Friday, February 28, 2014

Stronghold by C.J. Stunkard, with a giveaway

The setting is familiar to many. Alone at the computer, the Christian must choose whom he will serve—his Holy Savior or himself. What is at work in the soul at these moments? What does temptation look like in our hearts?

Tonight, one believer asks himself that question, and the answer changes his life forever. He finds himself in Solsland, a fantasy realm of his imagining, where The Lamb reigns as king but hell’s minions linger. Here, The Believer must confront sin as flesh. Demonic hordes war against him. A horrid beast hunts in shadow. Angels rally to his aid, and forces clash across his soul. The tide could turn at any moment and more is at stake than one night’s temptation. Join the believer in his Christ-exalting journey of sanctification.

The battle is fantasy. The war is real. 

My review:
  I occasionally get emails from authors asking me to consider reviewing their books. Sometimes it doesn't sound like one I'd be interested in, and sometimes it sounds like one that I'd definitely be interested in. This fell into the latter. Though I wasn't too sure about a debut novel that was self-published, the book description intrigued me enough that I agreed to review it.

  The book starts out with a man sitting at his computer. He is being strongly tempted to give in and view pornography, something he has done many times before, but he is trying to break free from the addiction. Frustrated, he finds himself wishing he could face the temptations in the flesh and fight them as you would a person. He gets his wish, and the majority of the book is taken up with him fighting the literal temptations on the landscape of his soul.

 It is hard to describe or label this book. It is somewhat allegorical in many ways, and it reminded me a bit of Pilgrim's Progress. I would almost say it is Pilgrim's Progress meets Frank Peretti and The Chronicles of Narnia. It really is a great picture of the battle for a man's soul on the landscape of his soul against lust and pornography. 

  The author admits he has struggled with it in the book, so I don't think he'd mind me saying it is obvious he knows something about the struggle as he does a terrific job of putting that battle into a novel.

  It is also obvious that he put a lot of work into the book. There are all kinds of angels and demons that he came up with not just a name for the kind of demons and angels, but also names for a lot of the angels and some of  the demons. He also used a lot of imagery and descriptive writing that one would not expect in a debut novel.

 And I guess you would call parts of it what I referred to already: allegory. I don't want to give too much away, but for instance, at one point the main character was trapped in a locked room facing incredible temptation, but it turned out that the room was locked from the inside. In other words, we often put ourselves in the way of temptation and think there is no way out, but we just think we are trapped...... we are the ones who locked our self into the temptation.

 This is an entertaining book, yet also a deep book that has a tremendous message of hope, and a warning of not giving into temptation. I would say the book is geared more for men, though a lot of women would enjoy it too. And even if you don't struggle with pornography and lust - though lust is an issue for all men, and more men struggle with pornography than we would ever imagine - you will still enjoy the book. I highly recommend it. I enjoyed it a lot myself.

About the author:

C.J. Stunkard has been a lifetime storyteller. Despite a lack of interest in reading during childhood, he found himself daydreaming, drawing comic books, and writing tales of many kinds. His primary means of storytelling, however, was with his action figures, through which he would explore the adventures of both established characters and original creations. Over time, C.J. honed his writing craft through his studies at Biola University, earning a mass communications degree that he quickly parlayed into a promising career…in insurance and trust services. While crunching numbers and filing reports weekdays from 9 to 5, C.J. continued his creative pursuits as an online journalist, blogger, podcaster, editor, director, and producer. C.J. has a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, to whom he holds as his source of hope and salvation. As both an author and human being, C.J. desires to be a blessing to others and bring glory to Christ through his professional and personal life. He currently resides in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife.

Check out his blog:

More about the book here:

C.J. is offering a signed copy of his book to two winners.
To enter, use the Rafflecopter entry form.
A comment on the blog post is not necessary to enter, but is appreciated, and will give you an extra entry.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Unknown said...

Great review. This sounds like an awesome book. There are not enough books about this subject a lot of people deal with this. Even some people you would not think. I have dealt with this in my own life years ago and as a christian I am totally ashamed. God is faithful and merciful.