Author Raina C. Smith is a native Rhode Islander. Growing up an only child in North Scituate, Smith was a natural storyteller who delighted in using her imagination to entertain herself, her family and friends. A Communications major and proud graduate of Rhode Island College, Smith spent most of her professional career working in broadcasting as a television news reporter at ABC6 News and WPRI-TV and as a radio talk show co-host and executive producer at WPRO-AM. This is where Smith honed her research, writing and storytelling skills, and is what helped her bring such dramatic characters and scenes to her novel, The 13th Apostle. Smith's book is about the inherent nature of mankind and the forces of good and evil at work within the soul of man, and is connecting with readers around the world! The 13th Apostle is currently receiving reader acclaim nationwide as well as abroad. Smith considers, The 13th Apostle, the first in a trilogy series, her proudest personal and professional accomplishment. She is simultaneously writing the next two installments. For more information on Raina and her novel series, please visit her website at: www.rainasmith.com.
How many times I laughed out loud: Ten
How many times I cried: Twice
How many Ah-Hah moments: Infinite
Joe Camp is no ordinary guy, a man you all know, but may not realize it. He is the creator of BENJI! Yup! Benji, that fictional floppy-eared hero, and the focus of movies from the 70’s to the 2000s, which forever changed children and adults alike. For years, movie goers left theaters gushing with joy and adoration for a mixed-breed shelter dog, they’d never heard of before, and begged for more. Many of us, present company included, grew up falling in love with that scruffy dog who had a knack for being in the right place at the right time, and in position to help someone in trouble. Joe Camp made it all happen - and the world STILL loves him for it!
Camp’s new book, God Only Knows - Can You Trust Him with the Secret, is a riveting book with an important message. Before I opened the cover, I knew I’d love it, because several years ago I read his book The Soul of a Horse - Life Lessons from the Herd, which blew me away. I was certain Camp’s latest work, even though it was in a different genre, would make me think for years to come, just as The Soul of a Horse did.
God Only Knows - Can You Trust Him with the Secret describes in great detail how Camp saw God at work in his life from the time he was in high school to present day, all to make sure he was prepared to properly bring forth the fruits of his passion. Benji being one of those passions. Camp explains that during his life he didn’t understand what appeared at the time to be roadblocks, bad luck or trouble and turmoil as it was happening, until many years later. Then and only then did he see the magic slowly and steadily at work behind the scenes. Magic, that only God could create through a series of successes, disappointments, mishaps, mistakes and strange coincidences. All of it, he says, perfectly orchestrated by God to see to it the seed of passion he planted in his heart would carry him through all of it to his intended destiny.
So many times while reading this book, I grinned with delight, as Camp confirmed (as best a mortal can) what I’d always suspected, and seen transpire in my own life’s story, that there was a master plan for me, for all of us, all along.
I think many of us, especially during stressful times in our life, throw our hands up and say, “God! What are you thinking? Why is this happening?” Camp urges, it’s during these trying times we should trust in Him and let our lives take their natural course, because we are being led to where we are meant to be.
Whether you believe in God or another higher power, Camp’s philosophy applies universally. There does seem to be some divine order to our lives, whether we want to admit it or not. Some how, some way, sometimes our lives are steered in directions that seem to take us exactly where we need to be at that precise time in our lives. We tend to see it with clarity much later. Do you agree?
When I look back on my own life, I see so many things that I didn’t understand or want to happen, eventually turned out to be some of the greatest blessings of my life. Of course, during these times, I wanted to tear my hair out and scream, “Oh my God! I can’t take this! Make it stop!” I realized later, “Thank God that happened, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing x, y, z.” Through Camp’s thought-provoking, well told, and courageously honest story, we have the privilege of witnessing another’s life at warp speed, to see how it all brilliantly plays out. This added to our own experiences, supports and proves his message. At least, I think it does. It’s a detailed, emotional, complicated, exhilarating story, with an ending only God could have written!
Camp tries to put our lives in perspective and asks his readers, through his own experience, to try not to fight what may seem difficult, but to try to work through it, to find the lesson within the experience, and to take that information into our future to serve a purpose.
I LOVE this book and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys thinking about the meaning in their or all of our lives and how we are all connected in this strange, bizarre fabric we call life. Thanks for this book Joe! You rock!