Wednesday, April 23, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different

As the Christian Sci-fi and Fantasy Tour concludes our May feature with the science fiction book Numb by John W. Otte, I have something to share.

This is the last time Spoiled For The Ordinary will be in the CSFF Tour.

Yep.

I've been involved since almost the beginning, but some things are showing their age, and it is time for something new.

Don't take that wrong. The CSFF Tour is going strong and needs to continue.

I'm talking about my Blogger home.

I've been doing Spoiled since 2006. There have been ups and downs with my blogging, but I've stuck with it.

But it's time for a new home.

Spoiled For The Ordinary 2.0 will be at www.jasoncjoyner.com/blog starting May 1st.

The focus will still be on Faith, Fiction, and Fun, but it's time to move to a cleaner Wordpress layout and my own domain name. Oooh, fancy pants.

I hope you'll join me there.

Look for the first post on May 1st, and I'll announce a giveaway at that time.

Thanks for the memories CSFF Tour. I'll see you at my new home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

CSFF Tour - Numb Day 2

Usually, being numb is not fun.

I can attest, as I currently have a pinched nerve that is affecting a couple of fingers on my right hand. BTW, if you see any typos, I blame it on not feeling the keys.

But one author saw something different in that idea. Thus, the new adult science fiction book Numb by John W. Otte.

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Crusader is numb.

He doesn't feel emotions or pain. This makes him the perfect instrument of God's divine judgment, as divined by the Ministrix. If he stays obedient, he will earn his justification and receive pardon for his sins.

As one of the Ministrix's top operatives, he is used to success. But when he is charged with killing Isolda Westin, something happens.

A rush of emotions.

Suddenly Crusader can't process with his usual clinical coldness. Instead of killing Isolda, he kidnaps her to discover the secret of this strange failing. But doing so will damn his soul.

What is a holy assassin to do?

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What an intriguing premise! The good news is that John delivers on all fronts: characters, plot, and the science fiction setting. Set against a war between the atheistic Praesidium and the holy church Ministrix, the novel finds Crusader striking down heretics and protecting the Church's interests.

His name is appropriate, yes?

Crusader is a driven character and his resistance to emotional or physical pain is something he leans on heavily to accomplish his mission. When he freezes with the feelings that Isolda triggers, he doesn't know what to do. The conflict keeps the reader guessing and intrigued throughout the book. The action keeps careening through space stations and starships.

Not only does the action hold attention, the characters have depth so they aren't just plot puppets. Isolda has strengthens and doubts, and Crusader wrestles with these pesky feelings that he hasn't had to deal with before.

Finally, the ideas that Numb introduce are very thought-provoking. The Ministrix believes that Christ came down from the Cross as a conquering Lord, ready to impose His will after defeating death. This idea gives the brutal treatment of Ministrix opponents a logical justification. There's a fringe group that has different beliefs, and their quest to avoid the heavy hand of the Church plays into the conflict as well.

Overall, John Otte has written an intelligent and exciting science fiction novel with a sincere wrestling of spiritual issues. Any sci-fi fan should enjoy this book.
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If you'd like more on this book, see Becky Miller's post for all of the participants and updated info.

Monday, April 21, 2014

CSFF Tour Day 1 - Numb

"Are you my mummy?" photo by Karen Barnett

Hello science fiction fans. The Christian Sci-fi and Fantasy Tour for May is featuring a great book by an awesome guy.

But for some reason he chose to wear a mask in this picture.

We are featuring Numb by John W. Otte, an adult science fiction book.

Tomorrow I'll get into the book, but I'm blessed to count John as a friend. We've interacted through the CSFF Tour for years, and then we met at the ACFW Conference in Dallas in 2012.

It was my first contest, and having a familiar face in the crowd kept me hanging with John and the cool speculative fiction crowd, even though my WIP was suspense.

We met up again at the same conference in Indianapolis last September and continued to have a blast. So when I review the book, know that there is some bias, but I'll try to be objective.

Here's some fun facts about John Otte to get us started.

He stands out in a crowd. Or should I say, above a crowd.

He might be something of a conspiracy theorist.

John is an ordained Lutheran pastor.

He is the organizer of the infamous game nights at the ACFW Conference. Once Upon A Time, there was a Fiasco...

He's written a YA superhero series: Failstate, Failstate: Legends, and the third book due later this year.

John knows how to suffer. (He's a Minnesota Vikings fan.)

He's an avid gamer. ("Shepard." "Wrex.")

John is a great brainstormer to help other novelists. We gathered by the elevators in Indy to talk stories, and if John got an idea, his hands would shoot to his head like he was miming putting on a hat (or doing a moose impression). I've got trademark pending for his tagline: Don't modify your story, Otte-fy your story.

One last link: here's his tale on how he came up with the idea for Numb.

See all the people below? Those are my fellow tourists on the tour. See what they have to say about Numb and check back tomorrow for my review.


Julie Bihn
Jennifer Bogart
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Nikole Hahn
 Carol Keen
Emileigh Latham
Rebekah Loper
Jennette Mbewe
Amber McCallister
Shannon McDermott
Shannon McNear
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Faye Oygard
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Jojo Sutis
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

CSFF Tour - A Draw Of Kings

Welcome, those who desire adventure.

