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Not The Story They Taught Us In Sunday School

Patrick Andersen Author Interview

Acts of the Women follows the women of the New Testament telling their story in the days after Jesus’s resurrection. What was the inspiration for telling this story?

When I published my first book, Second Born, reimagining the life of Jesus as he grew up with his brothers and sisters in a wealthy family in the capital city of Galilee, I realized I had given voice to his forgotten brothers but neglected his sisters and the countless other dynamic women who played crucial roles in the birth of Christianity. So, Acts of the Women starts right where Second Born left off. But this time it is narrated by the women, and it is not the story they taught us in Sunday School.

What drew you to the genera of historical or biblical fiction?

It’s odd, I usually write humor and satire. But I have a strong faith based in Christianity and have studied it for years, including biblical studies courses at Stanford University and other sources scattered around the country. I have always been bothered by some of the central notions held either consciously or unconsciously by so many Christians. For instance, that this exceptional man was not human but a god, THE God, for that matter. Or that he already knew everything that was going to happen, so he didn’t need to have the faith that we are expected to have, because he already knew the end result. Or that we humans are powerless to correct the wrongs we see in the world, that we must ask Jesus to wave his magic wand like Harry Potter to repair the evil around us. I am convinced that Jesus was a man, and that he had the same fears, joys, worries and victories that fill all our lives. I think he found a way to become one with God, and he was showing the rest of us that we can too.

So, this contradiction that faced me every Sunday when I went to church bothered me. What do I do when I get hot and bothered? I’m a writer. So, I started writing about it. Second Born and Acts of the Women are the results so far.

Was there anything that surprised you in your research for this novel?

As much as the male-dominated church has tried to suppress the history of women’s enrichment of the faith, a lot of evidence can still be found right out in the open. For instance, in the gospels you will find Jesus’ brothers identified by name, but his sisters are barely mentioned in passing. But in other places women are mentioned briefly for traveling with Jesus’ group and providing financial support. Well, it would be a scandal in that culture for a woman to travel with a group of men unless she was close kin or married to one of them. Read through the gospels from beginning to end and start identifying some of these women. And examine Acts of the Apostles and all of Paul’s letters. Watch for references to the women. You will find some real gems that you may have missed before.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

In this genre, I will complete the trilogy with a mystery surrounding the First Council of Nicaea, which occurred in 325. The council was called by Emperor Constantine to determine a universal (i.e., catholic in its non-capitalized definition) view of the nature of Christ. People with alternate views to those adopted at the Council were branded as heretics and, in many cases, excommunicated. I will treat the subject with my usual reverence for orthodoxy. That is, there will be little or none in evidence.

But I have an itch to get back to humor, so I am simultaneously working on a modern-day tale of love and romance on the Internet. When will these two books be available? (Glances at wristwatch while stroking his beard.) Hmm, it’s already 10am and I have an appointment at 1:30, so I won’t be able to finish them today. Maybe by November? And then there’s the lengthy publication process. (Comes out of his musings with an upward snap of his head and suddenly widening eyes.) I hope to have them out in 2023. And before you ask, no, I am not accepting pre-orders currently. But thank you for thinking of offering, as I am sure you were about to do.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

“Patrick W. Andersen’s thrilling new novel, Acts of the Women, is a celebration of the women of the New Testament. Beautifully written in a humorous tone, the author seamlessly weaves together vivid prose with intelligent but surprising conclusions based on years of biblical studies. His women are wise, courageous leaders who rule the men as the risen Jesus and his disciples spread out across the world: France, India, and beyond. This excellent novel is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the non-traditional stories around Jesus. It is an ode to women and a spiritual gift that should be savored with an open mind.”— Kristi Saare Duarte, Author, Holy Conspiracy, and The Transmigrant
“A fascinating, refreshing, well-crafted, and unique interpretation (or perhaps a new telling) of those women in the Bible who were not only instrumental in the development of early Christianity, but powerful in their roles of protecting—and influencing—the man known as Jesus. …This compelling tale is a must-read for Biblical scholars, theologians, open-minded and open-hearted Christians, and open-minded, open-hearted non-Christians alike. Acts of the Women is extraordinary. I consider this book a must-read.”— Peggy A. Wheeler, Author, The Raven’s Daughter, and The Desert Raven
“Andersen once again gives a fresh, plausible life to the greatest story ever told, the story of Christ and the young church. Rather than unraveling and spinning the same story, we get a new look at the disciples, the women, who played a large role in the beginning of Christianity, and the faith that sustained them.”— Ellen L. Ekstrom, Author, Tallis’ Third Tune, and Scarborough

Patrick W. Andersen enjoyed an award-winning career as a journalist and editor, earning special recognition from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission for bringing ethnic minority concerns to the attention of the general public. Turning his writing skills to fiction, he published short stories in a number of journals, some of which are collected in his anthology, Moments to Contemplate (In Bite-Sized Servings). His debut novel, Second Born, garnered critical acclaim for its reimagining of the early life of Jesus. He and his wife Marina live in San Francisco, California.

