Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Sample for Seventh Dimension - The Door, and Interview of Lorilyn Roberts


Book Sample for Seventh Dimension - The Door, A Young Adult Christian Fantasy
I was enjoying the water too much to worry about underlings. After a few minutes, I got out and climbed up on a flat rock. As I lay on my stomach, I dangled my arms out over the river's edge. A blue bird darted up in front of me and danced over the water. "She's so cute," I said, fascinated by the small-winged creature. "They are terrible," Baruch said. "Not the bird, I mean the underlings. Most of the time, they don't have real bodies. They shape shift, though they look similar to large black bats. Thee acrid stench always precedes their appearance. I smell them coming now." "I don't smell anything," I said absentmindedly. "There's the crackling again," Cherios said. She nervously twitched her ear to one side.

Lorilyn Roberts is a Christian author who writes children's picture books, adult nonfiction, memoirs, and a young adult Christian fantasy series, Seventh Dimension. The first in the series, The Door, was just published (October 2012).
Lorilyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama, which included international study in Israel and England. She received her Masters in Creative Writing from Perelandra College and is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature.
Lorilyn is the founder of the John 316 Marketing Network, a network of Christian authors who are passionate about promoting books with a Christian worldview.
To learn more about Lorilyn, please visit her website at http://lorilynroberts.com or blog at http://lorilynroberts.blogspot.com. You can follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/lorilynroberts. To connect with her personally, you can contact her by email at llwroberts at cox.net.

I wanted to share my testimony, but I could never do it as a memoir, so I spent three years earning my Masters in Creative Writing so I could learn how to write fiction. This story is allegorical and has been compared by reviewers to Alice in Wonderland, Pilgrim's Progress, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Part of the story takes place in first century Israel. I was in Jerusalem studying at the Institute of Holy Land Studies when the Gulf War broke out in 1991. When people talk about "write what you know," that's what I did -- scarred, broken, abandoned, and on the road to juvenile delinquency, God took me to the mountains of Galilee and spoke to my heart. For every young girl (or man) reading this book, you will come away with this message -- you are a son or daughter of the king.

Some of the animal characters come from my children's picture book, The Donkey and the King. Baruch, the donkey; Lowly the pig; Cherios, the rabbit; and Much-Afraid, the dog, all represent aspects of Shale's complex personality. The battle between good and evil is represented throughout, with the underlings tormenting Shale unceasingly from the very beginning. She faces an ultimate test of life over death, as we all do in one form or another.

The Door is the first book in the Seventh Dimension Series. There will be two more to follow.

I write just about everything. I have a children's picture, The Donkey and the King; a best-selling memoir, Children of Dreams; a nonfiction book for Christian authors to help them launch their books; and then this book, which is a YA Christian fantasy. You can learn more about my other books by visiting my website at http://Lorilynroberts.com.

I was writing short stories as young as eight. I have a couple of them packed away in a box under my bed. Writing has been the only thing in my life that's come easily. That doesn't mean I didn't have a lot to learn, and I am still learning all the time. It just means it's the one thing I crave, the one thing I've always wanted to do above all else, the one thing I would do for hours. Even if I never got paid a dime, I would keep doing it. If only I didn't have to work at a real job to pay the bills. My parents were very practical. They made me study something in college with which I could make money. So my writing was put on hold until very recently. It's never too late to start. I am fifty-seven and just earned my Masters in Creative Writing. Anyone that has ever achieved anything worthwhile, I believe, had to fight for it. So to be able to write at all is something I fight for -- writing in the middle of the night, thinking about story in the car driving, asking God for direction. My kids care nothing about my writing. It all comes from deep within, this drive to write, to share my story. When I was in fifth grade, a teacher accused me of plagiarism. I suppose looking back, that should have told me I had a gift of writing. But instead, I felt humiliated and embarrassed. That scene is incorporated into this book. I love having the last word and bringing redemption to something that was unfair and hurtful.

I am a single mother by choice -- I adopted my two daughters from Vietnam and Nepal. I provide closed captioning for television, so technically, my writing has been seen by millions all over the planet. On days when I am down that no one wants to read my books, I comfort myself with that thought. I studied classical guitar as a teenager and hope someday to get back to playing, when I make my thousands writing and have more time. We have four neurotic cats and two wacky dogs -- all from the local human society. I am an animal lover at heart. I have also scuba dived all over the world, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea off of the coast of Eilat. My worst experience diving was throwing up at 40 feet under, or maybe it was the time I got left behind by the boat and waited for hours to be found. I have lots of life experiences to draw from, which is one of the advantages of growing old in years but young at heart.
A strange creature.

To buy Seventh Dimension - The Door, click: http://amzn.to/TThwRe



Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Memoir or a Novel - How Does One Decide Which Way to Craft a Story Based on Real Life Events?


By Lorilyn Roberts

 

Recently on a Linked-In discussion group, someone made this comment:  “I’m strongly biased toward fiction unless you are trading on celebrity or some highly publicized event. Memoirs put out as imparting the wisdom of the elders or holding up your past mistakes as object lessons turn me off. The fact you were a moron yesterday doesn’t make you a genius today. Journals and memoirs may be great for family but most are less attractive to a general audience and often convey the message of pleading to be loved or admired. Make it fiction and you can be more candid and the reader can decide whether your experience was informative, moving or amusing based on its own merits.”

