Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Next Fithian ~ A Review and Giveaway

The Next Fithian

About the Book

Book: The Next Fithian

Author: Rick Barry

Genre: YA Christian Science Fiction

Release date: September 14, 2021

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Was this a new life — or a death sentence?

When Rankin Johnson boards a flight to Israel, he expects an adventure in archeology. But the airplane comes under attack and explodes in midair. Rankin shouts, “God, I’m yours!” Instantly, he’s in some other place. An angel informs Rankin the Lord is pleased to accept his offer. He dubs Rankin “the next Fithian” — a messenger from God, not to Earth, but to planet Zemna in the alternate dimension. What happened to the previous Fithian? “He was killed,” the angel says before vanishing.

On Zemna, Rankin finds a perplexing, violent world. Futuristic technology mingles with primitive ways. Also, a bizarre symbol—the Intersection of All Things—has appeared on his left palm. It’s a tool to aid his mission, but how? Rankin is supposed to share God’s message with this planet. Instead, he becomes a slave. What he really wants is a trip back to Earth.

With the aid of Prahv and Theena, a brother and sister who become his best friends, Rankin escapes. He hopes to fulfill his mission and return home as fast as possible. But now there’s a price on Rankin’s head. More than one Zemnan would rather kill him for the reward than hear what he has to say.

Click here to get your copy!

On a plane trip to Israel,teenager Rankin Johnson expects to find archaeology. However, when his plane explodes, he finds himself in another dimension as a messenger of God.

The author masterfully illustrates how even those who are young may spread the message of God and His mercy and goodness. Struggling to survive, Rankin works to spread the gospel message.

This book provides a Christian Science fiction story for those who are young or young at heart. So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

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Rick Barry has climbed mountains, jumped from perfectly good airplanes, toured World War 2 battlefields, and visited Eastern Europe over 50 times in Christian ministry. He has a degree in teaching foreign languages and speaks Russian. His fiction and non-fiction have been published by Kregel Books, Focus on the Family, JourneyForth Books, Answers in Genesis, and others. His previous novels are Kiriath’s Quest, Gunner’s Run, The Methuselah Project, and Methuselah Project S.O.S.

More from Rick

Years ago, I received an unexpected phone call. Michael Ross, then-editor of Focus on the Family’s Breakaway magazine, asked me to brainstorm a big, bold adventure for teens: “Maybe fantasy. Maybe science fiction. Maybe both mixed together. I don’t know. Just make it big!”

Such an intriguing challenge! I accepted the assignment and developed a 3-part Christian sci-fi story, The Next Fithian. Those three installments reaped enthusiastic reactions from readers. However, after Part 3, that assignment was done. I moved on.

As years passed, my Fithian characters refused to let me forget them. They kept coming to mind, urging me to create an exhilarating, novel-length adventure for them. At first, I refused. I was giving priority to my novels about World War II airmen.

However, whenever I attended homeschool conferences to sign books for shoppers, teens visited my table to talk. What were those teen guys and girls wearing? T-shirts portraying the Avengers, Spider-Man, Captain America, the Hulk … It was obvious what kinds of adventures captivated these young adults. I wondered—what kind of uplifting novel could I pen for Christian fans of the Marvel universe?

In reply, my thoughts jumped back to The Next Fithian, a story brimming with action, adventure, danger, faith—plus a positive role model. This time, I yielded and began brainstorming ways to extend the original 5,400 words into an 80,000-word sci-fi novel with a Christian worldview. I didn’t want simply to create a gripping adventure. I wanted to give readers something unique. I wanted to touch their emotions, to make them laugh, to make them cry, to inspire them, and make them ponder things they had never considered before. I also wanted to transport them to another world where they might see better how to live in our own real world.

Responses from volunteer readers give me hope that The Next Fithian: An Ordinary Teen on a Strange, New World will appeal to diverse readers, both teens and adults. One teen, Kaden E. wrote, “WOW! I just finished the book, and boy was it fantastic!” Another teen, Victoria S. declared, “Rankin is exactly the kind of protagonist we need—he’s mentally, emotionally, and spiritually mature; intelligent; and compassionate.” Adult test reader Marali S. emailed, “I enjoyed this! You must write more!” Another, Jude U., wrote, “I pronounce excellence! The ‘romance’ was sweet and just enough.”

A mix of other test readers gave similar encouragement. So, even though my target audience is young adults, I hope adults will also enjoy it, just as adults enjoyed 17-year-old Katniss Everdeen of Hunger Games fame.

Christian sci-fi might not be your style, but pause and think—maybe you know a young adult who might benefit from such a story?

