Thursday, September 30, 2010

GEARING UP, BUCKLING DOWN, & OTHERWISE STAYING BUSY

Funny how it was easy to come back from Conference with renewed energy to pour my heart onto the page and do all-things-writing, but not so easy to get back into the workout routine or clean the floors. (All in good time, I keep telling myself!)

Seeing as how the last 10 days have breezed by without my accomplishing everything I had in mind, I decided to write my to-do list for the rest of this week and next week coming up. And yes, I intend to bore you with the mundane tasks that are clogging my conscience. If I have to do them then my friends have to read them =P

*clean floors

*pay bills

*exercise--particularly hard to start again. I ran (actually walked/slooooow jogged) the most embarrassing 3 miles on Monday.

*get ready for NOVEL TRACK--goal 51,000 words (If you're a writer and a member of ACFW and haven't signed up for this, what's stopping you???) This requires my jumping back into a previously started story and I need to hang out with my characters a bit before pretending I know what's going on

*crit for bud Erica Vetsch--always fun to see what she's come up with!

*plot NANO novel--this will require a bit of research. Not my forte, but necessary this time. Also, it will take me more than a week. I plan to have every single scene planned by NANO Eve (known to civilians as Halloween or Oct 31)

What's on your list? Any pressing goals you'd like to share?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

JUDGMENT DAY

How is it that I haven't ever read a Wanda Dyson book before? LOL, it's like Discover-Great-Authors-Month around here! Judgment Day has a fast-moving plot with a horrific twist that seems oddly plausible. I loved the dialogue and banter, and the tight writing where not one word was wasted kept me racing through pages to see what would happen. Here's where I'm not clear....is this part of a series? The hero and heroine have a history, but it reads like a stand alone. In any case, I'd love to see this duo in future books to follow their romance. Suspense fans will love Judgment Day!


This week, the



Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing



Judgment Day
WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2010)



by
Wanda Dyson






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Wanda Dyson – "a shining example of what Christian fiction is becoming..." (Christian Fiction Review). She's been called a "natural" and a "master of pacing," but her fans know that whether it's police thrillers, suspense, or bringing a true story to life, Wanda knows how to take her readers on a journey they'll never forget.



Wanda is a multipublished suspense author, currently writing for Random House/Waterbrook. Her one attempt at a nonfiction book was picked for an exclusive release on Oprah. In addition to writing full time, she is also the appointment coordinator for the CCWC, Great Philadelphia Christian Writers, and ACFW conferences.



Wanda lives in Western Maryland on a 125 acre farm with a menagerie of animals and when she's not writing critically acclaimed suspense, or away at conferences, you can find her zipping across the fields on a 4-wheeler with Maya, her German Shepherd, or plodding along at a more leisurely pace on her horse, Nanza.



With the release of her newest hit, Judgment Day, Wanda is heading back to the keyboard to start on her next high-octane thriller, The Vigilante.





ABOUT THE BOOK




Sensational journalism has never been so deadly.



The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions.



Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find her deceased boyfriend, Dr. Guy Mandeville’s nurse, Cecelia Forbes unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Cecelia is dead, Suzanne has her blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancĂ©–the man she betrayed in college.



Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.



Watch the book trailer:







If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Judgment Day, go HERE.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!

Going to the ACFW conference this year was like the breath of God to my soul, exactly what I needed in this season. Yes, I had great appointments, but the time spent in Indy was more significant than that (although wow--I was excited!) The biggest thing I took away was the confirmation that I'm walking in God's calling. It's so easy when you face closed doors to start thinking you've gone off on your own bunny trail and you're in the weeds, walking alone in the wilderness. In sooooo many ways, God overtly confirmed that I am right where He wants me--and that pertains to all areas of life, not just writing.

Unfortunately, I was BAD with the camera, meaning I hardly remembered to take it out. Ugh. The one time I get to see my writing buds and the camera was somewhere at the bottom of the bag fending off crumbs. I hung out with many more friends than you'll see in the few photos I took, but I will at least share what I have.





Becky Yauger, Me, Erica Vetsch, and Cathy West on banquet night. So glad we all eventually found one another. The place was packed!


