Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States near Portland Oregon, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories and meeting her neighbors' dogs on the green.
Some novels are told from a single point of view. Others invite you into lots of different minds and ways of seeing. Some offer a single main protagonist, but open your eyes to things they've failed to see. And still others let the reader float free over a sea of strangers. So... do you prefer books with one protagonist or with many? Or does it depend on the story, or the author, the writing style, the promise fulfilled by story's end?
Superheroes have super-powers. Magical heroes have mystical skills. Human heroes stand tall in the face of impossible odds. Canine and feline heroes tackle mysteries and monsters. Life coaching heroes coach great lives. Famous authors pen novels that change lives. And readers read.
I'm not sure what would constitute a heroic reader, but I'm wondering, after reading books with titles like "Heroes of the Earth," "Bloodline," and "Magician's Workshop," jus
I'm working on a non-fiction book--"Faith And..." where I look at how God's relationship to mankind is so much than "faith alone" or "scripture alone." I've been working on it for years, off and on, and just maybe this will the year I let it out the door. Or not. It depends on time and timing--time to write, and the right time to release. Who knows, I may even brave the agent's path--I do so long to have an agent. So I follow authors, read their roads, and dream the
It's the end of another Coffee Break Bible Study year, which doesn't seem at all possible. But here we are, back at Daniel, looking at his future that's already our past, before we start with everybody's future in September. Enjoy.
(50) What Daniel SawShortly before the Medo-Persian conquest (i.e. before Cyrus, and before the last parts of Isaiah and Zechariah were being read to the Jews of the return) Daniel, still at the Babylonian court, received some amazing visions. Remembering
I was going to write a blogpost soon, but that was hours ago. I was going to advertize my new novellas soon, but that was days ago. My husband was going to choose paint colors soon, but that was months ago. And my next novel, Subtraction, was going to come out soon, but how soon is soon?
Then yesterday I got good news. Subtraction has a tentative release date of August 1st. Hurray! So now I shall have to advertize soon, beg for reviews, try to get the book into stores…
Our study group follows the school year, so we're stopping soon for summer. Which is kind of weird. We started the previous year with Samuel, hoping to finish all the prophets in a year. Then we broke for summer, starting this year with Daniel and hoping to get back to Daniel's visions of the future by the end of the year. Now we're in sight of the finish line but we know we're not going to reach it. Maybe next week we'll look at Daniel in the light of the "future" from there to John t
Today I'm delighted to welcome author Judith Wolf Mandell to my blog. She's had a long career as a journalist/publicist, and the childrens book, Sammy's Broken Leg (Oh, No!) and the Amazing Cast That Fixed It represents her first venture into picture books.
With her husband and Cockapoo, Judith Wolf Mandell moved from San Diego eleven years ago to be near family in Nashville--read the book and you'll see how important family is to her. They live in an abs
We're coming to the end of Isaiah and Zechariah - coming to the end of the words of the prophets in history - and coming to the end of this year's Bible study.
So... did Isaiah live to an enormous age and continue writing in a rebuilt Jerusalem? Did his followers rewrite or revisit his words? Did a follower write in the voice of Isaiah? Or are the words in the book even more ancient than they appear?
Perhaps a better question would be: are details of dates and age
I haven't seen the new Beauty and the Beast movie yet. Somehow it seems odd to look for a live-action version of a Disneyesque version of a familiar fairytale. But I might see it one day.
Meanwhile I was given a copy of "Beauty and the Beast: Classic Tales about Animal Brides and Grooms from around the World" to read. I suddenly found that Disney's version wasn't so strange, and that there are far more versions of the familiar fantasy than I'd ever known. Myths and legends
There's a fantastic kindle authors contest going on - kindle storyteller 2017 - and you can enter it any time up to May 19th. All you have to do isrelease a book on kindle - at least 5,000 words and no less than 24 pages in print; all your own work; not violating any laws etc - create a print version - easy using the new kindle beta print, which looks almost the same as Createspace but without distribution to other vendors, make sure you use the right keywords (simple to cut and paste)
I read a book called "The Mystery Tomb" recently. Can you guess, it was a mystery? Characters had mysterious backstories. Locations revealed unexpected treasures. Desire and intention collided while truth slipped and slid, awaiting the final reveal. Mystery for sure. "Deadly Spirits" is a mystery driven by a wonderfully human narrator whose favorite spirits come in bottles, but whose life revolves around mysterious deaths. "Raining Men and Corpses"? has to be myster
With five weeks to go in our Bible study series, I'm wondering if we'll make it to the end of those prophets. I think we might, but we'll see. This week we look at Joel (with his armies of locusts) and flip back to Isaiah, but the pages are turning forward in history. We'll see Isaiah through eyes of a re-established Jerusalem, then the rest of Zechariah, then Daniel through the eyes of those who used his book to repel invasion, then onward to John - it's where we've been headed for almost 2 ye
A new command was given on Maundy Thursday – a mandate – mandatum – hence the name. And in honor of “loving one another,” priests wash parishioners’ feet, kings and queens give coins, and altars are stripped ready to remember that giving of it all.