 

I strongly disagree with his statement and share the following thoughts:

 

Memoirs are some of the most powerful pieces written today, but people are shortsighted. They don’t always see the value of first-hand accounts in the present. Without memoirs, we have history written by partial observers who bring their own worldview into play—maybe at the expense of writing with accuracy the way the events actually happened. Second-hand accounts are never as factual as first-hand stories and never as valuable for historical purposes.

 

Many people love reading memoirs and will look for them in libraries and bookstores. Life experiences written by people reveal more about society than any history book or journalist covering a story. I am thankful for all the memoirs written today by all sorts of people to give us a peek into the present and the past.

 

For example, the world never would have known of Anne Frank if she had not written her diary. She was an unknown 13-year-old kid before her father published her diary.

 

If you have a compelling story to tell, tell it with passion, revealing your innermost struggles and thoughts. Being “real” with the reader will make your story come alive. In my memoir Children of Dreams about the international adoption of my daughters, I was open and vulnerable. That was the right way to tell that story. I could never have fictionalized it.

 

I just wrote another book and this one is fiction, Seventh Dimension - The Door. In contrast with Children of Dreams, I took certain events from my own life and turned them into fantasy. I had a story to tell and the only way to tell it was as allegory and to fictionalize it. The point being, do what the story calls for and write it. Don’t let naysayers talk you out of writing your story the way you feel it needs to be told. At the end of the day, you have to live with the result and be happy with the story and the way you wrote it.

 

These are some thoughts I would consider:  Who is your target audience? What is your purpose in writing your story? Can anyone be hurt or impacted negatively if you write your book as a memoir? If you write your story as a memoir in hopes of making money, you need to write your book as “creative nonfiction,” using fictional techniques.

 

For example, you need a beginning, a middle, and an end. You need to think in terms of “scenes” and “plot” and “problems” that need to be solved. The reader needs a takeaway—what can he learn from your memoir that would be meaningful or cathartic? No one wants to read someone’s boring biography.

 

If you decide to write your book as fiction, you will have more options and won’t run the risk of being sued or worried about divulging something you might regret later. However, you need the skills to write fiction. Writing fiction is harder than writing a memoir because you have to create “story” out of fiction and make the plot enticing to read. In a future piece, I will suggest some books for writing fiction that I used in my Masters in Creative Writing that I found helpful.

 

I have written an award-winning piece on writing memoir that is posted on my website. Here is the link for anyone interested. Some might find it helpful. http://lorilynroberts.com/memoir.html

 

The most important thing as a writer is to keep writing and to keep learning—whether you write fiction, nonfiction, or memoir, and enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

FREE Kindle Books Worth Over $140, Including My New YA Christian Fantasy Book Seventh Dimension - The Door



FREE ON KINDLE DEC 26 THROUGH DEC 28: Click Below: http://amzn.to/TThwRe






For additional books availalbe for free on this promotion (worth over $140), please visit:
http://www.bodyandsoulpublishing.com/shop-til-you-drop-free-christian-books/



For every child who struggles with doubt, for every kid who has been bullied, for every teen who comes from a broken home, and for every young adult who longs to be understood - there is hope.


Best-selling author Lorilyn Roberts shares once again the power of redemption in this Christian coming-of-age novel. Written in first-person, "Seventh Dimension - The Door" reads as a first-hand account by a young girl, Shale Snyder, who is treated unfairly by her family, school, and classmates. Fear distorts her sense of self-worth and she is enveloped with guilt because of a secret from her past. 

While on a sojourn similar to Christian in "Pilgrim's Progress," Shale discovers talking animals and a handsome young man with whom she falls in love. Her journey is one of self-discovery as she battles personal demons, family conflict, wicked underlings, and comes face-to-face with a personal decision she must make -- bound up in the king she meets in first century Israel.


"I spent two years developing the plot," says Roberts, "as part of my Masters in Creative Writing. I love the classics, particularly books by Charles Dickens, Fydor Dostoevsky, Emily Bronte, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. I hoped to provide an entertaining story that would evoke deep spiritual longing." 

Roberts adds, "I was a troubled child from a broken home on the road to juvenile delinquency - until I met the king."


About Author
Lorilyn Roberts lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her two daughters from Nepal and Vietnam. Manisha's and Joy's adoption stories were told in her bestselling memoir "Children of Dreams." Part of her family's memoir was featured on Discovery Channel's "Monsters Inside Me."


Seventh Dimension - The Door
A Young Adult Christian Fantasy
LORILYN ROBERTS
November 2012/Mass Market Original/Fiction
$11.77
ISBN 9781480153905

"Seventh Dimension - The Door, A Young Adult Christian Fantasy"
(Create Space, $11.77, 230 pages, 6 X 9, paperback, ISBN: 978-
1480153905), is available at neighborhood and online booksellers
(Amazon). For more information, visit
http://lorilynroberts.com/seventhdimensionthedoor.html
Book Trailer


Saturday, December 22, 2012

John 3:16 Marketing Network: Shop 'Til You Drop, 40 FREE Kindle Books, After-Ch...


