Thursday, April 30, 2009

Up Close and Personal with Karina Fabian

(Apologies to Karina and any readers who were looking for this post last week. I was unable to get to my computer for several days, so I'm behind schedule. Good thing no one reads my blog!)

Photobucket One of my very favorite authors these days is Karina Fabian, whose latest book Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem is a must-read for everyone. And I do mean everyone! Well, not babies, but everyone old enough to understand it.

A few days ago I was blessed enough to have an interview with the fabulous Mrs. Fabian. Here's what she shared with me:

ME: I know this is on your website, but just for any readers who haven't visited yet, could you just tell a little about yourself. What kind of background do you have a far as home life, education, jobs...?

KARINA: My motto is Fiction, Faith and Fun! Because that's the kind of stuff I write about. I'm mother of four kids, and when they were young, I wrote about parenting and homeschooling and childbirth as well, but we've moved past that. Now, I write to entertain them as well as myself.

My husband, Rob Fabian, is a Lt. Col in the Air Force, which makes for a fun life--we've lived in three countries and states five states so far and are moving to California soon. We met while I was in the Air Force, and he's my best friend, my idea man and my co-editor. I hit the jackpot with him and will never know why God blessed me so--but I'm eternally grateful!

I majored in Math, minored in History, seldom use either. I was an intelligence officer in the Air Force, so I can't tell you much about that or I'd have to kill you. My desk is a mess; my to-do list is 121 things long (and those are just the ones I marked with deadlines), and my cat's favorite spot in on the back of my chair. I am a horrendous typist despite lessons.

ME: You have a lot of stuff going on besides writing best-sellers. I know you have several children and you have home-schooled at times. What are some of the other projects, hobbies that keep you running around (the word
mayhem comes to mind)?

KARINA: Best sellers--oh, don't I wish! Frankly, I tend to be a pretty mono-focused person. My life is family and writing. I've never been into hobbies, which usually has implications of collecting things. I hate clutter. Yes, even book clutter. Since we move every couple of years, I don't have time or space or patience for stuff. I have played the harp, but haven't done much with it the past 2 years. I'm just not good at spreading my attention.

ME: Magic, Mensa and Mayhem isn't your first endeavor in writing. What other projects have you been involved in as an author/ editor/compiler?

KARINA: Infinite Space, Infinite God: Thought-provoking sci-fi with a Catholic Twist! (Anthology form Twilight Times,

Leaps of Faith: Christian sci-fi because God and Man do co-exist (Anthology from The Writers Café Press,

I've also written for several anthologies--especially DragonEye, PI stories. Their cases just seem to lend themselves to anthologies.

--"DragonEye, PI" in Firestorm of Dragons ( Vern's first case, where he saves the princess, prevents the closing of the Gap and resists temptation to steal an artifact for himself

--"Mishmash" coming in Tentacles from SamsDot Press. How Vern and Grace meet and team up to stop an ancient demon summoned through a nonsense song.

--"The Faerie Truth Behind the Fairy Tales" coming in Mother Goose is Dead from DragonMoon Press. Vern's article on the many scams based on well-known fairy tales.

Finally, these stories are available on the website,

--"Amateurs" Take an Egyptian goddess, add a pixie turf war and you get one of the Blblical Ten Plagues! How? Join the website at and get the free story to find out.

--"Christmas Spirits" When the Ghosts of Christmas haunt a developer bent on destroying Vern and Grace's home, they must put aside their feelings and uncover the cause. (For sale on the website)

--"Fern Gullible" You'll never think of Rumplestiltskin the same way after this locked-room mystery! (For sale on the website.)

I try to put up a new story for sale each quarter.

ME: There are some marvelous characters in this tale with great details about their personalities and actions. I wonder if you have drawn from real life people, even family, to flesh things out?

