Today I’m happy to host a writer friend of mine, Brad Francis, on my blog.  I recently read his new book The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living, and it made an impact on my life in a way few books ever have.  Here’s Brad to talk a little more about the story and what inspired it, then I’ll be back on with my review of the book at the end.

First of all, I want to thank you, Annie, for giving me the opportunity to come to your blog and talk about my new book. The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living is the longest book I’ve ever written, and in many ways the most challenging, but I’m very pleased with the final product and am glad to put it out into the world.
It all begins with a drunk demon. His name is Melchior and the reason he’s been drinking is that he’s so bored with his day-to-day life. He’s assigned to an entire church full of Christians. They’re active in church activity—attending services and programs, classes and studies—but their impact on their community is nonexistent…which means that Melchior has nothing to do, so he’s bored out of his mind. He ends up visiting the pastor of the church to tell him exactly what he’s doing wrong and inadvertently starts a revival in the process. What happens as the result of that visit comprises the bulk of the book.
Why did I write it? You can probably guess based on the description. I’m concerned about the state of the Church, both in the United States where I live and around the world. Nominalism seems to run rampant anywhere that has a legacy of Christianity. We hear wonderful reports of the way faith is spreading in the Muslim world and in places of intense persecution. I’m certainly not trying to suggest that there is no one passionately following Christ in the US, but the statistics show that: regular churchgoers live nearly identical lives to the rest of the world, rarely (if ever) share their faith, and do not make disciples. That’s what the research indicates. Does anecdotal evidence paint a different picture?
And, I assure you, I am not observing all this from some sort of high horse, scoffing down at good-hearted believers who have gotten off track. A great deal of the temptations and distractions in this book come directly from my personal experiences. I feel the pull of the world. I wish I didn’t. I wish I always lived a life in line with what I know to be true. I wish my life looked more like the godly men and women whom the Holy Spirit develops throughout the course of this book. Maybe that’s one of the differences between fiction and real life. I know that God is working in me, but, alas, the progress is slower than it is for my characters. Of course, maybe they’re much quicker to surrender to His will than I am.
These are some of the issues I was working through personally while writing this book. I’m blessed and excited to see that God has already started to use this novel in the lives of some of its readers, and I hope and pray that He uses this story for His glory.

That, after all, is what it’s all about.


Brad Francis is the author of the Christian fantasy series The Magi Chronicles and the best-selling short story The Book of the Harvest. He is also a published playwright and his short scripts are performed in churches around the United States. Brad lives in Radcliff, Kentucky, with his wife, Shannon, and two daughters, Madison and Sage. He writes to glorify God.
Click here to buy The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living or read more about it, including its nine four- and five-star reviews, on Amazon.

