. Can you talk about The Great Commission?

Ron: Yes! Jesus’ charge to the church at the end of the Gospel of Matthew is known as the Great Commission. Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”  (28:18-20).

Our assignment, our commission from Jesus, is to make disciples. Unfortunately, unlike the powerful early Protestant period, this has come to mean mere verbal preaching. Jesus spoke of His people being salt and light. We are supposed to exert influence that helps prepare the hearts of our neighbors susceptible to the Good News, the Gospel. What part of life can so influence our neighbors? The premise of Thy Will Be Done is that everything can and should do so. There are no neutral areas in life, and no areas of life except the occult that cannot be used to the Gospel’s advantage and God’s glory. I try to demonstrate this with very specific examples of Biblical thinking and its possible results—from the personal, to business, to arts and sciences, on out to the greatest civil relationships!

Do you believe a disregard for The Great Commission has drawn us away from fulfilling the Christian worldview of the Gospels?

Ron: I wouldn’t say a disregard, but rather an unfortunate historical development that slowly became mainstream. Our typically secular educations haven’t helped either. Still, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Yet, He does correct us. The Gospel in this life should be a much greater adventure with much greater impact than we have settled for in this age. It was not always so. I think the church is increasingly getting God’s bigger picture. I see evidence of it all around from many different corners. I hope the effort Thy Will Be Done represents may make a significant contribution. I believe every serious believer will benefit from it, regardless of previous knowledge—great or small.

Thy Will Be Done offers practical applications for all areas of life. How should readers digest this information in order to avoid being overwhelmed?

Ron: Take it easy. The book does cover much territory. However, this is not an academic or strictly theological book. I strived to use a friendly, even intimate style.  I also tried hard to avoid technical jargon and overly detailed explanations. I tried to write in the way a good teacher would reach a student, or the way a poet would reach the heart of his reader—through repetition of ideas and diverse, interesting content. It is not so important to get every detail, but in reading through the whole book, to enjoy the ride, even though you may find a puzzle or two. In the end, the basic ideas will shine through, inspire, and even provide some basic tools, practical principles, for personally thinking and acting Biblically in all things God brings in life.

Separate chapters are dedicated to Christians as individuals, as family members, and as members in the Body of Christ. How is this helpful in moving us toward restoring God’s Kingdom on earth? 

Ron: Well again, the idea is that every area of life matters to Jesus. When He prays Thy will be done on earth, He speaks of those things that matter in eternity. The Two Commands of Christ are love God and love your neighbor. Thus God’s purpose is toward perfect relationship with all. Also, he made us in His image—creative and built for productive work. There is no reason to think that these things are not eternal also. Thus, God uses everything in this life to speak of eternity—in both the tasks He assigns and the blessings we are to receive in this life in anticipation of eternity.

What do you feel is the greatest obstacle to transforming our communities?

Ron: We are all products of our heritage and upbringing. Overcoming the predisposition of these things is difficult. God designed men not to be moved by every wind of doctrine. Therefore change comes hard. The cure for this is heeding the message of Christ from the beginning of His earthly ministry—repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. We must actively seek how God wishes us to change, educating ourselves, and then endeavoring to practice by faith what we learn of Him.  God works through one obedient person at a time, until He produces a great cloud of witnesses.

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

Ron: The Christian life begins with the conviction of our sins unto salvation. Yet this is not the end. God has a plentiful and rich life awaiting those who realize our sinfulness runs deep and are willing to submit to the lifelong adventure of faith in repentance. God rewards those who diligently seek Him. I pray Thy Will Be Done helps many to take up this great adventure with all its blessings.

Lastly, I would like to say that the nation of Uganda has for the last twenty-five years enjoyed an increasingly great influence of the kind in this book through the ministry of New Hope Uganda. They took my educational work with them to serve orphans—bringing the fatherhood of God to the fatherless. Through successful family and school education according to the expansive view of the Gospel represented in Thy Will Be Done, this ministry has caught the attention of Christian leaders in business, government, church and education. Recently, the vision for truly Christian education has begun to catch on in the form of a movement to establish a teachers college—the Master’s Institute for Education—to serve the entire Ugandan school system with thoroughly Biblical content and methods—a relational, covenantal, faith and character based system designed to produced true excellence in accomplishment. This work promises to revolutionize Ugandan education and redeem a whole nation. Since this effort is based upon my own worldview and educational work, the Ugandan principal leaders of this MIE have asked my contribution. Any royalties from Thy Will Be Done to the author will thus help to finance my ongoing assistance to this work. God is moving in our age.  I pray many will join in.

