N!OBE, the CSFFBT special

So I had big plans for the tour this month because I love the book so much, not to mention I think that Andrew Peterson just might be the story teller of our age.  I was going to re-read the first book (On The Edge Of The Dark Sea Of Darkness) and post a review of it, I was going to attempt an email interview with Andrew Peterson, I was going to repost my original review of North! Or Be Eaten.  I was even going to post a review of his brother A.P. Peterson’s book from Rabbit Room Press, “The Fiddler’s Gun”.

But I learned a secret about life, dear reader, that no one else knows about.  I learned it after having our first child, Sarah Hope, only a few weeks ago. 

That secret, my friend, is…

Things don’t always go as planned.

I know, it’s something I’m sure none of you have experienced.  But please, believe me when I say it’s true!  It really is true!

Ok, so maybe I’ve been learning that one all my life, and maybe it’s a secret that everybody already knows.  But it’s true just the same.

So I hope I’ve distracted from the fact that I was lame and didn’t do any of those things on the list… even though I just reminded you of that very fact.  But at least I can do one of them now, repost my review of Andrew Peterson’s second book in the Wingfeather Saga… North! Or Be Eaten.

Before I do that, just let me say… I love this book!

This is a book I’ve been looking forward to for a while!  Normally things I wait this long to be entertained by end up disappointing me.

Not this book though!

From the very first chapter I was caught back up into the excitement of the Wingfeather Saga.  It took a few chapters for a few details from the last book to come back to me, but that wasn’t the book’s fault.  Whenever Andrew dropped a hint from the past the memories flooded in like a welcome tide.  It made me want to read the first book all over again.

So on the story went, in directions I wasn’t expecting.  There were many pleasant surprises, though they weren’t all pleasant for the characters to go through.  I did see a few surprises coming, but I think it’s because I’m familiar with AP through his music, and because he’s a fellow Christian.

The characters are deepened and developed more in this book than in most of the books I’ve read.  Take in where they started from in the first book, “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness”, and it’s amazing to think of where they are compared to where they started from.  I have a feeling that the next book will do even more with them than both of the first two books combined.

I’m loving the setting of the books, the world of Aerwiar.  It’s a land of excitement and epic epochs.  Every image of Aerwiar that the book conjures up has filled my mind with bright vibrant color and overwhelming life (except those places in which life is snuffed out, color is erased by the wicked, or where all is dipped into the darkest black).  The pictures he scattered throughout the pages definitely drew my interest deeper.  I doubt Andrew will write enough books or draw enough pictures to fill my mind with all there is to the world he has created, and the world he is still creating.

The adventure of the book was thick throughout.  It was always one notch more exciting than I expected at any given time.  The drama of the tale unfolded naturally through the course of the journey, leaving NO time to wonder if the pace was too slow or too fast.  After reading the book I feel like I should have a torn up traveling outfit hung on my wall for a display to all.

And while I know I should have seen it coming, the power that filled the last part of the book blew me over.  There was one line in particular that broke me down.  My eyes flooded and my heart stole my mind away for well over ten minutes.  After that I was able to get back to the book.  There were a few more parts that caused my soul to pause and reflect, to soak it all in and breathe deeply the truths of the Living God.  I was compelled to think on Christ’s love, and it was so easy to comply.  The power lasted long after the last words, and I was assured that it goes back farther than the first book.

It was all strengthened by the fact that the next day I read a verse in the Bible that reflected the same truths written in that line that took my breath away.  I don’t know if Andrew had that Scripture in mind, but I’m sure he had the Author of Scripture in his heart as he wrote.

I really want to thank Andrew for writing this book and series.  I want to thank his family too.  As a writer myself I know the impact a wife can have on one’s writing, and I know about some of the sacrifice a wife has to make to let her husband immerse himself in the world he’s making.  And I can’t help but think that his kids are adding light and color to almost every corner of Aerwiar.  Thank you Petersons!

North! Or Be Eaten is an amazing story, and an amazing sequel to an awesome beginning.  I recommend the book to anyone of any age.  I’m truly hoping for many more books in Aerwiar, set in anytime in its history.

Thank God He has made people in His creative Image!!!

To pick up a copy, visit either http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400073871
or  https://store.rabbitroom.com/books/north-or-be-eaten

For more on the Wingfeather Saga, visit http://wingfeathersaga.com/

For more on Andrew Peterson, check out http://www.andrew-peterson.com  and  http://www.rabbitroom.com/

For more from the publisher, go to http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/

Now if you aren’t already ordering the book, I’m sure these other tour members will be convinced enough themselves to try and convince you to do so!

