"I really thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. It’s a great novel. Lots of little cliff hangers to keep you going. Not just for young people, although it is for young people, but I think any adult will also enjoy this book, as well."

Deacon Pedro Guevara Mann
"The S+L Hour"
Salt and Light Radio

"I love this book. It is the first book that has created a sense of the holy family's humanity. As a parent, I have been able to grow closer to God and meditate on many sections. It has also made my Jewish roots grow. Having more detail on customs, I can see the connections and common history we share. I am so grateful for this gift of this book during this Lenten season!"

Ann Marie Weitzel
Reader's Facebook Message to the Author

"What a great pleasure reading this book! I could not put it down. It was so easy to relate to the story, with his mother, father, his little friend Ezra! So beautifully told and very easy to read! You have been blessed with a beautiful gift -- thank you for stepping out in faith and obedience!"

Sandy Gonzalez
Book Club
St. Peter Catholic Church, Jupiter, Florida

"The question often arises, what was Jesus like as a boy? A question that is left to the reflections and imaginations of those who raise it. Chris Stepien, in his book, 'Three Days,' shares with his readers a glimpse into the life of Jesus as a boy.

"Recently, I invited Chris and his wife, Ellen, to St. Basil the Great to share his journey of writing this book. During the course of his talk, it was obvious to me that Chris has a deep love for the Scriptures and for God. Throughout his presentation, he invites people to read the Scriptures and to enter into a relationship with God.

"His book will spark your imagination and hopefully will engage you to reflect deeper on whom Jesus is.

"After reading the book, 'Three Days,' I recalled the passage from Scripture in which Jesus and Peter are in dialogue. Jesus asked Peter, 'Who do people say that I am?' Peter replies, 'Some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, still others say one of the prophets.' Then Jesus asked Peter, 'But who do you say that I am?' Peter replies, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'

"May your experience of this book be enlightening and thought provoking.""

Fr. Anthony Sulkowski
Pastor, St. Basil the Great Roman Catholic Church

"One of the blessings of doing a show like this is I run across many new books. Every now and then a book really touches me. ‘Dying to Be Happy: Discovering the Truth About Life’ is one of those books. It just reminded me that we need to have a sense of urgency. God has given us today. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow. He’s got something for us to do today. I love the book!"

Gary Zimak
Holy Spirit Radio – Philadelphia, PA
Host: “Spirit in the Morning”

Author & Speaker

"Just a little note to express our sincere thank you for a very special evening. Everyone enjoyed your inspiring presentation (on Dying to Be Happy). Our pastor was delighted to hear how well the evening went and was wondering if you would consider doing a parish mission."

Clare Krinke
Evangelization Committee, Roman Catholic Parish

"Just finished reading your book, which I enjoyed. Perhaps meant more to me since my wife died of lung cancer exactly a year ago this week. Hope you and Ellen are doing well."

Deacon Mike O'
St Margaret of Scotland Church, St. Clair Shores, MI

"Dying To Be Happy is written from a “Catholic” (capital C) perspective, but it has a ‘catholic’ (lowercase c) appeal. And it carries an urgent message for everyone, believers and nonbelievers alike. As a matter of fact, especially for nonbelievers. We live in a society where we keep ourselves, our homes, our lawns, our children and our pets obsessively groomed. But what about our souls? Not a single one of us knows how much time we have on earth and then, believers and nonbelievers alike, we will meet our Maker. He won’t be interested in our clothes or our manicures. He will look into our hearts, into our souls, and He will see all. Will we like what He sees? The author richly weaves this message into a tapestry of personal experiences and encounters that underscore how important it is for us to understand. Everyone should read this book, then put it on the shelf and re-read it. Its message is one we cannot afford to deflect, minimize or forget. Dying To Be Happy may well put you on your knees and the road to a happy life ever after."

Claire Carmichael
Member, Presbyterian Church, USA

"When I read this book, I just knew I had to share it with our parish members. We've all wondered about Jesus' childhood and the details surrounding the mysterious "Finding in the Temple." With Chris Stepien's help, we are now able to imagine more clearly what Jesus might have done during those days when Mary and Joseph were frantic in their search. I recommend it for church book clubs, parent groups and general readers with interest in speculation on the inner-workings of beloved Bible stories."

Rev. Dr. William “Bill” Promesso
Pastor, St. Cyprian Catholic Church

"As (my husband) Jim and I read this book together, I sensed that, for Chris Stepien, the writing of it was truly an act of love.  It appeared to be about one-third Scripture quotes, one-third Jewish tradition/rituals and one-third fiction all weaved together into an interesting story we all know, elaborated with details of Jewish life in Nazareth and in Yerushlem, during Yeshua's time.  Fiction made the characters come alive.    Even at the age of 12, Yeshua shows love for all the people he meets on this journey and you are in love with Him."

Valerie Angel Lents
Nurse & Grandmother

"Thank you so much for the presentation of your book. I went not expecting very much, I was just interested in hearing about the book. I was wowed by Chris Stepien and his telling of the story of how he came to write this book. The talk was engaging and brought his words and the story alive. I left feeling inspired, alive and happy. This book is another opportunity to experience Jesus and to work on growing my relationship with Jesus. I was so glad I chose to attend."

