Articles

Troubadour: Song of the Lark by Clara Pierre

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When Gaucelm left the village of Uzerche in the Limousin for Toulouse in 1195, it was the start of the great adventure which was to be his life.

Less than a week’s ride away, the land was very different, and so it was an excited young man who rode under Toulouse’s portcullis and entered the lively city. A city which was at that time said to outshine even Paris! A chance meeting with Count Raymond, led to an invitation to entertain the court that evening. Success followed, and he became as popular, as he was round. As the court’s troubadour he became a celebrity with his poetry and storytelling spreading the news about life and events, at a time when many people could not read or write.

Here, I have to say that if you close your eyes throughout this book, you can almost feel as if you have been transported back in time, so vividly does the author set the scenes, laying before us detailed descriptions of the buildings, people, places and life at court.

Fortunes change however, and his bold storytelling is seen as too radical. Count Raymond releases him from court, and so travels to Ventadour with Guilhelma, a prostitute, who is to become his lifelong companion.

Once settled at the court of Countess Marie, wife of Ebles de Ventadour, Gaucelm suddenly finds himself loaned to the court of Madame Audiarde de Malemort, Marie’s friend, who has very firm idea’s as to what she wants from a man, and this, and other parts of the book are quite raunchy. The strength of women in these times is an eye opener, when usually you are lead to believe they are very submissive. These royal women are very powerful, and often many years younger than their husbands. Whilst he is away, back at Ventadour, Guilhelma becomes friends with Douce, Marie’s strong minded daughter.

Thus follows a story of knights in shining armour, love, betrayal, fierce battles, honour, and the continual struggle between the Catholic Pope and the Cathars.

When Douce disappears from Ventadour, Gaucelm and Guihelma’s search for her, however the young woman they find at Montdragon is a very different from the love struck girl of the past. Life, people and events have changed her, and this change is about to affect them all.

With the Catholic crusaders becoming more and more zealous against the Cathars, all three decide to travel to the court of Count Raimbaut at Courthezon. Here they are warmly welcomed and Guilhema has their son Ayen. However, the northerners invade Courthezon and Gaucelm finds himself taking sad news back to the Countess Marie at Ventadour and asking a favour…

As he rides back to Guilhema and Ayen at Courthezon, the triumphant, but weary troubadour realises that he has indeed taken on the mantle of the famous Bernard de Ventadour who he met all those years ago at the court of Count Raymond. His storytelling must go on and he must spread the word, and the truth through his poetry and verse.

This book is beautifully written and a wonderful insight into life in the Middle Ages. The main characters are real although some things have been changed. I really loved the detail in it and it makes me want to visit everywhere mentioned, which I am sure one day I will.

I am so glad it was translated into English, and am looking forward to reading its sequel, when it is released.

 

About the book: Twelfth century France is on the verge of war, a high stakes battle for the minds and souls of its people. Territorial disputes with Spain threaten the southern provinces. The excesses of the Catholic hierarchy are giving rise to a growing Cathar religious movement. Into this mounting conflict rides a romantic young rogue whose biggest wish is to write poems and set them to music. Gaucelm finds his way into the powerful courts of Toulouse, Ventadour, and Courthézon, and the tender arms of a prostitute who will follow him wherever he goes. Based on historic events and a real troubadour who chronicled them, Troubadour is a powerfully told story of conflicted loyalties and the ruthless leaders who will do anything to control their subjects.

Available from Amazon in Paperback format: http://www.amazon.com/Troubadour-Song-Lark-Clara-Pierre/dp/0986383805/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=03FBRD3TXNTJN2CWFVH0

You Don’t Die – You Just Change Channels! by Chuck Swartwout

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I just loved this book, it is written in such a friendly chatty manner that it draws you in straight away. When I read in the introduction this 94 years young author saying “When I tell you that I am 94 years old, you may think that I’m either nuts or a dreamer to think that I can accomplish all that at an age where some people don’t want to commit themselves to buying green bananas.” I just knew it was going to be interesting.

