Sunday, December 30, 2007

Brittanie's 2007 Favorite Books

In no particular order here are my favorite books for 2007 published in 2007.

1. Saving Sailor by Renee Riva

2. Let Them Eat Cake by Sandra Byrd

3. Miss Match and Rematch by Erynn Mangum

4. Sushi For One ? by Camy Tang

5. Off the Record by Elizabeth White

6. Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson

7. Death of a Garage Sale Newbie by Sharon Dunn

8. Life, Libby, and the Pursuit of Happiness by Hope Lyda

9. In Between and On the Loose by Jenny B. Jones

10. Crimson Eve by Brandilyn Collins

11. Bayou Justice by Robin Carroll

12. Return to Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fall Reading Challenge Recap


Brittanie's Fall Reading List Recap:

Fiction:
“Nobody” by Creston Mapes
“To Trust a Stranger” by Lynn Bullock
“Bayou Justice” by Robin Caroll
“Crimson Eve” by Brandilyn Collins
“Shattered Justice” by Karen Ball
“ The Betrayal” by Lisa T. Bergren
“The Begotten” by Lisa T. Bergren
“Defiance” by Don Brown
“Divided Loyalties” by L.K. Malone
“The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney” by Randy Singer
“Bittersweet” by Cathy Marie Hake
“Saving Sailor” by Renee Riva
“Without a Trace” by Colleen Coble
“Beyond a Doubt” by Colleen Coble
“Into the Deep” by Colleen Coble
“Nadia” by Susan Downs and Susan May Warren
“Marina” by Susan Downs and Susan May Warren
“Oksana” by Susan Downs and Susan May Warren
“Ekaterina” by Susan Downs and Susan May Warren
“Illuminated” by Matt Bronleewe
“The Return” by Austin Boyd
“Try Dying” by James Scott Bell
“Auralia’s Colors” by Jeffrey Overstreet”
“Bluegrass Peril” by Virginia Smith
“What Lies Within” by Karen Ball
“Bluebonnet Belle” by Lori Copeland
“Dearest Dorothy If Not Now When? By Charlene Baumbich
“Finding Marie” by Susan Page Davis
“One Little Secret” by Allison Bottke
“Let Them Eat Cake” by Sandra Byrd
“Days and Hours” by Susan Meissner
“Chill Out Josey” by Susan May Warren
“Playing for Pizza” by John Grisham
"Blessed Assurance" by Lynn Cote (finished two out of three books in it)
"Miss Match" by Erynn Magum
"The Will of Wisteria" by Denise Hildreth
"The Guy I am Not Dating" by Trish Perry
"Hollywood Nobody" by Lisa Samson
"Priced to Move" by Ginny Aiken
"Rematch" by Erynn Magum
"Too Good To Be True" by Trish Perry
"A Valley of Betrayal" by Tricia Goyer
"A Shadow of Treason" by Tricia Goyer

"When Skylarks Fall" by John Robinson
"The Minor Protection Act" by Jodi Cowles
"Catch A Rising Star" by Tracey Bateman
"Remember Me" by Deborah Bedford
"Chocolate Beach" by Julie Carobini
"In Between" by Jenny B. Jones
"Abandoned Identity" by Tamera Tilley
"A Soldier's Promise" by Cheryl Wyatt
"Distant Heart" by Tracey Bateman
"On The Loose" by Jenny B. Jones

Rereads Fiction:
"The Guardian" by Dee Henderson (reread)
"The Truthseeker" by Dee Henderson (reread)
"The Protector" by Dee Henderson (reread)
"The Healer" by Dee Henderson(reread)
"The Rescuer" by Dee Henderson(reread)
"True Valor" by Dee Henderson(reread)
"The Marriage Wish" by Dee Henderson (reread)
"Then Comes Marriage" by Angela Hunt and Bill Bright (reread)
"A Journey By Chance" by Sally John (reread)
"The Note" by Angela Hunt (reread)

Christmas Fiction:
"Hearts Evergreen" by Kathryn Springer and Robin Lee Hatcher
"Yuletide Homecoming" by Carolyne Aarsen
"Boo Humbug" by Renee Gutteridge
"The Gift of Christmas Present" by Melody Carlson
"Finding Father Christmas" by Robin Jones Gunn

Nonfiction:
“My Life, Unscripted” by Tricia Goyer
“Becoming Real” by Steven James
"A Walk with Jane Austen" by Lori Smith

"Grown Up Girlfriends" by Erin Smalley and Carrie Oliver
If it is in black it means I have read it.
Questions:
1. How did I do?
I finished 51 of 73 total (at least that is what I ended up with ... I lost count when I started adding :)
2. Why did I not finish all of them?
So many good ones and I kept adding and adding and then I had my graduate school class and work ...
3. What do I think of all of my books?
Well I did reviews on lots of them but not all. Good reviews are a lot harder to write than I thought and take up more time. Thanks to the Christian Fiction Blogging Alliance I was introduced to many new authors and some new genres too. For this I am very grateful because of it I read books that I would not normally pick up. I am also a member of FIRST which is Fiction in rather short takes. I just started this one but so far the books are great. There are links on my sidebar for both.
I discovered many great new authors during this reading challenge.
My friend Deena at My Bookshelf does awesome book reviews and giveaways and more. I learn a lot of from her and buy books based on her recommendations. I highly recommend everyone go check out her site. :)
And you will notice that I could not stay away from my all time favorites rereading several of them. I actually completed some of my non-fiction list which makes me happy considering it is difficult to make myself sit down and read it.
I am so happy I participated in this reading challenge. I loved it. Even as a child I would do the summer reading programs at the library in the summer. Thank you so much Katrina at Callapidder Days for hosting it. I can't wait for the next one.

