Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

To Love a Child…: A Letter from Our Publisher

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As families come together to celebrate Thanksgiving, one tradition is to go around the table and list the things which you are thankful for. Many give the expected response of friends, their home, food, etc. But what we may not realize is that while we are thankful for these things, November also recognizes children without homes, without families, and some without friends. November is Orphan Awareness Month. There are many children around the world who will not have the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a meal with a family this holiday season.
Mary Sandford explores life for children in an orphanage in her book titled Unwanted. Mary follows the life of Debbie Spencer. She is like most children her age, she has friends who she cares about, she loves to play and laugh with them, and she has no fear praying to her Heavenly Father. However, unlike most children, she lives in an orphanage…even though she is not technically an orphan. Mary Sandford shows how Debbie, and many of the other children in the orphanage, felt not having a family there with them to comfort and love them.

*****

       “I didn’t know what made me more embarrassed, wanting Daddy or being scared over a silly commercial in the first place. After I was back in the dormitory, thinking about the awful music kept me awake for hours every night. That’s when longing for Daddy was the worst. He should have been alive to protect me from scary commercials and bad dreams.”
“For weeks I’d cried myself to sleep. I’d hoped and prayed and waited. My mother never came to see me. Not once. Not even when I had the mumps. After that, I had stopped thinking of her. I’d made myself stop, and now, I never did and didn’t want to start.
Patricia [one of the members of staff at the orphanage] led me into the office and closed the door behind me. My mother stood next to Miss Ritz and her desk.
“Thisss isss my daww-ter.” My mother’s voice was loud but might not be heard over the singing. She wrapped her arms around me and clung to me like she needed me, if only to stay upright. I wanted to step aside and watch her fall. I wanted to pay her back for all the times I’d longed to be needed and wanted but never was.
I pulled away from her arms.
She gave me a bleary-eyed gaze squinting like she couldn’t see clearly. “Ssstill looksss jusss like her Daddy.”
Miss Ritz went around the desk to her chair as if my mother wasn’t there bent over and crying into her lap.”

*****

       “Concentrating on the chairs worked only for a moment. Everything that happened before I came to the home bombarded my thoughts.
I remembered waking up to find a cake on the table with “Happy Birthday, Debbie, 12 years old,” written in blue letters across the smooth white frosting. I’d swiped a taste off of the side and ran into Gram’s room to thank her. But Gram wasn’t there. Before I could figure out why, Uncle Lloyd came bursting in.
“What are you doing in here?” he’d asked. “My mother is gone. Her heart gave out, and it’s all Carol’s fault.” He grabbed my arm and added, “And yours.” Then he shoved me out of the room and slammed the door.
Ever since Uncle Lloyd came home from the war and he’d had to sleep on the orange velveteen davenport, he’d been mad. Mad at Gram for letting us move in when Daddy went back to Korea. Mad like he wanted Gram all to himself to take care of him and his wounded hip without my mother and me there, too.
My mother never even tried because, ever since Daddy left for Korea, all my mother did was lay on Uncle Lloyd’s davenport all day with the brown and yellow afghan spread over her. Until the day after my ninth birthday when she got the telegram.
She had started to read it out loud. “We regret to inform you…” but she stopped, and no one ever told me what else it said. No one told me why my mother ran out of the house without a coat or even shoes. No one told me where she’d been before Uncle Lloyd found her. I heard him tell Gram he’d taken her to the hospital, but I didn’t know why until Gram had tucked me into bed with tears in her eyes.”
Just before all of the chaos with her mother coming to visit her in the orphanage, Debbie’s heart was lightened by some much-needed good news.
“An outing. Folks who cared for orphans were coming to take us out? Folks who liked children and maybe wanted a child. My chest swelled up with hope. Was God answering my prayers for a new family?
No matter what I knew, telling Sharon and Noreen wasn’t a good idea at all. I wasn’t telling anyone. It was supposed to be a secret. A secret that could make my biggest wish come true. I was just sure of it.
Gram would have been proud of me thinking of someone else’s feelings like she’s always told me, a sure sign I was starting to put others first or at least for a quick second.”

