Monday, February 22, 2010

A Cool Award

I heard yesterday that I won an award--entry into the Darrell Awards Hall of Fame. Check it out by clicking here.

This is a secular award, so maybe my books will get into the hands of people who would like some spiritual input.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

AMG to Publish Additional Stories for Dragons of Starlight

Because of the departure of their speculative fiction editor, Zondervan has decided not to publish the two books I had planned for expanding the Dragons of Starlight series to the adult market. Instead, AMG will publish those two books under a series name to be determined soon. I signed the contracts yesterday. :-)

The title of the first book will be Masters and Slayers, and it is scheduled to come out in late autumn of this year. I will keep everyone updated as we settle on the series name and the cover design. Since I finished writing the first book months ago, we will have a fast track to getting it out to the stores.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Great Way for a Family to Celebrate Resurrection Day

I wrote the following article for Focus on the Family magazine. It appeared about ten years ago. Since today is Ash Wednesday, which is the day my family begins this celebration method, I thought it would be a good time to post this. I have edited it slightly since the version that was printed in the magazine.

Feel free to post this on your blogs, Facebook, Myspace, etc.

A Season of Fun in the Son
Bryan Davis

As I gazed at our small mountain of brightly decorated eggs, familiar questions probed my mind. “What am I doing? Is this really necessary?”

“We’re celebrating Easter,” I reminded myself yet again, but as I tried to think of a way to wed these multi-colored symbols to the historical event, I remained unconvinced.

“Eggs?” I asked out loud. “New life?” Again, I was doubtful. I looked at my young son, James, who was beaming at the pretty baubles, and I wondered if our traditional ritual could ever get the message across to him. Will he remember that the resurrection holiday is more than just fun and treats? How can I teach the relevant spiritual truths and still keep the activities fun?

After several days of meditating on the dilemma, I formulated a plan. Next Easter would be different, and I knew just how to pull it off, a way to refocus our resurrection holiday.

My new celebration idea takes a bit of effort to set up the first year, but with a little basic wordworking skill most people should be able to handle it. The key steps are to fashion a small cross, mount it on a flat wooden base, and embed cup hooks in the beams. (See "Nuts and Bolts" and photos below for details.)

Each hook on the cross represents a member of your family. When someone memorizes the verse on a card, put the card on that person’s hook. He can then start working on another verse. Remind your family that you are doing this to commemorate Christ’s death on the cross. Since Jesus is the Word of God, we are putting God’s word on the cross, committing it to memory and to our hearts and reminding ourselves that we were the reason He died.

On Good Friday, remove the cards from the cross and place them in a box. We enjoy putting the box by the fireplace and stationing toy soldiers around it, pretending that they are the guards from the Bible story. On Easter morning, the children wake up to find the box empty and the soldiers knocked over. Remind your family that they will now be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus by raising God’s word from their minds. Then, one by one, each member of the family quotes a memory verse while an adult looks at his card to check for accuracy. For the younger children, we usually give a word or two to coax them through their recitations.

When the family member successfully quotes the verse, return the card to him, and on the back he will find the clue or message you added over the weekend. We have found that the younger children enjoy getting a simple clue or riddle that will reveal the location of a hidden prize, replacing the fun of the traditional Easter egg hunt with the excitement of a treasure expedition.

For example, for the very youngest children we have used, “Where do the clothes get dry?” and they know to find something in the dryer, perhaps some wrapped candy or a book. For the older participants we have created puzzles of varying difficulty, sometimes incorporating a chain of clues that leads to an outdoor excursion throughout the yard. We have even buried well-wrapped gifts underground.

After a lengthy series of brainteasers led two young teenagers through hedges, over fences, and from tree to tree, they finally discovered where “X marks the spot” and uncovered their treasure, a Star Wars Lego set. As you can see, the types of clues or prizes is limited only by your imagination.

The process may sound like a lot of work, and without a good plan, it can be a chore for both parents and children. During the memorization period, as the cards are added to the cross, begin a list of places to hide prizes and start making up the clues. If you fall behind and have to do everything on the night before Easter, you will find the game more frustrating than fun. Keep up with the new cards on a day-by-day basis, making sure to portray the celebration, not as tedious agony, but as a time for fun.
To help our children enjoy the game, we do not force memory drills, and we make up songs for the little ones and sing along with them frequently. When they learn that the amount of rewards is directly proportional to their effort, they usually play along cheerfully.

That first Easter with the new game began a tradition for us, and we learned how to modify the fun as our family grew and changed. Each season, about forty days before Easter (to coincide with Lent), we start putting verses on the little cards. For the smaller children we use short, simple verses such as “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Even a two-year-old can memorize “Jesus wept.” As they get older we tend to include principles for growth, finding a wealth of wisdom in the Proverbs, such as chapter 20, verse 11, “Even a child is known by his actions by whether his conduct is pure and right.” We allow them to choose their own verses unless it is obvious they are choosing shorter ones just to make it easy.