Read, enjoy, share!

Questions for our readers:
  • Is regular Bible reading a part of your daily life?
  • Do you find it difficult to follow through with The Great Commission?
  • What is one time forgiveness made a difference in your life, receiving it or giving it?

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Maisy and the Missing Mice by Elizabeth Woodrum

Title: Maisy and the Missing Mice
Genre: Children’s Mystery Fiction
Author: Elizabeth Woodrum
Publisher: Elizabeth Woodrum
Pages: 70
Language: English
Format: Paperback & eBook

Purchase at AMAZON

Maisy Sawyer is not your average fourth grade student. She is a detective with a special skill for solving mysteries. She loves black and white mystery movies, cherry lollipops, and her dog, Reesie. When a thief known as The Black Boot steals the school's mascots and her lollipops, Maisy sets out to solve the case. Can she help return the mice to their home in the science lab? Will she ever see her beloved lollipops again? Find out in the first book in The Maisy Files series.

Visit the book trailer at http://videodemo.co/JP2cf9mjLj/.

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Blog Tour Sign Up: One Exquisite Night in Paris by Andre Phillip-Hautecoeur

Title: One Exquisite Night in Paris
Author: Andre Phillip-Hautecoeur
Hautecoeur Press
Pages: 198
Language: English
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback

Andre Phillip-Hautecoeur will be touring February 3 - 28 with his contemporary romance, One Exquisite Night in ParisWe are looking for reviews, interviews, guest posts, and book spotlights. Deadline to sign up is January 31. If you would like to host this tour, please fill out the form below. Thank you!

What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever done?

Take a moment, close both eyes, summon your most exaggerated fantasy, and multiply by 1000.

Feel the extraordinary moment for a minute…then multiply it all by 1000 again.

That’s this story. It’s your story too.

If you were ever a little girl, or even a little boy with a romantic soul, you would have known very early on, that someday love would require you to do wonderfully ridiculous things.

And so, I’m going to explain to you, why the most intriguing thing you will ever want to do, is get on a plane and fly to an exotic dinner, at some elegant trois-├ętoiles across the ocean in Paris

Blog Tour Sign-Up Form

Deadline to sign up is January 31

Blog Tour Sign-Up: The Ambitious Struggle by Yasin Kakande

Title: The Ambitious Struggle
Author: Yasin Kakande
Publisher: Florida Academic Press
Pages: 282
Language: English  
Genre: Autobiography

Purchase at AMAZON

Yaskin Kakande will be touring January 6 - 31 with his autobiography, The Ambitious Struggle. We are looking for reviews, interviews, guest posts, and book spotlights.  Deadline to sign up is December 31. If you would like to host this tour, please fill out the form below.  Thank you!

Thise book includes many anecdotes about my work as a journalist in Dubai. Many readers might be unfamiliar with how the media operate in one of the world’s most progressive and economically developed nations. There are many similarities to mainstream media in other parts of the world but there also are some unique elements which emphasize just how precarious, fragile, and delicate the media’s professional commitments and ethics are amid the omnipresent shadows of press censorship and the opaque nature of official spokespersons who aggressively protect Dubai’s intricately constructed status quo. These tensions are most frequently observed in the day-to-day coverage of crime, business, public meetings and other routine events that constitute the bread-and-butter of local media throughout the world. Some of the most illuminating insights come from stories about immigrants, signaling themes that easily could apply to similar stories in virtually any other part of the world. In summary, the book explores many topics – how the coverage of crime and police matters, public health concerns (e.g., HIV and AIDS), racism and racial profiling, governmental accountability, corporate responsibility in accidents, and other reporting beats proceeds against a backdrop of tensions that pit an enlightened cosmopolitanism against the strict cultural, social, and religious mores closely associated with the region. 