Here is Erica and I, and this is the picture we texted to Betsy the first night we arrived. Last year when I couldn't make it, they texted me a similar picture. Very sad for all my friends who were unable to attend. Make plans now for next year!


Here's me with blogging bud and now real life friend Patti Lacy. You are so much fun! I really treasured our time together :D





Fellow list hostess Camy Tang poses with me in the hall. One of the few times we had to chat, but looking forward to meeting up again!


Here are some favorites:

Favorite Conference Song--Revelation Song

Favorite Dessert--Raspberry Cake. Only in conference land do you get dessert with every meal.

Favorite Memory--wow, too many to name, too hard to pick! However, I do believe there was some gut-wrenching laughter that will stick with me for days to come.

Favorite Overused Vegetable--asparagus, of course!

The bottom line: God is so good. He knew what I needed, and He filled my cup to overflowing from the moment I stepped off the plane, until the moment I flew home with an unexpected bump up to 1st class. I love my friends, new and not-so-new. Excellent roommates, and good times....good times....

Though it's a writing conference, the truth is that it's all about Him.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DING DING DING--WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to Julia Reffner on winning the IMMANUEL'S VEINS T-shirt. It is super cool and a conversation starter.

On a side note--I read the entire book on the plane ride to Indy, and wow. Just wow. Took me a while to figure out what was going on, but amazing story. Read it!

Friday, September 17, 2010

THE BLACK MADONNA



Total action-packed, high-octane adventure. This book would be great as a movie! While the characters are part of a series, I didn't have a problem getting to know them. Certain relationships I would have liked to read from the beginning, so coming into the middle was tricky coming, but the author does a good job of making this a stand alone book. Interesting premise that played out well. I recommend it, especially if you are (or know of) a male reader who loves action!

About the book:

Antiquarian Storm Syrrell is in desperate need of cash. When a nameless, faceless client calls her with a request to track down a non-existent antique rumored to bear miraculous healing in its being, Storm should say no. But the man's pockets are deep.
What desperation leads a man to pay millions for a glimpse of hope?
Storm hopes the answer won't be the death of her business...or her.

Author Bio:

Known by his fans as the, "Gentleman Adventurer" Davis Bunn is a multi-award winning best-selling author who consistently delivers engaging stories and thrilling adventures. He has served as the Novelist in Residence at Oxford University for the past ten years and was recently invited into BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts).

Davis Bunn is a lover of adventure in many forms, including his decades-long involvement in surfing (yes, he's been bitten by a shark). Fluent in three languages, Bunn's travels include Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He and his wife, Isabella, divide their time between homes in England and Florida's West Coast.

Learn more about the unique life and mind of Davis Bunn at www.DavisBunn.com.

GET YOUR COPY HERE!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

PETRA CITY IN STONE

I'm a big T.L. Higley fan. Reading Petra City in Stone was like being inside the amazing city, walking amongst the early Christians. As with her other historicals, after reading the book I really wanted to dig in and discover more about the time and place. Really enjoyable read!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:




and the book:



B&H Books (September 15, 2010)

***Special thanks to T.L. Higley for sending me a review copy.***


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Tracy started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. After attending Philadelphia Biblical University, she earned a B.A. in English Literature at Rowan University. She then spent ten years writing drama presentations for church ministry. A lifelong interest in history and mythology has led Tracy to extensive research into ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome, and shaped her desire to shine the light of the gospel into the cultures of the past. She has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy to research her novels, and looks forward to more travel as the series continues.


Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $ 14.99
Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: B&H Books (September 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1433668564
ISBN-13: 978-1433668562

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


The streets of Rome lay barren and empty, sucked dry by the colossal Flavian Amphitheatre that had swallowed seventy-five thousand Roman citizens in a single gulp, and would hold each one captive until they had enjoyed the horrors that Julian now raced to prevent.

More time. He needed more time. Already the crowd inside the four-story rim of stone cheered for the first event.

Julian’s sandals smacked the black basalt road that led toward the amphitheatre. The blistering Roman sun pounded the moisture from his skin and left him panting. He had run most of way, since an old servant in Vita’s house had pointed a gnarled finger toward the east, toward the Forum, toward the arena of death.

