Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ransomed by Els Van Hierden, and a giveaway

Book description:

Russia, 2003—with the collapse of communism, hundreds of thousands of orphans reside in orphanages and on the street. In search of purpose after the death of his children, David Valensky has left a successful career in a U.S. firm to establish a street ministry in Perm, Russia. During his outreach to orphanages he meets Karina Svetlana, an introverted, morose orphanage director. David’s attempts to reach her with the Gospel fail as she carefully guards the secrets of her dark past.

Meanwhile, Jared and Vanessa Williams travel from Canada to Russia to adopt a son, only to lose their child to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Disillusioned, they return to home with shattered hopes and damaged faith.

David’s misunderstood outreach to Karina costs him his position, sending him home to face his sick mother and a past he has not made peace with. When he is invited to return to his ministry in Russia, a young boy’s suicide opens up a deadly secret within the shelter. Karina is still desperate for God’s healing. Jared and Vanessa make a second attempt at adoption. Will one four-year-old be the answer to their prayers? And will Karina finally accept the answer to her bitterness—the healing power of God’s love?

My thoughts:

This is an excellent book. Well-written, good plot, great and likable characters, and a loud and clear message of redemption.

The author not only tells a great story in Ransomed, but she also gives a realistic look at what the orphanages are like in Russia, along with a insider's view of what goes on during the adoption process, having adopted five children from Russia herself. I was pulled into the story, and found myself wishing I could adopt some of the Russian orphans myself. I believe a really good story can do that - pull you in, tug at your heart strings, and cause you to want to change the world, as the hero and heroine of this story does - at least their part of the world.

Though fictional, this is a very believeable story, and shows how God can - and still does - work in people's lives, and that no matter how badly things may be going, He can still make it all turn out right, and ransom even the most unlikely sinner.
I very highly recommend this book - a great read, by a first time author - and a great Christian message. And who knows, if you read it, you may end up adopting some kid who needs parents, or jumping a plane to Russia to work with orphans.

About the author:
Els Van Hierden has a message of encouragement for anyone who has ever considered adopting a child internationally or getting involved in missions. She has personal experience in the journeys involved in both. She and her husband Edward adopted their fifth child from Russia in 2006. From this very personal experience, Els has crafted a compelling novel. Els has a heart for suffering children, having been active in the pro-life movement and missions for many years. Her family traveled to Romania for five weeks in April, 2008, to work with an orphanage organization. Els and her husband have been involved with FamilyLife Canada.
 Els is also involved in her local church, working with the teens as well as teaching Sunday school. She currently owns and operates an equestrian centre in Southern Alberta, where they board about forty horses. A Certified Equine Therapist by profession, Els teaches anatomy and sports therapy. Their children range in ages from six to sixteen. Her first book is especially close to her heart as it deals with the passion of her life; redemption and healing through Jesus Christ.
The author has very graciously agreed to give a copy of her book, Ransomed away. U.S. entries only. Drawing will be 10 days from today, February 16, using To enter, leave a comment.
Ransomed is available for purchase from Winepress Publising, and the author's website.

All the profits for the book go to LifeLine Haiti until the end of February and after that it will go to Children's Camps International.
Thanks to Winepress Publishing for the review copy, and to Els Van Hierden for doing the giveaway.


Tammy G. said...

I'd like to read this book. I'm not familiar with this author but love a good, clean suspense.

Carmen said...

My sister adopted a daughter from Russsia. I would love to read Ransomed. Please enter me.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

LuAnn said...

This sounds like a great book! I'd love to read it.

reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

Kim M. said...

Oh this sounds really good! Enter me too!

Nancye said...

This sounds like a very intriguing book that I would enjoy reading this. My daughter joined our family through adoption. Please enter me.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Anita Yancey said...

Sure sounds interesting. I would love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!


FlyFreeMyBooks said...

This book sounds wonderful, please enter me.
ludeluh at yahoo dot com

Mark said...

Email comment from Molly, who was unable to comment on this post for some reason

Marie said...

please enter to into this amazing giveaway....
mariescozycorner at hotmail dot com

Mystica said...

I'd like to read this book for the story - I have worked with an orphanage for the last twenty years and would love to read this kind of story.


Steve-n-Deb said...

Sounds good.

Unknown said...

Sounds like something I'd like. Thanks for the chance.

ebeandebe at gmail dot com

Reading said...

Please count me in. This looks like a very interesting read.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Mark said...

Email comment by Karen K

disneyfanheather said...

This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance!