Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
(Fountain Creek Chronicles, Book 3)
(Bethany House, 2007)
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 marked in 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
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
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
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?
Disclaimer: I have not read this book. I do not recognize the publisher Touchstone. Some readers may find some of the content less Christian Friendly than they prefer. Please check out the CFBA blog roll to the left for reviews by some of our readers, then decide for yourself if it is something you wish to read.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
This week's Friday Five is Game Shows I've watched in the past week.
A Preface: Three weeks ago, the cable company shuffled their channel list once more. My MIL, who is suffering a serious relapse of her cancer, was an avid watcher of The Game Show Network. In the channel-shuffle, they bumped the GSN up into the tier of channels above her current cable package. Several calls to the cable company to set things up and one very memorable run-in in with my FIL and the installer, and BINGO! we've got GSN back for the MIL. A few days each week, (2-3 depending on schedules) I go to my MIL's to help care for her (though she's doing so well, she shooes me away). So we have been enjoying the GSN 24/7. This week's 'five' is Game Shows I've watched.
1. Match Game 75. (men with porkchop sideburns, polyester leisure suits, white buck shoes and belts)
2. Family Feud with Richard Dawson (He kisses EVERY woman on the show right on the lips! EW!)
3. To Tell The Truth with John O'Hurley (I never know who is telling the truth, and where do they find these people???)
4. Chain Reaction (The host is cute and the game fun.)
5. Lingo (Sort of bingo meets crosswords meets scrabble.)
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Click on the above link for a five question quiz on a new book cover from Bethany. When you take the survey, you are entering to win a free book. :)
I'll tell ya later which one I chose, but stop back again and let me know which one you chose and why.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
LIFE, LIBBY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
(Harvest House Publishers March 1, 2007)
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...
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.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
This week's Friday Five:
Five things I learned/noticed while attending my MIL at the hospital this week:
1. No matter how hard a hospital tries with the air fresheners and cleansers, the whole place always smells of warm disinfectant.
2. Rochester Methodist Hospital (part of the Mayo Clinic) has the best nurses in the world.
3. What did we do before plastic? I would venture to say 90% of all hospital equipment and supplies are either made of or packaged in plastic.
4. I have the two greatest kids in the world. (I know I'm biased, but they have been SO terrific this week.)
5. Prayer works, not just for the object of the prayer, but for the person praying. My MIL is coming home today, bypassing the nursing home where they thought she was going to need to go for the next little while. On Wednesday, while she slept, I sat praying for her and reading through some Psalms. The power of God's Word to seep into your soul and heal those hurting places, to comfort, to calm, to be the refuge He promises to be...WOW! I was so uplifted and refreshed. God is good, ALL the time, even when we can't see the way.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
Sushi for One?
(Zondervan, September 1, 2007)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Camy Tang is a member of CFBA and is a loud Asian chick who writes loud Asian chick-lit. She grew up in Hawaii, but now lives in San Jose, California, with her engineer husband and rambunctious poi-dog. In a previous life she was a biologist researcher, but these days she is surgically attached to her computer, writing full-time. In her spare time, she is a staff worker for her church youth group, and she leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. Sushi for One? (Sushi Series, Book One is her first novel. Her second, Only Uni (Sushi Series, Book Two) comes out in February 2008!
To celebrate the launch of her debut novel, she's got a huge contest going on. Camy is giving away baskets of Christian novels and an iPod Nano! Only her newsletter YahooGroup subscribers are eligible to enter, so join today.
For more information about the contest, visit her website.
Contest ends October 31, 2007!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lex Sakai’s family, big, nosy, and marriage-minded, is ruled by a crafty grandmother. When her cousin Mariko gets married, Lex will become the OLDEST SINGLE COUSIN in the clan, a loathed position by all single female family members.
Lex has not dated for years.
Grandma homes in on this fact and demands, bribes, and threatens Lex to bring a boyfriend (not just a date) to her cousin’s wedding.
Lex does not want to date ... not since that terrible incident a few years back ... but, Grandma doesn't give her that choice.
Lex's options are slim because she has used her Bible study class on Ephesians to compile a huge list of traits for the PERFECT man (and the more she dates, the more she adds to the list).
The one man she keeps running into (and is completely attracted to) doesn’t seem to have a single quality on her list. It’s only when the always-in-control Lex loses control and lets God take over that all the pieces of this hilarious romance finally fall into place.
