Tag Archives: Alana Terry

Book Review: Beauty from Ashes

25 Jan

A baby was never part of Tiff’s plans. Especially not a sick baby in a NICU, struggling for life on a ventilator. 

As days in the hospital turn to weeks, Tiff grows more and more convinced that God is punishing her for turning her back on him so many years ago. Or is it possible he’s working in the midst of her daughter’s bleak prognosis to draw Tiff back to himself once more? 

The Orchard Grove Christian Women’s Fiction books are standalone literary novels about real-life believers facing real-life struggles. You won’t meet perfect saints whose lives are faultless models of the Christian faith. Instead, you’ll meet a perfect God whose plans of redemption are far more glorious than what the mortal mind could ever imagine. 

 

Alana Terry is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

 

My Impressions: 

Beauty from Ashes is standalone women’s fiction from Alana Terry. Terry never shies away from focusing on difficult issues. She has a series that is set in North Korea that exposes the desperate plight of the people, especially Christians. Told in the first person voice of a young mother, this novel looks at the depression, anxiety, and guilt involved in the care of a seriously ill child.

Tiffany “Tiff” Franklin is a self-described foster-brat. Shuffled around the system, her childhood was less than ideal. However, as a young teen she was placed with Carl and Sandy, a pastor and his wife, who instill love and discipline in Tiff’s life. But Tiff wanted independence, and when she aged-out of the system she moved on from Sandy, from Boston, from God. Utterly alone in Washington State, Tiff’s struggles become even more than she anticipated. Newly married, struggling financially and emotionally, and with a child who may never be normal, Tiff reaches out for hope.

With the first person point of view and almost all of the narrative taking place in Tiff’s thoughts, I had a hard time liking or connecting with her. One minute I felt sympathy, the next disgust. Of course, anyone listening in on my thoughts would probably have a similar reaction. 😉 And I was never sure if the other characters were accurately portrayed, or if they were tainted by Tiff’s own prejudices and opinions. I got what the author was trying to achieve with the writing style, but it went on a little longer than I would have liked. If I hadn’t agreed to review the book, I probably would have given up on it. But . . . the last of the book showed a great deal of growth in Tiff as she began to focus on Sandy’s wisdom, Grandma Lucy’s prayers and testimony, and the words God had put in her heart years before when she gave her life to Him. Relying on God didn’t really change Tiff’s circumstances — her marriage is still fragile, her child is still ill, her life is still hard — but God changed how she would react and act.

There is hope in Tiff’s life at the end and that was a good thing. Tough issues and raw emotions were handled well, but this book just didn’t do it for me. However others have really liked it. Make sure to check out the Amazon reviews. 64% are 5-stars.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Alana Terry’s Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense Series 3-in-1 Bundle Only 99 Cents!

24 Jul

A three-in-one bundle of suspense and page-turning excitement as missionary kid Kennedy Stern faces more danger, mystery, and controversy than she knows how to handle.

 

Buy the 99 cent box set now!

On Sale Until Midnight July 30!

 

Confronted with questions of underage abortion, plagued by a stalker and paralyzing PTSD flashbacks, and eventually caught in the center of a police brutality scandal, Kennedy discovers that her first year at Harvard University involves a lot more than passing a few lab classes and fulfilling her premed requirements.

With her parents serving North Korean refugees overseas, Kennedy befriends a loving and highly opinionated pastor, his hospitable and encouraging wife, an eccentric but respectful roommate whose worldview is drastically different from Kennedy’s, and a foreign lab partner who’s harboring a grave secret he’d do just about anything to keep from being exposed.

 

The Kennedy Stern Christian suspense series tackles controversial issues facing the church today and brings them to light in a way that encourages questions and fosters discussions without ever turning preachy or heavy-handed.

 

 

In addition to lowering her book bundle price down to 99-cents (from a regular $9.99), Alana’s using the sale to raise funds for Liberty in North Korea, an organization that runs an underground railroad for North Korean refugees. A portion of all book sales from the bundle will be donated to LiNK. Alana’s goal is to sell 10,000 copies of this ebook, which would lead to $3,000 for LiNK (the amount it costs to rescue one refugee on their underground railroad).

How can you help a North Korean refugee find freedom and safety?

