CrossReads Short Takes: A Return to Meadow Wood & Lunch Ladies

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CrossReadsShortTakes

CrossReads Short Takes

A Return to Meadow Wood

by Sam Rawlins

A Return to Meadow Wood

Jack Holden, a veteran with the invisible wounds of PTSD, is on a bus trip when it becomes apparent to him that his life is unraveling. This is the beginning of a journey that will take him from the horrors of war to a small town where he discovers a place of incredible beauty. It is a ‘Lost Eden’ where the presence of God can be found.

Spanning from the Vietnam era to the present, we follow Jack as he crosses the boundaries of life and death itself. Along the way he encounters the awesome fury of nature, pulling him into a place where he must face the even more destructive forces that have woven into the fabric of his mind. It is there his story becomes a profound spiritual experience.

 

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Lunch Ladies

(What a Difference a Year Makes Book 3)

by Ruth O’Neil

Lunch Ladies

These are not your typical lunch ladies. Seven women. Each dealing with her own personal struggle. Satan attacks where they are vulnerable, yet through the power of prayer and the strength that can only come from the band of friendship, they will overcome, even if the endings aren’t all fairy tales.

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 1/21/2020

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; – Isaiah 58:12 NIV

Devotion

They’re stories of chaos and destruction. What once was well-structured and well-organized is now scattered and destroyed. They’re stories that are always hard to tell. They’re full of sorrow, suffering, pity, and pathos. It’s because they’re stories of what happens when people turn from the Lord God and go their own way. Like the story of the ancient Israelite’s conquest by Babylon that forms the background of our verse for today, they’re stories of spiritual waywardness and the chaos and destruction that come from it.

As you can see, I’m not speaking of any specific story. Instead, I’m speaking in general of what happens when people turn from the Lord. Further, I’m not just speaking of stories about military wars and what comes from them. I’m speaking in general of the chaos and destruction that happens in any area of life when people forsake the Lord God, go their own way, and reap the consequences thereof. It could be a military story, but it could also be the story of a family, a school, a business, a government, a nation, or a church. It could be anything.

Literally or figuratively, these stories always end with everything in ruins, with foundations cast down to the ground, with broken walls, streets, and dwellings. People turn from the Lord and the Lord turns from them (II Chronicles 15:2). It’s always the same. No one is spared. You can’t ignore the Lord God with impunity. You can’t expect to prosper apart from Him (Psalm 2). Although you may get away with it for a while, there is always retribution. Although you may get away with it in this age, you won’t get away with it in the age to come.

The good news is that these stories don’t have to end where they end. There can be new stories that follow after them. They can be the kind of stories mentioned in our verse for today. Literally or figuratively, they can be stories of the rebuilding of ruins, even ancient ruins. They can be stories of the raising of foundations, even age-old foundations. And they can be the stories of the repair of broken walls, streets, and dwellings. If you turn back to the Lord, you can reverse the story of your life.

Til the Whole World Know

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 1/20/2020

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by Jim Hughes

crossLuke 2:8-15 That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, and angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them, “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

There are a lot of things we can observe from this miraculous night of our Savior’s birth. The night started out like any other night; the shepherds were watching over their sheep, protecting them from any potential predators and from wandering away. They were not expecting anything unusual in the night; they were simply occupying. The Lord often shows up in our lives when we are just doing what we normally do, living out our lives humbly before Him.

When the angel from heaven appeared in the night sky, the shepherds were terrified. Who can blame them? Many times when the Lord speaks, we become frightened. We don’t know what is coming next.

The message that the angel brought to the shepherds was good news, great news, generous news and grand news. Jesus, the promised Messiah, had come! It was news of great joy for everyone. It was the best news that man had ever heard. It was news for all the ages; Christ the Savior was born! They were told where to find Him and how they would find Him.

It that was not enough to forever change the shepherds’ lives, the angel was joined by the angelic choir singing the praises of our Immanuel, Jesus our Lord. The shepherds were left speechless. Who could blame them? They hurriedly left and went into town to find the Christ child. When they found Him, they went and told everybody they could what had happened and who they found. I wonder, how often we get so excited by what the Lord says to us that we just are compelled to go and tell others about it?