Fall Reading Challenge Book List


***This is a sticky post. Please scroll down for recent reviews.***

Brittanie's Fall Reading List:

“Nobody” by Creston Mapes
“To Trust a Stranger” by Lynn Bullock
“Bayou Justice” by Robin Caroll
“Crimson Eve” by Brandilyn Collins
“My Life, Unscripted” by Tricia Goyer
“Shattered Justice” by Karen Ball
“ The Betrayal” by Lisa T. Bergren
“The Begotten” by Lisa T. Bergren
“Defiance” by Don Brown
“Becoming Real” by Steven James
“Divided Loyalties” by L.K. Malone
“The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney” by Randy Singer
“Bittersweet” by Cathy Marie Hake
“Saving Sailor” by Renee Riva
“Without a Trace” by Colleen Coble
“Beyond a Doubt” by Colleen Coble
“Into the Deep” by Colleen Coble
“Nadia” by Susan Downs and Susan May Warren
“Marina” by Susan Downs and Susan May Warren
“Oksana” by Susan Downs and Susan May Warren
“Ekaterina” by Susan Downs and Susan May Warren
“Illuminated” by Matt Bronleewe
“The Return” by Austin Boyd
“Try Dying” by James Scott Bell
“Auralia’s Colors” by Jeffrey Overstreet”
“Bluegrass Peril” by Virginia Smith
“What Lies Within” by Karen Ball
“Bluebonnet Belle” by Lori Copeland
“Dearest Dorothy If Not Now When? By Charlene Baumbich
“Finding Marie” by Susan Page Davis
“One Little Secret” by Allison Bottke
“Let Them Eat Cake” by Sandra Byrd
“Days and Hours” by Susan Meissner
“Chill Out Josey” by Susan May Warren
“Playing for Pizza” by John Grisham
"Blessed Assurance" by Lynn Cote (finished two out of three books in it)
"The Guardian" by Dee Henderson (reread)
"The Truthseeker" by Dee Henderson (reread)
"The Protector" by Dee Henderson (reread)
"The Healer" by Dee Henderson(reread)
"The Rescuer" by Dee Henderson(reread)
"True Valor" by Dee Henderson(reread)
"Miss Match" by Erynn Magum
"The Will of Wisteria" by Denise Hildreth
"The Guy I am Not Dating" by Trish Perry
"Hollywood Nobody" by Lisa Samson
"Priced to Move" by Ginny Aiken
"Rematch" by Erynn Magum
"Too Good To Be True" by Trish Perry
"Hearts Evergreen" by Kathryn Springer and Robin Lee Hatcher
"A Valley of Betrayal" by Tricia Goyer
"A Shadow of Treason" by Tricia Goyer
"A Walk with Jane Austen" by Lori Smith
"Then Comes Marriage" by Angela Hunt and Bill Bright (reread)
"Yuletide Homecoming" by Carolyne Aarsen
"When Skylarks Fall" by John Robinson
"The Minor Protection Act" by Jodi Cowles
"The Marriage Wish" by Dee Henderson (reread)
"Grown Up Girlfriends" by Erin Smalley and Carrie Oliver
"Boo Humbug" by Renee Gutteridge
"Catch A Rising Star" by Tracey Bateman
"The Gift of Christmas Present" by Melody Carlson
"Remember Me" by Deborah Bedford
"Chocolate Beach" by Julie Carobini
"In Between" by Jenny B. Jones
"Finding Father Christmas" by Robin Jones Gunn
"The Note" by Angela Hunt (reread)
"A Journey By Chance" by Sally John (reread)
"Abandoned Identity" by Tamera Tilley
"A Soldier's Promise" by Cheryl Wyatt
"Distant Heart" by Tracey Bateman
"On The Loose" by Jenny B. Jones


This challenge is brought to us by Katrina at Callapider Days. Her blog is
http://www.callapidderdays.blogspot.com/

*Black means I am through reading it*

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Distant Heart" by Tracey Bateman


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Distant Heart
(Avon Inspire January 2, 2008)
by
Tracey Bateman
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tracey Bateman is the award-winning author of more than twenty-five books, including Defiant Heart, the First in the Westeard Hearts series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and recently served on the board as President. She loves in Lebanon, Missouri, with her husband and their four children.

ABOUT THE BOOK
In the second book in the Westward Hearts trilogy, will the promise of a new life out west heal the scars of Toni's past?This series tells the stories of three strong women as they struggle to survive on the rough wagon train and lose their hearts to unlikely heroes along the way/ Thin Little House on the Prairie meets Francine river's Redeeming Love and you begin to get a sense of the riveting historical series that Tracey Bateman has created.In this second installment, we follow Toni Rodden, a former prostitute who sought to escape her past and build a new life, and a new reputation, when she joined the wagon train. Despite much resentment and distrust from the other women, Toni has finally earned a place on the wagon train and found a surrogate family in Fannie Caldwell and her two siblings. For the first time in her life, Toni actually feels free.But while Toni once harbored dreams that her new life might include a husband and family, she soon realizes the stigma that comes with her past is difficult to see beyond and that she'll never be truly loved or seen as worthy. As the trip out west begins to teach her to survive on her own, she resolves to make her own living as a seamstress when the train finally reaches Oregon.But despite Toni's conviction that no man will be able to see beyond her marred past, Sam Two-feathers, the wagon scout and acting preacher for the train seems to know of a love that forgives sins and values much more than outward appearances. Will Sam have the confidence to declare his love? Will Toni be able to trust in a God that can forgive even the darkest past? Faith, love, and courage will be put to the test in Distant Heart.

Brittanie: I really liked this book. I like some historicals and this one included! I can't wait to read what happens next in book three. :) I highly recommend this sweet love story.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"A Shadow of Treason" by Tricia Goyer



Book 2 in the Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War series
Sophie discovers that nothing is as she first imagined. When Walt, the reporter who helped her over the border, shows up again after Guernica is bombed, Sophie is given an impossible mission. She must leave behind the man she's fallen in love with and return to the person who betrayed her. Another layer of the war in Spain is revealed as Sophie is drawn into the international espionage schemes that could turn the tide of the war and help protect the soldiers from the International Brigade ... she must find a way to get a critical piece of information to Walt in time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Q and A with Tricia!

