Newspaper article printed in The Glendale Star on 2/05/2004 and The Peoria Times on 2/13/2004
                       By Carolyn Dryer (Editor)


    Before you think this is just another spiritually uplifting tome about how one man was in the depths of despair and was saved after he experienced an epiphany, give Glendale author Stephen John French a chance to explain his book, "Healing Sticks," which he describes as a Christian suspense novel.
   Although the book contains 131 Bible scriptures, seven poems and several Bible stories, it is a suspense novel with a little romance.
   The story is about millionaire David Clayton, who owns a soft drink distributing company, which he inherited from his father. But Clayton is not interested in running the business; he wants to be an archaeologist. On a visit to Israel, he hears a story about when Joseph took the body of Jesus to his own tomb. Not unusual, but the other story he hears is that along with the body of Christ, Joseph also took the Cross of Jesus, which is purportedly buried in the mountains of Israel.
   Clayton pursues his dream of finding the cross. He hires a team of scientists and archaeologists, then spends the next several months searching for the cross. His efforts pay off - his team unearths the cross in the Israeli mountains, and through an unusual agreement with Israeli officials, Clayton brings the cross back to America. It is dated and verified as being from the time of Jesus, then is taken on a tour across America.
   His feat forces Clayton into the limelight and he becomes stressed from all of the attention. He takes time off for himself and goes to his mother's home in the country. Because his mother has moved into an assisted living facility as the result of a stroke, Clayton is alone and begins preparing an evening meal.
   During the course of meal preparation, he cuts his hand, but he can't find a bandage to cover the wound. So, he reaches into his wallet, where he always keeps a spare bandage. During the course of pulling out the bandage, he punctures himself with one of the splinters from the famous cross that he has stored inside his wallet.
   Suddenly, he sees that his hand is healed.
   He washes his hands to make sure he is not "seeing things." Sure enough, the wound is completely healed.
   To test the power of the wood splinters, Clayton visits his mother at the care center and tells her about his own experience. She places a splinter in her mouth and nothing happens - but the splinter pokes her as she is removing it and miraculously, the muscles in her face return and she is healed.
   In the next few days, Clayton heals his sisterís fever and a cousin's cancer. But, he learns the healing power is only good for one use of each splinter.
   Scientists test a splinter on a famous celebrity with Alzheimer's and he is healed. After word leaks out about the power of the "healing Sticks," a media frenzy is unleashed and the government steps in to protect Clayton and the cross.
   But stories about the "healing Sticks" become the top news items on television and churches are packed as a huge revival takes place around the world. Clayton is accused of being the anti-Christ, is shot at and becomes wheelchair-bound. Does he use the "healing sticks" on himself again? Or, does he believe he had his one shot? And how does this story end?
   French said the main storyline is that the blood of Jesus that soaked into the wood of the cross 2,000 years ago is so powerful that there's still healing power in his blood of bringing us from death to life in Christ..
   Although French, said he normally reads only nonfiction, he could not get the story out of his mind. He signed his contract with PublishAmerica exactly 28 years to the date "when I accepted Christ into my life."
   "For me, it was a miraculous thing in my life," French said.
   So, the book publisher allowed him to publish his testimony in the back of the book, detailing the coincidence.
   Who would be interested in this book? French believes it will appeal not just to Christians, but to everyone.
   French said, "When my mom read it, she said it was like it was really happening, like something on the news."
   "Healing Sticks" is published by PublishAmerica. It can be ordered from Barnes & Noble Booksellers, amazon.com and PublishAmerica.com.
KFLR 90.3 FM Family Life Radio interview with Bruce Thurman was aired on February 27, 2004 at 11:20 AM. It was my first radio interview and I would like to thank Bruce Thurman for having me on the air and his mother in law for the excellant review of Healing Sticks. I am pleased that you enjoyed reading the book and amazed that you read it all the way through in one day, that says alot. May God bless the entire staff of Family Life Radio station here in Phoenix, you are wonderful.