I spend quite a bit of time editing and proofreading for clients. As a reading-writer, I enjoy reading and reviewing Christian fiction/nonfiction books that set well with my choosy soul. So, I spend a great deal of time scouring Amazon.com and Goodreads.com. It used to be that if a book blurb on the back cover enticed me to purchase it, I took it home, got cozy and started reading. If I wasn’t hooked by the first three paragraphs, that book got tossed on top of the donation pile. No, it wasn’t a waste of money. Some less particular someone somewhere probably picked it up. Good for them if they enjoy reading non-descriptive scenes, poor editing, and flat unrelatable characters.
Personally, I enjoy the kind of Christian/Inspirational fiction/nonfiction that dares me to put the book down; the kind that insists upon going with me into the bathroom; bold writing styles and believable settings that make me forget time and ignore that my leg is falling asleep. This means that the setting, the main character, a well-written narrative, relevant facts, and the plot has grabbed me by the throat. If not, I can’t finish that book. I just can’t! So, I don’t.
There’s plenty of room for self-published book reviews on The Blog About. I enjoy supporting self-published works. Self-publishers are the reason I started Ichthus Inspirational Publications® (www.ichthushouse.org) in 2000. I know exactly why you chose to self-publish your manuscript.
ere’s what traditional and self-published Christian writers and authors can expect to see on The Blog About next to select books:
1. Honest book reviews (No fudging the truth here).
2. Integrity (No fudging the truth here, either).
3. Constructive Feedback
4. Professional editing recommendations (I’m gentle but experienced)
5. An overall critique (Insightful recommendations based on years of experience)
What qualifies me? Read About Rene
So, should you find your book listed on The Blog About, consider yourself blessed. It means that your writing hooked me by the throat.
Rene Thompson is the Owner, Chief Editor, and Publisher at Ichthus Inspirational Publications. She partners with Christian self-publishers and agents to grow their personal and professional creative writing brands. She has extensive editing, publishing, and marketing experience and coaches the IIP Online Creative Writing Workshop https://www.ichthushouse.org/editingcoachingworkshop. Her Christian romance novel, FOR OUR SAKES (peepthompson.wordpress.com), is a written reflection of the church referred to by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:1-33. Through the lives of her characters, she targets worldly addictions and the Christians who practice them in secret. She hopes to inspire believers to break free and return to living for Christ. On the rare occasion when she is not cooking or entertaining friends, Rene’ enjoys mixing tracks and producing thejoybell.podbean.com. Her passion for learning takes her deep into the annals of ancient African, Egyptian, and Asian civilizations. Her heart and soul are tangible when she’s baking for her grandchildren (Malaya, Kamran, and Tai), journaling, and singing with her father, her three sisters, and her brother in church. Her mother passed into eternal life two years ago. Rene holds an MA in Business Administration and Marketing, an MA in English and Creative Writing, an MFA in Creative Writing, and an Online Teacher Certificate from Southern New Hampshire University.
Rene is transforming the e-version of The Joy Bell magazine https://www.ichthushouse.org/the-joy-bell) into a Christian/Inspirational-centered podcast https://thejoybell.podbean.com/). Her Christian romance novel, FOR OUR SAKES (peepthompson.wordpress.com), targets worldly addictions and the Christians who practice them in secret. She has extensive editing/publishing/marketing experience and coaches the IIP Online Creative Writing Workshop at https://www.ichthushouse.org/editingcoachingworkshop.
Rene Thompson currently resides in Greensboro, North Carolina with her yellow Indianhead Ringneck bird, Avi. She is passionate about prayer, giving, ancient civilizations, publishing, teaching, fund-raising, writing, reading, and meditation. Compelled by Ephesians 5:1-33, her mission is to use her writer’s platform to motivate Christian believers to break free from worldly addictions. Rene envisions a worldwide addiction-free body of Christ prepared for His return.
To see Christian-believers break free from the chains of worldly addictions; to empower, improve, and prepare carnal-minded believers for Christ’s return one publication at a time.
To promote a spotless wrinkle-free church for Christ (Ephesians 5:1-33).
You can count on me not to sell your information; believe me, I understand how it feels. I am driven to protect your privacy. I promise!
Short Stories by Rene
The Bishop's Flight
A Divine Invitation
A voice of rolling thunder speaks to Bishop Hawley rousing his soul to separate from his sleeping body. “COME UP HERE.” Three immense pulsating white clouds hover above one-million Roman Colosseums embellishing the baseline of Italy’s Apennine Mountains to the seventh-dimension. Fifty-five thousand souls from every nation and tongue sitting in each arena stand up. Hands and voices offer high praise and worship in one accord. The sun relinquishes its light, yielding its strength to brilliant undeniable glory.
Struggling against the powerful hold, Bishop Hawley tries to awaken and free himself from the grip of the golden-winged captor drawing his soul away. Why can’t I open my eyes? He wonders, yet, while he wrestles, he watches, seeing himself and everything else with crystal clarity.
“Peace. Be still,” says the Arch Angel Gabriel. Bishop Hawley relaxes immediately, and trusts.
“Come, beloved of God. You shall answer the Living God,” said, Gabriel, zipping Bishop Hawley up and away into flight.
Soaring across iridescent midnight velvet skies at the speed of light from his bed in Pennsylvania, Bishop Hawley marvels watching the topography of his city shrink to minuscule light-dots and borderlines.
“But I didn’t hear the Lord,” Bishop says, clinging for dear life to the loose fabric of Gabriel’s glistening white sash.
