Thursday, September 27, 2007

After the Leaves Fall

Baart, Nicole. 2007. After the Leaves Fall.

Waiting is a complicated longing. I lost my father when I was fifteen, and I've been waiting ever since. He was buried on a rainy day in October, and I remember the sound of the raindrops on the lid of the sleek black casket and how it seemed like music to me. The pastor was doing his best to make sorrowful an occasion that seemed anything but--the leaves on the trees above us were burnt amber, the consoling sky around us was velvety gray, and the rain was singing softly. I didn't feel sad. I felt expectant (1).

Julia Bakker's life is a series of losses, disappointments, and complicated longings. Abandoned by her mother, and raised by her grandmother, she is trying to be anything but the orphan-only-to-be-pitied. Spending most of her time as a loner in high school, she can't help but falling for her best friend, Thomas, though he sees her as nothing but a little sister. Thus opens After the Leaves Fall, while the first three or four chapters cover the "back" story, the heart of this story is about Julia's freshman year in college. Make that her fall semester as a freshman in college. She's away from home. She's independent. She's out to prove to herself and to the world that she has what it takes to make it. But does she? Does she really? School isn't everything she thought it would be. Her roommate isn't the new-best-friend she's always wanted. Her classmates, not her new friends or kindred spirits. And her classes? Overwhelming. The workload, the teacher, the homework, the tests....frustrating, overwhelming, overpowering. She is confused in some ways. She's enjoying some aspects of college life--flirting with her TA, Parker, being one of them. But in other ways she's weary and full of doubts. Doubts about herself, her major, her friendships, her relationships, her place in this world. Though Thomas has been in a long term relationship with someone else for years, Julia can't quite part with the fantasy that one day he'll see her for the first time as a woman, as a soul mate, as the woman of his dreams. It's a season of doubt, longing, and weariness. But it's not without hope. Not without joy. Julia's grandmother is an ever-present. Her constant. Her source of strength and comfort. Can her grandmother introduce her to the Eternal God of Comfort?

I loved this book for many reasons. I love the relationship between granddaughter and grandmother. I love the realistic portrayal of life. Life isn't a thirty minute sitcom. It isn't even a one hour drama. There are no tied-up endings. There are no false resolutions. Life is hard. Life is full of choices. Life is rarely what you expect it to be. You rarely get what what you want. But sometimes you get what you need. There are no easy answers, no easy solutions. Everyone is human. Mistakes happen. Life happens. But beneath it all there is hope. There is beauty. there is a promise of hope.

My interview with Nicole Baart will be posted on October 8th.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

CFBA: Remembered

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

(Fountain Creek Chronicles, Book 3)

(Bethany House, 2007)



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 .

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


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

"...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,

"Remembered, the third book in the FOUNTAIN CREEK CHRONICLES, takes us back to Willow Creek and revisits beloved characters from the previous two books in the series, Rekindled and Revealed. Tamera Alexander has the remarkable ability to create places, and characters who endear themselves to us, even those just briefly mentioned. If I had lived in the late 1800s, I would love to have met these people and would surely have been inspired by the way they lived out their faith.
Remembered is a delightful read, well-researched and well-written. I expect to see great things from this author in the future." --Lindsey Freitas,

"Remembered is an absolutely wonderful continuation of the FOUNTAIN CREEK CHRONICLES." --Amanda Schafer,


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Book Contest


CFBA: Blessed Assurance

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Avon Inspire (October 1, 2007)


Lyn Cote's journey to becoming a published author was a long one - she started her first book when her daughter was 13 months old and her first novel was published when her daughter was about to enter high school. But Lyn was writing for a market that hadn't taken shape yet - the inspirational fiction market.

In 1996, Lyn Cote's first inspirational historical manuscript was a finalist in the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Contest. This became her first historical novel, Whispers Of Love, in her BLESSED ASSURANCE series.

