The New Timebenders Series is HERE!

Book 1: BATTLE BEFORE TIME — Kindle Edition at Amazon.com, $3.99.
Book 1: BATTLE BEFORE TIME — Nook Edition at BarnesAndNoble.com, $3.99.

Book 2: DOORWAY TO DOOM — Kindle Edition at Amazon.com, $3.99.
Book 2: DOORWAY TO DOOM — Nook Edition at BarnesAndNoble.com, $3.99.

Book 3: INVASION OF THE TIME TROOPERS — Kindle Edition, $3.99.
Book 3: INVASION OF THE TIME TROOPERS — Nook Edition, $3.99.

Book 4: LOST IN CYDONIA — Kindle Edition, $3.99.
Book 4: LOST IN CYDONIA — Nook Edition, $3.99.

The NEW revised and updated Timebenders series has arrived!

Thanks to the excellent work of my new publisher, Greenbrier Book Company, the Timebenders science-fiction adventure series is back and better than ever, and the first two books are available in all popular ebook formats.

The Timebenders series presents the adventures of Max McCrane, a young inventor who just wants to fit in with his fellow students at Victor Appleton Middle School. Trouble is, Max isn’t your run-of-the-mill middle schooler. He’s a boy genius who has invented his own time machine—Timebender!

That rusty orange Volkswagen Beetle may look like it belongs in a junkyard, but under the hood, Max has installed a photon-powered, Einstein-defying, time-warping power plant that jaunts across the centuries with ease. Don’t believe me? Well, climb aboard Timebender and plunge into Book 1: Battle Before Time!

Journey through time with Max and his friends—Allie O’Dell, Grady Stubblefield, and Toby Brubaker—as they confront mankind’s most ancient enemy in a place before time began. Follow them into the fourth dimension as they face otherworldly dangers armed with nothing but courage, loyalty, and the power of belief! Join Max and his friends on a fantastic voyage that sends them hurtling from primeval Earth … to a long-lost Planet Mars … to the Garden of Eden.

Along the way, these young heroes encounter rampaging dinosaurs, unearthly beings of golden light, and the most deadly opponent of all—the fiendish Silver Dragon! Battle Before Time is a wild roller-coaster ride through time and space, a page-turning adventure rooted in timeless truth.

In Book 2: Doorway to Doom, Max, Allie, Grady, and Toby tumble into a perilous new adventure when they enter a doorway to an ancient, evil kingdom, ruled by the shadowy figure of the Silver Dragon. Within the dark, forbidding walls of Castle Serpenfane, they meet evil King Wyvern, his wizardly alchemist Doctor Delyrius, and the strange and mysterious Lady Galatea. The ruthless king confronts Max with a seemingly impossible choice: either help him in his mad pursuit of weapons of mass destruction—or watch his friends suffer a horrible fate.

Meanwhile, Allie must discover the secret that is hidden among the slithering worms and silent crypts of the midnight maze. Worst of all, Max, Allie, Grady, and Toby are stranded in the past without Max’s Volkswagen time machine, Timebender. They have no hope of ever returning home!

timebenders-book-3So open the Doorway to Doom—if you dare! Then take a thrill ride through an age of castles and kings, knights and fair ladies, chivalry and superstition. This action-packed tale sweeps you along to one of the most unexpected endings you’ll ever read.

Young readers love Timebenders: “The Timebenders books are so awesome! They really encourage me,” writes Chloe. And Ben writes, “I’ve read all the Timebenders books! My mom reads them to me at bedtime and I take them for independent reading at school.” And Elliott says, “The Timebenders books are great! Now I’m writing my own book about time travel!”

And parents love Timebenders: “My son has devoured the Timebenders books,” one dad writes. “They really entertain him. We hear him laughing out loud as he reads.” A mom writes, “Thank you for books that are both exciting and appropriate for young readers. As a mother of three and a lover of books, I’m thrilled with Timebenders!” Another mom writes, “My son spent most of his vacation reading Timebenders—the first time he’s read an entire book without skipping pages! His video games are all but forgotten.”

timebenders-book-4The next two books in the series, Timebenders Book 3: Invasion of the Time Troopers and Timebenders Book 4: Lost in Cydonia, were released on Christmas Day 2012. And after that, who knows? I have a lot of ideas for future Timebenders books on the drawing board.

