Patterson vs. Robertson – Edward wins

Is there ever a target too big to aim at?

What if it’s an internationally recognized televangelist/politician?

Here’s the deal. Pat Robertson (not to be confused with Rob Patterson – although that would be hysterically ironic in this case) has declared the Twilight movies to be demonic. See the clip here at The Huffington Post for his exact answer to the question.

I couldn’t just let that go, you know? Because unlike the stereotypical, old-school vampire that was truly the evil cross-breed of all things occult, horror and overwrought Harlequin romance, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels instead illustrates love that is unconditional in Jacob, eternal in Edward and warm in the families portrayed. These are the characteristics of God’s love.

Happily, I have friends with bigger platforms than mine so hop on over here, to Read the Spirit to read my full response to Pat Robertson’s ill-educated response to a leading question.

The Official Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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.

Can’t wait for Breaking Dawn? Get your fix, part 2

I know you’re probably still in the middle of Anointed by Sarah Witenhafer, but you must plan ahead. The next book on your To Be Read pile really should be Ravenmarked, book one of The Taurin Chronicles, by Amy Rose Davis – if you’re serious about keeping the Breaking Dawn release date anxiety at bay.

Ravenmarked is not exactly apples to apples with the Twilight Saga. Ravenmarked is high fantasy along the lines of J.R.R. Tolkein, as opposed to the urban fantasy/paranormal romance setting of Twilight. However, for epic romances and star crossed lovers, Amy’s got your fix. Also like Stephenie Meyer, Amy Rose Davis writes a thick book. (“You keep saying that like it’s a good thing.” “Yeah? Well. It is.”)

Mairead is about 20 years old, and has spent most of her life in the care of the nuns who began preparing her for her position as the rightful heir to the throne of Taurin. However, trouble has come to the land. The Regent, Braeden, who by law only holds the throne for the rightful heir, has declared himself king. The ancient earth magic that protects the sacred relics from misuse is weakening, and Mairead is sent to the far north in an attempt to save her life.

Her escort and protector is Connor SilverAir, a half-breed human who has been marked as a Raven. The Ravenmarked are divine avengers, appointed to serve justice no matter how violently that may be. The romantic tension comes when Connor falls in love with Mairead – but believes his Ravenmark prevents him from ever obtaining peace or happiness in life.

My two favorite characters in this book, though, are secondary. One is the mystic woman, Rhiannon, who helped raise Connor and just happens to appear again in his greatest need. Her faith is complete and  unshakable. She literally challenges evil to confront her, she is so secure in her place in the safety of her god.

My other favorite is Igraine, the Eiryan princess. She and Mairead were at the convent together. Unlike Mairead, an orphan, Igraine is a recognized princess from a neighboring kingdom there to avoid an arranged marriage. She is a political animal who never intended to take her vows of service to the church. When Braeden takes the throne by force, Igraine uses her beauty and her brains to save both herself and the sisters. And although she comes to realize her role in the fate of their world may be greater than that of becoming the queen of Taura, she continues to wrestle against divine will in an attempt to exercise her own.

These two women encapsulate my spiritual walk. Sometimes I feel as invincible as Rhiannon, secure in God’s love, invincible in his armor. Other times I fight fate, determined to do things my way, forgetting God’s way is more peaceful evenin the midst of struggle and His success more fulfilling.

Ravenmarked is currently only available in digital form through Amazon.com, B&N and Smashwords, which you can access through Amy’s blog, http://modicumoftalent.com/. Amy is currently editing Bloodbonded, book 2 in the series, and has several other books available as well.

Can’t wait for Breaking Dawn? Get your paranormal fix here

So, yes, MTV debuted the trailer for Breaking Dawn part 1. And yes, I’ve watched it more than once. And yes, I intend to reread the whole Saga before the release date of November 18, probably in one long marathon session starting on or about November 10th.

So don’t plan on talking to me that week.

“But,” I can hear you asking yourself, “what to do until then? I can’t spend all that time in the ‘real world.’ I’ll go stark, raving mad!”

Ah, do not fear! I have some suggestions for you. Starting today, over three Mondays, I’m going to suggest three fantastic authors whose books have more than filled the Stephenie Meyer hole in my imagination.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Sarah Witenhafer. Sarah is audacious. She read the Twilight Saga, liked it a lot, but thought it could be done better. As the penultimate TwiMom, she decided to pen a book for her own demographic. The result is the page-turning Tamed, its sequel Anointed, and a third book currently in the works.

In this series we meet and follow Reign Phillips, who recently earned her PhD in ancient languages. She meets Damon Sarantos, the owner of a curious piece of antiquity that he seems to have an unusually deep connection to. As they fall in love, Reign begins to realize that Damon is more than – or maybe less than – human. There is action, mystery, romance and betrayal – and some seriously freaky supernatural stuff too. Plus, the books are over 400 pages each so they kept me happy for hours and hours.

What I love most about this series is how Sarah weaves Christian faith throughout. Reign, for instance, is a devout Christian. But she is far from perfect. There are no prairie dresses and demure hair covers here (in fact, Reign keeps a gun tucked into her tall, black boots). Reign screws up. And she receives as well as gives grace. I think it is the best example of how a Christian life should look that I have ever read.

Tamed and Anointed are available from Amazon.com and at www.SarahWitenhafer.com.

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.