Most recently, Chloe, the first novel in Lyn's "Women of Ivy Manor" historical series was a 2006 RWA Rita Award finalist for Best Inspirational, as well as a finalist for the Holt Medallion and the National REaders Choice Contest.

Lyn also writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She lives in the lovely northwoods of Wisconsin with her husband and three cats. Aside from writing, she also likes to knit, crochet, read, and do lunch with friends.


Now available for the first time in one edition--All three novels from Lyn Cote's beloved Blessed Assurance series

In Whispers of Love, Civil War widow Jessie Wagstaff must fend for herself and her son. When a stranger, Lee Smith, befriends Jessie's son, even though she recognizes nine-year-old Linc's need for a father figure, she's reluctant to let a new man into their life. When the Great Chicago Fire blazes, every heart is pushed to its limits.

In Lost In His Love, Jessie's son Linc, a social activist and reporter, charms his way through the upper class of San Francisco to build much-needed support for his fight against child labor. His main target is Cecilia Jackson, a beautiful heiress who doesn't recognize the crucial part she plays in this dangerous exploitation. As the secrets of her family's dark past are exposed, Cecilia must revive her own wounded spirit and find the strength to lean on the never-failing love of Christ. But when the 1906 earthquake hits, everyone's faith will be put to the test.

In Echoes of Mercy, Meg Wagstaff challenges the racial barriers of 1920s New Orleans in order to prove that her childhood friend did not commit murder. The stubborn lawyer prosecuting the case, Gabriel St. Clair, is an authentic Southern gentleman who makes the mistake of underestimating Meg, both her tenacity and her charm. Despite their many differences, sparks begin to fly. But when Meg discovers the truth, will Gabe be able to protect her from those who can't afford to have justice prevail?

"A beautiful tale of love, forgiveness, and acceptance."
~CBA Marketplace


Monday, September 24, 2007

Back to History Challenge.

I have discovered a new challenge, a 2008 challenge, that I am very excited about. So much so that I am signing up *twice* once for each blog. Silly? Maybe. Motivational? Definitely. Why? Because reading "Christian" fiction is fun, but sometimes I'm overwhelmed with the children's and YA literature and don't really have time to fit much 'adult' reading in.

The challenge asks participants to choose twelve books. One per month. I am listing more than twelve. I know this isn't a diverse listing. They are all fiction. But they are all on my TBR list anyway. And it would be *good* to get to them all in 2008.

The Heart of A Lion by Gilbert Morris
No Woman So Fair by Gilbert Morris
The Gate of Heaven by Gilbert Morris
Till Shiloh Comes by Gilbert Morris
By Way of the Wilderness by Gilbert Morris
Daughter of Deliverance by Gilbert Morris
Angels Watching Over Me by Michael Phillips
A Day To Pick Your Own Cotton by Michael Phillips
The Color Of Your Skin Ain't The Color of Your Heart by Michael Phillips
Together Is All We Need by Michael Phillips
A Perilous Proposal by Michael Phillips
The Soldier's Lady by Michael Phillips
Never Too Late by Michael Phillips
Miss Katie's Rosewood by Michael Phillips
An Untamed Land by Lauraine Snelling
A New Day Rising by Lauraine Snelling
A Land To Call Home by Lauraine Snelling
The Reapers' Song by Lauraine Snelling
Tender Mercies by Lauraine Snelling
Blessing in Disguise by Lauraine Snelling


Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'd love to review this....

The Word of Promise: New Testament Audio BIble (New Testament Audio Bible) [AUDIOBOOK] [UNABRIDGED] (Audio CD) The publisher is Thomas Nelson.

A 20-hour, 20-CD, diverse star-studded audio Bible production of The New Testament. This multi-voiced faithful rendering of the NKJV New Testament is presented in a compelling, dramatic audio theater format.
The arresting world-class audio production immerses listeners in the dramatic reality of the Scriptures as never before. Complete with an original music score by prolific Italian composer Stefano Mainetti ( Abba Pater ), Contributions by Dove Award winners Michael W. Smith and Rebecca St. James, and ambient sound effects that are woven together with compelling narration by Michael York, the Bible comes to life for a new generation. The post-production, sound design and Foley (sound effects) are produced, engineered and mixed at Cerny American Creative in Chicago-an award-winning post-production facility ranked in the Top 3 in the nation for sound design.

