September 22, 2007

Fantastic Fantasy - Wayne Thomas Batson

As a fan of Fantasy, I've decided to start a series of posts about books I'm reading, have read, recommendations, and so forth. As you can see by the title, it's called Fantastic Fantasy. I'll feature different authors and their books and try to give very fair reviews and let you know if I'm having trouble being unbiased. My intention is to keep this a fairly regular feature, but we shall see. Also, check out my Shelfari link here or in the sidebar.

My first installment is, appropriately, one of my very favorite authors, Wayne Thomas Batson:

Wayne Thomas Batson:

The Door Within

As many of you already know, I'm a HUGE fan of Wayne Thomas Batson. His books speak so well of the Christian walk, while disguising themselves as amazing Fantasy Fiction. Today, I'm going to review the first book of his that I read, The Door Within.

Author Links

Blog: Enter the Door Within

Amazon Link: The Door Within

Recommended Age: 12+ (Although, my daughter began it when she was 8.)

The story begins with a very average kid, Aidan, who lives in the shadow of his best friend's great achievements. Aidan's grandfather's failing health tears him away from his friends and home, as he and his parents journey to Colorado.

Aidan cannot see the good in the move, but his own anger is left behind as he discovers three mysterious clay pots in his grandfather's basement. Glowing and containing "The Story," the pots open a whole new adventure that has little to do with his own will and everything to do with the will of King Eliam.

Aidan's journey through The Door Within teaches him to look beyond his circumstances and find the greater purpose he may serve.

Aidan discovers an unseen world, The Realm, populated with human-like creatures called Glimpses. His purpose becomes clear; he is to be the 12th knight of the Elder Guard. How an awkward teenage boy can become a knight and fight an evil force in two weeks, is beyond Aidan's comprehension. However, he steps forward and accepts his task with greater courage than even he realizes.

His journey of faith in himself and faith in King Eliam teaches him that to serve is to be loved and that we are "Never Alone."

Swords, knights, strange creatures, evil traitors, castles, dragons, and adventure await all who dare step through The Door Within. I recommend this book to my non-Christian friends more often than my Christian friends. Why? This book will capture their imaginations and take them for a ride, all the while, asking themselves, "Can I, like Aidan, be Never Alone!?" It's a quiet ministry that begs our hearts to find our own greater purpose.

As a Christian, I felt the book speak to me of the rocky and sometimes overwhelmingly difficult path of Christianity. We, like Aidan, have family and friends whom we want to see in Heaven, but who smile and pat our heads in the "that's cute" way. We've all faced trials that seemed impossible, yet find ourselves standing on the other side asking ourselves, "How in the world did I get through that?"

Aidan's journey is one that we can all relate to, whether Christian or not, but does an amazing job of leading us up to those big questions in life.

Until next time friends...

A-M-Y is M-I-A...

One word: bronchitis. I've been taken out of the game of life for about a week now. I'm on antibiotics, but so far, to no avail. Fever, body aches, and the cough - oh, the cough. It's deep and thick and crackling - ugh! Because of my asthma, they put me on these horse pills of antibiotics. It could be dangerous for me to develop pnemonia.

In addition to the anitbiotics and cough syrup, my doc perscribed the only drug I will absolutely refuse: Prednisone. As many of my close friends know, I was destroyed by the drug two years ago; six months of 60mg per day. That spelled mood changes, body temperature irregularity, weight gain, moon face (it seriously looked like a dinner plate), and loss of bone density. I'm still recovering from the weight gain and bone density loss, and won't head down that road again.

The good news is that I actually don't need the steroids anyway; my asthma has been in check. I've been taking really good care of myself and doing my nebulizer treatments and all that jazz. I'll do whatever it takes to avoid Prednisone.

So - if anyone is wondering where I've disappeared to or why I haven't responded - now you know. As soon as I'm on the mend, I'll be catching up with everyone.

This sickness has seriously knocked the stuffing out of me. I've dealt with some severe chronic health problems, but this thing is a monster. It's the infection that wouldn't die! If I'm not noticing improvement by Monday, I'm supposed to go see my doc. We'll see...

All prayers are welcome! Until next time - remember that as God closes one door in our path, He always opens three others, we just need to keep our eyes and hearts open and take that step of faith.

September 17, 2007

CSFF Blog Tour - Austin Boyd's The Return

With nothing left for him on Earth, Rear Admiral John Wells didn't hesitate to lead a third NASA team to Mars, but he never dreamed that one day they'd look out their laboratory module into the lights of a slow-moving vehicle not their own. In the third installment of the Mars Hill Classified series, life on Mars becomes increasingly more unpredictable as the past collides with the future, and nothing, not even the dead, is as it seems...
(back cover of The Return)

Well - unfortunately, I only just received my copy of The Return. I'm afraid that one week has not been long enough for me to finish or even get into this book. I'm going to post anyway and hopefully bring some interesting information to you all.

Be sure to check out Austin Boyd's website as well, to find out a little more about the man behind the Mars Hill Classified series, published by NavPress.

Here's an updated list of CSFF Blog Tour participants:

Trish Anderson
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Grace Bridges
Amy Browning
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Lisa Cromwell
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Merrie Destefano or Alien Dream
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Christopher Hopper
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Dawn King
Tina Kulesa
Rachel Marks
Karen McSpadden
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Lyn Perry
Deena Peterson
Cheryl Russel
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

I haven't updated my sidebar list yet, so this will do for now. Make sure to check out who's posting what and leave comments so they know you've come by.

Happy touring!