The oldest children are able to appreciate a wider variety, so we select from the historical and prophetic books as well as from the epistles. Whatever their ages, they all look forward to the event and work with each other to memorize their verses. The catchy tunes we make up to match the words sound almost like jingles from TV commercials, so they gladly sing them throughout the day without having to be prodded.

When Easter finally arrives, everyone’s excitement grows, and the gifts we exchange remind us of the treasures that Christ gave to us. Without the cross and his resurrection power, we would never have eternal life nor the blessings of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This game helps us to remember his indescribable love.

More than twenty years have come and gone since I allowed a mountain of eggs to question my thinking, and we’ve never regretted leaving the eggs and bunnies behind. We traded a tired tradition for forty days of fun, and we find ourselves walking closer to God at the end of every resurrection morning.

Instructions: The Nuts and Bolts

You don’t have to be a skilled carpenter to set up this cross, but you will need a few simple tools and supplies:
1 x 2 x 12 inch wood (oak)
1 x 2 x 9 inch wood (oak)
5 x 5 x ½ inch wood (oak or plywood)
a one-inch wood screw
one cup hook for each member of your family
jigsaw or coping saw
wood glue
drill (optional)

Use the one-inch by two-inch oak boards for the cross. (The upright should be about twelve inches long, and crossbar about nine inches.) To join them, cut notches into the pieces at the points where the two will intersect into a cross, and glue them together at the joint.

Use the square piece of wood for the base. Drive the wood screw through the underside of the base at the center. Now screw it into the bottom of the cross upright until the head is flush with the base and the pieces are tightly joined. You may have to drill a hole into each piece first, especially if you use a hard wood. Sand the edges of each piece.

Now you’re ready to attach the cup hooks. When you twist the hooks into the cross, make sure each one points upward after it’s firmly placed. We use the following positions: The father’s hook goes where Jesus’ head was, the mother’s at the heart, and the children’s at the hands and feet. The other side of the cross may be used if you run out of room.

The verse cards measure 3 1/2 inches by 2 inches, but if you don’t want to cut them out yourself, many print shops sell blank business cards, which will work perfectly. Punch a hole in the top center of the card, and write the name of a family member on the front. Then write the text and the reference of the memory verse, reserving the back of the card for the clue or message. Start with one card for each person, adding another as each verse is memorized.

Now you’re ready to hang the verses on the cross and celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection in a new and meaningful way.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Ideal Gift for Resurrection Day (Easter)

If you're looking for a great gift for Resurrection Day, then consider a novel filled with the hope of resurrection - I Know Why the Angels Dance. Anyone who reads it will be reminded of the wonderful glory of heaven for those who go on before us.

I am offering single copies for $9 each plus shipping or five copy packages for $45 including shipping.

Click here for my ordering page, or you may want to choose to order from Amazon at the link to the left. A link for appears at the bottom of this post.

Here are a few review statements from readers:

This novel is a masterful tale of sorrow and hope, sure to leave readers searching for love and healing that can only be fulfilled in Jesus. It is interwoven with genuine portrayals of Christians and non-Christians, their respective questions in life, and their bond as human beings living in a world paradoxically full of suffering and beauty. After reading this stirring book my heart knows why the angels dance, and I yearn to make them dance again and again.
—Nicole Cragin

I Know Why the Angels Dance is WONDERFUL—what a beautiful story! It is truly one of the best books I have ever read—it may even be the best. It’s amazing how you told the story of salvation through the eyes of a child. Tabitha was responsible for leading so many to Christ. I can't wait to read it again and encourage others to read it.
—Fran Harris

Incredible! I was immediately drawn into this book from the first page. The characters were so real that they became friends whom I fussed at or cheered. Tears freely flowed as I read the final pages! It encouraged and challenged me to remember that each believer’s life has a profound effect on the people around us. That God calls us to obedience even when we don’t understand what He is asking us to do, and in that obedience we can draw others to His throne of grace.
—Ruth Vath

I Know Why the Angels Dance is a powerful, moving story—a story of devotion, faith, and learning to understand each other that had me in tears long before it was over. Spiritually the strongest book I’ve read in a long time. It is a story that not only tugs at the heart strings but yanks and makes you want to pay attention to the message of faith. This is a tale that you won’t be able to put down until the words become too blurry to read. I absolutely loved it, and it will find a special place on your bookshelf and in your heart.
—C.J. Giacomini

I Know Why the Angels Dance

By Bryan Davis
578408: I Know Why the Angels Dance

Monday, February 15, 2010

Have you Pre-ordered Starlighter Yet?

Starlighter will be out soon.

The official release date is April 1, 2010. Have you preordered your copy?

Here are some links for pre-ordering.