Buy the 99-cent Christian suspense book bundle to help raise funds for North Korean refugees!

 

Alana Terry is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. 

Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. 

She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second. 

TOP 10 Tuesday — Around The World in Books!

19 Jul

This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish are focusing on Books Set Outside The United States. To find out all the great books bloggers are recommending, click HERE.

toptentuesday

 

I’m not much of a traveler, but I have loved the places I visited in books! Because there are so many great books set outside of the US, I have included many more than 10, 25 in fact. Divided by geographic location, my list includes books set within the last 100 years so that you can easily see where you are visiting! Have fun exploring the world!

Around The World in Books

The Americas

CanadaThe Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan.

MexicoMore Than Conquerors by Kathi Macias 

NicaraguaWater from My Heart by Charles Martin

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Europe

EnglandThe Inheritance by Michael Phillips

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot

Secrets of A Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

FranceDefy The Night by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn

Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot

GreeceThe Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn

Netherlands Snow on The Tulips by Liz Tolsma

Ukraine Beyond The Rapids by Evelyn Puerto

Like A River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart

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Africa

AlgeriaTwo Destinies by Elizabeth Musser

South AfricaThe Girl from The Train by Irma Joubert

No Greater Love by Kathi Macias

SudanSide by Side by Jana Kelley

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The Middle East 

AfghanistanFarewell, Four Waters by Kate McCord

Saudia Arabia People of The Book by Kathi Macias

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Asia

ChinaCity of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell

Red Ink by Kathi Macias 

Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

North KoreaBeloved Daughter by Alana Terry

The PhilippinesRemember The Lilies by Liz Tolsma

VietnamYesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West

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Australia 

Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman

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Where do you want to travel?

 

Book Review: Paralyzed

11 Jan

510awAwXYvL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Kennedy Stern has returned to campus after surviving an abduction, but old scars cut deep. Vivid flashbacks and terrifying dreams paralyze her, threatening to ruin her academic career and any chance she has at peace or happiness. This mental anguish, however, constitutes only a small fraction of her post-traumatic nightmare.

A partner in Kennedy’s kidnapping remains at large and will not stop until he has silenced her witness permanently. His violent resolve risks not only her life, but the safety of anyone who tries to help.

Kennedy must engage in a deadly battle of the mind as she struggles to stay alive. While fighting on two fronts — one psychological and one physical — the question isn’t whether she’ll come out of the war stronger in the end.

The question is whether she’ll come out of it at all.

71UOWUiHJXL._UX250_Alana Terry is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

 

My Impressions:

Alana Terry’s novels set in China and North Korea are some of the best books featuring the persecuted church. Her Kennedy Stern Suspense novels are spin-offs of a sort since they feature the daughter of missionaries figured in her other novels. Suited for a YA audience the 2 interconnected novels feature a college freshman who struggles with life back in the United States, her pre-med coursework and bad guys determined to silence her. The first book is titled Unplanned (you can read my review HERE), and I rated it a recommended read. Paralyzed is book 2 and is not a standalone, as it continues the storyline from book 1. Terry’s exploration of how Christians deal with trauma — therapy vs prayer alone — is realistic. However, I found many of the character’s actions to be unrealistic and the plot a bit implausible. For such a high profile kidnapping case, the police seem to be nowhere in sight. The characters’ reliance on their own devices may create suspense, but I found myself wanting to yell call the police!

While Paralyzed didn’t really appeal to me, I am looking forward to more from Terry, especially Flower Swallow, her new North Korean series release.

Audience: young adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE. (Unplanned is currently FREE for Kindle and Paralyzed is 99 cents.)

(Thanks to the author for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Unplanned

25 Jun

e679b-unplanned2b-2b8When Kennedy Stern’s childhood pastor asks her to volunteer at his new pregnancy center, she carves time out of her rigorous college schedule to promote the cause of the unborn.

After receiving a disturbing call from someone far too young to carry a child in the first place, Kennedy can no longer blindly hide behind the pro-life platitudes she grew up believing. She resolves to locate the unknown girl but winds up entrenched in a mystery that grows more convoluted as it unfolds.

Soon, Kennedy finds herself a pawn in a deadly game of intrigue, at the mercy of those who consider a few innocent lives a small ransom to pay in exchange for personal and political victory.

