I was reading through the Book of Acts recently, and I noticed that the message preached by the Apostles and various Disciples was primarily the Resurrection – that Jesus, who was crucified, has been raised from the dead by the power of God. A lot of people talk about not “sugarcoating” the Gospel, Continue reading “The Gospel According to Acts: God Raised Jesus”
I recently saw a comment to the effect that “it is amazing how Joseph learned from the baby Jesus.”
It occurs to me that this is a strange amazement in light of the belief that not only from birth, but from conception itself, there exists a human person, a soul specially and uniquely made in the image and likeness of God (though that Creation, of which we all receive, is a wonder of God). The Child Jesus is God as well as Human, but is not every human child a person, uniquely made in the image of God, a living soul, capable of all that which being a person entails – of knowledge, of choice, of love? Continue reading “Learning from the Childhood of God and Children”
I usually do not do reviews on this blog, but I was invited by Julia Witmer to be a part of her A Wilted Willow Blog Tour, and am pleased to accept. Here is her website: Julia Witmer, Author
Author: Julia Witmer
Day one in fifteen-year-old Mira Miller’s new home, and a strange man steps through a door that should lead to nowhere. Informing her that a nation from another world needs help defeating a tyrant king with an insatiable taste for power, he presents her a choice: come with him and help, or stay behind and miss out on a chance for adventure
Cadmus Clark, a quiet boy her age who’s more than happy sitting at home all day, reluctantly agrees to join Mira’s escapade after she arrives in his world. Faced with training for battle, a magical assassin, and worst of all, extended time with bossy Mira, Cadmus is certain he’ll regret his choice to help her.
Mira has a new skill to master. Cadmus has a stubborn girl to deal with. And together they have a war to win. They might just be in over their heads.
. . . But Mira would never admit that.
Rating: ★★★★☆ (Not that I’m much of a person for ratings; I prefer to simply say what caught my attention, since not everyone enjoys the same things!)
The character development in A Wilted Willow is good. The characters have distinct personalities, and they act in accord with their personalities; their reactions change in response to their circumstances and experiences, but not in a way that contradicts who they are to begin with, but rather is a development out of that. The plot is simple and direct. It is at the opposite end of the ‘reluctant hero’ trope, and a somewhat odd twist on the ‘chosen one’ trope. Cadmus is often somewhat reluctant, but Mira is anything but reluctant, and if she is chosen, she actively, freely chooses just as strongly. I’ve never before read a novel in which the protagonist is so eager to jump into her adventure, eyes open, before she even knows what is going on, and while experiences and circumstances sometimes get to her, she keeps that eagerness that embraces her adventure, her calling, that runs to and even chooses it for herself. At the same time, her personality is far more adventurous than heroic – or, at least, so it seems to me – but then she finds herself motivated by something that can sustain where even the most adventurous heart might turn back – love, and not primarily romantic love, but love of people for being people and a world for being that world.
There are some parts in A Wilted Willow that I found heart-breakingly sad. I usually don’t mind a fair amount of death and darkness, but for some reason I found this one sadder than usual.
[SPOILER] Something that really caught my attention was how the author handled it when Cadmus’ pet-friend, Ollie, dies. Cadmus is heart-broken over his pet, and he feels bad that he feels so much more strongly over the death of his pet than over the threat to his country, so much so that now he really wants to kill Adelram (that’s the villain), when the threat to his country did not make him feel that way. Julia Witmer does not, however, suggest that Cadmus’ care for Ollie is mis-placed or wrong, but that it is natural and acceptable. [End SPOILER]
Today, DragonSword, the conclusion to the Return of the Dragonriders Trilogy (previously DragonBirth and DragonWing) is available! However, while DragonSword is the conclusion to the Return of the Dragonriders Trilogy, it is not the last you will hear of Areaer! Therefore, in addition to announcing the release of DragonSword today, and giving you links to everything concerning it, I will be showing you the cover for The Gifts of Faeri (a standalone novella, free in digital format, and prequel to the Return of the Dragonriders) and telling you about the next series set in Areaer: the Legend of the Singer Duology.
First for Dragonsword:
When the Obsidian Guardian rises and the Dragon-sword shines again, so will hope to defeat the Nightmare…
Dragonrider Noren has narrowly escaped being burned at the stake. Reunited at last, he and Silmavalien flee northwards. Joined by Onyxalis, a black dragon who believes himself to be the destined Avenger of the Dragons, they must battle their way through the hordes of the Nightmare Lord to the Volcano of Ellen Island. There Onyxalis may receive the power he needs as the Obsidian Guardian, and there the re-forging of the Dragon-sword will be begun.
With the Gift of the Volcano, they will finally have the power to fight the battle before them and even the mightiest of the Nightmare Legion.