I am intrigued by this part of the Christmas story. Were the shepherds the only ones who say the angel, the angelic host, or heard their message? Scripture says that the glory of God filled the sky. I would think that everyone for miles around would have seen the sight, but we are not told that they did. And if they did, why aren’t we told that a great crowd of people filled the streets of Bethlehem in search of the Christ child? You would think that this was an event that would have forever changed all who were in town that night.

Yet, we are told that later on Herod and the religious leaders in the land did not know Jesus had been born. When the magi showed up two years later, they were caught off guard and had to inquire about it.

Let us be very careful that we don’t miss the wondrous signs the Lord gives us. Just like signs preceded His first coming, there are many signs given that are preceding His second coming. God is giving us plenty of signs to prepare us for His coming. Are you paying attention? Are you ready? Jesus will come again like a thief in the night; no one knows when, but I believe it will be very soon. Don’t be like those in Jesus’ day who missed the signs announcing His birth. Live each day in readiness and you won’t be left behind.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

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Ask the Author Podcast conducts candid and insightful interviews with Christian Independent Authors. Ever wanted to know what your favorite authors favorite food is? Want to know what your favorite author does in his/her spare time? You’ll find the answer here each week https://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

 

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In The Stillness 1/17/2020

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by CJ Peterson

n this chaotic world, do you take any time to relax and enjoy the world around you? There are birds singing, squirrels gathering, deer enjoying their afternoon meal, and any other myriad of forestland creatures indulging in what nature has to offer…are you?
As the world continues momentum toward its reliance on computers and the concrete jungles, how do you find peace? How do you center yourself? When you go on vacation, are you actually on vacation, or are you running around, trying to do everything, or thinking about work? How are you starting off your new year? Did you hit the ground running, or did you take time to reflect on last year to see where you can improve for this year? What do you do to find your peace when the world continues to spin around you at mach 10?

When I think about peace and stillness, there are two verses that come to mind:

Psalm 46:10 – “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Hmmm…looks to me as if God wants us to be still and rest in Him. It is in the stillness that we can connect with Him. When things are crazy, or you’re terrified, you can find peace in the stillness of Him. My challenge to you (and myself) is to find some time for yourself to be with God each and every day. Make it above and beyond your devotional and prayer time. Just close your eyes and soak in His presence. It will allow you to recharge and find your center in God. Let Him help you find peace…in the stillness.

In the Stillness

 

About the Author:

CJ PetersonI was raised in a Christian military home, but it was far from tranquil. Like many young people, I left home as soon as possible, and went my own way, thinking I knew better. To me anything was better than where I was. Unfortunately, some of the choices I made led me away from the Lord, and sometimes that path was a dangerous one.
God is faithful, even when His children are lost and wandering. When I needed Him most, the Lord was there for me. He led me out of that danger and into a new life…a life where I am loved and appreciated. He taught me what ‘real love’ is, and what it’s supposed to look like through my family and wonderful husband.
Who knew that “Prince Charming” actually existed? I hoped and prayed he was out there, and I found him! He is a 24 year Navy veteran and the love of my life! With his encouragement, I rediscovered the creativity I thought I had lost a long time ago, and have begun to publish the books I have written through the years. The words in these books helped me through my struggles, and my prayer is they will help others.
The way in which I write my Christian Books, is unique to say the least. I am a realistic Christian. People are people, they stumble, they fall, they trip, but God continues to dust us off, and set us back on the path again, if we just learn to trust in Him.
The challenges faced in my past give me a perspective on the realities of living the Christian life that some people may never see. There are times we wander away from God…there are times when we draw closer to Him. In our arrogance we think we can make it on our own. However, the One who made this world, and who made you, has the answers, and thankfully, He forgives our impudence and petulance and loves us through it all. God is a God of love, mercy, grace, and guidance. He loves us and only wants the best for us.
Those who have read my books, describe them as encouraging, frustrating, and a wonderful read all at the same time. The same character that could have you crying one minute, will have you cheering the next! One of my editors, stated that ‘she was so into the story, that she forgot to edit, and had to go back to do the editing’.
I pray you will enjoy my books as well!