Eighty arches ringed the outside of the theatre on each of its first three stories. The bottom arches provided access to the public, and the second story’s niches held statues of the gods and emperors, who now looked down on Julian as he sprinted across the large travertine slabs that paved the arena’s edge.

He ran toward one of the four main entrances and fumbled for the tessera, the stone tile he wore around his neck. The designatores at the entrance would insist on examining it, to see the sector, row and seat to which he was assigned.

Indeed, the usher at this entrance was full of his own importance, and held a palm to Julian’s oncoming rush as though he could stop him with only the force of his arm.

“Too long in your bed this morning, eh?” His smug smile took in Julian’s hastily-wrapped toga and sweat-dampened hair.

Julian thrust the tessera before the man’s eyes. “Here, here, look at it.”

Still the amused smile. The usher opened his mouth to speak again.

“Look at it!”

Daunted, the man let his eyes travel over the tile, then took a tiny breath and stepped back. His grin faded to a look of regret over his own impudence, and he bowed his head. As if that were not enough, he bowed at the waist and extended a hand to invite Julian to enter.

Julian did not wait for an apology. He pushed past the usher and under the vaulted entrance, then straight through the arena’s outer corridor and up a ramp that led to the cavea, the wedge-shaped sections of marble seats. This main entrance led directly to the central boxes reserved for the elite.

He exploded from the dimly lit ramp onto the terrace. The morning sun slashed across half the seats, the height of the amphitheatre leaving the other half in shade. The red canvas velarium, the awning used to shade the spectators, would be raised before it got much hotter, but for now, thousands of bleached togas on white marble blinded the eye and the smell of the masses assaulted the nose.

Julian crossed the terrace in two strides, slammed against the waist-high wall that separated him from the arena, and saw a figure dash at him from the shadows.

His mother’s hands were on his arms in an instant. “Julian, what are you doing?” Her words were frantic, as clipped and terror-filled as his every movement.

“They have Vita, Mother!”

She wrenched his body fiercely to face her. Julian stood nearly a cubit taller than his mother, but Ariella had retained all the strength of her youth, along with the beauty. “There is nothing that can be done, my son.”

He yanked his arms from her grasp. “Do not say that!” Julian searched the cavea behind him, full to overflowing with the purple-edged togas of senators. “Where is Father? Is he here?”

“Julian, think! You must think.” Ariella’s voice was urgent and low and her clutching fingers again slowed Julian’s restlessness. “You will bring more harm – “

“I do not care!” His voice snagged with emotion, and he fought to harden the feelings into action. “I must end this.”

“You cannot, son.”

He turned flashing eyes on Ariella. “It is my fault! Do you not understand? I should be down in those cages.”

Ariella’s eyes misted. “I would not lose both my son and his betrothed on the same day.”

Betrothed. The word washed more guilt over Julian’s stricken soul.

A senator, one of his father’s friends, walked past and paused to hold out an arm in greeting to Julian. “Fine day for the games, is it not?”

Julian straightened at once, resuming the noble bearing trained into him since childhood, and returned the man’s grip. He nodded once in agreement, but did not speak. The senator moved on, and Julian dropped his shoulders, ashamed that he had not made a statement.

Ariella seemed to read his thoughts. Her dark eyes held his own. “It will take more than a day to change the Empire.”

Julian looked out over the yellow sand of the arena. “But this day, Mother, this day we must!” He slapped a hand against the top of the marble wall. “I am going to find Father.”

“Julian, you know that he can do nothing – “

He spun on her. “No. I am tired of both of you, always moving about your circles quietly, behind closed doors, the truth spoken only in whispers.” He lifted his own voice as an example. “There is a time to speak!”

Ariella’s nostrils flared, but she said nothing. Turning from her, Julian stalked to the nearest break in the seating and ascended the tiers alongside his father’s section. Here, the nobility did not sit on wooden planks as the rest of the citizens, but were given cushions or even chairs for comfort. He scanned the rows of seats for his father’s graying head, and instead met his dark gray eyes.

