Archive for the ‘News Release’ Category

Prayer: More than Just Words Before Dinner

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Former Atheist Seeks to Invigorate Prayer Lives of Christians

For immediate release: “Prayer changes things.” We’ve all heard it before, but sometimes prayer can feel overwhelming. We don’t always know exactly what we should say, and many of us feel insecure in our prayer lives. Author William Ray offers a solution to our anxieties. In Answered Prayer: The Jesus Plan (Ambassador International; July 2015; $12.99, paperback), Ray walks through the most famous prayer in Scripture to encourage and revitalize readers in their own prayer lives.

Answered PrayerRay uses personal anecdotes as a testimony to the miraculous power of prayer. “As a former atheist who had an experience with God through a simple, heart-felt prayer, I understandably have been fascinated by prayer ever since,” writes Ray. Readers are continually reminded of how prayer can and will dramatically draw one closer to the Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer, or as Ray calls it—the Model Prayer— is central to Answered Prayer. Ray dissects each phrase of the prayer as outlined in the book of Matthew and reveals how it applies to a twenty-first century Christian’s prayer life. Ray reminds readers that God wouldn’t have given His children a prayer that didn’t work. Therefore, we can confidently base our personal prayer lives off of this Model Prayer.

Answered Prayer also addresses many of the contemporary issues people have with prayer, such as the misunderstanding of what prayer is and means. Readers will discover:

  • How to have a relationship with God through prayer
  • Understanding God’s four answers to prayer (No, Slow, Grow and Go)
  • Using prayer as a form of worship
  • Why specific prayers are more powerful

Each chapter contains study sections for readers to “Dig Deeper” into the truths of Answered Prayer. Ray utilizes external Bible verses to reinforce his main points about each phrase of the Model Prayer. In addition, each chapter includes a series of questions to help readers assess and further shape their own prayer life.

About the Author: William Ray served as a pastor for nearly 25 years, mostly in the Phoenix area. He holds the Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and an English degree from Grand Canyon University. William is the author of Bible Study for Beginners, the science fiction series The White Hole Universe Chronicles, and the light-hearted reference book The 100 Most Entertaining Predictions about the 21st Century (co-authored with his wife, Lynette). William also provides a sermon illustration service for pastors at illustrationsforsermons.com. William and Lynette have been married for more than 30 years and have two lovely daughters and one beautiful granddaughter.

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Learning to Trust God When Life Spirals Out of Control

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New novel follows life of a hopeful college student navigating turmoil and tragedy

For immediate release: Samantha Jordan planned on enjoying her senior year at Brenton College. With her stepmom, Bay Harris, soon to add another precious addition to her family of four, the future is looking bright and exciting. However, when tragedy strikes the midst of her family, Sam must come to terms with her relationship with God and reevaluate her life. In From Driftwood to Sapphire (Ambassador International; August 2015; $14.99), Sam is forced to uncover shocking secrets that completely disrupt her quiet mountaintop life. The question is, will these new changes be accepted?

From Driftwood to Sapphirerom Driftwood to Sapphire is author Kathy M. Howard’s second novel, the anticipated follow up to her 2014 book From Dishes to Snow. “From Driftwood to Sapphire brings Samantha Jordan’s point of view into light. She is the daughter of Wren Jordan, the main character’s love interest in From Dishes to Snow,” explains Howard. Samantha grew up without a mother, until her father married Bay Harris – a mother without her children as a result of a tragic accident. All of the lives are interconnected in some way or another, with God and View Top Mountain as commonalities.”

Sam’s journey may start out with a tragic loss, but it will also end up with a surprising addition. With the discovery of a long-lost mother and a potential half-sister, Sam’s plan for a quiet senior year is about to take an unexpected turn. “It’s easier to trust God with our lives when things are going well, when we are happy and healthy,” says Howard. “But, when life spirals out of our control, trusting Him is much more difficult. We want answers and reasons for why situations occur. We want the easy way out or to press rewind and change our life’s direction.”

Howard says the book is a very clear example Proverbs 3:5-6, which tells us to trust God and to not lean on our own understanding of a situation. “We need to trust Him whether we understand the whys or not,” she says. “That is a lot easier said than done, but if we will stop trying to fight Him, stop trying to swim upstream against the current, He will see us through, having a greater faith and a more peaceful spirit.”

