Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CSFF Blog Tour: Raven's Ladder~

Today is the second day of the second Apirl CSFF Blog Tour. This time it is on a book called, Raven’s Ladder by Jeffrey Overstreet, book three of the, Auralia Thread series. In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

As always I love giving the Bio on the author :-) Not only is Jeffrey Overstreet a Christian fantasy writer, but he also reads and writes full-time as a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and does movie reviews, which have been turned into a book called Through a Screen Darkly. Enjoy this bio on a man of many cool colors ;-) And please read my review posted below his bio. ( Sorry for this very long post...)

JEFFREY OVERSTREET started lookingcloser.org in 1996, the same year he began writing what would become the first book of his series The Auralia Thread.

His writing on film and music on the site quickly became a hub for discussion about the relationship between faith and art, leading to the publication of his “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly — in 2007, the same year that Auralia’s Colors was published.

Auralia’s Colors earned the rare honor of two Christy Award nominations, and was recommended by independent booksellers as a BookSense Notable selection upon its release. Publisher’s Weekly raved, “Overstreet’s writing is precise and beautiful, and the story is masterfully told.” More reviews of Auralia’s Colors, and interviews with Jeffrey about the book are available at AuraliasColors.com.

Through a Screen Darkly earned a “Starred Review” from Publisher’s Weekly. The book is used as a textbook at Seattle Pacific University, Fuller Seminary, Northwestern College, Bryan College, and in other schools and L.A. film programs.

Around the same time, Jeffrey co-founded a non-profit arts group in Seattle called Promontory Artists Association, and created a periodical about faith and art called The Crossing, which featured work by writers like poets Scott Cairns and Luci Shaw, as well as interviews with artists like musician Linford Detweiler of Over the Rhine. The Crossing eventually closed up shop due to the number of activities and endeavors that began in Promontory’s growing community. Promontory eventually became The Artists Guild, which continues in Seattle.

In 2001, Jeffrey began writing “Film Forum,” a weekly column for ChristianityToday.com, comparing and contrasting film reviews in the religious and mainstream press, and examining the nature of dialogue about art in the church and popular culture. The column continued until mid-2007, when he began focusing on full film reviews for Christianity Today’s new film site, ChristianityTodayMovies.com. From 2008-2009, he contributed a monthly column named after his book, “Through a Screen Darkly,” to ChristianityTodayMovies.com.

The second story in The Auralia Thread, Cyndere’s Midnight, arrived in bookstores in September 2008.

Jeffrey reads and writes full-time as a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine. Jeffrey contributes two articles about film to the Image website every month. For his writing about movies, he was honored with the 2007 Spiritus Award at the City of the Angels Film Festival. His review of Sophie Scholl: The Final Days won an Evangelical Press Award in 2006.

In 2009, Jeffrey brainstormed a new website called Filmwell with his longtime film-reviewing colleague Michael Leary. Filmwell now features a number of experienced contributors, and has become a site for unpredictable exploration and inquiry related to cinema, especially foreign and independent films. (The tagline reads, “Is this a film blog?”)

Jeffrey’s commentaries and reviews have also been published in magazines like Paste, Risen, Image, Relevant, Books & Culture, and SPU’s Response.

These days, Jeffrey keeps a busy calendar for public speaking about the arts at film festivals, universities, churches, teachers’ conferences, and on radio programs around the U.S. In the last couple of years, he was invited to speak to media professionals in Ede, The Netherlands; at the Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, Michigan; at the Trinity Arts Conference at the University of Dallas in Dallas, Texas; and Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa; at the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal conference in Seattle, Washington; at Seattle Pacific University’s Day of Common Learning (two years in a row); and elsewhere.

In 2005, Jeffrey’s film reviews were celebrated in a front-page feature of The Seattle Times’ Sunday magazine (Pacific Northwest) (see the archived main page here), and his work has been noted in TIME Magazine.

Born into a family of educators, Jeffrey grew up in Christian education: in Oregon, at Portland Christian Schools; and in Washington, at Seattle Pacific University.