Q: A Shadow of Treason follows A Valley of Betrayal. This is the first time you've written books as a series instead of stand alone. Which way do you like better?

A: I love writing in series. It was great to continue with the same characters. In my stand-alone books I fell in love with these people and then I had to say good-bye after one book. It was wonderful to be able to continue on.

Q: In A Shadow of Treason Sophie must return to the person who betrayed her in an effort to help the Spanish people. It makes the book hard to put down because the reader has to know how Sophie's heart will deal with it. Why did you decide to make this an element of the book?

A: There are very few of us who go through life without giving away a part of our hearts to someone who didn't deserve it. Even though Sophie had the best intentions, she gave away her heart and she was hurt-not only that she must revisit those emotions.

I wanted to include this element-to delve into the topic that emotions are sometimes as big of a trap as any physical cage. Emotions are real and they guide us -- even when we don't want to admit it. Poor Sophie, not only does she have to deal with a war around her -- she also has to deal with a war within herself. It's something I've battled, and mostly likely others have too.

Q: There is an interesting element that arises in this book and that is Spanish gold. I know you can't tell us what happens in this book, but can you give us a brief history of this gold?

A: Sure. When I was researching I came upon something interesting. The Spaniards, as we know, had taken much Aztec and Inca gold during the time of the conquistadors. Well, at the start of The Spanish Civil War much of this gold was still held in Madrid. In fact Spain had the fourth largest gold reserves in the world at that time. The Republican government was afraid Franco would take the city and the gold. They had to get it out of Madrid and this included transporting priceless artifacts. The element of gold does make its way into my story. It was great to include this little-known (and true!) element into my story.

Q: Another historical fact I learned about was the Nazi involvement during this time. Not only were the Germans active in Spain, but they had spy networks busy around the world. How did you find out about this?

A: I love reading tons of research books. Usually I find one little element that I dig out and turn into a plot line. This is what happened with my plot-line for the Nazi pilot, Ritter. I dug up this bit of research of Nazi involvement in Spain -- and the United States -- because a lot of people aren't aware of the Nazi involvement prior to WWII. The truth is they were busy at work getting the land, information, and resources they needed far before they threatened the nations around them. The Germans knew what they wanted and how to get it. And most of the time they succeeded!

Q: A Shadow of Treason is Book Two. When will Book Three be out? Can you give us a hint of how the story continues?

A: Book Three is A Whisper of Freedom. It will be out February 2008. The characters that we love are all still in the midst of danger at the end of Book Two. Book Three continues their stories as we follow their journeys in -- and (for a few) out -- of Spain. It's an exciting conclusion to the series!

Q: Wow, so we have a least one more fiction book to look forward to in the near future. Are you working on any non-fiction?

A: Yes, I have two non-fiction books that will be out the early part of 2008. Generation NeXt Marriage is a marriage book for today's couples. It talks about our marriage role models, our struggles, and what we're doing right as a generation. It also gives advice for holding it together.

I've also been privileged to work on the teen edition of Max Lucado's book 3:16. It was a great project to work on. What an honor!

Tricia is available for further interview. Contact Amy with your ideas and questions!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tricia's Bio:

Tricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today's Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing:
From Dust and Ashes (2003)
Night Song (2004)
Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005);
Arms of Deliverance (2006)
A Valley of Betrayal (2007)
A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007)
A Whisper of Freedom (February 2008)
Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer's 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.

Tricia has also written Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), and Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006). Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category.

Also, coming out in the next year are: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, Spring 2008), and 3:16-the teen version of the a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2008).

Tricia and her husband John live with their three children in Kalispell, Montana. Tricia's grandmother also lives with them, and Tricia volunteers mentoring teen moms and leading children's church. Although Tricia doesn't live on a farm, she can hit one with a rock by standing on her back porch and giving it a good throw.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tricia's Website:
http://www.triciagoyer.com/

Tricia's blog:
http://triciagoyer.blogspot.com/
My Review: Coming soon ... This was the last week of class. I bought book one and I want to read it first. They both look great!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"What Lies Within" by Karen Ball


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
What Lies Within
Multnomah Fiction (November 20, 2007)
by
Karen Ball

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Karen Ball , bestselling novelist, is also the editor behind several of today's bestselling Christian novels. Her love for words was passed down through her father and grandfather - both pastors who shared God's truth through sermons and storytelling. Blending humor, poignancy, and honesty, Karen's writing style is a powerful force for revealing God's truth. She lives in Oregon with her husband, Don, and their "kids," Bodhan, a mischief-making Siberian husky, and Dakota, an Aussie-terrier mix who should have been named "Destructo."




ABOUT THE BOOK:

Nothing’s going to stop Kyla…
until the ground crumbles beneath her feet.
Kyla Justice has arrived. Her company, Justice Construction, is one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful companies in the Pacific Northwest. And yet, something is missing. Not until she’s called on to build a center for inner-city kids does she realize what it is: her sense of purpose. Now nothing can stop her, not the low budget, not supply problems, not gang opposition, not her boyfriend’s suggestion that she sell her business and marry him–and most especially not that disagreeable Rafael Murphy.
Rafe Murphy understands battle. Wounded in action, this Force Recon Marine carries the scars–and the nightmares–to prove it. Though he can’t fight overseas any longer, he’s found his place as a warrior in the civilian world. So he soldiers on, trusting that one of these days, God will reveal to him why Rafe survived the ambush in Iraq. That day has arrived.
Kyla and Rafe both discover that determination alone won’t carry them through danger and challenges. When gang violence threatens their very foundations, there’s only one way to survive: rely on each other, be real–and surrender to God. In other words, risk everything…

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

"Bluegrass Peril" by Virginia Smith

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bluegrass Peril
(Steeple Hill December 4, 2007)
by
Virginia Smith

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Virginia Smith left her job as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker in the summer of 2005. Since then she has contracted eight novels and numerous articles and short stories.She writes contemporary humorous novels for the Christian market, including her debut, Just As I Am (Kregel Publications, March 2006) and her new release, Murder by Mushroom (Steeple Hill, August 2007). Her short fiction has been anthologized, and her articles have been published in a variety of Christian magazines.An energetic speaker, Virginia loves to exemplify God’s truth by comparing real-life situations to well-known works of fiction, such as her popular talk, “Biblical Truths in Star Trek.”


