Saturday, December 29, 2007

Enough

My daughter graduated last June and one of the School Trustees gave a wonderful speech about ‘enough.’ I thought I’d transpose it for writers –

As 2008 is about to launch I wish you all enough –

Enough intellectual stimulation to keep your mind sharp
Enough inspiration to keep your soul full
Enough courage to take you through the hard places in your work
Enough determination to keep you sending your work to editors and publishers
Enough grace to deal with those editors and publishers as Jesus would
Enough help from friends and mentors to keep you writing
Enough empathy to keep you offering what you know to ‘newbies’
Enough time to get all your writing projects finished
Enough time to sit and dream, to play and laugh
Enough pieces published to keep you encouraged
Enough pieces rejected to keep you learning
Enough praise to bless your heart
Enough criticism to keep you humble
Enough earnestness to keep you serious about your work
Enough sense of humour to keep you from taking yourself too seriously
Enough peace to show you God is in control
Enough disquiet to keep you from taking each day for granted
Enough wisdom to show you God is speaking through you
Enough foolishness to show you you’re only human

And above all, enough of Jesus to keep you longing for more

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Distant Heart by Tracey Bateman

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing Distant Heart (Avon Inspire January 2, 2008) by Tracey Bateman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tracey Bateman is the award-winning author of more than twenty-five books, including Defiant Heart, the First in the Westeard Hearts series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and recently served on the board as President. She loves in Lebanon, Missouri, with her husband and their four children.

ABOUT THE BOOK
In the second book in the Westward Hearts trilogy, will the promise of a new life out west heal the scars of Toni's past?This series tells the stories of three strong women as they struggle to survive on the rough wagon train and lose their hearts to unlikely heroes along the way/ Thin Little House on the Prairie meets Francine river's Redeeming Love and you begin to get a sense of the riveting historical series that Tracey Bateman has created.In this second installment, we follow Toni Rodden, a former prostitute who sought to escape her past and build a new life, and a new reputation, when she joined the wagon train. Despite much resentment and distrust from the other women, Toni has finally earned a place on the wagon train and found a surrogate family in Fannie Caldwell and her two siblings. For the first time in her life, Toni actually feels free.But while Toni once harbored dreams that her new life might include a husband and family, she soon realizes the stigma that comes with her past is difficult to see beyond and that she'll never be truly loved or seen as worthy. As the trip out west begins to teach her to survive on her own, she resolves to make her own living as a seamstress when the train finally reaches Oregon.But despite Toni's conviction that no man will be able to see beyond her marred past, Sam Two-feathers, the wagon scout and acting preacher for the train seems to know of a love that forgives sins and values much more than outward appearances. Will Sam have the confidence to declare his love? Will Toni be able to trust in a God that can forgive even the darkest past? Faith, love, and courage will be put to the test in Distant Heart.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What Lies Within by Karen Ball

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing What Lies Within Multnomah Fiction (November 20, 2007) by Karen Ball

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Karen Ball , bestselling novelist, is also the editor behind several of today's bestselling Christian novels. Her love for words was passed down through her father and grandfather - both pastors who shared God's truth through sermons and storytelling. Blending humor, poignancy, and honesty, Karen's writing style is a powerful force for revealing God's truth. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Don, and their "kids," Bodhan, a mischief-making Siberian husky, and Dakota, an Aussie-terrier mix who should have been named "Destructo."ABOUT THE BOOK: Nothing’s going to stop Kyla…

until the ground crumbles beneath her feet.

Kyla Justice has arrived. Her company, Justice Construction, is one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful companies in the Pacific Northwest. And yet, something is missing. Not until she’s called on to build a center for inner-city kids does she realize what it is: her sense of purpose. Now nothing can stop her, not the low budget, not supply problems, not gang opposition, not her boyfriend’s suggestion that she sell her business and marry him–and most especially not that disagreeable Rafael Murphy.

Rafe Murphy understands battle. Wounded in action, this Force Recon Marine carries the scars–and the nightmares–to prove it. Though he can’t fight overseas any longer, he’s found his place as a warrior in the civilian world. So he soldiers on, trusting that one of these days, God will reveal to him why Rafe survived the ambush in Iraq. That day has arrived.

Kyla and Rafe both discover that determination alone won’t carry them through danger and challenges. When gang violence threatens their very foundations, there’s only one way to survive: rely on each other, be real–and surrender to God. In other words, risk everything…

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Article on Pullman

This is another excellent article on Phillip Pullman

Friday, December 07, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Authentic Parenting

One of the questions author Mary DeMuth (Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture) gets asked in radio interviews is this: What can a parent do to help kids filter their media intake? Her answer: Strategically engage. The following is five ways to help re-engage your kids in a media-saturated culture.

Bio: Mary E. DeMuth loves to help folks turn their trials into triumphs. Her books include Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God (Harvest House, 2005), Building the Christian Family You Never Had (WaterBrook, 2006), Watching the Tree Limbs, Wishing on Dandelions (NavPress, 2006), and Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture (Harvest House 2007). A mother of three, Mary lives with her husband Patrick and their three children in Texas. They recently returned from Southern France where they planted a church. Learn more at http://www.marydemuth.com/

Five Ways to Engage Disengaged Kids
By Mary E. DeMuth

In a world of Halo, iphones, and IM, how do parents strategically engage their tuned-out kids? How can we create the kinds of homes that are irresistible to our children, enticing enough to make them tune out from games, media and texting and tune in to the rhythms of family life? Five ways.

One: Offer ‘em Something Better

The most enticing thing to a kid is community—real, authentic, God-breathed community. To create this, learn to do the following:

Say you’re sorry when you’re wrong and ask forgiveness.
Strive to become the person you want your child to become. Practice reconciliation, open communication, and serving each other.
Listen, really listen to your kids. Give them eye-time. Don’t uh-huh their concerns, but strive to ask great questions to draw them out. Be willing to share your own struggles with your kids.
Plan meal times together. And when you do, talk! One way to foster great communication is to have questions already prepared.

For a sample, click here: http://www.marydemuth.com/files/Qsample.pdf. To purchase all 150, click here: http://www.marydemuth.com/store.php. To win them, click here: http://relevantblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/win-150-conversation-starters.html

Have an unplug day—no phones, TV, gaming systems, and return to old fashioned board games, taking walks outside, and reading together.
Resist DVDs in the minivan. Try books on tape instead—a wonderful way to engage your child’s mind. Discuss the book afterward.
Welcome others into your home. Be the house all the kids want to congregate in.

Two: If You Can’t Beat ‘em, Join ‘em

Our kids will see movies; they will watch TV shows. Instead of always pushing against that, sit down next to your child and watch shows and movies together. Then use the time afterwards to discuss these questions:

What is the worldview of this movie?
What kind of person is the main character? Is she someone you want to be like?
What lies does this movie perpetuate?
What does this show say about materialism?
What part of this movie showed God’s love?

Strategically engaging alongside our kids in the very thing we’re leery of does two things: It shows our kids we are willing to sacrifice our own desires to spend time with them. And it helps prepare them to better discern the movies and media they watch.

Three: Explore Different Ways to Celebrate Sabbath

Taking time away from the crazy rush-rush of a media saturated world is a counter-cultural move your family can take. Choose a day or afternoon for rest. Limit media that day. Choose to engage in artistic, creative endeavors together:

If a child loves music, encourage him to write a song or create an unusual soundtrack.
Supply kids with all sorts of visual arts tools: paint, brushes, magazines, pens, glue, and let them create. If you need focus, think of five families or friends who need to be encouraged, then create cards for each one.
Let your kids have free reign of the video camera. Encourage them to make a movie. Then watch it together as a family, complete with popcorn.
Pull out that karaoke machine.
Read together.
Do a puzzle or play board games.