I HOPE EVERYONE HAS A BLESSED CHRIST-FILLED CHRISTMAS. IF YOU OPEN UP A PRESENT WITH A KINDLE INSIDE, THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE AFTER-CHRISTMAS SALE OF $120 IN FREE CHRISTIAN KINDLE BOOKS. Just click on the link below for more details.

John 3:16 Marketing Network: Shop 'Til You Drop, 40 FREE Kindle Books, After-Ch...: I’m totally excited about the Shop ‘Til You Drop Books and More sale going on over at Body and Soul Publishing . Partly because my fou...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Allbooks Review by Cecillia Lee of Seventh Dimension - The Door, A Young Adult Christian Fantasy


Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Author: Lorilyn Roberts
Title: Seventh Dimension – The Door

This book is about our need for ultimate love and understanding. Set in today’s society where self-doubt, bullying, broken homes and brokenness is rampant, this book is a must read.                  
Seventh Dimension – The Door is a touching story about a hurt young girl who finds the ultimate love of the king.

Meet Shale Snyder. She is an emotionally and psychologically injured girl – after many years of torment at school and abandonment at home, she is left empty and hollow inside. She feels misunderstood. She has an internal longing, but for what she doesn’t know!

One day, she is transported to a happy, peaceful garden. She meets up with two talking animals: a fat, apple-loving donkey and a cute, sweet rabbit, who tell her she is in the “king’s garden”. However, a hint of evil disrupts the serenity of the garden, and while trying to escape from the menacing presence, they, she and a dog whom she has known before, get transported to another world in the 7th dimension through a door, hence the title of this book, Seven Dimension – The Door.

Our heroine has several adventures in the 7th dimension. There are many weird things there – like a boy who is also from her world, except 3 years into her future! She learns the king of the garden is there. She wants to find out more about him and wants to meet him. However, she has to deal with issues within herself as they stand in the way of her ability to receive the king’s love. Finally, the story builds to an ending climax where she is given the ultimate test.

You have to read this book to find out who the giver of this amazing love is; who can mend a broken heart, love unconditionally, understand unceasingly, and fill the void in our hearts. You will be surprised to find out what our heroine has been longing for all along. Also, read about all the curious circumstances in the 7th Dimension.

You won’t be able to put this book down until you reach the end. The author, Lorilyn Roberts, has this incredible ability to build the suspense until the climax in the end. Don’t cheat and read the ending first because the journey into the 7th Dimension is just, if not, more compelling and spellbinding. Bon voyage!

Cecilia Lee, Reviewer, Allbooks Review International




Kindle:  http://amzn.to/TThwRe
Print:  http://amzn.to/T8nJeI

Title: Seventh Dimension – The Door
Author: Lorilyn Roberts
Publisher: Lorilyn Roberts
ISBN-13:978-1480153905
Digital Price: $2.99
Dec. 2012














Monday, November 26, 2012

Give-Away on Goodreads, Five Copies of Seventh Dimension - The Door, Great Christmas Gift



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Seventh Dimension - The Door by Lorilyn Roberts

Seventh Dimension - The Door

by Lorilyn Roberts

Giveaway ends December 10, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review of Seventh Dimension - The Door, by Sandra McLeod Humphrey




What a great mix of ingredients inherent in this Christian allegorical novel for young adults! There's plenty of drama and conflict inherent in the ongoing battle between good and evil with a sprinkling of romance and even a dash of political commentary. 

The animal characters are charming and the human characters are equally interesting. We immediately identify with the young protagonist Shale as she deals with her feelings of rejection, abandonment, and social isolation, and we can also empathize with Daniel and his conflicted feelings about just who the teacher really is--whether He is actually who Shale believes Him to be. 

I love the concept of "multiple realities" depending on the choices one makes, and I think this is really a novel for all ages. It's a journey of self-discovery but so much more!


For a free audio download, go to my website at http://lorilynroberts.com/seventhdimensionthedoor.html

Make sure you scroll down to the bottom.

To purchase on Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/Seventh-Dimension-Young-Christian-Fantasy/product-reviews/1480153907/ref=cm_cr_pr_top_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery, by Cheryl Rogers





For more information:




POST-PELEASE PRESS RELEASE, FEATURE LEAD, for immediate release

Bible Camp Mystery Shares Message of Salvation to Preteens, Teens

A 13-year-old boy disappears in the Florida woods in a new Christian mystery targeting preteens and teens. Called Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery, the book tells the tale of an ill-fated nature retreat.

In the book, things go awry early when the group encounters no-see-ums at dusk after setting up camp.  It’s downhill from there when Zack disappears in the middle of the night, several campers become ill, and a hurricane bears down on the Gulf Coast.

“It’s Florida at its best,” quips the book’s author Cheryl Rogers, a native of Miami who has endured many hurricanes through the years.

Rogers, the publisher of New Christian Books Online Magazine, weaves the message of salvation into the plot, encouraging readers to seek Jesus as their Savior. She also demonstrates the power of prayer, the importance of staying with a pack, and taking dominion over creation.

“It is my goal to expose readers to biblical principles at a young age, enabling them to understand key concepts,” Rogers says.

