Wednesday, October 31, 2012

No Tricks, Just Treats from these Awesome Bloggers

October has been very busy for me with the release of SHELTERED. I've been listing the wonderful book bloggers and reviewers who have helped me spread the word.
Here's the fourth list - the latest bunch. They have wonderful blogs, please check them out.

Daniela at  YA Book Season (great review of Sheltered - she even wrote a better synopsis than I did)
Ashley at  Book Labyrinth
Stacy at  Book Broads
Amelia at  The Authoress
Cindy at  Author Cindy Bennett
Kayla at  Bibliophilia
Gretchen at   My Life is a Notebook
Megan at  Reading Away the Days
Becky at  Book Bite Reviews
Heather at It's All About Me
Mandy at The Reading Diaries
The Mysterious Gal at  What's Beyond Forks
Mary Grace at  The Solitary Bookworm

P.S. I'll be posting the winner of the Spooktacular Hop when I get back in town tomorrow night.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Today's Additions to the "Wonderful Book Blogger List"

These wonderful book bloggers have helped me this past week spread the news of SHELTERED's release. Please stop by their blogs and help me thank them with a like or tweet or share. Some are hosting giveaways, too, so be sure to enter.

Amy at Kissed by Ink
J.A. Beard at J.A. Beard's Unnecessary Musings
Hannah at Book Haven Extraordinaire
Marcie at 2readornot2read
Michelle at Michele's Paranormal Vault of Books
Aimee at Getting Your Read On (She's having an ebook giveaway until Halloween)
Leanna at Daisy Chain Book Review
Lisa at Lost in Literature (She's having a giveaway of one paperback and one ebook until 31st)
Laurie at Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews (She's having an ebook giveaway now until Nov. 10)
Emily at Mrs. Mommy Booknerd's Book Reviews 

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Simple Verse

In Mark 10: 15 Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

So how should we receive the kingdom of God? With unquestioning faith and belief just like a little child. Children are totally dependent on adults. Adults, on the other hand, are self-reliant. But to receive the kingdom of God we need to be totally dependent on God. Totally dependent and totally trusting, like children. It’s a beautiful picture and easy to understand.

According to a Gallup survey 95% of people who became Christians did so before the age of 25. At age 25, one in 10,000 will become a believer. At 35 it’s one in 50,000 and the trend continues until at age 75 the odds are just one in 700,000.

Parents, get your precious little ones to Sunday School.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Divorce in the 1st Century, part 2

The Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce with the malicious intent of tripping him up. After all, John the Baptist had spoken out against Herod Antipas’ marriage/divorce situation (he had married his brother’s wife who was also his niece) and John was thrown in prison and eventually beheaded at Herod’s command. I’m sure the Pharisees were hoping for a similar fate for Jesus.

Jesus parries their question and thrusts the truth at them with crushing finality. The Pharisees’ views are unscriptural and Jesus very quickly sets the record straight on marriage and divorce: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Wow, Jesus went clear back to the beginning to give an understanding of God’s will. Also quite clear in his explanation is the fact that God made one man and one woman to be united in this union. The two becoming one flesh is beautifully fulfilled in procreation as a sperm and an egg become one flesh.

But divorce happens and Jesus’ disciples wanted to know more (Mark 10: 10 – 12) and Jesus says: “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

How does God feel about divorce? In Malachi (the last book in the Old Testament) 2:16 it states: “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel.

So . . . um, I’m divorced and remarried, does God hate me? Nope, God loves me, so much, in fact, that He sent His son to die for every one of my sins. I am forgiven. Thank you, Jesus.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Additions to the "Wonderful Book Blogger" List

Here are more of the fabulous book bloggers who are helping me get the word out about Sheltered. Please check them out and leave a comment, tweet, or share to help me thank them.

Shanise  at Camisadomind
Patricia at It's Time to Read Mamaw   and It's About Time Mamaw
Stephanie at Reviewing What I'm Reading
Lisa at Paranormal Urban Fantasies Reviews  (She's hosting a giveaway of 2 ebooks of Sheltered, enter before Oct. 17)
Jesse at Pretty in Fiction
Sandy at Magical Manuscripts (She posted a thorough review of Sheltered, too)
Sharon at My Views on Review
Leigh Ann at  Flying On Silver Wings
Sarah Elizabeth at Sarah Elizabeth's Bookshelf (She's hosting a giveaway of 1 ecopy of Sheltered, enter by Oct. 31)

Thanks YA book bloggers!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Divorce in the 1st Century, part 1

That’s right, I said 1st century instead of 21st. You think we have high divorce rates? I discovered that some historians believe that Roman men averaged 15 to 20 wives in a lifetime (attrition through dying in childbirth and divorce for any reason).  Divorce rates were not that high for Jewish people at that time, but divorce was a serious problem.

In Mark 10 some Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a question they hoped he would not be able to answer without offending half of the crowd: “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

There were two famous rabbis at that time, 2000 years ago, who held widely separate views on divorce. Rabbi Shammai taught that divorce was only lawful in the case of adultery. That makes sense because the Torah gave absolutely no circumstance for divorce and the penalty for adultery was stoning to death. By Jesus’ time stoning had been outlawed so divorce seemed a plausible replacement.

Rabbi Hillel, on the other hand, held a belief similar to our “no fault” divorce laws in this century. He taught that a man could divorce his wife for any reason: if she burned supper, if she looked at another man, if she was rude to his mother, if she was barren, if he displeased her in any way. You can imagine that this was a popular view. But was it scriptural? Not exactly. It was based on Deuteronomy 24: 1 -4a which states: “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled.”

