Wednesday, January 30, 2008

CFBA: A Passion Most Pure


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

A Passion Most Pure

(Revell January 1, 2008)

by

Julie Lessman



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:







Julie Lessman is a debut author who has already garnered writing acclaim, including ten Romance Writers of America awards. She is a commercial writer for Maritz Travel, a published poet and a Golden Heart Finalist. Julie has a heart to write “Mainstream Inspirational,” reaching the 21st-century woman with compelling love stories laced with God’s precepts. She resides in Missouri with her husband and their golden retriever, and has two grown children and a daughter-in-law. A Passion Most Pure is her first novel.








ABOUT THE BOOK

She's found the love of her life. Unfortunately, he loves her sister ...

As World War I rages across the Atlantic in 1916, a smaller war is brewing in Boston. Faith O’Connor finds herself drawn to an Irish rogue who is anything but right for her. Collin McGuire is brash, cocky, and from the wrong side of the tracks, not to mention forbidden by her father. And then there’s the small matter that he is secretly courting her younger sister. But when Collin’s affections suddenly shift her way, it threatens to tear Faith's proper Boston family apart.

Refusing to settle for anything less than a romantic relationship that pleases God, Faith O'Connor steels her heart against her desire for the roguish Collin McGuire. Collin is trying to win her sister Charity's hand, and Faith isn't sure she can handle the jealousy she feels. Full of passion, romance, rivalry, and betrayal, A Passion Most Pure is Book 1 of the Daughters of Boston series.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Song Recommendations: Alaska or Bust

Alaska or Bust by Andrew Peterson

Margie, won't you listen to an old man's wish
They say it's mighty pretty in Alaska
My daddy used to talk about those deep sea fish
So there's something, darling, that I wanna ask you
So don't you turn me down

In the morning we would listen to the cattle calling
Lowing in the land of Okeechobee
Where it's flatter than the cardboard on the carport floor
And the cattails seem to wave just like they know me

Ah, but Enoch in the tackle shop
Goes on about the salmon caught
The time he and his brother sailed to Juneau

So get in, I'll do the driving
The bag's already packed and in the truck
Margie, get in, put down those dishes
The town will see us go if we're in luck
So come on, it's Alaska or bust


I've been holding down this farm that daddy left me, darling
The kids have married off and moved away
And the doctor says I'm healthy for an old man dying
Well enough to seize another day

So get in, I'll do the driving
Your bag's already packed and in the truck
Margie get it, these bones are dry
I've been running, but the cancer's catching up
So come on, it's Alaska or bust


There were days when I imagined that the clouds were mountains
Towering above the rolling ocean
And I was sailing on my tractor, turning hay out in the pasture
Catching salmon of my own while I was mowing

So get in, I'll do the driving
Your bag's already packed and in the truck
Margie get in, there's not much time
I've been running, but the cancer's catching up
The town will see us go if we're in luck

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Monday, January 28, 2008

CFBA: Awaken My Heart


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Awaken My Heart

Avon Inspire (February 5, 2008)

by

DiAnn Mills



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. She is the author of numerous titles including novels, novellas, and a nonfiction. In addition, she's written several short stories, articles, devotions, and has contributed to several nonfiction compilations.

DiAnn believes her readers should "Expect an Adventure." Her desire is to show characters solving real problems of today from a Christian perspective through a compelling story.

Several of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents, and she remains a favorite author by Heartsong Present's readers. Two of her books have won short historical of the year by American Christian Fiction Writers both in 2003 and 2004. She was named Writer of the Year for 2004 at the 35th Annual Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference and is the recipient of Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards for 2005 in the long contemporary and novella categories.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, ChiLibris, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops. DiAnn also belongs to Cy Fair Women's Networking, an exclusive professional women's networking organization.

She lives in sunny Houston, Texas, the home of heat, humidity, and Harleys. In fact she'd own one, but her legs are too short. DiAnn and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

1803, the colony of Texas


Awaken My Heart is set in 19th century Texas and tells the story of 18 year old Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, Weston Phillips. Weston is involved in a hostile struggle with Armando Garcia, the infamous rebel leader of the 'mestizos' who claim to own the land that Phillips has settled.

Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, has never agreed with her father's harsh treatment of the poor mestizos who first inhabited the colony of Texas. When rebels kidnap Marianne, in hopes her father will trade back their land for her freedom, she realizes her loyalty lies with her abductors, not her father, who plans to marry her off to the don of a nearby estate.