Annie’s Review of The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living
* * * *
Though I expected to enjoy this book (and I certainly wasn’t disappointed), I didn’t anticipate being changed by it.  
Brad Francis’s writing style reminds me of a Christian version of Douglas Adams.  As I read, I often caught myself laughing out loud at his ridiculous descriptions, witty word usage, or dryly humorous commentary by “the Narrator.”  But then I would find myself gulping guiltily as some unapologetically direct, pulling-no-punches remark struck home.  Prepare to be both entertained and convicted (and perhaps occasionally moved to tears) in your journey through these pages – not an easy combination to pull off, but Brad Francis does it and does it well!
As much as I enjoyed the read, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living to all readers.  If it had a rating, I think it would be at least PG-13 for drug use, profanity, sex, and violence.  (The profanity is almost all blanked out except for the first letter, but it’s obvious what words the characters are saying.)  However, very few instances of these are gratuitous, at least in my opinion.  Brad Francis certainly doesn’t condone such activities or treat them lightly.  The first few chapters, especially, deal with what certain people’s lives are like before they give them over to the Lord’s control, and the author paints a realistic picture of the vices they are involved in.  Most of that tapers off early on in the story, however, as the characters begin to change.  Still, some of the content near the beginning (and a little that keeps showing up here and there through the rest of the book) could be offensive to some readers, so if you’re sensitive about such things, brace yourself.
Having said that, I really think that reading The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living would be a worthwhile experience for most Christian adults, especially pastors and those involved in ministry.  Not an entirely pleasant experience at times, perhaps, but valuable.  It forced me to take a closer look at the practical side of how I live out my relationship with the Lord, and it reminded me that being religious doesn’t equal following Christ.  A few nonfiction books I’ve read have had similar (though for the most part less powerful) impacts on my spiritual life, but I don’t recall ever reading a novel that’s managed it anywhere near this effectively.  I’m grateful for the ways God has used this book to reshape my outlook and renew my sense of purpose in living for Him.
The only reason I didn’t give The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living five stars is because, from a storytelling point of view, I felt that it sagged a bit in the middle.  The beginning sucked me in right away, and for the first third or so of the story, I could hardly put the book down.  The last third was equally gripping, holding my attention right up to the end.  But the pace slowed in the middle with what – at least to me – seemed more information than necessary about the characters’ activities and processes of spiritual growth.  While everything that took place would certainly have been crucial to the characters’ own lives if they were real people, I felt that some chapters were a tad heavy on details and events that didn’t really add to the story for readers.
Overall, reading The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living was a moving experience that impacted me far beyond what I had expected.  I think it would be almost impossible for anyone who is (or wants to be) serious about their faith not to be changed after reading it.  Though I seldom reread books, this is one I will probably pick up again sometime, at the very least so I can look back over all the sections I highlighted and ask myself whether I’m living them out the way God nudged me to at the time.  Praise the Lord for the way He can use even a work of fiction to work in us and bring us closer to Himself!

I’m excited to feature fellow author Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s new book Goddess Tithe on my blog today.  I’ve really enjoyed all the others in the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, and I can’t wait to read this one!  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom for your chance to win a free copy.

Title: Goddess Tithe
Author: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Series: Tales of Goldstone Wood
Expected Release Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Rooglewood Press
Page Count: 130 pages
The Vengeful Goddess Demands Her Tithe

When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya‘s only hope to return safely home.

Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown’s garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.

Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?

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You can learn more about Goddess Tithewhich novel it’s connected to and read Chapter 1, here: 

Excerpt from the Story:

Here is an excerpt from the middle of the story. In this scene, Munny has been ordered to Captain Sunan’s cabin to clear away his breakfast . . . an unexpected task, for a lowly cabin boy would not ordinarily dare enter his captain’s private quarters! Munny hopes to slip in and out quietly without attracting the captain’s notice. But his hopes are dashed when Sunan addresses him, asking how their strange, foreign stowaway is faring:
“And what do you make of him yourself?”
Munny dared glance his captain’s way and was relieved when his eyes met only a stern and rigid back. “I’m not sure, Captain,” he said. “I think he’s afraid. But not of . . .”
“Not of the goddess?” the Captain finished for him. And with these words he turned upon Munny, his eyes so full of secrets it was nearly overwhelming. Munny froze, his fingers just touching but not daring to take up a small teapot of fragile work.
The Captain looked at him, studying his small frame up and down. “No,” he said, “I believe you are right. Leonard the Clown does not fear Risafeth. I believe he is unaware of his near peril at her will, suffering as he does under a peril nearer still.”
 Munny made neither answer nor any move.
“We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly, won’t we, Munny?” the Captain said. But he did not speak as though he expected an answer, so again Munny offered none. “We will bring him safely to Lunthea Maly and there let him choose his own dark future.”
“I hope—” Munny began.
But he was interrupted by a sudden commotion on deck. First a rising murmur of voices, then many shouts, inarticulate in cacophony. But a pounding at the cabin door accompanied Sur Agung’s voice bellowing, “Captain, you’d best come see this!”
The Captain’s eyes widened a moment and still did not break gaze with Munny’s. “We’ll keep him safe,” he repeated. Then he turned and was gone, leaving the door open.
Munny put down the pot he held and scurried after. The deck was alive with hands, even those who were off watch, crawling up from the hatches and crowding the rails on the port side. They parted way for the Captain to pass through, but when Munny tried to follow, they closed in again, blocking him as solidly as a brick wall.
“Look! Look!” Munny heard voices crying.
“It’s a sign!”
“She’s warning us!”
“It’s a sign, I tell you!”
Fearing he knew not what, Munny ran for the center mast and climbed partway up, using the handholds and footholds with unconscious confidence. Soon he was high enough to see over the heads of the gathered crew, out into the blue waters of the ocean. And he saw them.
 They were water birds. Big white albatrosses, smaller seagulls, heavy cormorants, even deep-throated pelicans and sleek, black-faced terns. These and many more, hundreds of them, none of which should be seen this far out to sea.
They were all dead. Floating in a great mass.
Munny clung to the mast, pressing his cheek against its wood. The shouts of the frightened sailors below faded away, drowned out by the desolation of that sight. Death, reeking death, a sad flotilla upon the waves.
“I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Munny looked down to where Leonard clung to the mast just beneath him, staring wide-eyed out at the waves. “How could this have happened? Were they sick? Caught in a sudden gale? Are they tangled in fishing nets?”
There was no fear in his voice. Not like in the voices of the sailors. He did not understand. He did not realize. It wasn’t his fault, Munny told himself.
But it was.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, including Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award, and Starflower was voted winner of the 2013 Clive Staples Award.

