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The Bible According to Bella

New book examines the Twilight Saga and what it teaches about God

Monroe, MI – In a bold move, author Jane Wells has hijacked the most popular cultural touchstone of recent years andturned it on its head. With insight, humor and great compassion Wells uses scenes from the hugely popular Twilight Saga, a four-book and soon to be five-movie juggernaut, to illustrate just why the saga is so popular.

Glitter in the Sun front cover

Glitter in the Sun

Glitter in the Sun: A Bible Study Searching for Truth in the Twilight Saga (November 14, 2011), came out of a women’s Bible study Wells taught at her local coffee shop. While the group came from different denominations and backgrounds, everyone had read and enjoyed the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer – and soon Wells found herself illustrating theological truths with scenes from the series. It quickly became obvious to her that the Twilight phenomenon was a rare window in time when huge portions of the population share a common ground that can be turned into a ladder toward God.

“I believe Twilight is about vampires to the same degree Romeo and Juliet is about Italians,” Wells said. “It’s not about who the characters are, but about what they represent. We don’t debate Team Edward and Team Jacob because they are vampire and werewolf, but because one represents eternal love and the other represents selfless love.”

Glitter in the Sun is set up as a 16-week Bible study. Each chapter begins with a scene from one of the Twilight books or films then delves into Scripture addressing the truth captured in the fictional scene. Many chapters contain illustrations from Wells’ own life experiences in areas such as self-control, faith and the pain of spiritual growth. Small group study guides are included for each chapter.

Glitter in the Sun can be purchased at Amazon.com.

Biography

Jane Wells is a wife, mother and writer whose primary passion beyond her family is helping others understand the deep

Jane Wells

Author Jane Wells

and abiding love of God for his creation. Her writing experience includes newspaper journalism, freelance inspirational magazine articles and Bible studies.

Wells has a countdown to the release date of the next Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn: Part 1 on her blog and is nearly giddy anticipating her fellow Twi-moms’ traditional opening night party.

For more information visit www.glitterinthesun.com. Contact Jane Wells via e-mail at jane.wells@comcast.net, or by phone at (734)790-0201.

Careful, or your dreams may be contagious!

I have BHAG.

I know. It sounds terrible, doesn’t it?

But it’s not. It is the most hopeful thing in my possession and I can’t even put my hands on it yet.

It is my Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

“How big,” you ask? Try this on for size.

I want to make Glitter in the Sun a New York Times best seller in the month of October.

“Whoa!” Right?

I have been assured by people who want to sell me a $3,000 self-help program that this is entirely do-able. Since the woman who pioneered the program isn’t any more intelligent than I am, and she did it without knowing it was possible, I’ve already got a leg up. Besides, I definitely don’t feel like forking out a metric butt-ton of money I don’t have yet.

This is how it works. I find every blog, mailing list and twitter influencer with any sort of tie to my topic, so that would be Twilight fans, pastors and youth pastors looking for new teaching material, small group leaders and people looking for new bible studies. And, I expect, other groups I haven’t run across yet but I’m keeping my eyes open.

I read their blogs, newsletters and twitter posts and (this part is key) I find a way to be useful to them.

Then, in late September, I suggest another win/win/win (them/me/their audience), a review, contest and giveaway of Glitter in the Sun and free swag for anyone who buys stuff from them. The secret is to have swag that doesn’t cost much but looks super cool, like computer wallpaper to match the gorgeous cover artwork or digital video clips of me talking about the book’s inspiration and lessons. Anything I don’t have to pay shipping and handling for.

Then people buy the book, word spreads, numbers climb and I’m on Good Morning American with Ann Curry! Whoohoo!

Of course, there’s about a bajillion steps between here and there, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. Then there is the pessimist’s question, what if I fall short? I still win, as does everyone else who buys and reads the book and learns that not only is God love, but God loves them.

Do you have BHAG? What are you doing now to get there?

41 is the new…. awww, who am I kidding?

I’m having a hard time keeping my chin up today.

Maybe it’s the annual spring sinus infection (as opposed to the autumn, winter and summer versions). Maybe it is the layer of snow that fell this morning like a heavy wet blanket on the daffodils and willow buds. Maybe it’s the fact that as of this morning I am officially 40-something. Maybe my blood-sugar’s low and I should skip all the frou-frou and cut straight to the birthday cheesecake.

Whatever. I’m not feeling it today.

My writing schedule’s been hijacked by pre-school field trips and doctor appointments. I don’t get to enjoy my birthday gift of a new patio set (see paragraph 2, sentence 2 above) and the grey sky seems so heavy and low as to be resting directly on my forehead. Is it spring break yet? Can anyone get me to the Florida Keys cheaply?

*Deep sigh*

Photo by lisarlena

Maybe 41 seems so hard because 40 was so awesome. Glitter in the Sun, my first book after a lifetime of wishful thinking, saw the light. First as a self-published project and now soon to be reissued under the umbrella of a Real Publishing House. I also wrote my first novel, The Dictator’s Daughter. It’s hard to describe the sense of accomplishment that still gives me. I can pick up this big stack of papers and say, “here is my novel.” Even better, friends who have read it are asking what happens to the characters next.

And I began training for my first 5k race. Sadly the annual sinus infection has stalled the process, but I’ll be back at it as soon as I can breathe again.