About the Author: Kathy M. Howard makes her home in Blackshear, Georgia, with her husband and two daughters. She has been involved in education since 1998 as an elementary school teacher, a private school principal, and presently, as a homeschooling mom. Driftwood to Sapphire is her second novel.

To connect with the author or request a review copy of From Driftwood to Sapphire please contact publicist Alison Storm at media@emeraldhouse.com.

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Child with One Leg Beats the Odds and Kicks Cancer, Too

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Miracle Daughter Challenges Parents’ Faith in New Book

For immediate release: After years of trying to get pregnant, Wendy and Scott Duke were finally going to have their first child. But when a dangerous pre-natal diagnosis followed by an even more lethal disease after their daughter’s birth threatened to immediately take their newborn away, the Dukes turned to their only hope: God. In Grace in the Middle (Ambassador International; July 2015; $13.99, paperback) Duke encourages readers through the amazing story of her young daughter’s victory over some of life’s most perilous afflictions.

Grace in the MiddleWendy and Scott Duke were your typical young married couple who had met in Fellowship of Christian Athletes while in college. But when it came time to grow their family, things became anything but typical. After three miscarriages, the Dukes were hesitant when Wendy conceived a third time. Just when they thought God had given them the green light at an early doctor’s appointment, their excitement was shattered by a simple sentence: “Baby only has one leg.”

Anxious, frustrated, and scared, Wendy and Scott braced themselves for the unknown. In Grace in the Middle, Wendy recounts how her faith was rattled throughout the pregnancy. “I had never had to flesh out this flimsy faith I’d claimed,” Duke writes. “It had no meat, no muscles, no substance. I just kept asking, ‘What kind of God would let this happen?’” Her book reveals exactly what kind of God He is. When little Savannah was born, the Dukes breathed a sigh of relief; they believed the worst had passed. But another battle was rearing its menacing head: cancer. Wendy writes about her anger toward God after this new development, “I turned to look at Scott, and I screamed as loud as I could—choking on every word—‘WHERE…IS…GOD?!’

Grace in the Middle details the physical, emotional, and spiritual struggles Wendy and Scott faced during the pregnancy and the treatments for their daughter Savannah’s cancer. Duke reminds us that God was always there for her even when she might not have felt His presence. She continually emphasizes the importance of having the love and support of family and a church, highlighting the richness in spiritual growth that takes place through such difficult trials. The first few years of Savannah’s life were difficult—there’s no denying that. But, as Duke is attentive to remind, God is stronger and more powerful than any curveballs thrown at a believer. Grace in the Middle even includes a chapter written by Savannah, who is now almost 15 and living a normal, busy, teenage life.

About the Author: Wendy Duke lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. She works with her husband in international sports development, using their backgrounds in coaching and telling their story throughout the world. When she’s not traveling, she is a Bible teacher, speaker, blogger, sports junkie, and middle school chauffeur. Grace in the Middle is Wendy’s first book. She writes on her blog at www.wendyduke.net.

To connect with the author or request a review copy of Grace in the Middle, please contact publicist Alison Storm at media@emeraldhouse.com.

New Children’s Book Champions Creativity and Imagination

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Author edifies childhood creativity to educate and delight readers

For immediate release: Children are some of the most imaginative and creative individuals; their imaginations seem to be limitless. Creative Christopher (Ambassador International; July 2015; $14.99, hardcover) is the story of one boy who exercises his creative muscles when he gets snowbound at his grandparents’ house. In her latest book, author Kate Hanscom emboldens children to tap into their creative potentials while educating them on some of the more creative features of language.

Creative ChristopherCreative Christopher takes readers through Christopher’s day when he is trapped inside without many of his toys. Christopher, along with his Papa and Nana, spend the day imagining themselves in different scenarios by using everyday objects around the house. The trio enjoys exploring and playing in all different parts of the world without ever leaving the warmth and safety of Nana and Papa’s house thanks to Christopher’s imagination.

The book also includes a resource page to help teach children about synonyms, referencing sentences that appear in the story. In addition, Hanscom includes pages to inspire the creative minds of her readers, challenging them to get creative with just a limited supply of everyday materials.

Hanscom is also the author of Literal Lily and Fickle Fiona, two stories that educate young readers on language and decision making, respectively. In her third book, Hanscom draws from her own family and experiences to help foster a creative spirit in children while entertaining them with Christopher’s fun adventures.

