Monday, January 14, 2008


Are you a book lover? The Orthodox Christian Books blog is looking for contributors to write articles and book reviews and conduct author and publisher interviews. If interested, please contact OCB editor Heather Zydek at heatherzydek(at)gmail(dot)com.

NEW BOOK: Syra's Scribbles by Syra Divine

Syra's Scribbles, a self-published novel by author Syra Divine, will officially be released on January 20, 2008, when it will be available in most online bookstores.

Syra Divine, AKA Syra Ruehle, is an Orthodox mother of three whose semi-autobiographical novel grew out of emails to friends and family that described stories from her daily life life. "These letters became a personal journal of my daily joys and struggles," Ruehle said. "Syra's Scribbles is my memoir of the years when I was a busy mother of two. The prayers and church services show Orthodoxy in practice. The dirty diapers and singing toddlers are experiences every mother can relate to."

Having grown up with the confidence that she could do anything she aspired to, Syra married her true love, earned her master's degree in mathematics, and then embraced a career as housewife and stay-at-home mother.

The letters in Syra's Scribbles chronicle the author's real-life experiences, taking the reader through a continuum of emotion: the thrill of a baby learning to walk, the surprise of a teenaged nephew moving in, the fear of wild fires creeping closer, and the anguish of an aging mother's decline that would change everyone's lives. Syra's stories are laugh-out-loud funny, inspirationally moving, and real beyond the glitz and glamour of reality TV.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

NEW BOOK: Called to Serve by Fr. John Peck

Called To Serve a new Bible survey workbook containing all the books of the Orthodox Bible, is now available. Written by Fr. John A. Peck, Orthodox priest, graphic artist, and contributor to the soon-to-be published Orthodox Study Bible, Called to Serve is a basic survey of the Holy Scriptures for Orthodox Christians. "No longer will the Bible be an intimidating mass of stories and text gathering dust and guilt from disuse," said the book's press release. "In a fun and exciting journey, this workbook will take you through the entire Bible, and fill in the gaps and answer the questions that you may not even know you have. In 20 short lessons, you'll have set a firm foundation for your life in the Holy Scriptures."

Called to Serve, self-published by Fr. Peck, is available in two versions: a student edition containing 20 lessons, and a leaders edition containing answers to questions posed in the student edition.

Peck has been publishing books under the "Interior Strength" moniker for about a year. Other Interior Strength titles include Divine Liturgy: A Student Study Text, BIBLE DRILL Field Manual, Bible Diva Flight Manual, S.W.A.T. Field Manual, and BIBLE DRILL Officer's Manual. According to Peck, the "Manuals" are "intense VBS type programs that are held every year in the summer in Ohio. Very intense, very fun, and very successful."

Learn more about called to serve at