Children’s Corner — Two for Christmas

20 Nov

Zonderkidz has two cute and colorful storybooks for kids available now — A Christmas Gift for Santa and A Very Fiona Christmas. While I liked both of these books, they were very secular in nature. But . . . they do offer parents an opportunity to expand the conversation about what Christmas is all about and being reminded to give to those who give us so much. Check out my impressions on each book below

A Christmas Gift for Santa

The Christmas story you haven’t read: What happens after Santa Claus delivers all the Christmas presents to boys and girls around the world?

Is there a gift waiting for Santa at the North Pole? Cuddle up with your little ones and follow the journey through Santa’s Workshop in search of Santa’s Christmas present. With bright and whimsical illustrations, this new take on the Christmas story is sure to become the newest addition to your holiday reading tradition — especially at bedtime!

Has Mrs. Claus forgotten Santa on Christmas Eve? He searches and searches their cozy North Pole home until he finds homemade gifts waiting for him next to a beautiful handwritten note. But what does it say?

My Impressions:

Santa is finally at home after his gift-giving spree across the world, but he feels a little left out when there is apparently no gift for him. This book has cute and colorful illustrations and a rhyming narrative as Santa searches for a gift. I think this book could serve as a springboard for parents to remind their kids of all those who give so much, but may not receive in return — policemen, firemen, nurses, etc. In the midst of gift-giving excitement, A Christmas Gift for Santa is a good reminder to show gratitude to those who selflessly share with others.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

A Very Fiona Christmas

A follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Fiona the Hippo picture book comes A Very Fiona Christmas!

It’s Fiona the hippo’s very first Christmas, and the zoo is sparkling with holiday spirit. When the adorable little hippo asks her friends, “What’s Christmas?” they set out to show her all the wonders and excitement of the season. With each new experience Fiona lets out a snort, wiggles her ears, and asks, “Is THIS Christmas?”

Amidst the snow, twinkling lights, mistletoe, and stockings, Fiona ends up meeting a new friend at the zoo who helps her discover the true meaning of the holiday: Love. Snuggle up with your little ones and join Fiona and her adorable animal friends for a heartwarming holiday romp through the zoo. 

My Impressions: 

I have to say that while I loved the illustrations and the premise of this book, A Very Fiona Christmas left me wanting more. The book details Fiona’s search for what Christmas really is. She sees glittery decorations, sparkling snow, and fun gifts, but knows those aren’t really what Christmas is all about. At the end, with the help of all her zoo friends, she discovers that Christmas is Love. When I turned the final page, I thought where is the rest? While Christmas is about love, it is a very specific love — that of God for His people. Parents who choose this book for their kids can certainly expound on that concept, and I recommend that they do, to truly communicate the real meaning of Christmas.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

 

 

Guest Post: Iola Goulton, Blogger

20 Nov

“I have this friend from New Zealand.” I love saying that! Now, I have never met Iola Goulton in person, but our online interactions and reading her blog make me feel like I really know her. That’s just how the online book community works. Iola is a freelance editor and writes insightful reviews of Christian fiction, making her a go-to resource for the best in the inspirational market. I depend on her reviews and search out those books she recommends. Finding out about authors from Australia and New Zealand is a great added perk!

I would love to travel to New Zealand one day and if I ever do, a side trip to meet Iola is on the bucket list! Here’s hoping that our paths cross one day soon, either in the US or in New Zealand.

Thanks, Iola, for sharing about your reading and blogging life.

Guest Post from Iola Goulton

When Beckie approached me to contribute a guest post as part of her celebration of ten years as a book blogger, I was thrilled to accept. Beckie, and people like her, are what make the Christian book blogging community a great place to be. It’s my online home.

I don’t know about you, but I was always the odd child out. I was the child who loved silent reading time at school, who loved visiting the library, and who could always be found with a book. I was the child who read anything, even the cereal packets. I read and reread my favourite books. And I knew lots of strange facts, because after I’d read all the children’s novels, I moved onto children’s encyclopedias (in my defence, I lived in a tiny town with a tiny library).

But I always felt like I was the odd one out. No one else loved reading the way I did — or if they did, they kept quiet about it. LIke I did.