Armando Garcia is the locals' reluctant leader, but his people revere and depend on him. Knowing that without his leadership they'd be forced from their land, Armando accepts his role, but does not approve of the latest attempt to manipulate their enemy. When he learns that Marianne actually speaks his language, of her loyalty to his people, and of the faith that keeps her strong, Armando is faced with a difficult decision. Will his newfound love keep him from letting her go? Or will he set her free and risk losing their land forever?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CFBA: Fallen


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Fallen

(Kregel Publications February 29, 2008)

by

Matthew Raley



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Matthew Raley is senior pastor of the Orland Evangelical Free Church in northern California, where he lives with his wife and two young children. For fun, he enjoys playing chamber music with friends, giving occasional solo recitals, and playing first violin in the North State Symphony. This is his first book.








ABOUT THE BOOK

Jim was at work when his eyes drifted to the coffee shop visible from his office window. An attractive woman driving a Mercedes pulled up to the curb . . . and Jim’s married pastor emerged from the car. When Jim delves deeper into his pastor’s world, will he be able to handle what he discovers? Is he right to suspect that Dave is having an affair? In the behind-the-scenes church battle that ensues, Jim is torn between duty to his church and a desire to show grace. A ripped-from-the-headlines drama of suspense that keeps you engaged to the last page.

Fallen is the story about Jim’s relationship with Dave—how Jim tries to do the right thing to keep Dave accountable, but finds the situation getting worse and worse. It’s also about Jim’s other relationships. Just as he discovers hypocrisy in Dave, Jim discovers his own sins against his wife and daughter.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

CFBA: Christian Writers' Market Guide


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Christian Writers' Market Guide 2008


WaterBrook Press (January 15, 2008)

by

Sally Stuart



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Sally Stuart has been writing for the last 40+ years, and has been putting out the annual "Christian Writers' Market Guide" for the last 23 years. Her other writing includes several Christian education resources books, a children's picture book, a basic writing text, writing resources, and a western novel--plus hundreds of articles and marketing columns. She writes marketing columns for the "Christian Communicator," "Advanced Christian Writer," and the Oregon Christian Writers' Newsletter. She speaks and teaches at Christian Writers' Conferences nationwide. Sally is the mother of 3 and grandmother of 8. She and her husband, Norm, spend their free time vacationing on the Oregon coast.


Check out her blog!


ABOUT THE BOOK:
The essential reference tool for the Christian writer, Sally Stuart’s Christian Writers’ Market Guide is now in its 23rd annual edition!


Check out the section on Blogging on page 69...the CFBA is listed!


Writers’ Conference listings, Book Publishers, Magazine Publishers, and a Bookstore filled with the resources you need to be successful in this business. Get a Book Contract or Manuscript Evaluation, and check out the Writer’s Resource links. This book has all you need to connect to all these valuable helps for the beginning, intermediate, or professional writer.



To keep you up to date with the latest marketing news, visit Sally Stuart’s new marketing blog, Christian Writers’ Marketplace, at http://www.stuartmarket.blogspot.com/.



A new, updated version of the Christian Writers’ Market Guide is available about January 15 each year.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Guest Reviewer: Going Home & On Her Own


Reviews by Callie Laney

I've always been fascinated with the Amish. It started back in elementary school when I read Shoo-Fly Girl by Lois Lensky. In my later adult years I've become acquainted with Beverly Lewis, Wanda E. Brunstetter, and a few others.

Most recently I've been reading Wanda E. Brunstetter. In her "Brides of Webster County" series, she travels to the Amish community in Missouri. In Book One, Going Home, the story is told about a young widowed mother who is forced to return home because of dire circumstances. After a decade of living "fancy" it is quite an adjustment for Faith and her youn daughter to return to plain life. Faith has no intention of really changing her religious beliefs and plans to leave again asap. Through a series of accidents, her departure is delayed. Finally she and her parents are able to overcome most of the misunderstandings that caused her to leave her Amish home. This book is full of humor. The male character is extremely likeable. This is an enjoyable read.

In Book Two, On Her Own, a recently widowed Amish woman, Barbara Zook struggles with grief, postpartum depression, the conflict between being a stay-at-home mom or a career woman (she owns a harness shop.) Can she find a way to raise her children, keep her shop, and find fulfillment? Or will she be forced to marry the bishop who has four teenage daughters of his own to raise? You just might be surprised with some of the endings!

http://www.wandabrunstetter.com/

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

CFBA: Happily Even After


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Happily Even After (#3 - Sassy Sistahood Series)

(Steeple Hill January 1, 2008)

by

Marilynn Griffith



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Marilynn Griffith is mom to a tribe, wife to a deacon and proof that God gives second chances. While best known for her colorful novels about friendship, family and faith, Marilynn is also a speaker and nonfiction writer.

Her nonfiction has been included in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN'S SOUL and several other devotionals and magazines. Currently, Marilynn is editor of the SISTAHFAITH:BELIEVING BEYOND SHAME anthology. She is also the founder of Faithchick.com, a blog for faith fiction readers.