Cast includes:

* Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ, Deja vu) - Jesus
* Michael York (Romeo & Juliet, Austin Powers) - Narrator
* Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Holland's Opus, The Goodbye Girl) - Quotes from Moses
* Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny, What Women Want) - Mary Magdalene
* Golden Globe winner Stacy Keach (Prison Break, Hemingway) - Paul
* Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Lou Gossett, Jr (An Officer and a Gentleman, Roots) - John
* Terence Stamp (Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Superman II) - Voice of God
* Kimberly Williams-Paisley (According to Jim, Father of the Bride) - Mary, Mother of Jesus
* Golden Globe and Tony Award nominee, Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba, Young Guns) - Mark
* John Heard (Prison Break, Home Alone) - Matthew
* Ernie Hudson (Miss Congeniality, Ghostbusters) - Peter
* TV Guide's TV's 25 Greatest Teen Idols honoree Luke Perry (Beverly Hills 90210, Jeremiah) - Judas & Stephen
* John Schneider (Smallville, Dukes of Hazzard) - James
* Chris McDonald (Happy Gilmore, Quiz Show) - Luke


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Things that should NEVER NEVER NEVER happen

I have always had mixed feelings on the Love Comes Softly series as produced by the Hallmark Channel. The first movie, Love Comes Softly, was arguably good. Enjoyable even. Worth owning. Worth repeated viewing. Each subsequent title has gone down hill. The second was okay. It was more cheeseful, definitely lame. Corny. Predictable. Not exactly right. But okay. Not put your hands over your eyes and plug up your ears bad the way the others have been. The third movie was watchable enough once. I think I enjoyed about ten or fifteen minutes of the hour or so that it was. The fourth one was barely watchable at all. Seriously. The only thing it had in common with the book was the name Love's Abiding Joy. It didn't even remotely in anyone's wildest imagination resemble the book. But I fear the fifth one is a crime against humanity. I am boycotting it. Definitely boycotting it. I can't imagine any *true* fan of the series putting up with this latest atrocity. Even if you've never read the book, the series keep getting cheesier and cheesier and just groan-worthy.

Listen to these descriptions:

Two years have passed since the tragic death of Missie LaHaye's husband Willie. Ultimately unable to work the land on her own, Missie (Erin Cottrell) and son Maddie leave Tettsford Junction for the security of her father's ranch and the hope of a new life. New adventures await as Missie takes in reluctant orphan Belinda (Holliston Coleman) who hides a secret. A new home also brings the possibility of romance… if Missie can manage to put the past behind her. Dale Midkiff and Victor Browne also star in this touching story of faith and love.

In “Love’s Unending Legacy,” Missie LaHaye and her young son Maddie return home to be near her parents, Clark and Marty Davis, two years after the murder of her sheriff husband. Returning to her work as a schoolteacher, Missie adopts a teenage orphan girl, Belinda, who implores her to rescue seven-year-old Jacob, the girl’s brother, who has been suffering abuse at the hands of his adoptive parents. Aiding Missie in her rescue efforts are Pastor Joe and Sheriff Zach Tyler. Both men are also potential suitors, but Missie’s grief may prevent her from a new chance at happiness.
You might be thinking. Okay. What's wrong with that. Well, the character of "Maddie" doesn't exist at all in the books. Willie does NOT die. (I don't think he was ever sheriff either, but I could be wrong on this point. But he was alive and kicking throughout the whole series.) Missie NEVER returns home to Clark and Marty. At all. Belinda isn't an orphan. She's Marty's unexpected baby. Her "surprise" conceived during the fourth book, Love's Abiding Joy. Yes, Marty went on that trip. Clark didn't go alone. And Missie didn't have ANY children die, let alone her new baby. Love's Unending Legacy shouldn't have Missie as a character at all. She's not in the book. It is a story about Marty and her family. The romance in the book is that of Marty's daughter Ellie. What the movies leave out are 90% of Marty and Clark's kids. They had many children of their own, and they adopted two. Love's Unending Legacy is about most of her children--all except Missie. But specifically it is about her youngest--Luke who is getting ready to be a doctor, Ellie, and the baby-on-the-way, Belinda. The rest of Marty's kids are married already, some with families of their own.

