Friday, November 28, 2008


FIELD OF BLOOD

This well-crafted and imaginative novel from Eric Wilson combines incredulous legends with just enough historical and biblical truth to make even bloodthirsty vampires seem plausible. The story opens with the demise of Judas in the field, incorporating both biblical accounts, in order to set up the false resurrection of the dead that comes later.

From the Holy Land to Romania to the state of Tennessee, the story goes back and forth between Gina Lazarescu, a Romanian girl with a past she seeks to understand, and a cluster of the undead who are out to destroy her.  Though Gina is the main character, I do wish we'd have had more page time with her in order to empathize, and perhaps a tad less with the vampires. Her troubled childhood makes her responses true to life, and leaves plenty of room for redemption. The end really kicks into high gear as Gina heads toward a showdown with the undead, and turned out to be my favorite, un-putdownable part of the book.

Though this isn't the type of novel I normally pick up, Field of Blood turned out to be an enjoyable read, especially since this is my first Eric Wilson book. It certainly won't be my last since I'm interested to see how the rest of the series plays out.

From the back cover:

Gina Lazarescu, a Romanian girl with a scarred past, has no idea she is being sought by the undead. The Collectors, those released from the Akeldama, feed on souls and human blood. But there are also the Nistarim, those who rose from their graves in the shadow of the Nazarene's crucifixion--and they still walk among us, immortal, left to protect mankind.

Gina realizes her future will depend on her understanding of the past, yet how can she protect herself from Collectors who have already died once but still live?

HERE'S THE LINK to the Thomas Nelson page for purchase. And HERE'S THE LINK to Eric Wilson's website!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A DOSE OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Of all the reasons we write, positive feedback has to be one that means the most. Yesterday I received a note from someone who read Table for One, then gave a copy to a loved one who was in the hospital recovering from a serious illness. She said, "Thank you for making the book so funny. It was just what she needed." 

Wow. It did my heart good and provided the encouragement I needed to get up early another day, write another page, and keep on trucking.

On quite the opposite front, a dearly beloved male in my family, who read my book and shall remain nameless, asked another male in my family if he was growing bosoms from reading Table for One

Uh....not sure how to take that!!! Only that I'm glad I could evoke such a powerful response. It's all about the feedback......

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

THANKFULNESS

Since it's Thanksgiving week, we need another list around here. If you guessed it's a thankful list, you're right. What you didn't count on is the fact that I already know, or can guess, what some of your top items are: salvation, family, the family of God, and the fulfillment of basic necessities. So here's where we have to dig in and get creative. What are the top 5 things you're thankful for, aside from the blessings already mentioned?

I'm thankful for...

...the God-given inclination to write stories and the support from my husband to pursue the goal.

...the privilege of staying home to mother my children.

...a renewed desire to immerse myself in the Word of God and prayer.

...the financial wisdom God provided over the last few years that positioned us for what's happening now.

...the overnight/out-of-town date my husband and I have planned next month!

Now it's your turn!

Monday, November 24, 2008

PUSH, PUSH!!!

Sweat beaded on her forehead as she beared down for the final push. Oh, the agony and searing pain! If only she'd thought twice before starting--no, those thoughts wouldn't produce the results she needed. She sucked in a deep breath and focused all her energy. She could do this. After all, she wasn't the first person to go through this. Just one more PUSH!

Giving birth? No, not this time. Unless you count trying to finish my novel giving birth. What is it about the last few thousand (or several thousand) words that gives me fits? You'd think I'd be sprinting to the finish, and yet I sit blank-eyed at the computer with 20,000 words to go.

In theory, I could write 3,000 words a day and finish this week. Never mind that it's Thanksgiving and whatnot. This morning I took a baby step in that direction: 1,600 words before I dove into e-mail. Now THAT was an accomplishment.

So c'mon my fellow writers, be good doulas and help me birth this thing! How do you make it through the final push?

Friday, November 21, 2008

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GABRIEL PHILLIPS

For the first time in a long time, I'm really puzzled about what to say. It's never been my intention to dis a novel because I know the love and sweat that goes into one. I knew going into this book there'd be some profanity, but I had no idea how much. The author intrusion sent my head spinning. And yet...I have to give the authors credit for pulling me all the way through to the end (which is saying a lot because there are about 4-5 books that I wanted to love but set aside in the last few weeks.)