Anne Elisabeth is offering two proof copies of Goddess Tithe as prizes! (U.S. and Canada only) 

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Title: UnEmbraceableBy: Precarious Yates

About the Book

From the author of “Revelation Special Ops” comes a terrifying, hauntingly real and daringly hopeful tale of betrayal and love.

Leonard, a computer programmer, has a unique gift: by words alone he can calm violent situations. Which is helpful with all these kids running around the streets behaving like zombies. He has his own set of sorrows to face, but he’s prepared for anything. Anything except Tamar, and the thunderous inkling that she will be his wife. This doesn’t make any sense to Leonard. She stole his wallet. And his heart. Painful circumstances ripped family and stability from Tamar’s grasp, but with gutsy tenacity she faces life head on. Meeting the gorgeous and single Leonard changes everything. But surely a guy like him would never fall for a girl of the streets like her.
LINK to KINDLE | LINK to PAPERBACKPrecarious Yates 2Precarious Yates

Precarious Yates lives in Texas with husband, daughter, sheep, dogs, chickens, rabbit, lizard and by the time you read this some other exotic creature her husband or daughter has brought home. She had studied the plight of and worked toward the abolition of modern slavery for over a decade before sitting down to write Revelation Special Ops. She was further inspired by the work of her sister-in-law, who helped to found Love146, an organization that works to raise awareness about human trafficking and builds safe homes in vulnerable regions. Yates spent several years overseas as a missionary in Ireland, and also did missions work in India and the Philippines. Her passion for literature has become her means of further educating young adults of the realities of modern slavery, while producing hope through the power of Christ Jesus in us.
Follow Precarious YatesWebsite | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 amazon gift card, sponsored by author Precarious Yates! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Today I’m excited to feature a guest post by 17-year-old author Joshua Bedford.  Below he shares a brief devotional in which he discusses his passion for the Lord and for seeing people live for Him, as well as describing a little about himself and his book.  Enjoy!  And don’t forget to take a look at his book and website at the links provided!


There is a big difference between claiming Christ, and living Christ. The statement I open the next paragraph with can be considered judgmental. I am not here to judge you, but to observe how I act and how I see others acting, and then state how I should act, and how all Christians should act. The difference between claimingChrist, and living Christ is found in whether you allow Him to shine through you, or live your life your way.
Many people claim Christ, but few live like it. What happens if we claim Christ? What happens if we claim Christ, but don’t live like it? We can look to 1 John 1:5-7 for this answer.
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin
Let’s break this down verse-by-verse, and see what God is saying to us. In verse 5, we are told that God is Light, and in Him is no darkness. God is perfection! God is pure in everything He does. This Light represents God, and God is perfect. Light is God, and God is Light. When you let God’s Light shine through you, you are letting God Himself work through you.
In verse 6, it tells us what happens if we claim Christ, but do not live like it. If we do this, we are told we lie and do not practice the truth. We cannot just claim Christ as our Savior, then keep living in the things of this world. He has to be our Lord, the ruler of everything, even our lives; then He can be our Saviour.