The plot unfolds as Chet, a former New York gang leader who has found Christ, develops plans for a back-to-nature retreat for a church group consisting of 10 to 16 year olds.

Despite their best efforts to prepare the youths, they learn early things don’t always go as planned.

“I loved Nancy Drew Mysteries as a child, so I have tried to capture that flavor in this story about Zack and his fellow campers," Rogers says. "It is my goal to help provide uplifting reading materials to readers 10 and up."

Among her other ebooks are The Lesson of Jonah: There is a Price to Pay When you Disobey, a Bible lesson plan; Just Like Jonah Wail Tales, a short story collection involving modern Jonahs who learn the hard way there is a price to pay when you disobey; and The I Can See Christian Storybook, a unique story collection aimed at defeating doubts about God as a child grows.

Rogers also has written a devotions book aimed at new and young Christian entitled Fast Track to Victory, A Christian Guidebook. It consists of 40 lessons teaching how to really love and forgive others, why it's important to set aside pride and lots more.

Lost in the Woods: A Bible Camp Mystery is now available through the Amazon Kindle Store. Get the lowdown on the lovable cast of characters in the next few weeks, exclusively at New Christian Books Online Magazine.

###

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Another Second Chance -- Troy Lewis, free book today and tomorrow on Kindle





Has God ever given you a second chance – at life, an education, a job, or a relationship? If so, you can probably identify with Troy Lewis. Today and tomorrow, he is offering his Kindle book Another Second Chance for free (November 10 and 11).

Troy Lewis is a recent walking miracle (transplant recipient), speaker, and author.  He resides in Northwest Ohio with his lovely wife Stephanie and two beautiful daughters, Corrine and Allison.

He loves sharing "Wow God Stories" to inspire and encourage others.

For nine years Troy played the part of Jesus Christ in a Passion drama, but that was only in preparation for what God had in store for him next. Since his near death experience, he has been sharing the amazing "Testimonial Message" of (what’s called) God's Story.

Troy travels to churches, group organizations, and conferences all over sharing a story that only God could have created—one that strengthens faith, builds hope, and renews your belief in miracles.
   
He has been interviewed on TV, Radio, and featured in media articles.



To learn more about Troy, his story, and to schedule him to share God's Story at your church or conference. go to www.anothersecondchance.org

To get a free Kindle copy of Another Second Chance on November 10th and 11th, go to http://www.amazon.com/Another-Second-Chance-Gods-Story/dp/0983360774/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352579392&sr=8-1&keywords=Another+second+chance

Monday, November 5, 2012

Which Book Cover Do You Like The Best?
























Lisa Hainline is doing the new cover of the revised and improved book, How to Launch a Christian Best-Selling Book. I am not very good at choosing book covers. Help me pick the best one!

For more examples of her excellent book covers, visit her website at


Seventh Dimension - The Door -- Review by Carol A. Brown






Shale Snyder is smart, determined, impatient--and a troubled teen. Abandoned by her father, misunderstood by her mother, step-father and school authorities; accused of cheating, isolated from her best friend, and bullied by other students? It is a crazy, difficult world she lives in--hard to know what to do, when to fight and when to walk away. Comfort comes in unique ways. The school counselor says she is gifted and an apparently homeless dog adopts her. When Shale runs away from home with her broken birthday gift (yet again) it is understandable.

In her flight, a weak ankle gives way; her head hits a rock and so begins the inner journey that changes everything for Shale. While unconscious she enters a dimensional door that leads her further and further into another time and place. She is chased from an idyllic garden through a second door to enter the time Jesus walked this earth and taught. 

She comes face to face with the enemy of her soul and eventually defeats him. She briefly meets her long absent father and wicked step-mother. She hears a wonderful teacher, discovers He is THE KING and then meets Him and is changed by Him. She brings her half-brother to Him for healing and during this time in this dimension finds the love of her life. Oh, yeah, she also talks with animals during all these events! There is plenty of drama; in fact it seemed almost non-stop!

Arriving back in her own time and dimension, she finds people have changed. It is almost as if changes in the spiritual dimension have an effect on people in the natural dimension.

The issues of unfairness, injustice, not listening and not taking people seriously were strong themes throughout; themes that many teens relate to. I felt that Roberts did an excellent job of incorporating the teachings of Jesus into the resolution of Shale's problems. Her characters were well developed. Some characters I loved right away and others I disliked immediately. Some grew on me slowly--I think young people would relate well to both the characters and the issues. There is a final warm fuzzy but I don't want to spoil it for you!

This is a book that I could recommend to teens interested in fantasy or who are dealing with similar issues as those Shale encountered. I would also recommend it to adults/parents of a troubled teen to help give them an understanding from a teen perspective.

Please check out all of Carol's reviews on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A38WSLMJCDJ361/ref=cm_cr_pr_pdp

Election 2012, Part 7: Responses to 12 More Comments, Including “It’s wrong to vote pragmatically,” “Politics is a waste of time” and “I’ll only vote for a Christian” - Blog - Eternal Perspective Ministries

Election 2012, Part 7: Responses to 12 More Comments, Including “It’s wrong to vote pragmatically,” “Politics is a waste of time” and “I’ll only vote for a Christian” - Blog - Eternal Perspective Ministries

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Adoption Prayer


An Adoption Prayer
By Lorilyn Roberts



Jesus said in John 14:18, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" According to the U.N., there are approximately 145 million orphans in the world today.