Ebook price in USD: 2.99. Paperback price in USD: 9.99
Find everything having to do with the Return of the Dragonriders Trilogy and Areaer, including poems and excerpts for all three books at my Novels page, here.
Now, for the Cover Reveal!
Descrption: Faeri has something no one else does: the ability to sing power into objects and direct that power to her will. For more than two decades she and the obsidian dragon paired with her, Chrysanthemum, have been traveling Aneri, using her song to give gifts to everyone they come across that will make their lives easier. But then the fabled enemy in the stories, the Nightmare, shows its hand, trying to taint Faeri’s gifts and make them a snare to the souls of those who keep them.
Just when Faeri is convinced that her song is worse than useless, and she needs to stop using it, a conflict with nightmare creatures reveals Chrysanthemum’s fire as a bane to the Nightmare. . .
For any of you who have read DragonBirth, you will be familiar with the Tale of Faeri. This is, of course, the true story.
If any of you are interested in the Blog Tour associated with its release, on January 27nth, here is the link to see what I will be doing and sign up if you want:
And now, last but not least, is the time to introduce you to the next series in Areaer, the Legend of the Singer! This one is a Duology, consisting of Children of the Dryads and Sorceress of the Dryads, and taking place several hundred years later, on the continent of Ellenesia. (See more here.)
Children of the Dryads
Description: When her human father, Eldor, a member of an organization of elite warriors dedicated to protecting the Valor Alliance, is called on a mission she does not think he can survive, Tara-lin violates his orders and follows him…
She is a half-elf, born with the long-lost ancestral magic of the elves. With her is Alis, a human girl desperate to avoid a marriage forced on her by her father, a colleague of Eldor, but terrified that gods Tara-lin does not believe exist will cast her into the netherhells for her disobedience. Ahead of them is Eldor’s terrifying destination – Nightshade Castle, haunt of madness and black magic.
“The heavens declare Your glory, and their expanse is the work of Your hands.”
“Through Him all things were made, and apart from Him was made nothing that was made.”
“He is … the firstfruits of all creation … In Him all things subsist.”
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man, in Our image, after Our likeness.’” Continue reading “The Image of God in All Creation”
I’m doing an amazing number of Blog Posts lately. Julia Witmer tagged me for Lauryn Trimmer’s #WritingCommunityBlogAward. Thanks, but this is more than a little different for me. I think I’ve turned down blogging nominations before. Usually, questions are very difficult, even if answerable, but these I think I can do. Anyway, here are the rules: Continue reading “#WritingCommunityBlogAward”
In a previous post, I related the story of the Fall in the Garden of Eden and shared what meaning I see in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In this post, I am going to discuss the fear that seems to precede the taking of the forbidden fruit, and that now dominates our world.
The serpent said to Eve, “Assuredly, you will not die. For God knows that in the day you eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, you will become like Him, knowing both good and evil.” Continue reading “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Part Two – Fear)”
“I don’t want to leave just yet,” said Silmavalien to Noren and Keya. “I never told you, I think, about the obsidian rock, but before Minth hatched I found a black rock which spoke to me and told me it was the Avenger of the Dragons. It also told me that it was not the right time for it yet. But what if it is now? I mean to look for it. I think it’s a black dragon.” Continue reading “Out of the Ashes: Excerpt from DragonSword”
The Dragon-sword is arisen at last
Re-forged in the flame and light of old.
Winged in the hand of its bearer it rises;
Through death and life and death again he lives.
The stars in the earth are freed at last
And their Guardian arisen in light.
The war is begun; the war shall now be won!
Through death and life and death again earth lives!
Long has the challenge of Nightmare reigned;
Now we answer it with the sword unsheathed!
This war, thought lost, shall be won, though fierce indeed
And fire proceeds to predestined throne!
The flame and whip of the Shadow’s pit
Has been defeated; it has met its match
And been found no match for the flame of the earth
The light and flame of the Dragon-sword!
The fire of darkness is overcome
By the fire of light in the darkness’ depth
And the whip of Nightmare by the Dragon-sword:
Triumph proceeds to predestined throne!
Excerpted from DragonSword, Copyright © 2019 by Raina Nightingale
Will be released on Dec. 1st
There is a lot of controversy in certain circles about the way this age of the world will come to its end, about the final things that will precede the Judgment and Revelation of the Lord, and about how those who belong to Him will join Him in unshadowed bliss without the sin that mars this world. Prominent among these controversies are those related to what many call the ‘Rapture’, the translation of living Christians from mortal to immortal bodies like that of the Lord (at least I presume that is what they mean) and when it will occur, whether before, during, or after a period they call the ‘Tribulation’ of especially wide-spread and inescapable suffering and judgment they believe will occupy the final seven years before the Lord returns to judge and renew the earth. Continue reading “This is Not About the Rapture”