While the stories are fiction, the journey is real.

Visit CJ’s websitehttp://cjpetersonwrites.com/

Follow her on FB http://www.facebook.com/writingbycjpeterson

Follow her on Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/authoress_cj

Follow her on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/authoresscj/

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: That Summer

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

That Summer

(Caney Creek Series Book 1)

by Jo Huddleston

That Summer

To escape his poppa’s physical abuse and their dirt-poor farm life, Jim flees to an imagined prosperous city life where he can make his own choices, ignoring God patiently knocking on his heart’s door. Settled in town, Jim strays from God and the way of faith his momma taught him. He meets a girl and loses his heart … and meets another girl and loses his willpower. Jim wrestles with social and moral dilemmas as he makes a choice beside Caney Creek that will alter the lives of five people.

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CrossReads Short Takes: Pursuing God Diligently & The Road to Mercy

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CrossReadsShortTakes

CrossReads Short Takes

Pursuing God Diligently

Passionately Pursuing God In An Era Of Compromise

(Diligence Series Book 4)

by Sheldon Newton

Pursuing God Diligently

It is one who is on fire to reach a goal, fulfill a destiny and accomplish a purpose. Pursuing God should be our number one priority. And in this powerful study on developing intimacy with the Lord you will discover what it takes to walk with Him. This book is not for those who are not interested in spiritual things. Instead, it is for those who hunger and thirst to know Him in a real and dynamic way. You will learn:. The power of spiritual hunger. . How to know God for yourself. . How to know when He is speaking to you. . What it takes to walk with God. . How to enter into the Spirit-led life. . How to enter into His glorious Presence & live there, and so much more.Get your hands on this timely study in God’s Word and become ablaze with passion for His glory. You will never be the same again!

 

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The Road to Mercy

A Journey of Secrets, Survival, and Redemption

by Mary Hutchinson

The Road to Mercy

3rd Place Winner in the 2019 Xulon Press Christian Author Awards Contest, Autobiography/Biography/Testimonial Category.

The inspirational true story of God sparing a young girl from being murdered and later transforming her life, as seen on The 700 Club.

By age twelve, Mary Therese Hutchinson had survived not one, not two, but four attempts on her life. Even worse, the assailant and man who had sexually abused her for years was no outsider but a trusted family member. Forced to keep much of what she endured a secret, Mary came to believe everything she’d been taught about God was a fairy tale. After all, what loving God would allow such horrible things to happen to a little girl? Or if he was real, then God had forgotten about her.
By adulthood, Mary was outwardly a successful, beautiful young woman. But unresolved trauma and hate for her abuser led to a downward spiral of despair and self-destructive choices. A stranger’s prayers became the catalyst that started Mary on a journey of emotional healing and spiritual transformation. She now knew God was no fairy tale but a loving, merciful heavenly Father who, far from abandoning her, had miraculously intervened to save her young life.
But when her assailant reentered Mary’s life, she faced her greatest challenge yet. Could she extend to her abuser the same mercy God had so abundantly extended to her? The heart-pounding conclusion to this story is one no reader will ever forget. It all began with one woman’s choice to step out of her dark nightmare and onto the road to mercy.

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 1/14/2020

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

…”The Lord says, ‘I am with you!'”  – Haggai 1:13 ERV

Devotion

Sometimes, you just can’t see it. Sometimes, you just can’t see what time it is. You may think that you do, but you really don’t. After all, in the final analysis, you’re not the one that determines what time it is. You’re not the one that determines, for example, whether it’s time to destroy or build, to throw weapons down or to pick them up. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) Sometimes, therefore, you have to be told. Someone who knows has to tell you. Only then will you be able to coordinate your life with what time it is. Only then will you stop fighting against what time it is.