Like most people, as a young person, Chuck Swartwout never considered growing old, however, years later after the loss of his much loved wife of 54 years, Gretchen, he found himself re-evaluating his life, questioning if his good luck at various times, was luck and not something else, and this fuelled his fascination in the afterlife. Thus began his quest for knowledge.

He has had an incredibly interesting life and career, and because of this, and his fascination in so many different things, the world we live in, the spirit world, religion, space, and everything in between, he decided to write this book. However, this is no ordinary book, the author doesn’t tell you what to do, how to think, and what is right. No, this is a ‘feedback book’ written to provide you with information, varied and unbiased, on space, the universe, the spirit world, mediums, religion, near death experiences, after death communication, the future, God, and so much more. Chuck Swartwout wants to hear from you when you have read it, he cares what you think. He wants to hear your thoughts on the subjects he has brought up. He personally believes there is an afterlife, but he wants to hear what you think about the subject. Why, because he plans to write at least one more book and wants more information, this man has a real thirst for knowledge, one I have never seen paralleled.

I am interested in near death experiences, after death communication and the spirit world, and my husband has a deep love of science and space, all through this book, I found myself reading passages out to him, I couldn’t help myself.

Chuck Swartwout strongly believes that we must end all wars and that communication is the key. Included in the books is a lovely letter from one of his granddaughters who is in the Peace Corp in Peru, in which she clearly illustrates how the differences portrayed in the various parts of the world, be it everyday tasks, or pleasures, such as dancing, are not different, they are just other way of doing the same thing. Communication is key, whether in this world or the next.

The author believes that this is so important that not only does he want to write more books, he is also looking for billionaire sponsors for a new project he is proposing. This project is about communication with the spirit world, and has the tentative name Spirit Lab. You can read more in Appendix 1.

The front cover picture is a copy of an original watercolour by his beloved wife of 54 years Gretchen, whom he firmly believes he will be reunited with in the future. Reading this book has opened my eyes to many things and taught me so much, I hope his belief that they will be reunited is true and look forward to reading the sequel.

 

About the Book: When Gretchen Swartwout died suddenly in 2006, Her husband of 54 years, Chuck, was not quite ready to call it quits. He combined his deep Christian faith with his decades of experience as an engineer and creative problem solver to produce this “common sense” analytical exploration of the idea of heaven and a life a er death. From interpreting scripture to testing the work of “mediums,” this book explores the afterlife in a way it’s never been done before.

Available from Amazon in Paperback format: http://www.amazon.com/You-Dont-Die-Change-Channels/dp/1519619375/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

The New Concise History of the Crusades by Thomas F. Madden

 

51phybtbwol-_sl300_Guest Review

This book provides an excellent look at the crusades, putting them in perspective for their time and in relation to current world politics. It is a great overview for the uninitiated and a great review for folks who have studied the crusades.

The book opens by providing a setting just prior to the first crusade, placing us in the mindset of Medieval Europeans. From there, the information is laid out chronologically. The book closes with the authors analysis of how the crusades were held up as examples of chivalry, later to be reviled as early colonialism, and finally how they relate to modern politics. The pacing is good, not getting bogged down in minutiae or in lists of dry ancient reference texts. Occasionally, there were more names being used than I could keep easy track of, simply because I was unfamiliar with the subject matter.

I learned quite a bit from this book and that makes me happy. Before listening to this book, what little I know came from popular movies and books, and, of course, I couldn’t rely on those to be accurate. I really liked how the book was laid out chronologically and I deeply appreciated the author’s constant efforts to have the reader think like a Medieval European.

In addition to this, the author often gave examples of Muslim impressions of the crusades. This in particular was fascinating. For Europeans, and even Americans, the crusades were a big deal, and continue to influence our culture, if mostly through popular media. At the time of the crusades, the Muslim world barely took note of them, seeing them as just yet one more barbarian force to be repelled (and the crusades were often repelled). The crusades had a greater impact on the Byzantine Empire, mostly because places were sacked and sometimes burned.

It was fascinating to see how the crusades evolved over time. Initially, the word ‘crusade’ was not associated with the pilgrims who ventured east for religious enrichment. Old, young, sick, healthy, men, & women traveled on pilgrimage. It was only later that such pilgrimages became armed men crusading to the east, with the blessing of pope and lord, to defend Christian lands.