KARINA: Sometimes, but more often, I draw on The legends themselves. I look at who they were then decide if it's funnier to stretch the cliché, twist it or shatter it altogether. I also think about how exposure to the modern world would affect them. For example, Brunhilde the Valkyrie. Millennia of dealing with violent sweaty men whose idea of heaven is to fight, drink, fornicate and fight again. I can't imagine the finer things like romance or bathing come to mind very often. Now, she hears about our world, where women aren't confined to roles, body sculpting is in, and toothpaste is abundant! So, while she loves her sweaty men, she's exploring herself, staring a line of lingerie for large women, working out on her Bowflex and meeting guys who are sweet and minty. So, not based on anyone I know personally.

ME: How did the original concepts for Dragon Eye, P. I. come about?

KARINA: Vern started out as an idea for the Firestorm of Dragons anthology. I wanted a unique angle on dragons, and came up with a cynical snarky PI after watching a film noir parody on the comedy improv show, "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?"

ME: Vern and Grace, as well as many other characters in the book, crossed over The Gap from Faerie to our world, which they call Mundane. What's the story behind that Gap? Could you compare/contrast Faerie with our world?

KARINA: The Interdimensional Gap was created by a combination nuclear accident in the Mundane and a magical mishap in Faerie. Like Vern says, "sounds like a comic book, I know, but you don't have the knowledge in quantum mechanics or thaumaturgy to understand. For that matter, I barely do." Nowadays, it's just another border crossing. It doesn't look like much actually--kind of a big silvery burlap circle in the middle of a field. On our side, of course, there's a whole infrastructure around it--fences, security, customs, etc.--to keep people from just wandering in and out. On the other side, there are also guards and mages to keep the bad from crossing as well, and both sides have their share of vendors lining the area. Our side looks like an airport; theirs, a fair.

The Mundane world is pretty much like you see here--technological, bureaucratic, wildly diverse in opinions and faith. There, it's the stuff of legend, but never as you'd expect. It's more diverse as far as sentient species, but the humans are almost exclusively Catholic (or agnostic, which is rare). The Church has had to be a strong, organized power because thanks to magic, Satan and his demons are not only more powerful but more visible. Their Church is close enough to ours that you can attend Mass in either world, but there are political and theological differences, as well as cultural ones. The Church is also politically strong. As a result, a lot of their history is different. The New World is very different--no United States, but an Mayan Empire, an Iroquoi Federation... I'm still exploring.

ME: Let's cut to the chase, now. Briefly, just what is Magic, Mensa and Mayhem about?

KARINA: It should have been a cushy job: Vern, the dragon detective, and his partner, the mage Sister Grace, are given an all-expense paid trip to Florida to chaperone a group of Magicals at a Mensa convention. Then the pixies start pranking, the Valkyrie starts vamping and a dwarf goes to Billy Beaver's Fantasyland hoping to be "discovered." Environmentalists protest Vern's "disrupting the ecosystem," while clueless tourists think he's animatronic. When the elves get high on artificial flavorings and declare war on Florida, it turns into the toughest case they aren’t getting paid for.

ME: Was there anything that served as an impetus to this story?

KARINA: My friend, Shirley Starke, edits the North Dakota Mensa newsletter, The Prairie Dawg. She asked me if I had a story, and since World Gathering was taking place that year in Florida, we decided it'd be funny if the Faerie attended.

ME: While reading through Vern's viewpoint, I often wondered how other characters might have presented the same story. In particular Grace. She is an amazing person, in my opinion, and one I'd like to know more about. Do you think her point of view would have been much different than Vern's?

KARINA: Oh, definitely! But, like the Virgin Mary, she's very good at keeping things in the silence of her heart, so I don't know the story from her POV.

ME: Besides Vern, which character was the most enjoyable for you?

KARINA: I loved them all, but the finicky ones were the most fun to write. That's be Jean Pierre the French chef, and Melchior Rawlings, the artist. There's nothing like being able to go overboard with a personality!

ME: What would you hope for people to come away with when they read Magic, Mensa and Mayhem?

KARINA: Sore rib muscles from laughing so hard.

ME: Thanks so much for your time, Karina, and for writing this wonderful story for us to enjoy!

