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In 'The Shepherd's Prayer,' the Storyline is Fresh, but the Message is Classic

Contact: Christine Schicker, 404-610-8871

MEDIA ADVISORY, October 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- An orphaned child who survived Herod's massacre of the infant boys of Bethlehem longs to know his true identity as well as the identity of two strangers, Jesus and Mary, whose names appear in a mysterious inscription on a lambskin blanket—his only link to his real mother and father. Making an imaginary character or a peripheral character mentioned in the New Testament the hero of a novel set during the first years of the Christian era is classic: it worked in Ben-Hur, the story of a Jewish prince whose life is changed by chance encounters with the Christ; The Robe, the story of the Roman centurion who supervised the crucifixion of Christ, then rolled dice for and won his seamless robe; and The Other Wise Man, the story of the fourth Magi who set out late for Bethlehem.

Following in the grand tradition of those timeless novels Richard M. Barry builds his story around individuals who are bit players in the gospel narrative—the shepherds who learned from the angel that the Messiah had been born. As his main character Barry invents a young man named Anam who survived the Slaughter of the Innocents. Anam is entirely the product of Barry's imagination; no such survivor of the massacre is mentioned in the gospels. But Barry isn't tinkering with the New Testament; instead he spins around Anam an imaginative, action-packed story that draws the reader, step by step, back to the message of Christ, the message that transformed the world.

Every story needs conflict, and Anam's quest for his identity is fraught with confusion, disappointments, and uncertainty. But he also finds friends in unexpected places. As he gets closer and closer to unraveling the mystery of where he comes from and who his people were, he discovers that learning the facts about his family were less important than learning who Jesus and Mary are.

Christian fiction has become one of the hottest segments of the contemporary book market and this is a true Christmas novel, one that takes its reader on a journey. I won't be surprised if one day soon we see this novel come to life on the big screen. You will be captivated by Anam's quest, as I was, and be assured that this novel belongs in every Christmas stocking this Christmas. Visit www.christmasbook.com to read a few sample chapters.

Additional review copies of the book for book reviewers are available through The Maximus Group by contacting Christine Schicker at 404-610-8871.

Here are what a few Christian leaders are saying about the book!

"I have never read anything like this. You have taken Biblical stories and prophecies and woven them into a most remarkable and fascinating book." – Pastor Dan J. Dunkel

"Richard Barry's novel, 'The Shepherds' Prayer', is a Christmas treasure! Reading 'The Shepherds' Prayer', I imagined how the shepherds must have felt on that blessed night of Christ's birth more than 2,000 years ago. Anam's search is our search – when we seek the truth, we always find Christ!" -- Jeff Cavins, author and creator of The Great Adventure, The Bible Timeline

The Shepherds' Prayer is a story that reminds us of two things. First, we remember that the humble will be lifted up and confound the wisdom of the wise. Secondly, Barry's novel reminds us of perhaps how we often react to the difficult and painful circumstances in our lives. --- Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship

Also, as a special incentive to bookstores and gift shops, this new author is making the book available on consignment for the Christmas rush. Please call Faith Market Distribution at 678.990.9032 or visit www.christmasbook.com for more details. Bulk prices are available for organizations and ministries.