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Welcome to Allen's Books
Welcome to Allen's Books, the place to find great reading
Welcome to Allen's Books, the place to find great reading

REVIEWS - written by readers and posted at Amazon.com


You'll never be sorry you read "The Man From Cyrene".

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In "The Man From Cyrene" we read the story of Shimon Bar Tolomeo, also known as Soimon of Cyrene, who carried the cross of Jesus to Golgotha. While the Bible gives us little information about this man, I have always wondered how this experience must have affected his life.

Now we can read in spiritual-autobiographical style a beautiful rendering of what the life-changing effects of this encounter with Christ may have been. Drawing on the Biblical narratives, early church history, and historical-cultural data, A.D. Ray writes a story that is deeply moving and enjoyable to read

Stories are included of the growth of the early church, as we follow the perilous and exciting adventures of Shimon's sons Alexander and Rufus in the building of the early church. We marvel at the tender faithfulness of Shimon's wife Miriam as she progresses in her own journey of faith. The story will make you laugh and cry, hold your breath and long for more.
Good Biblical novel October 5, 2013
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I read this book and I think it is an interesting take on the man who carried Jesus' cross for him. I like how the author takes other New Testament stories and incorporates them into the story. He does this mostly through the main character's sons.

The author has also taken some time to research Jewish customs, which I thought was interesting. The marriage offers many similarities to New Testament passages and Christian customs, including communion. There is an extended metaphor in the Bible regarding husbands symbolizing Jesus and wives symbolizing the church, so this helps explain the meaning of those passages.
on August 30, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
What would I do if I met Jesus and he searched my face and heart? The Man From Cyrene is a wonderful account of Shimon's struggle with that experience and the rise of Christianity around and inside his Jewish household. A.D. Ray layouts this story in an engrossing and completely believable way - I had little choice but to keep swiping the page to see the next step in Shimon's transformation. But, even better, was the reflective journey I took alongside Shimon. In a way, I feel like Shimon has become my brother in Christ
An email from a reader in Chicago:
From the very beginning this story provides the reader with a glimpse into Biblical times with a fresh point of view.  The characters are extremely relatable, they do not feel remote or ancient but rather like friends and neighbors.  
It is stimulating and intriguing to eaves drop on the thoughts and reactions of people who are not Biblical legends and creatively consider what was stirred in them by the events of Jesus death.  Allen's writing provides the reader with a tender point of view which opens the heart and mind to meaningful exploration. 
Email from Sandra V. in Illinois:
I enjoyed the fact that the main character is a businessman.  That gives him strong relevance even in a contemporary sense.  He seems a man of the world, as he is actually traveling to Jerusalem from his home to take care of business.  I enjoy the fact that he is not a shepherd, farmer or peasant, but rather a man of means and business acumen.  Therefore, it's easy for contemporary society to identify with him and I always like that feature in a biblical story.  He is highly relatable. 
Also, it is interesting to note that what he learns about and witnesses of Jesus' life and  crucifixion troubles and stirs him, yet, it does not propel him to act boldly and passionately as it does his sons.  What a wrenching experience that both sons decide to leave.  I find it really intriguing that in the main character we have a man who has all kinds of bells and whistles going off in his heart, mind and soul but he cannot respond to what he feels.  It really points to how we must embrace Jesus with the heart and mind of a child.
I think the use of Nicodemus as a character is clever because we only get a glimpse of him in scripture and it is interesting to overhear more of his thoughts and make him more real. 
Though I see the main character as a very likable, empathetic character, I wonder what are his demons?.  Does he have any deep dark secrets?  Is there anything about him that I'd be surprised to learn? (Like for instance Peter...a bold leader... but...impetuous...capable of denying Jesus)  The father is extremely observant and sensitive toward his sons as well as what is transpiring in Jerusalem so it's perplexing that he's raised these passionate young men but he is somehow unable or unwilling to follow his heart.  The first 30 pages is good opening material that drew me into the story and clipping it when the sons depart is an excellent cliff hanger!


Mary Magdalene - Follower of Jesus Christ, October 6, 2013

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This review is from: A Woman Called Mary (Life and Times in the New Testament Series) (Kindle Edition)

A.D. Ray has written an enjoyable book about Mary Magdalene and what her life may have been like as she found and then followed her Savior, Jesus Christ throughout His life.

While Mary's own account in the book is fictional, the book is based on the New Testament. It's a good read for those wanting to know more about the Bible in an easy to read story.



Different perspective, February 5, 2014

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This review is from: A Woman Called Mary (Life and Times in the New Testament Series) (Kindle Edition)
As a writer and philosopher, I love to study the the way people act and why they do so. Without changing the official history of the story of Jesus and his disciples, the book shows a perspective that I think most casual readers of the bible never consider. It is a book that keeps coming back to me with different and heretofore unthought about causes and effects of the actions of not only Mary, but of all those who knew Jesus in his lifetime on earth.


An email from a reader D.M. in Green, Ohio:


I have read the first five chapters of your book. "A Woman Called Mary" and I was both captivated and delighted. You have literally brought her character to life that would invite even the unbeliever to want to explore the bible as they were drawn into her life story like that. You really have a wonderful gift that God has given you with your heart and vision....yes, I believe that you have really found your, "Calling". I can hardly wait to buy the book and finish the story and will look forward to reading your other novels as well. God has used you in a very unique way.


Click below to hear recent interviews

Click here to hear the interview from Oct 7 2013:

GMAP Radio interview of 10-7-2013



See a list of upcoming readings.


Interviews: GMAP Radio interview of 10-7-2013

XiansAtWork interview of 7-14-14


Kingdom Empowerment Radio Interview 7-29-2015:https://soundcloud.com/2011scribe/donna-ghanney-interviews-autho



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Xians On Fire

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