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Runaway Teen, Christian Convert Rifqa Bary Tells Her Story of Escape and Life after the Headlines

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (September 15, 2014)—In 2009, a national news story broke of a teenage girl named Rifqa Bary, who had fled her Ohio home to find refuge in Florida, claiming her Muslim father had threatened to kill her for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. The media reporting and court case that ensued sparked a firestorm of coverage about Sharia law, parental rights and religious persecution. Now a 22-year-old college student—living in an undisclosed location, still convinced her life is under threat—Bary shares for the first time her own story of that decision to run away, the consequences and the faith that continues to fuel her in Hiding in the Light: Why I Risked Everything to Leave Islam and Follow Jesus (WaterBrook Press, May 5, 2015).

 Upon the discovery of her whereabouts, Bary’s parents fought to have their teenage daughter returned home. A multi-state, high-profile court case began. She became a ward of the state and was placed in foster care. During this tumultuous time, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In 2010, Bary became a legal adult and the Sri Lankan native was granted the right to reside in the United States. What became of this young woman? How did the controversy and the court proceedings look from her teen perspective?  Was her decision to flee worth it?  What is her relationship with her family? How does her faith sustain her?

Bary answers these questions and many more in her honest, vulnerable and captivating memoir Hiding in the Light. She shares about her early family life, her life-changing encounter with Jesus, her internal struggles and efforts to hide her faith, and her attempt to escape penalty from her Islamic parents. As passionate today as she was five years ago about her Christian beliefs, Bary has built a new life and is ready to put words to her experience.

 “In the Islamic culture, women do not have a voice. My goal in writing is for my pen to be my voice,” Bary says.

“We are pleased to publish the story of this brave, inspiring young woman, who faced religious persecution and societal pressure with courage in order to whole-heartedly follow her faith,” said Stephen W. Cobb, president and publisher of the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Hiding in the Light will release on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, in the United States and Canada in print and digital formats from WaterBrook Press, a Christian imprint of the Crown Publishing Group and division of Penguin Random House.

Publishers Weekly Calls Thief of Glory ‘One of Brouwer’s Best’


Acclaimed author Sigmund Brouwer‘s newest novel, Thief of Glory, recently earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, meaning they consider it ‘a book of outstanding quality.’

Thief of Glory is a historical novel set in 1942, when the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies. Ten-year-old Jeremiah Prins and his family are taken to a camp where they face starvation, brutality and despair. Separated from his father and older brothers, Jeremiah must take over as the head of the family in order to help his mother and younger siblings survive. Decades later, he is haunted by his memories of his time in the camp and struggles to find peace despite all that happened.

Publishers Weekly’s starred review of Thief of Glory stated, “Thorough historical research, skillful use of foreshadowing, and keen insight into the human spirit make this one of Brouwer’s best.”

Read the entire review here.

Nick Vujicic Named One of 33 Leaders Shaping the Next Generation


International evangelist and founder of Life Without Limbs, Nick Vujicic, appeared in Christianity Today’s cover story “33 Under 33.” The article highlights 33 leaders who are shaping future generations. Vujicic was included because of his inspiring message of overcoming difficult circumstances. Born without arms or legs, Vujicic now travels the globe to share his encouraging message. In 2013 Vujicic traveled to 25 countries as part of his World Tour Outreach, and reached an estimated 400 million people through his speaking events and through broadcast media.

His newest book, Stand Strong: You Can Overcome Bullying (and Other Stuff That Keeps You Down) helps readers develop a bully defense system by building strength from the inside out.

Go here to read the full list.

NEWS: Marriage Champion Shaunti Feldhahn Interviews with Focus on the Family


Shaunti Feldhahn, author of  The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages and The Good News About Marriage , was featured in a Focus on the Family broadcast titled ‘Uncovering the Secrets to A Happy Marriage I-II‘. The two-part broadcast, airing on June 23rd and 24th, covers the tips and tricks in Feldhahn’s book The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages: The Little Things That Make a Big Difference.

In the interview, Feldhahn explains, “It’s so easy for us to say, well, our goal shouldn’t be to be happy, it should be to be holy… The problem with that is we get to the idea that they’re mutually exclusive.” One of the main things couples can do to be happy, according to Feldhahn’s findings, is to “believe the best of your spouse’s intentions when you’re hurt.” Happy couples, she claims, have learned how to talk themselves out of being upset and mad, instead choosing a more positive perspective.

“It’s so easy to focus on our problems to try and fix them…but that means you’re only focusing on the problems,” Feldhahn explains. “Let’s look at what the happy marriages have to teach us and celebrate that and say it’s possible.”

The full interview is available to stream online at www.focusonthefamily.com/radio. You can also listen to it at any time after the air date at http://tinyurl.com/lomlypw.

NEWS: Miss Brenda and the Loveladies Featured on Life Today


Brenda Spahn and Shay Curry appeared on “Life Today” on May 20 to share their story as told in Miss Brenda and the Loveladies: A Heartwarming True Story of Grace, God, and Gumption. Go here to watch Brenda explain her calling to start a “whole-way” house for women prisoners and Shay tell her powerful testimony of hope and transformation.

NEWS: Shaunti Feldhahn Interviews on FOX News


Shaunti Feldhahn, author of The Good News About Marriage:Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce, interviewed with “FOX & Friends” to discuss some of the depressing myths about marriage and divorce that pervade our culture. She explains that belief in these false statistics is discouraging to marriages that can actually make it.

To watch the interview, click here.


NEWS: A Table by the Window Featured on FaithfulReader.com


FaithfulReader.com featured Hillary Manton Lodge’s A Table by the Window in the April eNewsletter. Reviewer Evelyn Bence wrote, “When I read Christian fiction, I often feel as if writers are trying too hard — to relay their faith, teach a lesson, show (never tell) an emotion, overblow a plotline, take a literary tack…or maybe it’s that they’re not trying hard enough. So what a pleasant surprise to find this novel that didn’t once make me sigh with irritation.” Go here to read the full review.

NEWS: Miss Brenda and the Loveladies Featured on The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post featured Miss Brenda and the Lovladies in an article by co-author Irene Zutell titled “Motherhood: Is It Really That Hard?” Go here to read Irene’s touching tribute to the hundreds of ex-prisoners who who call Brenda Spahn “mom.”

NEWS: Nick Vujicic Interviews with TBN “Praise the Lord”


International motivational speaker and best-selling author Nick Vujicic appeared on TBN’s “Praise the Lord” to talk about his anti-bullying campaign and new book Stand Strong: You Can Overcome Bullying (and Other Stuff That Brings You Down). Go here to watch Nick share his testimony of overcoming bullying and finding purpose in his life.

NEWS: USA TODAY Names “A Broken Kind of Beautiful” as a “Must Read INSPY”


USATODAY.com states about author Katie Ganshert’s newest novel, “In A Broken Kind of Beautiful, Ganshert proves her staying power with a lovely story that redefines what is ugly and what is proven lovely through purpose.”

“Happy Ever After” writer, Serena Chase, goes on to state of Ganshert’s previous two novels: “Katie Ganshert’s touching debut, Wildflowers from Winter, introduced us to a style of writing that gives voice to the tender places in a character’s heart. In her sophomore novel, Wishing on Willows, she further proved her ability to invest readers in the outcome of the external circumstances that precipitated her characters’ necessary inward change.”

To read more, click here.

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