Carol Anderson Hutcherson
Author Talk Attendee, Roman Catholic

"Chris Stepien’s book was a wonderful addition to my first year theology class.  Students entered the unit with the understanding that this was a work of historical fiction using people, places, and events from the Old and New Testaments.  It provided my students with a unique way of looking at the biblical world without compromising the sanctity of scripture.  
“Stepien takes us to the time of Jesus’ childhood. He uses the building blocks of scripture, culture, and archaeological information to imagine what could have happened during the time of Jesus’ disappearance at the age of 12. I especially appreciated that throughout the story, the words of Jesus are not simply imagined dialogue.  Stepien uses the scripture and prayers of the Old Testament prophets to speak for the boy Messiah. He reveals to the reader a virtuous young man who is God.  
“The capstone of the unit was the presentation by the author, himself. Stepien’s experience as a parent was evident in the way he connected with students.  He was honest and humble in sharing how his faith grew and developed during a health emergency and recovery. Stepien’s meditation on the rosary developed into a book, which opened the eyes of my students to what the world of Jesus’ childhood may have been like. He reminded my students of the humanity of Jesus, enlivened by His divine nature. I highly recommend Three Days: The Search for the Boy Messiah."

Erin Holmes
Catholic High School Theology Teacher

"Great job; I thoroughly enjoyed (‘Three Days’)! In many ways it was like praying the Ignatian method of prayer – placing oneself in the Gospel story."

Monsignor Thomas C. Machalski
SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary / Chancellor, Orchard Lake Schools

"We were excited with Chris and his informative, humorous and thought-provoking presentation! It was an excellent afternoon! I highly recommend inviting Chris to your parish."

Therese Terns
Catholic Pastoral Minister

"Through his presentation and personal testimony, Chris Stepien was able to bring Luke’s Gospel to life in a way that engaged both young teens and adults. We received a call the next morning from a mother whose 8th grade son asked her to buy the book. The presentation really enriched our Parish’s Lenten journey."

Brian Cwiek
Catholic Pastoral Assistant

"Not knowing much about this book, I came with an open mind to see what Chris had to share with us about the missing Jesus! “Chris's love and zeal for the Lord is so evident. The process he followed to bring this book to light was the fruit of the Holy Spirit working in his heart and his imagination. I can say that his sharing refreshed and enriched my prayer life. You come to meet Mary, Joseph and Jesus in a realistic and human way! They were here in time and space, and it’s a gift to ponder that.

“Thanks, Chris, for your openness as you shared your faith journey and the fruit of your mediation. You are not promoting your book; you are Evangelizing! You were able to hold our audience's attention for over 90 minutes and that is not an easy task. I recommend all, young and old alike, welcome Chris and hear what the spirit will manifest to each one of you as he unveils the chapters of his blessed work. "

Neran Karmo
Eastern Catholic Re-Evangelization Center

"I was especially interested in attending this program. Your presentation was outstanding! I sat at the edge of my chair. At the end … so many of us purchased this amazing and thought-provoking book."

Shirley Martignoni Fedeli
Retired Educator

"Three Days" transported me to the side of the Messiah and all He experienced--his family and friends, chores and talents, faith and love, and the hazards of the day. When Chris Stepien talks about the book, he breathes life into a familiar Bible story and weaves into it the rigorous process of research, study and prayer he followed to write the novel. As a thoroughly catholic person--a Presbyterian who studied with the Jesuits--I recommend both the book and author talk. For me, they opened new windows into my Christian faith."

Claire Carmichael
Member, Presbyterian Church, USA

"I really loved the book because I've never read anything on when Jesus was a boy before. My favorite part was when He was in the Temple answering questions from the priests."

Gabriel Seman    
12-year-old “Faith Night” Attendee, Eastern Catholic

"Chris Stepien spoke to the teenagers of the BRICK (Building Relationships in Christ our King) youth group. He engaged high school students without watering down the message ... professional, well versed in the subject matter and solid in his Catholic teachings. Chris made the message relevant to the youth and … left them with a deeper understanding of Christ's humanity and the culture in which he was raised. Chris has a deep love for Christ, His mother and the Church, and I would recommend him to any event planner looking for a dynamic speaker."

Giovanni Vitale II
Youth Minister & Psychologist

"It was truly inspiring to hear Chris Stepien's story of how 'Three Days: The Search for The Boy Messiah’ came into existence through his faith journey. As a mother, hearing him speak really helped me to reflect deeper into Mary's growth in faith and strength as she searched for her Son. I realized that it prepared her for the ultimate three days in which she loses her Son in death. I'm thankful to have attended the author talk as it gave me a new perspective and brought the Holy Family to life."

