Phoebe’s Journey: Part 1: Of Passion and Pride by Kathryn B. Collett ~ Review

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Phoebe’s Journey: Part 1: Of Passion and Pride by Kathryn B. Collett

My very first reaction after finishing this terrific historical fiction is ‘wow’! Kathryn Collett is a great storyteller. I literally picked up the book and spent hours reading it and couldn’t put it down until I finished. That doesn’t happen to me very often.

In the author’s note at the beginning of the book, she gives a little bit of background about the main character and a little about herself. I find myself drawn to the same type of book she has written. I have always been fascinated by the history behind the very earliest Christians living on the Mediterranean. That’s because after Jesus died, the Mediterranean Sea was the primary vehicle in spreading the Gospel throughout the Roman world. The author explains, “Phoebe is an actual historical woman who lived in the first century. But who was she really? Was she married? Did she have children? What motivated her? Who were her friends? When did she first cross paths with the Apostle Paul? What did she wear? What was she afraid of? Who did she love? These are just a few of the questions I’ve asked at various time.” This is the basis for this historical fiction.

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There are so many things to love about this author’s writing style. First, she is meticulous in her researched details of the lifestyle of citizens of Corinth, the life of the early Christians, and the early ministry of Paul the Apostle. I felt drawn into the story personally. All the details and story line give this book credibility. I felt I was right there, side by side with Phoebe, frustrated with her, desperate to save the family business with her, grieving and angry with her throughout her experiences when life becomes unfair.

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Second, the characters are believable. Human nature hasn’t changed at all in the past couple thousand years, and this author is adept at communicating human nature in all its variations of good, bad and evil.

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Third, for me this was a fast paced adventure. The writing is compelling, establishing an urgency as Phoebe seeks to make things right for her family and friends, in spite of the challenges and limited time she faces. Since this is the first book in a series of three stories, I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books. While this tale has a definitive conclusion, it also heavily implies there is much more to come. There is still more of the mystery to solve, and resolutions to make. I highly recommend this book to you. This is one of those books I will enjoy reading over several times.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Story Cartel on behalf of the author. I was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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The Art of Storytelling: Easy Steps in Presenting an Unforgettable Story by John Walsh ~ Review

The Art of Storytelling: Easy Steps in Presenting an Unforgettable Story by John Walsh

“Storytelling is not just for children. It is an advanced method of communicating with people, both publicly and one-on-one.”

Art of Storytelling

The Art of Storytelling is brimming with activities and step-by-step instructions how to improve your communication skills. All of us tell stories whether we realize it or not. Besides the retelling of the tale about “the big one” that got away, we may share an interesting story or picture we saw on Facebook or Pinterest with friends or family. Perhaps you want to convince a friend to see a favorite movie, watch a certain DVD, or read a book you enjoyed. You may have a project in school to present to a classroom of peers. Some may need to present a project or goal in a committee meeting or to a supervisor. A job interview needs good conversational skills. You may work in children’s ministries, or want to get more out of your Bible reading.

One key to good storytelling is knowing your audience. Did you know that men and women receive information differently? Men tend to think in pictures; women tend to think in words. Some people are analytical thinkers while others are story thinkers. Knowing this makes a difference how you communicate with others. Another key in keeping the attention of your listeners is to allow them to experience the story, lesson, or presentation. If your listeners are engaged, their attention is riveted. It is the difference between just hearing and truly listening.

There are three parts to this book. The first section presents the steps necessary to craft a captivating story. There are many tips and tidbits, activities and exercises that make this process fun. Section Two is about the tools we need to present a captivating story. The author’s experiences are invaluable here and imminently practical. I have been an upper elementary teacher, Junior church leader, CEF worker, children’s choir director, AWANA leader, etc. and so much of the book resonated with me. Most of what’s written I had to learn the hard way (making lots of mistakes). But there was still plenty of information I did not know when I read this.

warning Bible usage can be habit forming

The third part of the book offers some practical examples and applications. The author introduces a concept called Bible Telling. Mr. Walsh shares with his readers a technique of biblical storytelling he has developed and used around the globe. The experiences he shares in the final chapters are intriguing and the results gratifying for those of us who have a heart for missions. I personally believe this book is a must read for all church ministry workers.

I loved this book. It is easy to read and immensely interesting. It is well organized so that you can find segments you need to return to later. I am excited how this information and know-how can apply to all kinds of communication in our every day lives.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this commentary from the Story Cartel on behalf of the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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