 

alana-terryAlana Terry is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, and Christian suspense author. She has won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Unplanned was a finalist in the Deep River Books writing contest.

My Impressions:

Alana Terry has a heart for her subject matter. After writing novels featuring human trafficking in China and the persecuted church in North Korea, Alana has turned to suspense novels set in the United States. Main character, Harvard freshman Kennnedy Stern, grew up with the example of missionary parents and the dedicated young people that they train. But when faced with questions of her own faith, Kennedy wonders if she has what it takes to be a bold witness for Christ. In Unplanned, the first novel in the Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense series, readers are challenged to rethink their own beliefs about the sanctity of life.

Unplanned is a plot-driven novel. This relatively short and quick read looks at abortion from both sides of the argument. Inspired by an event in the author’s life, the story takes off quickly and keeps on accelerating. Kennedy faces extreme danger, but it is her struggle with faith, doubt and trust that will make the reader think. Alana doesn’t pull any punches and the novel has a gritty edge to it. As I said, it is the plot that is important in this novel. I do wish that there had been a bit more character development to make the characters reactions and motivations a bit more believable.

Alana has just finished the first draft of book 2 in this series, and I look forward to more from Kennedy.

Recommended.

Audience: older to teens to adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Author, Author! — Alana Terry

22 Jun

alana-terryAlana Terry is an author with a heart for her subject matter. Her first novel, The Beloved Daughter tells the story of Christians in North Korea. Slave Again explores human trafficking in China, while Torn Asunder revisits the plight of the underground church in North Korea. Abortion is the focus of Unplanned, a suspense novel set in the US.

I am pleased to welcome Alana to By The Book today. 

By The Book — Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Alana Terry — I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an author. Even before I could read, I would tell my dad stories, and he would patiently write them out on the typewriter. My grandma tells me that when we used to go on walks, I would make up stories to tell her along the way. Even though I always wanted to be an author, my parents encouraged me to pick a more “professional” course of study, so in college I studied biology and was a premed major but I was burnt out from school by the time I graduated and never went on to med school.

9831123_origBTB — Was there a special someone, such as a teacher, parent, or other relative, who encouraged you to pursue writing?

Alana — My husband is definitely my biggest encourager. I doubt I would have had the courage to jump into the world of writing professionally without him backing me up. When we first got married, I was frustrated because it was so hard to break into the publishing world. My husband challenged me to start small and submit fifty articles to fifty different magazines in a year. That didn’t really open many doors for me on a practical level, but it helped me create the schedule and discipline I would eventually need to become a professional writer.

BTB — When did you decide to write Christian fiction? Do you have a particular motivation to write books that contain faith threads?

3763508-jpgAlana — That’s actually a really good question and one I have thought about quite a bit. I can’t imagine writing without the help of the Holy Spirit. Many of my novels have truly been prayed into existence. That being said, I think that the secular literary world needs Christian writers who will weave redemption stories that can appeal to a broader audience, not just those who read Christian works. It’s hard to project into the future, but I imagine that some of my novels will have very strong faith elements, like The Beloved Daughter and Torn Asunder, which both deal with Christian persecution and the underground church in North Korea. Some of my other novels, however, might have Christian themes of redemption woven in more subtly. Slave Again is about a young woman who escapes a North Korean prison camp and is trafficked over the border into China. Since this is a “Christian book,” I felt compelled to give her a big, dramatic conversion to Christianity, but that didn’t ring true to her character. Her redemption is much more understated than that. Interestingly, this seems to be my most popular novel amongst my non-Christian friends. I love that some of my books can touch people in ways that are accessible to people regardless of their religious background.

4524684_origBTB — What does a typical writing day look like? Are you structured or informal in your writing schedule?

Alana — I have three young boys, and I also homeschool, so I find I need to be pretty structured or it’s hard to make headway on a project. I try to write in half-hour spurts while the boys are involved in schoolwork or play throughout the day. At night once they’re in bed is my most consistent writing time, and I try to do another two hours or so before I go to sleep. My writing schedule also varies depending on my current project. When I’m drafting a novel, I write more. If I’m editing or working on formatting, I don’t have to be quite as militant in my schedule. I usually take weekends off writing and focus on blogging and family, or else it would be easy to get completely bogged down.