ABOUT THE BOOK:

WHO KILLED HER BOSS?Local police had tagged single mom Becky Dennison as their prime suspect. But she'd only been in the wrong place at the wrong time...admittedly, with her boss's lifeless body. Sure it looked bad, but Becky had no motive for killing...even if she had opportunity.When the director of the retirement farm for thoroughbred champions is murdered, Becky Dennison teams up with the handsome manager of a neighboring horse farm, Scott Lewis, to find her boss's killer. Soon the amateur detective are hot on the trail of the murderer...even as their feelings for each other deepen.The amateur sleuths uncover a trail of clues that lead them into the intricate society of Kentucky's elite thoroughbred breeding industry. They soon find themselves surrounded by the mint julep set - jealous southern belles and intensely competitive horse breeders - in a high-stakes game of danger, money, and that famous southern pride.And for Becky and Scott, this race on the Kentucky tracks has the greatest stakes of all: life or death!


Romantic Times awarded Bluegrass Peril* * * * FOUR STARS! * * * *



Brittanie: I loved this book. It has a great combination of suspense with romance. The characters felt real to me and the plot kept me interested the whole way through. I found myself towards the end yelling at Becky not to do something. I do not want to give away the story so go find the book and read it! (and figure out what had me yelling at her for. :) )

Saturday, December 1, 2007

"The Minor Protection Act" by Jodi Cowles

It is December 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!

This month's feature author is:
JODI COWLES
and her book:
The Minor Protection ActMusterion (December 1, 2005)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jodi Cowles caught the travel bug when her parents took her on her first international flight at six months of age. Since then she’s been in over 30 countries. Along the way she’s gotten locked out of her cabin on an all night train to Kiev, helped deliver a baby in Indonesia, taught English in South Korea, gone spelunking in Guam, hiked the Golan Heights and laid bricks in Zimbabwe. Her interest in politics stems from hunting Easter eggs on the south lawn of the White House as a child. For her 30th birthday she ran the LA Marathon and promised to get serious about publishing. Jodi resides in Boise, Idaho and this is her first novel.

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
If the politically correct set was searching for a poster couple, they would need to look no further than Erik and Roselyn Jessup. In college they lit up doobies while attending passionate speeches about legalizing marijuana and freeing Tibet. Erik was even arrested once for helping break into an animal research center. Roselyn bailed him out. After five years of dating they decided to tie the knot. Seven years later, after Roselyn had enough time to get established in her career, she gave birth to their pride and joy, Jayla Lynn Jessup.Both had satisfying full-time jobs that left them only enough time to pour themselves into Jayla. They attended every event at school, even if it meant working overtime and paying the after school program for a few extra hours. When Jayla made the principal's list or won a spelling bee, they were cheering, and filming, from the front row.Jayla began junior high at a brand new school with a brand new curriculum. It was being called "progressive" in the papers; the first program of its kind implemented in California with plans for a nationwide rollout over the next 10 years. Praise poured in from around the country, applauding the straight talk about sexuality and focus on tolerance.Erik and Roselyn were thrilled to have their daughter in this groundbreaking program. Granted, it took several phone calls to district authorities to accomplish the transfer and Roselyn had to drive an extra 30 minutes each morning to drop off Jayla, but it was quite a coup to brag about in their circle of friends.Jayla turned 13 two years into junior high. For her birthday she told her parents she wanted to order pizza and hang around the house – there was something she needed to tell them. Over pepperoni and Coke, Jayla calmly informed them that she'd been discussing it with her friends and teachers and had decided she was gay.Though she had never had a girlfriend, or a boyfriend for that matter, Erik and Roselyn were quick to affirm her decision and let her know she had their full support. Roselyn applauded her daughter's honest, courageous move and told Jayla how proud she was. Erik was also supportive and went so far as to tease Jayla about her best friend Sara.There weren't too many lesbians in her junior high and Jayla had a pretty average experience, but she attracted attention when she entered high school wearing the rainbow buttons specially purchased by her mother. Soon she was 15 and seriously involved with Carla, the 17-year-old senior who was President of the Gay Pride Club. When Erik and Roselyn saw the relationship deepening they sat Jayla down and had a heart to heart "sex talk," encouraging her to be responsible and safe, and only to have sex if she was truly in love.She was. However, when the year ended Carla left for college on the east coast and broke off the relationship in a letter.Jayla was heartbroken. Erik and Roselyn were quick to comfort, as any loving parents of a shattered teenager, but their answers seemed hollow to Jayla, their comfort cold. At 16 she began dabbling in drugs - a first for her.By the time her senior year began the family bond that was once so strong had disintegrated to the degree that she seldom spoke to her parents unless it was to strike out in anger. She had not entered into another dating relationship, as much as they encouraged her in that direction. Rather, she seemed withdrawn from the world and spent endless hours either locked in her room or suspiciously absent. Finally, Roselyn had enough and took her to a doctor who prescribed an anti-depressant for teenagers that had just been released on the market.By Christmas the medication seemed to be working. Jayla was coming around, spending more time at home. She seemed calmer and more at peace. They were even beginning to talk about college. But New Year's morning they found her dead, her anti-depressant bottle and a quart of vodka laying empty in the trash and a mass of journals and letters scattered around her in the bed.Erik and Roselyn were devastated. Jayla had been their whole life. They dove into the letters and journals, trying to make sense of it all. What they found only served to inflame their anger. Some boy named Nick had been telling their daughter that she was a sinner, quoting Bible verses that said her sexual preference was an abomination before God. Jayla's journal was full of self-loathing, page after page about her relationship with Carla, page after page of rambling, agonizing pain. Why was she made like this if homosexuality was a sin? Why would her parents have supported her if it were an abomination? Why had she listened to the seventh grade teacher who told her experimentation was the best way to determine her sexuality? What was wrong with her?They could hardly stand to finish it but they read every word. In the end their grief found relief, as it so often does, in bitterness and hatred. The day after Jayla's funeral, attended by hundreds of students from Jayla’s school, Erik and Roselyn met with the District Attorney. A year later, bitterness not yet assuaged, they went to see a lawyer. In the culture of America, where there is rarely tragedy unaccompanied by litigation, they found a willing law firm. Someone would pay.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Auralia's Colors" by Jeffrey Overstreet



