Tuesday, March 12, 2013

So Shines the Night by Tracy L. Higley

As I have stated previously, I am part of a Caravan to promote Tracy L. Higley's new book So Shines the Night. I've posted a couple of other blogs about the book and I wanted to go a little deeper about the book and the author.

I was introduced to Tracy (forgive the formality) when she was giving away 5,000 of her books. (For more information, read about it -- http://tracyhigley.com/the-great-book-giveaway/) I love free books - after all, isn't that why I started blogging and reviewing books was to receive them for free?? (Yes!)

Author Q and A:

What inspired the theme of So Shines the Night?
The idea of community is dear to my heart, and the struggle we all have to not live in isolation. I wanted to take a look at two people struggling to do the right thing, but going about it the wrong way because they were isolated both from other people and from God, and to see what would happen when they brushed up against a community like the first century church.
What's one thing you learned about Ephesus and its importance to Christians that you found surprising/interesting/challenging?
I had never realized or noticed until studying this time in Paul’s life, how much time he spent there (nearly three years). I always pictured him hopping around from place to place fairly quickly. I was challenged by the time that he invested in people’s lives, the relationships and bonds he formed. Later, when the Ephesian elders said goodbye to him, the book of Acts tells us that they were literally weeping. It’s easy for me to minister to people “from afar” but I was really challenged by Paul’s relational approach to sharing Christ.
How do you do your research?
It’s a multi-tiered approach, with very basic research at first (sometimes even juvenile non-fiction), to get a high-level view, then going deeper into the specific days/years I’ll be writing about, and then getting a broad view of the daily life and culture through dusty textbooks. All of this goes into my “notebook” and inspires specific plots and scenes. As I am actually writing the first draft, I often leave placeholders where more specific research is needed, like an XX where a number or detail should go. At the end, I go back and find all those placeholders and research the details, often online where it’s much easier to search for very specific information.
What is the condition of the Ephesian church today?
Ephesus was eventually abandoned as a city because the harbor became clogged with silt, so there is no real city or church there today. The nearest city is Sel├žuk, which is a predominantly Muslim population. I did a quick Google search in answering your question, and came up with this page, which is really cool: http://www.worshipinephesus.com/

My Review
I have read a couple of her books, Marduk's Tablet and So Shines the Night. I have started Isle of Shadows, but I haven't gotten too far into it (b/c of lack of time). Over the years, I have discovered that I enjoy reading historical fiction. I really enjoy a story that can teach me about another time period and is interwoven with people and stories from the bible. It's a win/win for me! So Shines the Night is set during Paul's time in Ephesus and explores all the activities happening during that time frame. I have enjoyed reading about other events going on during that time and getting a fuller picture of all that people were exposed to during this time. Our current day struggles aren't so different from their struggles. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy suspense, historical fiction and drama. You will not be disappointed.

Don't forget!

Contest Entry

To enter to win the $50 Gift Card, send them to this page:

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I was given a complimentary copy of So Shines the Night in exchange for being part of the Caravan and for promoting So Shines the Night. My review is my opinion.

Monday, March 11, 2013

So Shines the Night - Blog Tour and Giveaway

I am very excited to be part of the Tracy L. Higley's Caravan. Caravan members are sharing the news about Tracy L. Higley's newest book So Shines the Night.

What's it about?
Daria’s new home with Lucas in Ephesus both beguiles and confounds her, until she meets followers of The Way.
Her past has taught her that evil is real, that it can consume a person. She saw it happen with her husband, before he took his own life. Widowed but well-educated, Daria becomes a tutor to Lucas, a rich traveling merchant from Ephesus. There she discovers evil has a strong foothold and that Lucas himself seems drawn to evil and sorcery.

As her relationship with her employer grows, she fears that she will be unable to pull him from demonic influence. Tension in the city is about to erupt, as a new sect called The Way continues to draw followers.  The man Paul leads a movement against the economic and political strength of the city, found in its goddess cult.

When she learns more of the ways of the Christians and their ability to defeat evil, she begins to have hope, but when Lucas is arrested and jailed for a brutal crime, it seems not even the Christians can help.

Tensions escalate in the city until thousands are pouring into the arena to protest the influence of the Christians, and a plot to kill Paul is underway. When Lucas’s execution is scheduled, Daria must find a way to prove his innocence, save his life, and help her new friends before everyone she loves is destroyed.

Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. She has authored nine novels, including Garden of Madness and Isle of Shadows. Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. See her travel journals and more at TracyHigley.com

Contest Entry

To enter to win the $50 Gift Card, send them to this page:
Get more books!  Enter to win a $50 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble