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ImageThe Nameless Prince is a beautifully-crafted debut YA novel about faith, disillusionment and innocence.

Ten-year old Seth Bauman lives in the gang-ravaged streets of Silver Lake. Abandoned by his mother right after his birth, he shares a very dysfunctional and loveless home with his mean Uncle Troy and his uncle’s girlfriend Cheryll. Rather than care for the young boy, Troy and Cheryll spend most of their time on the couch in front of the TV, killing zombies and exploding enemy tanks. Seth’s true escape is in his drawings of dwarves, elves and dragons. Sensitive at heart, Seth wants to understand why Uncle Troy dislikes him so much; at the same time, he feels torn by an intense desire for approval.

Though Seth knows that his mother abandoned him, he innocently believes she’s out there somewhere and that one day she’ll show up with an explanation that will make it all make sense.

One day, his friend Elena, whom he always walks from school to home, is abducted by a local gang called LAMO—the L.A. Mayan Order. Brave at heart, Seth follows the Boatman of the L.A. River through the underground sewers and metro tunnels underneath Silver Lake, where the LAMO headquarters are located.

That’s when the fine lines between fantasy and reality blur. In fact, they grotesquely twist. Suddenly, Seth finds himself in a dark parallel world in turmoil where nothing is what appears to be. He meets Constantine, a faun who refers to Seth as The Nameless Prince, and who believes he is the famous prince of prophesy who’s come to save their world—the Interior—from the Dark Forces. Thus Seth embarks on a journey where he must pass tests and solve riddles in order to discover his true name and reunite with his long lost twin, the King. Eventually Seth realizes that he doesn’t need to understand what’s going on, but that he must have faith. If he fails, he could end up in the depths of the labyrinth, torn limb from limb by the bloodthirsty Minotaur.

But what is reality and what is fantasy? Is it all really happening or is it in Seth’s mind—a defence mechanism as a result of Elena’s abduction and the recent violence directed towards the homeless?

The Nameless Prince is a fascinating read. I love how the author presents the different realities and how he borrows concepts from quantum physics to enrich his plot: none of the alternate universes are true unless you step into them. There are parallels with Moses and Noah’s Ark and of course the novel is, like Alice in Wonderland, a “through the whole” story. At times, the novel reminded me of the film, Pan’s Labyrinth, where the young protagonist also escapes into an eerie and captivating fantasy world. However, The Nameless Prince isn’t as violent or sadistic. Ultimately, it is a story about the balance of the universe: goodness may win but there are always new evil forces at work. In other words, “maintaining harmony is an eternal struggle.”

Though Seth is ten years old, I’d say the audience for this book is 12 and up, and that includes adult readers as well. The Nameless Prince isn’t your typical YA fantasy novel published these days. Yes, it is a classic hero’s journey with all the tests and riddles, but it is also a book full of interesting ideas and substance. In short, it is a book that stimulates the mind and intellect. Recommended!

Author web site: http://www.namelessprince.com/

Author Interview on Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY37r94SJj4&feature=relmfu

The Nameless Prince Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/TheNamelessPrince

My review originally appeared in Blogcritics Magazine. 

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When I initially started writing “In All Things”, it was simply a way for me to try and process the grief of going through miscarriage. Later as I began to expand into other trials our family had gone through, I realized the pattern of God’s hand in all of it. My original intent was not to publish a book, however; when I had one person read it and then another, and another, the feedback was amazing! It was like a sense of urgency that the message within was something people needed to hear.  The writing process was very healing for me but the positive feedback that I received and the possibility others might and have already found healing as well was such a blessing that I knew I had to pursue getting this message out there for others. I am simply a real person with very real life issues and my desire is to share with others that they are not alone. My hope was also to help them possibly see a different way of looking at life’s trials. Since the publishing of this book, I have had inspiration for another book to be a second in the “In All Things” series. The next one will be “In all things; Expect A Miracle” which is about an amazing two years going through my dad’s cancer journey with him. Since the publishing, I have been asked to speak at a few local events and my desire is to be able to do that more. I feel that when you can share your story in person, it can touch people more deeply.  At one of events where I shared my story, there was a lady in the audience that was healed instantly from the pain she was suffering for two years! I would love the opportunity to see others find that same healing and freedom to live again.

About the book: 

ImageIn All Things is a witty and raw account of an otherwise normal life filled with incredible challenges that will make you laugh out loud and cry tears of joy and tears of sorrow. You will share in one woman’s spiritual journey through raising a difficult child, longing for a baby only to be told it is not possible and then to experience God’s intervention and devastating loss. Learn how one miraculous encounter with God created an unshakeable faith that would later give her the strength to face the near death of her oldest daughter.

About the Author:

Laura works as a medical coding and reimbursement specialist in Northern Minnesota. She spent her youth on a small dairy farm in Northeast Minnesota. She was married two weeks after her high school graduation. Three years and two children later, she was facing divorce and single parenthood. She moved to a college town in north central MN where she hoped to earn a degree and make a life for her and her two young daughters. There she met and married the love of her life. Together they embarked on a life together as a ready-made family facing all the challenges that comes with it. They had no idea that the life experiences they walked through early on and one life altering event would prepare them for the ultimate challenge, the possible death of their daughter.

Author’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InAllThings 
Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/LauraMStorrs

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4KBlLlBXhQ

Link to Purchase:  http://www.halopublishing.com/bookstore/Laura-Smith

Follow Laura’s tour here: http://tinyurl.com/77nwvdt 

Also available at all major online book sellers.

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