In verse 7, we are told that if we claim Christ, and live like it, then the blood of Christ will cleanse us from our sin. If we claim Christ, and live solely for Him, then He will save us. One thing that is absolutely necessary for us to understand is that works are not what saves us; it is Christ and His sacrifice that saves us. We show that He is our Lord through these works, and if He truly has saved us, then we will gladly shine for Him.

We are told to walk in the light, and we looked at what this means. This is the difference between claiming Christ, and living Christ. As Christians, we are called not only to proclaim Him as our Savior, but also to live our lives for Him, allowing Him to shine through us. This is the reason I have written my first book weShine: Foundations of a Strong Walk With God. It is a foundational guide to growing stronger in your walk with Christ, giving you the knowledge you need to start your journey of faith correctly.

You can find the paperback version of this book at

More information can be found on the official website at

Also feel free to drop by for other information.

You are probably wondering what led a young man to write a book, or want to know a little about the author. Well, my name is Joshua Bedford, I blog and design websites at, and I seek to aid Christians in their mission: to be a shining light for Christ.
In the summer of 2011 I decided I wanted to learn web design, and started writing devotions as content for the website I was making. Later that summer, I heard 4 different variations of the phrase, “Let your light shine before others” from 4 different pastors, read it in my daily reading, and in an article online. The common sense in me told me something was being revealed to me. I prayed, asking God what all it meant. Through this, 1LightforGod.netwas started. I was able to further my website design, but put more emphasis on learning more about God, writing, and sharing that writing with others. I wanted to reach others for Him. Before long, I was writing one devotion a week. After a few months of writing, I found I love to write. From this love came the excution of the idea to help others grow in their walk with Christ through a book. Click the image below for more information on this book.

This morning at school the electricity went out.

There was a time when that wouldn’t have been a big deal.  Back when I was a fifth grader, it might have meant simply the inconvenience of having a slightly dimmer classroom (which perhaps wouldn’t have been a very noticeable difference – I can’t recall how big our windows were or how much natural light they let in).  If it happened on the day when we were scheduled for our weekly trip to the computer lab, the teacher would have had to plan something else for forty minutes or so, but otherwise, our day would have continued exactly the way it always did.  And considering that power outages are fairly common in Kenya, where I grew up, I’m assuming that probably did happen at school fairly often.  The fact that I don’t specifically remember any such instances just goes to show that they were no big deal.

But here and now, in Morrison Academy in Taiwan in September of 2013, it is a big deal.

I was sitting at my desk in my classroom getting ready for the day, and at about 7:20 a.m., the power suddenly went out. This is a rare enough occurrence here that I had no way even to guess how long it would be out, though of course I hoped it would only be for a few minutes.

I remember years ago, when I was working as a substitute teacher in California, there was a time when we had a lot of rolling blackouts because the whole area was short on power.  One of the schools I subbed at had a list of instructions for teachers to follow in the event of a blackout.  Things like, “Whenever possible, continue teaching normally,” and “If any parents show up in the middle of the day to pick up their children, remind them to sign them out in the office first.”  I remember laughing about it at the time, thinking how silly American schools were to treat a simple blackout like a natural disaster.

But it wasn’t so funny today, and I must confess that the question of whether there was a chance school might even be cancelled did cross my mind.  I immediately started thinking about my lesson plans and all the little daily tasks that involve electricity, and how I would have to change things if it didn’t come back on.

First of all, my parent helpers were scheduled to come in right before school started to make my photocopies for the week.  Some of those were papers I’d been planning to use that morning.  What would I do if the copy machine wasn’t working in time?  In addition, I had promised to print something that my husband Floyd needed for a high school activity he would be helping with in less than an hour, but obviously my own classroom printer wasn’t functioning either.  As soon as I thought of that, I picked up the phone to call Floyd and let him know, but I had forgotten that without electricity, the classroom phones wouldn’t work.