This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
AURALIA'S COLORS
(WaterBrook Press September 4, 2007)
byJeffrey Overstreet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jeffrey Overstreet lives in two worlds. By day, he writes about movies at LookingCloser.org and in notable publications like Christianity Today, Paste, and Image.His adventures in cinema are chronicled in his book Through a Screen Darkly. By night, he composes new stories found in fictional worlds of his own. Living in Shoreline, Washington, with his wife, Anne, a poet, he is a senior staff writer for Response Magazine at Seattle Pacific University.Auralia’s Colors is his first novel. He is now hard at work on many new stories, including three more strands of The Auralia Thread.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

As a baby, she was found in a footprint.As a girl, she was raised by thieves in a wilderness where savages lurk.As a young woman, she will risk her life to save the world with the only secret she knows.When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets.Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse.Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.Visit the Website especially created for the book, Auralia's Colors. On the site, you can read the first chapter and listen to jeffrey's introduction of the book, plus a lit more!

PRAISE
"Film critic and author Overstreet (Through a Screen Darkly) offers a powerful myth for his first foray into fiction. Overstreet’s writing is precise and beautiful, and the story is masterfully told. Readers will be hungry for the next installment."--Publishers Weekly

“Through word, image, and color Jeffrey Overstreet has crafted a work of art. From first to final page this original fantasy is sure to draw readers in. Auralia's Colors sparkles.”-–Janet Lee Carey, award-winning author of The Beast ofNoor and Dragon's Keep

“Jeffrey Overstreet’s first fantasy, Auralia’s Colors, and its heroine’s cloak of wonders take their power from a vision of art that is auroral, looking to the return of beauty, and that intends to restore spirit and and mystery to the world. The book achieves its ends by the creation of a rich, complex universe and a series of dramatic, explosive events.”-–Marly Youmans, author of Ingledove and TheCurse of the Raven Mocker

Brittanie: I am not a huge fantasy fan or reader but I really liked this book. I can't wait for the sequel. It drew me in and I wanted to keep reading so I could find out what happened. The writing was beautiful. I highly recommend this book even if you are not a normal fantasy reader.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Decked Out" by Neta Jackson


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT
Thomas Nelson (October 2, 2007)
by
Neta Jackson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Neta Jackson Neta Jackson's award-winning Yada books have sold more than 350,000 copies and are spawning prayer groups across the country. She and her husband, Dave, are also an award-winning husband/wife writing team, best known for the Trailblazer Books--a 40-volume series of historical fiction about great Christian heroes with 1.8 million in sales--and Hero Tales: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Christian Heroes (vols 1-4). Dave and Neta live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years they were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. They are now members of the Chicago Tabernacle, a multi-racial congregation that is a daughter church of the well-known Brooklyn Tabernacle.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Turkey dinners, tree trimming, and decking the halls--it's that time of year again! And I Jodi Baxter, can't wait to celebrate. My kids are coming home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then all of us Yadas are getting decked out for a big New Year's party.But God's idea of "decked out" might just change the nature of our party plans. A perplexing encounter with a former student, a crime that literally knocks me off my feet, a hurry-up wedding, and a child who will forever change our family...it's times like these that I really need my prayer sisters.This holiday season, we Yada Yadas are learning that no one can out celebrate God. So let's get this party started!THE YADA YADA PRAYER GROUP GETS DECKED OUT is a festive novella featuring America's favorite prayer group, the Yada Yadas!Sometimes dubbed "chick-lit" for their bright covers and catchy titles, this series provides far more depth than witty banter and wacky situations. Inspired by a prayer group of real women, each book will have you laughing, crying, and perhaps praying anew.In this highly anticipated installment, the Yada Yada sisters-a group of multi-cultural friends-and their families prepare for the event of the season.But yes, eager readers, this novella—which picks up a year and a half after the end of book #6 The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling concludes the series with some twists and turns that will amaze and encourage you. Plus, it sets the stage for Neta’s new series with new characters and new situations but also occasional roles for the beloved Yada Yada sisters in familiar Chicago neighborhoods with all their cultural richness.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Remember Me" by Deborah Bedford