About the Author: Kate Hanscom grew up in Utica, New York. A graduate of Stonehill College, she currently lives in Auburn, Massachusetts, with her husband Chris and family.

Since the publication of her first book, Literal Lily, Kate has found such joy and fulfillment in sharing her stories with those who will learn from and be delighted by them most: children! In her third book, Creative Christopher, she hopes to share not only her love of words but also the fun of imagination! She hopes that when readers meet Christopher, they are encouraged to dream, explore, and have a ball with the ideas that pop into their heads!

About the Illustrator: Lynda Hanscom is originally from Long Island, New York. She holds a BFA from St. John’s University and an MAT from the Rhode Island School of Design. As an art teacher, she guided hundreds of budding student artists from kindergarten through high school to be creative through drawing, painting, and sculpting.

In this, her fourth book, Lynda is happy to lend her own son’s face and name to Creative Christopher! Also the illustrator for Tough Tommy (a children’s bereavement book), Literal Lily, and Fickle Fiona, Lynda lives in Northern Connecticut with her loving and supportive husband, Doug.

To connect with the author or request a review copy of Creative Christopher please contact publicist Alison Storm at media@emeraldhouse.com

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Good Samaritan Shot By Mugger Experiences Miraculous Healing

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Near Death Experience Reignites Author’s Faith

For immediate release: Brett Parks heard the cries for help and he responded. But as blood poured out of his abdomen and trickled out of the corners of his mouth, he wondered, was it worth it? In Miracle Man: A Bullet That Ignited a Purpose-Filled Life (Ambassador International; May 2015; $13.99, paperback) Parks inspires and encourages readers through the incredible story of his near death experience.

Miracle Man Before his brush with death, Brett was in the best physical shape of his life, but his spiritual life was weak. Brett admits that he did not always respond to God’s calls for obedience. “I heard him calling to me, but I had something else going on. My Christian life was good, but it could have been better,” writes Brett. “Then, October 17 happened.”

On October 17, 2012, without hesitation, Navy airman and fitness trainer Brett Parks responded to screams for help, chasing down a mugger. The attacker fired a gun from inside his sweatshirt pocket, sending a devastating shot into Brett’s body. The bullet shredded Brett’s kidney, destroyed several inches of his intestines, and pierced the largest vein in his body.

As the medical team worked fervently to save Brett’s life, his wife received the bleak news. Their unborn daughter and young son may not grow up with a father. The medical battle included 14 surgeries in 20 days, an unexpected amputation, and a coma that lasted nearly three weeks. Brett says he also experienced spiritual warfare. Still haunted by the horrible visions of what he describes as a battle between the devil and God for Brett’s soul, he emerged from his coma to begin a long and challenging recovery.

While Brett lost his leg during the experience, he gained a second shot at life. “Through tears of thankfulness, I told the Lord I would go wherever He led me,” remembers Brett. Brett received the governor’s Medal of Merit. He’s won several medals in the Warrior Games and is now preparing to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics Games in Rio, Brazil.

About the Author: Brett Parks is the founder and president of Second Shot Ministry and travels around the nation speaking to schools, businesses, and churches about hope, faith, and how he overcame a 99.999% mortality rate. Because of his heroic actions, Brett was rewarded with the governor’s Medal of Merit, which was presented by Governor Rick Scott. When Brett is not traveling, he loves spending time with beautiful wife Susan and playing with his son Jason and daughter Stella.

To connect with the author or request a review copy of Miracle Man please contact publicist Alison Storm at media@emeraldhouse.com.

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Wickedness of Sexual Abuse in Christian Church Exposed in New Book

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Authors highlight dangers lurking among complacent Christians

For immediate release: On the surface the church is always opposed to abuse, but dig deeper and you will find a long history of minimized crime, protected perpetrators and shunned victims. In Tear Down This Wall of Silence: Dealing with Sexual Abuse in Our Churches (Ambassador International; April 2015; $14.99, paperback) Dale Ingraham and Rebecca Davis attempt to shed light on a difficult and painful topic while pointing Christians in the direction of loving action.

Tear Down this Wall of SilenceTear Down This Wall of Silence shouts at such people to open their eyes, expose the wickedness that works to creep in among Christ’s people, and shine the light of God’s truth on it so brightly that it can no longer hide or even exist in our pews,” writes pastor and author Jeff Crippen.