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips is gritty, honest, and digs into issues of guilt and conscience. I had to keep reading to find out what really happened and how the conflict would be resolved within the main character. The ending surprised me, which doesn't usually happen since I've read so much and can usually tell where a story is going. 

The question that keeps circling back in my mind is, why did the authors choose to craft their book this way? Why all the profanity? After all, we've seen in the last few years great works of Christian fiction with raw flavor that don't resort to foul language. And why is the book told through the main character's son, who we never really meet or get to know? The whole book seems oddly put together. And yet...I read the whole thing and felt a vague sense of satisfaction at the resolution.

If you've read the book, I'd like your thoughts.



This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips

FaithWords (November 5, 2008)

by

Stephen Baldwin
&
Mark Tabb


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

STEPHEN BALDWIN - actor, family man, born-again Christian - makes his home in upstate New York with his wife and two young daughters.

Equally adept at drama and comedy, Baldwin has appeared in over 60 films and been featured on such top-rated television shows as Fear Factor and Celebrity Mole. He has his own production company that is developing projects for television and the big screen. These days, however, his role as director, co-producer and host of Livin' It - a cutting-edge skate video is bringing out his white hot passion for evangelism.

Writer and communicator Mark Tabb calls himself an “internationally unknown author.” Although his books have been published around the world, he is best known for his collaborative works. His 2008 release, “Mistaken Identity”, written with the Van Ryn and Cerak families, hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list for two weeks, and remained on the list for over two months. He and actor Stephen Baldwin teamed up on their 2005 New York Times bestseller, “The Unusual Suspect,” and with their first work of fiction, “The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips,”


ABOUT THE BOOK

Even years of experience haven't prepared Officer Andy Myers for this case---

When Officer Andy Myers met Loraine Phillips, he had no interest in her son. And he certainly never dreamed he'd respond to a call, finding that same boy in a pool of blood. Even more alarming was the father standing watch over his son's body. Myers had never seen a man respond to death-particularly the death of a child-in such a way. When the father is charged with murder and sentenced to death, he chooses not to fight but embrace it as God's will. Myers becomes consumed with curiosity for these strange beliefs. What follows is the story of the bond these two men share as they come to terms with the tragedy and the difficult choices each one must make.


If you would like to read the first chapter of The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips, go HERE

*STRONG LANGUAGE*

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WRITERS UNITE!!!

Why is it that everyone thinks it's so simple to write a book? While certain people we love (who shall remain nameless) might say they understand that books don't write themselves, I don't think they really believe it. 

Let's take my darling hubby. He told me something that literally made my mouth swing open. Are you ready for this? I don't think you are. (Keep in mind I love him to pieces!) OK, here's what he said:

"You sleep for 8 hours, work with the kids for 8 hours, and write for 8 hours." Basically implying that it was all as simple as that. (He didn't take into consideration the 3 doctor's visits, 2 trips to gymnastics, voice lessons, a sports banquet, approximately 20+ meals to cook, and kazillion loads of laundry that already filled up this week's schedule.)

Now don't get me wrong. The people in our lives, a.k.a. family and support system, mean no harm when they tell us we've got it easy. They really don't. But I'll bet I'm not the only writer who's misunderstood.

Common misconceptions about writers/writing that need to be put to rest:

*If you have a book available, you must be raking in some dough. (I laugh in the face of this one.)

*Writing a book is easy. Slap a few words together, and voila!

*Hey, you're writing about me! (Sheesh, does everyone see themselves in your book?)

Here's your chance, fellow writers--any misconceptions about the writing life you'd like laid to rest?


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FIRST LINE

I had to drag myself out of bed this morning. It was almost like my jammies were glued to the sheets. But as I lay there willing myself to put on my big-girl pants and get up, the first line of my next chapter came to me:

The air smelled of bread and coffee.

Yes! A first line is exactly what I needed to shake off the sleep dust and head for the coffee pot.

What's the first line you wrote today?