Maybe, then, what I need is a new set of goals. What can I do in 41 that will put 40 to shame?

I know what I’d like to see happen in the next 12 months. I want to finish writing the second and third books in the Dictator’s Daughter series. I would like to sign with an agent who adores my books and is sells them for big bucks, along with the movie rights to a major publishing house and studio. I would like to take Glitter in the Sun to every major Twilight Convention in the nation and make a huge difference in this generation with the message of hope God has given me.

Big dreams, yes. But then last year, if you had asked me, publishing one book and writing another seemed pretty improbable too.

A “Purpose Driven” Blog

For whatever reason we spend a lot of time in Western culture thinking about “why”. Why am I here? What is my purpose in life? What am I supposed to do with the package that is wrapped in this skin?

A few years ago California pastor Rick Warren was surprised by the success of his little book The Purpose Driven Life. It became such a phenomenon that the phrase fell from the lips of celebrities such as Susan Sarandon when interviewed by James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio. She was talking about her children and how she feels they have brought her to a “purpose driven life – whatever that means.”

It was obvious from the context she had not actually read the book herself, or she would have known that children, in spite of their immeasurable intrinsic value, are not the purpose of a life – at least not from the Designer’s point of view. Rick Warren points out that our purpose in life is to worship God, and when we do everything else falls into place. Of course, we still have to pick up our own feet and put one in front of the other. In worshiping God and doing his will we find that even if we don’t know what we’re going to be doing this time next year, we do know how to react to the situation we are in today.

Which kinda, sorta, brings me to my point – the question, “what is the point of the blog, Glitter in the Sun?” To answer that question I’ve had to go back to the basics and refocus on “What is the purpose of Jane Wells?”

My purpose is to worship God and obey him with everything has made me to be – and after 40 years of dithering around it has become clear that my purpose is to point to God with words. Right now it’s in this blog, on other websites, and in writing books. I’ve also learned that God is a God of order, not chaos, which means focus is a good thing. Just like each book has a topic that is consistent throughout, so must a blog. So I thought a little more about how God has shaped me and realized one of my very favorite things to do (and yes, this qualifies me as a geek) is to find where fiction and faith intersect. It probably goes back to elementary school when I read the Chronicles of Narnia – and realized Aslan was Jesus. At that moment my understanding of all those Sunday School lessons became deeper and richer than ever before and I nearly burst with the urge to share this realization with everyone.

And that is why when I read the Twilight Saga I saw God’s fingerprints throughout. I saw our human desire to reunite with our eternal God, and to bask in his eternal love. That obvious-to-me connection lead directly to a Bible study and my book Glitter in the Sun.

So, there it is, then, the focus of my blog – where fiction and faith intersect. Glitter in the Sun, the blog, will now focus on works of fiction and how those stories intersect with the realities of modern life and Christianity. In the coming weeks I will introduce you to some of my favorite authors, there will be guest blogs, and I will continue to give you my geeky, quirky, and occasionally cheeky opinions on current events.

Another lesson I’ve learned – if you’re doing it right, worshiping God is the opposite of boring. Come enjoy this adventure with me!

Eclipse and why Jasper is my favorite

Saturday evening was awesome. A bunch of friends got together to watch the fresh-off-the-press DVD release of Eclipse. It was loud, there was lots of food (Quileute bonfire-themed), and we laughed uproariously. Since we’d all seen Eclipse at least once at the theater, we provided running commentary and critique of the acting, writing, editing and even lighting of the movie. We all pretty much came to the same conclusion that no matter how much Robert Pattinson inhabits the role, he’s not the Edward Cullen we all pictured in our heads when we first read the series.

Jackson Rathbone, on the other hand, is exactly Jasper Whitlock. As representation of the ideal soft-spoken, strong, loyal and sensitive man – Team Jasper had a pretty impressive showing among the eight grown and happily married moms.

The very first Stephenie Meyer quote I use in my book Glitter in the Sun is from Jasper in Eclipse. The chapter is titled “Major Jasper Whitlock, Ma’am” and the quote is, “I didn’t have quite the same … upbringing as my siblings here. My beginning was something else entirely.”

So, why that quote? What does that have to do with God’s eternal love for you, the point of Glitter in the Sun?

Everything, as it turns out.

No one, other than Christ himself, was ever born into the family of God, just as no one (until Breaking Dawn, of course) was ever born into the Cullen family. None of us have the same upbringing. Even within your family, you are the only one in your place in birth order. Everyone has a different place and a different experience. None of us, when choosing to allow God to adopt us, brings the same background into His family.

The amazing thing is that God makes way for all of us to be adopted – and God wants to adopt each of us with the same degree of desire. It doesn’t matter if your past is as violent as Jasper’s, or as innocent as Esme’s, Carlisle is the image of Jesus when he stands at the door and knocks. Your past is washed completely away when you give it to God and commit to living life as he has designed it. And, also like Carlisle, there is room for forgiveness and returning home – as Edward was welcomed when he returned after trying to live the “traditional” vampire life for a while.

Even now, more than a year after I began writing Glitter in the Sun, I am delighted to find unexpected parallels between the imaginary world Stephenie Meyer invited us into and the spiritual world God beckons us to enter for eternity.

If you want to read more from Glitter in the Sun, click on “sample chapters” above. Or, you can order the whole book through one of the “order now” links on the right.