Julian shook his head and opened his mouth to shout across the intervening seats, but his father held up a hand, then stood and excused himself from his colleagues. He slid along in front of a dozen other senators, and emerged at the end of the row beside Julian.

Quietly, he spoke into his son’s ear. “I have just now heard. It is outrageous.”

Julian’s hands balled into fists at his side. “You must do something.”

“What can I do, Julian? The emperor has ruled, and Trajan is not a man to be defied.”

Across the arena, Julian watched as a trapdoor slid upward and a huddled band of men and women were prodded onto the sand at the end of Roman spears. Julian’s heart pounded with the shortness of the time left and he turned on his father with the frenzy of desperation. “She is out there, Father!”

But his father’s eyes held only grief, not anger. Not the fiery anger that could change the future, even now.

Julian pushed past him, down the steps. If his parents would do nothing from their positions of influence, then he would stop this madness from a position of strength.

It had been his fault, all of it. Trajan had made his stance clear. As long as they kept to themselves, did not flaunt their disagreement with imperial policy, did not take a public stand, they would be left alone. But that had not been enough for Julian. Passionate about the truth, eager to show himself a leader and foolish enough to believe himself invincible, he had spoken too loudly, in too many places.

And now this. Vita and the others arrested, convicted, and sentenced without his knowledge. Julian had brought this on them all, but he had escaped their fate.

At the terrace level he circled the arena toward the imperial box. The amphitheatre was one of the few places where the public had access to the divine emperor. Julian grasped at the thin hope that he could get near enough to plead for Vita’s life.

He had not loved her. Not like he should, though he had tried. He had never known a more virtuous woman. The arranged match between them was a good one. But Julian had never felt more than the flame of admiration and respect for her, and he saw nothing but the same in her eyes. Still, they would have been married.

We will be married.

The foot-stomps of the crowd rose around him like a hundred thousand drumbeats. The cadence resonated in his chest and pushed him forward. He knew that sound. It was the sound of a mob hungry for blood.

Terror drove his footsteps. He could not look to the arena. Not even when he heard more trapdoors rise and the low growl of beasts begin.

The crowd screamed as one, and their shouts lifted to the pale blue sky like a puff of evil smoke from the underworld. Julian’s bones seemed to turn to water. He raced on. The emperor’s raised box was in sight.

But then they were beside him again, both his parents this time, grasping at his arms, pulling him backward.

“It is too late, son.” His mother’s voice held the grief of both the present and the past, for she had seen much sorrow in the arena in her day.

His father turned him to the wall to face the sand. “You must say goodbye, Julian. You must say goodbye.”

He let his parents hold him there at the marble wall. He scraped his hands across the top, then gripped the white stone.

Lions. Six of them. Circling, circling the knot of friends in the center of the bright yellow sand that had been brought from one of the hills of Rome and spread on wooden planking to soak up the blood of gladiator, beast, and the condemned.

The lions charged at once, but for Julian, the moment stretched out, like a thread of silk spun from a slow-turning wheel, and though the crowd still bellowed, in his head all had gone silent and he saw only his group of friends, crumpling in on themselves like sand flowing into a sinkhole.

The lions must have roared before they pounced, though Julian heard nothing, and felt only the relentless scraping of his own hands across the stone wall. He scraped until his hands were torn and bloody, wanting to bleed with her, wanting to bleed with all of them, as he should have.

The sun had risen to pour its rays into the center of the arena, and the yellow sand beneath them turned to molten gold in the light, an oval of liquid gold with Vita and the others drowning in the center of it. He saw her face for a moment, lifted to heaven.

His mind disconnected and drifted strangely, then, to the words at the end of the Apostle John’s Revelation, and his vision of the New Jerusalem with its streets of pure gold.

Would Vita fall asleep in this golden sand and wake to streets of gold?

The beasts did their job well and quickly, and when it was over and the mutilated bodies of his friends lay scattered across the sand, Julian woke from his stupor and felt the guilt of every lost life bear down on him as though the stones around him had collapsed on his head. He tasted bile rising in his throat, and turned away from the wall to retch onto the paving stones.