Brandon Barr
Justin Boyer
Amy Browning
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
Nissa
Donita K. Paul
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
Andrea Schultz
James Somers
Steve and Andrew
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Jason Waguespac
Phyllis Wheeler
Elizabeth Williams
KM Wilsher

Part 2: more information on AP and N!OBE

Here’s a bit more information on North! Or Be Eaten, and Andrew Peterson.

Warning, you may find spoilers throughout the rest of this post!

North! Or Be EatenJanner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby thought they were normal children with normal lives and a normal past. But now they know they’re really the Lost Jewels of Anniera, heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and suddenly everyone wants to kill them.

Their escape brings readers to the very brink of Fingap Falls, over the Stony Mountains, and across the Ice Prairies, while villains galore try to stop the Igibys permanently. Fearsome toothy cows and horned hounds return, along with new dangers: a mad man running a fork factory, a den of rockroaches, and majestic talking sea dragons.

Andrew Peterson’s lovable characters create what FantasyBookCritic.com says made Book One “one of the best fantasy novels in a very long time,” and Book Two contains even more thrills, exploring “themes universal in nature, ranging from the classic good versus evil, to the importance of family, and burdens of responsibility.”

Author bio.:

APAndrew Peterson is the author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book One in the Wingfeather Saga, and The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats. He’s also the critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter and recording artist of ten albums, including Resurrection Letters II. He and his wife, Jamie, live with their two sons and one daughter in a little house they call The Warren near Nashville, Tennessee. Visit his websites: www.andrew-peterson.com and www.rabbitroom.com

Review: North! Or Be Eaten, by Andrew Peterson

This is a book I’ve been looking forward to for a while!  Normally things I wait this long to be entertained by end up disappointing me.

Not this book though!

From the very first chapter I was caught back up into the excitement of the Wingfeather Saga.  It took a few chapters for a few details from the last book to come back to me, but that wasn’t the book’s fault.  Whenever Andrew dropped a hint from the past the memories flooded in like a welcome tide.  It made me want to read the first book all over again.

So on the story went, in directions I wasn’t expecting.  There were many pleasant surprises, though they weren’t all pleasant for the characters to go through.  I did see a few surprises coming, but I think it’s because I’m familiar with AP through his music, and because he’s a fellow Christian.

The characters are deepened and developed more in this book than in most of the books I’ve read.  Take in where they started from in the first book, “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness”, and it’s amazing to think of where they are compared to where they started from.  I have a feeling that the next book will do even more with them than both of the first two books combined.

I’m loving the setting of the books, the world of Aerwiar.  It’s a land of excitement and epic epochs.  Every image of Aerwiar that the book conjures up has filled my mind with bright vibrant color and overwhelming life (except those places in which life is snuffed out, color is erased by the wicked, or where all is dipped into the darkest black).  The pictures he scattered throughout the pages definitely drew my interest deeper.  I doubt Andrew will write enough books or draw enough pictures to fill my mind with all there is to the world he has created, and the world he is still creating.

The adventure of the book was thick throughout.  It was always one notch more exciting than I expected at any given time.  The drama of the tale unfolded naturally through the course of the journey, leaving NO time to wonder if the pace was too slow or too fast.  After reading the book I feel like I should have a torn up traveling outfit hung on my wall for a display to all.

And while I know I should have seen it coming, the power that filled the last part of the book blew me over.  There was one line in particular that broke me down.  My eyes flooded and my heart stole my mind away for well over ten minutes.  After that I was able to get back to the book.  There were a few more parts that caused my soul to pause and reflect, to soak it all in and breathe deeply the truths of the Living God.  I was compelled to think on Christ’s love, and it was so easy to comply.  The power lasted long after the last words, and I was assured that it goes back farther than the first book.

It was all strengthened by the fact that the next day I read a verse in the Bible that reflected the same truths written in that line that took my breath away.  I don’t know if Andrew had that Scripture in mind, but I’m sure he had the Author of Scripture in his heart as he wrote.

I really want to thank Andrew for writing this book and series.  I want to thank his family too.  As a writer myself I know the impact a wife can have on one’s writing, and I know about some of the sacrifice a wife has to make to let her husband immerse himself in the world he’s making.  And I can’t help but think that his kids are adding light and color to almost every corner of Aerwiar.  Thank you Petersons!

North! Or Be Eaten is an amazing story, and an amazing sequel to an awesome beginning.  I recommend the book to anyone of any age.  I’m truly hoping for many more books in Aerwiar, set in anytime in its history.