Can we be like Jesus, opening our beating hearts and stretching our empty arms across the oceans to help destitute orphans who need our love?  Can we not risk a little to sacrificially give these little ones the knowledge of the Real Hope Giver? Can we not love until it hurts? Can we not remove ourselves from our comfort zone of blackberries, iPhones, plasma TV screens, and Starbucks Lattes to feel an orphan's pain and hear his stifled cries for love? If only for a moment, can we enter into the movement of the Spirit of God and allow Him to stir our hearts and move us in ways not our own and give us a longing to love one more precious child? 

But not for the grace of God, go I. Without Jesus, we are all orphans. Let's show the world that Christians are indeed known by their love—enough to change the world one life at a time.

Pray that God would lead you to adopt. Pray that He would prompt you to open your wallet to help. Pray that He would show you how to get involved. Let Him touch your heart as He whispers to your soul. Someday, when you stand before the Heavenly Father's throne, when all else has been left behind but the souls for which Jesus died on a cruel Roman cross, you will be able to say, "I surrendered my heart and mind to the endless possibilities You gave me, Lord Jesus. I saved a child out of hopelessness, just as You saved me."

Don’t let it be, if only. 

“I was moved by Lorilyn’s story of her going to the ends of the earth to find her daughters.” Jerry B. Jenkins, Novelist & Biographer, owner, Christian Writers Guild.



To purchase Children of Dreams on Amazon:

October 17 through October 19, Children of Dreams will be free on Kindle as part of a larger Christian 100% off promotion. To learn more visit http://www.bodyandsoulpublishing.com/100-percent-off-christian-books/



Monday, October 15, 2012

Why Did I Write Seventh Dimension – The Door?


By Lorilyn Roberts




It’s easy to think of my life beginning when I was four years old. A torrential storm sent lightening daggers through the living room and thunder shook our tiny apartment. It was on that night, awareness of life and death became real to me. Fear entered me for the first time and made me realize how small and insignificant I was. In a home without a father, I sensed there was something big and all-powerful that would protect me if I asked. That was my first awareness of God.

Love growing up in a broken home was lacking, but when you don’t know any different, you accept what is without questioning. God filled in those gaps later. Out of depravity, God provides abundantly. Those who have great need later experience great healing and great love, poured out and overflowing. Every child born into this world God loves just as much as He loves His Beloved Son. That gives me hope that no matter what our circumstances, we can overcome. We will overcome by the blood of Jesus Christ.

We can defeat those voices that tell us we are no good, we can rest in the arms of Jesus Christ, we can embrace the truth through Scripture, and we can share the love of God. Despite all the obstacles that have hindered me, God is now giving me the opportunity to share my passion for writing.

How does one come to know Jesus Christ if one is afraid of other Christians, afraid of the church, afraid of rejection, even afraid to go to Sunday School? (I failed first grade because I couldn’t read and never wanted to read out loud after that).

God sent a dog named Gypsy to me. Sadly, shortly after arriving on our doorstep, she was taken from me and dumped some place far away. For three days, I did nothing but cry. I lay in bed listening to another violent storm outside my bedroom, wondering if she was okay. I feared I would never see her again. For someone who had never known the Savior’s love, or the love of a close friend, or the community of a church, she was my anchor. For someone who didn’t own a Bible, who had never heard the words, “I love you,” from the Source of all love, it was a scary world that offered little security. I longed for something , but I didn’t know what it was.

As we were getting ready to leave on a trip to North Carolina for Thanksgiving, I looked one last time up the hill from our small apartment. I dropped my pillow when I saw a speck of white on the street far away.  Was it Gypsy?  She was dirty and exhausted, but she was alive. We were reunited—never separated again until her death many years later.

That day, I learned something profound—God loved me and He would never leave me or forsake me. If He could return my beloved dog to me against all odds, He had to be real.

I went to an elementary school that was mostly Jewish, and so my school friends were Jewish. I was jealous they had that sense of community that I never had. Why couldn’t I have been born Jewish? My mother had recently married Gene Roberts and I asked my new father to take me to Sunday School. On Sunday mornings, he would climb out of bed and drive me to a church nearby we had never attended. There I learned about Abraham and Moses. I felt Jewish because I was learning about the Jewish God. For my eighth birthday, I asked for a Bible. My new father took me to the store and bought me the King James Bible.  I proudly wrote my name in the only Bible we owned for many, many years.

When I was twelve, I had a good friend with whom  I spent the night. Before she went to bed that night, she asked, “Do you mind if I read my Bible ?” I had not grown in my faith since I was younger as we had moved. My parents did make an effort to attend church a few times, but the fights they had on Sunday morning were horrendous. Much to my relief, we quit going.  The Sunday morning tirades  turned me away from believing in a powerful God. Satan seemed too strong for my family—where there were often scary confrontations that left me insecure and worried. My birthfather having left me, I feared my adoptive father might, also.