Four: Go Outside

We are a disconnected culture, defining ourselves by the great indoors and cyberworlds. To combat that in your family, dare to open the front door and walk on out. Take strolls with your kids. Find a local park or wilderness preserve to poke around in. Hike together. Feed the ducks. Launch rockets. Play Frisbee. Kick the ball around. Ride bikes. Pick up garbage along the road. Skateboard. Make going outside as much of a habit as going outside.

Five: Focus Outward

Computers and movies and TV and phones focus us inward. Instead, seek to find ways to focus your family outward toward the needs of the world. Sponsor a child in a third world country. Go on a mission trip as a family and take a year together to plan it. Find a cause to support—like digging wells in Africa or alleviating AIDS. Volunteer at a nursing home. Muddying our feet and hands in the real needs of the world gives kids a greater picture of the world and pulls them away from the artificial, often narcissistic world they live in.

It is possible to re-engage your disengaged child. It takes effort, creativity and pluck, but it can be done. The reward? A rejuvenated, connected relationship with your child that no gadget can compare to.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing
AURALIA'S COLORS (WaterBrook Press September 4, 2007) byJeffrey Overstreet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jeffrey Overstreet lives in two worlds. By day, he writes about movies at LookingCloser.org and in notable publications like Christianity Today, Paste, and Image.His adventures in cinema are chronicled in his book Through a Screen Darkly. By night, he composes new stories found in fictional worlds of his own. Living in Shoreline, Washington, with his wife, Anne, a poet, he is a senior staff writer for Response Magazine at Seattle Pacific University.Auralia’s Colors is his first novel. He is now hard at work on many new stories, including three more strands of The Auralia Thread.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
As a baby, she was found in a footprint.As a girl, she was raised by thieves in a wilderness where savages lurk.As a young woman, she will risk her life to save the world with the only secret she knows.When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets.Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse.Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.Visit the Website especially created for the book, Auralia's Colors. On the site, you can read the first chapter and listen to jeffrey's introduction of the book, plus a lit more!

PRAISE

"Film critic and author Overstreet (Through a Screen Darkly) offers a powerful myth for his first foray into fiction. Overstreet’s writing is precise and beautiful, and the story is masterfully told. Readers will be hungry for the next installment."--Publishers Weekly

“Through word, image, and color Jeffrey Overstreet has crafted a work of art. From first to final page this original fantasy is sure to draw readers in. Auralia's Colors sparkles.”-–Janet Lee Carey, award-winning author of The Beast ofNoor and Dragon's Keep

“Jeffrey Overstreet’s first fantasy, Auralia’s Colors, and its heroine’s cloak of wonders take their power from a vision of art that is auroral, looking to the return of beauty, and that intends to restore spirit and and mystery to the world. The book achieves its ends by the creation of a rich, complex universe and a series of dramatic, explosive events.”-–Marly Youmans, author of Ingledove and TheCurse of the Raven Mocker

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT Thomas Nelson (October 2, 2007) by Neta Jackson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Neta Jackson Neta Jackson's award-winning Yada books have sold more than 350,000 copies and are spawning prayer groups across the country. She and her husband, Dave, are also an award-winning husband/wife writing team, best known for the Trailblazer Books--a 40-volume series of historical fiction about great Christian heroes with 1.8 million in sales--and Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes (vols 1-4). Dave and Neta live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years they were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. They are now members of the Chicago Tabernacle, a multi-racial congregation that is a daughter church of the well-known Brooklyn Tabernacle.ABOUT THE BOOK:Turkey dinners, tree trimming, and decking the halls--it's that time of year again! And I Jodi Baxter, can't wait to celebrate. My kids are coming home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then all of us Yadas are getting decked out for a big New Year's party.But God's idea of "decked out" might just change the nature of our party plans. A perplexing encounter with a former student, a crime that literally knocks me off my feet, a hurry-up wedding, and a child who will forever change our family...it's times like these that I really need my prayer sisters.This holiday season, we Yada Yadas are learning that no one can out celebrate God. So let's get this party started!

THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT is a festive novella featuring America's favorite prayer group, the Yada Yadas!Sometimes dubbed "chick-lit" for their bright covers and catchy titles, this series provides far more depth than witty banter and wacky situations. Inspired by a prayer group of real women, each book will have you laughing, crying, and perhaps praying anew.In this highly anticipated installment, the Yada Yada sisters-a group of multi-cultural friends-and their families prepare for the event of the season.But yes, eager readers, this novella—which picks up a year and a half after the end of book #6 The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling concludes the series with some twists and turns that will amaze and encourage you. Plus, it sets the stage for Neta’s new series with new characters and new situations but also occasional roles for the beloved Yada Yada sisters in familiar Chicago neighborhoods with all their cultural richness.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing TRY DYING (Center Street October 24, 2007) by James Scott Bell

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
James Scott Bell is a former trial lawyer who now writes full time. He is also the fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine and adjunct professor of writing at Pepperdine University.His book on writing, Plot and Structure is one of the most popular writing books available today. The national bestselling author of several novels of suspense, he grew up and still lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next Buchanan thriller.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
On a wet Tuesday morning in December, Ernesto Bonilla, twenty-eight, shot his twenty-three-year-old wife, Alejandra, in the backyard of their West 45th Street home in South Los Angeles. As Alejandra lay bleeding to death, Ernesto drove their Ford Explorer to the westbound Century Freeway connector where it crossed over the Harbor Freeway and pulled to a stop on the shoulder.Bonilla stepped around the back of the SUV, ignoring the rain and the afternoon drivers on their way to LAX and the west side, placed the barrel of his .38 caliber pistol into his mouth, and fired.His body fell over the shoulder and plunged one hundred feet, hitting the roof of a Toyota Camry heading northbound on the harbor Freeway. The impact crushed the roof of the Camry. The driver, Jacqueline Dwyer, twenty-seven, an elementary schoolteacher from Reseda, died at the scene.This would have been simply another dark and strange coincidence, the sort of thing that shows up for a two-minute report on the local news--with live remote from the scene--and maybe gets a follow-up the next day. Eventually the story would go away, fading from the city's collective memory.But this story did not go away. Not for me. Because Jacqueline Dwyer was the woman I was going to marry. In Try Dying, this fast-paced thriller, lawyer Ty Buchanan must enter a world of evil to uncover the cause of his fiancee's death--even if he has to kill for the truth.

"Bell is one of the best writers out there...he creates characters readers care about...a story worth telling."~Library Review~

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Letter to an Editor

Recently a friend offered to write a review of my novel, One Smooth Stone, for a local Christian newspaper. They replied that they don't review "local authors." Since I've been regularly published in that paper, I thought that strange and asked why.
This is the reply the editor sent -

"When it comes to book and music reviews we try to choose the major releases, the cream of the crop if you will. If that’s a local band or author we’d consider it. One of the reasons is we are read online by people around the world. We only include one fiction release per issue, if any. That’s just 6 a year. I’m sure you can appreciate we get tons of books sent our way looking for a review. We have tended to choose books by people such as Frank Perretti, Davis Bunn, Anne Rice and Ted Dekker for two reasons: they have crossover appeal (i.e. of interest to non-Christians and sold in secular bookstores as well as Christian ones) and they are supposedly the very best writers. I know w that’s not always the case, and you are an award winning author, but that’s the way we’ve gone up till now (I see this as God’s paper and that’s how I feel led). Perhaps one day we’ll review one of your books, you never know. I certainly pray it does well."