In short, this book was an excellent read and definitely worth shelf space as a reference work. It is chock full of info on the European leaders, the Byzantine reactions, the few bits directly affection Muslim affairs, and how the crusades were affected by the Mongols. The book does an excellent job of placing the reader in a Europe steeped in a religious culture and how that affected, even directed, the actions of European leaders. It’s even worth a reread.

Narration:  Claton Butcher gave a good performance. He had a clear voice that used a little emotion as needed, so it was not textbook dry. He also went to the effort of pronouncing people and place names with the correct accents. Such touches are so appreciated by this listener!

What I Liked: Educational!; the cover art; clear & easy to follow; perfect for someone new to the subject; the author places the crusades in the context of the times; the book wrapped up with a short analysis of how the crusades were viewed after their time, and by the Muslim world.

What I Disliked:  Occasionally, there were many names in play and I had trouble keeping them all straight, but this is mostly due to my lack of knowledge and I would not hesitate to recommend this book.

 

Reviewed by Susan Voss – http://dabofdarkness.com/2015/05/02/the-new-concise-history-of-the-crusades-by-thomas-f-madden/

 

Authors Website: http://www.thomasmadden.org/

 

Available from Audible in Audiobook format:  http://www.audible.com/pd/History/The-New-Concise-History-of-the-Crusades-Audiobook/B00JF6FNS4/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srImg?qid=1431336335&sr=1-1

 

Cowboys, Armageddon, and the Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved from Religion by Scott Terry

51wTA+Kh3eL__AA160_Just by the title I expected this book to be an eye-opener and I certainly wasn’t disappointed!

This is not a story for the faint hearted, it is gut wrenchingly frank and tells of a childhood that no child should have to suffer. Yet, it is written from the author’s own harrowing experiences, and this book tells of his childhood under the tyrannical reign of his stepmother “Fluffy.”

Scott and his older sister Sissy’s father is so besotted with his second wife that he turns a blind eye to the inhumane treatment of his children, and so they are afraid to put a foot wrong and suffered terrible abuse whilst growing up.

Rejected and unloved, he turned to religion for his salvation, and as a Jehovah’s Witness he was continually reminded that Armageddon was just around the corner, not allowed to celebrate many of the festivals his friends did and prayed daily for help and understanding as his sexuality bloomed.

This is a compelling read. The content is very sad, and yet the author tells the story of his childhood calmly, and without bitterness. His sexual preferences and coming to terms with them are graphically described in this no holds barred audiobook and he also offers an insight into the world of the Jehovah’s Witness, which those of us who are not one, do not realise.

 

About the Author: In 2007, Scott Terry sent an excerpt from his yet-to-be published book, Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth, to the San Francisco Chronicle. An hour later, he received a freelance contract and a request for more, leading to many stories for the paper.

In his book, Terry has produced a gritty and poignant autobiography of a young boy escaping an abusive and fanatical childhood. Scott Terry was raised as a devout Jehovah’s Witness, and spent his childhood praying for Armageddon to come and asking God to heal him of his homosexual thoughts. By adulthood, he had escaped the Witness religion and no longer believed in an upcoming apocalypse. Indeed, as a gay man and a real cowboy, he was riding bulls in the rodeo, abandoning all faith in religion.

Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth was named one of the Top 20 Must Read Books of 2013 by Advocate Magazine. It was named one of the best LGBT releases of 2012 by Out In Print and Band of Thebes book lists, and was a Bronze Medal winner in the Living Now Book awards, a finalist in the Next Generation Book Awards, and a finalist in the Rainbow Book Awards. Scott’s writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Alternet Magazine, among others.