Book Description:
From bestselling novelist Deborah Bedford comes a poignant story of a pastor with a broken spirit who must confront his lack of faith before he can be whole. Sam Tibbits loves life especially life at Piddock Beach, where his family spends their vacations. Its here that hes come to care for Aubrey, his childhood confidante. So the year Aubreys family moves away with no forwarding address, Sam is crushed as he was going to propose. Aubrey McCart enjoys being with Sam; he accepts her unconditionally like her father never has. But when her fathers pride and joy her brother is killed in Vietnam, Aubrey is unable to cope. She chooses a path that changes her life forever, leading her away from Sam. Years later, as Sam and Aubrey find themselves back at Piddock Beach, the two are forced to confront their abandoned friendship and make peace with their lives. But can they do so without overstepping their moral boundaries?
Brittanie: I loved this book. It has been in the back of my mind to borrow from the library for years. I am so glad I finally borrowed it. This book still haunts me and I read it Saturday. It is beautiful in words and creates vivid images not all of them nice and pleasant. Pastor Sam faces real challenges in the church he pastors. When they tell him to take a hike for a while and they will let him know if they want him back ... he is devastated but kinda felt like he saw it coming. He just lost his brother in law also so he was dealing with grief as he is close to his sister. So he takes his nephew and heads to his favorite vacation spot Piddock beach where his family went every year. It is not the exact same as it was the last year he visited many years ago. Aubrey the girl he fell in love with all those years ago also shows up broken inside and dealing with family troubles. The scenery as described feels so real I felt like I was really at the beach. The message of faith in this book is not preachy but a message is there.(if that makes any sense at all) I highly recommend this book. Go to the Beach even though it is Fall. :)


There are tons of life insurance companies that offer great whole life insurance policies and to get the best life insurance, you should get a life insurance quote online to get additional information on term life insurance.

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Try Dying" by James Scott Bell

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
TRY DYING
(Center Street October 24, 2007)
by
James Scott Bell

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:







James Scott Bell is a former trial lawyer who now writes full time. He is also the fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine and adjunct professor of writing at Pepperdine University.His book on writing, Plot and Structure is one of the most popular writing books available today. The national bestselling author of several novels of suspense, he grew up and still lives in Los Angeles, where he is at work on his next Buchanan thriller.

ABOUT THE BOOK:



















On a wet Tuesday morning in December, Ernesto Bonilla, twenty-eight, shot his twenty-three-year-old wife, Alejandra, in the backyard of their West 45th Street home in South Los Angeles. As Alejandra lay bleeding to death, Ernesto drove their Ford Explorer to the westbound Century Freeway connector where it crossed over the Harbor Freeway and pulled to a stop on the shoulder.Bonilla stepped around the back of the SUV, ignoring the rain and the afternoon drivers on their way to LAX and the west side, placed the barrel of his .38 caliber pistol into his mouth, and fired.His body fell over the shoulder and plunged one hundred feet, hitting the roof of a Toyota Camry heading northbound on the harbor Freeway. The impact crushed the roof of the Camry. The driver, Jacqueline Dwyer, twenty-seven, an elementary schoolteacher from Reseda, died at the scene.This would have been simply another dark and strange coincidence, the sort of thing that shows up for a two-minute report on the local news--with live remote from the scene--and maybe gets a follow-up the next day. Eventually the story would go away, fading from the city's collective memory.But this story did not go away. Not for me. Because Jacqueline Dwyer was the woman I was going to marry.In Try Dying, this fast-paced thriller, lawyer Ty Buchanan must enter a world of evil to uncover the cause of his fiancee's death--even if hie has to kill for the truth.

"Bell is one of the best writers out there...he creates characters readers care about...a story worth telling."~Library Review~

Brittanie: I really enjoyed this book. I had my apprehensions at first but now I cannot wait for the sequel. Expect twists and turns and in the end a spectacular finish. The characters are well developed and the plot interesting. The author's personal experience as a lawyer adds to the feel of the book. :)
I looovvved this cover!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"Deadfall" by Robert Liparulo

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
DEADFALL
(Thomas Nelson November 6, 2007)
by
Robert Liparulo


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Robert is an award-winning author of over a thousand published articles and short stories. He is currently a contributing editor for New Man magazine. His work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Travel & Leisure, Modern Bride, Consumers Digest, Chief Executive, and The Arizona Daily Star, among other publications. In addition, he previously worked as a celebrity journalist, interviewing Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Charlton Heston, and others for magazines such as Rocky Road, Preview, and L.A. Weekly.Robert is an avid scuba diver, swimmer, reader, traveler, and a law enforcement and military enthusiast. He lives in Colorado with his wife and four children.Robert's first novel painted a scenario so frighteningly real that six Hollywood producers were bidding on movie rights before the novel was completed. His acclaimed debut novel, Comes A Horseman, is being made into a major motion picture by producer Mace Neufeld and his short story "Kill Zone" was featured in the anthology Thriller, edited by James Patterson.Bob has sold the film rights to his second book, GERM. And he is writing the screenplay for a yet-to-be-written political thriller, which sold to Phoenix Pictures, for Andrew Davis (The Fugitive, The Guardian) to direct!He is currently working on his fourth novel.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Deep in the isolated Northwest Territories, four friends are on the trip of a lifetime. Dropped by helicopter into the Canadian wilderness, Hutch, Terry, Phil, and David are looking to escape the events of a tumultuous year for two weeks of hunting, fishing, and camping.Armes with only a bow and arrow and the basics for survival, they've chosen a place far from civilization, a retreat from their turbulent lives. But they quickly discover that another group has targeted the remote region and the secluded hamlet of Fiddler Falls for a more menacing purpose: to field test the ultimate weapon.With more than a week before the helicopter rendezvous and no satellite phone, Hutch, a skilled bow-hunter and outdoor-survivalist must help his friend elude their seemingly inescapable foes, as well as decide whether to run for their lives...or risk everything to help the townspeople who are being held hostage and terrorized.An intense novel of character forged in the midst of struggle, survival, and sacrifice. Deadfall is highly-aclaimed author Robert Liparulo's latest rivetingly smart thriller.Get Downloads and EXCERPTS at http://www.liparulo.com/


"DEADFALL is drop-dead great!"-In The Library Reviews




"What if Mad Max, Rambo, and the Wild Bunch showed up-all packing Star Wars type weapons? You'd have Robert Liparulo's thrilling new adventure Deadfall."-Katherine Neville, best selling author of The Eight