And this is my reply to that editor -

Thanks for getting back to me with your explanation. It's an argument we Canadian writers hear a lot but I was quite surprised to hear it from you. You have been helpful in publicizing Inscribe in the past and seemed enthusiastic about helping to encourage the writers in this province and across the country. I have appreciated the opportunity to publish my column in your paper on a regular basis, knowing it is reaching many people with the hope of God's grace and mercy. That's why I have trouble understanding your reasoning about not reviewing books by "local" authors.

Frankly it's extremely frustrating - both to me and to my fellow Canadian authors who have won awards, been on T.V. and radio across the country, yet continually hear that we are "nobodies" and therefore not worthy of notice.

Yes, the argument that, "we go with the top names," is a common one. My response is, the "top names" do not live in this country. The "top names" do not minister in our communities and speak to the hearts of Canadians in a way only Canadians can. And the "top names" certainly don't need the exposure - their books are already being stocked by Walmart and Cosco.

I understand that you can cover only a minimal number of books in the paper and that many want the visibility. But I ask, why do you focus on books from the US when there is a burgeoning and exciting Canadian publishing industry growing in our own country? You said - "We have tended to choose books by people such as Frank Perretti, Davis Bunn, Anne Rice and Ted Dekker (because) they have crossover appeal" But those names would be no more familiar to unbelievers that names like Deborah Gyapong or Paul Boge or Nancy Lindquist - all award-winning Canadian authors whose books are, in my opinion, equal to or better than the names you mentioned.

You also mentioned that you have online readers from around the world. What about your Canadian readers in Alberta and Saskatchewan? Do they not deserve to know that God is doing a tremendous work in the Canadian Christian publishing industry by raising up authors of faith who are following God's call?

You said, "Perhaps one day we’ll review one of your books." Will that be when I become known in the United States? Why is that the criteria? Why is it that it is assumed that top selling American writers are the only authors who are being used by God to touch lives? I have a large file of reader responses that say otherwise. Why is it that just because a writer becomes well known within the Christian book industry in the US it is assumed God is blessing his/her work more than that of a writer who does not have that kind of notoriety? If I read my Bible correctly, God doesn't seem to see it that way.

The Canadian authors and publishers I know are committed to community - our own community - the towns, the provinces, the country where we live. We are doing what we can to help expand God's kingdom in those places. So it is very frustrating when people who are in a position to help that happen refuse to do so.

So, I have a suggestion - if you will not review our books, why not do a feature on Canadian authors? (I'd be happy to write it for you). Maybe some of those readers from around the world will even begin to see that God is at work in Canada, through little known writers who are trying to be obedient to Him and thereby make a difference for His kingdom.

Respectfully,
Marcia Laycock

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Deadfall by Robert Liparulo

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing DEADFALL (Thomas Nelson November 6, 2007) by Robert Liparulo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Robert is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly.
Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.
Robert's first novel painted a scenario so frighteningly real that six Hollywood producers were bidding on movie rights before the novel was completed. His acclaimed debut novel, Comes A Horseman, is being made into a major motion picture by producer Mace Neufeld and his short story "Kill Zone" was featured in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson.
Bob has sold the film rights to his second book, GERM. And he is writing the screenplay for a yet-to-be-written political thriller, which sold to Phoenix Pictures, for Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) to direct!
He is currently working on his fourth novel.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Deep in the isolated Northwest Territories, four friends are on the trip of a lifetime. Dropped by helicopter into the Canadian wilderness, Hutch, Terry, Phil, and David are looking to escape the events of a tumultuous year for two weeks of hunting, fishing, and camping.
Armes with only a bow and arrow and the basics for survival, they've chosen a place far from civilization, a retreat from their turbulent lives. But they quickly discover that another group has targeted the remote region and the secluded hamlet of Fiddler Falls for a more menacing purpose: to field test the ultimate weapon.
With more than a week before the helicopter rendezvous and no satellite phone, Hutch, a skilled bow-hunter and outdoor-survivalist must help his friend elude their seemingly inescapable foes, as well as decide whether to run for their lives...or risk everything to help the townspeople who are being held hostage and terrorized.
An intense novel of character forged in the midst of struggle, survival, and sacrifice. Deadfall is highly-aclaimed author Robert Liparulo's latest rivetingly smart thriller.
Get Downloads and EXCERPTS at www.LIPARULO.com

"DEADFALL is drop-dead great!"-In The Library Reviews
"What if Mad Max, Rambo, and the Wild Bunch showed up-all packing Star Wars type weapons? You'd have Robert Liparulo's thrilling new adventure Deadfall."-Katherine Neville, best selling author of The Eight"A brilliantly crafted thriller with flawless execution. I loved it!"-Michael Palmer, best selling author of The Fifth Vial
"In Deadfall, Robert Liparulo gives us a fresh fast paced novel that instills a well founded fear of the villians and an admiration for the people who refuse to be victims. It truly deserves the name thriller.-Thomas Perry, best selling author of The Butcher's Boy and Silence
"Another brilliantly conceived premise from Robert Liparulo. Deadfall will leave you looking over your shoulder and begging for more."-DAve Dun, best selling author of The Black Silent
A NOTE from Bob: I’d like to give away five signed copies of Deadfall to readers of CFBA blogs during my tour. All they have to do is sign up for my e-mailing list (they won’t be inundated!) by going to my website (www.robertliparulo.com) and going to the “Mailing List” page. Or email me with “CFBA giveaway” in the subject line.
And a second NOTE from Bob: I wanted to let you know that I’m holding a contest on my site:
**one winner a week till the end of the year for a signed Deadfall**one winner a week till the end of the year for an unabridged audio MP3-CD of Deadfall***and on Dec. 31, I’m giving away an iPod Nano, pre-loaded with an unabridged audio recording of Deadfall
Winners are selected from my e-mailing list—sign up at my site. If a winner has already purchased what he/she wins, I will reimburse them for the purchase price (or give them another—whichever they choose), so they don’t need to wait to see if they win before buying Deadfall.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Surrender Bay by Denise Hunter

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing SURRENDER BAY (Thomas Nelson November 6, 2007) by Denise Hunter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped.Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
In addition to Surrender Bay, the second Nantucket book releases in April 2008. The title is The Convenient Groom and features Kate Lawrence, a relationship advice columnist, whose groom dumps her on her wedding day. Denise is currently at work on the third Nantucket book (Oct 2008) which is untitled so far.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
When Sam's estranged step-father dies, she inherits his ocean-front cottage in Nantucket--not because he kindly bequeathed it to her, but because he neglected to ever create a will. Sam returns to the island she left 11 years ago with her daughter Caden to fix up the house and sell it, but she isn't counting on is the fact that Landon Reed still lives two doors down from her childhood home.As their long-dormant romance begins to bud again, Sam must face the fact that Landon still doesn't know why she really left the island. Will the secrets she's hidden all these years tear them apart? Or is Landon's love really as unconditional as he claims?
"I've always thought Denise Hunter was an amazing writer but this wonderful story sets her firmly at the forefront of compelling love stories. How Landon breaks down Samantha's determination that she is unworthy of love kept me glued to the pages. An amazing story!"--Colleen Coble, author of Fire Dancer (Smoke Jumper Series)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Weakness and Strength

Over the years I’ve gotten a few e-mails that made my heart skip a beat. Sometimes I stared at the subject line for a few moments, giving myself time to prepare for what I might read.

One of those e-mails arrived from my publisher just after we’d finished the editing on my novel, One Smooth Stone. I was afraid to open that e-mail because I knew it meant an end to the process. It meant the book was on its way to the printer and there was no stopping it. It meant all those words I’d written and re-written were actually going to be read by people who would hold my book in their hands. It scared me to death.