Please help me spread the news through word of mouth, Facebook, and Twitter. Tell other readers and parents about the thrilling new Timebenders books from Greenbrier Book Company.

And please write to me. Post your comments here at my Timebenders blog. Post your reviews on the Timebenders pages at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo. Visit my Author Page at Amazon.com. Let’s get acquainted.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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The New, Revised and Updated Timebenders Series is HERE!

Book 1: BATTLE BEFORE TIME — Kindle Edition at Amazon.com, $3.99.
Book 1: BATTLE BEFORE TIME — Nook Edition at BarnesAndNoble.com, $3.99.

Book 2: DOORWAY TO DOOM — Kindle Edition at Amazon.com, $3.99.
Book 2: DOORWAY TO DOOM — Nook Edition at BarnesAndNoble.com, $3.99.

Book 3: INVASION OF THE TIME TROOPERS — Kindle Edition, $3.99.
Book 3: INVASION OF THE TIME TROOPERS — Nook Edition, $3.99.

Book 4: LOST IN CYDONIA — Kindle Edition, $3.99.
Book 4: LOST IN CYDONIA — Nook Edition, $3.99.

The NEW revised and updated Timebenders series has arrived!

Thanks to the excellent work of my new publisher, Greenbrier Book Company, the Timebenders science-fiction adventure series is back and better than ever, and the first two books are available in all popular ebook formats.

The Timebenders series presents the adventures of Max McCrane, a young inventor who just wants to fit in with his fellow students at Victor Appleton Middle School. Trouble is, Max isn’t your run-of-the-mill middle schooler. He’s a boy genius who has invented his own time machine—Timebender!

That rusty orange Volkswagen Beetle may look like it belongs in a junkyard, but under the hood, Max has installed a photon-powered, Einstein-defying, time-warping power plant that jaunts across the centuries with ease. Don’t believe me? Well, climb aboard Timebender and plunge into Book 1: Battle Before Time!

Journey through time with Max and his friends—Allie O’Dell, Grady Stubblefield, and Toby Brubaker—as they confront mankind’s most ancient enemy in a place before time began. Follow them into the fourth dimension as they face otherworldly dangers armed with nothing but courage, loyalty, and the power of belief! Join Max and his friends on a fantastic voyage that sends them hurtling from primeval Earth … to a long-lost Planet Mars … to the Garden of Eden.

Along the way, these young heroes encounter rampaging dinosaurs, unearthly beings of golden light, and the most deadly opponent of all—the fiendish Silver Dragon! Battle Before Time is a wild roller-coaster ride through time and space, a page-turning adventure rooted in timeless truth.

In Book 2: Doorway to Doom, Max, Allie, Grady, and Toby tumble into a perilous new adventure when they enter a doorway to an ancient, evil kingdom, ruled by the shadowy figure of the Silver Dragon. Within the dark, forbidding walls of Castle Serpenfane, they meet evil King Wyvern, his wizardly alchemist Doctor Delyrius, and the strange and mysterious Lady Galatea. The ruthless king confronts Max with a seemingly impossible choice: either help him in his mad pursuit of weapons of mass destruction—or watch his friends suffer a horrible fate.

Meanwhile, Allie must discover the secret that is hidden among the slithering worms and silent crypts of the midnight maze. Worst of all, Max, Allie, Grady, and Toby are stranded in the past without Max’s Volkswagen time machine, Timebender. They have no hope of ever returning home!

timebenders-book-3So open the Doorway to Doom—if you dare! Then take a thrill ride through an age of castles and kings, knights and fair ladies, chivalry and superstition. This action-packed tale sweeps you along to one of the most unexpected endings you’ll ever read.