God never quit loving me, but I lost touch with Him until I met my friend who read her Bible.

I went home and started reading mine. I read Job first – I could easily read that name – followed by Proverbs. Then I decided to read something from the New Testament. Why not begin with the first book—Matthew?

I became a born-again Christian reading about Jesus in bed late at night under a tiny light when I was supposed to be sleeping. His profound words rung true with what I knew— the Old Testament prophets and the proof-texts. The Jewishness of Matthew resonated with me because of my past. His compassion for the poor, his willingness to risk everything, and His death on the cross when He had done nothing wrong overwhelmed me. I cried, humbled by His compassionate words that spoke to my heart.

I must have asked Jesus into my heart a hundred different ways. Fearful I didn’t do it right the first time, I did it over and over. When one is insecure and has little knowledge of the things of God, fear plays too big a role. Fear convinces you uttering the sinner’s prayer is insufficient for salvation. When you have lived in a world of conditional love and performance-based acceptance, it doesn’t seem like enough after all God has done.

My insecurity and low self-esteem kept me from growing as a Christian. I looked for value in worldly ways. I excelled academically, making straight A’s through high school. I became an accomplished classical guitar player, performing at major events. I was first runner-up in the Junior Miss Pageant for Cobb County, Georgia. I never smoked a cigarette, never drank, never hung out with the questionable crowd, never was promiscuous, and never once took a risk that would have compromised on my very personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

But deep down, I was hurting. As a perfectionist, I struggled to believe people would like me if they knew how “bad” I was. A flawed and distorted image of value crept into every aspect of my thinking. I wouldn’t read out loud, wouldn’t pray in public, wouldn’t do anything that could draw attention to myself outside of my academic and musical accomplishments. My fear kept me from becoming the person God created me to be.

At nineteen, I met the love of my life at the University of Georgia in chemistry class—who psychologists would call a rescuer. We later married and I put him through medical school, hoping when he finished, I could go back to college and get my degree and pursue my dreams of writing.

When I was thirty, he walked out on me after getting his girlfriend pregnant. Those dreams of writing crushed, I dropped out of the University of Florida and went back to the horrid world of court reporting, which I hated.

But something did change – I found a Bible-believing church, a Christian Counselor, and Christians in the church reached out to me with the love of Jesus Christ. I pulled out that dusty Bible and discovered the Book of Romans. I threw out those pills I almost swallowed after God spoke to me on another stormy night when I lay in a muddy creek bed. The Creator asked me how I could take my own life when He sacrificed His beloved Son for me. How could I stand before Jesus Christ if I committed this awful deed? His love for me compelled me to give up that “right.” That was in 1985.

Since that time, many of my prayers have been answered. My mother and Gene, who later adopted me, found Jesus Christ and started attending church (without fighting). Gene died a humble man fifteen months later after a valiant fight with brain cancer. I look forward to seeing him when I arrive at heaven’s gates. My brother and sister found a church and became believers. My family is no longer just a moral family—they know Jesus Christ. I believe God’s great work began with a stray white dog that found her way into my heart so long ago. She was lost but she found me and wouldn’t let go—just as God found me and wouldn’t let go of me either.

Today, I thank God for the opportunity to write and share His great love with a world that is desperately lost. Especially as we watch the news on television and the internet and see the scars of hurting people because of sin, unbelief, and godlessness. We have hope because God is a God of all hope.

While the Seventh Dimension – The Door is a Christian fantasy and fiction, many of the ideas come directly from my life. Today, God is still working out His perfect will on many levels—the birthfather I am estranged from, my desire to write full-time, fueling the passion in my daughters to have no other god but the One Living and True God. The world’s lure is great and I will never grow weary of praying for them. God, who brought them here from the other side of the world as orphans, has a wonderful plan for them. As a single mother, I know the battle for my children’s souls is great, but if I didn’t believe so passionately that God as our heavenly Father can fill that void of earthly fathers, I wouldn’t have adopted them. With one hundred and fifty million orphans in the world, God chose them. I am humbled and honored to call them my daughters.

For every young person who struggles with doubt, for every child who has been bullied, for every kid who comes from a broken home, and for every person who longs for the seventh dimension—Seventh Dimension – The Door is for you.


God does not leave us if we come to Him. Seventh Dimension – The Door is written for those who will not hear of God’s love in church because they don’t attend, or through Christians because they don’t hang out with them, or through the Bible because they don’t own one. To know the King, it helps to know His Jewish roots, so there is a strong Jewish element within the pages. Seventh Dimension – The Door is the book I wish I could have read when I was a teenager. Seventh Dimension – The Door is now available on Smashwords and Kindle. An audio version is on my website (free download for a limited time).







Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chapter One from Seventh Dimension - The Door, by Lorilyn Roberts




Prologue

A diary entry many years later:

“Long ago, a magical king was born in a kingdom where animals talked and intellect sparred with spirituality. It was a time when truth transcended culture, forgiveness won battles, and love conquered a young girl’s heart.

But lest I get ahead of myself, let me start from the beginning—which happened a long, long, long time ago. So long ago, I barely remember the beginning of my journey to the Seventh Dimension.



