Posts Tagged ‘news release’

Can Distance Really Make a Marriage Stronger?

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Military wife shares secrets for thriving through separation

For immediate release: Plenty of couples share everything but a zip code. Fifteen million people in the US currently claim to be in a long distance relationship and a huge percentage of these fail. And for military families facing unimaginable stress, the statistics don’t look any better. According to data of active duty military, divorce rates are on the rise in every branch of the military. Divorce rates among those enlisted in the Army have nearly doubled since 2000. In Finding Joy: The Year Apart that Made Me a Better Wife, (Ambassador International; October 2015; $10.99, paperback) author Hope N. Griffin uses personal experience, real-world examples and Scripture to explore the possibility of a stronger, more fulfilling marriage.

9781620205372Griffin’s husband received his orders. He’d be spending the next year in Iraq, leaving his wife and three children, ages 5, 3 and 1, behind in Texas. Griffin not only includes a candid recount of her own marriage struggles in Finding Joy, but she offers tips to help those in long distance relationships survive and thrive. “Despite the world around us, despite the fact that our soldiers leave on multiple deployments, despite the fact that we struggle with loneliness, depression, a lack of control, and soldiers who return to us many times broken (whether in spirit or physically), despite all of this, we can live full, happy lives,” she writes. “By doing so we will change the world around us, and we will bring joy to our children and friends and strength to our soldier while away and upon their return.”

Finding Joy draws wisdom from the book of Esther, Scripture that helped Griffin in her own life. Esther was an ordinary person who did what was necessary when it mattered most, explains Griffin. Esther sacrificed her own well-being and was subsequently used by God in a mighty way because of it. “We can view deployment as a bar­rier to our dreams, a division in our marriages, and we can succumb to feelings of being trapped and isolated. It does not have to be that way,” writes Griffin. “Instead, we can find a way to praise God for deployments. We can thank Him for the time we are given to focus more on Him, for the reminder of how precious our spouses are, and the strength God has given us to wait.”

About the Author: As Fort Bliss Military Spouse of the Year 2015, Hope N. Griffin writes about her experience as a military spouse. Hope has an MABS from Dallas Theological Seminary. She writes for various online magazines and blogs, both fiction and nonfiction. Currently, Hope serves as the Director of Family Ministries at First Presbyterian in El Paso, TX. Her free time is spent loving on her children, volunteering, and drinking coffee on the back porch with her soldier.

 

Powerful Novel Aims to Bring Attention to “Bullycide”

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Author’s Real-Life Experience woven Through Caged Dove

For immediate release: Caged Dove was not written without tears, says author Andrea Rodgers. Although the idea for the story has been floating in her mind for two decades, Rodgers says it took time to gather the courage to revisit those painful memories from her past. “Bullying and suicidal thoughts were something I once dealt with and overcame,” she explains. “But I believe it’s also our duty to stand up for those who are currently going through similar situations.” Caged Dove (Ambassador International; October 2015; $13.99, paperback) follows the story of journalist Aniston Kline assigned to cover a tragic story that echoes her own past.

9781620205419While bullycide is a prominent theme in the novel, Rodgers continues her trademark style of writing about dark topics without being too dark, a skill seen with her first novel The 20th Christmas. Much of Caged Dove is a light-hearted love story. “If you ever had a high school crush than you can relate to the giddy and silly memories of the main characters,” says Rodgers. “School crushes were a bright light for me. I kept one high school journal so it was fun to read to get back into that mind-frame!”

Caged Dove begins with Psalm 55:6, “I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.'” The verse fits the novel’s plot perfectly says Rodgers, whose faith was significantly strengthened during her own bullying experience. “It really helped to have the perspective that Jesus was bullied and therefore knew exactly what it was like and was on my side. Looking at what he’d endured, I had motivation to rise above my own situation,” says Andrea who spent a year as an atheist. “But once I realized he was with me every single minute at school—I wasn’t on my own, he was watching everything and would help me through it—life got amazingly better. I wore cross necklaces to school and, when the kids were mean, I’d hold on to the cross and feel Jesus standing beside me. He was not only my friend, but gave me the most strength I’d ever had.”

