Saturday, December 31, 2016

AUTHOR CHARLES MARTIN--a remarkable storyteller whose vivid characterizations and involving storylines are uniquely inspiring and entertaining

“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.”

At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.

Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere else to go, he returns to his remote home in the Colorado Mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.

When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past—and if he is ready to face it.

A radical retelling of the story of the prodigal son, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.

MY REVIEW:  Author Charles Martin’s “Long Way Gone” is an emotional and ultimately uplifting story of redemptive grace and abiding faith. Rich in musical details and the history of gospel music, tent preachers, and Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and “Grand Ole Opry”—this fascinating tale borrows from the Biblical legend of “The Prodigal Son”. Cooper O’Connor grew up in the loving and larger-than-life presence of his father, a gifted preacher and musician. Blessed with an innate understanding of music, and a talented singer and songwriter on his own, Cooper would eventually leave his home and the life he knew with his father to reach out for the bright lights of stardom. His journey will be nothing like he expected, and treachery and tragedy will separate him from his dreams and those he holds most dear. At times finding himself in the lowest depths of a despairing existence, Cooper must fight for his very life—both his spiritual life and his life on Earth. However, as the author reminds us throughout this story, no one is ever “too far gone”. Forgiveness and healing are always ours for the asking—if only we have the courage of faith to make that leap. “Long Way Home” holds a special resonance for me, and I appreciate the respect that Charles Martin shows this musical genre and its entertainers, especially Elvis. I am a Southerner and a lifelong fan of Elvis and old hymns and gospel music. My mother, one of the greatest Elvis fans ever, was also quite musically talented. She played the piano and organ, and for many years, she was the only music provider for her little home church in the country. Mama “played by ear”, and I often teased her about the extra notes she added, but she just said “that’s the way it should be played”. Thank you, Charles Martin for your care in creating this story. The musical insights at the heart of this story are simply amazing.

Book Copy Gratis Thomas Nelson Books

Third generation Texas Ranger Tyler Steele is the last of a dying breed-- a modern day cowboy hero living in a world that doesn't quite understand his powerful sense of right and wrong and instinct to defend those who can't defend themselves. Despite his strong moral compass, Ty has trouble seeing his greatest weakness. His hard outer shell, the one essential to his work, made him incapable of forging the emotional connection his wife Andie so desperately needed.

Now retired, raising their son Brodie on his own, and at risk of losing his ranch, Ty does not know how to rebuild from the rubble of his life. The answer comes in the form of Samantha and her daughter Hope, on the run from a seemingly inescapable situation. They are in danger, desperate, and alone. Though they are strangers, Ty knows he can help-- protecting the innocent is what he does best. As his relationship with Sam and Hope unfolds, Ty realizes he must confront his true weaknesses if he wants to become the man he needs to be.

MY REVIEW: I am a longtime fan of the Old West. My family watched all the great TV westerns together when I was growing up, and those times are among my most cherished memories. They’re the stuff which helped to shape who I am as a person. My beloved Paw Paw was also a reader of western fiction, and Paw Paw was the male role model for my life—he still is to this day. “With Thunder and Rain”, author Charles Martin brings together all the elements of classic westerns and blends them thrillingly together with the mores and moral conflicts of contemporary society. Tyler Steele, third in the family line to serve in the Texas Rangers, is now retired and raising cattle on his ranch. The pine knot-tough persona which enabled him to survive the unending danger of his profession also cost him his marriage to his troubled wife, Andie. Now struggling on his own to raise his young son, Brodie,  Tyler encounters the last thing he needs—and the one thing he can’t resist—a woman and child on the run from an abusive situation. Samantha and her daughter, Hope, are almost at the end of their limits when Tyler bumps his truck into their car, which is stranded in the middle of the highway. From then on, anything is possible, and most likely probable, as lives and hearts will cross lines and face challenges from old enemies and new threats. This story is an action-packed adventure, with knuckle-tight suspense, but it is also blessed with wonderful characterizations, with two remarkable young children to keep grounded the adults in their lives. Relationships are heartfelt and ever-evolving as more and more pieces of the pieces are revealed and connected. What will the final picture be? Who will survive, and how will their futures unfold? A highly-recommended read from talented storyteller Charles Martin.

Book Copy Gratis Hachette Book Group

CHARLES MARTIN is a New York Times bestselling author. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife, Christy, and their three sons.

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