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St. Paul author and South African native Alix Jans launched his debut novel, Amandla, on June 16.
The date is of significance in his native country. Youth Day is when South Africans pay tribute to the Soweto school children killed in their 1976 uprising that proved to be a turning point in the struggle to liberate South Africa from the apartheid regime.
Amandla begins with a prologue in which Nelson Mandela is woken by a would-be assassin, whose motives are both personal and political. The story then flashes back to a seminal battle between the Zulus and the Afrikaner Boers (farmers), and the genesis of a multi-generational saga between two families inextricably entangled in a deadly feud. Their fictional forebears fight an historic battle that turns a river red with the blood of warriors, and in a war between an army of farmers and the might of the British Empire. Both families face the horrors of segregated genocide in black and white concentration camps, as well as enduring destitution as manual laborers on farms and in goldmines, while on the national stage their antipathies are fueled by the rise of apartheid.
In the drama that unfolds, a tragic misunderstanding leads to a personal vendetta that mirrors the prejudices at the heart of each group’s inability to comprehend the aspirations of the other, culminating in an attempt to assassinate Mandela—with his own gun!
Learn more about this title, or pick up a copy today at Alixjans.com.
There is a story on the front page of the June 11 issue of the Country Messenger newspaper about Minnesota lobbyist Bill Strusinski's recently published memoir, Care Under Fire. In the article titled, "Jungle Therapy: Combat Medic's experience in Vietnam has shaped his life for over 50 years," reporter C. L. Sill shares intimate details of what life was like on the front lines for Strusinski on the front lines. The story also shares Strusinski's motivation for telling his story now.
Copies can be ordered through the publisher's website, Calumet Editions.com.
Pastor Shane Allen Burton of Hudson, Wisc., received some discouraging news recently. He has been diagnosed with terminal cancer; but he's not letting that prevent him from pursuing an important mission. He wants people everywhere to "Live life in ALL CAPS!"
That message is loud and clear in many of the stories in his latest book, More Untamed Devotions, which was recently published by Radiant Heart Press, an imprint of Henschel HAUS Publishing of Milwaukee, Wisc. There is a story about the book in the June 11 edition of the Anoka County Herald Tribune newspaper in Minnesota. BUrton founded Lifelines, A New United Methodist Faith Community in Andover in 1998 to 2001, later working at Fridley Covenant Church from 2012-2013.
The Chicago's Daily Herald, which covers ones of the other communities Pastor Burton has served over the years, has also published a story. Burton is the former associate pastor at Church of the Incarnation in Arlington Heights, Ill.,
The Pioneer Press has just offered a very nice review for Marlin Bree's Bold Sea Stories. Reviewer Mary Ann Grossman says, "Bree keeps the tension high as he describes navigating through incredible waves, ice storms and unfamiliar waters." Read the full review in the story posted here.