I discovered the world of online reading in around 2010, and realised I wasn’t the only book nerd around. There were hundreds — thousands — of readers like me. People who loved words, loved stories, loved books. We connected over our shared love of books despite living on opposite sides of the planet.

I discovered the (now defunct) Amazon Discussion Forums, Goodreads, and book blogs. Discussing favourite books and authors through text-based communication suited me. Being in different time zones meant conversations took place over hours and days rather than seconds and minutes, and that gave everyone the opportunity to contribute. It felt fairer and more democratic than real-life conversations where the person with the loudest voice is the one who gets the most attention.

Not long after I discovered book blogs, I won an ebook in book blogger giveaway. This led to me discovering NetGalley and joining the book blogger community myself. Now I follow bloggers from around the world, reading reviews and discussion posts, and adding to my neverending to-read pile. It’s hard to believe there was once a time when I’d read every book I owned and would go back to reread old favourites while I waited for my next visit to the local Christian bookstore to see if there was anything new in stock.

I’ve even been able to meet few other book bloggers in real life. Australian author Dorothy Adamek invited me to stay with her in Melbourne a few years ago. Melbourne is also the home of Rel Mollet of Relz Reviews … so we arranged to meet Rel for coffee and a chat at the local Koorong store. Rel is a kindred spirit. It felt like we were two halves of a whole as we compared notes on books, authors, and blogging.

I’ve also met Elle of Soul Inspirationz here in New Zealand. I was driving to Wellington, and Elle’s hometown of Taihape was the perfect place to stop for lunch. Her boss said to take as long as she wanted … so we did (I don’t think he realised how long two people can talk books). As with Rel, the conversation flowed thick and fast as we shared our stories and talked about our favourite novels and authors. We eventually stopped talking when we realized we’d each missed phone calls from people who were wondering where we were. Oops.

I haven’t had the priviledge of meeting Beckie or any other US book bloggers in person (although I did meet author Candace Calvert when she visited my home town of Tauranga as part of a New Zealand cruise)67. But I can assure you that friendships formed online are real friendships, despite what the technophobes might say. And we’re all Christians, which means we will get to meet one day in that great library in heaven. Because heaven has to have a library, right?

Beckie, congratulations on ten years of book blogging. It’s been a priviledge to get to know you online, and I look forward meeting you for real one day.

About Iola Goulton

Iola Goulton is a New Zealand book reviewer, freelance editor, and author, writing contemporary Christian romance with a Kiwi twist. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Unpronounceable Names (Iola is pronounced yo-la, not eye-ola and definitely not Lola).

Iola holds a degree in marketing, has a background in human resource consulting,  and now works as a freelance editor specialising in Christian fiction. She has also developed the Kick-Start Your Author Platform Marketing Challenge, an email course for authors wanting to establish their online platform.

When she’s not working, Iola is usually reading or writing her next book review. Iola lives in the beautiful Bay of Plenty in New Zealand (not far from Hobbiton) with her husband, teenage son and cat. She is currently working on her first novel.

Book Review: By The Waters of Babylon

19 Nov

When Babylon destroys Jerusalem, as Yahweh warned through his prophets, the captives’ bitterness and grief pours out in the Captives’ Psalm:

“[By the rivers of Babylon] we sat as exiles, mourning our captivity, and wept with great love for Zion. Our music and mirth were no longer heard, only sadness. We hung up our harps on the willow trees.” (Psalm 137:1-2, The Passion Translation)

A young Israelite woman is among them, captured by a mercenary Scythian prince. Driven toward Babylon by both hatred and hope, she endures captivity to reunite with her husband.

But will he be there when she reaches Babylon? Will the prince risk the Scythian throne — and his life — to believe in the Hebrew God? Can they both find what they seek when they meet the prophet Ezekial. . . by the rivers of Babylon?

Mesu Andrews is the Christy Award winning author of Isaiah’s Daughter and has received numerous accolades for her other novels including Love Amid the Ashes, The Pharaoh’s Daughter, and Miriam. Her deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Many of her faithful readers are members of her street team—Mesu’s Biblical Fiction Fans (BFFs)—and offer their time and service to promote God’s word through story. Andrews lives in North Carolina with her husband Roy and enjoys spending time with her growing tribe of grandchildren. For more information, visit www.mesuandrews.com.

