Friday, May 30, 2008

Apologies Forthcoming by Xujun Eberlein

A totally illuminating collection of stories centered around China's Cultural Revolution and its aftermath, which, as we learn, continues even today-with both sides still holding out, with "apologies forthcoming." Xujun Eberlein lived in China during that tumultuous period and now makes her home in America. This, her first story collection, is both disturbing and enthralling.

Buy it at Amazon.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Oxbow Report by Mike Purington

It’s the year 2041 and NASA is on the verge of launching Challenger, their first manned deep space vehicle equipped with light drive technology. The shakedown cruise and the testing is interrupted by the crash of a TRC1200, the most technologically advanced aircraft of its kind, an unexplained event in the weather, radio transmissions from deep space, and the discovery of an ancient civilization that rivals Egypt and the pyramids. All this and more take Colonel Jonathan Edwards, Dr. Ozan La Baugh and Archeologist Jack Rashad through a series of events that calls into question all their learning, and forces them to think outside the box. The discovery of an ancient plan for man places evolution and creationism at the forefront of discussion, and threatens to change the history of man as he knows it. This and more is just the beginning as the crew of Challenger attempts to solve the mystery of Oxbow and the ancient civilization that predates time itself.

To Order, go to

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Shelly Goes Outdoors by Kentrell Martin

This educational story takes the reader on the journey of a little girl named Shelly who encounters many interesting elements of society. For every item she observes, Shelly provides the reader with the corresponding sign in American Sign Language. Also included with the book is an instructional DVD that demonstrates the signs used in the book along with the American Sign Language alphabet. Along with American Sign Language, the story incorporates colors, numbers, animals, and people.

Available on Amazon

Monday, May 19, 2008

CSFF Presents: Mindflights Magazine

A new magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction brought to you by Double-Edged Publishing. We've recently combined two award-winning magazines - Dragons, Knights, and Angels and The Sword Review - into one frequently-updated, high-quality magazine.

If you like science fiction and fantasy--and would like to read stories that support Christian views as well, check them out.

*Featured webzine, MindFlights

*Participants’ Links:
Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Jackie Castle
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Kameron M. Franklin
Beth Goddard
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Michael Heald
Christopher Hopper
Joleen Howell
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Terri Main
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Pamela Morrisson
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Steve Rice
Ashley Rutherford
Mirtika or Mir's Here
Rachelle Sperling
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Robert Treskillard
Linda Wichman
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Interview with Tony Robles

Tony Robles was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. By today’s standards he was born to fail: Hispanic, living in poverty, abandoned by his father, his mother a high school dropout, crime-ridden neighborhoods, tough, segregated high school – and no affirmative action to help him out. But, Tony’s mother didn’t raise him to be a victim. She taught him that the keys to rising above poverty are education and hard work. Tony has lived the American Dream as his mother promised. He wishes she had survived to see his book, Joey Gonzalez, Great American. She would have loved it.

1. Why write this book?

The affirmative action mentality in America is poisoning the minds of black and Hispanic children, making them believe they need special preferences and cannot succeed on their own. My book, Joey Gonzalez, Great American gives parents a tool for combating that destructive mindset. The story encourages ethnic pride and self reliance, showing kids they have the potential to be great because they have the greatness of their ancestors inside them.

2. What was your favorite part of writing this book?

Working with Jimmy Pryor, the illustrator was the most enjoyable part of putting this book together. The process became a true collaboration. Jimmy suggested that I add text about the Buffalo Soldiers and he painted a beautiful portrait to illustrate it. We worked as a team deciding which parts of the story to illustrate. Jimmy is a great guy, a talented artist and a true professional. We have developed a strong friendship and we hope to work together on future projects.

3. What was most difficult?

Ironically the most enjoyable part was also the most challenging. Jimmy Pryor has always painted with oil and acrylic. For Joey Gonzalez, the publisher wanted watercolors. Jimmy learned to use watercolor by trial and error. It took a long time. When we came up against the deadline, Jimmy didn’t sleep for five days. I didn’t sleep much either. But it was all worth it. Jimmy’s skill, technique, and years of work with oil and acrylics resulted in beautifully detailed watercolors.