“You shall hear,” Gabriel replies, ending the three-second international journey to Italy. “Now, behold!” Gabriel stands at attention by the Bishop’s side with his shimmering sword in hand.
High above gravity, Bishop Hawley sees hundreds of ancient Roman Colosseums filled with billions of cheering spectators. The number of the Souls surpassed the seating capacity of the one-million stadiums, leaving standing room only for the overflow. Suddenly, living cobalt blue light floods the Apennine Mountain terrain. A sweet scent riding a billowing wind transports the Bishop seating him safely on the top cornerstone of the center Colosseum.
Photo by Matthew McBrayer on Unsplash
Voices from the multitudes fade to silence as the presence of the LORD inhabits dense enfolding inferno clouds. The quiet voice of an invisible being speaks from behind Bishop Hawley, explaining why he and the multitudes are present.
The Bishop hears, “Rise up, Nathaniel Hawley. Be of good courage and fear not, for I, the Lord thy God, am with thee.”
Recognizing His voice, Bishop Hawley obediently stands to his feet keeping his eyes to the ground. “How may I serve thee, King Savior?” Bishop Hawley, falling to his knees listens for instructions.
“Stand, beloved and faithful servant! Judge ye. Speak the eternal torment of the devil that is Satan! What say ye?”
Instantly, the sounds of worshiping Souls intensify. A different voice from above proclaims, “Harken all ye saints of God. By divine invitation, you are present to inflict additional anguish and torment as a judgment on that devil called Satan. Evil shall have no weapons to form against you, and no thought of discouragement or fear shall enter your hearts. The enemy is now vulnerable flesh and blood. He shall feel the wrath of affliction as you shall imagine and speak.”
Upon hearing the proclamation, resounding cheers and applause attract flying birds to land and observe. A million dungeon gates crank-n-clank open. Into each area emerges a cowering Satan. Following him are Cain, Elizabeth Bathory, Talat Pasha, and thousands of ancient and modern-day wicked souls. Satan and his devils immediately recognize the Soul-sea of faces belonging to every unjustly murdered victim. Evil huddles together---they tremble---they weep. Evil gnashes their teeth.
The first Soul to impose infliction on Satan is Abel who stands wearing animal skin. A ferocious stab through the heart strikes Satan. His devils writhe in agony ten times worse. Like the spectating Souls, Bishop Hawley praises God whooping with his fists pumping high above his head.
In Philadelphia, Pauline, the bishop’s wife, thinks twice to awaken her husband, but when he quiets down, she goes back to sleep to enjoy her own dream. Bishop Hawley’s dream continues as the second Soul, Job, wearing fine dyed linen and a crown, steps forward to voice his sentence. Job calls oozing painful boils to sweep over Satan and his cult covering them from the soles of their feet to the tops of their heads. Hot breezy air quick-dries weeping puss-filled boils turning them into crusty scabs that crack open with the slightest movement. The bombarding tortures cause Satan and his devils to grovel for mercy and plead for compassion. God hears them not. The Soul-sea laughs.
Next to his wife at home, Bishop Nathaniel Hawley sleeps soundly. His feet kick rapidly above the mattress as he dreams of stomping evil sin into one congealing mound of screaming smoldering miserable wickedness. Inflicting torment on Satan and his devils is a joyful happy event for all the invited spectators. A bounty of roasted succulent meats, artisan loaves of bread and cheeses, fresh fruits, and delectable fine wine is served. Unmanned musical instruments play themselves in the background bouncing to a medley of jovial second-century tunes.
“Arise, Nathaniel Hawley and come forth.”
“Yes, Lord,” Bishop Hawley says, eager to take his turn.
Unseen power elevates Bishop Hawley and transports him center-sky above the arenas. The desire to awaken is long forgotten. Feeling bold and full of divine courage, Bishop Hawley clears his throat. He is fully aware that whatsoever penalty he speaks, it will be exacted upon evil sin. Elated, he listens to the devil's beg and demand to return to hell. Righteous scourging repeatedly rips their flesh open minute after minute. The bishop calls for a pouring out of fine salt over their wounds to increase agonies and pains. Laughter and roaring celebrations reach to the heavens, approving of Bishop Hawley’s brand of judgment.
Recalling past bigotries, humiliations, and anger; reliving betrayals, griefs, and needless deaths, Bishop Hawley proclaims justifiable indignation against Satan and his evildoers.
“Let Satan and his devils be eternally accosted by serial rapists and serial killers. Let evil make sport of maiming and raping evil!” The crowds go wild. “Let starvation, blindness, arthritis, every type of cancer, diabetes, and every mental disorder come upon them hour-by-hour in a never-ending repetitive cycle from which there shall be no relief or healing!” Encouragement from the multitudes of cheering Souls adds fuel to his fire. The bishop shouts, “Agony, infighting, and damnation shall vex them for all eternity!!”
At daybreak, Pauline stirs and awakens hearing her husband’s command. She sits up in bed feeling drowsy and curious. He must be having some amazing dream. Knowing she won’t be able to go back to sleep, she goes into the bathroom before going downstairs to the kitchen.
Two hours later
Footsteps speed down the dark walnut stairs. Feeling fresh and full of energy, Bishop Hawley enters and sits down at the breakfast table. “Good morning, Sweetheart,” he says, kissing Pauline on the lips. “Man-alive, I’m starving!”
“I don’t doubt that for one second, Nathaniel,” Pauline smiles, serving her husband hot pancakes, sausages, and decaffeinated black coffee. “Sweet dreams, I hope.”