The CSFF Tour has that today in the March feature, A Draw Of Kings, the third book in the Staff and the Patrick Carr.
Sword series by

The series comes with a lot of praise. The first book, A Cast Of Stones, was listed as one of the best Christian fiction books of 2013 by Library Journal. I have heard praise about it from many of my Christian fiction writer friends.

Perhaps the best praise is from my 13 year old, who just finished the middle book, The Hero's Lot, in two days after getting it this weekend. I have a feeling A Draw Of Kings will meet a similar fate.

I didn't get to read this in time, but check out the folks below for more. As always, our leader Becky Miller has the whole update on the latest posts here. 

Gillian Adams
Jennifer Bogart
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Mike Coville
Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Nikole Hahn
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Jennette Mbewe
Amber McCallister
Shannon McDermott
Shannon McNear
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Nissa
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Audrey Sauble
James Somers
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Jill Williamson

Thursday, February 27, 2014

End It Movement

Today, February 27th, is being used as a day to highlight the scourge of modern day slavery.

Why the 27th?


For starters, best estimates of the number of slaves right now is 27 million.

That is 27 million people that don't have the freedom to come and go as they please. People that live under fear and coercion, who suffer violence or the threat of violence daily.

They may be child sex slaves in southeast Asia or eastern Europe. It might be a family stuck in bonded labor in India, trapped on a brick kiln. It could even be an immigrant held against their will in the United States.

I've long advocated for the fight against modern slavery. It breaks my heart to know that their are people caught in such a horrible web. It hides in the dark, so it takes a lot of people shining the light to help expose it.

Please take a moment today to educate yourself a little on this issue. In my sidebar on the right I have listed several organizations that work in the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery.

Twitter is a great place to find organizations that fight this. Some that I know about are:
@IJM - International Justice Mission
@EndItMovement
@NFS - Not For Sale
@SavingInnocents
@AgapeIntMission - Agape International Missions
@TraffickingEnd
@TheSoldProject
@TheA21Campaign
@ECPAT - ECPAT International
@F2W - Free2Work
@SomalyMam
@Polaris_Project
@Love146
@FreeTheSlaves
@GEMSGirls
@CNNFreedom - CNN Freedom Project

There are others out there. It only takes a minute to look one up and find out what you can do in daily life to make a difference. If nothing else, put a red "X" on your hand today. When people ask you what it means, tell them you're shining a light on modern slavery.

Most of all, pray for the victims. Pray for those on the front lines of the fight. Pray for justice from the God of justice.

We can make a difference!

Let's do it.
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Locust Effect

What are you reading?

My goal for 2014 is to read more non-fiction. I read fiction all the time to study the craft, support friends, and review Christian speculative fiction. I want to balance it out more this year.

My latest book I'm reading is The Locust Effect by Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros.

Imagine living in a world where if something horrible happens to you or a loved one, such as an assault, rape, or other injustice, you have no place to turn for redress. No one to stand up for justice.

That happens too often in the world, and that is the subject of The Locust Effect. Their premise is that without effective justice in the form of appropriate and honest law enforcement and judicial system, the issues of global poverty, human trafficking, and violence will never see resolution.

This Thursday, February 27th, is a day to focus on the scourge of modern slavery. I will be posting in support of his initiative, and if you are interested in the fight against injustice and modern slavery, I believe The Locust Effect will be a key factor in the future battle.

I'll post more when I'm finished. If you want to know more, go to the Locust Effect website.
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CSFF Tour - One Realm Beyond

Hey, is it time for the Christian Sci-fi and Fantasy tour again? 

Yes, yes it is.

This month the feature is One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul. She is a steady and sure hand for speculative fiction. I'm too involved in other projects so I didn't get to read this new book, but here's a little magnification of the message. 

See all the folks below? Check them out for the latest and greatest on this new series.

Here's the Amazon blurb:

Cantor D'Ahma waited his whole life for this day. Born with a gift to jump between worlds, the young realm walker is finally ready to leave his elderly mentor and accept his role as protector and defender of the realms. But mere hours after he steps through his first portal, Cantor discovers that his job will be more dangerous and difficult than he ever imagined. The realms are plagued with crime and cruelty, and even members of the once-noble Realm Walkers Guild can no longer be trusted. To make matters worse, his first assignment---finding a dragon to assist him on his quest---has led him to Bridger, who is clearly inept and won't leave him alone. With the help of his new friends Bixby and Dukmee, Cantor must uncover the secrets of the corrupt guild before they become too powerful to be stopped. But his skills aren't progressing as fast as he would like, and as he finds himself deeper and deeper in the guild's layers of deceit, Cantor struggles to determine where his true allegiance lies.


Julie Bihn Keanan Brand Beckie Burnham Mike Coville Pauline Creeden Vicky DealSharingAunt Carol Gehringer Rebekah Gyger Janeen Ippolito Carol Keen Krystine Kercher Emileigh Latham Jennette Mbewe Shannon McDermott Meagan @ Blooming with Books Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews Rebecca LuElla Miller Joan Nienhuis Nissa Donita K. Paul Audrey Sauble Chawna Schroeder James Somers Jojo Sutis Jessica Thomas Steve Trower Shane Werlinger Jill Williamson Deborah Wilson