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 13

Texas Book-aholic, December 14

Inklings and notions, December 15

For Him and My Family, December 16

deb’s Book Review, December 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 21

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, December 21 (Author Interview)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 23

Simple Harvest Reads, December 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 25

Beauty in the Binding, December 26 (Author Interview)

Blogging With Carol, December 26

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Rick is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/14834/the-next-fithian-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Of Fire and Ash ~ A Review and Giveaway

Of Fire and Ash

About the Book

Book: Of Fire and Ash

Author: Gillian Bronte Adams

Genre: YA Epic Fantasy

Release date: December 7, 2021

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She rides a fireborn, a steed of fire and ash, trained for destruction. Ceridwen tal Desmond dreams of ruling like her father over the nation of Soldonia, where warriors ride to battle on magical steeds—soaring on storm winds, vanishing in shadow, quaking the earth, and summoning the sea. After a tragic accident claims her twin brother, she is exiled and sworn to atonement by spending her life—or death—for her people. But when invaders spill onto Soldonia’s shores and traitors seize upon the chaos to murder her father, Ceridwen claims the crown to keep the nation from splintering. Combatting overwhelming odds and looming civil war, she begins to wonder if the greatest threat to the kingdom may, in fact, be her. With fire before her and ash in her wake, how can she hope to unite instead of destroy?

Click here to get your copy!

Magical horses and more fill the pages of this first installment of a Young Adult Epic fantasy novel series. When the story opens, we meet Ceridwen tal Desmond, who dreams of ruling like her father over the nation of Soldonia, where warriors ride to battle on magical steeds. The magical horses help create a storyline that kept my interest. I also enjoyed reading about Ceridwen and seeing how her character developed through the pages of this book.

Ceridwen searches for her place in her world after banishment from her own land by her father. Other characters in this story help weave together a powerful story. As with most series, the book ends at a point where the author leaves the reader wanting more. So if you have young adults in your life, or just enjoy really gripping epic stories, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

gillian-bronte-adams-HR-3-1

Gillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, wander- loving fantasy author, rarely found without a coffee in hand and rumored to pack books before clothes when she hits the road. Working in youth ministry left her with a passion for journeying alongside children and teens. (It also enhanced her love of coffee.) Now, she writes novels that follow outcast characters down broken roads, through epic battles, and onward to adventure. And at the end of a long day of typing, she can be found saddling her wild thing and riding off into the sunset, seeking adventures of her own. She loves to connect with readers online at http://www.gillianbronteadams.com.

More from Gillian

I still vividly remember the moment, years ago, that the idea for this book came to me. It was the end of July, sometime between ten and eleven at night, and the insects outside were buzzing so loudly you could hear them through the window of the back room of the camp office where I sat. Slumped exhaustedly in a chair, shivering in the air conditioning in my sweat-soaked jeans and a t-shirt, I was waiting for the other summer staff to arrive so we could start and finish our planning meeting and stumble off to our cabins to sleep.

Even then, writing felt like breathing to me, so to pass the time and keep myself awake, I drew a ragged notebook out of my backpack and started scribbling sparks and specks of story ideas, barely noticing how my arm left smears of dirt on the page. It was my third or fourth summer as Head Wrangler, which meant I spent my days either on horseback or jogging alongside kids who were learning to ride. Dirt was just a part of life.

So many details of that night remain fresh in my mind, it’s odd that I can’t remember exactly what sparked the idea itself—the wide-eyed grin of a boy on his very first ride, the budding confidence in a girl as she raced around the barrels, or the cumulation of all the hours I’d spent atop my own wild thing, clearing wooded trails with a machete, leaping across creeks because he refused to simply wade, and performing amateur stunts for the occasional skit.

Whatever lit the fuse, as soon as I scribbled the first set of words on that crumpled notebook page, I knew I had struck gold. I felt it in my bated breath and leaping heartbeat. “Super-powered horses.” Or better yet, “Magical steeds.” Some that could breathe fire, some with hides like stone that could quake the earth with their hooves, some that rode upon the waves of the sea, and still others that could step into shadow and disappear without a trace.

Seven in all, they quickly cluttered the page, and I couldn’t wait for the chance to write the epic tale that could contain creatures like these. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a story yet. Just a page full of fanciful beasts and a head full of wild dreams. No characters. No plot. No premise. Or so I thought.

The meeting started then and I had to tuck my notebook away, but I couldn’t banish the magical horses now roaming in my head. Over the weeks and months that followed, I took them out and let them dance across the page every now and then, gradually fleshing out details, uncovering their secrets, and imagining their world. Yet the story itself remained elusive, until I finally, reluctantly, set them aside and turned my attention to other things. Months before that summer night, I had, in a fit of wild inspiration, outlined a new three book series starring a female warrior who longed to rule like her father before her. It was a bit daring and a lot daunting, but while I liked the characters and the concept, the world itself was lacking that flare of uniqueness, that touch of magic, that allows a fantasy realm to sprawl beyond the confines of the page and take root in the imagination of a reader.

Reading the outline afresh, I lamented that it was the sort of lusterless story doomed to die on a novelist’s hard drive, and perhaps my incredible magical horses with it, for though they were lustrous enough, without a story, they could never truly live. Without a story …

What if my aspiring queen lived in their world? What if she rode a fire-breathing steed? How might those beautiful magical creatures enhance and ultimately, shape her and her story?