So the Pharisees ask Jesus if it is lawful to divorce. A simple yes or no will do, right? But Jesus answers with a question: “What did Moses command you?”

And their argument and their question just melt away with their own words in response: “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

Moses permitted . . . You see the problem already existed and men were casting away wives left and right. Jesus explains: “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote this law.” And that law is the part of Deuteronomy 24:4 above that says she can’t go back to a previous husband.

Jesus says more on the subject and I’ll address it in a future post.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Today is Brought to You by the Letter Dalet

Dalet is the fourth Hebrew letter and it means door.  It kind of looks like a doorway, perhaps into a tent. It represents the two universal doors by which we all enter and exit this world, birth and death.  In the alphabetic verses in the Bible some dalet words (among others) are derech (way), dam (blood) and damam (rest). Think about those: way – blood – rest.

Let’s look at Psalm 119. It is the longest psalm as well as the longest chapter in the Bible. It is referred to in Hebrew by its opening words, "Ashrei temimei derech" ("happy are those whose way is perfect"). It is the prayer of one who delights in and lives by the Torah, the sacred law. There are 176 verses, 8 verses for each of the 22 Hebrew letters. The first 8 verses each start with the Hebrew letter Aleph ,the next 8 with Bet and so on through the alphabet (alephbet). We have lost the amazing beauty of the psalm in translation. However, one thing is very obvious: there is a repetition of the following words throughout all of the verses: law, statutes, ways, precepts, decrees, commands, and word.

For example in the fourth stanza there are several words that start with Dalet, the fourth letter, among them the word “derech" which is translated “way”, “commands” and “precepts” in the NIV Bible or “way”, “testimonies”, and “commandments” in the King James Bible. If you go through all 176 verses and note how often these words are used, it seems pretty obvious that the Lord is telling us to know his WORD.
(Parts taken from Crossing the Scriptures)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thank You Wonderful Book Bloggers

THANK YOU, THANK YOU. So far this month these are some of the wonderful bloggers who have helped me get the word out about SHELTERED:

Tricia Kristufek  at MUSINGS OF A READER

Please check out these gals' sites and give them a share, like, tweet . . .
Thank you!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sheltered - Excerpt from chapter 1

Smoke curled past the woman’s eyes; she squinted at Ben. He held out the money and repeated his offer. “It’ll only take five minutes. Just say ‘nice to meet you, you’re welcome to stay as long as you need’ and then ask me to drive you to the store or a meeting or something.” He wiggled the money in the crone’s face. “I’ll bring you right back to this bar,” he promised.

The woman kept her eye on the wad of bills, figuring out the extra number of drinks she could buy tonight. Ben could tell she was reaching the decision he hoped for. He raised the money to eye level and smiled his honest, dimpled grin, the grin that all the females in high school fell for, even the teachers.

Her hand shot out, but Ben was quicker. He held the money back, peeled off the top bill, and handed it to her. “I’ll give you the rest after you convince her that you’re Mrs. Kremer. Agreed?”

He half expected her to tuck the bill down her blouse, but she opened her purse, dropped it in and closed it. She took a final puff, crushed the cigarette butt under foot and grabbed the passenger door handle to yank it open. This wasn’t the first time she had gone home with a stranger, but it was the first time she had entered a teenaged boy’s littered sedan. And such a handsome boy, too, with that dark blond hair and clear blue eyes. She hadn’t always been the best judge of character, but this kid was easy to read – he was innocent.
(excerpt from chapter 1 of SHELTERED by Debra Chapoton copyright 2012)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tough Themes in Teen Novel

This new novel touches on the following themes: homelessness, self-mutilation, schizophrenia, suicide, and the occult.

In America more than 1.3 million children are homeless at some time each year.(1) This is a sad statistic and one that needs a bit more publicity. 1 in 8 youth under the age of 18 will leave home and become homeless and in need of services.(2) 12-17 year olds are at more risk of homelessness than are adults.(3) Nearly 20,000 youth are emancipated from foster care each year.(4)

According to it is estimated that in the U.S. one out of every 200 girls between the ages of 13 and 19 cuts herself regularly. This number is rising.

Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric illness. It often first appears in males during their late teens and early twenties, a little later for females. Symptoms include distorted reality, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, delusions, anxiety, and odd behaviors. Worldwide as many as 50 million people suffer from schizophrenia.

The Centers for Disease control report that suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 24. There are several different factors that may cause a teenager to take his or her life, but the most common is depression. Hopelessness, anxiety, and feelings of being trapped in a life that one can't handle are also contributors to teen suicide. In many cases teenagers believe that suicide is their only option.

The occult, including witchcraft, mysticism, astrology, and even the current fad of vampires and werewolves, feeds a craze that has flourished for thousands of years. Demon possession and exorcism are Biblical and historical.

Take all five of these themes, stir well, add a few American teens, and the paranormal will seem normal. SHELTERED is now out and available on AMAZON and Barnes & Noble.

(1) Ellen L. Bassuk, M.D. and Steven M. Friedman, Facts on Trauma and Homeless Children (Durham, NC and Los Angeles, CA: National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 2005): 1.
(2) C. Raleigh-DuRoff, "Factors that influence adolescents to leave or stay living on the street," Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal 21(6) (2004): 561-?572.
(3) J. Ensign and M. Bell, "Illness experiences of homeless youth," Qualitative Health Research 14(9) (2004): 1239-1254.
(4) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. AFCARS Reports #6-10 (Washington DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005)