When my fifth graders first arrive in the morning, they’re supposed to do several things to get ready for the day.  One of those is sharpen their pencils, which most of them do on our electric pencil sharpener (those who don’t have mechanical pencils, that is).  They’re also supposed to pull their homework out and get it ready to hand in.  Today that would have meant printing a document they had typed at home on their Alphasmarts, which is accomplished by taking the Alphasmart over to our classroom printer and holding it up to a sensor on the front, then pressing “print”.  When they’re done with that, they’re supposed to read the week’s Bible memory verse from the screen in the front of the room where I project it from my computer and then copy it down onto their Bible verse sheet.  None of those activities would be possible without electricity.

While the students are doing those things and generally getting ready for the day, I have a few things I normally do too.  I always check the school website to check what the two choices for hot lunch entree are, ask the students how many of them want each kind, and then submit the totals to the cafeteria on a Google form.  Then I record any absences or tardies on the online attendance form.

Every Monday morning, the student of the week gets to pick a people group that doesn’t have the Bible in its language, from Wycliffe’s book From Akebu to Zapotec, for the class to pray for.  After I read the blurb in the book about that group and its culture, I normally use Google Maps on the SmartBoard to show the students that part of the world.  They always enjoy zooming in, often close enough to see individual roads and buildings as well as larger features like mountains and rivers.  In addition, as part of the day’s Bible lesson, I had been planning to use the projector to show the students a slideshow about the life of Joseph that I had put together with pictures I’d found online.

At least the reading lesson would be easy enough to do without electricity, but after recess our class was scheduled to visit the computer lab for our spelling pretest.  That’s right, we take all our spelling tests at, where I type in the words ahead of time and the students can take tests, play games, and practice in various ways with the words from our weekly list.  Through their headphones, they hear the words read aloud and used in sentences, and after they’ve typed them all in, the computer grades it instantly.  When they print their tests, it displays their total score both as a percentage and with the exact numbers they got right and wrong, as well as showing each word the way they typed it (marked with an X or a check mark).  (Quick plug: it’s a great teacher time saver, and the basic subscription is free!)

After spelling, our writing lesson would have been fine without electricity for the most part.  But I knew the students would miss the instrumental music I usually play from my computer in the background to inspire them while they write.  In the afternoon, things would get a little more challenging.  When I teach math, I always go to the textbook website and project the particular page we’re working on onto the SmartBoard.  It’s easier to read through the instructions together and work on the practice problems when the students can come up front and show their work right by the problem itself.

In science, we’ve been learning about the different body systems.  In addition to reading a couple of pages from our textbook and filling out a worksheet,  I had two short movies from a science website that I had been planning to have the students watch and take notes on: one about the skeletal system and the other about the muscular system.

In short, my lesson plans for every subject except reading would have to change in some way.  My head spun as I realized how much I count on technology (electricity-requiring technology!) in almost everything I teach now!

But though it would be inconvenient, there were ways around my planned technology use.  However, there was one BIG problem that I could see no way around – one that would make a September day in Taichung very difficult to deal with.  That was the one that made me wonder if there was any possibility school might be cancelled or at least dismissed early if the power failure lasted all day.

We would have no air conditioning.

Already, at 7:30 a.m., with the a/c and fans only having been off for ten minutes and no one but me in the room, I was sweating.  What would it be like in there with twenty-six pre-adolescents as the day wore on?  I opened the windows and door for airflow (at that point it was still a little cooler outside than in) and braced myself to find out.

Before the students even arrived, though, I discovered something else.  The water on campus wasn’t working.  Fortunately I had a full water bottle in my purse, but the students wouldn’t be able to use the drinking fountains or sinks, and the toilets wouldn’t flush.  (I’m guessing this was because, though Morrison has its own water supply, the pumps in our water tower are electric.)

When my kids lined up outside the classroom, already uncomfortably warm and all discussing the electricity problem and how we were to survive the day without any, one of them was already worried about the water issue.  “Mrs. Lima, I just used the bathroom, but it wouldn’t flush, and I can’t wash my hands!”  I directed him to the container of hand sanitizer we keep in the classroom.  First electricity-related problem of the day, solved.  If only the rest would be that simple.