KARINA: Thanks for the interview, Cathi!

Abracadabra for Wise Guys: Magic, Mensa and Mayhem

There's nothing like blowing a hole in space-time to change your perspective on the universe....

Welcome to the multi-verse of Faerie/Mundane, where the Faerie are fae, the Mundanes are...not, and the clichés get twisted until they shatter!
The Mundane world is very much like ours: technological, commercial, and diverse in governments and cultures. The Faerie is the world of magic and legend--but not quite how we think of it. Brownies are transdimensional beings who will clean your room--and finish your Sudoku puzzles (in a different numbering system.) Elves are long-lived and long-winded to a fault (takes half an hour in Elvish to ask where the bathroom is). Just as our world obeys the laws of physics, theirs obeys the laws of magic, which means some clichés can't be avoided.
The two "meet" when a combination nuclear accident at Los Lagos Nuclear Power Station, Colorado, on the Mundane side and a magical mishap near Peebles-on-Tweed, England, on the Faerie side, create a wormhole (dubbed by one of the scientists as "The Gap," and wasn't the clothing chain pleased!). Both worlds discovered that magic and technology do not mix well, and an enchanted artifact can be as dangerous to our world as an iron griddle is to the Faerie--and equally innocuous.
Also not always mixing well, are the cultures and governments of these universes. From economic espionage to Satan's Faerie forces trying to get a toehold in the Mundane, there's plenty of side issues to keep a dragon detective busy. Then, there are the minor irritations of American citizenship for non-humans; censorship across the Gap; and the simple misunderstandings that can sometimes erupt into Interdimensional Incidents.
Into this enters Vern: a Faerie dragon living out a geas to serve God and His creatures. He emigrated to the Mundane and circumstances caused him to remain and become a professional problem solver for the particularly desperate. Over the years, he has gained respect among the Mundanes--even does some consulting for the local police--but still doesn't have that Green Card. He's a little miffed about it still.
Sister Grace, a nun and mage of the Faerie Catholic Church, is his partner. A heavyweight among mages, she channels magic mostly through the power of her voice and has gotten them out of more than one tough scrape.
Together, they solve mysteries, fight crime--Mundane, magical, neutral or evil--and save the universes on an much-too-frequent basis.
All in all, it keeps Vern and Grace on their toes. But Vern does enjoy living in interesting times....

For laughs and more information on Karina Fabian, Vern and Dragon Eye, P. I., and Magic Mensa and Mayhem, check out these websites:

Monday, April 20, 2009

UNQUIET BONES by Mel Starr--an Excerpt

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The Unquiet Bones

Monarch Books (November 4, 2008)


Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He graduated from Spring Arbor High School in 1960, and Greenville College (Illinois) in 1964. He received a MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970. He taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage, MI, where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School.

Mel married Susan Brock in 1965, and they have two daughters; Amy (Kevin) Kwilinski, of Kennesaw, GA, and Jennifer (Jeremy) Reivitt, of Portage, MI. Mel and Susan have seven grandchildren.

***No author photo available. The church pictured is The Church of St. Beornwald (part of the setting for The Unquiet Bones). Today it is basically unchanged from its medieval appearance. Except for the name: in the 16th century it was renamed and since then has been called The Church of St. Mary the Virgin.***

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Monarch Books (November 4, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0825462908
ISBN-13: 978-0825462900


Uctred thought he had discovered pig bones. He did not know or care why they were in the

cesspit at the base of Bampton Castle wall.

Then he found the skull. Uctred is a villein, bound to the land of Lord Gilbert, third Baron Talbot, lord of Bampton Castle, and had slaughtered many pigs. He knew the difference between human and pig skulls.

Lord Gilbert called for me to inspect the bones. All knew whose bones they must be. Only two men had recently gone missing in Bampton. These must be the bones of one of them.