His parents held his arms as he emptied the contents of his stomach. He heard the jeers directed toward him. When he stood, the tear-streaked faces of both his parents matched his own.

But he found no solace in their shared grief. They did not have to bear the guilt of it as he did. As he always would. He pulled from their embrace and escaped the amphitheatre, running back the way he had come, running like a haunted man.

Days later, when his guilt and grief had hardened into bitter anger, he tried once again to change the minds and policies of the Roman government. But in the end he brought only more disgrace, and more danger, upon his family.

In the cool of the evening three days after Vita’s death, he stood at the terrace wall of his father’s lavish villa in the Roman countryside, looking down into the flowered gardens his mother had commissioned, and listening to the fountain that trickled night and day into the central pool. He inhaled deeply of the night air, dragging in the scent of roses.

His guilt over Vita’s death had not abated, and he had added to it with his actions in the days since. His brazen words in the Senate House, and later the Forum, had identified him as one who should have also met his death in the arena that day.

Perhaps that was his wish. To be arrested himself, to be thrown before the gaping yaw of a dozen lions, to be given what he deserved.

But his family. He had not wanted the same for his family. His only brother, long since stationed in some military outpost, had never embraced the family’s beliefs, but even he could be reached by the long arm of the empire, and brought back to face condemnation with the rest.

Behind him, slaves stirred to prepare the evening meal and lit torches on the veranda. His parents would appear soon and they would all pretend that their privileged life continued.

But Julian had made a decision. His life in Rome was over. To protect his family, he must disappear.

He thought of his brother’s stories of the provinces that lay at the edges of the Empire. Of Britannia, of Judea. But even there the Roman army could search out a man. No, he must go further east than even Judea.

There was a place, a hidden city he had heard tales of since he was a boy. Stories that had sparked his imagination and given him the desire to travel across the desert sand to discover the city tucked between the rock cliffs of Arabia.

Petra. Capital of the Nabatean kingdom, wealthy center of the east-west trade route, and beyond even the Roman Empire’s reach.

Julian rubbed his hands together, palms still raw from being torn open the day Vita died. Yes, it was a good plan.

He would flee to Petra.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

IMMANUEL'S VEINS

Oh man, I just got the book so I haven't had a chance to read it. Definitely looking forward to it, especially after watching the trailer. Lots of cool things about this promotion, the first one being a cool T-Shirt giveaway! It's a conversation starter (I wore it the other day.) ENTER YOUR NAME & EMAIL in the comments section, and I will draw next Tuesday when I come back from ACFW.

The second super cool thing, is they're asking us to discuss what sacrificial love means to us. I took a day to absorb the question and think beyond my first response (Jesus giving up his life.) Giving up your life IS the biggest sacrifice, but it's not what most of us are, in a literal sense, called to.

Instead, most of us have to die to ourselves daily to show sacrificial love. Who do you love so much that you immediately put their needs before yours, knowing that your desires will then not be fulfilled?

Anyhoo, those are my rambling thoughts. Please tell me yours!



This week, the



Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing



Immanuel's Veins
Thomas Nelson (September 7, 2010)



by
Ted Dekker






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Ted Dekker is a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.



Early in his career he wrote a number of spiritual thrillers and his novels were lumped in with ‘Christian Fiction’ a surprisingly large category. His later novels are a mix of mainstream novels such as Adam, Thr3e, Skin, Obsessed and BoneMan’s Daughters, and fantasy thrillers that metaphorically explore faith. Best known among these is his Circle Series: Green, Black, Red, White and The Paradise Books: Showdown, Saint, and Sinner.



Dekker was born to missionaries who lived among the headhunter tribes of Indonesia. Because his parents’ work often included extended periods of time away from their children, Dekker describes his early life in a culture to which he was a stranger as both fascinating and lonely. It is this unique upbringing that forced him to rely on his own imagination to create a world in which he belonged.



After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States to study philosophy and religion. Upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree, he entered the corporate world and proceeded to climb the proverbial ladder. But his personal drive left him restless and, after many successful years, he traded corporate life for wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits that included buying and selling businesses, healthcare services, and marketing.



