I'm reading a great book right now. I was asked weeks ago to participate in the blog tour for Holy Roller and thought right away that it sounded like a story I would enjoy. When the book came in the mail, something about the cover bothered me. I know I'm not supposed to think like that, but I did, and because I'm not crazy about the cover art, I put off reading it until this week. Funny how I expected to be less than enthused by the contents because I was bored by the cover. I thought I was smarter than that.
(Marketing, people. Marketing.) Oh, and I just this week realized that's a cross on the cover. I have no idea what I thought it was. And I have no suggestions, by the way, for a better cover. Just sayin'.
OK, so anyway, I'm a few chapters in and I am devouring the true story for many reasons - not the least of which is the fact that the loving and accepting spirit of the congregation Julie happens upon in her journey reminds me some of the congregation at our church in Birmingham. The kind of people who make you want to be a better person and make you wonder how we end up believing the things we believe before we really see for ourselves what is true and real. Why do we judge someone before we know them? Why do we judge a book by its cover?
I will post a publisher's summary of the book below along with some information about the author, Julie Lyons. Here's the best part of today's post, though - I have a copy of Holy Roller to give away! All you have to do to be entered to win is leave a comment. I will pick a winner Sunday evening. Tell me this - Have you ever judged a book by its cover?
Julie Lyons was working as a crime reporter when she followed a hunch into the South Dallas ghetto. She wasn’t hunting drug dealers, but drug addicts who had been supernaturally healed of their addictions. Was there a church in the most violent part of the city that prayed for addicts and got results?
At The Body of Christ Assembly, a rundown church on an out-of-the-way street, Lyons found the story she was looking for. The minister welcomed criminals, prostitutes, and street people–anyone who needed God. He prayed for the sick, the addicted, and the demon-possessed, and people were supernaturally healed.
Lyons’s story landed on the front page of the Dallas Times Herald. But she got much more than just a great story, she found an unlikely spiritual home. Though the parishioners at The Body of Christ Assembly are black and Pentecostal, and Lyons is white and from a traditional church background, she embraced their spirituality–that of “the Holy Ghost and fire.”
It’s all here in Holy Roller–the stories of people desperate for God’s help. And the actions of a God who doesn’t forget the people who need His power.
Julie Lyons is an award-winning writer, editor and investigative reporter who for more than 11 years served as editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer, an alternative weekly newspaper owned by Village Voice Media. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English from Seattle Pacific University. She and her husband, Larry Lyons Jr., live in Dallas with their son.