Young readers love Timebenders: “The Timebenders books are so awesome! They really encourage me,” writes Chloe. And Ben writes, “I’ve read all the Timebenders books! My mom reads them to me at bedtime and I take them for independent reading at school.” And Elliott says, “The Timebenders books are great! Now I’m writing my own book about time travel!”

And parents love Timebenders: “My son has devoured the Timebenders books,” one dad writes. “They really entertain him. We hear him laughing out loud as he reads.” A mom writes, “Thank you for books that are both exciting and appropriate for young readers. As a mother of three and a lover of books, I’m thrilled with Timebenders!” Another mom writes, “My son spent most of his vacation reading Timebenders—the first time he’s read an entire book without skipping pages! His video games are all but forgotten.”

timebenders-book-4The next two books in the series, Timebenders Book 3: Invasion of the Time Troopers and Timebenders Book 4: Lost in Cydonia, were released on Christmas Day 2012. And after that, who knows? I have a lot of ideas for future Timebenders books on the drawing board.

Please help me spread the news through word of mouth, Facebook, and Twitter. Tell other readers and parents about the thrilling new Timebenders books from Greenbrier Book Company.

And please write to me. Post your comments here at my Timebenders blog. Post your reviews on the Timebenders pages at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo. Visit my Author Page at Amazon.com. Let’s get acquainted.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Timebenders Mailbag

“I love letters from little kids. Adults never proclaim themselves ‘Your Number One Fan!'”
Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of The Sisters Eight series

Doorway to Doom

One of the best things about being a “kid lit” writer is getting mail from Timebenders readers and their parents. I write these tales in the solitary confinement of my little office, and sometimes it amazes me that people, young and old, in all parts of the world, are actually reading and enjoying my stories!

The Timebenders books, beginning with Battle Before Time, are about the adventures of Max McCrane. I tried to make his invention—a time machine called Timebender—seem plausible and believable. Apparently, I succeeded. One young reader wrote me and said, “I liked the first two books a lot. Have you ever built a time machine like Max did?” A question like that reminds me of my responsibility as a children’s author, because kids take these stories very seriously.

I wrote back to this young reader and said, “Thank you for writing to me. I’m glad you liked the books! I have never built a time machine like Max did. I don’t think anyone knows how to build a real time machine, not even our smartest scientists. I think it would be fun to hop into a machine that could take me anywhere in time, and that’s why I wrote the Timebenders stories–because time travel is so much fun to imagine. I think if I could build a real time machine, I’d probably get into all kinds of trouble, just like Max and his friends! The other day, I went to a museum and saw the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and those bones were huge! I’d hate to meet a real dinosaur face to face.”

A young lady, age twelve, living in Malaysia, wrote to me for advice about writing. “If I wanted to write a book,” she said, “how long are the chapters supposed to be?” In my reply, I told her that her chapters should be as long as needed for the story she’s telling—just don’t make them too long, because readers like to feel they are making progress through the story. I imagine that, within a few years, we may be seeing this young author’s books in print.

One of my favorite emails was a single sentence from a boy in Minnesota. The subject line read: “Toby,” which is the name of a selfish, surly, irresponsible boy in the Timebenders series. My young correspondent wrote: “Thank you for writing such exciting books, but why did you put in such a jerk like Toby?” I wrote back and explained that while Toby is, indeed, rather unlikeable, his bad behavior always helped to launch our heroes off on an exciting new adventure.

I was surprised how much mail I received from readers who are outside the “target demographic” of the series, which is roughly ages eight to fourteen.

A father in Australia wrote to me, saying, “My six year old son has devoured your first three books and is now into number four.” Six years old? A first grader—and he’s reading chapter books on his own? I was impressed. The dad continued. “It’s hard getting him to shut off his reading light because your books really entertain him. I often hear his laughter from upstairs—and every so often he comes out of his room and reads to a passage to us that cracked him up. And he has given your books to me as a reading assignment!”