For more information on Scott Terry’s work, visit his web page at http://www.ScottTerryProjects.com. For information on events or upcoming book signings, visit his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CowboysArmageddonAndTheTruth

Cowboys, Armageddon and The Truth is available from Amazon in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Armageddon-Truth-Child-Religion-ebook/dp/B009F2F02C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421072343&sr=8-1&keywords=cowboys%2C+the+truth+and+armageddon

in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Armageddon-The-Truth-Religion/dp/1590213661/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1421072343&sr=8-1

and in Audiobook format from Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Bios-Memoirs/Cowboys-Armageddon-and-the-Truth-Audiobook/B00NH3IP90/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srImg?qid=1421072549&sr=1-1

 

Gethsemane: An Epic Poem about Us by R. Douglas Jacobs

51ptUTx50lL__UY250_Firstly, I have to say that it is the audiobook version I reviewed and it provides an experience like no other.

Unusually it is an epic poem, and as soon as I put it on I found myself absorbed in the author/narrator’s voice, it was relaxing and yet, I found myself listening intently to it. R. Douglas Jacobs, narration is set against a wonderful original piece of baroque music, which was written by the gifted composer Mark Moya.

Accompanying the narration, there are a cast of actors James MacEwen (The Gent), Dominique Vance (Celeste), Kahi Taufa’asau (Lucifer), Sigmund Kramer (The Lord), Michael David Little (Azazel), Micah Delhauer (Michael), Lucho Franco (Young Man of Brawn), Sedamar Fitzgerald (The Nude Maiden) and sound effect, which make this audiobook a unique piece of work.

This is the story of Lucifer’s fall from grace, and his journey from there, hell, mankind’s embracing of his ways, and also redemption. Woven into it is some very thought provoking writing, as I started to read this, I mentally decided it would be suitable for a religious group or suchlike, however, by the time I had finished I had definitely changed my mind. It is full of very powerful writing, and I have to warn potential listeners that the content is sexually explicit at times and would not be suitable the young or for those easily offended.

However, despite the previous statement it is to be admired for its sheer powerfulness, the author has, in this most unusual of works created a total living work of art. With beautiful music, talented actors and stunning sound effects, it is something to behold.

 

About the Author: R. Douglas Jacobs, the person, still remains an enigma, whereas, R. Douglas Jacobs, the poet, has developed a clear and distinctive voice as a storyteller four years after he first entered the literary forum as an author with the debut of his sonnet anthology, The Rhymes of Love and Reason. That book was met with little publicity and less fanfare due to the fact that he was virtually anonymous and had no reputation to uphold among critics and consumers, alike. This initial endeavor of his, however, would turn out to serve as a primer for his new, ambitious book, Gethsemane, a sweeping epic poem that transcends the boundaries of literature through its rare prowess and ingenuity. This undertaking presented major challenges over a two and a half year span that often consumed his psyche and pushed him to the brink of reasoning. On one occasion, the anxiety of confronting the climatic nuance of the second act caused him to frantically ride his road bike into the cold darkness of a coastal boardwalk on a late, Thanksgiving Eve in 2010. His relationships became impaired by neglect and he experienced considerable weight loss. Yet, he persevered and entrusted his faith to lead his imagination in ways it had never been led before. Gethsemane was not only a metaphorical escape, but was an asylum for him to exercise his demons, and the end result is as poignant as it is profound. If R. Douglas Jacobs, the poet, were to speak on behalf of R. Douglas Jacobs, the person, he would argue that the person in him will always be misunderstood for the simple, yet sincere, fact that his heart has never known how to discriminate.

Author’s Website: http://www.rdjpublishing.com

Gethsemane is available:

From Amazon in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Gethsemane-R-Douglas-Jacobs-ebook/dp/B0063U2PEK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416219709&sr=8-1&keywords=gethsemane+an+epic+poem

in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Gethsemane-An-Epic-Poem-About/dp/1463525168/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1416219709&sr=8-1

as an Audiobook http://www.amazon.com/Gethsemane-Epic-Poem-about-Us/dp/B00LOS43BO/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1416219709

and from Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Drama-Poetry/Gethsemane-Audiobook/B00LMJ6XEU/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srImg?qid=1416220273&sr=1-2

You Cannot Find Peace Until You Find All The Pieces by Marie Maiden

Honest and Inspirational.

You Cannot Find Peace Until You Find All The Pieces

About the book: You Cannot Find Peace Until You Find All The Pieces tells the story of how God through Jesus Christ transformed my life and gave me the strength to overcome a less than desirable childhood, the regrets of becoming a teen mother, anger, immaturity, poor decision making and a really bad attitude.