4. What is the one thing you’d like folks to know about this book or your work?

This book is my heart. Read it and you feel my passion. Jimmy Pryor put his own passion into the book through his collaboration and his artwork. We believe the message needs to get out to our kids. We believe Joey Gonzalez, Great American will resonate among the vast majority of black and Hispanic people who are frustrated by a prejudiced mentality that presumes they (and their children) are inherently inferior. This book is one they will enjoy reading to their children. As they read how Joey and his black schoolmates courageously proclaim their ethnic pride and self reliance, they may feel a little knot in the throat. That will be the passion coming through.

5. What’s next for you?

Right now my job is to get Joey Gonzalez to as many kids as possible.

Joey Gonzales: Great American by Tony Robles

How can I become a great American if I’m not an American in the first place?”

Third-grader Joey Gonzalez dreamed of becoming a great American. His plan? Study hard and learn everything he could. Then one day, his teacher said that because he was something called a “minority,” he wasn't smart enough to make his dream come true! Still, something called “affirmative action” could help him, she said…

But as Joey taps into the strength, intelligence and courage of his Spanish ancestors, he learns that personal pride, self-reliance and a love of learning—not special preferences—are the keys to becoming a good citizen…and a great American.


Order at

Lisa Samson Interview

Q. Discovering who you are is a major theme in Finding Hollywood Nobody. Scotty feels compelled to learn more about her real parents when she discovers that her ?mother? is really her grandmother and that her parents were likely killed in a mafia-style shootout. What do you think principally defines who we are ? genetics & family or how we see ourselves?

A. Being no expert in such things, I really couldn't say. There are way too many stories of twins separated at birth, growing up in very different homes, who end up living very similar lives. So I'd say genetics plays a large part. But just look and see what happens to people who are raised with many more advantages than those who aren't. So family as well as social standing hold a lot of sway as well. And then . . . how we see ourselves is a large part, especially how we see ourselves in light of God. Do we really believe God loves us? So can I answer yes to all three? I think we tend to get in trouble when we try and reduce the human psyche to one principle issue, anyway. As the Bible says, "we are fearfully and wonderfully made."

Q. What would you recommend to people in a similar situation as Scotty either through adoption or other circumstances? In your opinion - is finding your genetic heritage worth risking everything?

A. I wouldn't recommend anything! I think every situation is different and I would recommend commiting the matter of finding one's biological parent to intense prayer before even thinking of making a move. Let the Spirit guide above all else.

Q. What was your inspiration behind the Hollywood Nobody series?

A. I I just wanted to write a fun series. There are a lot of good series out there with teens in a more typical home situation, with either one parent around or two, living in a town, going to school, dealing with friends. But I wanted to remove my main character from the everyday world teens find themselves in and see what she did. I'm fascinated by what happens in Hollywood so setting it in that world, but on its edges, was something interesting for me. I swear, there are times I read what's happening to some of these young actresses and singers and can hardly believe my ears. I wanted to be able to explore a teenage girl's reaction to some of these foibles.

Q. What can you tell us about what?s in store for Scotty in Book 3?

A. Scotty finds some romance! As does Charley. And, of course, Seth "hottie" Haas, finds himself feeling a little threatened! The search for her mother continues full force. The book takes place in the mountains surrounding Asheville, North Carolina on the set of a Scottish epic film. Lots of guys in kilts. i'm just sayin'!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Finding Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson

Scotty Fitzgerald, oft-neglected daughter of well-known Hollywood food stylist Charley, knows the “inside scoop” about the Hollywood stars we can’t get enough of. Having spent her life in an RV driving from set to set while her mom “styled food” for celebrities, Scotty sees what the fans do not. And she reveals it regularly on her Hollywood Nobody blog, though she’d rather be as far away from Hollywood as anyone can get. After all, Scotty has enough drama in her own life!