At the other end of the age spectrum, I received an email from a software designer in Missouri. He wrote, “I was in the bookstore looking for some grownup reading fare when I spotted the cover of your Timebenders book, Doorway to Doom. I picked it up on a whim, started reading, and loved the story line. I forgot about all the other books I had picked up and I just grabbed up the rest of the Timebenders series. I’m 28 years old and married, and probably not a typical Timebenders reader. But now I’ve got my wife reading the series, and I wanted you to know how much we are enjoying them.”

As you can see, I enjoy getting mail from readers and parents. So, please write soon. Post a comment or use the form below to email me with questions, comments, or (sure, why not?) complaints. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

The NEW Timebenders Books are coming!

Battle Before Time

For the past few weeks, I have been working closely with my new publisher, Greenbrier Book Company of North Carolina, to bring back my Timebenders science-fiction adventure series for young readers. I am revising and updating each book, and my friends at Greenbrier are repackaging these tales as ebooks with stunning new covers. They will be available in all popular ebook formats.

After more than a decade, I finally feel these books are exactly as I want them. I am extremely grateful to my Greenbrier publishers, Ron and Janet Benrey, for producing these new and improved editions of my Timebenders series. Very soon, I’ll be announcing the release of the first two books in the series, Timebenders Book 1: Battle before Time and Timebenders Book 2: Doorway to Doom. And just look at these incredible covers!

Doorway to Doom

Within a few weeks, I’ll also be announcing the release of the next two books in the series, Timebenders Book 3: Invasion of the Time Troopers and Timebenders Book 4: Lost in Cydonia. And after that, who knows? I have a lot of ideas for future Timebenders books on the drawing board.

Please help me spread the word through word of mouth, Facebook, and Twitter. Tell other young readers and parents about the thrilling new Timebenders books from Greenbrier Book Company.

And please write to me. Post your comments right here at my Timebenders blog. Tell me what you think of the Timebenders books. If you’re interested in writing books and stories, send me your questions. Let’s get acquainted.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

From Jim Denney: A Special Word to Parents about Spiritual Warfare

The central theme that runs through my Timebenders series is spiritual warfare. If you read any book in the series, I think you’ll hear echoes of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Ephesians 6:11-13).

The issue of spiritual warfare is not an abstract or theoretical concept to me. It’s very real. This generation lives in morally and spiritually dangerous times. Through the Timebenders books, I hope to help bring these biblical truths alive in our children’s imaginations—and their everyday lives. I was impacted at an early age by Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, which has a similar spiritual warfare theme. I want to help new generations of readers to have the same experience, and develop the same understanding of God’s truth. 

It’s never too early to teach children the importance of reliance on God through prayer. It’s never too early to teach a child that one person plus God is a majority in any situation. It’s never too early to teach children the importance of making good moral choices, and that bad moral choices come with unpleasant consequences. These are some of the themes that are woven into the adventure tale that is Timebenders.

Another key theme in Timebenders is that God wants to use each of us in a powerful way, and we should never underestimate God’s purpose for our lives. This concept come from another one of Paul’s letters:

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

Each of us has a role to play in God’s eternal plan. God is pleased to use ordinary believers like you and me—and our children—to demonstrate His wisdom throughout the universe. As the apostle Paul wrote:

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 3:10).

So we are engaged in a war, an all-out battle of good versus evil, the forces of God versus the “the rulers … the authorities … the powers of this dark world … the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (And, of course, when Paul talks about the “heavenly realms,” he does not mean “heaven,” the believer’s destination with God. He means the spiritual realm, the unseen region of reality where spiritual warfare takes place.)

The central theme of the Timebenders series is spiritual warfare.

As your children read the Timebenders books, or as you read them together with your kids, I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts and suggestions about spiritual warfare and your children. I’d like to encourage you to:

1. Pray daily with your children and for your children. Pray with them and teach them that talking to God is as natural as any other conversation. Go into their rooms at night when they are sleeping and ask God to protect them, to strengthen their faith, and to make them strong and wise. Whenever you sense that your children need your prayers, stop what you are doing, focus your attention on God, and pray for your children.