About the Author: Andrea Rodgers is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She worked in the television and radio industry prior to being a stay at home mom, but her life-long dream was to be an author. A few months after her oldest child started kindergarten, she wrote her first published novel, The 20th Christmas. Her second book, Caged Dove, follows one year later. Andrea lives near Des Moines with her husband, son, and daughter.

To receive a review copy of Caged Dove or to connect with the author please contact publicist Alison Storm by email at media@emeraldhouse.com.

 

Book Tells Story of Jesus Through New Perspective

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The Story is Told Through the Eyes of Children

For immediate release: Taking readers back to the ancient city of Galilee Jesus and the Children of Galilee (Ambassador International; May 2015; $9.99, paperback) offers the story of Jesus’ journey through a new perspective. Through the innocent eyes of children, we see Jesus’ works of miracles, but we also see his trials and hardships.

9781620205280As the stranger spreads His wisdom in the town of Galilee, His growing followers soon included Benjamin and Joel, two young boys he meets on the shores of Galilee. They witness the miraculous events that He performs. The man is a healer, and claims to be the Son of God. Benjamin believes this kind rabbi is the city’s new hero, the one they’ve been waiting for, but Joel isn’t so sure. When tragedy strikes, Joel soon learns a valuable lesson that will change his life – and the course of history.

Author Belinda Kramer says it was her own family that inspired this book. “Two years ago while celebrating Easter I watched as my young nephews Wesley and Alexander threw a fishing net off a dock,” recalls Kramer. “Thinking about Jesus’ ministry in Galilee I began to think about the children who must have followed him. We know they did because scripture makes reference to the disciples trying to shoo them away. As we all know Jesus said, “Let them come unto me. Of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

In Jesus and the Children of Galilee readers will gain a new perspective of Jesus through the eyes of children. “Were children important to Jesus? Absolutely. Here was a group that adored him, did not condemn him and would ultimately grow up to lead and tell the story of Jesus from their own personal encounters with Him,” explains Belinda. “Although the characters are fictional the events woven throughout the story are true. This book educates readers about Jesus on a personal but historically accurate level.”

 

About the Author: Belinda Kramer is a graduate of the University of Florida. She is an educator, journalist, author, and speaker. She is also the mother of a daughter, Lauren, and son, Nathan. She resides in Brandon, Florida with her husband Jack.

To connect with the author or request a review copy of Jesus and the Children of Galilee 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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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Eight Mothers Connected By One Doctor Share Their Stories of Life After Loss

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Surgeon and author Dr. Hisashi Nikaidoh searches for comfort after son’s tragic death

Healing HeartsFor immediate release: Pediatric heart surgeon, Dr. Hisashi Nikaidoh, makes a living performing life-saving surgeries on hearts the size of walnuts. In more than four decades he’s operated on thousands of them, and while many times the surgeries are successful, often patients pass away. In Healing Hearts: A leading pediatric heart surgeon learns about the journey from grief to life from these inspiring mothers of his lost patients (Ambassador International; May 2013; $14.99, paperback) Dr. Nikaidoh explains how it wasn’t until his own son Hitoshi was killed suddenly that he finally understood the magnitude of suffering that accompanies the loss of a child.

After his son’s death, Dr. Nikaidoh sought comfort from the very parents he had once tried to comfort. “What I eventually learned from these eight women who have so generously shared their stories for Healing Hearts is that it is possible to move beyond the excruciating pain of losing a child,” he says. The eight inspiring mothers have each contributed to the medical field– many even working in the exact hospital where their sweet babies took their final breaths, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. “At least for these eight parents, it is possible to infuse their own lives with a deeper meaning by giving back to the very community that tried valiantly, though unsuccessfully, to save the lives of their precious children,” says Nikaidoh.