Not only has this series of movies become a train that has jumped the tracks, it's not even on the ground anymore.


Pride and Prejudice

This post is going to make the rounds. It qualifies as a "Christian" read since this edition was printed by Bethany House. This "insight edition" features notes relevant to everyone, generally speaking, but has a few targeting the Christian crowd specifically. It qualifies as appealing to the young adult crowd--which means I'll be posting it on Becky's Book Reviews. It also qualifies for two challenges I'm participating in: the Something About Me challenge and the Cardathon Challenge.

Why did I choose to read Pride and Prejudice? I love the novel. I haven't always *loved* the novel. There was a long period of my life where I was unfamiliar with this glorious work. I knew I wanted to read it one day. But I didn't have any immediate plans to make it happen. I picked up a copy--I believe it was a Dover edition--a really cheap edition, by the way, for under three bucks. I got to it in December 2005. Years after buying the book. My motivation then? Well, my best friend, Julie, loved the book. And we were discussing the movie. (The most recent movie had just reached theaters and I wanted to go see the movie...but not until I had read the book.) I read it in probably two to four days. I devoured it really. It was just so wonderful. I was graduating with my degree in library science at the time and had some gift cards to spend, so I bought the A&E DVD version with Colin Firth. If I hadn't been convinced of its wonderfulness before, I certainly would've been after seeing the movie! I remember spending the 23rd and 24th of December watching the movie and wrapping presents and feeling all wonderfully giddy. That January, I introduced the movie to my dad. I didn't know if he would like it. It is rather long. It does have a lot of dialogue. But as soon as Mr. Collins came into the scene, Dad was hooked. That summer, June or July 2006, I introduced the movie to my sister. She was skeptical at first. She thought the first hour or so rather boring. But soon she was a fan as well. Then I introduced everyone to Bride and Prejudice. Of course, Julie was the one who first introduced ME to Bride and I can't take all the credit. So there was much fun and love being spread all around in the family.

But why reread Pride and Prejudice now? Well, I saw it on the Something about Me challenge. It was tempting. But when I saw that Bethany House was releasing a special edition of the book along with their novel Just Jane by Nancy Moser--and that this edition would feature book club type questions--I really couldn't resist it. So I did request a review copy. And it came late last week. As soon as it arrived, I began reading it.

Did I discover anything new the second time around? Well, I don't know about "new" discoveries, but I certainly appreciated it more. I was able to savor it more. I knew what to expect, what was coming. I knew which bits were the "best" parts. I knew the characters. I knew their strengths and weaknesses. I love the language, the style, the romance, the characters. It really is just oh-so-magical.

For those that are unfamiliar, the plot is relatively simple. Jane and Elizabeth are the two oldest sisters in a family of five daughters. It's Regency England. Their family connections aren't the greatest, and it's really imperative that at least one or two of the daughters marry well so that they can be provided for after their father's death. Mrs. Bennet is all about getting her daughters matched up and paired off. And she's a very silly woman. Mr. Bennet is a caring father, who dotes on Elizabeth and merely tolerates the three younger sisters--who rather take after the mother. Jane is a sweet dear. Elizabeth a wit. And the book is about the complicated courtships of the two oldest children. Of course, Lydia, the youngest has her moments as the center of attention. But this isn't her story, thank goodness! Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Wickham and, of course, the unforgettable Mr. Collins play the love interests.