Sir Robert Mallory had been the intended suitor of Lord Gilbert's beautious sister, Lady Joan. Shortly after Easter he and his squire called at the castle, having, it was said, business with Lord Gilbert. What business this was I know not, but suspect a dowry was part of the conversation. Two days later he and his squire rode out the castle gate to the road north toward Burford. The porter saw him go. No one saw him or his squire after. He never arrived at his father’s manor at Northleech. How he arrived, dead, unseen, back within--or nearly within--the walls of Bampton Castle no one could say. Foul play seemed likely.

I was called to the castle because of my profession; surgeon. Had I known when I chose such work that cleaning filth from bones might be part of my duties I might have continued the original calling chosen for me: clerk.

I am Hugh of Singleton, fourth and last son of a minor knight from the county of Lancashire. The manor of Little Singleton is aptly named; it is small. My father held the manor in fief from Robert de Sandford. It was a pleasant place to grow up. Flat as a table, with a wandering,

sluggish tidal stream, the Wyre, pushing through it on its journey from the hills, just visible ten miles to the east, to the sea, an equal distance to the northwest.

As youngest son, the holding would play no part in my future. My oldest brother, Roger, would receive the manor, such as it was. I remember when I was but a tiny lad overhearing him discuss with my father a choice of brides who might bring with them a dowry which would enlarge his lands. In this they were moderately successful. Maud’s dowry doubled my brother’s holdings. After three children Roger doubled the size of his bed, as well. Maud was never a frail girl. Each heir she produced added to her bulk. This seemed not to trouble Roger. Heirs are important.

Our village priest, Father Aymer, taught the manor school. When I was nine years old, the year the great death first appeared, he spoke to my father and my future was decided.

I showed a scholar’s aptitude, so it would be the university for me. At age fourteen I was sent off to Oxford to become a clerk, and, who knows, perhaps eventually a lawyer or a priest. This was poor timing, for in my second year at the university a fellow student became enraged at the watered beer he was served in a High Street tavern and with some cohorts destroyed the place. The proprietor sought assistance, and the melee became a wild brawl known ever after as the St. Scholastica Day Riot. Near a hundred scholars and townsmen died before the sheriff restored the peace. When I dared emerge from my lodgings I fled to Lancashire and did not return until Michealmas term.

I might instead have inherited Little Singleton had the Black Death been any worse.

Roger and one of his sons perished in 1349, but two days apart, in the week before St. Peter’s Day. Then, at the Feast of St. Mary my third brother died within a day of falling ill. Father Aymer said an imbalance of the four humors; air, earth, fire, and water, caused the sickness. Most priests, and indeed the laymen as well, thought this imbalance due to God’s wrath. Certainly men gave Him reason enough to be angry.

Most physicians ascribed the imbalance to the air. Father Aymer recommended burning wet wood to make smoky fires, ringing the church bell at regular intervals, and the wearing of a bag of spices around the neck to perfume the air. I was but a child, however it seemed to me even then that these precautions were not successful. Father Aymer, who did not shirk his duties as did some scoundrel priests, died a week after administering extreme unction to my brother Henry. I watched from the door, a respectful distance from my brother’s bed. I can see in my memory Father Aymer bending over my wheezing, dying brother, his spice bag swinging out from his body as he chanted the phrases of the sacrament.

So my nephew and his mother inherited little Singleton and I made my way to Oxford. I found the course of study mildly interesting. Father Aymer had taught me Latin and some Greek, so it was no struggle to advance my skills in these languages.

I completed the trivium and quadrivium in the allotted six years, but chose not to take holy orders after the award of my bachelor’s degree. I had no desire to remain a bachelor, although I had no particular lady in mind with whom I might terminate my solitary condition.

I desired to continue my studies. Perhaps, I thought, I shall study law, move to

London, and advise kings. The number of kingly advisors who ended their lives in prison or at the block should have dissuaded me of this conceit. But the young are seldom deterred from following foolish ideas.

You see how little I esteemed life as a vicar in some lonely village, or even the life of a rector with livings to support me. This is not because I did not wish to serve God. My desire in that regard, I think, was greater than many who took a vocation; serving the church while they served themselves.