The eight mothers, who all share a special connection with Dr. Nikaidoh, are courageously and honestly opening up in the pages of Healing Hearts about the experience of losing a child. “God certainly blessed [Dr. Nikaidoh] with wonderful talents to allow him to surgically mend those tiny hearts. But He gave him an even greater gift to comfort the parents of those whose little hearts were not meant to be mended,” says mother and contributor Liz Etzkorn. Former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who also lost a son, wrote the foreword for Healing Hearts.

Dr. Nikaidoh is the descendent of a long line of Buddhist priests, but became a Christian in his 40s. His faith completely changed the way he practiced medicine. “I no longer looked at life and death as being all about me—what I did, what I should have done, what I should not have done,” he writes. “My newfound faith and understanding of God’s hand in our lives had brought me to a place of greater freedom. Now that I was no longer feeling the burden and judgment of perfection, I felt a greater sense of freedom to be the best physician and surgeon I could possibly be and to more fully enjoy my work.”

Dr. Hisashi Nikaidoh, Director of Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis in Tulsa, OK, earned his medical degree from The University of Tokyo in 1959 and trained at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City; Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago; and Case Western Reserve University Hospital, Cleveland. Dr. Nikaidoh is internationally known for the innovative surgical procedure that carries his name and his lifelong dedication to the care of children, for which he received the Children’s Miracle Achievement Award in 2011. In addition, Dr. Nikaidoh has been a long-time teacher of the Gospel and served on multiple missions, domestic and abroad.

To learn more about Dr. Nikaidoh or the eight contributing mothers visit TheHealingHeartsBook.com, or Facebook.com/TheHealingHeartsBook. To receive a review copy of Healing Hearts or to connect with the author please contact publicist Alison Storm by email at media@emeraldhouse.com.

New Guidebook Equips Disaster Responders

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Chaplains of the BibleAuthors Hope to Prepare Chaplains and Volunteers for Crises

For immediate release: Record-breaking hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, mass shootings and more are becoming the new normal for our world. As an unprecedented number of people experience physical, spiritual and economic disaster, faith-based organizations are equipping an ever-growing army of chaplains and volunteers to meet the expansive needs of hurting people. Chaplains of the Bible: Inspiration for Those Who Help Others in Crisis (Ambassador International; May 2012; $12.99, paperback) is a new guidebook for those who want to be better prepared to serve the distressed.

Chaplains of the Bible teaches lessons in serving the hurting through leaders and prophets in the Bible including Moses, Nehemia, Elisha, Elijah and, of course, Jesus. “We may not think of these men as chaplains,” says author Richard Geyer, “but their experiences serving people in distress offer much in the way of biblical wisdom to guide us.” Chaplains of the Bible also includes a free bible study guide which makes it a great resource for churches and organizations working to prepare and equip chaplains and volunteers.

From Hurricane Katrina to the earthquake in Haiti, husband and wife authors Richard and Patricia Geyer have responded to dozens of disasters. But the Geyers know we don’t have to live in a hurricane zone or floodplain to encounter personal tragedies. “A friend who lost their job, a next door neighbor whose teen commits suicide or a loved-one diagnosed with cancer all need to experience the love of Christ,” says Patricia. “I believe Chaplains of the Bible can help prepare Christians to serve others in their hour of greatest need, wherever and whenever that may be.”

Patricia and Richard Geyer are senior chaplains ordained by the International Fellowship of Chaplains (IFOC). Patricia is also certified by the IFOC as a trainer and has received the Certificate of Specialized Training in Spiritual Care in Crisis Intervention and the Certificate of Specialized Training in Emergency Services from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF). Richard devotes his chaplain services to veterans. Dick and Pat have four children, seven grandchildren and three rescued cats.  They live on sixteen tranquil acres in Maryland.

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