 

My Impressions:

When I heard that Mesu Andrews, a novelist that always delivers well-researched Biblical fiction, had written a novel based on Psalm 137 and there was an accompanying Bible study, I knew that I had to choose it for my Faith And Fiction Bible Study/Book Club. By The Waters of Babylon depicts the sorrow-filled days of the siege of Jerusalem, its ultimate fall, and the captives painful march to exile in Babylon as depicted in the books of Jeremiah and Daniel, among others. This short novel brings the heartbreak of a people who have lost not only their city and identity, but they believe, also their God. The story is told in two first person accounts — a young Jewish widow and a mercenary Scythian captain. I admit you have to suspend some disbelief as the narrative goes along. I think the attitudes are a bit modern for the time period in which the book is set. But I loved the fierce faith example of one who should have been sunk in despair. Biblical characters are included in the story, giving the book authenticity. An author’s afterword tells just what is fact and what is fiction. But my favorite part of the book is the accompanying Bible study. Reading God’s word along with the fictional account brought a new understanding of God’s anger, His justice, and His mercy.

My Bible study used By The Waters of Babylon for a one night discussion of scripture and the novel. Everyone enjoyed the book, and the discussion we had was very meaningful.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the author. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Top 10 Tuesday — 10 Years of Reading Changes

19 Nov

I am celebrating 10 years of book blogging this month. Woo hoo! (You can find my 10 Year Blogiversary Giveaway HERE.) Over the last 10 years a lot has changed — 3 children out of the house and well into successful adulthood (through with college/grad school/law school), a new daughter-in-law, and a first grand baby on the way — some very great changes! With the increased time on my hands, my reading life took off at a greater pace and back to the pre-kid levels I once enjoyed. And book blogging has influenced my reading choices even more so.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme — Changes in My Reading Life — fits in well with my month long blogiversary celebration as I reflect on all the benefits blogging has brought to my life. So here are some of the changes that have occurred in the past 10 years.

 

10 Years of Reading Changes

Reading on a schedule. Book blogging requires a good bit of organization, and reading according to a schedule keeps me from being too behind in my reading commitments.  Where once I picked up any old book that caught my fancy, I now have a list I follow pretty faithfully.

Reading new-to-me authors. I have been introduced to some great new favorite authors because I was introduced to them through blogging opportunities. Of course, this just makes the TBR pile bigger and bigger.

Reading small press and indie-published authors. One big benefit to blogging is coming into contact with authors who are independently published or from smaller houses. Again, I have new favorites I may have missed because of limited exposure. I hope my blog has introduced you to some great authors you may have missed otherwise.

No more binge-reading. In the past when I found an author I liked, I read ALL the books! I can remember reading Mindy Starns Clark’s Million Dollar Mysteries straight through. Now due to that pesky schedule, I have to wait to fit in books to read.

Less and less just because books. Again the reading schedule keeps me from reading on a whim. I am trying to allow for more gaps in the schedule to accomodate books that catch my eye and my fancy.

Reading the book first. This is one great perk to book blogging. I often receive books before release dates, making me very smug around my reading friends.  😉

Being in the know 😉 . Being in contact with authors, publicists, and publishers has increased my awareness of new books coming up in the future. It has also increased my book-bullying tendencies and my street cred with my book club. (Insert eye-rolls and raucous laughter here.)

Expanding genres. While I have always been very eclectic in my reading, I have added more books from less favored genres. Contemporary romance and Amish fiction were low on my preferred list, but because of blogging I have must-read authors from those genres now.

All the books — all the time. My reading time has increased with every book that makes its way into my house. It is not unusual for me to be reading 3 books at a time — one hard copy, one on Kindle, and one audiobook.

So there you have it — 10 years of book blogging has filled my shelves and my life with wonderful stories, authors, and experiences. I highly recommend it!

 

Book Review: Practically Married

18 Nov

Ashley Johnson moved to northern Michigan to finally meet her fiancé face-to-face, but she arrived in time to attend his funeral. With no home back in Ohio, she decides to stay in what would have been their house, except his cousin Russ lives there too, and Russ has never heard of Ashley. To complicate matters, her fiancé accidentally willed her the family farm house. Eager to please everyone and desperate to disappoint no one, she proposes a marriage of convenience that could solve her and Russ’ problems, if they can get past her aunt, his sisters, and an ex-girlfriend.