After learning that her ‘mother’ is really her grandmother, Charley finds out her real parents were probably killed in a mafia-style shooting reminiscent of The Sopranos. Scotty’s now certain a sinister “Biker Guy” who’s continued to track her and her mom must be connected to her parents’ shooting. There’s a pretty good chance, she decides, that he’s looking to finish the job by taking her life.

So Scotty and Charley do what they’ve always done—run and avoid the situation. But a life on the run is exhausting and Scotty’s had just about enough—enough to ignore Charley’s motherly direction and chart her own course. Let’s just hope it isn’t a course that puts her in the crosshairs of her own parents’ murderer.

Available on

Pennywise By Jill Brock

What would you do for your best friend? Would you break the law, put yourself in danger, or put your own emotional and mental meltdown on hold? Odessa Wilkes is about to find out when she helps her best friend, Maggie Swift find her missing husband. Roger Swift is gone and emptied out the checking account. He's left his wife clueless and in near hysterics. Maggie comes to Odessa for help and she can't say no. She should say no, because she has problems of her own. Odessa, a lapsed African American Princess, has been dumped by her 'perfect' boyfriend, lost her six-figured advertising job, and is dealing with an anxiety disorder that turns her to Jell-O when anything gets too 'intense'. She has been reduced to making desserts at her family restaurant and working for her overbearing sister, Candace. Friends since high school, Maggie and Odessa go in search of Roger with Maggie's mischievous eight-year old son Rocket in tow and the family dog. Standing just over five feet tall and a dead ringer for redheaded Tinker Bell, Maggie is determined to find Roger. Armed with a copy of 'An Idiot's Guide to Private Investigating' and Maggie's contagious enthusiasm, Odessa knows it's only a matter of time before they find trouble. Trouble comes in the form of an inept kidnapper, a valuable missing treasure, an ex-boyfriend, insurance fraud, and the improper use of pepper spray. Eventually, the two amateur detectives learn they are more than capable of finding Roger. More importantly, what Odessa finds is the way back to herself and the possibility of a new chance at love.

Available at

Thursday, May 08, 2008

CFRB Presents: An Interview with Bill McGrath

1. What inspired you to write this story?

I began writing the story in 1981. A friend had called and told me about the storyline of the movie “Omen III, The Final Conflict,” which he had just seen. Typically of Hollywood at that time when handling a biblical subject, the story had very little to do with what’s actually in scripture regarding the Antichrist and the Second Coming of Christ.

I reacted both as a new Christian, “That’s not what the Bible says” and as a twenty year old guy, “I could write a better story than that.”

So that’s what I set out to do. I decided to set the story of the tribulation and Second Coming in a fantasy setting, figuring that non-Christians would be more likely to read a biblical story if written that way. I wrote on and off for the next few years, getting about 120,000 word done, but stopped writing when my father died in 1986.

I took up the story again in 2001 when my son was born. I wanted to write a story for him that brought together many of the things in the books I read as a teenager that gave me a life long love of reading and, I like to think, help point me in the right direction in life in general. What I envisioned as one book (The Sword of Fire) has now grown into three (Asulon, Eretzel and Apocalypse). The direct spark for my writing was to write a better story than The Omen, but the tinder, the fuel for my story was all the great books I read as a teen. Therefore, you’ll see influences in my story from authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Dante Alighieri, Edmund Rostand, Alexander Dumas, James Fennimore Cooper, Edgar Rice Boroughs, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Robert E. Howard.

2. Who is your favorite character and why?

I have a character in my story called Moor. He’s the hero’s Italian sword teacher. Moor is a combination of Mr. Spock, Sherlock Holmes and Machiavelli and gets to say and do things that us civilized folks can’t and there’s great satisfaction in that.

