Sunday, December 20, 2009

Double Book Tour!

I'm a little behind posting on these two books due to some mail issues, but I don't want to miss the chance to tell you about them, primarily because of the testimony that connects the two, one fiction and one non-fiction.

Blind Sight by James Pence is a fast-paced, suspenseful novel in which a man grieving the death of his own wife and children is suddenly and unwillingly caught up in a life-or-death race to reunite two children with their mother. Here is the summary:

No one plans for bad things to happen. No one plans on losing their family. No one knows how to move on after horror strikes. No one. Not even Thomas Kent. After receiving a strange phone call from a long-ago friend requesting Kent to pick up a package at the airport, Kent begins a spine-tingling, suspense filled journey in which he hopes to reunite the package (his friend’s children) with their mother, Justine, a traitor in the Fellowship for World Renewal Cult. Twists and turns in this page turning drama make Blind Sight not only a journey of extreme action and thrills, but one of discovering the sovereign plan of God.

Written by James Pence, the book was just one of many on the shelves. Terry Caffey was not even aware of the book or that his wife owned and had read the book. Until his life took a sharp left turn:
(Greenville, TX) – A father denied his daughter dating privileges with a certain young man. Typical teenage behavior might have included pouting, a bad attitude or perhaps even a yelling match. Never in a million years would Terry Caffey have suspected it would involve murder. Yet, in the early morning hours of March 8, 2008, Terry’s whole world turned upside down. His wife and two sons where brutally murdered and burned in the house they lived and Terry was shot twelve times…by his daughter and her friends.

Thus begins Terry Caffey's journey of grief. Devastated by grief, his faith falters as he wonders how in the world God could allow such a horrific tragedy. On one of his visits to sift through the rubble that was his home, he spots a charred page from a book. As he reads the words still visible on the fragile page, it is as though he is reading a page out of his life. For the page reveals the heart cry of another man wracked with grief who learns to trust God's sovereignty in the midst of his darkest hour. That marks a turning point in Terry Caffey's journey. Eventually, he discovers that the page he found is part of the novel Blind Sight.

Terry Caffey and James Pence reconstruct this tragic yet strangely beautiful true story of God’s sovereignty, forgiveness and grace in Terror by Night. As if the story of Caffey’s family wasn’t enough, readers will be captivated by the way God ordained the meeting between the Blind Sight author and Caffey with a burnt page from Blind Sight found at the crime scene.

Paul Harvey would say, "And now you know the rest of the story." But you don't, until you read both of these books.

About The Author:
James H. Pence is a full-time professional writer and editor living near Dallas, Texas. James is a multi-talented writer who has been published in both fiction and nonfiction. His publishers include Tyndale House, Kregel, and Osborne/McGraw-Hill. James holds a master’s degree in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in creative writing and journalism from Dallas Theological Seminary. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in theology from Dallas Bible College.

James is also a vocalist and gospel chalk artist, and he regularly uses his talents to share the gospel in prisons. James is the author of Blind Sight, a gripping novel about mind-control cults, and coauthor (along with Terry Caffey) of the new book Terror by Night: The True Story of the Brutal Texas Murder that Destroyed a Family, Restored One Man’s Faith, and Shocked a Nation.

James Pence recounts how he and Terry Caffey met and impacted each other's lives:
Terry Caffey and I met through my karate for homeschoolers class. Back in 2005, his wife Penny brought two of their three children and enrolled them in my class. Erin their oldest daughterand Tyler their youngest son or two of my students. Over time, Erin and my daughter Charlene became very good friends. As a matter of fact, Charlene would often stay with the Caffey's when my wife and I were traveling.

Somewhere in there I gave Mrs. Caffey a copy of my novel Blind Sight. I don't remember if she read it, but she was a big reader so she probably did. As far as I know Terry had never read it.

About six weeks after his family was murdered and his house burned, Terry returned to his property and stood on the ashes of his house crying out to God. His burden that day was to understand why God had taken his family and left him behind without them.