 

 

Born and raised in Michigan, Karin Beery wrote her first novel in high school (mostly during government and psychology classes – sorry Mr. Winkle). Today she writes contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. When not writing fiction, she’s editing or teaching others at conferences and through the PEN Institute. When not engaged in writerly pursuits, she enjoys time at home in Northern Michigan with her husband and fur babies.

 

My Impressions:

Marriage of convenience stories are usually reserved for historical fiction — it is hard to imagine such a thing occurring in our modern times. But Karin Beery’s latest novel, Practically Married, accomplished the task! With a bit of humor, some swoony kissing scenes, and a relevant message, this book is a recommended read.

Ashley Johnson travels to Boyne Heights in northern Michigan to marry a man she has never met, at least not in person. They have cultivated an online friendship that led them to taking the next step — an arranged marriage that each hopes will grow into a love match. But tragedy occurs and Ashley is left without a fiancé, but with a house, part of a farm, and some explaining to do!

If you think arranged marriages are a thing of the past, or that convenience marriages are an impossibility in the 21st century, consider the number of unmarrieds out there who are disillusioned with dating yet desperately want families. The scenario behind Practically Married may seem unusual, but it really works! It helps that Beery has created some extremely likable characters and allowed them to fall in like as well as in love. Sparks are set off right from the start, and you just know that despite the many, many obstacles the characters encounter there will be an HEA. Along with a great romance, setting details made northern Michigan come to life. I also liked the message that family expectations are important, but should never be the final determination in finding one’s own life.

A quick read, Practically Married was the perfect choice for my weekend getaway read!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Guest Post — Janet Ferguson, Author of The Art of Rivers

18 Nov

Janet W. Ferguson and I first connected in a FB group. She is a Mississippi girl and I married a Mississippi boy, so we clicked at once. Then I had the great pleasure of meeting her in person at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat in April. Over lunch, we talked books, life, teased her daughter 😉 , and generally had a wonderful time. I got to see my friend again in Nashville two weeks ago — one of her books, Falling for Grace, was a Christy nominee!

Janet’s fiction can be described as Southern women’s fiction — it captures the essence of its settings, while speaking to a woman’s heart. And Janet is not afraid of incorporating tough issues that we all struggle with. I highly recommend you read this author! Her post describes some of what it took to write her latest offering, The Art of Rivers.

Thanks, Janet, for joining in my 10 Year Blogiversary celebration!

Guest Post — Janet Ferguson

Happy Blog Birthday!

Beckie, thank you so much for how you support authors of Christian fiction! You are appreciated! Writing a novel takes a ton of research and time, and often we writers feel like our novels are only a drop in the vast ocean of readers’ choices. Having a blog spotlight or review our book brings us such joy!

For my novel, The Art of Rivers, I spent two years learning about addiction. I spent hours reading news accounts of heartbreaking overdoses. I attended the state of Mississippi’s Opioid Symposium, where they discussed the dangerous epidemic driving so many into heroin addiction. I privately interviewed mothers of grown children who’d wrestled for years in prayer for those lost souls held captive by drugs or alcohol. I interviewed people, no different from you and me, who’d through a series of tragic events and choices become addicted to prescription drugs or alcohol or illegal drugs. I learned how addiction had torn up their life and the lives of those around them. I learned about twelve-step programs and how these support groups help.

Then I dove in and wrote one of the most difficult books I’d even attempted. It’s hard pouring your heart onto the page and then putting your words out there for all to read — waiting and hoping that someone’s life is touched or hopefully changed for the better. That’s why I write, and I suspect many other authors are the same. Having support from readers and reviewers warms our insecure souls.

Thank you and bless you! Keep doing what you’re doing so well!

Blessings,

Janet 

Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.

WebsiteGoodreadsBookBubFacebookTwitterInstagram

 

Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars — those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.

After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.

Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.

 

 

Book Spotlight and Author Interview (+ A Giveaway!) — Eric Odell-Hein

16 Nov

About The Book

Book: Finding My Son

Author: Eric Odell-Hein

Genre: Christian Memoir, Adoption

Release Date: February 21, 2018

Eric was perfectly happy being one half of a dual income, no kids family. Having the freedom to travel the world with his wife Christine, while indulging his hobbies and furthering his education and career, was a pretty sweet life.

