A shy person, Vann Turner avoids crowds and tries to avoid any attention. He is not on Facebook or Twitter. When questioned about this, he said, "What I have to say publicly, I say in my writings. I am something of a recluse."
On occasion friends visit him and his dogs in our mountain home. Every two weeks he goes to the market for dairy products, fruits, vegetables and Oreos. You'll recognize him in Walmart (Newport, TN) by the black armband he wears on the left. If you do, go up and say hello. "I welcome people into my life. People are important."
Or if you would like to send him an email, he will answer you. "One-on-one works well for me, you see. It's the crowd or anonymous banter that gives me the heebie-jeebies, not one-on-one contact. And besides, email has proved to be a bridge to friendships for me."
Gathering of the Eternal Five is the long awaited sequel to The Scarab and the Cross(Energion Publications, 2016), and highlights pages in history worth knowing. As they defied the law, their contribution fortified the foundation of Christianity without lance, sword or shield. In a world dominated by men, their only weapon was the strength of faith and the power of devotion.
Walk through the streets of Yerushalayim, the cradle of miracles to witness a destiny in progress. The crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.
Set in the 1980’s, the gritty opening scene has Robert Newell—straight and with head-turning good looks—facing the reality of Carmen. In actuality he confronts the reality about himself—how, to escape his homelessness, he has pandered himself to her lusts. He speaks to her about wanting children and driving home after work to play with them in the backyard. She speaks of sex toys.
Bob’s beatified mother visits him in his sleep and in the morning he decides to make his move. In order to reclaim his dignity of being a man, he will again make his home in his rusting pickup truck. He hopes that one day he might obtain his dream. He acknowledges that it is a humble dream, the common dream of Everyman—the dream of wife and family.
In Atlanta a Marine he had served with in Vietnam pummels him in a beer joint and tosses him out onto the sidewalk. Blaine Shirer, a homely gay guy, has been prowling a nearby park for tricks. He stops to help Bob home.
Over weeks a sort of friendship develops—on again, off again. But eventually they manage to make a home together and celebrate the negligible milestones of one life, of the other’s and of the life they share together. But then come bullets and judgment by the righteous.
In this novel of heart and grit, Vann Turner bears witness to the dreams we seek, the love we crave and the courage we must summon to defend it from righteous wagging tongues.
This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.