Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chris Coppernoll's "Providence" - A Ministry

Chris Coppernoll's novel Providence, published in 2007, was one of the books I found while wandering the stacks of Books-A-Million Bookstore in Shreveport last week. I posted a short review on Amazon a couple of days ago.

I liked it. A lot. I called it a contemporary romance for guys, although I suspect the readership has been largely female. But it shouldn't be. Coppernoll speaks to the hunger for love in every guy's heart. Here's my plot summary from the review:

"Jack Clayton, author of a New York Times mega-best seller on helping the poor and a Time Magazine 'Man of the Year,' has been asked by his publisher to write his own personal story. Jack doesn't want to do that, for a lot of painful reasons. The most painful of all is the love he walked away from 20 years before. But the people on the staff of the ministry where he works convince him to write the book. And the writing gets complicated with a nasty, largely untrue newspaper story about Jack that goes viral. He ends up solving both problems by getting the erring reporter to work with him on the book. The book will untangle his past, but lead Jack in unexpected directions."

The novel is part of a larger ministry, called the Providence Cares Foundation, that "helps families raise money for a child facing kidney and liver transplantation." Families host an event, and Coppernoll will travel, speak and sign books -- at no charge to the family. And 100 percent of the proceeds go toward meeting the need. Check the web site and click on "Providence Cares" on the top navigation bar for more information.

Coppernoll is the host of Soul2Soul Radio, a program heard on 600 outlets in 30 countries. He's interviewed hundreds of Christians -- including names like Max Lucado, Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant -- on issues of faith. He's also a deacon at The People's Church in Franklin, Tennessee.

I learned a lesson here. I love the convenience of ordering books online. But bookstores are critically important, particularly for finding unexpected treasures. I don't think I would have found Providence by online surfing. But I saw it on the bookstore shelf, picked it up, read the back cover, selected a page at random -- and was sold, even without understanding the ministry and foundation. That writing appeared to be that good. And it was.

In 2008, Coppernoll published a second novel, A Beautiful Fall. Which I've ordered.

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