Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Received for Review

Keating, Ray. Wine Into Water (A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel). Manorville, NY: Keating Reports, 2016. 277 Pages. Paper. $16.99. www.pastorstephengrant.blogspot.com

Lutheran Book Review Author Spotlight: Tyrel Bramwell


Bramwell, Tyrel. The Gift and the Defender (Lumen Legends Series, Book I). Grail Quest Books, 2016. Kindle eARC received. https://moragunfighter.com/writing/my-book/
(cf. http://lhpqbr.blogspot.com/2011/12/lhp-review-personal-projects.html)


Back in 2011, we saw an early version of this novel. In part, we said: 

T. Emmett Bramwell merges our world and a fantasy realm together in The Gift and the Defender, the first volume in a planned series.
Michaelis, a young peasant, answers the call to arms in the stead of his dead father only to find that he is in the midst of the bleakest, bloodiest war his people have ever known. The Lumen Kingdom needs a hero, someone to unite them and lead them to victory. Can Michaelis be this man? Can he muster the courage to deliver the Lumen Kingdom from the brink of total annihilation? Ill-practiced traditions, time, nature, and a ruthless enemy hell-bent on eradication stand in his way.
Afraid of becoming a nobody, Adam Malloy leaves his small town for New York City where he longs to make a difference in our dark and uncertain world. He awakes one morning to find that he has been given a unique ability, one that will alter the world as we know it forever. Is the gift a blessing of unparalleled proportions? Or is it the curse to end all curses? The answer lies under layers of deception, misguided intentions, and Adam's insatiable desire to make a difference despite the cost.
Readers will find meaning in the names used by the author. They may even suspect a convergence of the two stories told in parallel. I would recommend this for Christian readers who like the fantasy genre, like those who have read Brian Litfin. Christian fiction should embrace a Christian worldview. Gift succeeds in that regard...

This first novel by Bramwell is an exercise in human nature. Time, place, and cultures change, but a sinful human nature always remains. We are all sinners in need of grace and the Light of Christ.
LBR recently interviewed the author about this edition, polished and refined over the years, about to be published by Grail Quest Books.
LBR: What do you consider the most significant changes between this edition and your earlier one?

TB:The prologue is new, the main battle has been altered a lot, and the ending is considerably different. Beyond that, my editor did a fantastic job tightening up my grammar, and helping me achieve better continuity within the story.

LBR: Editors can be a tremendous blessing. They challenge to be better versions of ourselves. 

TB: Another change is the removal of needless content. Killed my darlings.

LBR: Indeed. Sometimes we work so hard to make things work that they don't. Hymn writers, composers, and authors also find this to be the case. As do pastors like us.

LBR: Your writing has matured, yet still has your early passion and excitement. Would it be accurate to say you are making a better transition to the rest of the series?
TB: Yes. Many changes were made throughout the book to open up the universe for the following books.

LBR: Thank you for your time, Rev. Bramwell. We look forward to further Lumen Legends adventures!
This reviewer's recent reading of this novel was a joy. The author has a pleasant and unique voice, respectful of those who enjoy Lewis and Tolkien, but not imitative.
He is clearly dedicated to world building in this novel, plus ample world destroying. Sin has consequences. I am eager to hear of grace in this world in future volumes. 
Who is the Defender? What is the Gift and who gave it? What connection do these two parallel stories have with one another? Watch for the answers to these questions, for they are among the most important parts of this novel. The cover art gives hints to the prospective reader and reminders to the reader who has completed the novel.
The Gift and the Defender appears to be a perfect fit with its publisher, Grail Quest Books (http://grailquestbooks.com/). We look forward to seeing more titles from them and Rev. Bramwell.


Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School and Immanuel Academy, a member of the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Education Chairman and Editor of Lutheran Book Review. A graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Rev. Cain is a contributor to Lutheran Service Book, Lutheranism 101, the forthcoming LSB Hymnal Companion, and is the author of 5 Things You Can Do to Make Our Congregation a Caring Church. He has previously served Emmanuel, Green River, WY and Trinity, Morrill, NE. He is married to Ann and loves reading and listening to, composing, and making music.