Thanks for letting me chat with you!
Your first novel, Sushi for One, released this past month. Can you tell us a little about how the story went from idea to published novel?
People have asked me if Grandma Sakai is based on my own grandma. No, she’s not. However—unfortunately—she’s a conglomeration of my friends’ aunties, mothers, and grandmothers.
I think lots of people can relate to at least one relative who’s always pestering the single people in their family about getting married and having kids. Sometimes it’s amusing, sometimes it’s downright annoying.
I wondered what would happen if the Buddhist matriarch of a family fell down hard and heavy on a close-knit group of cousins who all happened to be Christian.
I also wanted the cousins to be not-your-average chick lit heroines—I wanted them to be characters that readers would relate to and yet find intriguing. So I made one a jock, one a flirt, one a cactus, and one a doormat. The Sushi Series was born.
I loved Lex Sakai. And I loved a peek into the Asian culture. How much of your life made it onto the pages of Sushi for One? Are you an athlete like Lex?
I made Lex as good at volleyball as I always wished I was. I’m nowhere near as good as Lex is—although I have watched games with women who ARE as good as Lex, and they’re simply amazing.
Lex isn’t that much like me, but she has traits that I wish I had, like volleyball skill. Lex says exactly what she’s thinking and doesn’t care what people think of her, which is kind of how I wish I was. She’s also pragmatic and logical—again, the way I wish I was!
One of the most stirring scenes for me centered around the painting in the pastor’s office. Is that entirely fictional?
Actually, that painting was inspired by a story I heard in college. A sculptor had been commissioned to sculpt a statue of Christ on the cross, but it was so gruesome and horrific that the church members didn’t want it.
The sculptor had purposefully made it gruesome because that’s how the crucifixion was—it wasn’t pretty or mournful, it was downright horrible. The sculptor had wanted to show the depths of Christ’s sacrifice so that we could more keenly feel how much He gave for us.
I don’t know what happened to the actual statue, but that story haunted me for many years. I remembered it as I was plotting the storyline for Sushi for One, and made it into a painting hanging on the pastor’s wall.
What sort of response have you received from readers so far?
Most people have enjoyed the book, which makes me very happy!
How do you handle the great reviews and the not so great ones?
Throughout this entire writing journey, God has constantly reminded me that my success or failure is entirely in His hands. That’s hard for me, because I tend to want to control everything, or at least, feel like I have control.
So when I see reviews, I really try lift them all up to God and not let them affect me, whether good or bad. I’m not always successful, but at least I’m trying.
You also have a critique service (http://www.storysensei.com/). How are you able to balance your family, church, writing, and working with other writers?
Funny you should ask that, because recently, God has convicted me about setting firmer boundaries in my life. He’s revealed to me what my priorities are—my family, my church youth group, and my writing. I take on critiquing jobs when I have time, but I’ve been better lately about saying no when I’m just too swamped with something else.
What are some of the common mistakes or shortcomings made by newbies that you run across in your critique service?
Not enough conflict. Donald Maass says it best—he recommends for writers to add some form of tension or conflict into EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE. This is because unlike real life, conflict is what keeps people interested in the story. Basically, make something “not right” in every single sentence on the page.
Most writers think that’s insane when they first hear it, but I always tell people to try it for a page in their manuscript and then compare the before and after. It sometimes requires some major rewriting, but people always notice how much more riveting the writing and the action is after adding more conflict and tension.
What advice would you have for authors not yet published?
Complete something new each year. I meet lots of writers who keep revising the same story, or who start lots of things but don’t finish them.
Editors and agents want to know that you can complete a manuscript and that you have more than one book in you. You don’t want to be a writer with lots of different great story ideas but no complete manuscript, or a writer who only has their one manuscript that’s been polished for the last several years.
When you start submitting to agents and editors, try to have at least three manuscripts done. In my experience, a writer’s third complete manuscript is usually about the level where it’s good enough to submit.
What’s coming next for you?
In February, the second book in the Sushi Series, Only Uni, comes out. That’s Trish’s story. And then in the Fall of 2008 will be Single Sashimi, which is Venus’s story.
Also, right now I’m running a contest on my website where I’m giving away baskets of Christian fiction and an iPod Nano! Only my newsletter YahooGroup subscribers are eligible, so join today: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Camys_Loft/join
Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. And congratulations on Sushi for One!
Thanks for having me here, Erica!