Category Archives: Books

DIVINITY by Michelle L. Johnson

Divinity Release day option 2

About the story…

When Julia climbs into a flaming car to save a trapped child, she’s left wondering why either of them survived. Then she learns that her father is the Archangel Gabriel, and that she is half human, half Archangel. Read the rest of this entry

Are Biblical Allusions Lost Today?

Are biblical allusions lost today?

There are several biblical allusions in contemporary literary and cinematic works; they are discussed in this blog every week.  But with the decline of biblical literacy, are those themes even recognized any more by the reader or moviegoer? aslnajdgskjg

Early 19th Century literary works, poetry, speeches, and songs often alluded to themes from the Bible.  Having said that, the target audience of that period also attended Church more frequently and studied the Bible (and it was just the King James Bible) more often than today.  Therefore, one can infer that biblical allusions resonated with the 19th century audience due to their shared experiences from church and Bible study.biblical allusion cartoon

According to several polling sources, today’s interest in faith is on the rise, but biblical knowledge has either stagnated or is on the decline:

While 92% of America owns a Bible and 25,000,000 copies are sold a year in the US

59% read the Bible

80% believe the Bible is too hard to understand

Examples of people not being able to name the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, believing Joan of Arc was married to Noah, thinking that Sodom and Gomorrah were married, only knowing 5 of the 10 commandments, and either not knowing or getting Biblical stories wrong are strewn throughout the surveys. 4372269765_290efef233

So the question becomes, should writers still allude to biblical themes in their works?  Do those allusions still connect or resonate with the reader?  Do other religions or more humanist themes draw a more common thread with today’s audience?  As always I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

The Underdog

imagesRocky, Rudy, Frodo Baggins, Lennie Small, Lisbeth Salander, Harry Potter, Oliver Twist, and many more…they are the underdogs.  We always root for the underdog.  The chips are stacked against them and the world mocks them, but we the reader know their struggle.  Plot lines in underdog stories usually involve an understanding of the underdog’s shortcomings, initial defeat, growth and gain, followed by a second defeat, contemplation of surrender, and eventual victory.  We associate our own shortcomings with that of the hero or heroine and reaffirm our conviction to never give up. Read the rest of this entry

What About Our Furry Friends?

Eventually, there is the question…what about my pets?  We love our pets.  They are as much a part of our family as any other relative.  We love them.   They take on human qualities.  They have personality.  They feel, they love, they hurt.  We see them as we see ourselves.  When we write fiction, pets are some of our favorite characters.  Whether it is Charlotte’s Web, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Call of the Wild, Animal Farm, White Fang , The Tale of Despereaux, or Stuart Little.  Our furry family members are an integral part of our lives.  Which begs the question, do we draw this bond from some of the biblical stories.  The Bible has several prominent animals within its tales, the serpent in the garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the Whale, Daniel and the Lions to name a few.  Read the rest of this entry

Lost Gospels And… A GIVEAWAY!

images10,000 Views!!!!!

*SQUEEE!!!* New Stories, Old Book blog has crossed 10,000 views! First, THANK YOU. If it weren’t for the support of all of you, the readers here who share in our #fangirling and add some much-needed #fanboying for the movies, books, television shows, and stories we discuss here, we wouldn’t be here at this landmark. I’m so grateful to all of you for your enthusiasm and continued reading, and grateful to the other authors of this blog Michelle, Jamie, Christine, and also Amy for filling in on Supernatural Sundays while Michelle was out of town.

I watched the most interesting TV program this weekend. There was a special on the Military channel all day long, tackling Biblical issues from so many different angles, many of them scientific. One program caught my attention: the story of the lost Gospels of Thomas, Judas, and Mary Magdalene. Read the rest of this entry

Faith in Promises-The Bible

“The Bible:  In the beginning.” Moses-Aaron-The-Bible-History-Channel

The first episode of The Bible takes viewers through the biblical stories of Noah, Abraham, and Moses.  The story opens with Noah consoling his family during the flood by recounting the beginnings of creation. Read the rest of this entry

Cover Reveal: GILDED DESTINY by Nola Sarina

OMG!!! Hahaha I’m so excited I could SQUEEE. Or cry. Possibly some jumping around and falling over in the process.

…Probably not the best way to start this post off.

Anyway, I’m beyond thrilled to announce the release date for my first Vesper Novella, GILDED DESTINY, which would not even exist if it weren’t for the amazing support of all you folks on here. You guys rock, seriously. I couldn’t ask for a more awesome group of readers, writers, and friends!

GILDED DESTINY will release on MAY 13! AHHH! E-readers, look out, the Vespers are coming to get you!

Without further ado (Hehehe I always wanted an excuse to say that!) Here it is!!! Read the rest of this entry

Viewing the Vatican Through Fiction

FE_DA_130313WhiteSmoke425x283Two days ago a new Bishop of Rome was announced at the culmination of a papal conclave. On that day the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio delivered a mass in the Sistine Chapel and was formally recognized as Pope Francis. In the days leading up to the scrutiny (casting of ballots), post-scrutiny (ballot counting), acceptance, and proclamation, all eyes were cast on the Vatican.  Read the rest of this entry

A Biblical Flurry

b671dc7926e28c994936be8f493a6720In our posts, we often discuss Biblical themes in fiction, cinema, and media.  What about when the Biblical story is the theme all by itself?  There have been books, movies, and mini-series that depict biblical stories throughout our media culture.  UnknownIn fiction literature, “The Red Tent” and “The Song of Solomon” are favorites.  In cinema, biblical epics seem to come in waves each decade.  From the post World War II classics as “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben-Hur” to controversial modern day works like “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “The Passion of the Christ” there is never a lack of material in the Old Book.  The good news is if you are a fan of Biblical stories, there is about to be another surge of chronicles hitting the market (and if you are an aspiring author, this may be the next big theme)!  Read the rest of this entry

Frankenstein: Mary Shelley’s Early FanFiction

Today I’d like to dedicate this blog post to one of the most daring, female authors I know: Mary Shelley. She originally published Frankenstein in 1818, but her name was not put on it until 1823.

Think about being a woman, in those days, and writing something like Frankenstein. I can’t say as I blame her for hesitating on using her name, at first.

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Think about the fact that she used the story to call all the scientists – a heavily male community – stupid for dabbling in that which they did not understand.

Frankenstein was also subtitled with the phrase: “The Modern Prometheus.” Let me give you a bit of a rundown on Prometheus in Greek mythology, in case you aren’t already familiar. Read the rest of this entry