When it comes to sexual sin, it appears the church has a blind spot. But the statistics of sexual abuse are shocking, and the statistics are no different in the Christian community:

  • Nine out of ten child molesters molest children they already know, according to the Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study of 2001.
  • As many as one in three girls and one in six boys will be raped or molested by age 18.
  • Studies show that 18-20% of young women will be sexually assaulted during college.
  • Statistics show that only 3% of these cases of abuse ever reach a conviction.

Tear Down This Wall of Silence contains stories from many brave survivors, including Ingraham’s wife Faith, who was abused by her father, a Baptist pastor. These sections are italicized in gray to help other survivors avoid any unwanted triggers.

Boz Tchividjian, founder and executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment), says “Dale helps us understand the complicated dynamics of sexual abuse within the Church… He also provides a comprehensive overview of the myriad of reasons why the Church often prefers darkness and secrecy to light and transparency. Perhaps the most powerful punch of this book is that it is written by one who has not simply studied the subject, but whose life has been so dramatically impacted by all he has seen and experienced.”

A common concern of well-meaning Christians is that admitting there is a problem will hurt efforts to lead people to Christ. Whether purposefully or unwittingly, these people are enabling abuse to continue. “It’s the sin that hurts the work of Christ and brings shame to the church— not exposing it,” writes Ingraham. “How can dealing with abuse and holding offenders account­able for their sins possibly hurt the name of Christ?”

About the Authors: Dale Ingraham, a pastor for over thirty years, is also the husband of Faith, a survivor of nine years of incest. Together they founded Speaking Truth in Love Ministries, awakening churches and other ministries to the realities of sexual abuse within our Christian communities and helping them understand how to deal with it.

Rebecca Davis is an author and editor with a passion to help the oppressed. She is on the advisory board of Speaking Truth in Love Ministries.

To connect with the authors please contact publicist Alison Storm at media@emeraldhouse.com.

 

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New Book Uses Loveable Yellow Lab to Teach Water Safety

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Book Includes Discussion Questions, Creative Activities and Safety Tips

For immediate release: Barkley, a friendly yellow lab, escapes from the backyard and sets out on a grand adventure. But when a casual dip in a neighbor’s swimming pool nearly leads to a drowning, Barkley learns a very important lesson. According to the CDC, every day about ten people die from unintentional drowning with children between the ages of 1 and 4 having the highest drowning rates. Barkley’s Great Escape (Ambassador International; March 2015; $14.99, hardcover) offers parents and educators a way to open and expand the important conversation of water safety with young readers.

Barkley's Great EscapeJust like a child might feel, Barkley is enticed by the nice, cool water in his neighbor’s swimming pool. At first he enjoyed splashing in the water, but soon he realized it was deep and he was in trouble. Eventually his barks for help were heard and Barkley was rescued, but author Wanda Wyont wants children to know the dangers of swimming without supervision. “This is such an important lesson for parents to cover and Barkley helps introduce it in a fun, but memorable way,” explains Wyont.

Barkley’s Great Escape also includes free resources including teaching strategies geared towards children between the ages of 4 and 8. Wyont drew from her extensive experience in education to develop discussion questions, creative activities and promote language development. As an animal lover, Wyont also included tips for interacting safely with dogs.

About the Author: Wanda Wyont has worked in the field of education over twenty five years in many diverse backgrounds. Her teaching experiences range from preschool to college age. She holds an MA in Birth-Kindergarten and has presented multiple workshops at national venues. She has written and published numerous articles and papers on children’s issues. As an experienced storyteller, Wanda encourages children to become good readers and writers. This is her second children’s book.

 

For interview requests or to request a review copy of Barkley’s Great Escape please contact publicist Alison Storm via email at media@emeraldhouse.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Solo Hiking Trip Transforms Young Woman’s Life

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Soul-Searching Journey Ends with the Discovery of Peace

For immediate release: From cliff diving in Mexico to gazing at The Last Supper in Milan, Stacie Ourlian traveled to all 50 states and nine countries in search of fulfillment. She got married, earned multiple college degrees, but still felt empty. Her life was missing something. And finally she found it during a solitary trip to Sedona, Arizona. Her new book On the Edge: A Solo Hiker’s Journey (Ambassador International; March 2015; $17.99, hardcover) follows her soul-searching journey and reveals where she ultimately discovered God’s plan for her life.