It scared me because I felt the book was not good enough. There was so much more in me, there were so many more words I wanted to include on those pages, so much more I wanted to dig out of my heart and soul and communicate. I wanted another year. No! I wanted a lifetime. But I knew my publisher wasn’t likely to grant it. The book was finished as far as he was concerned and it was out of my hands.

That e-mail should have been reason to celebrate, but it left me feeling strangely empty and even a bit depressed. I wanted to call my publisher and tell him I was truly sorry but I just couldn’t let the book go yet. But I knew my publisher would remind me about the contract I’d signed. He would no doubt be rolling his eyes and thinking “Writers!” while he listened to me whine.

So I whined to my husband instead. He wisely counseled that I give myself some time to get used to the idea that this project was over. “But it’s not good enough!” I insisted. He was quiet for a moment, then said, “Well, isn’t that a good thing? What if you thought this was the absolute height, the best you could do? Where would you go from there? This way you know you’ve got another book in you.”

I sat back in my chair when I realized the truth of his words. Yes. I do have another book in me, one that will be better because of what I’ve learned in the process of doing the first one. Then my mind struck on a scripture verse that has often given me pause. “… for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

My words will never be good enough to change a heart, to transform a soul. But God’s Spirit working through those words can work miracles of change and transformation. I, like Paul, will always have some kind of ‘thorn’ that will keep me from performing at the height of my capabilities, but God will use that to His glory. His grace is indeed sufficient, sufficient even for whiny writers who think their work is never good enough.

The proof of this was not long in coming. One of the first copies out of the box went to a friend. She sat up all night reading it - couldn’t put it down, she said. Then she had to go to a funeral the next day. I was feeling sorry for her until she continued the story. At the reception after the funeral her ex-husband approached and asked if they could have coffee the next day. She was reluctant. As most divorces are, theirs had been messy and bitter. The pain was still quite raw. But she said yes. My friend smiled as she told me their meeting turned out to be one of healing and forgiveness. “And I know why I read your book that night. It gave me so much understanding, and even words to say as he opened his heart to me.”

My words – His Spirit. My weakness – His strength.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Crimson Eve By Brandilyn Collins

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing CRIMSON EVE (Zondervan October 30, 2007) by Brandilyn Collins

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense™. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline “Don’t forget to b r e a t h e…® ” She’s so well known in the industry there’s actually a club for her non-readers. That’s right. The Big Honkin’ Chickens Club (BHCC) members are proud of the fact that they’re too wimpy to read Brandilyn’s intense fiction. Now and then one of them tries. Bribing works pretty well. (Just ask Deb Raney.) Somehow they live to tell the tale.Brandilyn writes for Zondervan, the Christian division of HarperCollins Publishers, and is currently at work on her 17th book. Her first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows.She’s also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons), and often teaches at writers conferences. Brandilyn blogs at Forensics and Faith.Visit her website to read the first chapters of all her books.

ABOUT THE BOOK:Carla stared at the gun and David Thornby—or whatever his name was. Her mind split in two, one side pleading this was some sick joke, the other screaming it was all too real.“Please. You must have the wrong person. There’s no reason for someone to want me dead. I don’t have any enemies.”“Then you’d best rethink your friends.”Realtor Carla Radling shows an “English gentleman” a lakeside estate—and finds herself facing a gun. Who has hired this assassin to kill her, and why?Forced on the run, Carla must uncover the scathing secrets of her past. Secrets that could destroy some very powerful people...Brandilyn Collins fans and reviewers are saying Crimson Eve is her best book yet:

“Collins tops herself by creating a suspenseful nonstop thrill ride … Truly the best Christian Fiction suspense title so far this year.”– Library Journal, starred review“Crimson Eve is Collins at her very best. It left me feeling as if I’d climbed Mount Everest without oxygen … I didn’t think Brandilyn could outdo herself after reading Coral Moon. She did.”–TitleTrakk.com“I’ve never edited a more tightly crafted, deftly woven, compellingly written book.” –a Crimson Eve editor, with 20 years experience“This is your best book! I could not stop reading!” – one of many readers with similar responses

Read about Violet Dawn and Coral Moon, books one and two in the Kanner Lake series.Do you know someone who’s never read a Brandilyn Collins novel? Surely no such person exists. However, should you scrounge up such a friend—someone who enjoys suspense—here’s a special offer from Brandilyn. Be among the first 50 people between now and October 21, 2007 to e-mail her assistant at gayle.brandilyncollins@gmail.com with the person’s name, e-mail address and street address. (Due to exorbitant overseas mailing costs, United States residents only, please).

A signed copy of Crimson Eve will be sent to your friend—free—along with an e-mail from Brandilyn announcing the book is on its way, courtesy of you. (Don’t worry. Brandilyn won’t spam these email addresses. She just wants your friend to know who to thank.) No worries that this story is third in the Kanner Lake series. Each book stands alone. Brandilyn is convinced your friend will so love Crimson Eve, he/she will surely reciprocate with expensive chocolate.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Contests

Hi - Tricia Goyer is running a couple of contests to check out -

1. A teen contest
2. A Blogger contest
1. The Teen contest: is open to teen girls. Three winners will win a $25 iPod gift certificate. The contest will end November 30, 2007.

Here are the details:
To enter the contest, read My Life, Unscripted by Tricia Goyer, write a review on the book, and post it on your blog, myspace, shoutlife, or amazon.com (or other review site).
My Life, Unscripted is available at your local Christian Book store, amazon.com, Barnes and Noble or christianbook.com.My Life, Unscripted explores relationships in every teenage girl's life--with herself, her friends and enemies, her parents, guys, and with God.Real-life scripts, screenwriting terms, and timely topics, make this an interesting read for teen girls as they delve into their own inner struggles and outward relationships.They'll also learn the importance of "scripting" their own responses BEFORE challenging life-situations arise and are able to think about, pray about, and consider how to face these situations before the scene begins. By contrasting real-life with TV or movies, teens will understand they don't have to get caught up in the drama.In addition to the review, you may also include how you, too, have overcome temptation.

Sounds easy right? It really is.(Please forward this contest to any teens you think might be interested!)


2. The blogger contest: runs from September 16 through October 26! It is open to all bloggers and their readers. Here's the SCOOP:
Did you live your teen years unscripted? Or did you think it through and make wise choices?Write a sample script from your teen years (I know--scary!) and post it along with information about my book on your blog! Your script could be where you make a good choice ... or a not so good one. Also share how God's Word helps you as you script your life today!
The person with most creative blog post during the tour will win a gift basket which includes starbucks coffee, amazon gift card, an itunes gift card, and more. There will also be 5 runner up small gift baskets._______________________________

All entries for both conests need to be sent to my assistant
Amy (amy@triciagoyer.com)!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Blog Tour for Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer was named Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference "Writer of the Year" in 2003. Tricia was a finalist for the Gold Medallion Book Award and she also won ACFW's "Book of the Year" for Long Historial Romance in 2005 AND in 2006. She has written hundreds of articles, Bible Study notes, and both fiction and non-fiction books. She's married to John, and they have three great kids whom she homeschools: Cory (17), Leslie (14), and Nathan (12). They make their home in Northwest Montana with their dogs, Lilly and Jake.