Look Deep Inside And Discover

Vasile Ghiuta Author Interview

Bible, God And Free Will takes an in-depth look at the Genesis, Scriptures, and the concept of Free Will. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I have wanted to write this book for many years. I read a lot of books about the Bible and the different interpretations that were given to the Scriptures. I have noticed some inaccuracies about Genesis in the Bible and have tried to give my own interpretation even though it may not be the most acceptable. I was very impressed to read the books of the hermits in Christian Egypt (written more than 1,000 years ago); what I liked most was their tenacity in seeking God. I have been making notes for years and a year ago I decided to structure all my notes and compose them in a book. I believe that everyone finds God where they feel. For our inner peace we need God; how we visualize or “materialize” it is not important. I considered it important to discuss the Bible, God, and Free Will in order to emphasize my view that God does not forbid us or oppose anything.

What challenges did you encounter when writing this book and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I had in writing this book was how to write it so that no one would be offended by my interpretations. I tried to overcome my fears by treating the various topics with sincerity.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

I think that those who read my book should have a very sincere introspection. They need to look deep inside and discover. They need to know who they really are and what their priorities are in life.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am a visual artist – abstract painting and for a long time I want to write a book about the “beauty” of abstract painting. I think in 2 years the book can be ready.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website | Facebook

The oldest questions man has asked himself are: “how did he appear on earth” and “what is the meaning of his existence?” Some theories try to answer these two fundamental questions, but neither covers the complexity of this problem.
In this book, I ask myself the same questions without claiming to find an answer that everyone fully accepts. There are two major theories about man’s appearance on earth: the Creationist and the Evolutionist. I believe that the two theories are not contradictory because one does not exclude the other. From my point of view, it is an inclusive relationship between them in the sense that the Creationist Theory contains the Evolution Theory. Creation does not impede evolution, on the contrary, creation “needs” evolution; the existence of time implies change and implicitly the perfection of man.
In this book, I try to present, in four parts, my opinion on certain aspects of the Bible, God, and Free Will.
This book treats the above aspects without representing any religious doctrine. It is a philosophical book which presents sensitive topics such as the Bible and God without intending to offend any religious cult. My view on some issues may be similar to Christian dogma. Of course, my Christian background may influence how the conclusions were polished, but my science education is prevalent. It should be seen and interpreted as a personal vision rather than a “religious” book.
I tried to write it in a way that everyone could understand. “Bible, God and Free Will” is addressed to all: believers, agnostics, and atheists. It aims to open the way to free thought and not be bound by ideology or doctrine patterns. I wish the readers to ask themselves questions and look for answers to each person’s fundamental issues.

Poems For The End Of The Age

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Author H. Peter Zell’s Poems for the End of the Age is his interpretation of The Book of Revelations. In these thought-provoking poems, the author tells of a catastrophic war between the U.S. and Russia. The poems titled ‘Reflections of a Believer’ and ‘Empire of the Apocalypse’ are the author’s interpretations of the apocalypse. The poems ‘Discourse on the Mosel or The Century Poem’ are from other poets who provide their views of recent historical events and predictions for the future.

I found the preface in the book to be an insightful addition that corroborates the author’s poems which touch upon Christianity and politics and how it all comes back to the apocalypse. In addition, the author’s writing style is conversational and informative. This style allows the reader to form their own opinion of The Book of Revelations, and this combination of providing insight while allowing me to find my own path made this book engaging. I also appreciate that the author acknowledges that some readers may not agree with his interpretation, but the author still discusses his findings and his truth.

After reading the author’s poems, I found it alarming that The Book of Revelations does touch upon many events that have happened and are currently happening in the world today. The most disturbing one of all is the War between Russia and the U.S. by 2030. Zell’s poems serve as a wake-up call for awareness and early intervention of U.S. nationals. The author provides a fresh perspective of The Book of Revelations and challenges readers to question how our nation’s current actions affect the future.