The book also seeks to cover several potentially dynamic market emphases that have become more visible recently among diverse groups of readers. One includes journalists and students who are morally courageous Muslim professionals and leaders advocating for press freedom and who are committed to challenging the limitations of political correctness, intellectual conformity, and censorship. Another focuses on immigration, ethnic and racial diversity, and multiculturalism in building responsible democracies. This is significant as an informative counterpoint to some mainstream media portrayals of the Muslim faith and its religious practices. Yet another focuses on Ugandan culture and the importance of education in breaking through difficult barriers preventing individuals from achieving economic mobility. Meanwhile, the book is ideal for others looking for different views other than Western media regarding the politics of Uganda and the long dictatorship of Yoweri Museveni. Finally, and equally if not more significant is the book’s entry into a growing market of nonfiction releases dealing with Dubai, especially those manuscripts which challenge the widely popularized perceptions of the cosmopolitan utopia in Dubai and its neighboring emirates. 

Blog Tour Sign-Up Form

Deadline to sign up is December 31

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A: Interview with Jo Kessel, author of 'Weak at the Knees'

We welcome Jo Kessel to PUYB Virtual Book Club!  Jo is here today to talk about her new book, Weak at the Knees.

Here's what Weak at the Knees is all about:

We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”

Danni Lewis has been playing it safe for twenty-six years, but her sheltered existence is making her feel old ahead of time. When a sudden death plunges her into a spiral of grief, she throws caution to the wind and runs away to France in search of a new beginning.

The moment ski instructor Olivier du Pape enters her shattered world she falls hard, in more ways than one.

Their mutual desire is as powerful and seductive as the mountains around them. His dark gypsy looks and piercing blue eyes are irresistible.

Only she must resist, because he has a wife – and she’d made a pact to never get involved with a married man.

But how do you choose between keeping your word and being true to your soul?

Weak at the Knees is Jo’s debut novel in the new adult, contemporary romance genre – a story of love and loss set between London and the heart of the French Alps.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON US or AMAZON UK

Thanks for coming to the book club today, Jo!  I have to admit – new adult fiction has taken off with a bang.  Why did you decide to write new adult fiction?

Jo: I think of ‘new adult’ as covering quite a broad age span, from 18yrs – 30yrs even. This is such an exciting time in a person’s life. It’s when there are infinite possibilities and a myriad of different paths to take and choices to make. This marks the beginning of our adult journey which I find a very powerful, pivotal and emotive period to write about, full of angst and dilemmas. I also think it has a very broad appeal for readers. Anyone from 18+ will either reminisce or relate as they read.  

You chose the French Alps as your setting. Have you ever been there and why the French Alps?

Jo: Yes, I worked for a couple of years as a ski guide in the French Alps, doing pretty much the same job as Danni Lewis (the heroine of Weak at the Knees) does in the book. I’ve always been a big fan of France, but it was the mountains where I worked which really struck me. I found them so powerful and dramatic – a silent, powerful force of nature. I think of them as sleeping giants who watch and observe everything going on. Ohhhh, and they know everything. They’ve seen it all before. I’m telling you, if mountains could speak………………….they would hold a billion secrets.

Who is your main character and would you like to tell us more about him/her?

Jo: Danni Lewis is our heroine. She’s very real and relatable to. She’s been stuck in a long, stable (and a bit boring) relationship with boyfriend Hugo, when her life is struck by tragedy. And it’s this tragedy/death which forces her to re-evaluate her life and be brave. She makes the decision to leave everything she’s always known behind and flee to France, to try to follow her dreams. It’s here that she meets sexy French ski instructor Olivier. Cue a romance filled with new adult angst and drama – because nothing in this period of a person’s life is straightforward.  

What about secondary characters?  Would you like to introduce them?

Jo: Danni has a couple of girlie friends (Amber and Gina) who act as her moral barometer/conscience. And she also has a few very important men around her. Most important are her long-standing boyfriend Hugo and the man she falls head over heels for: Olivier. Both of them have a lot going for them, but they are so completely different to each other. 

There are a couple of hotties in the supporting cast too. There’s Michel, Olivier’s brother, whose feelings for Danni are completely unrequited. And there’s Australian stud Rod, who injects a lot of humor into the story.  

Every book of fiction has a pivotal point for the reader that they can’t forget.  What do you think is one of the pivotal points in your book? 

Jo: I think the pivotal point in Weak at the Knees is *spoiler alert* when the person close to Danni dies. Tissues when reading are very necessary. There are a few very raw, emotional scenes.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell your readers?

Jo: If you’re looking to go on holiday this Christmas, Weak at the Knees is your ticket. It will cost a fraction of the real thing, but you’ll still feel as if you’ve been to France. Ooh, and the French smexy time is well worth immersing yourself in too.