This blog, going forward:
You may have noticed I’ve been messing around with how this blog appears. Style, layout, fonts etc. Feel free to let me know if anything really looks good to you – or otherwise!
Also, we’re nearing the end of 2017 so I’ll be looking to come up with a new title. Here are some I have used:
- Currently – “Tales from the Great Adventure”
- Another iteration was – “Life, Gratitude, Faith, & Passion”
- Originally, this blog was called – “The Life-Charged Life.”
It’s always my intention to stay fresh and relevant. Besides, the title is a kind of prism through which I pour all my writing, any new projects, and speaking engagements too.
My second thing – books for Christmas:
So it’s December. If you’re like me you still have a few gifts to buy. Plus there is always room for another stocking stuffer or two….
BTW, I may or may not have done a deliberately obvious photo-shop job on the “must read” meme that goes with this post! Anyway, for today I’d like to highlight two books that are – in my opinion – legitimately “can’t miss.”
MY NEW (and first) novel, Suddenly the Light Was Gone. This is a WW2 story, and it’s getting great reviews so far. Here’s the short version of the catalog write-up: Best-selling inspirational author Derek Maul’s first novel is set in WW2 England in 1940. With the coastline vulnerable and the threat of invasion any day, millions of children are evacuated to safety. Henry Bradley and his friends don’t want to leave their south coast home, but they don’t have any choice. This historical novel is an entertaining read for all ages. Adventure, history, and a steep learning curve when it comes to relationships.
Now here are a couple of Amazon reviews:
- “A great first novel for Derek Maul, telling an engaging story of a boy evacuated to the English countryside during WW2. Told as a recollection during interviews set in 1990, Maul introduces us to the boy’s friends and family, and to the woman (and her granddaughter) who take the boy in. Young Henry navigates adjustment to his new home on the farm, making things right in his relationship with his father, spiritual discovery, and even first love. I thoroughly enjoyed Maul’s narrative style and thoughtfully-constructed characters. The story moves along briskly with the optimism and inward focus of youth, a light comic touch tempered by an awareness of the dreadful impact of war.”
- “I loved the book from start to finish, except I wasn’t ready for it to finish. I think there is a book 2 here, possibly a movie. It looks at the war from a teenager’s perspective, which I have never seen done before. It really gets your thought processes going as us baby boomers remember the stories our parents told us. The characters are very well developed so you can share their feelings from their perspectives. I’m a slow reader so it is hard for an author to keep my attention but I never wanted to put this book down. Great job Mr. Maul! I hope there is another one coming.”
MY ADVENT CLASSIC: In My Heart I Carry A Star, stories for Advent is a favorite for many people. Essentially, it’s a devotional book following all four weeks of Advent: Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy. Most of the stories come from when our children were growing up.
In this 2nd edition of his popular Christmas devotional book, Derek Maul updates, reformats, adds some new content, and generally refreshes his timeless collection of Advent stories. Here’s one write up that does a good job with the summary:
- What’s a tree doing in my living room? Why is it dressed in a kind of horticultural drag? Have you ever found yourself reclining in your favorite chair on a cold December evening, a cup of coffee poised on your lap, staring at the Christmas tree in the corner and wondering that very thing?
Whether you’re an observant Christian who loves the meaning and celebration of the season or a burned-out one, In My Heart I Carry A Star is a devotional-story almanac to understand and appreciate the possibilities Christmas offers. No matter where you are spiritually, Christ desires to bless you with an Advent journey overflowing with expectation and peace and life and hope and love.
“This is my prayer,” writes Maul, “that in the midst of all the wonder, and the bustle, and the peace, and the constant performance art that is December, the Jesus who makes my life necessarily uncomfortable at times will work God’s inexorable way out of the margins and into the heart of Christmas Present for each of us.” Derek Maul is a great storyteller. Along with a knack for commenting on life with wit and humor, he recognizes God’s grace in the midst of it all. The stories within this book reveal the light to be found in the season’s swirl of festivities, stresses, memories and difficult realities.
Just a couple of ideas to go with! Peace and more – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.