Who will tell you what time it is? The Lord will tell you. The Lord will tell you, or someone sent by the Lord. The Lord determines the times. He knows, therefore, what time it is. In their own day, the returning remnant of Judah didn’t know what time it was. For them, it was time to build the temple, but they didn’t see it. Indeed, they thought just the opposite. They were saying amongst themselves, “it is not yet the right time to build the Lord’s temple.” (Haggai 1:2) In effect, they were fighting against the time. In effect, they were fighting against the Lord.

The Lord didn’t leave them in that sorry state of spiritual blindness. They couldn’t see what time it was because they were more concerned with themselves and their interests than with the Lord’s interests. The Lord sent Haggai the prophet to tell them where they were going wrong and what they should do. He told them that the reason why things weren’t going as well for them as they would have liked was precisely because they didn’t know what time it was, because they refused to see what time it was. (Haggai 1:3-11)

Maybe, you need to know what time it is as well. Maybe, you need the Lord to open your eyes just as much as the people of Judah did back in the day. If so, then when He does tell you, in whatever way He tells you, you need to do the same thing they did. They accepted what time it was. They began to build the temple.

If you accept what time it is, then the Lord will say the same thing to you that He said to them as recorded in our verse for today. He will say, “I am with you!”

Til the Whole World Know

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Flash Flood Warning! Be Prepared! 1/13/2020

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by Rebekah Beene

I woke up one morning recently to the sound of a weather report on my phone, “Flash flood watch for Your County until Saturday, January 11”. And then I looked at my phone to turn the alarm off and a social media picture popped up of the parting of the Red Sea.

Oh beloved, God wants to speak to us because He wants to inform us and prepare us.  He is still able to do the impossible.  He is not a one time God. He’s an all time God.  Flood waters don’t diminish Him. The Red Sea didn’t intimidate Him.

And the people who walked through those parted waters had never seen God do that before.  It wasn’t like they were saying to themselves that God could do that. They didn’t know if He could do it.  They walked into the dry sea bed, DRY mind you, not knowing what was going to happen. But they knew it was sink or swim – because they had nowhere else to go but to walk in trust.

Whatever you are facing today, beloved, you can walk in trust. The truth is, until we experience God for ourselves, we don’t know what He’s capable of. Yes, we read the historic messages regarding Him written in the Scriptures. But He is bigger and more powerful even than those missives.  He is above all and He is not limited by a single thing – not bad messages, not weather warnings, not enemy fire, not internal struggles. Your story is a platform taking you above the waters. Your situation is a sounding board of glory.  Your present situation is nothing more than a testimony in the making of God’s miraculous power.  It’s time to quit staying more concerned about the weather reports than you are about God’s abilities! Your freedom from fear will come at a price. You will have to walk through it, but you can because of Who He IS!

God loves you and He’s for you.  In good times and bad. In good reports and not so good.  Rest in Him this morning and give Him all the alarms going off in reality and in your head. And let Him cover you with His peace as you walk out your life and calling with faithful joy in the Light of His Miraculous Power!

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.

Daniel 3:25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed.

Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to Me and I will answer and show you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

About the Author:

Rebekah Beene

In a Christian Women’s meeting in 1983, Rebekah was given a prophetic message that she would write books. Several years ago she began writing stories about special holiday memories and travels, sharing God’s love and care through each story. God has gifted Rebekah with the ability to look at the natural and see the supernatural. Both Rebekah and her husband Danny have a heart to share the Gospel and the riches of life in Christ to everyone they meet. They have served in the local church and in ministry to motorcyclists. Danny is an ordained minister and they both have been Bible study teachers for many years. Rebekah also speaks at women’s retreats and conferences. Her tag line says it all “God loves you and He’s for you”.

My website is http://rebekahbeene.wordpress.com

My first book in print is Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word.
Link to buying the book via paypal is on the website.
As well a link to purchasing the ebook on Amazon is there too.
I’m also on twitter @rebekahbeene, tumblr http://rebekah-beene.tumblr.com/
and of course facebook as Rebekah Beene (Warren) I included my maiden name for old friends.
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Gems From Pastor Jim 1/10/2020

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by Jim Hughes

crossMatt. 2:1,2 Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.”