*****           Mary E. Sandford

It is important to recognize the children who spend holidays in an orphanage or alone, and if we are able, to show them the love they need and deserve as shown in Mary Sandford’s book, Unwanted.
We also want to thank and show gratitude to those who have opened their doors to children and embraced them as their own with loving and outstretched arms. Thank you for sacrificing your time and energy in order to invest in a life. Thank you for being Jesus to these little ones and saying, “let them come unto me, and do not hinder them” (Matthew 19:14).

To learn more about Sandford and Unwanted, visit HERE.

Our Top Picks for a Chilling Read!

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Do you enjoy books that bring chills to your spine and keep you from falling asleep at night? Look no further, Ambassador International’s staff picked our top three titles to do just that for you!

Staff Pick

1. Clear Confusion by Kathy Howard

What am I going to do, God? Who am I?

Charlotte Hallaway needs to come to terms with her father’s death. He had been her only family, and she wasn’t handling her grief well. It was just supposed to be a few weeks of peace and quiet to process it all, but then she saw them-a drug deal and a murder within seconds of each other.

And they saw her.

Now running for her life, Charlotte boards a bus to escape her pursuers and wakes up the next morning in the woods of Jennings, Georgia, without a memory of how she got there or of who she is. All she knows is an underlying fear she can’t seem to shake.

When two hunters find her battered and scared, can she put aside the clear confusion she’s experiencing to trust them? She wants to trust them, especially Nicholas, but fear is holding her back. Trust is incredibly hard when one is so clearly confused. Could it be he and his friend are not who they claim to be?

Who are they really . . . and who is she?

         christianbook.com

2. Fate of the Redeemed by Chad Pettit

An angel with amnesia. A demon with a vendetta. The man caught in their crossfire.

Lester Sharp has been given a second chance to live a life of compassion, but his decision to follow God will be tested when his estranged father calls to tell him his brother has been killed in combat. A demon unleashes a series of attacks on him, and someone he thought was lost to his past emerges.

Lester is guarded by the angel, Draven, but when Morane catches the watcher off his guard, Draven loses his memory and finds himself being held prisoner in a remote Somali village. His only ally is Ibrahim, a man who finds out his son has been murdered by extremists when his granddaughter appears out of nowhere and somehow possesses supernatural powers.

As Morane’s fury is unleashed, time is running out for Lester, and Draven’s fate is in the hands of a man whose faith is being pushed to the limit.

While Lester fights for his life—and for his soul—will he make the right choices, or will he decide—once and for all—that he doesn’t need God? And why is one man so important in the midst of spiritual warfare?

         christianbook.com

3. Hope by Josephine Walker

After two and a half years of deep depression, anger at God, and guilt over the death of her husband and twin girls, all bestselling romance writer Jessica Lynn Morgan wants is to buy a house, get back to writing, and live out her life alone in peace. And the little town of Hope, Wyoming, seems to offer the peace she needs. Or does it?

Unfortunately, her dream house is rumored to be haunted. Not one to believe in ghosts, she fights for any logical explanation for the things happening that seem to warn her off.

Once she moves in, the threat against her life becomes real. Clearly, someone or something wants her out. Now. And her stubbornness could cost Jessica her life.

          christianbook.com

Have a chilling read!

Five Things: Andrew Stone

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Learn more about your favorite Ambassador authors with our “Five Things” series. Author Andrew Stone wrote Son of the Father, a creative storytelling of Barabbas, the man released in the hours leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. Here are Andrew’s Five Things:

Son of the FatherI think there must be a gene passed on within my family that encourages many of us to tell other people about Jesus. My grandfather sold Bibles door-to-door before becoming an ordained  church minister; my dad gave up a lucrative career in insurance so that he could successfully train for the ministry; my sister is an ordained minister as are both my wife and I. Meanwhile two of our children are leaders at the churches they attend.

When I was at school the only job I wanted to do was to work on a radio station. I did that for five years and during that time I asked what I believe must rate as the longest, most long-winded, verbose question ever broadcast. What the listeners wouldn’t have realised was that my interviewee was an elderly man whose dentures fell out live on air. My long question was to give him time to pick them up, dust them off and pop them back in again.