In 1361, while I completed a Master of Arts degree, plague struck again. Oxford, as before, was hard hit. The colleges were much reduced. I lost many friends, but once again God chose to spare me. I have prayed many times since that I might live so as to make Him pleased that He did so.

I lived in a room on St. Michael’s Street, with three other students. One fled the town at the first hint the disease had returned. Two others perished. I could do nothing to help them, but tried to make them comfortable. No; when a man is covered from neck to groin in bursting pustules he cannot be made comfortable. I brought water to them, and put cool cloths on their fevered foreheads, and waited with them for death.

William of Garstang had been a friend since he enrolled in Balliol College five years earlier. We came from villages but ten miles apart -- although his was much larger; it held a weekly market -- but we did not meet until we became students together. An hour before he died William beckoned me to approach his bed. I dared not remain close, but heard his rasping whisper as he willed to me his possessions. Among his meager goods were three books.

God works in mysterious ways. Between terms, in August of 1361, He chose to do three things which would forever alter my life. First, I read one of William’s books: SURGERY, by Henry de Mondeville, and learned of the amazing intricacies of the human body. I read all day, and late into the night, until my supply of candles was gone. When I finished, I read the book again, and bought more candles.

Secondly, I fell in love. I did not know her name, or her home. But one glance told me she was a lady of rank and beyond my station. The heart, however, does not deal in social convention.

I had laid down de Mondeville’s book long enough to seek a meal. I saw her as I left the inn. She rode a gray palfrey with easy grace. A man I assumed to be her husband escorted her. Another woman, also quite handsome, rode with them, but I noticed little about her. A half-dozen grooms rode behind this trio: their tunics of blue and black might have identified the lady’s family, but I paid little attention to them, either.

Had I rank enough to someday receive a bishopric I might choose a mistress and disregard vows of chastity. Many who choose a vocation do. Secular priests in lower orders must be more circumspect, but even many of these keep women. This is not usually held against them, so long as they are loyal to the woman who lives with them and bears their children. But I found the thought of violating a vow as repugnant as a solitary life, wedded only to the church. And the Church is already the bride of Christ and needs no other spouse.

She wore a deep red cotehardie -- the vision on the gray mare. Because it was warm she needed no cloak or mantle. She wore a simple white hood, turned back, so that

chestnut-colored hair visibly framed a flawless face. Beautiful women had smitten me before. It was a regular occurrence. But not like this. Of course, that’s what I said the last time, also.

I followed the trio and their grooms at a discreet distance, hoping they might halt before some house. I was disappointed. The party rode on to Oxpens Road, crossed the Castle Mill Stream, and disappeared to the west as I stood watching, quite lost, from the bridge. Why should I have been lovelorn over a lady who seemed to be another man’s wife? Who can know? I cannot. It seems foolish when I look back to the day. It did not seem so at the time.

I put the lady out of my mind. No; I lie. A beautiful woman is as impossible to put out of mind as a corn on one’s toe. And just as disquieting. I did try, however.

I returned to de Mondeville’s book and completed a third journey through its pages. I was confused, but t’was not de Mondeville’s writing which caused my perplexity. The profession I thought lay before me no longer appealed. Providing advice to princes seemed unattractive. Healing men’s broken and damaged bodies now occupied near all my waking thoughts.

I feared a leap into the unknown. Oxford was full to bursting with scholars and lawyers and clerks. No surprises awaited one who chose to join them. And the town was home also to many physicians, who thought themselves far above the barbers who usually performed the stitching of wounds and phlebotomies when such services were needed. Even a physician’s work, with salves and potions, was familiar. But the pages of de Mondeville’s book told me how little I knew of surgery, and how much I must learn should I chose such a vocation. I needed advice.

There is, I think, no wiser man in Oxford than Master John Wyclif. There are men who hold different opinions, of course. Often these are scholars Master John has bested in disputation. Tact is not one among his many virtues, but care for his students is. I sought him out for advice and found him in his chamber at Balliol College, bent over a book. I was loath to disturb him, but he received me warmly when he saw t’was me who rapped upon his door.

