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Book Review: ‘Sorrow’ by John Lawson

perf6.000x9.000.inddSorrow begins with a mysterious traveler on a mission, secretly carrying a box which contains a precious, powerful weapon.

Then the story moves to Vestiga Gaesi, where we meet Faina, the seductive yet naive fourteen-year old girl with a mysterious past who is staying at the Viscount’s luxurious home — where the story mainly takes place. Then, that night, an important Bishop is murdered, and Lord Ash is called to solve the case. It appears this isn’t the first crime committed against members of the clergy in the past few months. Thus begins his investigation. Soon, he has a suspect: Sorrow. Unfortunately, no one knows who this Sorrow really is, for this killer appears to be a supernatural creature that sheds black tears while killing. Who is Sorrow? Why are victims clergymen? What is Faina’s real identity and why is she in Vestiga Gaesi?

Lawson has created a very real, dark fantasy world that readers will be able to picture vividly in their minds. The descriptions, mood, and dialogue all help bring this story’s detailed world to life. The characters are deftly drawn and come across as genuine people. The prose sparkles with beautifully crafted language. Lawson’s strength lies in characterization and creating an imaginative dark world. I’d like to add that I found the details about religion and the clergy to be very well researched.

There’s an array of interesting characters with equal levels of importance that, together with intriguing twists and turns, will keep readers guessing: Phindol, the unfortunate traveler; Lord Ash, the detective who tries to solve the murder; and, of course, Faina, the alluring Lolita-like protagonist shrouded in mystery who seems to unwillingly seduce all men who set eyes on her. Though the writing is in good taste and there’s nothing graphic, I should mention that some of her scenes with Lord Ash and Phintol, both adult males, might be considered a bit disturbing to sensitive readers.

Sorrow is a standalone novel. However, it takes place in the same world — though hundreds of years apart — as Lawson’s previous novel, The Loathly Lady, also by Dragonwell Publishing.

Recommended for fans of dark fantasy who like a strong touch of mystery.

Purchase on Amazon / Dragonwell Publishing

My review was previously published in Blogcritics Magazine

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Interview with Sue Provost, author of ‘Where is God in Your Life?’

Sue Provost is an active spiritual director, religious education teacher for both children and adults, and author of Where is God in Your Life? Three Retreats in Christian Spirituality.  Her vocation in the practice of spiritual direction supports lay men and women, as well as clergy and those in ministry formation, in discernment of God’s gifting and God’s calling.  Sue has a master’s degree in Spiritual Formation from Regis University, in Denver Colorado.  She is on the board of directors of Small Christian Communities Connect (SCCC), as well as being the chairperson for SCC in her local parish.  She writes a daily blog about the message of Jesus on her site http://letyourlifesing.blogspot.com and has a website http://sueprovost.com.   Sue’s ministry is to bring awareness of God walking with us on this earthly journey.  Her desire is to share her understanding of God’s love with others, so they can experience what she found in her own relationship with God.   She feels that communication with God through prayer is the essential element needed to be able to see God’s movement in their lives.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Sue. Can you tell us what your latest book, Where is God in your Life? Three Retreats in Christian Spirituality, is all about?

A: My book outlines the spiritual quest as the goal Christians have committed to that encompasses their entire being. But once the decision to commit to Christ has been made, people may not know how to begin developing that relationship with Christ. Quite often, people need to be given the tools necessary to develop a relationship with God and to understand how that relationship is celebrated in the community. My three two-day workshops are a program that will show readers and participants how to recognize God in their lives and to feel His love. The workshops help people to continue their spiritual journey to a greater connection with God and to see the importance of the Christian faith as a spiritual roadmap on the path to God. My book shows how Christians eventually discover that success, productivity, and the constant drive to acquire things do not fill or satisfy the soul within us. We burn out from what has become a road to spiritual death. We look for someone to convince us that we are of value for who we really are, not what we and our culture chooses to label us. We look for someone who we do not have to prove that we are worth something. We look to connect with the Creator, the Savior, and the Spirit of the God who loves us. Our soul yearns to make that connection and to feel whole, to feel significant, and to feel loved. Where is God in Your Life will show you how.

Q: Is this your first novel? If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?

A: This is my first book. But hopefully it will not be my last.

Q: How difficult was it writing your book? Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

A: Four hundred pages do not get written in a day, or a week, or a month. However, this book was not a burden to write. It flowed from God to my soul to the paper. It surprised me how easy it was to write because it was something I am very passionate about. God has been good to me throughout my life and has given me many gifts. Out of this love of God for me and gratitude for all that God has given me, came my desire to share my understanding of God’s love with others. There are many people in this world that feel lost and abandoned. They are not aware that there is someone who loves them deeply and wants them to feel that love.

Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel? Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

A: This is not the usual novel. It is a book that can give great hope. There are people who read it and want to run out and tell others about it, not because of my spectacular writing ability, but because it contains a message that inspires one to share it. The amusing thing is that someone like me, who in the past didn’t believe that real love existed, was able to be so totally taken up and transformed by a love that knows no limits. As I look back on my life, I realize that no human could have brought about this amazing transformation in me. There is no power on earth that could have brought me to this understand of love except the power of God.

Q: What is your daily writing routine?

A: I write a daily blog http://letyourlifesing.blogspot.com that is dedicated to the message of Jesus. I have been inspired to help others see the greatness of Jesus, the love of Jesus, the compassion of Jesus. In a world where bad news is broadcast continuously, this inspirational message of hope in Jesus is sorely needed. I believe it is what people are hungry for.

Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

A: What I find most relaxing is to spend time with family and friends, eating good food, having good conversation, and sharing the joy of life. Jesus was all about loving and emphasizing the joy of life.
I turn off the bad news on the TV, newspaper, magazines, etc and just live in the beauty of the gifts I have been give, with the people who I have been blessed to share life with and to praise and thank God for allowing me to be a part of his Kingdom.

Q: What book changed your life?

A: I would have to say that the book that has really changed my life is called “Portrait of Jesus” by Joseph Grizone. In this book, Grizone presented a picture of Jesus that is not really understood by the general population of Christians. By getting to know this Jesus, I developed a love for him that I have not felt previously. In all honesty, I learned about the true nature of love. Who could not love someone so powerful who gave of himself so completely to those who were powerless? I was blown away by the depth of his love and thus inspired to help others to see the love Jesus has for each one of them. The depth of this great love has caused me to devote my life to this ministry. It is a ministry of love.

Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

A: “Rescued from Desolation by the Love of Jesus”.

Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

A: that I owe all that I am, and all that I have to the love of God. Without the love of God, I am nothing.

Thank you for this interview, Sue. I wish you much success on your latest release, Where is God in Your Life? Three Retreats in Christian Spirituality.


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