The story below comes from my Bible gift book: Easter, Creation to Salvation in 100 words a day. And if you want to know what happens next (the end of the world perhaps), look for Revelation, from Easter to Pentecost in 100 words a day. Enj
I can't quite believe our study is so close to the end of the Old Testament. Of course, we still have lots of pieces from Daniel to catch up on - I'm planning to look at those in the light of when they were used (to turn back Alexander for example), so we'll get there, eventually. Meanwhile the Temple has been rebuilt and the city walls are a mess. Back to Ezra and Nehemiah...
(46) The Scribe and the Cupbearer (Ezra and Nehemiah)Ezra and Nehemiah both write about the rebuilding of J
Today I'm delighted to welcome Sonia Panigrahy, the author of Nina the Neighborhood Ninja to my site. (Click on the link for my review, or find it on Amazon here). Lots of picture book and storybook heroes are boys, so it's nice to read this one with valiant Nina as the protagonist. And it's great to read how Sonia feels about those children's characters.
Gender Equality in Children’s Books, by Sonia Panigrahy
Over the past decade, I grew into the role of an aunt to my net
Who do kids learn their lessons from? The obvious answer is from teachers at school. Perhaps from parents at home. But what about from teddy bears, dogs, birds or snakes? If they're reading books, they might learn lessons from all of these. And if they read the first book in my list below, the parents just might learn the odd lesson too. So from where or what did you learn your most important lessons?
Creature Comforts, the extraordinary life of Cassandra Jones, by Tamara Hart Heine
Some authors change their names when they write in different genres. Some change their publishers. Some publishers have subgroups for different genres. And some just ... publish ... write ... go for it.
I think I was trying to be "organized" when I "went for it" and tried to get different publishers for each of my genres. I didn't want to change my name - it's mine! But I didn't want to confuse readers, so I sent my children's Bible stories to a Christian Publish
I got a book in the mail the other day. It's title was "This Book Needs A Title." I read a poem in the poem with the same title. And I pondered, what's a title there for anyway.
The author has now produced TBNAT 2. Meanwhile I struggle to write, struggle to get my publishers to release anything, and struggle to catch up with book reviews. The writing's fun - it's just a pain being squished into an ever-shrinking corner of an ever-more-cluttered bedroom when I HATE CLUTTER!
We left the Israelites struggling to regroup and rebuild last time, in a ruined city with ruined Temple and walls. But things might start looking up soon - a nice reminder that hope remains. Oh, and Daniel's about the meet the lions...
(45) Weeping and Fasting and MalachiBackground information: As the Bible account draws closer to the present day, it becomes easier (though never trivial) to date events. When Haggai and Zechariah date their prophecies according to the reign of Darius
Fear wears many different faces in novels I've read recently. In one, a dying woman is afraid for the daughters she'll leave behind. Others fear revelations from the past and struggle not to touch its memories. One woman is convinced her memories are false because nobody believed them--now she calls herself insane. There's a man who fears, very sensibly, how misguided decisions will effect his land and neighbors. Another fears the end of the world; yet another, the end of the world as he's imag
Does the real world hide behind fantasy? Or is fantasy a way to reveal what the real world hides?
I guess I'm including George Orwell's 1984 as a favorite fantasy novel, though I might have called it science fiction once (futuristic fiction?). It certainly hid a wealth of truths that time is still drawing to light. So did Animal Farm. And so do many other books, old and new. Perhaps even the ancient plays of the Greeks had the same allure--a way to reveal what we're not meant to see
They say death puts things in perspective. It certainly leaves the living thinking their small troubles hardly compare to those of the bereaved. Then we add guilt to trouble and hide our tears because they wouldn't be fair. But perhaps God has spared us this trial because he wants us to learn -- from how another deals with trials, or perhaps from the trials he's already given us.