"A brilliantly crafted thriller with flawless execution. I loved it!"-Michael Palmer, best selling author of The Fifth Vial




"In Deadfall, Robert Liparulo gives us a fresh fast paced novel that instills a well founded fear of the villians and an admiration for the people who refuse to be victims. It truly deserves the name thriller.-Thomas Perry, best selling author of The Butcher's Boy and Silence




"Another brilliantly conceived premise from Robert Liparulo. Deadfall will leave you looking over your shoulder and begging for more."-DAve Dun, best selling author of The Black SilentA NOTE




from Bob: I’d like to give away five signed copies of Deadfall to readers of CFBA blogs during my tour. All they have to do is sign up for my e-mailing list (they won’t be inundated!) by going to my website (www.robertliparulo.com) and going to the “Mailing List” page. Or email me with “CFBA giveaway” in the subject line.And a second NOTE from Bob: I wanted to let you know that I’m holding a contest on my site:**one winner a week till the end of the year for a signed Deadfall**one winner a week till the end of the year for an unabridged audio MP3-CD of Deadfall***and on Dec. 31, I’m giving away an iPod Nano, pre-loaded with an unabridged audio recording of DeadfallWinners are selected from my e-mailing list—sign up at my site. If a winner has already purchased what he/she wins, I will reimburse them for the purchase price (or give them another—whichever they choose), so they don’t need to wait to see if they win before buying Deadfall.
Brittanie: I do not have a review yet ... college student with lots of homework lately. I will have my review up soon. :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

"Playing for Pizza" by John Grisham



From Publishers Weekly Book Description:

Third-string Cleveland Browns quarterback Rick Dockery becomes the greatest goat ever by throwing three interceptions in the closing minutes of the AFC championship game. Fleeing vengeful fans, he finds refuge in the grungiest corner of professional football, the Italian National Football League as quarterback of the inept but full-of-heart Parma Panthers. What ensues is a winsome football fable, replete with team bonding and character-building as the underdog Panthers challenge the powerhouse Bergamo Lions for a shot at the Italian Superbowl. The book is also the author's love letter to Italy. Rick is first baffled and then enchanted by all things Italian-tiny cars! opera! benign corruption!-and through him Grisham (The Firm) instructs his readership in the art of gracious living, featuring sumptuous four-hour, umpteen-course meals. The writing sometimes lapses into travel-guide ("most Italian cities are sort of configured around a central square, called a piazza") and food porn ("[the veal cutlets are beaten with a small bat, then dipped in eggs, fried in a skillet, and then baked in the oven with a mix of parmigiano cheese and stock until the cheese melts"), but it's invigorated by appealing characters and lively play-by-play. The result is a charming fish-out-of-water story.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Amazon.comPlaying for Pizza: A Q&A with John Grisham


Q: American football in Italy seems like an unlikely subject for a John Grisham novel. What was the inspiration for Playing for Pizza?


A: Three years ago when I was in Bologna researching "The Broker", I discovered American football. One of my guides in the area played football for the Bologna Warriors for 10 years. I couldn't believe that American football actually existed there, but the more I heard about it the more intrigued I became.


Q: There is some great football writing in this novel. What kind of research was involved in capturing how this American institution is played in small town Italy?


A: The only way to research the book was to go to Parma and watch a game. The coach is an American who played at Illinois State, and he proved to be extremely valuable. I met many of the Italian players and the story simply unfolded.


Q: Speaking of research, you write lovingly of Italian food and wine in this book. What's your idea of the perfect Italian meal?


A: First course: prosicutto and melon; second course: stuffed tortellini; third course: roasted stuffed capon, all served with a great Barolo wine.


Q: Without giving away too much of the plot, your protagonist falls in love by the novel's end. Did you know when you started writing that Rick would get the girl?


A: Of course.


Q: You have a new legal thriller coming in January 2008. Can you give us any hints about what to expect?


A: I really don't like to talk about a book until it's finished. Sorry. But it will not be another work of non-fiction, nor will it be about football. Lots of lawyers in the next one.

Brittanie: I love John Grisham. My all time favorite is the Pelican Brief but I really enjoyed this one also. This is a lighthearted kinda slow leisurely type book. I fell in love with the setting which is a big part of the book as much a character as the actual characters. I could have dealt without the premarital sex between the main character and the college girl he later meets. But this is not a Christian book and that is evident in the worldview presented. Ignoring that as it played a slight role in the book I really liked this book and recommend it to anybody who likes football, John Grisham, and Italy.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

"Hollywood Nobody" by Lisa Samson

It is November 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!
This month's feature author is:LISA SAMSON
and her book:Hollywood Nobody
Th1nk Books (August 30, 2007)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa Samson is the author of twenty books, including the Christy Award-winning Songbird. Apples of Gold was her first novel for teens. Visit Lisa at http://www.lisasamson.com/ These days she is volunteering at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, raising children and trying to be supportive of a husband in seminary. (Trying . . . some days she's downright awful. It's a good thing he's such a fabulous cook!) She can tell you one thing, it's never dull around there. Other Novels by Lisa: Straight Up, , Club Sandwich, Songbird, Tiger Lillie, The Church Ladies, Women's Intuition: A Novel, Songbird, The Living End