Thank God He has made people in His creative Image!!!

For more on the Wingfeather Saga, visit http://wingfeathersaga.com/

For more on Andrew Peterson, check out http://www.andrew-peterson.com/index.php  and  http://www.rabbitroom.com/

For more from the publisher, go to http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/

Awestruck with Hammers

Some of you have known for a while that I love the hammer dulcimer.  Some of you know I began playing one a few months back.  Some of you don’t have a clue what a hammer dulcimer is.

Well, I thought I’d share with you the main reason I fell in love with the instrument and it’s music.  No surprise that it was my favorite singer/musician Rich Mullins that introduced me to this board of beauty.  Others have added to what’s becoming a passion, including another Christian singer/musician by the name of Andrew Peterson.

Here’s just a few samples…

Calling out Your Name- Rich Mullins

Creed- Rich Mullins

78 Eatonwood Green(@ 0:22)- Rich Mullins; Such a Thing as Glory (@ 8:22)- Rich Mullins (concert versions)

I couldn’t find any Andrew Peterson videos.  When I do I’ll hopefully remember to post them.

Review: Blaggard’s Moon, by George Bryan Polivka

First I want to say a HUGE thank you to my wife, Rebekah Jesse, for posting three days of reviews on this book, and for posting them on my blog.  Just a reminder to all, please double check who the author is on the posts on my blog.  My wife does post here from time to time and I want to make sure she gets full credit for her writing!  You can see more of her writing at http://jessebecky.wordpress.com/

Thanks, Becky!

Now onto our book. 

Blaggard’s Moon is a fictional pirate adventure written from a Christian world view.  The author is George Bryan Polivka.  One should know that while I don’t hate pirate stuff, I’m not exactly drawn to it either.  My tendency to turn away from it is probably due to the recent years of pirate over-saturation in our day to day.

That being said, I’m finding it very difficult right now to find the right way to describe the book.  So I’ll go with the closest thing that comes to mind… it was absolutely amazing!

From the very first sitting I was sold.  My opinion did nothing but rise the whole book through.  I have never been tempted to read a novel twice until now.  I know I’m on a review tour, and I know I’m an author of novels myself, but I’m honestly not a big reader of stories.  I love to read theology, and I’m all about watching stories on the screen instead of reading them in books.  But man, this book was good!

The characters, very well done.  Every one of them was believable, colorful, and unique.  The setting was solid.  Well put together, well used, and with massive amounts of potential for more.  The storyline, I really enjoyed it.  There were a couple points where I would have gone a different route, but it’s good that Mr. Polivka was the author and not me.  Good job man!

All these elements were solid and fun to experience.  Based on these alone I would recommend this book to any fan of fiction.

But the main reason I like the book, the one reason why I’m considering another reading… I have never enjoyed the telling of a fiction story better than I have with this novel.  There is exception to that, and that is in the storytelling of Andrew Peterson‘s songs (Andrew’s book comes close).  But considering books and even movies, George Polivka’s telling of a fictional tale is jaw dropping!    I’m not worried about overselling this part.  He could never compare to God, nobody can.  But God has made men in His image, and storytelling is a talent that it seems He has given to George.

I know that the elements I mentioned at first are, in a sense, part of story telling: characters, settings, plots.  But one can nail these elements and still not tell a story.  An author can give a narration or history lesson that does a great job on the particulars, without the author being a true bard.

I must also say that one can even do a terrible job on the particulars and still do a real good job of telling a tale.  A man could tell you the dumbest tale you ever heard, and yet even then captivate you.

But Blaggard’s Moon nails the particulars, and then delivers them to you on not just a silver platter, but on a silver platter on a silver table on a silver floor, while you sit in a silver chair under a silver moon.  I’m not sure I can even detail why I was so impressed by the story telling.  And maybe that’s partly why it was so good.

I also really appreciate some of the applicable truths one can find in the story.  You may not consciously catch them; the author himself may not have even caught them as he wrote the book (or maybe he did).  But they’re there, and they’re good.

Even though it’s a pirate’s tale, I’m pumped about reading more from this author!  Thank you George Bryan Polivka.  I pray that your soul and your pen follow His leading.

Please, read this book. 