3. How have your personal faith and beliefs influenced your story?

When I was a child my whole family would sit together to watch biblical epics on TV such as The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur and Samson and Delilah. I was impressed with the movies themselves and with the fact that my father, who was not a very religious man at the time, would enjoy them along with the rest of us. When I began to write my story, I thought back to those larger than life movies and thought how they captured your imagination, how non-believers could suspend their disbelief and believe in those stories while they watched them. I wanted to write stories like that, Christian stories that non-Christians would enjoy.

4. What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Taking the story I see in my head (it looks like a movie to me) and putting it on a page so that the reader can both see what I see and enjoy the experience. In mundane terms, I also have trouble with basics like grammar and syntax. I often find myself slipping into what I call “Yoda speech” (in an effort to sound “classical” for a fantasy novel), but what my editor called “using the passive voice.” I went to school in the New York City public school system, so I was a bit weak on the basics when I began writing,(the minimum requirements for passing some of my classes were: 1. Show up 2. Don’t assault the teacher). I had to learn the basics of grammar and such as an adult through the many good books for writers available today.

5. What was easiest?

I have a pretty good imagination, so it’s easy for me to think up situations for my characters. Actually to say I “think up” things gives me too much credit. I believe having a good imagination is a talent like being able to sing or dance or draw well (none of which I can do by the way). I can no more take credit for having a good imagination than a singer can for having good vocal cords.

6. What's next for you?

I’m putting the finishing touches on book two now. Then I have to find a new editor (the editor for my first book is on maternity leave). I hope to have book two out this summer. Then I’ll begin book three.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

CFRB Presents: Asulon by William McGrath

Summary (as found in A Frank Review)
A fantasy trilogy comprised of ASULON, ERETZEL & APOCALYPSE

The story begins in a society that resembles the western world during the decline of the Roman republic. Prince Daniel is driven from his homeland after his father is assassinated. Seeking safety, Daniel sails to the land of his maternal grandfather Anak. Anak is the last of the /Grigori/, a third group of angels who remained neutral during the war between the angels loyal to God and those rebelling with Lucifer. After the war, the Grigori were banished to the earth to live in mortal bodies. Anak's sons are the Anakim, giants unequaled in battle.

Traveling with Daniel are: Simon, a priest of the Lord Yeshua whose powers hint that he is more than a simple priest, and the Swordmaster Moor, Daniel's teacher and head of the king's bodyguards. Moor has sworn revenge on the powerful men who ordered the king's assassination. Also on the voyage is Rachel, a princess of the land of Eretzel and one whose songs carry healing gifts from God.

On the voyage Daniel and Rachel fall in love, but are later parted when Rachel's homeland is invaded. Working behind the scenes are philosophers, rich merchants and sorcerers, each moving to shape events to his own end. As old powers fall, new ones rise and the despotic Antiochus becomes Emperor of the West. The Anakim discover that the Magog, a people of the far north, have been breeding creatures that are half man and half beast for their use in war. The Anakim also discover how they themselves are linked to the terrible secret of these creatures' birth. The Magog plan an invasion of the gold rich Southlands, but Eretzel stands as a bridge to those lands and must be defeated first.

Buried far below the Great Temple in the capital city of Eretzel is the Sword of Fire, the weapon first used to guard the entrance to the Garden of Eden after the Fall of Man. Antiochus is searching for the sword. Daniel is told the secret to retrieving the sword and must keep this weapon out of the hands of Antiochus, less the dictator use it to bring all mankind under his control. Armed with the sword of fire, Daniel evades the men and creatures sent by Antiochus, while searching for Rachel throughout Eretzel and the lands that surround it.

The story ends with a battle between East and West in the valley of Megido, the return of the Lord Yeshua to rule the earth and a view of the first thirty days of the Millenial Kingdom.

