Friday, November 25, 2016

5 Books I’m Thankful For… and Discount Books!

Picking one favorite book is absolutely impossible, but in the mood of the Thanksgiving holidays, I have made a list of five books I’m thankful I read this year.

Water Princess, Fire Prince, by Kendra E. Ardnek: This story was the perfect combination between my two favorite genres, fantasy and fairy tale retellings. The concept of different-colored water was something that had never occurred to me before, and the brilliant dynamics between our world and Rizkaland… you need to read this book. Best yet, the sequel, Lady Dragon, Tela Du is already out (but my Kindle has broken, so I can’t read it! *wails*)!

Rose of Prophecy, by Hope Ann: I’m thankful for this book because it taught me that there’s still room for a true definition of love in today’s fiction. Too often, now, love is portrayed as a feeling or emotion, a throbbing heart when the guy walks by. Not so with Rose of Prophecy!

            King’s Folly, by Jill Williamson: I loved Jill Williamson’s Blood of Kings series, and having another story in the same world—however far in the past it may be—was a dream come true! True to form, the epic scope of her world pulls you in and discovering the past of Er’rets only makes it more exciting!

            The Centurion’s Wife, by Janette Oke and David Bunn: I can’t do this story justice, so here comes the blurb from Amazon: “Janette Oke has dreamed for years of retelling a story in a biblical time frame from a female protagonist's perspective, and Davis Bunn is elated to be working with her again on this sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity...and the very personal story of Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage trapped in a vortex of competing political agendas and private trauma.” This book opened to me the world of Biblical fiction and the possibilities thereof!

            Beauty and the Beast, by K.M. Shea: This book is hands-down the best retelling of Beauty and the Beast that I have ever read. During a difficult assignment, Elle makes a terrible mistake—and finds herself with a broken leg, stranded in the chateau of the illegitimate prince-turned-beast, Prince Severin. The fresh feeling of this book—contrary to what usually happens with fairy tale retellings—had me wondering what would happen next!

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here's one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 25-28. There's literally something for everyone.

Every single book listed on  is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered," target="_blank">
Even if you have, a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you.

Don't know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created, a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!

What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as "Sold Out." This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks. Also, some of the authors this year chose to not sell their paperbacks directly through the site. Those books are also marked "Sold Out" but if you click them open, you'll find a link to the site where they are on sale and a discount code for you to use at check out.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to data-blogger-escaped-target Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hi! For my first post on this shiny new blog, I am sharing a little story of mine titled "A Fishy Business". You can also find this story at I hope you enjoy!

We’re all over the Bible.

            We’re all over the present.

            Most people don’t even notice us other than the mere mentions of our great multiplication in Jesus’ hands.

            My name is Talya, and I speak for the fish.

            We fish were created along with all those other creatures, way back in the beginning. Here’s the words to prove it—and I quote—

            And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

            That’s Genesis 1:21, people. We fish count under the whole “every living creature that moveth,” part. Trust me. I know.

            Okay, so, fast forward a little while. We fish are practically non-existent in the part between the creation and the plagues in Egypt. Oh, sure, you human-people ate us. No doubt about that. But there’s no mention of my kind until Exodus 7:21:

            And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.

            See, Egyptians, it wasn’t just you and your firstborns that died in those ten plagues over Egypt. We fish died too.

            Fish don’t just show up in all the bad stories of the Bible, though. Just look at the story of Jonah. Yeah, sure, for him that big fish was kind of a bad story, but look! By obeying Yahweh, one of my people did a great service to Jonah. And he didn’t even have to drown to learn his lesson.

            Another good one (I love this story!): A fish was used to pay Christ’s taxes once. Well, not literally, but you get the idea. Jesus sent Peter down to the sea, and when he caught a fish, he opened up the fish’s mouth and found the tax money. Not so bad, eh?

            We also did a pretty good job of providing for the disciples’ families, too. You didn’t think that Jesus would just pick up twelve men and leave their wives at home to take care of themselves, did you? Peter had a wife—at least, he certainly had a mother-in-law! We helped take care of them.

            What, you say? What do I mean, fish provided for the wives of the disciples? Check it out in Luke 5 and John 21. I’ll just quote Luke 5 verses, oh, 4 to 11.

            Now when he—that’s Jesus, by the way—had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

            And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

            And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

            And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

            When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

            For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

            And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

            And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

            Now, pay special attention to that last verse. What do you suppose they did with all that fish? Two boats’ worth, people! They didn’t just throw them back into the sea! How much do you want to bet that they sold those fish, and that’s what helped take care of those families for those three years they were on the road? Huh? What do you think?

            So, see. We fish, we’re more important than you think.

            Remember that next time you throw a stick of dynamite into the river and watch our lifeless bodies float up to the surface.

            Remember that next time you order a filleted fish.

            We are important.

Note: A couple little notes about this story: First, yes, Talya’s introduction up there is an obvious rip-off of The Lorax, both the movie and the Doctor Seuss book. I own neither.

 The “fact” Talya presents about the fish from the miraculous catches being used to provide for the disciples’ families is not a fact, despite what she may say. It’s just speculation on my and my sisters’ part.
Oh, and the dynamite-fishing there at the end? It’s common here in South America. No better way to ensure your living by fishing!

So, what do you think? How did Jesus provide for the disciples’ families while they followed him? And what other creatures of the Bible are very much ignored?