BTB — Your previous books have been set in North Korea and China and deal with the plight of Christians in those countries. Unplanned is the first book you have written set in the United States. Why the switch in setting? Is the book connected in any way to your other novels?

e679b-unplanned2b-2b8Alana — Unplanned was fun to write because of the change in setting. It was also the easiest of my novels to complete so far. My North Korea series is very heavy. I love that I’ve had the chance to tackle deep issues like sex slavery and Christian persecution, but these are hard books to write and to read. I created the Kennedy Stern suspense series to give both my readers and me a little bit of a break from the heavy issues in my other books. Even though it’s the first novel in an entire new series, Unplanned does share characters with my North Korea series. Kennedy Stern, the main character, is the daughter of American missionaries living in China and ministering to North Korean refugees. Roger and Juliette Stern (Kennedy’s parents) are main characters in Slave Again and minor characters in Torn Asunder, and Kennedy is mentioned even though she is already in college in the States when these books take place.

BTB — What inspired the writing of Unplanned and how did you research the subject matter?

Alana — Unplanned takes place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is close to where I went to college. The premise is based on a phone call I received when I volunteered for our local crisis pregnancy center. I got a call from a young teen who said that she was pregnant and that her father was going to force her to have an abortion. Even though she didn’t want to undergo the procedure, she wouldn’t tell me her name, so I was never able to help her. In Unplanned, Kennedy gets a very similar phone call, and her search to find the mysterious caller leads her into both danger and intrigue. As far as research goes, even though it wasn’t as in-depth as it was in my North Korea series, there was still quite a bit that went into it. While writing Unplanned, I interviewed an OB nurse, a pregnancy center director, an EMT, and even an FBI SWAT team member to get all my facts straight.

BTB — What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

Alana — There are so many things I want them to take away! I would hate to write a book that didn’t emotionally touch my readers. Even though I hope my books are fun to read, and I love it when I hear readers tell me that my novels kept them up all night, entertainment isn’t my primary goal. I love to hear that my books have changed a person. One of the biggest compliments I get about my North Korea series is that it has encouraged people to pray more. Another goal of mine is to get people to think about questions they may not have wrestled with before. What do you do when your faith doesn’t just threaten your own safety, but that of your family and dependents? How do you handle the abortion issue when you’re dealing with a 13-year-old victim of abuse whose body may not be able to safely carry a baby to term? The goal of my novels isn’t to change anybody’s mind on a particular subject, but instead to make them think through hard issues they may never have struggled with before. I hope that I do so in a way that is both artistically pleasing and glorifying to God.

BTB — Readers are always curious as to what a writer is working on or just what is ext to be published. Can you give us a glimpse of current works in progress?

Alana — I’ve already started Kennedy’s second book. I’m also working on my North Korea series. It’s a little too soon to project publication dates or anything, but I post snippets of my works in progress every week on my blog (alanaterry.com/blog) if you ever want a sneak peek.

BTB — What would you like to share about your personal life?

Alana — Not all my readers know this, but my middle son spent several months in the hospital during his first year of life. He sustained serious brain trauma at birth and stopped breathing shortly after his delivery. The doctors expected him to be pretty vegetative if he survived, but we were surrounded by love and prayer and the healing power of the Holy Spirit. Now seven and finishing first grade, Silas truly is a miracle child. He was tube-fed until two years ago, but he has made amazing gains which have astounded his doctors and therapists.

Thanks so much to Alana for sharing her heart and her work.  If you would like to be notified when Alana has new books out, she encourages you to sign up for her newsletter — alanaterry.com/newsletter. Alana loves being in touch with her readers ~ both old and new!

Book Spotlight: Unplanned by Alana Terry

16 Apr
A first-year college student adjusting to life in the States.
A brand-new pregnancy center desperate for new volunteers.
A mysterious phone call from a girl who’s far too young to be pregnant.
 
 

 

UNPLANNED
from award-winning suspense novelist Alana Terry

After volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center, Kennedy Stern finds herself a pawn in a deadly game of intrigue, at the mercy of those who consider a few innocent lives a small ransom to pay for victory.

(See below to get your own pre-release copy of Unplanned before it hits the bookstores.)

