The Ravine: A Novel of Evil, Hope, and The Afterlife

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Today I posted a book review on Amazon for The Ravine: A Novel of Evil, Hope, and The Afterlife by Robert Pascuzzi:

Forgiveness is a concept that seems to be everywhere these days, whether in books, Facebook memes, or at the pulpit. No matter what their religious or spiritual tradition, most of us can agree on the necessity of forgiveness in the human experience.

But what does it really mean? And how can someone forgive a crime like the horrific murder of one’s own wife and child?

In his compelling fictional novel The Ravine, author Robert Pascuzzi delves deeply for answers to these questions, drawing from the teachings of Jesus in Scripture. Understanding the difficulties most of us have in offering forgiveness for much lesser transgressions than murder, the author presents a realistic portrayal of characters struggling to process the reality of two brutal murders and a suicide by a very close friend.

Along the way, readers encounter supernatural occurrences, along with a psychically gifted character who acts as a bridge between God and the grief-and-anger stricken. While I would like to have seen the character of Tony throughout the course of the novel (he’s the brother of the murderer) and witnessed his spiritual development in the aftermath of the crimes, Pascuzzi does a nice job portraying its effects upon the offender’s two best friends, who nearly lose their marriage in the fallout.

Readers may be put off by what appears to be “The Devil Made Me Do It” excuse, but I viewed this as one man’s inability to use his God-given free will to say “No” to evil and listen to the word of God instead of the directives of The Enemy. I found the book to be a fascinating ride through this imperfect earthly life, with the promise of heaven via forgiveness. It’s filled with hope that life does not end but rather changes form, while it affirms God’s promise to his faithful. A highly recommended read.

Today, I interviewed Robert Pascuzzi on Writestream. Click below to listen to a thought-provoking discussion.

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Book Review: ‘The End of Prejudice’ by Kelvin Smythe

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Posted on Amazon the other day:

In this serious book, author Kelvin Smythe takes a lighthearted, yet fully revealing and well-researched approach to explaining two diametrically opposed political philosophies. For readers struggling to comprehend the differences between Left and Right, the author strips away the rhetoric and provides a solid foundation from which to understand both American Exceptionalism (e.g. The Age of the Citizen with roots in The Enlightenment) and the Leftism that seeks to undermine it in its quest for power, cleverly disguised as concern for the “Little Guy” against the “Big Guy.”

As Smythe details, the “Little Guy versus Big Guy” approach — as simple as it may seem – in effect sums up the left-wing approach to consolidating control over the individual. He presents scenario after scenario ripped from the headlines to make his point, demonstrating how essentially every modern-day news story fits neatly into this formula, which is designed to erode the rights of free citizens and expand the size and scope of centralized government.

I appreciated the fact that the author sticks to the ideologies and issues themselves, rather than propping up or singling out any one political party for either being pro- or anti- individual liberty. The problems and philosophies Smythe clearly outlines in his book transcend parties — something the American Founders warned us about. In the end, the enemy is an ever-increasing federal government (including members of both major parties) that long ago discarded the principles of the United States Constitution in favor of personal advancement, enrichment, and power in Washington D.C.’s exclusive, elite club.

Therefore, it’s up to American citizens who believe in the right to self-governance to fight back against the formidable forces of left-wing ideology. But as Smythe points out, in order to do this effectively, freedom-lovers must first seek to understand not only the Left but also the Right. To that end, he offers plenty of historical context for the emergence of both political philosophies, along with practical advice for constitutional conservatives. How do you engage those on the Left? Not by debating issues with facts but by metaphorically holding up a mirror to enable them to see the ultimate results of their worldview. Is this practical? Given the almost non-existent success liberty-lovers have had with persuasion via factual arguments, I’d say it’s worth a try.

If nothing else, even the most stalwart and well-informed American citizen and activist will learn something new from The End of Prejudice. Kudos to to Kelvin Smythe for writing this exceptional book.

Missed my Writestream interview with the author? Click below to listen.

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Karen Franks talks Lyme Disease with John Ricciutti of Radnor Studio 21

Karen Franks of Karen's Lyme Story.

My Writestream business partner and co-host Lisa Tarves and I interviewed the amazing Karen Franks of Karen’s Lyme Story this past May on Love Liberty & Lip Gloss for Lyme Disease Awareness Month. John Ricciuti of Radnor Studio 21 also sat down with her recently to discuss this very important and timely topic. Click below to listen and share this video with everyone you know. Thanks!

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Writestream Tuesday: Getting to Heaven by Going through Hell

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Today I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz, author of the new memoir, Getting to Heaven by Going through Hell. Having been involved in the project as Scot’s editor, I can tell you this book is a must-read, especially for those dealing with adversity. Scot’s example of refreshing honesty and willingness to engage in self-examination in the aftermath of a horrific accident is not only admirable but practical. Not matter what your unique struggle is, you can discover the inspiration and information you need to emerge from the experience a stronger, wiser, happier, and more spiritually connected person.

We talked anger, forgiveness, earth angels and finding heaven right here…..before passing on to the other side. If you missed it, click below to listen. Purchase Getting to Heaven by Going through Hell on Amazon in Kindle or paperback.

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“Ms. DiGiovanni is an impassioned champion of good old-fashioned stories.”

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Griffis__Cover-640x1024Very thankful for this wonderful testimonial:

“Writestream Radio” is the right place to go.  Ms. DiGiovanni is an impassioned champion of good old-fashioned stories.  Old-fashioned meaning they’re free of political cant, have something of a moral center, and are just plain entertaining.  She was a delightful interviewer who encouraged me to talk about my process and the story itself, something that I as an introvert don’t do easily, but Daria made it fun and I even learned things about my novel I hadn’t realized until her thoughtful questioning revealed it to me.  Short version:  she’s great.”

— Prince O’Whitebread, aka Roy M. Griffis, author The Big Bang, Volume One of the Lonesome George Chronicles and By The Hands of Men Series.

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