To find out more about Blaggard’s Moon, or about George Bryan Polivka, check out some of the following links…

Blaggard’s Moon http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0736925376 .
George Bryan Polivka’s Web site – http://www.nearingvast.com/

For reviews and relevant posts:

Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Keanan Brand
Melissa Carswell
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Alex Field
Marcus Goodyear
Todd Michael Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Kait
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Magma
Margaret
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespack
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Jill Williamson

Not a Silent Night- Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all, by the grace that has come to us in Christ.  Here’s a “less spoken of” perspective on the greatest birth we can celebrate…

Andrew Peterson: “Labor of Love”

Album: Behold the Lamb of God- The True Tall Tale of the Coming of Christ

Sung by: Jill Phillips

You’re Not Alone (John 7)

It’s a violent world we live in.  People are filled with hatred and malice towards each other.  But even in the midst of all the wickedness there are windows… windows that open to a world of love and truth.

We see an example of this in the end of John 7.  The leaders of the people, along with some of the crowds, they had a burning hatred towards Jesus.  And we know that Jesus did not deserve it.  None the less, they wanted to kill Him.

But not all of the people in the crowd were filled with sin.  Many put their trust in Him.  The temple guards refused to arrest Jesus.  Even one of the leaders, Nicodemus, stood against the evil.

And Jesus Himself was a window to a better world.  He brought love to His enemies, and we still receive that love.  It’s a love that conquers.  It’s a love that truly gives life.

There are people out there that love the Lord.  If you are a Christian who feels alone in the world, look for the windows.  Look for the view into a better world.  You’ll come to find that they are all around us.

I like the song by Andrew Peterson, “Windows in the World.”  Give the song a listen, and you may find it a little easier to see the other side.

Consider it Pure Joy (John 6)

In John 6 we have the recording of Jesus feeding the 5,000.  Jesus, seeing the large crowd, took the opportunity to test Philip…

Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?”  This He was saying to test him, for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.

That’s a lot of pressure to just suddenly put on Philip.  Likely he hadn’t been told to prepare for this situation, and he didn’t exactly have the resource on hand to feed all these people… at least not in the way he was looking at things.  But we don’t read about Philip flipping out or getting angry.  Philip simply answers,

“Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Philip was obviously a little bit worked up.  But he didn’t go into a self pity mode and talk about how life is to hard, or how God should make things easier on him.  He just states the situation.

I’m reminded of James 1:2

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

I think Philip could have done better with his attitude, but I also think that the average follower of Christ can do better.  We get so bent out of shape over the difficulties in life, and complain about it to anyone who will listen.  But God allows us to go through those things in a way that builds us up eternally.

I pray we all would consider it pure joy when we face trials, when we are called to the difficult tasks.  Certainly, loving others is something that can be… “trying”.  It sometimes requires that we die to our selves in order to love them.  But Jesus died for us.  It’s ok if we have to die too.

Instead of complaining about having to love people and about God’s “difficult” love for us, may we remember that love is a good thing…

Love Is A Good Thing

Gennao Anothen (John 3)

What does it mean to be born again?  Nicodemus, a teacher and leader amongst the Jews, couldn’t understand it.  Many today seem not to understand it.

We know from Romans 6 that it happens at baptism.  It’s clear that it is the beginning of a new way of life.  Completely new.  Jesus tells us in this passage that it is a thing of the spirit.  He goes on to talk about the necessity of believing in Him, even though men love the darkness.  He says that when we live in the truth we come into the light so that it may be plain to see that what we’ve done is only by God.

I find that I must pause and really consider if this describes me.  In so many ways people can point to my life and say “Look, it’s still the same old Cris.  He does as he pleases.”  In so many ways I fail to live anew.  Sometimes I fool myself by taking pride in the good works I’ve done.  Sometimes by emphasizing to myself that I have been baptised just like He told me to be.  But I must remember that it is His blood that makes those things of any worth.  And the application of that blood always begins with the truth of my sin.  Without Christ they are empty and in vain.

But I must believe that God will continue the good work He has started in me, and that He’ll see me through all the way.  I must believe that because the Bible says it.  And when I do take time to pause and look at my life, I find it is plain that God has done some amazing things in me.  It’s even plainer that it was only through God that I was able to do those things.  One doesn’t need to know too much about me, or anybody else for that matter, to see the need for God.  And when one accepts God, truly accepts Him and is born again, it will be plain that what they’ve done is through God.

So look at your own life, I ask you, and see if it is plain that God has worked through you.  Remember not to get proud, because if it is indeed plain that God has worked through you then you have nothing to boast about… Only God does. 

Is it plain that through God, and not through yourself, that you are Gennao Anothen?

Here’s a couple of videos from Andrew Peterson.  Watch them as you consider whether you are truly a new creation…