It's a story of love, hate, friendship, family, disdain, disgust, joy, regret, and jealousy. Lots and lots of jealousy. It is a read I recommend to everyone!

What is it about the "Insight Edition" that makes it special? It does feature notes. Mostly cultural notes--not scholarly ones. It likes to comment on the various movie versions of the book. It likes to add in tidbits about Austen's life and time. It points out that Jane is a good "Christian" girl. And it does feature discussion questions. The only thing I am disappointed about in this edition was the fact that I found four typos. One on the very first page. They misspelled first. They even misspelled his on one occasion as "vhis." This is sad, but hopefully it will be corrected with subsequent printings. Typos do happen. But all four could have easily been caught even with spellcheck, and they definitely would have been caught with a human proofreader.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

CFBA: Ex Files

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Ex Files
(Touchstone June 19, 2007)


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.


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?


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Readathon is Coming!

Dewey of The Hidden Side of A Leaf is hosting a 24 Hour Readathon. She has now posted an update. Her post is very long, but it's worth reading all the details and fine print! You can sign up to be a reader, cheerleader, or promoter via Mr. Linky. I have *officially* signed up to be a reader. I know I won't last the 24 hours. But I'm hoping to give it my all while I can keep my eyes open! For those in the Central time zone, it starts at 8AM on October 20th. "People who sign up to be readers are committing to reading books, posting updates in their blogs, and if they need breaks, visiting the blogs of other readers and encouraging them. The most hardcore among us will stay up the entire 24 hours and do nothing but read and update, even going so far as to skip showering and eat meals while reading. However, not all of us are that hardcore, and it’s ok for you to customize this readathon to meet your needs."

SATURDAY OCTOBER 20TH, starting at 2pm GMT

We’re timing it to line up with the 24 Hour Comics Day, so the date will be Saturday, October 20th. I checked Google Analytics and saw that the majority of my readers are in North America, with the second largest readership in Europe. So I tried to come up with a time when the greatest number of people will be rested. 2pm GMT is 6am in California, which may be early, but if you normally get up at 8, you can just start at 8, no problem. Here’s a world time zone map.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Another opportunity

Bethany House is having a can give opinions on a book--three different book covers--and be entered to win a free book.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another Contest To Enter

Thoughts of a Wannabe is having a fall contest/drawing! You should definitely go and see the goodies for yourself!


CFBA: Life, Libby, and the Pursuit of Happiness

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Harvest House Publishers March 1, 2007)



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.


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.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Contest and Book Giveaways

Trish of An Ordinary Life is having a HUGE book giveaway this week. You have until Thursday, September 20th to sign up!!! The books look great, by the way. And I'd hate for anyone to miss out on the opportunity to win free books :)


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sushi for One

I enjoyed Sushi for One despite the fact that its a sports-focused romance. Lex, our heroine, is an athletic kind of girl. She loves playing and coaching volley ball. But she loves watching, following, ALL the sports--baseball, basketball, football, etc. For someone who hates sports--hates with a capital H--this book would have to have a few redeeming factors to make it worth my while. The book is about a woman--a woman facing the big 3-0--with all the pressure in the world placed on her shoulders. Her grandmother is insistent, persistent, and downright mean when it comes to bossing her and her cousins around. Grandma has laid down the law: Lex MUST have a boyfriend by the time of her cousin's wedding, or her grandmother will not fund her junior high volley ball team. Thus begins what seems like hundreds of blind dates and "accidental" meetings her brother and other cousins arrange for her to have in the three to four months leading up to this wedding. But that isn't all that's going wrong in her life. No. That would be TOO easy. She also quits her job, has to find a new one, loses her place to live not once but twice...and injures her knee so she has to have surgery. All while trying to find a man to bring to the wedding. Could the physical therapist heal more than her knee??? I would have liked more romance and less sports, but that's only me.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

CFBA: Sushi for One

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Sushi for One?
(Zondervan, September 1, 2007)




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!


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.