Combining any two concepts can be dangerous, as you never know how they will interact until you try it. The resulting explosion shattered my outline and blasted apart my carefully formed plans, but when the dust settled and the heart of the new story emerged, I knew that this finally was an epic tale worthy of my magical steeds, and a world deep and dangerous enough to have forged my aspiring queen. It was, at last, Of Fire and Ash, the first book of The Fireborn Epic.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 11

Rebecca Tews, December 11

Worthy2Read, December 12

Texas Book-aholic, December 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 14

For Him and My Family, December 15

Inklings and notions, December 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 17

deb’s Book Review, December 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 19

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 21

April Hayman, Author, December 22

Blogging With Carol, December 22

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 23 (Spotlight)

Through the fire blogs, December 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Gillian is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/14831/of-fire-and-ash-celebration-tour-giveaway

About the Author

gillian-bronte-adams-HR-3-1

Gillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, wander- loving fantasy author, rarely found without a coffee in hand and rumored to pack books before clothes when she hits the road. Working in youth ministry left her with a passion for journeying alongside children and teens. (It also enhanced her love of coffee.) Now, she writes novels that follow outcast characters down broken roads, through epic battles, and onward to adventure. And at the end of a long day of typing, she can be found saddling her wild thing and riding off into the sunset, seeking adventures of her own. She loves to connect with readers online at http://www.gillianbronteadams.com.

More from Gillian

I still vividly remember the moment, years ago, that the idea for this book came to me. It was the end of July, sometime between ten and eleven at night, and the insects outside were buzzing so loudly you could hear them through the window of the back room of the camp office where I sat. Slumped exhaustedly in a chair, shivering in the air conditioning in my sweat-soaked jeans and a t-shirt, I was waiting for the other summer staff to arrive so we could start and finish our planning meeting and stumble off to our cabins to sleep.

Even then, writing felt like breathing to me, so to pass the time and keep myself awake, I drew a ragged notebook out of my backpack and started scribbling sparks and specks of story ideas, barely noticing how my arm left smears of dirt on the page. It was my third or fourth summer as Head Wrangler, which meant I spent my days either on horseback or jogging alongside kids who were learning to ride. Dirt was just a part of life.

So many details of that night remain fresh in my mind, it’s odd that I can’t remember exactly what sparked the idea itself—the wide-eyed grin of a boy on his very first ride, the budding confidence in a girl as she raced around the barrels, or the cumulation of all the hours I’d spent atop my own wild thing, clearing wooded trails with a machete, leaping across creeks because he refused to simply wade, and performing amateur stunts for the occasional skit.

Whatever lit the fuse, as soon as I scribbled the first set of words on that crumpled notebook page, I knew I had struck gold. I felt it in my bated breath and leaping heartbeat. “Super-powered horses.” Or better yet, “Magical steeds.” Some that could breathe fire, some with hides like stone that could quake the earth with their hooves, some that rode upon the waves of the sea, and still others that could step into shadow and disappear without a trace.

Seven in all, they quickly cluttered the page, and I couldn’t wait for the chance to write the epic tale that could contain creatures like these. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a story yet. Just a page full of fanciful beasts and a head full of wild dreams. No characters. No plot. No premise. Or so I thought.

The meeting started then and I had to tuck my notebook away, but I couldn’t banish the magical horses now roaming in my head. Over the weeks and months that followed, I took them out and let them dance across the page every now and then, gradually fleshing out details, uncovering their secrets, and imagining their world. Yet the story itself remained elusive, until I finally, reluctantly, set them aside and turned my attention to other things. Months before that summer night, I had, in a fit of wild inspiration, outlined a new three book series starring a female warrior who longed to rule like her father before her. It was a bit daring and a lot daunting, but while I liked the characters and the concept, the world itself was lacking that flare of uniqueness, that touch of magic, that allows a fantasy realm to sprawl beyond the confines of the page and take root in the imagination of a reader.

Reading the outline afresh, I lamented that it was the sort of lusterless story doomed to die on a novelist’s hard drive, and perhaps my incredible magical horses with it, for though they were lustrous enough, without a story, they could never truly live. Without a story …

What if my aspiring queen lived in their world? What if she rode a fire-breathing steed? How might those beautiful magical creatures enhance and ultimately, shape her and her story?

Combining any two concepts can be dangerous, as you never know how they will interact until you try it. The resulting explosion shattered my outline and blasted apart my carefully formed plans, but when the dust settled and the heart of the new story emerged, I knew that this finally was an epic tale worthy of my magical steeds, and a world deep and dangerous enough to have forged my aspiring queen. It was, at last, Of Fire and Ash, the first book of The Fireborn Epic.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 11

Rebecca Tews, December 11

Worthy2Read, December 12

Texas Book-aholic, December 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 14

For Him and My Family, December 15

Inklings and notions, December 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 17

deb’s Book Review, December 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 19

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 21

April Hayman, Author, December 22

Blogging With Carol, December 22

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 23 (Spotlight)

Through the fire blogs, December 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Gillian is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Amazon gift card!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/14831/of-fire-and-ash-celebration-tour-giveaway