Her new book, My Life Unscripted, Who's Writing Your Life? is a tool everyone can use but is especially of benefit to young women. Tricia has done something innovative and fun with this book. If you have a teenage daughter, neice, cousin or friend, buy this book for them. Click on the cover to purchase.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing THE TROPHY WIVES CLUB
Avon Inspire (September 4, 2007) by Kristin Billerbeck

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kristin Billerbeck was born in Redwood City, California. She went to San Jose State University and majored in Advertising, then worked at the Fairmont Hotel in PR, a small ad agency as an account exec, and then,she was thrust into the exciting world of shopping mall marketing. She got married, had four kids, and started writing romance novels until she found her passion: Chick Lit. She is a CBA bestselling author and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year. Featured in the New York Times and USA Today, Kristin has appeared on the Today Show for her pioneering role in Christian chick lit. Her last three books were:Split Ends: Sometimes the End is Really the Beginning (April 17, 2007)She's Out of Control (Ashley Stockingdale Series #1) (Nov 13, 2007)Calm, Cool & Adjusted (Spa Girls Series #3) (Oct 1, 2006)

ABOUT THE BOOK:


Haley Cutler is the consummate trophy wife. Perhaps "was" is the more accurate term. Haley married Prince Charming when she was only twenty years old – back in the day when highlights came from an afternoon at the beach, not three hours in the salon.When Jay first turned his eye to Haley, she was putty in his slender, graceful hands. No one ever treated her like she was important, and on the arm of Jay Cutler, she became someone people listened to and admired. Unfortunately, after seven years of marriage, her Prince Charming seems to belong to the Henry the XIII line of royalty. When Haley loses Jay, she not only loses her husband, she loses her identity.With her first independent decision, Haley leaves LA and moves home to Northern California. Feeling freedom just within her grasp, Haley learns that her settlement payments must go through one of Jay's financial advisors, Hamilton Lowe. Haley believes he's nothing more than a spy. And the feelings of distrust are mutual. Yet somehow, Hamilton finds himself handing over the monthly checks in person, and Haley can't deny that there's a kind of tenderness and protectiveness in Hamilton that she's never experienced in a man before.But before Haley can even consider another relationship, she must learn to accept her inherent worth, and what it is to be loved for who she is, not what's on the outside.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Remembered by Tamera Alexander

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing REMEMBERED (Fountain Creek Chronicles, Book 3) (Bethany House, 2007) by Tamera Alexander

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tamera Alexander is a bestselling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Alexander’s books have won multiple awards, including Romance Writers of America’s 2007 RITA® for Best Inspirational Romance, the 2007 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, 2007 Bookseller’s Best, and Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction of 2006.

Her books have received acclaim from Library Journal, True West Magazine and Historical Novels Review, and Rekindled debuted on the CBA fiction bestseller list. She has a professional background in business management and conference coordination. A leader of women's ministries for over twelve years, she is currently active in music ministry, facilitating small groups, and mentoring other women. A graduate of Harding University, Tamera lives with her husband and their two teenagers in Greeley, Colorado.

Her other two books in the Fountain Creek Chronicles are Rekindled (Book 1) and Revealed (Book 2)To celebrate the release of Remembered, as well as the 3-volume boxed set of Fountain Creek Chronicles (Rekindled, Revealed, and Remembered), Tamera is currently giving away boxed sets in a contest on her website. Check out the contest at http://www.tameraalexander.com/ .

From a Distance, the first book in Tamera’s next historical series (Timber Ridge Reflections) releases in spring 2008.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Though loss is often markedin a single moment,letting go of someone you

love can take a lifetime...The threat of war--and a final request--send Véronique Girard from France to a distant and uninviting country. In the Colorado Territory, she searches for the man who has held her heart since childhood--her father. Pierre Girard left Paris for the Americas to seek his fortune in fur trading, vowing to send for his wife and daughter. But twenty-five years have passed and his vow remains unfulfilled. Sifting through shards of broken promises, Véronique embarks on a dangerous search for a man she scarcely remembers.His grief finally healed, Jack Brennan is moving on with life. After years of guiding families west, he is now working as a freighter to the mining towns surrounding Willow Springs. What he doesn't count on is an unexpected traveling companion on his trips up into the mountains, and how one woman's search will cause havoc with his plans... and his life.


"Alexander again delivers a most amazing story. The characters are more than words on the page; they become real people. Though there are French words sprinkled throughout the story, they enhance the emotions rather than distract the reader." --Romantic Times"...a rich historical romance by possibly the best new writer in this subgenre." --Library Journal"


Alexander has done it again with Remembered, third in the FOUNTAIN CREEK CHRONICLES. She's fashioned characters that are as rich and deep as the mountains and valleys they explore throughout the pages, coloring the story as adeptly as the heroine does her canvas. I was drawn immediately into the ages-old heartaches of both of the main characters, understanding at once Veronique's reticence to make a place for herself in the unknown wilds of America and Jack's uncompromising love for this land that he’s cut a swath through time and again. They both have a series of mountains to overcome in the search for Veronique’s father, but I enjoyed watching their faith and appreciation grow with each turn of the page. And woven adeptly through it all is the encompassing truth of the Lord's sovereignty—that sometimes He takes away, and sometimes He gives us what we need, not what we're looking for.

Anyone's who's read the other Fountain Creek books won't want to miss this one, but it easily stands alone. The characters will take you by the hand and lead you heart-first into their stories, and by the time they release you at the end, you'll feel as though you've taken up residence just across the Creek from them, as surely as they have in your heart." --Roseanna White, christianreviewofbooks.com"

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Bag of Fish or Jesus

My husband preached a great sermon this morning from John 21. The gist of it was that we are all prone to oh-so-quickly give up on God and turn back to our own resources. Just as the disciples did. Jesus had told them what to do, and where to go, but they thought He wasn’t going to show up, so one of their leaders, an impetuous fellow named Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” The others said, “Yeah, sounds like a good idea.”

They fished for hours to no avail so when a man turns up on the shore and asks if they have any fish they all shout a resounding, “No!”

It’s when that man tells them to cast their net on the other side of their boat that one of them, the well-loved John, says, “Hey – uh – I think maybe it’s Jesus.”

To his credit, Peter wasted no more time with the fish – he leaped out of the boat and hurried to shore. Then Jesus, who was indeed the one speaking to them, tells them to bring some of the fish they’d just caught to the fire. An interesting statement, that. Jesus already had fish roasting over the coals, yet he tells them to bring what they had just caught with their own hands, under His direction.

There are a couple of lessons to learn here. One, guard against giving up on Jesus. He will come through, He’s never late, and He will always give us what we need to accomplish what He has in mind. Two, there’s a principle to learn from Peter and the disciples who followed his lead. We can so easily get caught up in striving to make a living - trying to make things work out the way we want – this crazy career as a writer, for instance – that we can lose sight of the One for whom we are working. But as Peter discovered, when Jesus shows up, the bag of fish is suddenly of no importance. Being with Jesus is all that matters.

And there’s a third principle to learn from this story. We can know that God intends to put us to work. He has given us skills – like the ability to catch fish – or to write – and He will use them to His own purposes. Part of that purpose is to teach us and bless us abundantly as we become a blessing to others. The disciples ate as much fish as they wanted that morning and had plenty left to sell. It was the fruit of their own labour but it was labour guided by their Lord, labour that taught them something about Him, labour that was indeed, life-giving.

The writing process can be something that is self-engrossing – just a way of life – or it can be a means to an end – a way to life as it was intended to be.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Ex Files by Victoria C. Murray

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing The Ex Files (Touchstone June 19, 2007) by Victoria Christopher Murray

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Victoria Christopher Murray always knew she would become an author, even as she was taking quite an unlikely path to that destination. A native of Queens, New York, Victoria first left New York to attend Hampton Institute in Virginia where she majored in Communication Disorders. After graduating from Hampton, Victoria attended New York University where she received her MBA.Victoria spent ten years in Corporate America before she decided to test her entrepreneurial spirit. She opened a Financial Services Agency for Aegon, USA where she managed the number one division for nine consecutive years. However, Victoria never lost the dream to write and when the “bug” hit her again in 1997, she answered the call.Victoria originally self published Temptation. “I wanted to write a book as entertaining and compelling as any of the books on the market, put God in the middle, and have the book still be a page-turner. I wasn’t writing to any particular genre – I didn’t even know Christian fiction existed. I just wanted to write about people I knew and characters I could relate to.”In 2000, Time Warner published Temptation. Temptation made numerous best sellers list across the nation and remained on the Essence bestsellers list for nine consecutive months. In 2001, Temptation was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in Outstanding Literature.