Chapter One

The Dark Secret of Shale Snyder


I hid in a closet underneath the stairs—my safe house. Nobody would find me in here. It wasn’t used because the ceiling was too low. After the accident, the closet became my friend. I wanted to avoid Judd, who came over to visit Chumana. She was not my sister but we lived together.
Guilt overwhelmed me. The door creaked as I turned the handle. I held my breath and peered through the tiny slit. Moving shadows darkened the room. Judd, Rachel, and Chumana stared into a small brown shoebox.
Chumana burst out crying. “I hate Shale.”
I cringed. She already hated me anyway, ever since we moved in with them a few months earlier.
Rachel stood and recited a Jewish prayer. “Barukh shem k'vod malkhuto l'olam va'ed. Blessed is the name of his glorious kingdom forever and ever.” With her unkempt hair, puffy red eyes, and flushed face, I barely recognized my best friend.
“Why are you praying?” Judd snapped. “We aren’t here to pray.”
“Accidents happen,” Rachel said.
“She should be cursed,” Judd exploded.
“Don’t say that,” Rachel said.
 “How do you know it was an accident?” Chumana asked.
I looked away. I couldn’t listen. My whole body quivered—what kind of curse?
Judd’s voice cracked. “I demand she tell us what happened.”
The three twelve-year-olds sat silently for a moment before Rachel responded. “She fell down the stairs with Fifi and she’s afraid.”
I swallowed hard.
Judd pulled his uncle’s Atlanta Braves cap over his eyes and clinched his hand into a fist. “I hope Shale never has any friends—for the rest of her life.” He covered his face and sobbed.
I bit my fingernail holding back tears. I’d never heard a boy cry. Could his curse come true?
Chumana’s red hair matched her fiery temper. “That’s not enough of a curse. She already doesn’t have any friends.”
“I’m her friend,” Rachel said. “Accidents happen.”
Rachel lived two buildings down from us in the Hope Garden Apartments. Would she still be my friend if I told her the truth? I didn’t just fall—it was what I was doing when I fell. I was too afraid. I rubbed my swollen ankle, a reminder of my foolishness. The doctor hoped it would heal, but Fifi lay in the box.
Probably God hated me, too. If I told the truth, everyone would hate me. I couldn’t even tell my mother. My father—he left me long ago.


***

Two Years Later

I felt a hand reach underneath my blue skirt. I spun around on my toes. Students in the crowded hallway blended into a blur of anonymity. Hurried bodies shoved past. Am I going crazy? Did I imagine it? I scanned faces and froze each one, like a snapshot with a camera.
“Shale, why are you standing there? Come on or you’ll be late to class.” Rachel was waiting at the hall lockers.
I walked towards her as the bell rang.
“Are you okay?” She furrowed her brow.
“I’m fine.” I smiled, pretending nothing had happened. I’d think about it later. “Did you finish your analysis of As You Like It?”
Rachel’s brown eyes bulged. “Is it due today?”
“Here’s mine. You can take a quick look if you need to.”
“Oh, thanks, Shale. I hate Shakespeare anyway. No copying, promise. Just a peek.”
“It’s no different from reading Spark Notes on the web,” I quipped.
When we walked into English class at Garden High School, I sat in the seat closest to the door and stared out into the darkened hallway. Who did it? What would I do if I caught him? Mrs. Wilkes’s voice brought me back to reality as she recited from a Shakespearean play.

“All the world’s a stage.
And all the men and women merely players
They have their exits and their entrances
And one man in his time plays many parts
His acts being seven ages.”

What was my part? At fourteen, did I have one yet?