When the students were all at their seats, I passed around the little hand-held pencil sharpener I keep at my desk to those whose pencils needed sharpening, and encouraged students who had their own to share with each other as well.  I wrote the memory verse on the whiteboard for them to copy.  I told them just to put away their Alphasmarts and not to worry about printing their social studies review until tomorrow.  And I offered rubber bands to anyone with long hair who wanted to tie it back and keep it off their neck.  (Sweat was starting to drip by this time, and about half the girls took me up on that.)  Four more problems dealt with.  So far, so good.

We started our Bible lesson in prayer today (usually we pray at the end).  There were plenty of volunteers eager to ask God to please bring back our air conditioning, and when I reminded them, to thank Him for the blessing of electricity that we get to enjoy most of the time, which many in the world don’t have.  Afterward, I had them bring their Bibles, workbooks, and pencils, and we lined up and went to go sit outside.  I knew that in a couple of hours it would be way too hot for that to be an option, so we might as well take advantage of the not-yet-scorching temperatures while we could.

The Bible lesson outside went okay, though there was so much background noise out there that I had to half yell the whole time just so the students would hear me.  Many of them were almost completely inaudible when I asked them to read a verse aloud or share an answer.  I was afraid my voice would wear out completely if I taught out there for very long, so it was a relief when we lined up to go back inside after the lesson was over.

But the classroom was starting to bear an uncanny resemblance to a sauna, so I was all set to let the students head back outside again for their silent reading time.  Then, to everyone’s surprise, all of a sudden back came the electricity!  The moment the lights went on, the room filled with delighted gasps and exclamations of relief, quickly followed by cheers when I turned on the air conditioning and all the ceiling fans.  Twenty-six sweaty, sticky students and one very thankful teacher prayed together and thanked God for restoring our power.

Altogether, the electricity was only off for about an hour and a half, and when I think back about it, I have to chuckle.  In retrospect, it really doesn’t seem like a very big deal.  Growing up in Kenya, power failures that lasted for hours – sometimes even a day or more – were a common occurrence.  The greatest inconveniences then were usually having to remember not to open the fridge more than absolutely necessary and needing to use flashlights or drippy candles at night.

But the technology that adds so many conveniences to our lives and makes certain aspects of teaching both easier and more challenging can be very hard to live without when it’s gone!  I felt quite powerless, pun intended, at the thought of possibly going a whole day without electricity here and now.  I think it’s good to occasionally be reminded, though, that life – even life in as technologically advanced and blessed a school as Morrison – is still possible without electricity.  If nothing else, the inconveniences and the sweat can remind us to count our blessings and pray for those who live in much more challenging circumstances.

And I’m glad school wasn’t cancelled after all!

Here and now are the perfect place and time to get your copy of Unclaimed Legacy.

Now? Because it’s only 99 cents for Kindle (for the month of September only). Here? Because buying it enters you in my giveaway of the complete Time and Again trilogy (personally signed by yours truly) AND a pretty mug for your morning coffee. Hint: You might want to keep the mug and Kindle book for yourself and give the signed copies of the trilogy as a gift. The Rafflecopter giveaway entry form is below, but first let me tell you about Unclaimed Legacy.

Those who have read Time and Again know that Abby Thomas is a college student on a summer service project with 11-year-old Merri. And they know that the summer is not going the way Abby had expected—but in a good way. For one thing, she meets a very nice guy named John Roberts. And for another, she discovers a strange computer program called Beautiful House that lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but those of the people who lived in Merri’s old house. And now Beautiful House comes in handy when Abby, John, and Merri agree to help the “Old Dears” next door with their family tree. Except Abby and John learn more about one of the ladies’ ancestors than they ever wanted to know. Convicted in 1871 of murder and arson, Reuben Buchanan is a blight on the family’s reputation. But was he really guilty? Abby and John must get inside the mind of a murderer to find out. And while they’re rummaging around in the Old Dears’ family history, they also find Nathan Buchanan, a heroic relative connected to the Lewis and Clark Expedition—and a legacy waiting to be reclaimed. But the most important discovery they make is that God’s promise to bless a thousand generations is true. “In this sequel to Time and Again Deborah Heal has taken pieces of real life history and woven them [into] a fantastic story geared to keep the reader entertained and on the edge of their seat… I adored every single bit of this. It has the perfect blend of history and action-packed suspense to keep young adults glued to the pages… I think she has mastered a home run here. This one easily rates a 5 out of 5 stars for me…and I hope it will work its way to the top of the best seller lists for young adults.”