In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before starting from scratch and rewriting both. Now fully enamored by the the process and the stories, he realized that storytelling was in his blood and a new obsession to explore truth through story gripped him anew.



He sold his business, moved his family to the mountains of Western Colorado and began writing full-time on his third novel. Two years and three novels later his first novel, Heaven’s Wager, was published.



Now, Dekker’s novels had sold over 3.4 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.



ABOUT THE BOOK




This story is for everyone--but not everyone is for this story.



It is a dangerous tale of times past. A torrid love story full of deep seduction. A story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice.



Then as now, evil begins its courtship cloaked in light. And the heart embraces what it should flee. Forgetting it once had a truer lover.



With a kiss, evil will ravage body, soul, and mind. Yet there remains hope, because the heart knows no bounds.



Love will prove greater than lust. Sacrifice will overcome seduction. And blood will flow.



Because the battle for the heart is always violently opposed. For those desperate to drink deep from this fountain of life, enter.



But remember, not everyone is for this story.



If you'd like to read the first chapter of Immanuel's Veins, go HERE.



Watch the book trailer:



Monday, September 13, 2010

WHAT I WILL NOT BE WEARING TO CONFERENCE

As the masses prepare to descend on Indianapolis for the annual ACFW Conference, there is much discussion on what to wear for appointments, down time, and of course the banquet. Because I am on a limited budget, I have to spend my clothing/hair/accessory allowance wisely. Therefore I have put together a list of what you will not see me in at conference.

While I've long had a fascination with capes, this year's styles give me pause. Because I have a fear of molting at dinner, I've decided not to purchase this little beauty:


There's a somewhat disturbing trend this year toward all things animal. And while I do so adore the Yeti, I don't want his feet for shoes.....



.....even though they would go smashingly with the fur jumpsuit that seems to be all the rage. Thankfully it will be too warm in Indianapolis to don one of these babies:


And besides....the PETA people scare me.

The number one thing you won't find me wearing at the ACFW conference is the Alexander McQueen Platform shoe:



But only because I can't find them for less than $900.

There you have it, friends! And now....off to pack.....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

FOR TIME AND ETERNITY


This is my first Allison Pittman book, and I LOVED it! The topic of Mormonism and plural marriage always peaks my interest, and For Time and Eternity delivers. The deception that the heroine initially goes through is so well written, that I could totally see why she felt that she was following truth. And in the end....well....I won't give it away. All I can say is that I am first in line for the sequel. Highly recommend!








Back Cover:

All Camilla Deardon knows of the Mormons camping nearby is the songs she hears floating on the breeze. Then she meets one of them--a young man named Nathan Fox. Never did she imagine he would be so handsome, so charming, especially after Mama and Papa's warnings to stay away.

Though she knows she should obey her parents, Camilla can't refuse her heart. But even Nathan's promises cannot prepare her for what she will face in Utah.

GET YOUR COPY HERE!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

THE THORN

Sadly, this book just arrived and I am a notoriously slow reader, and therefore haven't a clue what it's like. But I can say that as a long-time Beverly Lewis fan, I'm anxious to see the characters and experience their world. For some reason, every time I read one of her books I feel the need to turn off the television and bake something. Go figure.


This week, the



Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing



The Thorn
Bethany House (September 7, 2010)



by
Beverly Lewis






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Not until her own children were well into middle school did Bev seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular CUL-DE-SAC KIDS series of chapter books—see list of Bev's children's books).



Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, THE HERITAGE OF LANCASTER COUNTY, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."



Booksellers across the country, and around the world, have spread the word of Bev's tender tales of Plain country life. A clerk in a Virginia bookstore wrote, "Beverly's books have a compelling freshness and spark. You just don't run across writing like that every day. I hope she'll keep writing stories about the Plain people for a long, long time."



A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and playing with their three grandchildren. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."







ABOUT THE BOOK




Lancaster County, with its rolling meadows and secret byways, may seem idyllic, but it is not without its thorns. THE ROSE TRILOGY is the stirring saga of two Amish sisters on the fringes of the church, and the unforeseen discoveries that change their lives.