On the EdgeShe brought one hiking bag, a journal, and the Bible on her trip to Arizona. Traveling alone, Stacie’s goal was to hike in the wilderness in an attempt to discover peace. Stacie says she fell into the trap many of us find ourselves in, buying, reaching, doing, yet never content. “Until we follow our Creator’s plan, I’m convinced we will always live in a life where everything is never enough,” she writes. “When we follow our own plan and ignore God’s, we consciously or subconsciously keep searching for something to fill the void felt.” Stacie says her world would have continued to be filled with confusion, anger, disappointment, sadness and guilt if she hadn’t made God the priority in her life. While readers’ struggles may differ from Stacie’s, she feels there is common ground in all difficulties of life. “To write well, you have to write what you know. I know difficulty. I know struggle. I know fear,” admits Stacie. “While our situations are not the same, the solution is the same.”

On the Edge also includes many of the author’s own photos, taken during her numerous solo hiking trips. She believes hiking provides an intimate setting to encounter God. It was on a quiet trail that she made the connection between life and hiking. “You cannot progress on a trail without stepping forward. You control your own actions, and you can only progress by choosing to put one foot in front of the other.” She writes, “You decide whether you will follow God’s plan or your own.”

About the Author: Stacie J Ourlian is originally from Monroe, Michigan and attended Eastern Michigan University where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Administration K-12. Stacie is also an avid traveler and hiker and has been to all 50 states, but her favorite place is still Sedona, Arizona.

To learn more about the author visit http://www.stacieourlian.com. To receive a review copy of On the Edge or to connect with the author please contact publicist Alison Storm by email at media@emeraldhouse.com.

 

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Children’s Book Fights Against Growing Oral Health Crisis

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Book’s Release Coincides with Children’s Dental Health Month

For immediate release: Tooth decay is the most common and most preventable disease in children, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. February is Children’s Dental Health Month. In an effort to promote children’s oral health routines within international households and families, authors Ashley Grisham and Gary Kersey Jr. announce the release of their children’s book Everyone Smiles (Ambassador International; February 2015; $14.99, hardcover).

Using beautiful9781620205105 photography of children from a diverse range of backgrounds and cool- catchy-rhymes, Everyone Smiles is a fun, interactive and educational book. An avid volunteer with organizations providing free dental services to impoverished families, Gary says he has seen firsthand the importance of educating children about the necessity of brushing and flossing. “It can be a frustrating task for parents,” admits Gary, “but we hope this book will be a tool that can make these critical lessons easy for kids to learn.”

One in seven children between the ages of 6-19 has an untreated dental cavity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For children of poverty the statistics are even worse with one in four between the ages of 3-5 and 6-9 having an untreated cavity, according to the CDC. Here are some other interesting dental care statistics:

  • Americans spent $106 billion on dental care in 2010, according to Pew Center study.
  • 108 million children and adults lack dental insurance, according to a Surgeon General’s report.
  • Only 48% of children entering kindergarten have seen a dentist within the past year, says the CDC.
  • Tooth decay is five times more common than asthma.

Everyone Smiles features children from diverse backgrounds, which was key for Ashley, the daughter of a dentist and dental hygienist. “A smile can break through so many cultural and language barriers,” says Ashley. “Being confident of your smile can lead to confidence in other areas of life.” The co-authors’ platform, the Kersey Kids Club, focuses on supporting health educational resources for young children and families and the power of a  smile.

About the Authors: Born and raised in North Carolina, Gary Kersey earned his undergraduate degree with honors from Morehouse College. He continued his education by working towards a Masters degree in Physiology & Biophysics from Georgetown University. Gary is an aspiring dental professional hoping to combine his background in the sciences and modern languages to elevate dental care in underserved areas.

Ashley Grisham, a native of San Diego, CA, grew up as the daughter of both a U.S. Navy Captain dentist and a dental hygienist. A graduate of Spelman College, Grisham earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and holds a minor in Chinese language. Ashley is currently finishing her last year at Georgetown law school and upon graduation will join the law firm of Paul Hastings LLP.

For interview requests or to request a review copy of Everyone Smiles please contact publicist Alison Storm via email at media@emeraldhouse.com.