Posts Tagged ‘christian fiction’

 

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Can faith and reason co-exist? At age fifteen, Jason Davids appears to have it all: high grades, popular friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and nearly any worldly thing that promises enjoyment at his disposal. Despite this, there is a persistent emptiness inside his heart. After failing to fill the void with achievements, relationships, and illicit substances, Jason finds himself intrigued by Jessie: a rather quiet girl, who is the daughter of a local pastor. How is it possible that she stands for everything his lifestyle opposes yet possesses the one thing he has been searching for all along?

 

 

 

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In preparation for an upcoming interview with Doug Llewelyn

Why do you feel your books are necessary for young adults to read?

My books share the raw truth about opioid addiction, as well as other substances, in a realistic and relatable way. Drugs pose an empty promise for fulfillment, which often leads to self-destruction and hurts many others in the process. I want to help kids avoid the heartache that goes along with substance abuse and find positive/beneficial outlets for their energy. There is an immense amount of social pressure on teens today. Between social media and technology, they are constantly connected and can easily lose touch with themselves. They face enormous pressure to fit in with their peers and often lose themselves in the process.

What are the main messages you try to convey in your novels?

Turn to God, not drugs, for fulfillment

Instead of trying to fit in with your peers, get to know yourself and your passions: be authentic

Are you working on a book now?

Yes, I am about 30,000 words into a novel that heavily focuses on opiate addiction. It circles back to the root of the problems in Chris Dunkin’s life—his older cousins. The story starts off right where The Aftermath leaves off, but it does a lot of time traveling between old and new experiences. This story ties a lot of plot points together that are briefly mentioned in the other books but never explored in-depth. It follows two different characters’ stories and shows, from their perspectives, how they got caught up in drug abuse—which were for very different reasons. I think it is easy for people to cast aside drug users and look down upon them, but the book I am writing shows how easily good people can get caught up in substance abuse. Moreover, it conveys the hope that exists once someone is able to forgive himself and seek sobriety.

Be candid. Tell us about the series…

The Right Person – Chris Dunkin has parents who travel often for business, so he is left in the care of his older cousins who housesit and throw parties. He is exposed to drugs and alcohol at a young age, and it does not take long for him to begin experimenting himself. He then pulls his group of friends into the partying scene, and begins high school as “the life of the party.” But Chris honestly feels lost and is searching for something more than that.

When Darkness Tries to Hide – picks up a month or two after The Right Person leaves off, showing how Chris’ life and relationships have changed. A tornado strikes the town and causes destruction, but ends up teaching an important life lesson to one of the main characters.

The Battle for Innocence – flashes back two years to when Chris and his friends were first exposed to his cousins’ lifestyle. It shows how quickly their innocence was threatened and how easily kids can become desensitized to substance abuse.

The Aftermath – my personal favorite. It follows the quest for self-discovery that one of the main characters, Jason, embarks on. Jason has everything that he thinks will bring fulfillment – high grades, a beautiful girlfriend, popular friends, and every drug that promises enjoyment at his disposal – but he feels empty inside. He knows that something is missing, but he cannot figure out what. After trying to fill the void with relationships, achievements, and substances, he finds himself strangely drawn to a very plain girl in his grade whom he has never noticed. He can’t understand how she can stand for everything he opposes yet possess the very thing he has been searching for all along.

The Forces Within – this is a freaky book. It takes place when the characters are on vacation in New Hampshire and have to seek shelter in an abandoned house. Strange things begin happening, and it becomes apparent that there are supernatural forces at large. The main character is left to figure out if the forces exist within the house or within the people surrounding him.

More to come…

 

Written by Elizabeth Harvey of Needham, MA

Jason has been at war with himself for a long time. He has such a strong void in his life and he knows that something is missing and he hates that feeling. Jason relies on drugs and alcohol to cope with the missing piece in his life: God. Throughout the story there is a fierce battle over Jason’s soul and because he has so much potential, he is the perfect target that Satan seeks out and tries to lead into darkness. Jason seeks out challenges and fun, but because of who his friends and family is, this meant partying. The misconception that Jason developed in middle school about Priest’s molesting children completely destroyed him. Everything that he grew up knowing was changed in one day, leaving Jason confused and angry. He couldn’t understand how God could allow something like that to happen and this forced him to draw away from religion completely. It took a huge event of Andy’s coma to open Jason’s eyes to the power of prayer.

