Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Searching for Eden, Keith Madsen

Romance/Contemporary/Life Issues
When all you have ever loved is lost, where do you go to find if life can be good again? For Evan Jordan, searching for that answer takes him through some of the most war-torn areas of the world…to Eden.

When Evan Jordan's 14-year old daughter dies of cancer, he goes on a quest to find a place where children don't die, and where life is still good. The search is inspired by an interest his dying daughter expressed in the Garden of Eden. Could it be that such a place still exists somewhere? Using a small inheritance, he goes searching for that garden, hoping thereby to rediscover the goodness and innocence he lost with the young girl's death. Evan's story intersects with those of s beautiful divorced archaeologist, a 14-year old Hispanic prostitute, and an Iranian woman who killed her rapist; all of whom join Evan in his quest. The journey brings together Christians and Jews, Muslims and skeptics, all looking to recover a sense of goodness at the heart of life and human relationship.

Evan and friends travel through Iran and Iraq, and even to the Island of Bahrain, looking for clues to the Garden's reality, and whether it might still be found. They dig in ancient cemeteries, climb ziggurats, race through war zones and examine bizarre art carved into human skulls; all the time seeking the secret to humanity's foundational story. In the process of searching they run afoul of the Iranian government for getting too close to nuclear sites, they battle militants, and they have to decide who to trust in a very dangerous part of the world. Will what they find make it worth the risk?

" I consider myself pretty traditional when it comes to reading books the old-fashioned way, but just having finished Searching for Eden by Keith Madsen in e-book format I may just have to leap into the new millennium… Madsen does a splendid job of weaving tension, politics, romance, theology and history into an excellent story, and if you are at all interested in any of these subjects, I recommend Searching for Eden highly!" --Kelly Davis, bookideas.com

"A classic hero's journey... The archaeological information as is well-researched as anything found in James Michener's The Source, and includes fascinating theories about where academics believe the historical Eden may have been, and why…Highly recommended." --Terence Ward, Allbooks Review

Why Keith Wrote this book:
The Bible tells us that God made this world good, indeed very good. But somewhere along the way we have developed a callousness which the Bible calls "sin," and in the process we have lost our way, lost touch with the goodness of life. I conceived Searching for Eden as a search for the way back. A man who loses his daughter to cancer seeks to reclaim lost relationship. A teenage prostitute searches to reclaim the lost innocence of a childhood left prematurely. And a young Iranian woman searches to reclaim a world where it is safe to be female. All search for a world that has the harmony and goodness of Eden. As I wrote this story, a song came to my mind again and again, a song from my young adult years which proclaimed, "We've got to get ourselves back to the Garden!"

Author Bio:
Keith Madsen is a writer and minister who has served churches in Kansas, Washington, Oregon and New Jersey. Presently he is the Associate Pastor of Wilson Memorial Union Church in Watchung, New Jersey (www.wilsonchurch.org). In his pastoral capacity he has counseled many families who have lost children and teenagers, a central part of the story in his work of inspirational fiction, Searching for Eden. He has also had an intense personal interest not only in the biblical stories about human origins, but also in historical and archaeological research into that subject. He has long thought that had he not become a minister, he would have liked to have become an archaeologist.

Keith has had a love of writing all of his life. He has used his writing talents in a variety of ways, including writing fiction, composing material for religious education, and writing plays for use in church and community theater. He has also done some acting himself, having particularly enjoyed playing the roles of Jack (C.S.) Lewis in Shadowlands, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, and Porfiry in Crime and Punishment. This background in drama has helped him both with character development and his dramatic touch in writing novels. Keith finds that being part of characters come alive is one of his greatest life pleasures.

Keith lives in Laurence Harbor, New Jersey with his wife Cathy . Together they have a "yours, mine and ours" family of four daughters (Jennifer, Angela, Carina and Kayla), a son (Brandon), and nine grandchildren.

Don't forget to leave a comment for Keith, and also be entered into this week's drawing.

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