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.