Since Temptation, Victoria has written four other novels: JOY, Truth Be Told, Grown Folks Business, and A Sin and a Shame. All of her novels have continued to be Essence bestsellers; her last three each reaching #1. In addition, Victoria has received numerous awards including the Golden Pen Award for Best Inspirational Fiction and in 2006, she was awarded the Phyllis Wheatley Trailblazer Award for being the pioneer in African American Christian Fiction.ABOUT


THE BOOK: The Ex Files:
A Novel About Four Women and Faith...
There are four ways a woman can handle heartbreak. She can fall apart, seek revenge, turn cold, or move on. The Ex Files is the story of these four women:When Kendall Stewart finds her husband and her sister in bed together, she vows to never let anyone get that close again. But when she is faced with saving the life of the woman who destroyed hers, will she be able to forgive?When an NBA superstar tells his mistress, Asia Ingrum, that he's decided to honor his marriage vows, her shock quickly gives way to revenge...but her decision may come back to haunt their five-year-old daughter.Every night Vanessa Martin wonders why her husband committed suicide. Even worse, she contemplates joining him in eternity. Will Vanessa be able to gather the strength to live again?Sheridan Hart is finally finding her way after a lie destroyed her seventeen-year marriage. Her new love is ready to get married, but will she commit to this younger man or is her ex-husband taking up too much space in her heart?When their pastor asks Kendall, Asia, Vanessa, and Sheridan to meet weekly for prayer, they can't imagine they will have anything in common. But then a devastating tragedy strikes and these strangers are forced to reexamine their choices. Will they find true friendship, or will prayer -- and their union -- fail them?

The Begotten by Lisa T. Bergren

I loved this book. More later, but here's a

Quick Synopsis of The Begotten: When the Church compiled wrote the Christian canon, it is possible that they left some of Paul's letters out. Now, in Book 1 of The Gifted series, in 1339, a letter that is half a millennium old has resurfaced, telling of a group of people with special spiritual gifts called the Gifted. Now the Gifted must find each other and band together against the people who wish to destroy them out of fear, as well as the deadly Sorcerer, Satan's minion. While they struggle to stay alive, they work to uncover a secret that will determine the ultimate fate of the world. Paperback

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Life, Libby and the Pursuit of Happiness

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing LIFE, LIBBY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (Harvest House Publishers March 1, 2007) by Hope Lyda

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hope Lyda has always wanted to write. Ever since she was a young tyke with a spiral notebook in hand, she had the urge to fill it. Sadly, Peggy Meets the Midgets did not cause Hope to be deemed a child prodigy, so she continued her path of education. She was grade-obsessed but also truly enjoyed sharing laughs with her circle of creative friends.

Hope attended the University of Oregon and graduated with a double major in Journalism: Advertising and Telecommunications and Film. With aspirations to write screenplays or teleplays, she of course ended up doing public relations for non-profits until she entered the publishing field in which she has worked for 10 years.

Her passions are quiet ones—she loves a good read, an afternoon of free thinking time, writing, journaling, road trips, travel, and pondering life from her back yard pergola. She loiters in bookstores frequently, though has never been arrested for such. Her big hope is to encourage others to embrace their dreams and understand their faith journeys through the practice of journaling and the art of creative living. She hopes to also inspire such things through the themes in her fiction including Hip to Be Square and Altar Call. (There are also visions of a nice Casita with a hammock in Mexico—but one thing at a time.)
When not living in her head, she resides with her husband, Marc, in the Pacific Northwest.

ABOUT THE BOOK:


Libby Hawthorne makes exotic trip itineraries but never leaves Seattle. She’d like to attend church but winds up at a bookstore. She longs for love—but who has the time? Delayed happiness has been worth it, because she’s about to get her dream promotion...

Or not.
So now what?

When a corporate merger leaves her demoted and disillusioned, Libby realizes she needs to start living authentically...and soon. But just as she tries to uncover her purposed life, her cruel and unusual boss, Cecilia, demands that Libby hide Seattle’s most famous homegrown rock star in order to keep her new, bad job. For the first time in years, Libby doesn’t have a step by step plan to guide her. She must trust her faith and her heart. But what is she supposed to do with her growing admiration for Blaine Slater, a new VP from Chicago, or the surprising kindness of the rock star living incognito in her Seattle apartment? Through the humorous twist and turns, Libby uncovers a big life truth—the detours we are afraid of might just be the perfect path to happiness.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Dead Whisper On by T.L. Hines

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


THE DEAD WHISPER ON


(Bethany House July 1, 2007)


by


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tony is the author of the acclaimed Waking Lazarus. He has been an advertising agency owner/principal, a trade amgazine editor, and now a novelist.

He has been a professional writer for more than 15 years with articles appearing in publications as varied as Log Homes, Conservative Theological Journal, and Travel & Leisure. He is also Creative Director at Montana's largest advertising agency.

His long list of past odd jobs includes trimming Christmas trees, sorting seed potatoes, working the graveyard shift at a convenience store, and cleaning cadaver storage rooms.

As a teen he was undefeated in air guitar competitions in which he performed songs by ZZ Top.

He lives in Montana with his wife and daughter,



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Would You Run Into A Burning Building?

Candace "Canada Mac" MacHugh lives a ghost of her former life.

Once a proud Butte, Montana, miner who daily risked her life setting explosives, she's now a garbage collector in her dying hometown.

Her beloves father is dead and she doesn't speak to her mom. More than anything, Candace Mac misses her father. He promised to contact her from the "other side" if he could...but it's been eleven long years. And now even her beloved city of Butte, Montana, seems to be dying off.

Candace Mac is alone. Longing for the past. Dreaming of making a difference.

Until one night when her father's voice speaks to her from the shadows. Bud MacHugh's trademark growl. The dead, it seems, have messages they hunger to share with the world...warnings of impending disasters and grave danger. Of cities doomed to burn.

But they need Canada's help.

T.L. Hines' first novel, Waking Lazarus was named one of the Library Journal's Top 25 Genre novels of 2006. Now he's back with a gripping suspense that brings to light our fears and asks us if we still have the courage to fight for those around us. if we have the guts to be one of those who run into burning buildings.

"Chilling!" Publishers Weekly

"...a well-paced suspense populated by dynamic characters." Kirkus Discoveries

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Void by Mark Mynheir

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing THE VOID (Multnomah Fiction August 21, 2007) by Mark Mynheir



Mark Mynheir is a cop writer. He has authored Rolling Thunder (The Truth Chasers Book One) and From the Belly of the Dragon (The Truth Chasers Book Two). During his career as a police officer, Mark has worked as a narcotics agent, a S.W.A.T. team member, and a homicide detective. Mark and his wife, Lori, live with their three children in central Florida.


ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Truth Chasers Book Three
Someone’s trying to play God…and he’s turning Palm Bay into hell.Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Robbie Sanchez devotes her life to crime prevention, and it shows: She has no personal life and doesn’t know the meaning of a day off. After all, someone has to be around to clean up the mess crime leaves behind.So when Officer Brad Worthington is brutally murdered, Agent Sanchez is called to the scene along with Brad’s best friend, Detective Eric Casey. The two turn to Lifetex, the genetics lab near the scene, hoping their elaborate security system might have captured the crime outside.But what’s going on inside the lab is far worse: a renegade scientist is cloning humans! As Robbie and Eric pursue clues–and a growing attraction–they are caught in a deadly battle as the clones begin to act on their own volition…but this battle threatens to claim more than human life; the clones are vying for human souls.