 

EXCERPT

“Hello?” The voice was so quiet and mouse-like Kennedy could almost feel the hairs in her ear straining to grasp as much of the faint sound as they could.

“Hi. You’ve reached the Cambridge Pregnancy Center.” Kennedy waited for a response. Did the caller hang up?

Nothing.

“Can I help you?” What else was she supposed to say?

“I just had a question.” The girl wasn’t exactly whispering. It sounded as if her body was so tiny and fragile she couldn’t spare an ounce more breath to make herself heard.

Kennedy hurried to the corner of the student union. “Sure. What’s your name?”

There was a pause. Had Kennedy scared her away?

“Rose.”

“All right, Rose. Ask me anything.”

Kennedy waited for another silent eternity before the voice asked, “Do abortions hurt?”

Of course, that would be the first question. Not the clinic’s hours, although Kennedy didn’t even know that much. She tried to remember some of the arguments she heard her dad spout off when he went on one of his anti-abortion spiels.

“Well, the brain is fully functional very early on …” Was it two months? Three months? She had never bothered to memorize the statistics. “And there are ultrasounds that lead us to believe that yes, babies can experience pain during an abortion.” Was she getting any of her facts right?

The voice made a little gurgling sound that might have been a stifled cry or else a miniature cough. “No, I mean, does it hurt you.”

“Oh.” Kennedy had never thought about that before. All the pro-life arguments she heard growing up focused on the baby, not the mother. “Well, I know it’s a complicated procedure. There are probably risks involved …” If she were back in her room, she could Google the question and have an answer in a second or two. Maybe she should head back there now. “So, are you considering an abortion? Is that why you’re asking?”

Too direct.

“No. I’m calling for a friend. That’s all. She was just wondering.”

Nice job, Kennedy chided herself. “And how old is your friend?” She tried to make her tone sound trustworthy, inviting. She had no idea if she was succeeding or not because her pulse roared in her ear, making it nearly impossible to hear anything else.

“She’s thirteen.” It felt like Kennedy’s whole abdominal floor dropped several feet to the ground at terminal velocity. “I mean eighteen,” the voice corrected. “She’s eighteen and already out of school.”

Kennedy’s heart accelerated so fast her pulse felt like a long, continuous flutter. Thirteen? “And so your friend is thinking about an abortion?”

“Well, she just wanted some information, really.”

“I see.” Kennedy shot up a wordless prayer to heaven, a silent plea for help that rose up from her spirit before she had time to translate it into human language. “What is it you’d like to know?”

There was silence for such a long time Kennedy wondered if there was a problem with the antique cell phone. Finally, Rose asked, “And so what happens if you get pregnant, and you’re too young to actually have a baby?”

Defying all laws of inertia, the acceleration of Kennedy’s heart rate crashed to a halt like a car plowing into a brick wall. “What do you mean?”

“Like, what if you’re too young but you still get pregnant?”

“How young?” Kennedy spoke both words clearly and slowly, as if rushing might drive the timid voice away for good.

“Like thirteen.”

Kennedy paused. Ripples of foreboding crept up her spine until they wormed in and settled in the base of her neck. “Are you asking because you might be pregnant?” The question itself made her dizzy, as if speaking the words aloud could send her head into some kind of tailspin.

“Yeah.”

The adrenaline that had flooded Kennedy’s entire nervous system seeped out of her body in a single moment, dissipating out of each pore. She leaned against the wall and reminded herself that her job was to help and encourage the caller, not have some sort of fainting dizzy spell in the middle of the student union.

“And you’re how old?” She braced herself for the answer she knew was coming.

A little sharp breath, the sound a startled animal might make when it notices its prey. A fear-drenched whisper. “I think it’s my dad … I gotta go.”

“No, wait!” Kennedy nearly shouted into the phone, but Rose had already hung up.

 

WANT YOUR OWN COPY OF UNPLANNED NOW?