He and his wife Anne, a poet and freelance editor, can be found writing in the coffee shops of Shoreline, WA, or teaching their cats, Mardukas (6) and Zooey (3), to high-five. (You get bonus points if you can explain why they named him “Mardukas.”)

~My Review
Auralia's Colors, Cyndere's Midnight, Raven's Ladder, are those cool names or what? Every since Auralia's Colors, was first published I've been very much wanting to read it. The teaser on the back of the book and the awesome haunting cover art just screamed "Read Me!" Somehow I never got around to buying it and reading it, now mind you my wish list of books is a long one, that continues to grow, so I guess it sadly got pushed down the list and what a bummer that was. Finally after reading Raven's Ladder I bought the first two books.

I greatly regret not reading Auralia's Colors and Cyndere's Midnight, before Raven's Ladder. Raven's Ladder is not a book that can stand on it's own, at least in my opinion. For I was very lost. The premise of the book was nicely done, but a big hole was missing which I knew was from not reading the first two books. The hardest thing for me was understanding, knowing, and connecting with the characters.

I was so lost from the very beginning from too many characters at one time, names that were too similar and names too hard for me to remember. Now please don't think I'm saying Jeffrey Overstreet wrote a bad book, nor I am I giving him a bad review. All I am saying is read Auralia's Colors and Cyndere's Midnight first in order, for you will enjoy and understand Raven's Ladder much better. Some series books can stand alone, some can't and truly that's not a bad thing. I do recommend Raven's Ladder, for I see that there is going to be an epic story behind the story of the series!

Check out Jeffrey Overstreets Website~ http://lookingcloser.org/category/journal/

Buy Raven’s Ladder~- http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400074673

See what other tour members are saying about Raven’s Ladder by Jeffrey Oversteet :-)

http://www.christiansciencefiction.blogspot.com"> Brandon Barr
http://bookshiddencorner.blogspot.com"> Rachel Briard (BooksForLife)
http://www.AdventuresInFiction.blogspot.com/"> Keanan Brand
http://rbclibrary.wordpress.com/"> Beckie Burnham
http://www.mamabzz.com"> Melissa Carswell
http://valeriecomer.com/"> Valerie Comer
http://csffblogtour.com/"> CSFF Blog Tour
http://word-up-studies.blogspot.com"> Stacey Dale
http://www.scificatholic.com/"> D. G. D. Davidson
http://sjdeal.blogspot.com"> Shane Deal
http://scriptoriusrex.blogspot.com/"> Jeff Draper
http://projectinga.blogspot.com/"> April Erwin
http://realmofhearts.blogspot.com/"> Ryan Heart
http://jessebecky.wordpress.com/"> Becky Jesse
http://crisjesse.wordpress.com"> Cris Jesse
http://www.spoiledfortheordinary.blogspot.com/"> Jason Joyner
http://www.molcotw.blogspot.com/"> Julie
http://krystisbooks.blogspot.com/"> Krystine Kercher
http://www.momofkings.com"> Dawn King
http://rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com/"> Rebecca LuElla Miller
http://linalamont.blogspot.com/"> Nissa
http://www.leastread.blogspot.com/"> John W. Otte
http://dragonbloggin.blogspot.com/"> Donita K. Paul
http://prochristroetlibertate.blogspot.com/"> Crista Richey
http://www.chawnaschroeder.blogspot.com/"> Chawna Schroeder
http://andrealschultz.blogspot.com/"> Andrea Schultz
http://www.jamessomers.blogspot.com/"> James Somers
http://www.epictales.org/blog/robertblog.php"> Robert Treskillard
http://christiansf.blogspot.com/"> Steve Trower
http://frederation.wordpress.com"> Fred Warren
http://christian-fantasy-book-reviews.com/blog/"> Phyllis Wheeler
http://kmwilsher.blogspot.com/"> KM Wilsher

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Concept Art for Writers by R.P.H.

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God’s care,