Giveaway – The Christian Book Lovers Hop

CBL Hop

July 1: It appears that the hop is over! I’ll have the winner posted here before the end of the day. I had a number of comments via social media, so I need to collate the entries.

No, you don’t have to hop up and down or run around. You just have to hop from blog to blog with your fingers. The Christian Book Lovers Hop is sponsored by The Readers’ Realm and Spirit Filled Kindle.

How does this work? Well, this is a first for me. Yes, I’ve done giveaways for my company (Energion Publications), but I haven’t done one on a blog hop, and I haven’t done one from my personal blog. Each blog on the list offers something free to readers, and also links to the list of blogs who are participating in the hop. You’ll find this list at the bottom of this post. Be sure to check out the other offers.

So what am I giving away? (Get to the point, you say?)

I’m offering one copy of my book Stories of the Way, a collection of short stories designed to challenge your thinking about spiritual things. And since that’s a fairly small book, and just a $9.99 value, I’m also offering one more of my books (+ Tales from Jevlir, you choose), and one book you can choose from my company’s catalog (main imprint, EnerPower Press, and Enzar Empire Press). That’s a total of three free books! If you’re the winner, just let me know which additional books you’d like when I notify you that you’re the winner.

How do you enter?

Just comment on this post. Since I’m trying to track comments on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ as well, sharing the link or commenting there should work as well. You can have one entry for each of those three social media platforms. Just comment or share.

One thing I’ve learned from previous giveaways is that occasionally someone wins and then I can’t contact them. Make sure that I can discover who you are so I can let you know you won. Worst case, check back here and look for a comment and post announcing the winner.

 

Henry Neufeld Book Package

Yes, my company has a Christmas package named for me, and it includes both of the books that are related to this blog, Tales from Jevlir: Oddballs and Stories of the Way, along with my non-fiction book Not Ashamed of the Gospel: Confessions of a Liberal Charismatic.

The From Publisher Henry Neufeld package is available for just $21.99 through January 3, but you’d need to order it by the end of the week to get it by Christmas.

Jury Nullification and My New Book

Having just announced the release of my new book, Stories of the Way, I was interested to find a story about jury nullification, or more precisely advocacy of jury nullification today (HT: The Agitator).

One of the two new stories I wrote for this book (an additional 23 stories are from this blog), is The Juror’s Oath, and is intended to stimulate thinking on two topics: 1) When, if ever, is it OK to violate an oath, and 2) How can you be sure of what you think you know? (Coincidentally, I published an essay by Edward W. H. Vick about certainty over at Energion.net a few days ago.) The story does not involve jury nullification, but does involve violation of jury instructions.

I would note regarding the news story that I would be strongly opposed to any judgment that suggested that Mr. Heicklen could not advocate his activity. Furthermore, I would suggest that any time a law forces you to behave immorally, it is a law that should be ignored. I don’t, however, think that one should ignore a law for convenience, because one doesn’t like it, or even because one is vehemently opposed to it. I would advocate violating the law only when its direction would force one to act immorally. And yes, I do think the law can and does cause that to happen from time to time.

Now back to the fun and fiction and away from the more serious commentary.

 

New Jevlir-Related Book: Stories of the Way

Since I began publishing some of my “thinking” short stories on this blog, a number of people have suggested that I publish a collection. Well, how can a writer an publisher ignore such suggestions? I’ve done it! I’m embedding the press release below. It should be shipping December 5, 2011, and that means you can have a copy by Christmas. We should have a Kindle edition available within the week.

As noted in the description, most of the stories are from this blog, though some have been edited. I did write two new stories, “The Juror’s Oath” and “The Magic Sword” specifically for this collection. I also added selected scripture readings and thought questions to each one for people who might want to use the material in discussions.

Tales from Jevlir Kindle Price Reduction

I have reduced the price of the Kindle edition of Tales from Jevlir: Oddballs [publisher catalog page] to $0.99 from $2.99. Now such a price reduction could look desperate as a result of poor sales. Well, it’s not desperate, but it is due to poor sales. I didn’t expect too much, considering that most of the stories in the book come directly from this blog. Still, there are two stories you won’t have seen here. So now for just 99 cents you can have the collection on your Kindle.

Special Offer: Tales from Jevlir

From now through the end of the year, I’m offering autographed copies (if you wish) of the book Tales from Jevlir for just $5.00 shipped.  That’s right!  Just $5, + sales tax if you live in Florida.  No other charges.  If you fill in the line about the autograph, letting me know who to autograph the book to, I’ll do it!

 

 

Autograph


On Reading Bad Books – and What They Are

I’m trying to get back to this blog, but paying work continues to intervene, and fiction writing is not paying work for me, nor is reviewing or commenting on fiction. I will get back to posting and even have some plans for some of my material elsewhere.

That said, this morning I found a link from Martin LaBar of Sun and Shield to a post by Elizabeth Moon, Why “bad” books succeed. If I can summarize her post very briefly, I think she is saying that it’s because bad books are not entirely bad.

And I would add that, of course, good books are not entirely good. For example, I read Ms. Moon’s books, and would definitely not call them “bad,” in fact, she is one of those authors I regularly read. Yet I sometimes dislike her battle descriptions and I was not too happy with the ending of Victory Conditions. But to all that I say, who cares? I read the books anyhow, and I like them. Sometimes when you’ve done enough reading you just feel like complaining about something.

To make the same point again, I hate time travel, yet I read everything from the Dragonriders of Pern and other series by Anne McCaffrey that I can get my hands on. Why? Anne McCaffrey is simply in a class by herself as a story teller, and her characters draw you in and make you want to hear more about them.

I think it’s fairly arrogant to tell other people what they ought to like in literature. I’ve been told I should like Dostoyevsky. I can’t stand him. All apologies to advocates of great literature. I’m going to miss that part of it. But are people who like his writing stupid? Do they have bad taste? In my opinion, they simply have tastes that differ from mine. In this case it might be that it is the social commentary and the ideas that drive them.

Speaking of ideas, I like reading parts of Ayn Rand, but things like John Galt’s speech in Atlas Shrugged just turn me off as part of a novel. When I first read Atlas Shrugged I scanned the speech and then read it later when I was in the mood for some non-fiction.

I wrote on this topic before in Defining Good Literature (Or Not), and the follow-up, So Are There Actually Standards in Literature.

Enjoy. (Or not!)