Archives

John Newton. A Bite-Size Biography.

BB-John-Newton

There are many Christian Saints whom I am eager to meet in heaven. Imagine being able to walk and talk with the men and women who gave themselves fully to God throughout the ages! Imagine listening to them praise Him for His faithfulness and care, and imagine hearing of the trials He carried them through. Imagine being able to see the Christlike beauty in their soul formed by years of walking with the Lord. Oh yes. That shall be a joy in Heaven.
Until then, we can glean wisdom from the lives of the Saints by reading well written biographies about them.

The Bitesize Biographies help us with this.
These books are small and yet packed with information, fact filled and yet very personal.
They engage the spirit and mind of the reader by exploring the godly legacy left by a Christian man or woman. In this book by John Crotts, it is John Newton whose life we shall learn from.

John Crotts has many quotable paragraphs in this finely written book. Some of my favorite lines come from his chapters on John Newton’s letter writing ministry, his love for Polly his wife, and the hymns he wrote, outpourings of his worship. I will be re-reading this book in the future, Lord willing, and I also have a family member who has placed it on his to read next list. He is now reading Wilberforce’s biography from Eric Metaxas, and is eager to read John Crott’s Bitesize Biography of Newton.

Read the Rest of this review here: John Newton. Bitesize Biography. Amazing Grace!

Advertisements

Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand

206375_w185

Roland March just wants to be back on murder, away from these ridiculous special assignments that his superiors are giving him left and right. Well, they call them special assignments, he calls it farming him out. They don’t want him around any more and he can feel it. He knows he isn’t doing the top notch homicide work he used to, and the reputation he had earned and then lost is haunting him. He wishes he had never agreed to let his biggest case become the subject of a true crime novel, a novel about him at his best, and now everyone is seeing Roland March at his worst.

He used to be the top homicide detective on Houston PD, now he is the “suicide cop” and works the hated “cars for criminals” detail.
And it is September. Roland has not had a good September for seven years. Not since the tragedy happened.
This September is worse than ever. His wife Charlotte is distant and dealing with the past by putting herself in a near coma with her sleeping pills, and Roland doesn’t know how to help her. To add insult to injury, he has a weird tenant named Tommy living in his garage apartment. Tommy, who throws parties at all hours and leaves beer bottles around the back yard, making Charlotte miserable. But hey, Tommy’s dad pays the rent every month!

 To read the rest of this Review, go to Found A Christian By His Grace.: Back on Murder.

Book Question from Tyndale.com

This is my response to Tyndale’s question about book covers and titles, series and ads. Tyndale Blog

OK- 🙂 This is fun. 

First the covers. 
I love covers that are serious, and that intrigue the eye, although I will overlook a poor cover for the book inside 😉 Tyndale has had some awesome covers. Avenged by Janice Cantore, for example. 

If you go to GoodChristianbooks dot wordpress dot com, or FoundaChristianbyHisGrace dot blogspot dot com you will see some of my favorite upcoming books and covers. I like covers with faces on them, but that has to be done carefully. 

The title: a good title like “The Justice Game” or “Damascus Countdown” or “The Ollie Chandler Collection” you don’t forget those titles!!! 

What do I look for in a book? I look for a book that engages the big issues, makes me think, has characters that live and that come to stay in your mind forever. I look to make sure that the romance is part of a larger story, like it is in our lives, and subtle, not graphic. The Pacific Coast Justice series was perfect for that… Nick and Carly are in love with each other, and the romance is pure. 

I look for hard themes tackled from a Biblical worldview. Examples of human depravity and sadness redeemed. There should be redemption, realistic redemption, and redemption only happens out of brokenness. I have seen a lot of amazon reviews where people are saying that a book that tackles hard issues is not Christian…because it has bad words or violence. Those things must be handled very carefully and never included for shock value, but those things exist and are part of our world. The Gospel shines out in deep darkness, so the darkness and the Light must be in the book. 

That said, I don’t want long descriptions of brutality or creepy darkness that is supposed to give us a scare thrill. Sin is not to be a thrill. 

Another thing, the book must be steeped in Biblical worldview. I can’t tell you how odd it is when an amazon reviewer complains that a book was Christian and that bothered them. Every author’s worldview comes out in their book. Their book is steeped in their beliefs. No amazon reviewers that I have seen have suggested that they put a “humanistic/relativistic” warning label on those books that exalt man and have no moral compass, yet I have read review after review suggesting a warning label, their words, on Christian books. Take that as a good sign, that it is clear where you come from, and then keep writing excellent books that prove that Christians do understand art. Use you art to communicate the Gospel, like you have been. 

Series, I love series. I have always loved series! If an author can write a series, please do!!!!! If, however, an author doesn’t feel like the book can become a series then please don’t listen to my clamoring for one…. I don’t want you to try to write something you aren’t passionate about. A few years ago I tried to read a series of books — not from Tyndale! — and the author had lost their stride. The series felt like the author had been asked to do it. They had become more graphic and vulgar, and the writing was not what it had been. We had to stop reading. The next book they wrote is awesome, again. Maybe they just shouldn’t have tried the series.

Ads. The image grabs my eye and then the copy keeps it!  

I love all the good books you publish here at Tyndale, and thank you for the honor of reviewing for you.

Starting a new blog.

This post launches our new blog, Good Christian Books. We currently write over at Found a Christian By His Grace. This new blog will be a sister site. We hope to cultivate a community of  avid readers who will get excited along with us about the best of Christian books.

Please visit, comment, enjoy our site.