As he was praying, he noticed about 15 feet away a brown scorched page from a book leaning up against the trunk of a tree. He went over and picked it up and read it. It just happened to be a single page from Blind Sight that had survived the fire.

But it wasn't just any page. It was the page where my main character, a man who had lost his family in an automobile accident, came to grips with God's sovereignty in his loss. When Terry picked up that piece of paper the first lines he read were, "I couldn't understand why you would take my family and leave me to struggle along without them but I do believe you are sovereign. You are in control."

It was as if God had saved or preserved that piece of paper to remind Terry that he still cared.

Some time ago, when I was struggling with my own depression over the fact that Blind Sight hadn't sold very well, I gave my book back to God. And I told the Lord that he would just use it in someone's life I would be happy. And boy did he use it in someone's life. From the standpoint of a writer I can think of no greater honor than for God to use my words to change someone's heart.

A few weeks after I learned of the connection between Terry and my book, we got together and began to discuss the possibility of telling this amazing story in book form.

What an incredible testimony of God using a Christian fiction book to speak truth into someone's life, encourage them, and point them back to Himself. I read Blind Sight first, followed by Terror by Night. While the circumstances surrounding the grief differ between the fictional Thomas Kent and the real-life Terry Caffey, the spiritual struggle is much the same. Blind Sight is a fascinating story in itself, as Thomas deals with his own demons while helping to reunite the two children and their mother. Terror by Night was captivating, and the fact that the events in the book really happened only increased my heartrate as I read! There was a tight deadline to write and release Terror by Night and that is the one aspect I wish had been done differently. I'm not sure why they felt the need to rush it so. The book was released so quickly (about 18 months) after the tragedy occurred that I felt it lacked a little of the perspective, and possibly discernment, that will only come with the passage of a few more years. I would like to see what happens 5 years down the road, both with Terry's life and his daughter's. Be that as it may, however, both of these books are compelling and the combination of the two is a powerful testimony. I highly recommend them. You can find more information, including where to buy them, on Tyndale's pages for Blind Sight and Terror By Night.

One more word from James Pence in response to the question "What message do you hope readers will take away from reading both books?"
I was so excited when Tyndale decided to release Blind Sight a second time. It's rare that a novel gets a second chance at life. And it's especially satisfying that both books were released simultaneously. And even though one is a novel and the other a nonfiction book, the message that people can take away from the books is really the same. God is sovereign.

So often we are confused when difficult circumstances come into our lives and we wonder why God would allow that. Sometimes we even get angry with him and demand an explanation like Terry did. But the message of both Blind Sight and Terror by Night is that while God doesn't explain himself to us, we can trust in his goodness and sovereign grace. We know that he is working all things together for our good and we can trust him in that. Blind Sight communicates that message by way of a novel; Terror by Night communicates the same message by way of a true story.

Special Gift Basket Opportunity!
The publicist, Kathy Carlton Willis Communications, is giving a Gift Basket to one commenter from the various blogs hosting this book tour. I will be drawing one name from the comments on this post on Monday morning to submit for that drawing. The Gift Basket contains:
Angel - James Pence
Bind Sight - James Pence
Terror By Night - James Pence
Quality 8.5 X 11 in printing of the scorched page
DVD of Chalk Art Illustrations from James Pence

Just leave a comment by 10:00 am tomorrow (12/21) for a chance to be entered into that drawing.

And remember, God can use anything, even a burnt page from a work of fiction, to speak to your heart! It reminds me of the words of the old hymn by William Cowper:

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Thanks to Kathy Carlton Willis Communications and Tyndale for providing me with a copy of each of these books for review.


View blog reactions


A Stone Gatherer said...

They both sound so good! I love how God works! To have him speak to that immediately after his prayer. Adding them to my list.

sara said...

wow. We serve a great God, don't we?

I would love to be entered into this drawing!

Mocha with Linda said...


Random Integer picked #2 to be sent to the drawing for the basket giveaway!

sara said...

Linda thank you so much!!! very exciting. when is the drawing?