Christine wanted to be a mom.

Though he was scared he didn’t have what it took to be a good dad, Eric wanted to fulfill his wife’s dream. After years of trying to conceive, however, the couple received a devastating diagnosis: infertility.

For Christine, adoption was the obvious answer. Eric wasn’t so sure.

In Finding My Son: A Father’s Adoption Journey, author Eric Odell-Hein offers an unfiltered view into the heart and mind of a man who has experienced the sometimes messy and often awkward process of becoming a father through adoption. Encouraging men to acknowledge the fears they don’t want to admit while advocating a thoughtful, deliberate transparency as the best approach to even the most unnatural, uncomfortable aspects of the adoption process. Eric shares his misgivings and mistakes with an honesty that does not deny his insecurities.

A valuable resource for any man considering growing his family through adoption—or anyone seeking to understand the process — this engaging memoir is a testament to the beautiful gift of adoption and a touching account of a father’s love.

Click here to get your copy!

About The Author

SONY DSC

Eric Odell-Hein (PhD, MDiv, MRS, ThB) is the president of Columbia Evangelical Seminary. The teaching pastor at Summit Evangelical Free Church, he is also the author of Recovering Lost Treasure: Finding Christ in Ancient Myth, Symbol, and Ritual and Systems of Evil: A Study in Comparative Theodicy. Eric lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with his wife Christine and their son Ephraim. All three are passionate travelers.

More from Eric

Adoption was a scary prospect for me. My mother and all her siblings are adopted, and the family dynamic for them was challenging. So when my wife decided we should adopt, I initially responded with a flat-out “no.” But my heart changed, and I am strongly convinced that our son, who joined us via adoption back in 2008 when he was just two days old, is the greatest child in the entire world. If you knew where I was emotionally prior to adoption compared with where I am now, you would marvel at the change. My adoption book is for people like me, particularly men, who struggle with the enormity of the choice to adopt and the constant challenges of the process.

On a lighter and more personal side, when people learn about all the various aspects of my life, they often have to stop and process the seemingly incongruous pieces. Some people know me as a guy who has spent more than two decades in software and entertainment, primarily in various aspects of behind-the-scenes video game technology and management. My entire family plays games, and more often than not, when I get back home in the evening, I find my wife and son online with other members of the extended family playing Minecraft. Sometimes we’ll all get in an online session together, each one of us at our own TV on our own Xbox, and take on bad guys together in one game or another.

Other people know my intellectual side, where I have earned several degrees in areas of theology and religion, including a Ph.D., as well as serving as president of Columbia Evangelical Seminary. I previously published two books on academic topics (evil among world religions, religious symbology) and have more in various stages of development, the next one being a focus on the ancient Near Eastern (ANE) cosmogonic/chaos-order symbolism in baptism. As a teaching pastor, I have a reputation for sermons with an intense ANE contextual emphasis that are part sermon and part seminary course. Check out my most recent four-part series on the Odell-Hein Books Facebook page here.

I was born in Germany to an American family, and while my German-language skills have deteriorated, I love German music. I’m very excited that my favorite group, Juli, has a new album coming out later this year. It’s mild stuff compared to most of the rock or industrial music I listen to, but they’re good. Check out the first single from their upcoming album here. I’ll be one of the small handful of Americans who purchase the album on the day it first releases in the US.

When not working or playing games with the family, I read primarily academic ANE books. When we’re in the car, I love to subject the family to my go-to podcast, the Naked Bible Podcast. No, it’s not what it sounds like. If you want to hear a serious scholar tackle the ANE context for the Bible, start with Dr. Michael Heiser’s Exodus series (it begins with episode 255).

Q&A with Eric Odell-Hein

BTB: Many authors say that they have always been a writer. When did you come to realize this.

Eric: I remember sitting at my dad’s typewriter when I was a child and trying to write a story. If I recall correctly, I was inspired after reading The Lord of The Rings. Writing has been an interest since those early years. However, the desire to write lay dormant for several years. In my early thirties, after I finished my master’s thesis, I realized I still had the desire to write, and now I had some measure of confidence and skills to match the desire. But the desire and skills weren’t for fiction, but for non-fiction, particularly academic or quasi-academic instructive writing. After a couple of academically oriented books, I wrote this one, Finding My Son: A Father’s Adoption Journey, which is my first foray into popular-level non-fiction. 