 

Review by Susan Keefe:

My first impression when starting this book was one of humility. I take the fact that I know both my parents for granted. The search by this author to know her father has affected her whole life, and lasted 18 years.

The start of her journey was a turbulent one, which she tells frankly, her childhood bad attitude and anger, her pregnancy at 15, her relationships, her struggle for self-improvement, and much more…

All these events, however, were eventually to lead her to the point at which she discovered God. Her honest story continues, as she tells of her salvation through embracing his teachings and love, and how this faith gave her the strength to find out about her father.

 Knowing nothing about him, but desperate to learn, she started by discovering her ancestral roots, which went back to slaves who were brought over from the West Indies to work on the plantations of Colonial Virginia. Finding more recent information about him, however, was to prove much harder.

Throughout, there is no attempt by the author, to hide the enormous void, she felt, in her life, by the lack of knowledge about her father.  This book is a tribute to her determination and tenacity against amazing odds, to find him, and it is an inspirational read.

Available in Paperback format from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Cannot-Find-Peace-Until-Pieces/dp/1105661261/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386240805&sr=8-1&keywords=peace+by+marie+maiden

Life-ology 101: If All Else Fails, Smile by Michael Soward

Now released as an Audio Book via the link below.

Thought provoking reflections on life.

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This story begins in Arkansas with the nine-year-old Michael, and his younger brother, abandoned by their father, living with their strict grandmother who regularly beats them. The family attend church regularly, he discovers at a young age, he has a gift for playing the organ and it is the beginning of a lifelong love of music.

In 1969,after working hard in the cotton fields, at eighteen he finally ‘escapes’ to live with relatives in Kansas City. Moving to the big city has a profound effect on the young man from the Deep South, especially at such a time of change, the age of drugs, sex and rock and roll had definitely arrived.

The story, which follows, is of one man’s journey, his marriage, fatherhood, hopes, dreams and foibles’. It is frank and honest, brutally so sometimes. He openly talks about his relationship with his father, the driving forces in his life and the leaps of faith, which have made him into the man he is today. Throughout, this book runs a vein of the author’s deep religious belief and his faith in God, the importance of his church and love of music, which has sustained him through times of deep despair.

I have always loved reading memoirs, catching a glimpse into peoples’ lives and discovering the experiences, which have made them the person they are today. This is a very honestly written book, interesting and thought provoking, the journey of a young boy from the Deep South who ends up a father and grandfather living in New York, and all the bits in-between.

 Reviewed by Susan Keefe

About the Author: Michael Soward, music producer of cutting edge music for almost 30 years, has released his first novel, “Life-ology 101”. The book is receiving acclaim nation-wide for being an inspirational story of transformation and the power of the smile.His mother died in a hospital when he was two months of becoming two years old. His grandmother then takes him along with his younger brother to her hometown of Blytheville, Arkansas where she would raise them.He then shares how his early life in the south along with grandmother Eva’s constant beatings and whippings came to scare and affect him so deeply mentally, physically, and spiritually later in life.He experienced many trials and tribulations that many an African American faced by the nature of their skin color rather than for who they were or what they did. But American society was evolving and with Michael Soward’s indomitable spirit he overcame these obstacles by sticking to his philosophy of smiling into the face of adversity and never giving in. He eventually discovers that smiling would become one of the great medicines of his life as a powerful future would continue to unfold.
Michael Soward currently lives and serves in New York as an independent nationwide consultant for aspiring Gospel and Jazz artist and writers. He continues to help build careers and recording products within these industries through his persistence, knowledge of these markets, promotion and marketing skills.
Want to know more?
and take a look at his page in the Meet the Authors section of this site.