Nearly all of the significant things that have happened in my life have happened because my parents brought me up to be a Christian. For example, my first job on the radio was on the Christian Sunday morning breakfast show, the two magazines I have edited have both been Christian publications and, of course, the first book I’ve had published is a Christian novel. Most importantly of all, I met my wife, Alison, after I was invited to an event at her church.Son of the Father

Alison and I waited 25 years to go on honeymoon. When we first got married we couldn’t afford to go away and by the time we could afford to have holidays we had three children! But after 25 years of marriage the boys were all old enough to leave behind and so Alison and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary and had our honeymoon at exactly the same time on one of the Canary Islands.

Apart from the importance of faith and family, the other significant issue my family have passed on to me is football (as an Englishman that would be soccer, not American). While one of my sons works for a London Premier League football club, it is the love of our home-town football team, Brighton and Hove Albion, that has been ingrained within the DNA of many generations of the Stone family. We all follow the Seagulls, as the side is affectionately known, although if we’ve just lost our last match it’s probably not the best time to call round for coffee!

Learn more about Son of the Father by visiting HERE and Andrew by visiting www.facebook.com/author.andrewstone.

99¢ SALE: SUMMER READS GRAB BAG

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In celebration of summer we’re offering these exciting fiction selections for just 99¢!  Get your Kindle ready for summer reading by taking advantage of this limited time offer. Now through June 7th we’re offering the following titles for just 99¢ each. Check out these fiction titles that are sure to entertain and encourage:

Hope

by Josephine Walker

 HOPE

 

The Color of My Heart

by Sarah Martin Byrd

ColorofmyHeart

 

No Turning Back

by Joanne Wilson Meusburger

NoTurningBack

 

A Little Irish Love Story

by Amy Fleming

ALittleIrishLoveStory

 

Cleared for Planting

by Janice Cole Hopkins

ClearedForPlanting

 

From Dishes to Snow

by Kathy M. Howard

fromDishestoSnow

 

A Memory Worth Dying For

by Joanie Bruce

AMemoryWorthDyingfor

 

Alana Candler, Marked for Murder

by Joanie Bruce

AlandaCandler

 

A Star to Steer By

by AnnaLee Conti

AStartoSteerBy

 

The 20th Christmas

by Andrea Rodgers

the20thChristmas

 

The River Keeper

by Sarah Martin Byrd

TheRiverKeeper

 

Till the Storm Passes By

by AnnaLee Conti

TiltheStormPassesBy

 

To Comfort a King

by Debbie Gilliland

ToComfortaKing

 

Patch Town: A Letter from Miss Wingate

by Robert Parlante

PatchTown

99¢ SALE: One Day Only!

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For 24 hours we’re offering a new fiction title for just 99¢! Pick up Janice Cole Hopkins’ book Cleared for Planting for less than a buck for the Kindle during our one-day sale event. After Thursday the price will go up to $2.99 through the weekend and then it will return to regular price. So don’t wait– pick up this book right now for just 99¢ on Kindle.

ClearedForPlantingSynopsis: Living in the Appalachian Mountains in 1804 takes a strong person, and the unexpected can be lurking just around the corner.     Emma has high hopes when her family moves to the North Carolina mountains. Her father appears to have finally quit drinking, and he plans to settle their family once and for all near the Linville River. Here Emma meets Edgar Moretz, an intelligent, passionate, and godly young man. Things are looking up for her, but when she is captured by a Cherokee raiding party, Emma’s problems have just begun.      Years later, Clifton has finally finished his medical training and plans to spend some time at his family’s mountain farm until he can decide his next step. He also hopes God will send him a special woman to become his wife. But when she arrives unexpectedly, he finds that the road to happiness is not always smooth. BUY NOW

Black Friday Sale: 12 Books Just $.99 Each!

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This Black Friday Ambassador International is slashing the price on 12 of our most popular fiction titles! It’s our biggest Black Friday sale ever! All of these books are just $.99 each:

A Little Irish blackfriday_1Love Story BUY NOW!

Alana Candler: Marked for Murder BUY NOW!

A Memory Worth Dying For BUY NOW!

The Color of My Heart BUY NOW!

Till the Storm Passes By BUY NOW!

A Star to Steer By BUY NOW!

To Comfort a King BUY NOW!

The 20th Christmas BUY NOW!

From Dishes To Snow BUY NOW!

Shamblackfriday_2rocks of Stone BUY NOW!

Just One Touch BUY NOW!

Patch Town: A Letter from Miss Wingate BUY NOW!

