give-away time!!

The UPS guy dropped off a package yesterday morning. I knew it was coming–“the query pages of Expectant Prayers for your (my) review.” The edited manuscript of my new book. I have until May 30 to look it over, mark any changes I don’t accept, and make any changes of my own.

Anyway, that came in a flat package, but there was also a box. Huh?? I opened it up to find five books and a note–“Our New Releases Compliments of Howard Books (A Division of Simon and Schuster).” Oooh, free books! And one of them really caught my eye because I just requested that our library put it on hold for me–Mistaken Identity. (see above)

You’ve probably heard the story–in April, 2006, a van carrying Taylor University students and staff was hit by a truck that came over the median. Five people were killed. Including freshman Whitney Cerak. For five weeks, the family of survivor Laura Van Ryn kept vigil over her bedside as she came out of a coma and began to respond. She started saying weird stuff (normal for patients with brain injuries), then really weird stuff. Her family (after 5 weeks!) realized it wasn’t Laura. It was Whitney.

I can’t imagine the anguish of finding out your daughter isn’t alive after all. She’s not going to make a full recovery. Or any recovery. She’s been dead for five weeks.

I can’t imagine the elation of finding out your daughter isn’t dead. She’s alive, and she’s going to make it. You have your daughter back from the dead.

I’ve been devouring the book and should have it finished during Nina’s nap. It’s some powerful stuff. What a compelling, thrilling, sad, sad, wonderful story. These two families have glorified their God in an amazing way in the past two years. Wow. Millions of people will read this book, and I just know many, many of them will accept Christ because of it.

EDIT: I was just reading through some of the Amazon reviews of the book and had to smile/shake my head. All of the so-so reviews cite the same problem they have with the book. “They talk too much about their faith.” “It’s too Bible-versey.” “They talk more about God than they do about brain injuries.” “They left out the answer to the most important question of all–were the people wearing seat belts?” “Too religious.” Hmmm… Go get ’em, God!!

The book can be YOURS if 1.) you leave a comment below and 2.) I draw your name. Oh and 1.5.) you don’t make any snide remark in your comment about how I rig the drawings and never choose you.

Why am I giving the book away instead of keeping it? Because I’m on a mission to clear out my desk, my bookshelves, my closets, my life. To live simply. To manage my time in a God-honoring way. I have a zillion books I still want to read, so I probably won’t be re-reading this one. (But it’s GOOD.) If I do want to read it again someday, my local library is only a mouse-click away.

I’ll draw the winner on Thursday afternoon. May the force be with you!

42 thoughts on “give-away time!!

  1. ClutzyButtercup

    This story has fascinated me.  I saw the families interviewed a few months ago and my heart broke and rejoiced all at once.  It is so great that these families have been able to form a bond through this experience.

  2. Runmamarun

    Hey! I would LOVE to read that book!  I’m starting to collect my summer reading materials to take to the beach in a few weeks!!

    Blessings, Susan

  3. jenhul

    Being from Michigan there was a lot of news coverage from the beginning. I also saw the Oprah show they were on…amazing story. Can’t imagine how either situation would feel.

  4. Airdee26

    Oh I would love to have that book.  I just watched a special about that on tv the other day.  Because I’m from Indianapolis and Taylor isn’t far, this was close to my heart and I followed it closely.

  5. allieanne

    I lived in Michigan at the time it happened, so our local radio station and news station talked about it often. when I found out they identified the girl wrong I had chills! I saw them on Oprah and was very pleased with how they portrayed their faith. I think Oprah was impressed too.

  6. jonnalynn

    I’ve heard about this story. My brother went to Taylor and knew the students in the accident personally. I wondered if the story would ever be turned into a book. I want “in” on the contest.

  7. jbnygaard

    I’m odd. But just thought I’d say… NOT put my name in the hat. I saw it on Dateline and that is enough for me. LOVE the story though.

  8. tonialynn59

    Pick me, pick me!  I have been looking at that book in the store.  I know, I should just check it out of the library.  I saw the families on Dateline and wow, what a testimony they all were.  The Van Ryn family are in Gaylord, MI, north of us and the dad is on the pastorial staff and my friends brother just took a position at that church.  Just some FYI, I guess!

  9. MarlaWho

    No person can talk too much about their faith! People don’t talk about it enough in my opinion! I would absolutely love to read this book

  10. jedlund

    BTW- what was the name of that other book that you put up for a give away a few months back? Something about Africa, I know, but can’t remember the title. I wanted to get that book…

  11. jedlund

    I can never pass up a give-away!! And I also was intrigued, saddened and inspired by this story and the way the families have persevered. Sounds really good.

  12. gsowell

    Our music minister is a Taylor alum and brought this story to our attention. I’d love to read it, and then pass it on to others.

    Does rule #2 mean YOU are doing the drawing personally this time?

  13. amber_nicole86

    Praying for you and appreciate you bringing up this book! I watched the Dateline special that was on the day before the book was released and have been praying for both families since the accident!


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