Autographed copy from the author ($10 plus shipping) : Click Here

 ($7.99 plus shipping)

Starlighter, Softcover

By Bryan Davis / Zondervan

Jason Masters doubts the stories he's heard about humans being taken to another realm and enslaved by dragons---until his brother disappears! Once through the legendary portal, he joins forces with a prisoner named Koren who's trying to destroy the "black egg of doom." Can they rescue the captives and save two worlds from destruction? 400 pages, softcover from Zondervan.
718369: Starlighter, Softcover

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Price Decrease for I Know Why the Angels Dance

I have temporarily reduced the price of I Know Why the Angels Dance to $9 (plus shipping.) Many readers of my other books haven't had a chance to check out this novel, so now is a good time. Even if you already own it, consider picking up an autographed copy for a friend or to have on hand for someone who might need a comforting read.

Click here for the buying page.

Since the reviews have been stellar, I am hopeful that readers will spread the word. I am donating all royalties to charity, so every purchase supports a good cause.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

New Review for "Angels" on Amazon

Someone posted a new review on for I Know Why the Angels Dance. I will copy it here.

(Five Stars) Bryan Davis Gives the World a Gift, February 1, 2010

By Ellen C. Maze "author of Rabbit: Chasing Beth...  (Montgomery, AL United States)
I Know Why the Angels Dance is a 5-Star book told in multiple points of view about a Christian girl who guides her best friend and her best friend's parents to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

MAIN STORY ELEMENTS: The first half of the book is told predominantly from 12-year-old Tabitha Hanson's point of view. Along the way, her father John Hanson is allowed a perspective and we begin to realize that he is due for a major learning curve. There are three atheist POV characters, 12-year-old Rose and her parents, the Graysons, who you expect to eventually, see the Light. But to me, the story seems to be mostly about Tabitha as an angel-type person who teaches and guides her scholarly Christian father to a more meaningful relationship with and understanding of God.

Rose's father, Dr. Phil Grayson, is an uber-intelligent man who resists God out of his extreme logical nature. Over the course of the book - and all the way to the very last page - Phil struggles to either prove or disprove God, and people who have similar mindsets may find this book helps them to understand God's ways.

AUDIENCE: Although marketed as a book for adults, I Know Why the Angels Dance could also be for children. 12-year-old Tabitha Hanson tells the majority of the story and her perspective is that of an angelic and faith-filled little girl who loves her daddy, her sister Sarah and Jesus. My 16-year-old daughter read the book and identified with it completely, so I think children as young as 13 or 14 could read it, especially if they are already Believers. Warning to parents, though, children die in this book - and their deaths are integral to the message of faith the book is bringing. Be forewarned.

THEOLOGY: is sound. Allowing for the addition of fiction elements in Tabitha's dreams of heaven and her visions of interactions with Jesus Himself, the basic Christian doctrine is adhered to all the way. The Narrow Gate, the One Way, are clearly described.

EVANGELICAL USES: When a child dies, this book may bring comfort to those who mourn: believers and non-believers. For a staunch atheist, this book may help him/her understand God as John Hanson and Tabitha share their faith with Dr. Grayson. And for people with strong faith, this book may be an opportunity to read a sweet story about people who love the Lord and long to be with Him. John Hanson gives a lovely eulogy at a funeral for a little girl that brought tears to my eyes. Bryan Davis was definitely anointed when he wrote that wonderful scene.

TECHNICAL: The book is edited flawlessly without the distracting type-o's many books have and the cover artwork is breathtaking. I found myself looking at the cover dozens of times during the reading to once again get the lovely child Tabitha's face in my mind again.

I hope this review has helped you in your decision to buy this book. I honestly do not think you will be disappointed.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Starlighter Tour

I am making plans for the biggest book-release tour of my career. As the dawn of Starlighter draws nearer, I will be announcing contests with great prizes as well as launch parties all across the nation.

For more information on Starlighter, click here.

Here are the cities and regions that I currently hope to visit during this tour. If you know of a group (school, homeschool group, church, library, etc) that would like a free author visit, let me know in a comment or email. I am available to speak on being an author, the writing craft, and the fantasy genre. If your area is not on the list, and you have contacts with groups that would like me to come, then send me an email - bryan (at) daviscrossing (dot) com. Maybe we can set something up.

Abbotsford, British Columbia
Atlanta, Georgia
Boise/Nampa, Idaho
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Charleston/Columbia, South Carolina
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Los Angeles, California
Madison, Wisconsin
Minnesota, various cities
Orlando, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phoenix/Prescott Valley, Arizona
Raleigh, North Carolina
Seattle, Washington
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
South Carolina, Greenville, Columbia, Charleston
Spokane, Washington
Tuscon, Arizona
Virginia, various cities including Fredericksburg/Richmond/D.C. area
West Virginia, north central region

Soon I will set up a website for the tour with all the event information. Look for that announcement later in February.