— Pirate2240 “Kat” Amazon Reviewer

The Clue of the Unclaimed Legacy
The blurb above doesn’t say a lot about it, but Unclaimed Legacy features my heroes Lewis and Clark. I’ve always been fascinated by them, partly because I knew the explorers spent the winter of 1803 at Hartford, Illinois, near where I grew up in Woodburn. They chose that site for the camp they called Camp River Dubois, because it was near the mouth of the Missouri River, which they would ascend the next spring. The captains spent the winter laying in supplies and training their men. I decided it would be fun to let Abby “time-surf” back to see Camp River Dubois. . .

Continue reading HERE to get my clues about Unclaimed Legacy.

As the blurb says, sometimes when Abby and John are “time-surfing” they learn more than they want to know about people from the past–like Bertram White a violent husband. Read my companion article about him HERE. Read a free chapter of Unclaimed Legacy HERE) Now, enter the contest to get your Kindle copy of Unclaimed Legacy for 99 cents and a chance to win the complete trilogy in paperback, personally signed by me. Oh, and a mug.

Time Travel Trilogy by Deborah Heal

a Rafflecopter giveaway Deborah Heal Author Every Hill and Mountain (Time and Again) Read Now – Twitter – @deborahheal

Floyd and I and a friend to try out a new restaurant this evening (or what we thought was a new restaurant).  Have you seen No. 9 Harbor?  No, it’s not an address on Harbor Road; it’s the restaurant across the street from Starbucks where the one we called the Prawn Palace used to stand.

Well, as it turns out, No. 9 Harbor is the Prawn Palace, just with a new look.  They’ve changed the interior quite a bit, including getting rid of the murals that used to show scenic spots in Taiwan and switching them out for giant pictures of beer (and one with a ship/travel theme).
The menu is the same, though – that was our only clue that it wasn’t really a new restaurant.

Here are the dishes we ordered.  Some of them were our old standards back in the days when we used to eat at the Prawn Palace a lot, and a few were ones we tried for the first time this evening.

Above: their asparagus is always tasty.  Good and garlicky!

This was my favorite dish: the kung pao chicken.  It’s also the first one we ordered the first time we ever came to the Prawn Palace – which was the first restaurant Floyd and I ever ventured out to alone back when we were new in Taiwan.  Click here to read my blog post about that memorable event!

The black pepper beef was good but very spicy!  This picture doesn’t do it justice – there were a lot more chili peppers in it than you can see here!

This scrambled egg and shrimp dish wasn’t quite what we had expected.  But it turned out to be delicious, though a little soupy.  I think it was my second-favorite dish of the evening.

We didn’t think the duck would be quite like this either!  It came breaded and deep-fried, with colorful shrimp chips adorning the platter.  I liked the flavor, but Floyd described it as “deep-fried grease”.  The frog, which I forgot to take a picture of but is also one of our old favorites, he called “deep-fried bones”.  As you can imagine, neither had much meat on it!

Along with the ubiquitous white rice, this restaurant offers its customers free noodles.  With bits of cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms, they’re pretty tasty.

Well, all in all we enjoyed our meal at No. 9 Harbor.  Have you been there?  If you live in Taichung and enjoy Taiwanese food, we recommend you try it out!  (Of course, if you can’t read Chinese, make sure you bring along someone who can.)  Feel free to reply to this post and let us know what your favorite dishes are – Floyd and I are always looking for new favorites!