Unplanned is the newest Christian suspense novel from award-winning author, Alana Terry. PRE-ORDER the ebook today, fill out the form below, and receive:

  • a pre-release copy of Unplanned (no waiting for launch day)
  • the Unplanned Bonus Materials (go behind-the-scenes with deleted scenes, bloopers, character studies, and more!)
  • 30 Days of Prayer to End Abortion devotional
  • an exclusive 20-minute video from the author answering readers’ frequently asked questions (includes  the story of the mysterious phone call Alana received that was the basis for the novel)
Sound like a good deal? Pre-order Unplanned from amazon, then fill out this form to receive your free pre-release copy.

Book Review: Torn Asunder

30 Mar

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

3763508.jpgAfter graduating from the Secret Seminary, Hannah and Simon are ready to return to their homeland. Their training has equipped them to carry the gospel to a country ravaged by darkness and despair. If necessary, they’re even prepared to face the North Korean labor camps, but the hardest part of their mission isn’t the hunger, cold, and incessant danger. The hardest part is cutting off contact with one another. In this world of spies, secret police, and informants, Simon and Hannah learn that staying together won’t just compromise their ministry. It could cost them both their lives.

Two undercover missionaries delivering a single message of hope. Two Christians willing to die for the sake of the Good News. One love – more powerful than terror, more beautiful than life, and more dangerous than either of them could possibly imagine.

A love so strong, nothing but the grave could overcome it.

Torn Asunder is part of the Whispers of Refuge series branched off from Alana Terry’s award-winning debut, The Beloved Daughter. These suspense novels tell the stories of contemporary North Koreans and can be read together or separately from Alana’s other books.

 

alana-terryAlana Terry is passionate about human-rights issues in North Korea and has devoted her writing to raise both awareness and funds to help North Korean refugees find freedom and safety. You can learn more about her work with Liberty in North Korea at alanaterry.com.

 

My Impressions:

Torn Asunder is the third book I have read by Alana Terry. Her subject matter, the plight of Christians in North Korea, does not lend itself to gentle reads. Terry never minces words when it comes to the brutality of the North Korean regime — the horror of the prison system is brought to light.  Neither does she stint on the power of God’s word and work within the Christian community in spite of the darkness that covers that country. If you are interested in the persecuted church, then Torn Asunder is a book you will want to read.

Hannah and Simon are recent graduates of a Secret Seminary operated by American missionaries in China. Former refugees, they are dedicated to crossing back into North Korean to accomplish whatever God wills for them. But the forces of evil will stop at nothing to eradicate the Christian church.

Torn Asunder has at its heart the continuing goodness and love of God towards the people of North Korea. Prisoners and guards are all victims to the inhumanity of the Pyongyang government. The novel explores what it really means to be a Christian when faced with persecution, torture, and starvation. Some of the characters succumb to the torture and abuse; others remain faithful. How would I fare in the circumstances the characters find themselves in? I cannot imagine. But in the face of men’s frailty, Terry illustrates a faithful God. One aspect I was especially struck by was the need to know Scripture, to have it hidden in the heart. When faced with extreme conditions, it was the only thing that the characters had left to cling to.

Torn Asunder is a faith-filled story of romance, suspense and survival. It is also a book sure to convict — persecuted brothers and sisters need our prayers.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to the author for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click HERE.

Book Launch: Torn Asunder by Alana Terry

22 Dec

Torn Asunder by Alana Terry

Torn Asunder is the newest suspense novel from award-winning author Alana Terry. Torn Asunder is the story of Hannah and Simon, two North Korean refugees who sneak back into their country to serve as underground missionaries. In this world of spies, secret police, and informants, Simon and Hannah learn that staying together won’t just compromise their ministry. It could cost them both their lives.
 
Torn Asunder launches today for just 99 cents, and all book sale proceeds today support the work of Liberty in North Korea, an organization that runs an underground railroad for North Korean refugees. You can get the paperback or the ebook for 99 cents for a limited time only. And remember the best news ~ Your purchase will help save a North Korean refugee!

Excerpt from Torn Asunder:

Simon gritted his teeth. His head felt like it was sinking. The general kept his voice level and pleasant as he slipped the device over Simon’s pinky. “Now, you just tell me who you delivered your Bibles to, and I’ll let you leave here with everything intact.”Simon tried to swallow. His whole jaw was swollen from his scuffle in the woods. He shut his eyes and hoped the general couldn’t feel him tremble.