2. Bless your children. Let your children hear you thank God for them. Tell them you love them, that they are a blessing in your life, that they are God’s gift to you. When they fail or do wrong, let them know you always love them and you are always cheering for them. Give them your blessing on a daily, continual basis.

3. Keep the lines of communication open. Talk to your children—and listen to them. When they talk to you, look them in the eye and let them know they have your complete and undivided attention. Ask your children lots of questions—especially open-ended questions that must be answered in complete sentences, not monosyllables. The only way we get to know our children’s thoughts, fears, hopes, and dreams is by continual two-way communication.

4. Avoid rescuing your children from consequences. One of the best ways to discipline your children is to allow natural consequences to impact their lives and teach them important life lessons. Don’t let a child get away with poor ethical choices, such as writing a book report from an online review instead of reading the book. If a child does wrong, and suffers consequences as a natural result, then you frequently don’t need to lecture your child or impose a restriction. You can simply say, “Yes, I know this is hard, but that’s what happens when we do such-and-such.”

5. Use every “teachable moment.” The more time you spend with your children, the more teaching and disciple-making opportunities you will have. Jesus used the day-to-day events in His disciples’ lives to teach them valuable lessons about spiritual warfare. In Luke 10, He taught them how to pray, witness, preach the Kingdom of God, and do battle with evil—then he sent them out, two by two, to use the skills He had taught them in real-life situations. As parents, we need to use real-life situations in our children’s lives to make the lessons of the Kingdom real in their lives.

My friend Pat Williams, vice president and co-founder of the Orlando Magic, has been a dad to nineteen children—four birth children, fourteen by international adoption, and one by remarriage. He has experienced seven lifetimes worth of Christian parenting! He says, “If you watch TV with your kids, you’ll have many opportunities to discuss righteousness, moral living, sexual purity, and other issues of the Christian life with your child. When you read with your child or help him with homework or school projects, you’ll have opportunities to grow closer and impart lessons about character and diligence. Even times of conflict and tension can be teachable moments for growth and instruction. Don’t let those opportunities pass you by. Take advantage of each one.”

Pat Williams, his wife Ruth, and a few of his nineteen kids.

4. Spend time serving God alongside your children. Find projects that you can do with your children that involve serving God and serving others. Maybe there’s a rescue mission or homeless shelter that needs volunteers to serve meals or paint walls. Or you and your kids could go on a short-term mission venture. Or you and your children could do something as simple as manicure a lawn, plant flowers, and wash windows for an elderly neighbor. Do it in the name of Jesus—and see how your own family is impacted.

5. Be aware of the influences in your child’s life. Know who their friends are—and be aware of their influence on your kids. Know what your kids are watching, reading, and listening to, and the computer and video games they play. Remember that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against … spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” So be watchful about such influences as the occult, Ouija boards, vampires, witchcraft, and similar practices.

As my friend, author Rachel Hauck, has said, “In spiritual warfare, the devil doesn’t fight fair.” And the Lord’s friend, the apostle Peter, put it this way:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

God bless you as you raise your children to be warriors and ambassadors for Him!

Free Mars Stories for Young Readers

For young readers of all ages: Read seven imaginative tales of our future on Planet Mars—available for FREE at the 4Frontiers website.

Those seven stories are “The Water Thief” by acclaimed science fiction writer Ben Bova, “The Haunted Airlock” by Michael Carroll, “Fire in the Sky” by Tom Hill, “Yo-Yo: The Gift” by Rebecca K. Rowe, “Ghost Story” by Brian Enke, “Martian Mice” by Marianne Dyson, and “Fear Above, Terror Below” (Parts 1 and 2) by Timebenders author Jim Denney.

All stories are illustrated by award-winning science fiction illustrator Michael Carroll.

Click on the stories at http://www.4frontierscorp.com/library/books_shortstories.php.

See you on Mars!