Consider with me today the wise men of Christmas. We can learn much about our own lives as we gaze into their role in the Christmas story.

Wise men look for Jesus. Jesus can be found. He will be found by all who sincerely seek Him. Look in the Scriptures and you will find Him. Look in creation, which is His handiwork, and you will find Him. Look at the cross of Calvary and you will find Him. Jesus did not come to a select few that they may be saved. He came that all people will behold Him and find Him. He came that all who are willing to be saved will be saved.

Wise men obey God rather than man. We live amongst a people who do not know God and have no desire to know Him. We are faced with many choices daily; do we obey God or man? The world does not like it when we boldly live for Christ. We are bound to run up against opposition. Wise men take a stand for God. They live godly lives regardless how it is received in the work or marketplace.

Wise men worship Jesus. When we live in the presence of Jesus it humbles us. Wow! God allows us to enter into His presence! What a privilege! In Christ unholy people are made holy and fit to come before Him in worship. When we live in the presence of Jesus we are moved to praise Him. How can we do anything less? Praise is always fitting in worship services. When we are in the presence of God we are awestruck. Wow!! God!!

The world worships the presents of Christmas. We worship the presence of Jesus. Let us live as wise men and bow before our Lord and King today.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

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Ask the Author Podcast conducts candid and insightful interviews with Christian Independent Authors. Ever wanted to know what your favorite authors favorite food is? Want to know what your favorite author does in his/her spare time? You’ll find the answer here each week https://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: The Dragon’s Back Trilogy

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

The Dragon’s Back Trilogy

1 & 2: “The Poison of Thorns” + “My Brother’s Keeper”

by Robert Dennis Wilson

The Dragon's Back Trilogy

Epic Spiritual Warfare Fantasy.
Contains “THE POISON OF THORNS: The Dragon’s Back #1” & “MY BROTHER’S KEEPER: The Dragon’s Back #2”.
Here are bards, dragons, swords, and dark villains!

Living on a land shaped like a monstrous Dragon floating on a bottomless Sea, two orphaned brothers have chosen dramatically different paths to deal with the pain caused by watching the murder of their parents.

Why were they locked away in that out-of-the way orphanage for ten long years, when they had living kin who would gladly have claimed them? Who are the sinister black-robed “Dragonmen” and what is their hidden agenda. And why are these blackrobes so interested in the two teenaged brothers that they would mobilize all of their considerable resources to possess them?

Kaleb, the eldest, has taken up thorns and sided with the black-robed Dragonmen and their gigantic Captain, Raven. Overcome by bitterness, he has vowed to exact vengeance and rescue his bother from the man he thinks is responsible for that crime, Nathan the Master Bard.

Jason, the younger sibling, is an apprentice to that same bard and has chosen to forsake the dark poison of the thorns and follow the teachings of the Great Gryphon and His Swimmer Son.

Out of their love for each other, both brothers seek with their entire beings to deliver their sibling from his chosen path. A violent conflagration of armed conflict is inevitable!

What other Christian authors are saying about “THE POISON OF THORNS, The Dragon’s Back #1”

TRACY KRAUSS, bestselling author of “Play It Again” and “The Beat Goes On” says: “Book 1… reads somewhat like a Lewis, Tolkien or even a Rowling. Full of heraldry and lore in a make believe otherworld, this novel is full of action and adventure…Anyone who likes fantasy with an unapologetic Christian worldview should enjoy it.”

ASHLEY WINTTERS [“Ashley Dawn”], author of “Shadows from the Past” and “Shadows of Suspicion” says: “This was a superbly written book. A good vs. evil that isn’t too preachy but definitely has a spiritual overtone. The imagery the author used made you actually feel like you were a part of the book. The characters were very well developed and very likeable. I rate it a 5/5. If you get the chance, you should definitely read it and I’m ready for the second one!”

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