Monday, November 17, 2008

WHITE CHRISTMAS PIE


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

White Christmas Pie

Barbour Publishing, Inc (September 1, 2008)

by

Wanda E. Brunstetter



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Fascinated by the Amish people during the years of visiting her husband's family in Pennsylvania, WANDA E. BRUNSTETTER combined her interest with her writing and now has eleven novels about the Amish in print, along with numerous other stories and ministry booklets. She lives in Washington State, where her husband is a pastor, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish settlements throughout the states.

This year Wanda also publishedA Sister's Hope


ABOUT THE BOOK

Step into Amish country for this bittersweet holiday romance. Here you'll meet Will Henderson, a young man tortured by his past, and Karen Yoder, a young woman looking for answers. Add a desperate father searching for his son, and you have all the ingredients for a first-class romance that will inspire and enthrall.

Abandoned by his father, Will Henderson was raised by an Amish couple. Now he's about to marry Karen Yoder but is having second thoughts. Can Will overcome the bitterness of his past in order to secure his future? Karen cannot break through the barrier her fiance has suddenly constructed around his heart. When she seeks the advice of an old boyfriend, Will begins to see green. Has he already lost his chance for happiness?

When an accident threatens Will's life, the strength of blood ties is tested. Will a recipe for White Christmas pie contain the ingredients for a happily-ever-after?

If you would like to read the first chapter of White Christmas Pie, go HERE

Watch the book trailer:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

5 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF TODAY....

....but don't ask me how because I refuse to tell ;)

1. When I'm super nervous I crack jokes non-stop. It's like verbal vomit--I can't stop.

2. For years I've wrongly assumed I could eat any time/any place, but sometimes it's better to pass.

3. Sadly, I have a hyper-sensitive gag reflex, and it does not serve me well.

4. I look ridiculous in a paper hat.

5. I have the best family on multiple levels. God really does place us where we need to be. (**Disclaimer** I already knew this, but it's nice to have a reminder and acknowledge it once in a while!)

Your turn! 5 random facts about you:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

SWOONING!
I confess--I'm swooning over the hero in my own book as I write. My heroine put it quite eloquently: how dare he look so masculine and lovable all at the same time. Not that he won't screw it up in a few minutes, but for now he's got my attention--I mean, my heroine's attention. It's one of those scenes that makes me say, "Ahh, now that's what I'm talking about."

The great thing about writing (one of the great things, anyway) is that you can build your own hero exactly as you know a man should be. The trick is not whacking your own significant other with a pillow to the head when he doesn't match up to your fiction! Poor guy, wouldn't know what hit him.

Here are 5 random facts about my hero:

1. He almost made it to the Olympics, but bombed the trials.
2. He's the most easy going person I've ever written, which makes him the perfect complement to the uptight heroine.
3. He likes to wear Sponge Bob T-shirts.
4. He loathes having his picture taken, but for the heroine he'll make the sacrifice.
5. He makes blueberry muffins for his mama.

Your turn. Five random facts about your hero!

P.S. My hero doesn't really look like Fabio =P



Monday, November 10, 2008

52,211 and Counting

I'm not doing NANO, but the November excitement is still rubbing off on me. 52,211 is the numberI reached today. Since I cut my online time and the number of lists and networking sites I visit, my email box is looking a little empty. There's nothing that boosts word count more than an sorry looking in-box.

Try it!


Thursday, November 06, 2008

NOW YOU SEE HER, NOW YOU DON'T.....

If you've been keeping up on my recent posts, then you know that God has been nudging me to spend more time with Him. So far, I'm doing better, and much of it is attributed to reallocating my writing time to the pre-dawn hours. The other thing is.....

.....giving up some internet time. Ouch! Did I just say that? Yes, I deactivated FaceBook, and I'm looking at other places to trim. (I'll get to that in a minute.) MAN, I really do miss looking at everyone's pictures and status updates, and of course throwing the occasional sheep, but it did nothing to help me with my daily word count. Apparently I can reactivate FB someday, but I'll have to wait until I have a bit more discipline. There were also a few Yahoo writer's loops that took a hit.