General Sin chuckled to himself. “Silly me. I forgot.” He slid the device off Simon’s finger. “This kind of tool won’t work on a big, strong man like you.” He strode over to Hannah and yanked her hand before Simon could even cry out. He jammed her ring finger into the opening.

Simon struggled against his iron restraints. “Let her go!”

Hannah sucked in her breath. General Sin still glared at Simon. “This is your last chance. Give me the names, and I’ll release her unharmed.”

Simon’s field of vision blurred over. He wanted to scream. The metal from his handcuffs sliced open his wrists. He pictured himself breaking free and tackling the general to the ground.

“Better talk.” General Sin yawned. “I hate getting my uniform messy.”

Hannah’s hand trembled, but she didn’t make a noise.

“Three …”

Simon clenched his jaw, unable to tear his face away from Hannah’s wide, terrified eyes.

“Two …”





Want more? Buy Torn Asunder on amazon now. And remember, all book sales today will be donated directly to Liberty in North Korea, a group committed to seeing North Koreans achieve their freedom in THIS GENERATION.

Want to help spread the word? See below to click and tweet, or share this image on your timeline. Then be sure to scroll down to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $100 gift card, surprise grab bag ($60 retail), great CD from Cherie Norquay, and free prizes to everyone who enters! And don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us what you think of Hannah and Simon and those like them who sneak into hostile mission fields to share the gospel.

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Or copy and paste into an email or Facebook status: Torn Asunder is a new Christian suspense novel by Alana Terry about two North Koreans who serve as undercover missionaries. It’s on sale for only 99 cents, and all book proceeds today will be donated to Liberty in North Korea’s underground railroad for North Korean refugees.

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Book Review: Slave Again

15 Dec

4524684_origShe traded in her prison uniform for shackles of a different kind.

After escaping a North Korean prison camp, Mee-Kyong is hustled over the border and sold into the Chinese underworld. She vows to survive, but sheer determination and willpower won’t save her this time. Is she fated to remain a slave forever?

8543275About Alana Terry (from her website) — When I’m not blogging and writing, it’s likely that I’m on the floor wrestling with my kids. Or playing outside with my kids. Or chauffeuring my kids. Or leading clubs and day camps for homeschoolers (including my kids). Otherwise I’m probably hanging out at church with a whole bunch of teenagers and my youth-pastor husband.

My Impressions:

Slave Again is the first book in a new series by Alana Terry. (You can read my review of her first novel, Beloved Daughter, HERE.) Terry revisits the people of North Korea, this time focusing on the women who are sold into slavery in China. While prostitution is officially illegal in China, there are many levels to the sex trade in that country. In Slave Again, the women are trapped in the hotel district of a town north of the North Korean border. Though written from a Christian worldview, Terry’s book is not like most books written for that genre. The images are brutal and the emotions raw. Most characters are not Christian and their actions are formed by the brutality of their world. If you are looking for a gentle read, this one is not for you. But if you want an honest look into the ruthless North Korean regime, then Slave Again would be a good choice.

Mee-Kyong (introduced in Beloved Daughter), has escaped from the North Korean prison camp that has been her home since birth. But she soon finds herself forced into another prison — a Chinese brothel not far from the border. Her survival skills keep her alive, but her hardened heart is touch by a young girl stolen from her family. Slave Again details the horrors and hopelessness of the sex trade. However, the hope for escape and a new life in Christ is included in its message.

There are a lot of story lines in Slave Again, many of which are left incomplete. I am hoping that they will develop in the next books in the series. There is a good deal of suspense, and you never really know just what is coming on the next page. I would have liked a bit more character development — I had a hard time understanding the motivations of several of the characters. But if you are looking for characters that are based in reality, then Slave Again is for you. All the characters have warts, including the Christian characters. The contrasting points of view are enlightening — from characters just trying to survive, to those who are struggling with the way of Christ and those who are trying desperately to help the lost and desperate. There is a great deal of adult content — abuse is not sugar coated. So if you don’t want to read about the realities of human trafficking, don’t pick up this book. But for those who want an honest portrayal of the subject, Slave Again is eye-opening.

Alana Terry is passionate about the people of North Korean and that passion is reflected in her writing. After reading Slave Again, you just might join her cause.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults (violence and human trafficking portrayed)

(Thanks to the author for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.