Found Adrift By Pauline Creeden
About the BookWelcome fellow drifter. I don't know about you, but I'm easily distracted. If God set me in a rowboat on the water and told me to pay attention and not let myself drift too far from the shoreline, I'm sure I'd be in the middle of the lake before I realized I'd drifted from the shore. Then sitting in the middle of that lake, I'd realize I didn't have a paddle. And sometimes I feel so far away that no one on the shore could possibly hear me. Have you ever been there? If you have ever been distracted by your daily life and suddenly looked up and found yourself far behind where you should be in your walk with God, then you are a drifter like me. This devotional is your paddle.
About Pauline Creeden
In simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.
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Dragonwitch is the first of Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s books that I have read, and is fifth in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series. I was given this free review copy by the publisher (Bethany House Publications), but after reading Dragonwitch, I definitely will be going back to read the first four in the series.
Truth be told, I would not have expected this book to be published by Bethany House Publishing. I grew up with Bethany House printing the fiction my grandmothers loved to read—Old West historical romances, mainly, and a lot of Janette Oake and Judith Pella. The book and its contents surprised me—a good surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. Despite none of the overt spiritual references and strong Christian characters I had come to associate with Bethany House, I still found myself marveling at some of the spiritual truths hidden in plain sight.
I am a fan of the fantasy of Lewis and Tolkien, but little contemporary fantasy. Stengl, however, weaves such an integrated world it was hard not to get drawn in. Some of it, of course, comes from this book being late in the series and the author having had time to interact with her world properly. Most of it, however, comes from the author’s ability to paint pictures with words to create a world where you can feel the moss of the Wood under your feet, you can watch the Path spread out before you, and you can smell the stink of fear hovering over the goblin’s human captives.
The story takes place in four separate, distinct realms. It begins in the cold reaches of the North Country, where young Lord Alistair is reluctantly learning to read, and the castle Chronicler is reluctantly teaching him. He is being groomed for an earlship and, everyone hopes, the throne. He never feels comfortable with his mother’s scheming, or with Leta, the girl that his uncle and mother have chosen for him to wed. When his uncle, the earl dies, a surprise deathbed confession changes everything Alistair knew.
As I mentioned above, the religious themes are subtle and sometimes hidden. In one such passage, the Chronicler and Leta—who is clandestinely learning to read and write—are having a discussion about the faerie tales which the Chronicler simply calls, “Silly superstition.”
“Maybe,” she replied. “Maybe not. But I believe it.”
“What you believe cannot affect the truth of the matter.”
“Cannot the same be said for unbelief?”
“A good point, m’lady, and a fair one,” said he.
This particular theme—that whether or not we believe something to be true has no bearing on its actual fact—is repeated throughout the book if one cares to look.
In the printed book I received, I did notice a few layout issues, but nothing to detract from the story.
Any time spent reading the work of a true wordsmith is never time wasted. I will definitely be reading more of Stengl’s works in the future.
Author Shaina Cilimberg talks about her latest novel, To Be Sane.
Hello, my name is Shaina Cilimberg and I am 25 years old. To Be Sane is the third book in my Deep River High Series. In the second book, Perfect Forgiveness, Kirk shot up his school to try and escape relentless bullying. For To Be Sane, I wanted to show the reality that has played out in so many schools in our nation: that school shootings will not stop bullying. For Andy Young, a freshman in To Be Sane, Kirk’s actions only made the bullying worse for him the previous year. Throughout the book, we see how mercilessly he is cyber bullied. Also, I wanted to show even though he is society’s standard of good-looking, he still gets bullied. Even though he is shy, he forms a Christian rock band. Andy also likes to skateboard, play his drums, and has a crush on the female lead, Selena Harrison.
Selena Harrison is half-Latina and likes to mix in Spanish words with English ones. She seems very upbeat and outgoing. However, she suffers from a lot of insecurities herself, mostly stemming from her Asperger’s Syndrome and OCD. I think it is very important for people to know what anyone with those two disabilities go through mentally every day, in addition to how hard it is for Selena and those like her to make and keep friends. Selena joins Andy’s Christian rock band, playing guitar. She has had a crush on Andy Young.
Both Selena and Andy have been bullied in the past and that continues in high school. Both of them have suicidal thoughts and urges. I highly recommend this book for teens and young adults. However, adults may enjoy it as well. While it still covers a lot of deep concepts, Andy and Selena have more fun than the characters in Perfect Forgiveness. We also get to see a bit of Kirk and find out whether or not he has forgiven himself for his participation in the school shooting. Readers will also get to see Josh, Emily and Lydia from Crowded.
This book can be read by people who have not read the first two books. Perfect Forgiveness can be read by those who have not read Crowded. Perfect Forgiveness centers on the school shooting, why it happened and the aftermath. Crowded is about Cole Martin and Josh Summers fighting over Emily Davis and covers other little-mentioned subjects like eating disorders in guys.
To Be Sane is free for download on Kindle at Amazon August 10 - 13, and is free to borrow on Amazon Prime at any time.
So, I'm supposed to write something about myself. Well, I am a Christ-follower, first and foremost; then a wife, now of 14 years; then a mom to a very busy almost-10-year-old; and then a writer. All of that, unfortunately, means my writing sometimes gets pushed to the back burner.
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