Marilynn is the author of six novels dealing with issues such as teen pregnancy, AIDS, abstinence, stress relief, single parenting and marriage. Her recent fiction titles include TANGERINE and IF THE SHOE FITS.

Marilynn has served as Vice President and Publicity Officer of American Christian Fiction Writers. She speaks to youth, women and writers about believing beyond boundaries and daring to reach dreams.

Marilynn lives in Florida with her husband and seven children whom she taught at home for seven years. When not chasing toddlers, helping with homework or trying to find her husband a clean shirt, she can be found scribbling furiously on her next novel.

To book Marilynn for media interviews, speaking engagements, Serious Fun fiction parties or book club call-ins, please contact her thru her WEBSITE.



ABOUT THE BOOK
Superwoman doesn't live here!

I marry a gorgeous executive, have a baby, lose all the weight (most of it), and move to a fine house in the suburbs with a welcoming new church. Wait...did I say welcoming?

One teeny waaah! and new mothers and their crying babies are exiled to a separate room. At least there's some enlightening conversation. Like about my husband and issues I didn't even know about!

And then there's my aptly named mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, who can't stand me.

I'm about to lose my mind! So it's high time for a visit to the Sassy Sistahood for some much-needed advice about men, marriage and motherhood!

The Sassy Sistahood: They get by with a little help from their friends.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

I'm not big on making New Years' resolutions. They're always a bit too grandiose and out of reach. Completely unrealistic. Like I'm going to wake up suddenly *different* one morning and be this perfect person. Change takes work, and since it requires consistency day after day after day whether you "feel" like it or not. It is always easier to put it off, push it aside, say you'll make the effort next week or next month. But concrete goals are a different matter. I'm not saying that I don't want to achieve loftier goals for the new year. But I'd rather have a few realistic ones than a long list of dreams and wishes.

I'm happy with how things are at Becky's Book Reviews. I like the structure of having interviews on Mondays and Travel-the-World features on Wednesdays. I like having reviews at all times in between. I like participating in the occasional meme. And I do enjoy posting the occasional youtube video. :) You need to insert a little fun into your life now and then. And those seemingly off-topic posts do just that for me.

But I would like to see more structure and polish at two of my other sites. Young Readers is a blog I created for reviewing books for those aged 0 to 9. But my philosophy has been, review what you want, when you want. I might post six reviews in one or two days...but then not post again for two weeks. I would *love* to commit to seven reviews a week. But, I'm realistic as well. I'd be happy to commit to five reviews a week. But even with five as my target goal, I'm unsure how quickly this change will come about. I need to change my thinking. I know that good things are possible. I just have to *want* it badly enough to work for it.

I would also like to see more structure at my Christian site, Becky's Christian Reviews. I am semi-ashamed of this one. I had high hopes of being wonder-woman. A woman who could review a new young adult book each and every day. WHILE also reading Christian fiction or nonfiction for review. It was a laughable scheme in some ways. I still want to make a success of it. But the truth is, I'm not sure how to redeem it. In the summer, I set a goal of reading 5 to 7 young adult books a week, and 2-3 Christian books a week. I would *like* to commit to that for this new year as well. BUT I'm hesitating a bit. I don't know how realistic it is in the long-term. So my perhaps realistic goal--maybe--is to read 8 Christian books a month. Given the month, that would equal one and a half books a week. (Some months it might be closer to two books a week.) That seems more feasible. But it might still be a stretch. Still, I'm willing to give it a try.

My non-blogging goals (yes, I have those too!) include the unrealistic goal or expectation that I would actually listen to the podcasts I download each day. I am subscribed, currently, to twelve podcasts. Five of the twelve only update once a week, but seven post new episodes five days a week. They vary in length from thirteen minutes to thirty minutes. I've been "listening" to some of these for several years. But I average listening to maybe 2 to 5% of what I actually download. Which is just sad.

Another goal I have for the new year is to read the Bible. I'm not going to blog about it. Since I've started blogging, particularly blogging for Becky's Book Reviews, I've read and prayed less and less and less and less. I have minute by minute, day by day, perhaps without making a deliberate, firm decision sacrificed my private time for devotions and instead devoted my time to reading books for review. So I'd like to change that. I'd like to make God a priority again. I still plan on reading books full-time. But I'd like to change my life--perhaps reduce TV time if I must--so that I can have twenty or thirty minutes of devotions each day as well. I've never struggled finding time to do the things I want--reading books or watch tv or listening to music--yet I make excuses about not having time for God. I need to change, transform, my thinking on this one. I think I'd be happier if I did.

Read more...