The Void is nothing short of a page-turner. Mynheir is truly hitting his stride as one of our industry's most notable Christian novelists. This latest book has it all: suspense, humor, intrigue, realistic police action, and one thought-provoking story line.Creston MapesAuthor of Nobody

Monday, August 20, 2007

Prisms

Many years ago my brother worked in a copper mine. He worked above ground most of the time, but every now and then had to go below. Each time he would bring up beautiful rocks – geodes and sparkling quartz formations that delighted me when he brought them home. One day he brought me a natural prism. It was a piece of quartz, a bit opaque and about two inches high, smooth on three sides, but not polished. My brother showed me how to hold it up to the light so that faint gleams of colour could appear inside it.

I have that tiny prism on my desk and it has become a symbol of my ministry. The three sides represent writing, speaking and teaching. The base is Christ.

I also have a shining diamond shaped crystal hanging in the window that is polished and many faceted. When the light strikes it, colours shoot out, painting bright rainbows all over the room. It too has become a symbol of my ministry and the work required to make rainbows.

When I look at those two prisms, the one that is rough and dull, the other that is clear and shining, I am reminded that I must work at my craft so that God’s light can burst through. My first drafts are like the natural prism – when I look at it I see the prism itself, but not the light; the colours are there, but they are hidden, trapped inside. I have to fashion and polish the facets – the plot, the characters, the themes, the very paragraphs and words – to such an extent that I, as the author, am unseen. Then only the light will be seen by the world.

God does the same with my life, if I’ll let Him. The more I move into His presence, the more he polishes and perfects me. The more I open up my heart and mind to Him, the more He transforms me. In the end, I’ll be like a clear prism that no one will see. They’ll just see His light. Some day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing OFF THE RECORD (Zondervan August 15, 2007) by Elizabeth White

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Beth White is the author of Fireworks and Fair Game, as well as the critically acclaimed Texas Gatekeepers serie from Love Inspired Suspense.In her own words, she appreciate her most valued roles as wife and mom. Beth is also a second-grade Sunday school teacher, church orchestra member (She plays flute), and artist. She loves to read, crochet, sew, go on mission trips and avoid housework.Beth lives in Mobile with her minister husband, and is currently on staff at First Baptist Church of North Mobile (fondly known as NoMo), in Saraland, Alabama.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Ambition is on a collision course with a secret from the past.Judge Laurel Kincade, a rising political star, is announcing her candidacy for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Her aristocratic Old South family, led by her judge grandfather, beams as she takes the podium. Then her eyes light on a reporter in the crowd…and suddenly her past becomes a threat to her future.Journalist Cole McGaughan, religion reporter for the New York Daily Journal, has received an intriguing call from an old friend. Private investigator Matt Hogan has come across a tip…that Laurel's impeccable reputation might be a facade. Matt suggests that Cole dig up the dirt on the lovely judge in order to snag his dream job as one of the Journal's elite political reporters.

There's just one problem: Cole's history is entangles with Laurel's and he must decide if the story that could make his career is worth the price he'd have to pay.A sensational scoop becomes a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Can Laurel and Cole find forgiveness and turn their hidden past into a hopeful future...while keeping their feelings off the record?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

God IS good!

God sometimes just knocks my socks off. I was stewing about how I was going to pay for the copies of One Smooth Stone I've ordered from my publisher. Though I get a sizable discount, ordering 500 books is going to set me back a whack of cash - and that on top of moving and on top of a wedding (see post below). So I stewed and then finally I prayed and was (mostly) leaving it in the Lord's hands.

Then I went to a friend's and she told me God had told her to give me something. Then she sat down and wrote out a cheque. I was truly touched by her generosity and God's goodness.
Then I got a phone call from another friend on the other side of the country (she's also a speaker/writer). She said she wanted to help and asked how much she should send! I told her to talk to God, not me! So she did and sent a cheque in the mail.

Wow! God sure showed me who has this all under control. :)Marci

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing RETURN TO ME byRobin Lee Hatcher

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robin is the author of over fifty novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by Library Journal. Winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Robin, who is also one of our CFBA members, lives in Boise, Idaho.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Discouraged and destitute, her dreams shattered, Roxy Burke is going home. But what lies beyond the front door?Rejection...or a bright future?

A lot has changed since Roxy Burke escaped small town life to become a Nashville star. Her former boyfriend Wyatt has found Christ and plans to become a minister. Her sister Elena, who comforted Wyatt when Roxy ran away, is now his fiancee. Her father Jonathan, a successful businessman, is heartbroken over the estrangement of Roxy from the family.

Now Roxy...her inheritance from her grandmother squandered, her hopes of stardom dashed...finds her way home...not by choice but because it's her only option. Her father's love and forgiveness surprise her, but her very presence throws the contented Burke family into turmoil, filling Roxy with guilt and shame.

Elena is shocked to discover doubt and resentment in her heart after her father's easy acceptance of Roxy into the family circle. Wyatt wrestles with doubts about marrying Elena. And Roxy struggles to accept forgiveness. Isn't she more deserving of rejection? As the story of the prodigal plays out, each member of the Burke family must search for and accept God's grace.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Getting my Hopes Up

I heard from my editor this week that my distributor, Castle Quay is featuring my novel, One Smooth Stone in a good sized book fair in Ontario. I also heard from Focus on the Family Canada, that they may feature my book on their website, Clergy Care.

Both these pieces of news give me hope that my books might do okay. The odds are so against new authors, I take any encouragement I can get! :)

I've also asked a lot of people to pray about it, so I know whatever God has in mind will be accomplished.

My husband's vacation time is coming to a close and I found myself thinking, okay, now I can get into a regular routine of writing again. But then, he won't have an office to go to anymore, so we'll see how that goes! But I do need to get into a regular routine again. I've been coasting for a while.

I guess summertime is like that, though. I find myself longing for some time on the water, but I don't think that will happen this year. Makes me realize how spoiled I was growing up on Lake Huron when I was a kid.

When I knew we were moving I asked the Lord to move us somewhere near water. Well, there is a small slough across the road from our new house! Not exactly what I had in mind, but ...
it will be good to be settled there. Hope the house sells soon.

:)M

Monday, July 23, 2007

Authentic Parenting by Mary de Muth

"With a jumble of modern and postmodern worldviews twisting in my head, how do I discern what is truth?"

That is the question that prompted Mary de Muth to write Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern World. Her context was as a church planter in the seat of postmodern thought, Western Europe. Her premise was that she had to move out of her comfortable Christian home and explore the world in which her children would have to live - a world that was antagonistic to their faith. Mary admits she is a learner and invites the reader to journey with her as she explores and comes to conclusions.
It is a journey all parents should take, no matter what the age of their children.

If you'd like to read an excerpt from the book, click here.


Visit Mary's helpful and fun website here.

To purchase, click here.



