Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Eighth Scroll - Dr. Laurence B. Brown - Review - Interview & Giveaway

Stirring the flames of age-old controversies, The Eighth Scroll by Laurence B. Brown draws on the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to create an unbelievably dynamic and powerful story. Set in a world that teeters between orthodoxy and heresy, this thriller is packed with intrigue and adventure. When a Roman Catholic scholar involved in the Dead Sea Scrolls Project hides one of the scrolls because of the heretical message it contains, no one is the wiser until decades later, when a prominent archeologist discovers reference to the scroll in an archeological dig. This discovery spurs the world religions into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, in which all who seek the hidden scroll are mysteriously silenced, leaving the salvation of humankind to a father and son, who must either find the hidden scroll . . . or die trying.

Title: The Eighth Scroll
Genre: Adult Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Booksurge Publishing
Publication Date: February 22, 2008
Format: E-book
Source: Received from Jeff at Gatekeepers Post. Many thanks goes to Jeff for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
Look for it: Amazon, Book Depository
My rating: 4/5

The Eighth Scroll is a religious thriller that will captivate readers in this explosive read where knowing the wrong piece of information could get you killed.  Gerald and Michael Hansen are no strangers to rare artifacts as they have spent most of their lives going from dig to dig. Gerald is a renowned archaeologist, one who has spent much of his life on dig sites with both his deceased wife and son. Michael, Gerald's son, is phenomenal for both his photographic memory, and his propensity for knowing different dialects and languages. They both realize that their lives are at stake when people around them are being murdered for knowing too much. When Gerald and Michael arrive back home, they finally put some of the pieces together, however it isn't until 17 years later that Michael will come full circle and learn just what has gotten so many people close to him killed. 
The Eighth Scroll is a controversial read as it challenges the beliefs of Christianity and Judaism, giving Islam a more favourable view. Though this read is completely fictional, it is one that revolves closely around these three belief systems. 
Many of the characters are realistically portrayed, and readers will be invested in the outcome. Though the hunt for the scroll takes place over seventeen years, one cannot help but identify with and care for Michael; as a determined and capricious fifteen year old, and as the thirty two year old theologian and best-selling author that he is today. Some of his remarks are quite flippant in regards to the scroll in question, but overall, he is a multi-dimensional and well-written character. 
There are many different organizations keeping tabs on the Hansen's and I enjoyed reading about their interactions, and the humor filled scenes between certain characters. There were some laugh-out-loud moments when items were alluded to, and overall I felt that these scenes broke up the tension infused throughout the book.
All in all, a remarkable and fast-paced thriller in the style of Dan Brown. Religious feelings aside, this is an incredibly rich reading experience, especially when coupled with the what-ifs provided by the secret scroll. If you enjoy reading Dan Brown, you are sure to enjoy Dr. Laurence B. Brown's The Eighth Scroll.


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You chose to independently publish your book, why?

Gosh, I got so tired of literary agents and publishers trying to beat down my door, and then degrading themselves in all kinds of ways just to get me to sign my book with them. The gifts, enticements, fully comped luxury cruises . . . it was all too much for me, too fast. My head started to swim with their offers. In the end, I couldn’t decide between the million dollar deals or the 50% royalties, the movie rights or the . . . *snork* Huh? What? Oh, yeah, I’m awake now *shakes head, rubs eyes*. I’m sorry, I must have dozed off for a minute. What was the question again?
The fact of the matter is that The Eighth Scroll entered the market at a particularly bad time. Because of its success, the market was flooded with Da Vinci Code knock-offs authored by Dan Brown wanna-be’s. The market for religious thrillers was flooded. In addition, the global economic crisis of 2007 had hit, and the publishing market was in a tailspin. Several publishers went out of business, others went through the painful process of downsizing and reorganization. Doors were closed to most first-time authors, leaving them to compete in an industry flooded with talent, threatened by the advent of digital books, and pushed to the brink of extinction by the new breed of on-demand publishers and the rapidly expanding competition of audio-visual entertainment. In this time, new authors face one of the most challenging literary markets America has ever seen.
I am in the fortunate position of not needing money, so given the daunting obstacles to publication in today’s market, I decided to self-publish. This allows me to keep control of my books, at the expense of limiting my market exposure. If a literary agent or publisher offers representation, I would probably seriously consider, but for now I am happy self-promoting.

What have you done to promote your book that you would recommend to other authors?

Hmm. Well, does prayer count? Because I live abroad, I have not been able to promote my work through book tours and signings. Mostly, I have used internet marketing and radio interviews. But book promotion is tricky. No one method is universally successful. My best advice is to hire a professional publicist, but even that does not guarantee success. Some publicists are rip-off artists, others will not tell you that your book is hopeless but, sure, they’ll take your money to launch a doomed publicity campaign anyway. Hey, they’ve got to make a living too, don’t they? If they told every client just how bad their writing is, they would lose most of their business. Some authors find it worthwhile to pay for a professional manuscript analysis before investing in publicity. I recommend freelance editor Arlene W. Robinson for a developmental edit or, if you want a brand name to use for promotion (assuming they have good comments about your book), try The Literary Consultancy, in England. Both are expensive, but well worth the money

What books would you compare The Eighth Scroll to?

Well, don’t listen to me. Yeesh, I’d sound like an egotistical idiot if I compared my work to something as successful as, say, The DaVinci Code. So listen to my reviewers instead. This is what some of them had to say:

1) “If you are a fan of The DaVinci Code, you will absolutely love this book! Author Dr. Laurence B. Brown weaves a credible tale in The Eighth Scroll, perhaps even better then The DaVinci Code plot.” (hotgossiphotreviews)

2) “Although this book has been grouped with ‘The DaVinci Code,’ I believe it deserves much better company. First of all, The Eighth Scroll is superbly written and runs a course that is more easy to swallow than Dan Brown’s 24-hour whirl wind of solving a historical mystery. If you didn’t
like The DaVinci Code, you will love this book because it improves all the elements that the reader probably wished the other book contained. Now, if you liked The DaVinci Code, you will love this book and realize this is how it should be done! It’s win-win, so pick it up and read it!” (wordpress)

3) “The characters are believable, likable, and well-developed. The action is fast-paced. The story line is logical and realistic. What makes this novel outstanding is the intermixing of factual events and findings with a completely fictional story, similar to THE DAVINCI CODE." (bestsellersworld)

4) "I was hesitant to read this book because it sounded like just another archeological mystery along the lines of The DaVinci Code. While the story line was somewhat similar, I found The Eighth Scroll to be much more enjoyable.” (thebookreview)

See? If I wrote the above, you wouldn’t believe me. Moreover, you’d probably say, “What an egotistical jerk!” Now, just because I didn’t write the above doesn’t mean I’m not an egotistical jerk, but at least you can trust the reviewers’ opinions more than you’d trust mine.

Where can we get a copy of your book?

You can find The Eighth Scroll for sale on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Giveaway
Jeff from Gatekeepers Post has graciously provided Lost For Words with one E-book copy for giveaway. 
Thank you, Jeff!
Giveaway is International.
Giveaway will end May 28, 2011. 
Please fill out this FORM to enter. Comments, while appreciated, will not be counted as entries. 
Thank you! 

1 comment:

Diana said...

Book seems very interesting! Thanks for the giveaway.