The death of a friend is huge. It must loom so impossibly for his family. I mourn with them. And I still
I love picture books, and I used to dream of filling the bookshelves with ones written and drawn by myself. As time went on, I learned how much time it takes to paint, so I narrowed my goals down to words. Then time went on.
When I had kids, I filled the bookshelves (bottom shelves so they could reach) with picture books written and drawn by somebody else. My head was still filled with stories, but my time belonged to the boys. One night my son rejected all the books I wanted to rea
If someone can be "taken too soon," does that imply there's a right time? My dad certainly thought so. He told my mum not to be scared of him having another heart attack. If he did and she didn't know what to do, she should trust God was well aware of that fact and had chosen the timing perfectly. He said he would go when God wanted him to -- neither too soon nor too late. Will I trust like my dad?
The news is of danger. The world's not as safe as we'd choose. Though, to be fair, we never thought London was safe. Not when I was growing up and gangsters were a strange phenomenon. Not when the IRA held sway. Not when friends asked if we really wanted to risk taking our children there before we left the country. And surely not now, because nowhere is safe. Because safety is an illusion. So I read for escape... maybe. But which books help you escape?
So, the flood’s all dry, the floor is uncarpeted and gray, the walls are holey and gray, the cieling’s gray (don’t ask–the previous owners painted it that way!), the sky’s most definitely gray (and most probably raining), and my mood… well, my mood is distinctly gray too. Meanwhile we look at paint colors, floor coverings (not not not not carpet, never again!), light fittings and more. Dreaming, wishing perhaps? Meanwhile time goes on.
I can scarcely believe it’s almost two months sin
This week our Bible study moves on to look at the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. I guess, at last, we're looking at "minor prophets," but they had some major things to say at a time when major things were happening. They seem to have had some major things to say about the future too.
(44) Haggai and Zechariah issue a call to rebuildThe Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem and tried to rebuild the Temple. The foundations were laid (Ezra 3:10-11) but work stopped around 535BC
I'm enjoying reading familiar verses from Isaiah in a different light. Sometimes we're so sure are own interpretations are the only possible ones, and so we divide when we really ought to unite. But it's not new--it's human, and the Bible story tells the wonder of when human meets divine--real world, real people, and real God!
(43)Deutero-Isaiah and the ReturnNbonidus and Belshazzar were coregents over Babylon. The citizens were tired of Nabonidus’ long absence and refusal to worshi
I'm still living in chaos, typing at a desk that echoes every keystroke, louder and louder and LOUDER throughout the day; piling books on a bed that's so loaded with spare blankets everything slides to the floor; carefully positioning my feet between the air-vent and the multi-plug, with boxes oneither side; and leaning over a wire rack every afternoon to half-close the blinds against the sun--yes, it really does shine--it shines straight into my eyes. Meanwhile I'm trying to organize times
Today I'm delighted to welcome Julie Ann Wambach, author of Games of Make-Believe, to my blog. I read and reviewed Games of Make-Believe a little while ago (click on the link for my review), and I was intrigued by the different styles and voices used in the novel. Getting the chance to ask the author why she wrote it that way is a real treat. So, pull up a chair, pour yourself a coffee, and see what she has to say. If you leave your own questions in the comments I'm sure she will answer them.
Some of the passages from Isaiah are so familiar we almost miss the words. They're beautiful and powerful poems, but they're also a record of real speeches proclaimed on real city streets. Reading them while looking at the exile in Babylon makes me see them through different eyes. Perhaps I'll see the world through different eyes too.
(42) Prophecy, Rebellion and SubversionWhat if reading the Bible were subversive? What if its message contradicted the rule of secular authorities—or
Today I'm delighted to welcome authors Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr to my blog with a joint guest posts, celebrating their Magician's Workshop series. Volumes 1 and 2 are already available (see details below), but what turns a novel into a series, and will there be more?
What's New At The Magician's Workshop by Christopher Hansen and J. R. Fehr
The Magician's Workshop is going to be an epic tale that we expect will span several volumes. Volume One introduces the read
We're reading bits from Isaiah in our Bible study this week, remembering how these same passages would have been read by refugees in Babylon, and looking at how they apply to us today. Was Isaiah one prophet or many? Do we care? The words and the meaning are the same...
(41) What Did Isaiah Say?There are passages in Isaiah that sound very similar to passages in Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Obadiah. Scholars suggest:
1. Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Obadiah
I used to read my Bible and listen to God while feeding the baby. I asked, "Why do you give me so much when I haven't got the time to pass anything on?" "Perhaps My words are a gift just for you."