Available from:

Amazon: Hardcover http://www.amazon.com/Life-Ology-101-Else-Fails-Smile/dp/1483695107/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1384855052&sr=8-1

Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Life-Ology-101-Else-Fails-Smile/dp/1483695093/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1384855052&sr=8-1&keywords=life+ology+101

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Life-ology-101-Else-Fails-Smile-ebook/dp/B00FF40FHO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1384855052

Barnes & Noble: Paperback and as a NOOK book  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/life-ology-101-michael-soward/1116947771?ean=9781483695099

Google: http://books.google.fr/books?id=sRXUAQAAQBAJ&hl=fr&sitesec=reviews

Foyles Paperback: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/lifeology-101-if-all-else-fails-smile,soward-michael-9781483695099
Foyles Hardback: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/lifeology-101-if-all-else-fails-smile,soward-michael-9781483695105

Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/170631307/Life-ology-101

And now on Audible: http://www.amazon.com/Life-Ology-101-Else-Fails-Smile/dp/B00HUGK63I/ref=tmm_aud_title_0

The Boy Who Spoke to God by Randa Handler

NEW RELEASE

The Boy Who Spoke to God

Written and illustrated by Randa Handler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the book: Unable to agree on their ideas about God and religious celebrations, four different ethnic tribes—Greeks, Chinese, Zulus, and Mayans—who live together harmoniously most of the year, combining aspects of each of their cultures to make their kingdom strong and prosperous, suddenly become divisive when religious holidays approach. During such times, they cannot agree on the timing or manner of religious traditions, and they each have their own god who looks and dresses as they do. When Niko, a young Greek boy, has several dreams of God, each tribe interprets the various details of his dreams according to its own view of God, further emphasizing the tribes’ differences in beliefs. Subsequently Niko is shunned for having created even more disharmony and for lying to the tribes, or so they think, as no one believes he dreamed of God. To clear up all the confusion and arrive at the truth, Niko begs God to manifest in one final dream. This time God shows him that the tribes’ beliefs are actually different expressions of the same god. Niko concludes that God is like colorless and formless iridescent light and the beliefs of all tribes about their gods are correct as these gods are like colors of the rainbow that derive from white light.

 

Review by Susan Keefe

A school library essential in every language!

In this modern world, in many countries, schools contain children of mixed races, cultures and religion; these are the future of this world. It is for this reason I believe this inspired book should be available everywhere in all languages for children.

It is written in a fairytale way, and this beautifully refreshing story is set in a wonderful magical kingdom where Greek, Chinese, Zulu and Mayan tribes live happily together, combining their skills, under the rule of King Dareios.

However, one thing causes unhappiness – they cannot agree on whose religious beliefs and holidays are right, it upsets everyone, especially the children. Niko, a Greek boy and his friends talk about this and they decide that they want it to change, so that night Niko prays…

God appears to him in a dream and reveals, “Happiness has as many colours as the rainbow. All my children can find happiness when their beliefs and actions do not hurt others.”

Full of excitement, Niko thinks he has found the solution and tells everyone all he has seen and heard. However, instead of joy the news causes discontent, the people are unhappy, tribes divided and the kingdom suffers. So, Niko, needing guidance, prays again to God for help in finding a solution.

God listens, and that night visits him once more in a dream, giving Niko the vision to understand the true meaning of his words, and the ability to explain them in a way the people can understand. Once again, happiness is restored to the kingdom, and the king makes a special proclamation to celebrate, but to discover what that is you will have to read the book…

The storyline gently and inoffensively gives parents an ideal opportunity to promote racial harmony and tolerance of others religious beliefs to their children. There is also offered a well thought out answer as to the question, what does God look like?

Available here:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Boy-Who-Spoke-ebook/dp/B00F8J6F02/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_imgnr_1

and Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-boy-who-spoke-to-god-randa-handler/1116961568?ean=2940148754121

The Boy Who Spoke to God written and illustrated by Randa Handler

NEW RELEASE

The Boy Who Spoke to God

Written and illustrated by Randa Handler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A school library essential in every language!

In this modern world, in many countries, schools contain children of mixed races, cultures and religion; these are the future of this world. It is for this reason I believe this inspired book should be available everywhere in all languages for children.

It is written in a fairytale way, and this beautifully refreshing story is set in a wonderful magical kingdom where Greek, Chinese, Zulu and Mayan tribes live happily together, combining their skills, under the rule of King Dareios.