Be sure to check out the other blogs participating on the Authentic Parenting Tour this week. For a complete listing of the blogs participating in the six week tour, visit here.
A Cup of Cold Water
Aspire2 Blog
Be a Barnabas
Dawn Morton Nelson
Deborah Gyapong
Dobsons 411
Eleanor Joyce
Good Word Editing
Preacher’s Daughter
Sky-High View
Spaghetti Pie
the law, books and life
The Master’s Artist
The Surrendered Scribe
Through My Window

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

One Step Over the Border

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing ONE STEP OVER THE BORDER (Center Street June 12, 2007) by Stephen Bly

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephen Bly is a pastor, a mayor, an antique Winchester gun collector and a writer.He's mayor of a town of 308 in the mountains of Idaho, on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. In his spare time, he pursues the three R's of ridin', ropin' and rodeo...and construction of Broken Arrow Crossing, a false-front western village near his home.That keeps him very western. And he collect old Winchester rifles, which reflects his love of historical accuracy. He's also a fan of Jimmy Buffet music.
Stephen says about his writing, "I write about the West (historic or modern) from the inside. Born and raised on western ranches, I have both the heart and mind to describe things as they really were...and are. There are those who think the frontier has long passed and with it the ‘code of the west.’ The truth is, both are still around...and it’s fun to show that in a contemporary story. The West is so big, so diverse, so enchanting it’s a thrill to write about it in any era."Stephen is the author of ninety-five books and hundreds of articles.

ABOUT THE BOOK: It’s a romp...A road adventure...
It’s a buddy story with romantic comedy!!Some call it CowboyLit. Rodeo cowboy Hap Bowman’s on a search for Juanita, the gal of his dreams, whom he hasn’t seen in 18 years. He seems stuck on 12-years-old and the enchanting girl he met then."An idiot obsession," his roping partner, Laramie Majors, chides.But Laramie agrees to a final summer’s trek along the Rio Grande. If they don’t find Juanita during those months, Hap promises to drop the idea of the hunt for the mystery senorita. But if they find her, will she feel the same as Hap does about their years ago interlude?
In One Step Over The Border the time tested values of cowboys rub up against contemporary mores. It’s a crazy story that becomes more logical as the reader delves deeper into it. It will make you laugh and shed a tear or two.Getting back to Hap’s pursuit . . . don’t we all have someone in the past, that we knew for only a short while, that we wish we could have known better, longer? Stephen Bly has!. So when Hap and Laramie ventured out on a quest for Hap’s Juanita, Stephen decided to invite others to go along too. Folks have been e-mailing Hap hapandlaramie@yahoo.com and asking for their own “Juanita Search Kits.” They get a bumper sticker, magnet, bookmark, stickers, flyers, etc. It’s a whole packet of material that will equip anyone to join the fun of finding the Juanita with “the mark of God.” If they send Hap a picture of the places where they stuck their Juanita signs, they’ll receive a free copy of the book. It’s all there on the website at http://www.onestepovertheborder.com/
And there’s a very special feature on http://www.amazon.com/...some more adventures about Hap and Laramie that did NOT appear in the book, can be found on AmazonShorts in the story entitled, Aim Low, Shoot High.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Survey at Bethany House

Hi folks - go here to fill out a survey on an upcoming release at Bethany House. You could win a free book.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fearless by Robin Parrish

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing FEARLESS (Bethany House, July 1, 2007) by Robin Parrish

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin Parrish had two great ambitions in his life: to have a family, and to be a published novelist.
In March of 2005, he proposed to his future wife the same week he signed his first book contract.Born Michael Robin Parrish on October 13, 1975, Robin's earliest writing efforts took place on a plastic, toy typewriter, and resulted in several "books" (most between 10 and 30 pages long) and even a few magazines.
By the age of thirteen, he had begun winning local writing awards and became a regular in his high school's literary magazine. In college, he garnered acclaim from his English professors and fellow students while maturing and honing his skills.
After college, he entered the writing profession through a "side door" -- the Internet. More than ten years he spent writing for various websites, including About.com, CMCentral.com, and his current project Infuze Magazine, which is a unique intersection between art and faith which he also conceived of and created.
One of his more "high concept" ideas for Infuze was to return to his love for storytelling and create a serialized tale that would play out every two weeks, telling a complete, compelling story over the course of nine months. That serialized story eventually came to the attention of several publishers, who saw it as a potential debut novel for Robin Parrish.
In 2005, Bethany House Publishers brought Robin full circle by contracting him for the rights to not only that first book, Relentless -- but two sequels. A trilogy, to unfold in the consecutive summers of 2006, 2007, and 2008. One massive tale -- of which that first, original story would form only the foundational first volume of the three -- spread across three books.
Robin is the Editor in Chief and creator of Infuze Magazine. He and his wife Karen reside in High Point, North Carolina. Karen works for High Point's First Wesleyan Church, where Robin and Karen are members and Small Group leaders.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Book Two of the Dominion Trilogy:The world changed after that terrible day when the sky burned, and now every heart is gripped by fear...Earthquakes, fire, disease, and floods pummel the earth, and its citizens watch in horror.

But in the darkness there is hope -- an anonymous but powerful hero whom the public dubs "Guardian." He is Grant Borrows, one of a chosen few who walk the earth with extraordinary powers. But while Grant enjoys this new life, signs of a dangerous ancient prophecy begin coming true, and those closest to Grant worry he may be hiding a terrible secret.A search for answers brings Grant and his friends to London, where an extraordinary discovery awaits that will challenge everything they thought they knew. With a deadly new enemy dogging his steps, Grant realizes that the world's only hope may come from unraveling the truth about himself once and for all. But what he comes face-to-face with leaves even this most powerful of men shaken with fear.

Secrets will be revealed.Friends will make the ultimate sacrifice.And destiny will not be denied.The story continues...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Island Inferno by Chuck Holton




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chuck served four years in the Elite 75th Ranger Regiment–the same unit profiled in the movie “Black Hawk Down.” Chuck saw combat in Panama in 1989. After leaving active duty, Chuck flew helicopters in the Wisconsin National Guard while attending the University of Wisconsin.In 2004, after ten years as a stockbroker, Chuck left that profession to pursue full-time writing. At the same time, he began working as the "Adventure Correspondent" for CBN.He is the author of five books, including A More Elite Soldier, Bulletproof, andAllah's Fire, the first of three books in the Task Force Valor series.

Today, Chuck, Connie, and their five children live on a farm in Appalachia, where Chuck now pursues his varied interests of farming, writing, adventure travel and public speaking, among other things.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
TASK FORCE VALOR EXPLOSIVE ORDINANCE DISPOSAL--THE BOMB SQUAD

As the global war on terror heats up, the U.S. deploys a team of highly trained special operators overseas to locate and neutralize threats, bringing EOD expertise to dangerous missions that have no room for error.

A DEADLY EXPLOSION A new specialty explosive is on the black market: ITEB looks like water, but when it's exposed to air, the effects are lethal! The United States government is frantic to keep it from our shores. Staff Sergeant Euripides "Rip" Rubio knows how destructive ITEB can be. He has already risked his life to thwart a horrific terrorist plot involving the chemical. Now Task Force Valor heads to Panama, on the trail of an arms dealer who plans to use ITEB to make a killing...literally.

AN ADVENTURE ABROAD Fernanda Lerida is a University of Florida grad student who jumps at the chance to join a biological expedition to a mysterious former prison island. But the snakes, bugs, and crocodiles are soon the least of her worries as the group stumbles upon something they were not meant to see. To Make matters worse, Fernanda soon finds herself alone and being pursued by an unseen foe.

A RISKY RESCUE When Rip's path collides with Fernanda's, they find themselves caught in the midst of a brutal turf war. Can they use the chaos to their advantage, or will one false step set the entire island ablaze?
"Island Inferno is a boy-meets-girl story. But in Chuck Holton's world, boy meets girl in the middle of a jungle at 25mph. hanging under a parachute with an assault rifle strapped across his chest. You'd better plan on reading this in one sitting. And once you're done, you'd better give yourself time for your pulse to calm down."----TOM MORRISEY, Author of Deep Blue, and Dark Fathom