“Hugh . . . come in. You look well. Come and sit.”

He motioned to a bench, and resumed his own seat as I perched on the offered bench. The scholar peered silently at me, awaiting announcement of the reason for my visit.

“I seek advice,” I began. “I had it in mind to study law, as many here do, but a new career entices me.”

“Law is safe . . . for most,” Wyclif remarked. “What is this new path which interests you?”

“Surgery. I have a book which tells of old and new knowledge in the treatment of injuries and disease.”

“And from this book alone you would venture on a new vocation?”

“You think it unwise?”

“Not at all. So long as men do injury to themselves or others, surgeons will be needed.”

“Then I should always be employed.”

“Aye,” Wyclif grimaced. “But why seek my counsel? I know little of such matters.”

“I do not seek you for your surgical knowledge, but for aid in thinking through my decision.”

“Have you sought the advice of any other?”


“Then there is your first mistake.”

“Who else must I seek? Do you know of a man who can advise about a life as a surgeon?”

“Indeed. He can advise on any career. I consulted Him when I decided to seek a degree in theology.”

I fell silent, for I knew of no man so capable as Master John asserted, able to advise in both theology and surgery. Perhaps the fellow did not live in Oxford. Wyclif saw my consternation.

“Do you seek God’s will and direction?”

“Ah . . . I understand. Have I prayed about this matter, you ask? Aye, I have, but God is silent.”

“So you seek me as second best.”

“But . . . t’was you just said our Lord could advise on any career.”

“I jest. Of course I, like any man, am second to our Lord Christ . . . or perhaps third, or fourth.”

“So you will not guide my decision?”

“Did I say that? Why do you wish to become a surgeon? Do you enjoy blood and wounds and hurts?”

“No. I worry that I may not have the stomach for it.”

“Then why?”

“I find the study of man and his hurts and their cures fascinating. And I . . . I wish to help others.”

“You could do so as a priest.”

“Aye. But I lack the boldness to deal with another man’s eternal soul.”

“You would risk a man’s body, but not his soul?”

“The body cannot last long, regardless of what a surgeon or physician may do, but a man’s soul may rise to heaven or be doomed to hell . . . forever.”

“And a priest may influence the direction, for good or ill,” Wyclif completed my thought.

“Just so. The responsibility is too great for me.”

“Would that all priests thought as you,” Wyclif muttered. “But lopping off an arm destroyed in battle would not trouble you?”

“T’is but flesh, not an everlasting soul.”

“You speak true, Hugh. And there is much merit in helping ease men’s lives. Our Lord Christ worked many miracles, did he not, to grant men relief from their afflictions. Should you do the same you would be following in his path.”

“I had not considered that,” I admitted.

“Then consider it now. And should you become a surgeon keep our Lord as your model and your work will prosper.”

And so God’s third wonder; a profession. I would go to Paris to study. My income from the manor at Little Singleton was L6, 15 shillings each year, to be awarded so long as I was a student, and to terminate after eight years.

My purse would permit one year in Paris. I know what you are thinking. But I did not spend my resources on riotous living. Paris is an expensive city. I learned much there. I watched, and then participated in dissections. I learned phlebotomy, suturing, cautery, the removal of arrows, the setting of broken bones, and the treatment of scrofulous sores. I learned how to extract a tooth and remove a tumor. I learned trepanning to relieve a headache, and how to lance a fistula. I learned which herbs might staunch bleeding, or dull pain, or cleanse a wound. I spent both time and money as wisely as I knew how, learning the skills which I hoped would one day earn me a living.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Save My Children is “the fictional retelling of a true story, made possible by the generous time and energy of certain individuals, not the least of whom was Harvey Jespersen.” (from the introduction) A small band of Canadian Christians gathered together, feeling the call of God, and built an orphanage in the fields of Alberta on some donated land and out of three army barracks given to them by the Canadian government. Thus began the quiet yet worthy ministry of Bethany Homes for Children in 1948. For the 60 year anniversary, they wanted to share their story with the world. And so Emily Wierenga began researching, interviewing Harvey Jespersen and others in order to write a slightly fictionalized account of the history. I think the fictionalization may be to respect the privacy of real individuals.

