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Christian bookstore, author forge a strong alliance

SPRING HILL — Judith Goode has been writing books for about as long as Joan Poole has been selling them. Next weekend, the women will join forces to make Goode's latest book available during a book signing at Poole's store.

In 2003, Goode penned her first book, From Law to Disorder: The Beginning, the first in a fictional series about a probation and parole officer. Two years ago, her second work, a nonfiction motivational book called God + Work = Success, was published. Now, the second in her fictional series has been released.

Goode will be signing copies of that work, From Law to Disorder: The Virus, along with her other books, at the Christian Living Resource Center in Spring Hill between noon and 2 p.m. May 24.

A supervisor with the Florida Department of Corrections Probation and Parole in Dade City, Goode, 49, of Inverness, drew on personal experience as a probation and parole officer in Miami for her fiction books.

"They are about a probation officer, Justine White, who's interested in moving ahead on the job and at the same time recognizing that it's a dangerous job that she's involved in," Goode said.

Though the books are not based on her own life, Goode said that during her years as a probation officer, she encountered some dangerous situations.

"Once, I went to a home looking for one of my offenders, and I knocked on the door," she said. "This man came from around the side of the house with a gun on his hip. I just backed away as I told him who I was looking for. He said they didn't live there, so I backed away some more and went to my car. As a probation officer, you go out and do your job, but there are a lot of unknown things out there. God has had his hand on my life."

The author has also worked with Christian ministries in prisons and detention centers, founded a support group for people whose spouses were not actively involved in the same faith, made two unsuccessful bids for the state Legislature, coached women's volleyball and ministered as an evangelist and conference speaker.

"Every experience or hat that I wore over the years, I believe that they were God-given assignments," Goode said. "And I did my best to honor his name."

That, said Goode, is what she hopes to do with her books.

"My prayer is that the books will be a success," she said.

Poole also sponsored Goode with a book-signing event at her store last month.

"I wanted her to come back, because I think it's good to support a sister in Christ who has succeeded in getting three books published," Poole said. "I'm proud of her."

While the bookstore has been open for 25 years, Poole and her husband, Chuck, bought it just five years ago.

"It was going to close, and we wanted not only to have a business, but an outreach to people locally who wanted good Christian products, as well as encouragement, information and prayer," Poole said.

Besides books and Bibles, the store sells T-shirts, music, gifts and artwork. They offer a mobile notary service.

The staff at the store takes prayer requests from customers and records them in a journal.

"We pray for their needs weekly," Poole said. "We also encourage people that may be going through a tough time. So many people have said that they feel God's peace and refreshment in our store."

Her desire to minister, she said, is why Poole has used her store to feature local artists' works, sell tickets for area events and offered her store to authors like Goode for book signings.

"We pray for our vision to spread to our community (so they will know) that we aren't only a Christian bookstore," she said. "We are a ministry and desire to work hand in hand with other Christians in the community."

>>Fast facts

If you go

Christian Living Resource Center, 12995 Cortez Blvd., in the Western Way Plaza, Spring Hill, will host author Judith Goode for a book signing from noon and 2 p.m. May 24. The center will offer a 10 percent discount on any book or Bible purchased from the store during that time. Call 596-2865. Goode's books may also be purchased online at www.JudithGoode.net.

Christian bookstore, author forge a strong alliance 05/16/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 16, 2008 3:53pm]
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