Both of these novels would be welcome as gifts:
Into the Room by Steven Rogers
Can a journey across the Holy Land redeem a reluctant pilgrim?
Ben Cahill’s life is an alcohol-saturated mess. After an insincere effort in a rehab facility, he is alienated from his family, out of work, and determined to continue his habit. To make matters worse, he finds himself on a tour of Israel, along with, as he calls them, a bunch of Holy Rollers.
As the trip progresses, Ben experiences the Holy Land’s major historical sites and is exposed to God’s word. He interacts with his fellow travelers, gradually learning about their faith and their lives. Along the way, Ben becomes embroiled in a spiritual war, reinforcing his guilt and, in turn, forcing him to recall his past actions and behaviors. He also begins a different journey, one that leads him to redemption and a place in God’s family.
The Author: Steven Rogers is an award-winning author and novelist. His novel Into the Room was the first place winner in the Spiritual Fiction Category for the 2022 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. In addition, the book has been named as one of three finalists in the Debut Novel category of the American Fiction Christian Writers Carol Awards.
My thoughts: A reluctant and alcoholic traveler, struggling with the mess he’s left his family in, tours the Holy Land with a bunch of “Holy Rollers.” This masterful and conversational story reveals a man who is rotting from the inside out, step by hesitant step, reach a hopeful transformation. It’s a powerful novel demonstrating that at the right time, all stories are worth telling. This one certainly is!
Learn more about Steven Rogers on his website.
The Ninth Hour by Valerie Van Kooten
A reluctant bride. An overbearing mother-in-law. An impoverished scribe. A traveler from far away. A young widow. A servant girl. A homesick Roman soldier. A donkey seller’s son.
Eight lives. Eight people who are barely mentioned in the Gospels, but who will all be changed by an incredible man from Galilee named Yeshua.
As Yeshua follows his path to the Cross, the world is about to change forever. Journey with these ordinary people of the Bible as they come face to face with the ninth hour.
The Author: Valerie Van Kooten is a writer, journalist, and college writing teacher. She has always been spellbound by the people in the Bible whose stories are largely passed over, but who surely added to the fabric of Jesus’ life. She and her husband live in Pella, Iowa.
My thoughts: The Ninth Hour brings secondary New Testament characters to life, characters whose lives were enhanced by the strange man Yeshua from Galilee. Highly recommended!
Here is Valerie’s LinkedIn page.