The style of this novel is quite different from most books I have reviewed recently. Much of it is like a biography of Harvey and Elsie Jespersen, interspersed with vignettes from the lives of children who came to know love and hope at Bethany. There was Jimmy, whose father had deserted him long ago and whose alcoholic mother killed herself. He came to Bethany feeling it was somehow his fault. Then there was little Eva, who at 12 found herself stealing and leading her nine little sisters and brothers to find shelter because the men who visited their mother abused the children if they went home. At Bethany, they found lots of love and food and learned to trust adults. Children who grew up in the cold city streets squealed with delight at the pigs and playing on the farm with “Dad” Jespersen. Children from Toronto, Saskatchewan, little victims of hardship and neglect, Native-American waifs and frightened orphans—they came to find a center of security, safety, and love at the Bethany Homes for Children. The Jespersens became Mom and Dad to all of them, at least for a period of time.

Save My Children is truly a moving story that demonstrates the lasting effects of God's love pouring through the lives and actions of his servants. Although most of the stories are left unfinished, this is as it really is in life. We touch lives briefly and never know what happens to those people in the future, but in our encounters with them we can make an everlasting impact if we let God work and speak through us. Some of the stories do reveal later lives of "Mom" and "Dad" Jespersen's children, children who may never have known Jesus or His love if they hadn't gone to Bethany.

The dedication of the book reads, "This book is dedicated to all children hungry for a father’s love. May this story make you believe in a better future." I hope it will do the same for all who read it.

Save My Children
by Emily Wierenga
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Castle Quay Books (September 5, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1897213352
ISBN-13: 978-1897213353

For more information on the author, the book, and Bethany Homes for Children, see the author's website at .

You can purchase Save My Children through Castle Quay Books , Target , Amazon, or directly from
Bethany Homes for Children
. All proceeds go to Bethany Homes for Children.

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.

Also and Virtual Book Tour de Net .

Sunday, April 5, 2009

SAVE MY CHILDREN: The Story of Bethany House in Canada

Save My Children
by Emily Wierenga

This month, CFRB presents Save My Children: The Story of a Father's Love by Emily Wierenga.

About the Book:
Save My Children is a fictional retelling of the true story of Harvey and Elsie Jespersen, the founders of Bethany Homes for Children. The Jespersens' desire was simple: to provide a safe place for any child needing a family. Save My Children traces the lives of battered and mistreated kids who were cared for at Bethany Homes. From 1948-1991, the Jespersens fostered over 800 children, taking up to fifty-five kids at a time. The Homes consisted of old army barracks based on forty two acres of farmland. Through hard work, determination and patience, the Jespersens transformed those barracks into a place of refuge for generations of children. Refusing to take any payment except what parents could afford, Harvey and Elsie depended on faith and the generosity of others to see them through. Save My Children powerfully demonstrates love's ability to transform brokenness into beauty.

About the Author:
Emily Wierenga is the author of Save My Children and Canvas Child, a novel about Anorexia Nervosa which was short listed in 2006 for The Word Guild's Best New Author Award. Ms. Wierenga freelances for various publications including Christian Week, Focus on the Family magazine and Faith Today. She also appeared on Canada's most watched faith-based television show, 100 Huntley Street, and was interviewed by the number one spiritual talk-back show in the nation, The Drew Marshall Show.

Save My Children is unlike the majority of books we have toured for CFRB in that it is on the verge of nonfiction, based greatly on the true life of the Jespersens and their life-long ministry with Bethany Homes for Children. The fact that the proceeds of sales will go to support Bethany Homes was a strong influence for us to run this tour. My review of the book will be upcoming, but for now I hope to whet your appetite. Please check out Ms. Wieranga's website and information about the project in the meantime.

Purchase Save My Children at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.