***

Later in the afternoon, I tripped while stepping off the school bus. My books scattered over the ground. My bum ankle from the accident two years earlier would catch at the worst possible moments—what I considered my eternal punishment.
Scrambling to pick them up, I wiped the red Georgia clay off my math book. The bus waited long enough to make sure it wouldn’t run me over before pulling away.
“Hey, wait up, ya’ll.” I walked faster to catch up as Rachel stopped, but Chumana and Judd kept going. We still lived in the same apartment complex on the south side of Atlanta—had for years.
“If you used a backpack, you wouldn’t have dropped your books,” Rachel chided me.
“Mine broke.” I scanned Rachel’s back. “Where’s yours?”
“I did my homework at school. This is all I needed.” Rachel waved a thick book with strange-looking letters in the air.
“Can you read that stuff?”
“Sure,” Rachel laughed, “but I don’t know what it means. You could too if I taught you.” Rachel flipped to the first page. “You start on this side.” Her finger pointed to a line of Hebrew and she ran her finger across the page from right to left.
 “Really?”
“Yes.” Rachel giggled. “So who reads backwards, the English or the Jews?”
 “I’d say the Jews. I can say that since I’m not Jewish, right?”
“Why not?”
“Writing would sure be easier if English was right to left. I wouldn’t smear my words.”
Rachel nodded. “I forget you’re left-handed. It’s crazy, isn’t it—like the Brits drive on the left side and we drive on the right.”
We walked for a while not saying anything. I glanced at my friend with her striking olive skin, almond brown eyes, and brown hair. “Do you like being Jewish?”
“Yeah, I guess. I don’t know any different.”
 “I wish I was Jewish.”
“Why?” Rachel asked.
“It would be neat to be able to say I was something.”
“You could go to church,” Rachel suggested.
“Mom and Remi would never go. Every time they talk about God or anything religious, they end up fighting.”
Rachel flinched. “That’s too bad. By the way, thanks for your help with English.”
“You’re welcome.” I switched my books to the left, thinking how much I hated the long walk home, especially since we now lived farther away. The new unit we moved into when Remi and mother married was at the very back by the woods.
Rachel frowned, noticing my musings. “What’s it like having a father now?”
I bit my lip hesitating. “At least I have my own bedroom and don’t have to share with Chumana.”
“That’s good,” Rachel agreed. “How did you ever end up living with her anyway?”
“Mother didn’t have any money when we moved to Atlanta. She found an ad that Chumana’s mother placed in the Atlanta Constitution looking for a roommate. It was a cheap place to live.”
I eyed Judd and Chumana ahead of us. “What are they talking about? They have been spending a lot of time together.”
Rachel lowered her voice. “I know.”
“Maybe they deserve each other.”
Rachel edged up even closer to me and spoke in a whisper, “You never knew your father, right?”
“No.” I clutched my books that now seemed heavier. “Mother couldn’t wait to marry Remi after being divorced for so many years. Then she cried all night when they returned from their honeymoon in the mountains. I couldn’t sleep. I wondered why, but was too afraid to ask.”
“Maybe it was a bad honeymoon,” Rachel chortled.
“Silly you. How can you have a bad honeymoon?”
“I don’t know,” Rachel replied. “I’m sure it’s happened.”
“I hardly knew Remi the day they married.”
“It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to be at your own parent’s wedding. I mean, it might be funny if it could happen,” Rachel said.
“Like Back to the Future?” Then my thoughts darkened. “How would you like having a stepfather you don’t know?”
Rachel shook her head. “I wouldn’t.”
I’d never confided in anyone about my past but now I couldn’t stop. “Presents arrive twice a year from North York. I don’t remember anything about my father. One day he left and never returned.”
“I can’t imagine what that would be like,” Rachel said.
“Sometimes I get angry.”
Rachel’s eyes widened. “About what?”
“Mother didn’t ask how I felt about her remarrying.”
We walked in silence as my words hung in the air. I kicked a rock on the sidewalk and it skipped into the gutter. Rachel’s warm nature was comforting. She came from such a perfect family, or it seemed. I’d tell her things I wouldn’t tell anyone else.
Voices from the past mocked me. “Do I walk like a chicken?”
Rachel laughed. “No, you don’t walk like a chicken.”
“Do I have big lips?”
“Big lips?” Rachel stopped and stared at me surprised. “No.”
“You don’t think so? Every time I wet them with my tongue, I worry I’m making them fat—so I was told.”
Rachel examined my fair face. I pretended not to notice. “You’re beautiful. Who would say such mean things?”
I didn’t want to tell her. What was the point in making him look bad?
“I love your green eyes and long brown hair.” Rachel reached out and grabbed a couple of strands, flipping them over my shoulder. “I wish mine wasn’t wavy with all the humidity. I use an iron to straighten it but it doesn’t stay that way for long.” Rachel giggled. “Guys love long, straight hair.”
“Remi wants me to call him dad, but that seems weird.”
A few feet in front of us, Chumana knelt on the sidewalk.
Rachel squinted. “What are they looking at?”
An earthworm wiggled on the sidewalk, barely warm from the late afternoon sun. A few weeks after Christmas, it was the wrong time of year for creepy crawlers.
“It’s probably cold,” I said.
Judd lifted his foot to squash it.
“Wait,” I demanded.
Judd glared at me.
“Why kill it?” I asked.
He leaned down and picked it up, dangling the worm a few inches above the sidewalk. “Have you ever dissected one of these?”
I shook my head.
He stiffened. “I should make you squish it between your delicate fingers.”
I stared at the worm. Judd dropped it on the sidewalk. As he started to smash it again, I leaned over and shoved him. “Just leave it alone.”
Judd’s face turned beet red. “Don’t ever push me again. You hear me?”
I nodded. My knees spasmed like a jack-in-the-box.
“You don’t like squishing worms but you killed my puppy.” His icy eyes ripped at my soul.
Rachel said, “Get over it. You sound so hateful.”
Chumana glared through her thick, black-rimmed glasses. “Judd is right, though, Rachel. Don’t you remember?”
“I remember,” Rachel whispered.
My heart raced as I picked up the worm—its slimy body was cold to the touch—and stuck it in my pocket.
Judd shook his head and stomped off.
Ruefully, I urged Rachel and Chumana, “You two go on. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Rachel nodded. They continued walking, leaving me alone.
After wrapping the worm up in some brown leaves, I placed it on a warmer corner of the concrete. When I lifted my eyes, I saw the white dog for the first time. She sat nearby wagging her fluffy tail.
As I approached her, she stood and limped backwards. The scruffy creature was dirty and mangy, with floppy short ears and almond brown eyes. If she belonged to someone or was lost, the owner wasn’t taking very good care of her. A fuzzy feeling warmed my heart. Did she like me? Before I could get too close, the dog turned and ran away.