BTB: What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

Eric: My writing schedule is very informal. Between having a family, two jobs, and volunteering in ministry, finding time to write is challenging. I try to give myself at least three uninterrupted hours, so when I find those chunks of time I can dedicate to writing, I always head outside and away from distractions. The time of year doesn’t matter. Even if it’s cold outside, I have heat sources that keep me relatively warm. I turn on some music and settle in with my laptop. Right now I’m sitting on the back patio, taking shelter from the rain under a large umbrella, with my favorite band, Juli, playing in the background. It takes me a bit to get into a good writing groove, but once I’m on a roll, I can really go. For a significant period of time, my job had me going to Montreal on a regular basis. Montreal is a great city, but there are also a lot of ways to get in trouble. I found that simply staying in my hotel room and writing was a great thing: my wife always knew where I was and I had quality time to write. 

BTB: How long does it usually take to write your books — from first outlines/ drafts to final edits.ER

Eric: It truly varies by style of book. I always start with an outline. For academic books, the outlines get progressively more detailed and I layer in citations and sources for every sub-point. For this book, I only created a basic two-page outline consisting of the chapter topics along with a handful of possible points I might want to cover. However, I quickly abandoned the outline. As this was a very personal story, sticking to the outline felt too manufactured, and one of my primary goals was to be transparent and authentic. The process turned out to be far more organic and personal. As a result of having some free time to write and finding that natural flow, the first draft ended up taking three days. That’s not normal for me. My first book, Recovering Lost Treasure, was the end result of thirteen years of research and writing, but it required significant academic research.

BTB: Can you tell us a little about what inspired your book.

Eric: I am an adoptive father, and despite my deep misgivings and fears when first considering adoption, it has been the most wonderful thing in my life. When my wife and I first started researching adoption and going to classes, all of the books we were instructed to read were authored by women. They were all excellent, and while they had a general target audience, they spoke from a certain point of view and seemed to resonate particularly well with my wife. I love learning — all information is good — but I sought something more. I wanted something that could speak to me where I was at. During the process and in the years that followed, I found that my particular set of challenges and experiences weren’t unique, and many other prospective adoptive fathers faced many of the same fears I did, and I’m sure many prospective mothers face the same challenges. I decided to use my personal experience, told from the husband/father’s perspective, to provide the type of resource I wish was available when I was going through the adoption process. 

BTB: What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing Finding My Son. 

Eric: It’s okay to have fears, questions, and doubts when going through something major like deciding to adopt. We don’t strengthen ourselves our or families by suppressing uncertainty. Instead, we need to accept that we have questions, openly acknowledge our insecurities, and work through the challenges with intentional transparency and authenticity. We need to be honest about who we actually are as opposed to a view of what we think we ought to be. It’s dangerous to use false expectations, either self-imposed or externally influenced, as a launching point for making decisions. 

BTB: Please share about your family, hobbies, and future WIP.

Eric: Christine and I have been married since 1992, and Ephraim joined our family via adoption in 2008. A great life became wonderful at that point. As a family, we love to play video games together. Ephraim and I always end our days by watching funny videos together. Individually, I spend a lot of time doing research on the ancient Near Eastern context of Judeo-Christian religion, which turns into books, sermons, college syllabi, conference lectures, and other nerdy things. That desire to write a work of fiction still simmers in the background, and I have completed the first five chapters of a novel based on Hittite-Abrahamic interaction in the ancient Near East. 

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

Vicky Sluiter, November 7 (Author Interview)

Just the Write Escape, November 8

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 9

Simple Harvest Reads,  November 10 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 11

janicesbookreviews, November 12

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 13 (Author Interview)

A Reader’s Brain, November 14

Inklings and notions, November 15

By The Book, November 16 (Author Interview)

Book Love (Featuring Gail Hollingsworth), November 17

Through the Fire Blogs, November 18 (Author Interview)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Eric is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon certificate and a signed copy of each of his three books!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click HERE to enter.