May Seman
“Faith Night” Attendee, Eastern Catholic

"Chris Stepien was one of the most charismatic and yet very humble authors that I have had the privilege to host at Madonna University Library. His way of describing the story about 12-year-old-Jesus helped us migrate to biblical times within a very few minutes of his introduction. As we listened to Mr. Stepien’s journey in writing such a fascinating novel about our young Savior, it brought intense thoughts of how Jesus felt those three days, and how his divine Mother reacted to her own emotions. With such a passionate zeal, Mr. Stepien was simply incredible."

Emanuela DeCenso        
Reference Librarian

"We were very fortunate to have Chris Stepien as our speaker for our May 2014 meeting. Chris is a wonderful professional speaker with plenty of personality and wit who captured us all with the description of his book, ‘Three Days - The Search for the Boy Messiah’ and his moving personal journey that led to it. His own deep faith and spirituality and meticulous historic research help to provide astonishing insight into the times of Jesus and pull the reader irresistibly along on this journey. His presentation was followed by a very lively discussion and it was an evening to remember."

Christina Greisser & Gisela Blevins    
German Professional Women’s Association

"This imaginative and intensively researched novel vividly portrays the preteen Jesus, his family, friends, and community under Roman rule of the first century CE. Yeshua, as he is called in Hebrew, emerges from this portrait as a compassionate, insightful, scholarly, courageous, playful yet mature young person who has a deep spiritual instinct for his emerging higher calling.  Built around the adventure of Yeshua’s first pilgrimage to Jerusalem on Passover, Stepien brings the reader, with his photographic-like writing, right into the sights, smells, sounds, and characters of Nazareth and Jerusalem of these times. With liberal use of Biblical quotes, prayers, Aramaic and Hebrew terms spoken and sung by the characters, this novel reminds the reader that these ancient words were part of the study, consciousness, and everyday life of our ancestors 2,000 years ago. It challenges us to think about not only this episode in Yeshua’s life, but about the entire cultural context of Jewish life in Israel from which Christianity soon emerged."

Rabbi Dorit Edut
Pluralistic Rabbi, Founder of Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network

"Chris provides his audience with an imaginative yet faithful exposition of the three days Jesus remained in Jerusalem following the Feast of the Passover when he was 12 years of age. Imaginative because no one knows what happened those three days, yet Chris provides a plausible backstory that weaves the environment and culture of 1st century Jerusalem into the narrative. Faithful because the Scripture is allowed to be expressed as it is. In fact, the Word is expressed by the Word Made Flesh, concretizing for the audience that Jesus is the fulfillment of God's revelation to humanity ... a revelation that is relatable."

David J. Conrad 
Catholic Pastoral Associate & Director of Faith Formation

"It was very exciting and an honor to meet the real author of the book! He was very friendly and knowledgeable. Being a 12 year old myself, I related to Yeshua (Jesus) in this story especially because he liked everyone equally. He talked to all types of people!! I enjoyed how Yeshua comforted the beggar on page 71 quoting from Psalm 91:14-16. The beggar used my Aramaic language, "Shlama," meaning Peace!!!"

Meriam Atisha  
12-year-old “Faith Night” Attendee, Eastern Catholic

"Fr. Patrick O'Kelley Knights of Columbus and O'Kelly Banquet Hall were honored to have author Chris Stepien speak at our recent luncheon. Chris definitely showed his professionalism in all areas of this event. He assisted in making sure we had a great turnout and was very pleasant to work with. Chris helped with planning process, ticket sales and (Biblical) menu.
“The reviews from those who attended where extremely positive. I would highly recommend Chris for your next event."

Barbara Butler
General Manager, Knights of Columbus Hall

"Chris Stepien’s ‘Three Days’ has provided me with a wondrous insight into the life of the young Jesus. I know the book is a novel, but I feel as if I had shared in the personal lives of the growing Yeshua and his parents Yosef and Miriam. The book is a “good read”, but more than that … it is a very respectful and credible narrative about the personal experiences of a maturing Messiah and his Holy Family.
“What particularly stands out for me is that I was not being preached to but rather I was being taught. During my reading, I felt that the young Yeshua was talking directly to me. Since then, I find myself reading the Bible with a more prayerful attentiveness than I ever have before."

Tom Thomas
“Faith Night” Attendee, Eastern Catholic

"What a delight it was to hear you speak. Your presentation was professional while taking the audience on a journey back to Christ's childhood, helping them understand what life was like in biblical times, especially for Jesus as a youngster. The audience was captivated. I personally liked hearing about the (biblical) foods."

Kathy Stofka 
Evangelization Committee, Roman Catholic Parish 

"Chris Stepien demonstrates his extensive knowledge of the culture and times in which the boy Jesus was raised. His vivid descriptions transport the reader into first century Jewish life. The portrait he paints of Jesus is a very believable one; one of a very human boy, yet a boy with very special gifts. The book is an enjoyable read filled with numerous Scripture references and insights into the world of the boy, Jesus."

Fran Helner 
Retired Catholic Pastoral Associate

"I received Three Days among other gifts … during the Christmas season I read your book quite rapidly and enjoyed it. I've done several Bible studies at church, but I've never come across that much detail about the actual Passover celebrations.

“I'd like to share your book with the Youth Minister of our church … congratulations!"

Margo von Minden 
Retired Editor