Which brings me to my next point--blog time. I have a lot of fun rambling, watching videos, throwing out the occasional rant, and hanging out with all of you. But this might be a good time to cut back. Not saying I won't blog, only that it won't be every day. That's why it's important to sign up for the automatic updates!

Anyhoo, just wanted to let you know the scoop, and also to let you know that I have found life outside the internet.

No--really!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Out Of Her Hands

Tyndale House Publishers (September 22, 2008)

by

Megan DiMaria



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I was born and raised in New York State and have since lived in Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, and now I live in Colorado. My husband and I have three delightful, adult children and an old Jack Russell Terrier named
Belle who seems to find her way into my novels. My resume will tell you I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a degree in Communications, and after graduation I worked as a radio and television reporter, freelance writer, editor and marketing professional.

I'm a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and am assistant director of Words For The Journey, Rocky Mountain Region.

But what's most important to know about me is that I am a follower of Jesus, wife, mother, friend, reader and writer.

Life’s a journey, enjoy the adventures!


ABOUT THE BOOK

In this second novel by Megan DiMaria, Linda Revere is back and continuing to struggle with the turmoil of contemporary life. Linda has been praying for her children's future spouses since they were very small. Confident that her prayers will be answered, Linda is not prepared for the young woman her son brings home. But Linda soon learns that while everything she once controlled is out of her hands, God is still in control. Megan uses her trademark humor while dealing with issues to which her readers will relate.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Out Of Her Hands, go HERE

"No sophomore slump for DiMaria! This novel (Out of Her Hands) is as engaging and meaningful as her first, Searching for Spice. Her realistic portrayal of the characters' lives should endear them to readers and help Christians to feel less alone in their daily trials."
~Romantic Times Magazine, 4 ½ stars TOP PICK!

“Life in Linda's world is messy...but filled with love, laughter, struggle and faith. Megan has created a most real heroine for us to love...and I adore her!”
~Deena Peterson, reviewer: A Peek at my Bookshelf

“Megan DiMaria crafts a novel so compelling, so real, you forget you're reading fiction.”
~Darcie Gudger, reviewer: TitleTrakk

"This is a great read for a quiet afternoon or in those times when you feel your own life spinning out of control and need the reality check of knowing you're not in it alone."
~Amazon reviewer

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

WAIT, THE POLLS ARE WRONG...

....because no one called me =)

You know what that means--it's time to get out and VOTE!!!!

In honor of the election, here are my favorite clips of the season. Some you've seen, and some you may not have unless you're a junkie like me.








And CLICK HERE to see my favorite (since Blogger is being a goober!)

Here's your question for today....

DID YOU VOTE?!?!?!

Monday, November 03, 2008

GREAT NEWS ABOUNDS!!!!

I'm thrilled to be the bearer of glad tidings. As you probably know, my friend and crit partner Betsy St. Amant received a contract with Steeple Hill/Love Inspired for her book Return to Love, about a New Orleans penguin keeper. 

Well, I'm pleased to announce that she has received ANOTHER contract for the sequel, tentatively titled Taste of Love!!!!!!! This one is a spunky romance about a New Orleans chocolatier--and I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do.

Let's hear it for our Betsy! 

fireworks Pictures, Images and Photos
A STRIKING POINT

At church this weekend our pastor made a striking point: King David didn't write a blog post every day to the army of Israel, nor did he made sure he Twittered. Ouch. While I don't intend to stop blogging, the message really punched me in the gut as it confirmed what I wrote about last week

He also asked us what we're filling ourselves with that keeps us from being hungry for God. When the service drew to a close, he told us to pray quietly about our own situations, and sure enough God pointed out something else that I need to work on that goes beyond simply spending more time in the word. 

Are you ready for this?

I sure wasn't.....

.......

.......

.......

I need to balance how much time I spend reading fiction vs. how much time I spend reading my Bible.

While it sounds simple on the surface, this goes much deeper for me because you all know how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE good books. Not that the Bible isn't a good book, becuase it's THE Good Book, but escape fiction has been, well, my escape. 

Yet another "thing" to work on. Still, I know it's all about a closer walk.

Any convictions on your end recently?
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