Jason’s desires began to shift when he started praying and Andy’s accident was an important wake up call in his life that most likely saved him from ruining his future. He has to relearn about the power of God, which is very difficult especially when a majority of your friends only care about when the next party is. Once Jason accepts Christ as his savior, he slowly realizes how beautiful life and relationships can be when they are not clouded with darkness.

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Written by Elizabeth Harvey, Dana Hall Class of 2017
The Forces Within is a story that explores the power of spirituality and the battle that many teenagers go through when faced with tough decisions. The story focuses on life after Andy Rossetti wakes up from his coma and what his recovery process looks like, including the recovery that those closest must go through as well.
The Forces Within begins in Fallen Lake, a small New England town, where Leslie’s family owns a Mansion. A group of friends decides to go there for a weekend, but as soon as their trip begins, it is apparent that supernatural forces are at work. The story allows the reader to better understand the characters that they met in the previous MLH books and reveals the truth in who each person really is.
I recommend The Forces Within to all teenagers, especially those who are currently struggling with identity and social pressures. It would be useful to read the other books in the MLH series before reading The Forces Within to fully understand the characters and their relationships to one another. The story is filled with suspense and drama, something that kept me glued to each page. High school is a time for teenagers to discover themselves and this story does a great job of describing some difficulties that are very relatable, and how to get through those daunting situations.

Montgomery Lake High #5: The Forces Within
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After being trapped inside his own body, unable to communicate with anyone but his own thoughts, Andy Rosetti finally wakes up from the coma that controlled his life for one month. But upon awakening, Andy finds himself and his friends in an unfamiliar setting: a mansion riddled with secrets and supernatural forces. As his friends fall prey to the entities encompassing them, Andy must figure out if the darkness lies within the mansion’s walls or within the people surrounding him.

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From now until New Years Day, all Kindle editions of the “Montgomery Lake High” book series will be on sale for $2.99! These can be read on all iPhone, iPad, and Android devices with the free Kindle App. 

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Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a blessed 2017!

 

Author Stacy A. Padula will be featured at Barnes & Noble’s 2016 B-Fest Teen Book Festival in Leominster, Massachusetts on June 11th. She will be signing books from 12-1:30pm and speaking with teens about her young adult book series.

 

About the Author
Stacy Padula, a native of Pembroke, Massachusetts, has accrued years of experience working with adolescents. She has been a mentor, life coach, youth group leader, and private educational consultant with extensive experience in the fields of college counseling, tutoring, standardized test preparation, and Christian counseling.
Stacy’s first novel, “The Right Person,” was published in 2010. At that time, she was the program director of JBG Educational Group: a company of about thirty educators who work closely with young adults and their families on everything under the academic blanket. She served as JBG’s program director/director of operations for multiple years and helped the founder/president develop many facets of the company, including curriculum. Throughout her time at JBG, she continued working on the Montgomery Lake High book series. Although the series is “young adult fiction,” it is closely based on realistic situations that high school students encounter.
In 2011, “When Darkness Tries to Hide” was published, followed by “The Aftermath” (Padula’s personal favorite) in 2013. In 2014, both “The Battle for Innocence” and “The Forces Within” were released, and in 2015, all five books hit the shelves of Barnes & Noble. For Stacy, it was a dream come true to see her books for sale in the popular, mainstream bookstore.
Background: Stacy was a Presidential Scholar at Wentworth and on the Dean’s List. Additionally, she was featured in Who’s Who Among American High School Students and in Cambridge Who’s Who for Young Professionals. She also won the Academic Achievement Award for having the highest GPA in Miss Teen Southern New England. In 2009, she became a certified academic tutor through the International Tutor Association.
Stacy wrote the Montgomery Lake High books in the hopes of preparing teens to face the “war zone” that is high school–-to help kids deal with the stress and peer pressure, and to encourage them to “steer a straight path, pursue God, and not fall for the false promises of the world.”
In her spare time, Stacy enjoys skiing, going to Bruins games, reading about Psychology, taking her dogs to the beach, and spending time with her family, boyfriend, and friends.

 

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