The kids grew older. I read my Bible and wrote down the words I received. "Why do you give me so many words when nobody's going to read them?" "Perhaps they're a gift for one reader, and that's enough."
Today I have a very cool young guest on my blog. Her name is Misry and she's here from Paromita Goswami's middle-schoo, teen and YA book, Grow Up Messy, published by Ficus India. So, find yourself a comfy chair and a cup of tea or coffee. Let's talk with Misry.
Misry, can you tell us something about your family and the place where you live?
I have a big family at my Dadu’s house. Let me talk about them. I visited there during Pallavi Mashi’s marriage. It’s a huge
One of my sons views the future with dread, imagines the worst, and believes we might all soon be dead. It's a sad point of view, but I recognize it from my own youth, when I was always sure one of the "big three" (Russia, America or China) would foolishly "push the button" and condemn us all to die. Eventually movie-makers filmed their tales - Australians patiently awaiting the end; triumphant American pioneers rebuilding it all, or downtrodden English survivors slaving on.
Our pastor's take on the Beatitudes: Grace for the needy; kneel down and receive. Love for our service; stand up to give mercy and peace. Then hope for the hurting, for falling, then back to our knees. He calls it Christian aerobics.
Doing these studies in the prophets has really driven home to me how long it took for Jerusalem to fall. But now we've reached that in-between time, when the people are exiled in Bablyon, the city and Temple are gone, and the future looks seriously uncertain and bleak. Exiled from my basement (and office), with chairs and sofa gone (where I used to read, take notes, eat lunch etc), and unsure how long it will take for me to get "home," I'm unsettled, but nothing like so unsettled as th
Disaster struck and our basement flooded - the family room where we watch TV, where I work on my computer, where I live most of my life... all under several inches of water. Now the TV's in the living room, the computer's in the kitchen, the bookshelves (those that survived) are stacked on a tarpaulin, and the books (those that survived) are hidden in boxes in the garage.
My husband has great plans for remodeling at this point, since water has already begun the job. He's not sure, h
My Mum loves cats.
They seem to quite like her too, and we had a lovely time visiting them at a cat cafe recently. But now Mum's back in England. My home is dogless, mumless and catless. And I'm reading books. I love books. Sadly, though, they're not so soft and cuddly as cats and they usually don't wrap themselves around my neck. They were great to share with Mum though, before she left.
Having watched all those cats, a book entitled A Cat Is Watching by Roger A. Caras seems
My purpose... is to make my readers see through different eyes, to invite them into real and wounded lives, to show the power of forgiveness and the miracle of hope, to invite questions, draw back the curtain, reveal some tiny glimpse of what lies behind. In Bible stories I'll show a real world of real people--real history, real science--and a very real God. In contemporary drama my real people will cry for real release. In animal stories I'm still asking readers to see... In science fiction, i
I was given solitude and I wrote alone. I was given quietness and I ignored the noise. I was given awareness when I needed to lead a group and see people's needs. The gift of tolerance made me aware that my tolerance wasn't a crime. And now I have power. Do I?
Star gifts aren't drips of glory from on high. They're not even treasures for us to unwrap, but rather validations of gifts God has given and is using in our lives. We're meant to dip a hand in the dish and remove one star, with prayer, then read and ponder, see and wonder. It's true that all my star gifts have meant something special to me in the past. But this year I got such a wondrous gift, one to long for, to dream of, to desire--a gift of power. All I feel is its lack. But perhaps star gi
Today I'm delighted to welcome Ukrainian author Olga Petrenko to my blog. Her book has the enticing title, Intimacy on the Plate, which inspires me to wonderWhat is an intimate plate?And what inspired her to write this book?If you want to the know the answers to these questions and more, please read on.
Olga Petrenko grew up in Ukraine, where she learned to appreciate traditional Eastern European hospitality and homemaking. As an adult, she studied the chemistry of foods for their un
My star gift from church, delayed because snow got in the way, was a gray card labelled power. My nerves now frayed from bailing water in the basement, I feel powerless. Meanwhile Mum, harried and harassed by my plight, received the gift of peace. We're both hoping and praying the rain and snow might cease.
2017 feels like a crazy year to me. We've been trapped by snow, inundated by rain, demoralized by water flooding our home, isolated by lack of phone, TV and internet (maybe that was a good thing), concerned for the health of friends in the US and UK, overwhelmed by politics (yes, lack of internet probably was a good thing), and generally... well... just not entirely happy about the state of 2017. But the Israelites must have felt worse as Jerusalem fell, so it's good to finally get back to our B