 

Facebook Giveaway: Win a Copy of The Red Stones!

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9781620202265With all of the giving that’s been going on we’d like to give something away too! How does a free book to curl up with sound? We are wrapping up December by giving away a free copy of The Red Stones by Anna McCarthy. Make your way to Facebook for more details!

What if you had to lose everything to discover your purpose? Jehan’s world is completely turned upside down when he discovers his beloved home, the city of Mantessi, has vanished. Struggling to survive on his own, he finds shelter and work in a neighboring village as he wrestles with the magnitude of his loss. Desperate to find answers, he sets out to uncover the truth behind the loss of Mantessi and his family. Enter the contest for the chance to read more!

National Autism Awareness Month: An Interview with Author D’Ann Renner

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Dancing From the ShadowsIn celebration of National Autism Awareness Month, Ambassador International spotlights author D’Ann Renner and her book Dancing From the Shadows that discusses her firsthand experience with having her child diagnosed with autism. During National Autism Awareness Month, D’Ann’s book is available on Amazon.com or ChristianBook.com for only $3.99 for your eReader. In the United States alone, an estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism according to austismspeaks.org. Renner provides inspiration for parents everywhere who experience similar difficulties and pleasures of having a child with autism.

Ambassador: What were the main signs from your child that ultimately lead to the autism diagnosis?

D’Ann Renner: He didn’t play with toys typically- he’d spin the wheels of a toy truck without doing anything else. He would spend hours spinning a mixing bowl or watching a ceiling fan. He didn’t make much eye contact, was speech-delayed, and didn’t seem to feel pain.

Ambassador: How did you find peace with God after the autism diagnosis?

D’Ann Renner: I was angry and depressed at first, because I knew God could heal him, but wasn’t choosing to do so. I wondered how I had so displeased God that He would choose to punish my son. That’s just plain bad theology! Eventually, I came to the place that I could trust that God loved my son more than I did, and had a good plan for his life. Autism is not a punishment. It’s a challenge, but it’s also a gift. We all have challenges that God can turn into gifts if we allow Him.

Ambassador: Do you still struggle with finding peace? How do you deal with those moments?

D’Ann Renner: Yes, especially at transition times- like entering high school, or when other kids are getting their learner’s permits. At those times, I see a Grand Canyon sized gap D'Ann Rennerbetween reality and what my expectations were. I deal with it by reminding myself: God is Sovereign, God is good. Only He knows how beautifully our lives are being woven into the tapestry of eternity.

Ambassador: After immersing yourself into the special needs world for autism, what information do you wish was more widely known?

D’Ann Renner: Children with autism DO want to have social relationships. They DO have senses of humor. One just has to work harder to discover how to interact with them, and it takes time and patience.  And- kids with autism, even if they are non-verbal, understand a lot more of what is being said and what is happening, and they can be badly hurt by it.

Ambassador: What similarities do you share with the main character in Dancing From the Shadows?

D’Ann Renner: I did have a successful career in marketing, although not nearly as brilliant as Tori’s. We did adopt children from Bulgaria, and I’ve experienced many of the incidents she does in the book, although I fictionalized them and merged them with the experiences of others. THERE IS NO SIMILARITY BETWEEN MY HUSBAND BRUCE AND TORI’S HUSBAND PHILLIP!  Bruce is a wonderful, supportive husband, but that’s not true for many parents with special needs children. The character Phillip was based on the ex-spouses (male and female) of many friends and acquaintances.

Ambassador: Do you have any advice for parents who recently received the autism diagnosis?

D’Ann Renner: I’m going to go against the norm here, so understand this is just my feeling. It’s more important, in my opinion, to concentrate on expanding the child’s ability to think flexibly and communicate than it is to teach rote skills. I feel we concentrated so much in the early years on getting Luke to speak that I neglected working on his desire to communicate, and expanding his ability to think in a flexible way.  If I had it to do over again, I’d embrace more therapies like Floor Time, Relational Development Intervention, Neurodevelopment and programs like the SonRise protocol, rather than ABA. But that is just my opinion and many wonderful parents disagree with me.

Through the month of April, National Autism Awareness Month, pick up a copy of Dancing From the Shadows for your eReader for only $3.99! Shop now at Amazon.com or ChristianBook.com.