Rose Kauffman, a spirited young woman, has a close friendship with the bishop's foster son. Nick dresses Plain and works hard but stirs up plenty of trouble too. Rose's sister cautions her against becoming too involved, but Rose is being courted by a good, Amish fellow, so dismisses the warnings.



Meanwhile, Rose keeps house for an English widower but is startled when he forbids her to ever go upstairs. What is the man hiding? Rose's older sister, Hen, knows more than she should about falling for the wrong man. Unable to abandon her Amish ways, Hen is soon separated from her very modern husband.



Mattie, their young daughter, must visit her father regularly, but Hen demands she wear Amish attire--and speak Pennsylvania Dutch, despite her husband's wishes. Will Hen be able to reestablish her place among the People she abandoned? And will she be able to convince Rose to steer clear of rogue neighbor Nick?



Watch the book trailer:











If you would like to read the first chapter of The Thorn, go HERE.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I SURVIVED THE GERM-INFESTED, OVERCROWDED, ULTRA PUBLIC SPECTACLE KNOWN AS....

......the County Fair. {insert full body shudder}

Yesterday morning my husband and youngest daughter woke up as the sun barely slid over the horizon, and within in minutes were dressed and ready to go. Soon, the middle child was ready to join in the fun. Oldest precious daughter was not quite as anxious, but still wanted to get into the mix of things.

The only one dragging behind happened to be the one who usually rushes everyone out the door--me.

There's just something about the dust and noise and germs that makes me cringe every time the fair comes to town. Being a good sport, I trudge along, if only to make sure hubby and oldest daughter don't load the littles onto the Gravitron or other vominator-type rides they aren't ready for.

Maybe it all comes down to previous bad experiences. You see, when I was about 4 or 5, I was injured because a ride operator started the ride before I was sitting and I mashed my forehead. Or maybe it was because while pregnant with my middle child I was so enormous I got stuck in the bathroom stall. In any case, I could easily take a pass, but I go year after year....after year....because I'm a mom.

The day turned out well, and we had fun with grandma and grandpa taking pictures of every turn of every ride the kids went on. Of course, I forced everyone to have a shower and scrub off the fair germs after the whole thing was over.

Favorite ride for the kidlets: Aqua Bubble
Favorite snack for me: deep fried cheesecake

How about you and the county fair: love it or hate it?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Georgiana's Spin on Conference Prep

And it has nothing to do with writing. After attending two whole conferences, I like to think of myself as somewhat of an expert =P

There's a cornucopia of information out there about designing one-sheets, business cards, and elevator pitches. I want to mention a few things that have helped me in a big way that I will do again over the next few weeks before the ACFW conference.

1. Prayer--this is so amazingly obvious, but it bears mention. Without God's direction, provision, and timing, what's the point?

2. Sleep--In order to be fully ready to participate in activities from early morning breakfast to the late night hubbub you must be rested. It's tempting to push yourself to get every last minute detail in order, but don't. REST!

3. Sleep--LOL! This should really be called 2A. If you're coming from somewhere besides the Central Time Zone, adjust your sleeping patterns. I'm 2 hours behind conference time, which means that if breakfast starts at 7:00 a.m., that's really 5:00 a.m. my time. That means getting up at 4:00 a.m. my time to get ready for breakfast. What kind of nutball does that?

Therefore, the two weeks leading up to conference, I'm slowing readjusting my body clock so it's not a shocker to get up in what is essentially the middle of the night. OK, this morning I didn't fare so well, but the point is that I'm trying!

4. Vitamins and cold prevention. This is the time of year that my children hack and have the sniffles. A changing of the season will do that. Sometimes it's best not to get to kissy-kissy with those lil' boogers (haha, seriously no pun!) and take all my vitamins, and eat healthy, to stay strong. Just say no to germs!

5. And finally....lists. This is hugely important if you are leaving a family at home. My life runs on list after list. My husband will be shocked when he sees the schedule, but I want to prepare him well in advance for gymnastics, soccer practice, games, and a host of activities that fall under "other."

There you have it, my top five things to do while preparing for conference. Have I forgotten anything? What do you do before going away on an important trip?
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