Poems for the End of the Age is a thought-provoking book for those interested in politics and religion. This interesting read will help readers understand how the two topics correlate with one another. In addition, this is a perceptive and intriguing collection of poetry that will stay with you long after putting the book down.

Pages: 70

Coming Soon

Acts of the Women

After Jesus’ crucifixion, the women in author Patrick W. Andersen’s cast of characters take center stage, influencing the plot and world history through their teaching, diplomacy, and public relations abilities. As a result, Acts of the Women is a different take on the Bible. As the author himself states, “In the decades after the crucifixion, men gave speeches and wrote history books about their own noble deeds. But women did most of the work.”

The book additionally begins with a “cast of characters” page that is very helpful for those with limited knowledge of the Bible. Those familiar with the Bible will recognize many of the characters and events. Still, Andersen’s well-developed plot and exciting spin on the material will keep even those religiously inclined engaged. I personally benefited from having this list of characters easily accessible to keep me oriented while reading.

The story opens with the crucifixion of Jesus and the aftermath from the perspective of the women who helped him. The disciples are also in disarray, having scattered after Jesus’ arrest. However, they soon reunite and begin to regroup. The women in the story, including Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Rachel, and Susanna, are instrumental in this process. The women themselves know this, often giving men the “Stare” and even stating, “The men did most of the talkin’, but the women did all of the work.” Andersen weaves together biblical events with his own flair and imagination, making the stories come alive. He has an effortless, fluid writing style that makes the book a quick read. The characters are well-developed and likable, making it more interesting to see how their faith sustains them through their hardships.

Andersen does an excellent job of making the material accessible and engaging. He brings new life to familiar characters and events. His writing style is clear and concise, with short chapters and an easy-to-follow plot.

Acts of the Women is an intriguing work of fiction based on historical events and biblical accounts. It provides a new perspective on Christianity and its origins. This well-written and enjoyable book is ideal for anyone interested in the Bible or history.

Pages: 264 | ASIN : B09PGRGKKP

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Bible, God and Free Will

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Bible, God And Free Will examines each term of the title, analyzing, interpreting, and determining its intricate components. Author Vasile Ghiuta draws on Genesis, the Holy Scriptures, and personal religious reflections to analyze the words and messages in the Holy Bible.

The book is divided into four parts, with the first three used to enlighten on the Bible, God, and Free Will. The fourth part – conclusions – presents the summation and overview of the key components of the ideas and beliefs discussed in the first three parts.

This first part of the book examines the Old and New Testaments, shedding light on their origins, evolution, and content. Questions such as ‘Can atheists and believers alike comprehend the complexity of messages in the Bible or is it altogether out of human understanding’ constitute the basis for this section. Furthermore, the author attempts to decipher the important book of creation, Genesis; on what day He created the universe, the human, the soul, the heavens, and angels, or was the day really bound by temporality? Finally, part one finishes with the concept of time and morality.

The second part continues the elaboration on God as a creator, and energy, with a comprehensive and thorough interpretation of God in both the old and new testaments. It explores the relationship of God to humans, the three hypostases of the Holy Trinity, and the value of love of humans expressed towards others and in deeds as the supreme expression of God.

A key component of part three deals with Man’s free will, endowed by God with the authority to decide and put God within him by relating both human and divine will. This part concludes with a new perspective on sacrifice in light of Jesus’ sacrifice, which brought upon death as a stage for mankind’s eternity.

This thought-provoking book sets forth logical, comprehensive, and coherent explanations of a vast array of enigmatic topics through philosophical interpretations of different concepts from the Bible. For example, one of the author’s claims is that social behavior toward God’s creatures, even in the absence of trust in God, is fully capable of bringing one salvation. While some points in the book seem to have been repeated in chapter after chapter, the repetitions emphasize the might of God and his message of life – love.

Bible, God And Free Will is written in a manner that Christians, atheists, or agnostics can find meaning in this illuminating book. The book focuses on human love and deeds rather than being a pious man with no principles.

Pages: 171 | ISBN : 978-1-7775695-1-8

Coming Soon

Á Deux

At one time or another, we have all questioned our purpose. The story of Job is one of the first recorded instances of humans posing these same questions. In addition, it is likely the most well-known account of an exchange between friends that goes far beyond the standard existential crisis. Job and his friends tried their best to understand the ways of God as they questioned why humans are allowed to suffer. The story of Job contains everything from sarcasm and rhetorical questions to innuendo and what amounts to a battle between God and Satan.