However, one thing causes unhappiness – they cannot agree on whose religious beliefs and holidays are right, it upsets everyone, especially the children. Niko, a Greek boy and his friends talk about this and they decide that they want it to change, so that night Niko prays…

God appears to him in a dream and reveals, “Happiness has as many colours as the rainbow. All my children can find happiness when their beliefs and actions do not hurt others.”

Full of excitement, Niko thinks he has found the solution and tells everyone all he has seen and heard. However, instead of joy the news causes discontent, the people are unhappy, tribes divided and the kingdom suffers. So, Niko, needing guidance, prays again to God for help in finding a solution.

God listens, and that night visits him once more in a dream, giving Niko the vision to understand the true meaning of his words, and the ability to explain them in a way the people can understand. Once again, happiness is restored to the kingdom, and the king makes a special proclamation to celebrate, but to discover what that is you will have to read the book…

The storyline gently and inoffensively gives parents an ideal opportunity to promote racial harmony and tolerance of others religious beliefs to their children. There is also offered a well thought out answer as to the question, what does God look like?

 

 

 

In search of Our Origins by Jamshed Akhtar

In Search of Our Origins by Jamshed Akhtar

In Search of Our Origins

Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN-10: 1456335677

Genre: Religious/Scientific/Quran/Origins

Paperback: 164 pages $9.45

Kindle: 164 pages $2.95

About Jamshed Akhtar: Jamshed Akhtar is a writer / researcher, about 65 years old, with a degree in Electrical Engineering from AMU (1969), Aligarh, India. He is involved in the study of religion since 1985. Akhtar is closely associated with several Muslim organizations dealing in scientific study of Islam. In 1996, Akhtar had written a research based fiction. This book entitled ‘The Ultimate Revelations’ is probably the first and only Science fiction in the world, with Quran as the central topic. The book was well covered by almost all the major news papers of India and UAE. Akhtar has also presented his researches on revealed knowledge in different workshops and seminars, in India. In UAE, Akhtar’s book was presented at ‘The Book Mall’ by Shaikha Azza, daughter of the ruler of Sharjah. Akhtar has also appeared on the ‘Discover Islam’ talk shows on Sharjah TV to explain his researches.

The book: In Search of Our Origins, presents complex but interesting information on the origin of life and man. The 119 hints/pointers, extracted from the analysis of the original words of the Quran, seem to tell us how the first molecule of life arose on the planet, what was the mechanism involved, where the event occurred on the primeval earth, and what did happen subsequently. The pointers then tell us how the life is linked to man, how the first man and his mate were created, where they were nurtured initially, and when and where did they appear on the earth. The research also discusses entities like Jinn and malaika (angels), and the concept of Paradise with respect to Adam, within the parameters of the Quran and modern physics. Akhtar argues that the phenomenon of revelations is extraterrestrial, and presents a mechanism for verification of the information that has the potential to permanently lay at rest the debate between creationists and evolutionists.

 

Reviewed by Susan Keefe

When I started this book, I was unsure what to expect, however what I found was a compelling read full of interesting information.

The author has researched the subject of our origins in depth and presented the reader with a well-balanced book, which is easy to understand. Not only has he has studies the Quran in depth, and indeed other religious teachings, has also looked at the scientific explanations of our origins throughout the ages and presented his findings in an unbiased way.

Even though, through necessity, there are references to particular articles and paragraphs in studies and books, the author has managed to produce around these, a book which the reader finds easy to understand and absorb.

The insight into the Quran, its teachings, other beliefs and scientific theories about our evolution made this a fascinating read and personally, I found it very interesting. I also found it refreshing to be able to read a book of this genre without feeling as if you had to decide whose side you were on.

 

Available at Amazon in Paperback here http://www.amazon.com/In-Search-Our-Origins-Scientific/dp/1456335677/ref=sr_1_4_bnp_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1374489739&sr=8-4&keywords=in+search+of+our+origins

and on Kindle here http://www.amazon.com/Search-Our-Origins-Scientific-ebook/dp/B004LX0KN4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1374489739&sr=8-4&keywords=in+search+of+our+origins