Purchase at

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Genie in the House of Saud: Zubis Rises by Kellyann Zuzulo

Zubis, a powerful djinni awaits a final wish to be free and unleash his vengenace on humans. Bethany O'Brien, bound to Zubis by an ancient betrayal, is the one person who can stop him. But she must first confront her past. When a power struggle for the third wish erupts in the House of Saud and spills across Iran and into Great Britain and America, Bethany is forced to flee Washington, DC. Zubis lures her across Europe and into the heart of the Middle East, where she must discover the secret of the Sumerian Rite of Djinn Destruction and the ultimate power of her own belief before she confronts the Genie in the House of Saud.

The novel is available for Kindle download from, as an e-book from Mystical Publishing at and on CD from eBay

Review of My Own Kind of Freedom by Steven Brust

I adore the FOX SF series Firefly. I found it refreshing and unique in its approach and voice. Where Gene Roddenberry tried to make "wagon train in space," and came up with something special but different, Joss Wheadon truly hit the mark with "the Wild West in space" with all its raw energy, unsanitized morality and excellent combination of genres. It quickly gained critical acclaim and an incredibly faithful fan base.

Sadly, FOX didn't see things the way reviewers and fans did, and they canceled the series after 13 short episodes. Of course, as with any good show, you can't totally kill it, and Firefly lives on in fanfict.

Thus comes Steven Brust's novel, My Own Kind of Freedom. Even the title is distinctively Firefly--and he lives up to the expectations it sets.
The crew of Serenity actually has a legal mission for once--delivering a load of lumber to a rich landowner on Hera names Sakaya. The planet, home of Serenity Ridge, where Mal and Zoe fought the fateful battle where the Browncoats at last lost the war, brings back unwelcome memories, but all they have to do is unload, get paid, buy a grav boot and go. Of course, nothing is easy for this crew.

Jayne gets caught stealing from one of their contacts and leaves the crew in a huff after refusing to return the merchandise. Naturally, his next step is to contact the Alliance and arrange to sell out River and Simon Tam. However, doing so interrupts a major sting operation the Alliance had planned on Sakaya, as the agent has to drop his work to meet Jayne. This suspicious behavior tips off Sakaya, who sends out hit men. Mal and Zoe immediately catch on to the hit men's intentions and step in. Too bad they didn't know the intended victim was an Alliance agent before they thwarted their plan. But when Kaylee sees the terrible condition of the people under Sakaya's thumb and Jayne gets arrested for drunk and disorderly and instead of bail gets indentured servitude as punishment, Mal and the crew find themselves helping the Alliance to bring Sakaya down. And if that weren't enough trouble, it turns out Sakaya is actually the Colonel who mentored Mal in his military career, pitting Mal's old loyalties against his own kind of morality.

All the fun you loved in Firefly, you'll find in My Own Kind of Freedom. The ironic humor, the general banter, the crazy antics, even the mix of Chinese and English--it's all there.

Steven has the characterization and dialog dead-to-rights. My favorites were Walsh and River. Not only did he get River's disjointed but perfectly sensical monologs correct, but he came up with very believable thought-processes to go with it. When you're dealing with a psychic driven insane by brain manipulation as well as the horrible secrets in her beyond-brilliant mind, that's an accomplishment. Walsh has his own unique brilliance and way of communicating, and Steven caught this too: an entire page of Walsh's thoughts as he flew Serenity into the planet's atmosphere, about the difficulty, the challenge, the glory, the complete lack of appreciation by the rest of the crew. Yet when Mal asks how entry went? "It's an entry. They're all the same."

Steven fills it with the same great action and humorous situations fans loved with Firefly--from Jayne's jail cell fiasco to Zoe breaking orders to follow Mal back planetside while everyone else on Serenity breaks orders to follow her to River learning to fly the shuttle after reading the manual for 45 minutes. (It took that long because there were mistakes.) In addition, he had great touches with memories of the Mal's relationship with Sakaya (Then Colonel Bursa), Jayne's clueless inner dialogue, even the chapter titles: My Own Kind of Past, My Own Kind of Clever. Yes, Steven's certain applied his own kind of clever to my favorite show.

Hope he has more missions in mind for the crew of Serenity.

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