A Deux, by author Alexey L. Kovalev, is a new and fresh take on the biblical story of Job. The dialogue between Job and his friends and God takes on a whole different look in Kovalev’s work. Prefaced by a thorough prologue, this book exists as an exchange between Job and God as it would happen today–quite a modern spin on the age-old tale.

I was blown away by the beauty of Kovalev’s style of writing. What looks on paper like a straightforward narrative is actually a dialogue that reads like the most intricate of poetry. The flow of the text is phenomenally stunning, peppered with modern references and deep, philosophical discussions that read more like an exchange between two strangers seated on a bench waiting on a long-departed bus.

There is almost a comical banter at times between the two main characters. Expecting a more serious tone, I was pleasantly surprised at their familiarity. What could easily have been made into a very difficult read has been shaped into a much easier and more pleasurable read. 

I was expecting a much different read when I picked up this book and ventured into the text. Instead, I was truly overwhelmed and surprised at the unique take on Job’s story. This book, written primarily as a dialogue, will capture readers’ attention and keep them enthralled from cover to cover. In addition to creating a conversational tone, Kovalev has also given readers a trip through history. It’s a truly fantastic read from beginning to end.

A Deux will entertain anyone who enjoys reimaginings of Bible stories. In addition, this modern telling will make the traditional story more accessible to younger readers and more relatable to a modern audience.

Pages: 110 | ASIN : B09MPKZDFK

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Barclay & Berk Builders: A Parable

Barclay & Berk Builders: A Parable has been retold in this spiritually enriching children’s book by Beverley Rayner and illustrator James Hensman. This thoughtful kids book tells the story of two builders that can build everything, from sandboxes to jungle gyms, with skill and ease. The builders Barclay and Berk decide one spring to build their dream homes. Barclay is excited and races into the project, Berk takes his time and thinks out each step. Along the way both builders take pride in what they have accomplished, while Barclay is more excited about showing off all the amazing aspects of his home, Berk is more concerned with making a strong foundation that will last. Both finish their homes in time for the winter storms, but both homes are not prepared for what is to come. This educational story is based off of the one that Jesus tells in Matthew chapter seven.

This classic Bible story is retold in simple language that young elementary age children will easily be able to understand. Beverley Rayner has experience with children and teaching and uses her knowledge to make this parable entertaining while also ensuring that it is easily understood by children so that they grasp the message and remember it.

The light-hearted story, together with playful art, bring this parable to a level kids will understand and follow with ease. This picture book is illustrated with whimsical artwork that children will find appealing. Illustrator James Hensman has a unique style, with bright colors and imaginative drawings, that will appeal to children. Each page is a work of art in itself and conveys the message of the story for those children that are too young to read the words.

Barclay & Berk Builders: A Parable is an exceptional children’s book that parents and teachers will find to be a great addition to their library. I thought this was a charming picture book that teaches the word of God to young children. This delightful picture book takes the parable of the two builders down to a level that children will understand and love.

Pages: 36 | ASIN: B09JSXZBTT

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The True Story Of The Attempted Murder Of Jesus Christ

Do you want to have a better life? Do you want to have a closer relationship with God? Haven’t so many of us lost so much from covid-19 that we all want these things? You see the uniqueness of this true story of the first Christmas is that the apostle Paul, who’s writings are in the Bible knew the same truth that I reveal in this book. A truth that God has graced me with knowing from my over 15 years of study into the Bible. You are about to discover a truth that God placed in the Bible almost 2000 years ago and has lied dormant. A truth that is meant to be discovered only in our time because the truth’s full wisdom can only be fully understood by us in our modern time. At the same time Paul did write about the truth contained in this book but no one has ever fully understood what exactly Paul was writing about in the Bible until now!. And soon you will know this truth too as soon as you finish reading this book!

Now imagine yourself alive over 2000 years ago at the first Christmas when a the star of Bethlehem appeared in the sky marking the the year Jesus was born. Go along with me as we travel with the wise men who follow this star which leads us to Jerusalem where we continue this search for Jesus Christ. Walk with me through the Bible and the actual historical records so as to learn the truth to this over 2000 year old Christmas mystery, where I say mystery because king Herod, the one who we have always been told was the one who attempted to murder Jesus the year He was born. may not in fact be the culprit to the plot. In the end when the true mastermind is finally revealed see how knowing this emerald of truth can bring forth in your own life blessings, happiness and a closer relationship with God today, tomorrow and perhaps forever.

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