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Hollywood Nobody: April 1 Happy April Fool’s Day! What better day to start a blog about Hollywood than today? Okay, I’ve been around film sets my whole life. Indie films, yeah, and that’s all I’m saying about it here for anonymity’s sake. But trust me, I’ve had my share of embarrassing moments. Like outgrowing Tom Cruise by the age of twelve — in more ways than one, with the way he’s gotten crazier than thong underwear and low-rise jeans. Thankfully that fashion disaster has run for cover. Underwear showing? Not a good idea. Fact: I don’t know of a single girl who doesn’t wish the show-itall boxer-shorts phenomenon would go away as well. Guys, we just don’t want to see your underwear. Truthfully, we believe that there is a direct correlation between how much underwear you show and how much you’ve got upstairs, if you know what I mean. I’ve seen the stars at their best and at their worst. And believe me, the worst is really, really bad. Big clue: you’d look just as pretty as they do if you went to such lengths. As you might guess, some of them are really nice and some of them are total jerks, and there’s a lot of blah in-betweeners. Like real life, pretty much, only the extremes are more extreme sometimes. I mean honestly, how many people under twenty do you know who have had more than one plastic surgery? So you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little hard on these folks. But if it was all sunshine and cheerleading, I doubt you’d read this blog for long, right? Today’s Rant: Straightening irons. We’ve had enough of them, Little Stars, okay? It was bad on Helen Hunt at the Oscars, worse on Demi, yet worse on Madonna, and it’s still ridiculous. Especially on those women who are trying to hold onto their youth like Gollum holds onto that ring. Ladies, there’s a reason for keeping your hair at or above your shoulders once you hit forty, and ever after. Think Annette Bening. Now she’s got it going on. And can’t you just see why Warren Beatty settled down for her? Love her! According to The Early Show this morning, curls are back, and Little Me ain’t going to tell why I’m so glad about that! Today’s Kudo: Aretha Franklin. Big, bold, beautiful, and the best. Her image is her excellence. Man, that woman can sing! She has a prayer chain too. I’m not very religious myself, but you got to respect people who back up what they say they believe. Unless it’s male Scientologists and "silent birth." Yeah, right. Easy for them to say. Today’s News: I saw a young actor last summer at a Shakespeare festival in New England. Seth Haas. Seth Hot is more like it. I heard a rumor he’s reading scripts for consideration. Yes, he’s that hot. Check him out here. Tell all your friends about him. And look here on Hollywood Nobody for the first, the hottest news on this hottie. Girls, he’s only nineteen! Fair game for at least a decade-and-a-half span of ages. I don’t know about you, but following the antics of new teen rock star Violette Dillinger is something I’m looking forward to. Her first album, released to much hype, hit Billboard’s no. 12 spot its third week out. And don’t you love her hit single "Love Comes Knocking on My Door"? This is going to be fun. A new celeb. Uncharted territory. Will Violette, who seems grounded and talented, be like her predecessors and fall into the "great defiling show-business machine" only to be spit out as a half-naked bimbo? We’ll see, won’t we? Keep your fingers crossed that the real artist survives. Today’s Quote: "Being thought of as ‘a beautiful woman’ has spared me nothing in life. No heartache, no trouble. Beauty is essentially meaningless." Halle Berry Later! Friday, April 2 I knew it was coming soon. We’d been camped out in the middle of a cornfield, mind you, for two weeks. That poke on my shoulder in the middle of the night means only one thing. Time to move on. "What, Charley?" "Let’s head ’em on out, Scotty. We’ve got to be at a shoot in North Carolina tomorrow afternoon. I’ve got food to prepare, so you have to drive." "I’m still only fifteen." "It’s okay. You’re a good driver, baby." My mom, Charley Dawn, doesn’t understand that laws exist for a reason, say, keeping large vehicles out of the hands of children. But as a food stylist, she fakes things all the time. Her boundaries are blurred. What can I say? Charley looks like she succumbed to the peer pressure of plastic surgery, but she hasn’t. I know this because I’m with her almost all the time. I think it’s the bleached-blond fountain of long hair she’s worn ever since I can remember. Or maybe the hand-dyed sarongs and shirts from Africa, India, or Bangladesh add to the overall appearance of youth. I have no idea. But it really makes me mad when anybody mistakes us as sisters. I mean, come on! She had me when she was forty! My theory: a lot of people are running around with bad eyesight and just don’t know it. I throw the covers to my left. If I sling them to my right, they’d land on the dinette in our "home," to use the term in a fashion less meaningful than a Hollywood "I do." I grew up in this old Travco RV I call the Y. As in Y do I have to live in this mobile home? Y do I have to have such an oddball food stylist for a mother? Y must we travel all year long? Y will we never live anyplace long enough for me to go to the real Y and take aerobics, yoga, Pilates or — shoot — run around the track for a while, maybe swim laps in the pool? And Y oh Y must Charley be a vegan? More on that later. And Y do I know more about Hollywood than I should, or even want to? Everybody’s an actor in Hollywood, and I mean that literally. Sometimes I wonder if any of them even know who they are deep down in that corner room nobody else is allowed into. But I wonder the same thing about myself. "You’re not asking me to drive while you’re in the kitchen trailer, are you, Charley?" "No. I can cook in here. And it’s a pretty flat drive. I’ll be fine." I’m not actually worried about her. I’m thinking about how many charges the cops can slap on me. Driving without a license. Driving without a seat belt on the passenger. Speeding, because knowing Charley, we’re late already. Driving without registration. Charley figured out years ago how to lift current stickers off of license plates. She loves "sticking it to the man." Or so she says. I kid you not. Oh, the travails of a teenager with an old hippie for a mother. Charley is oblivious as usual as I continue my recollection of past infractions thankfully undetected by the state troopers: Driving while someone’s in the trailer. It’s a great trailer, don’t get me wrong, a mini industrial kitchen we rigged up a couple of years ago to make her job easier. Six-range burner, A/C, and an exhaust fan that sucks up more air than Joan Rivers schmoozing on the red carpet. But it’s illegal for her to go cooking while we’re in motion. "All right. Can I at least get dressed?" "Why? You’re always in your pj’s anyway." "Great, Mom." "It’s Charley, baby. You know how I feel about social hierarchy." "But didn’t you just give me an order to drive without a license? What if I say no?" She reaches into the kitchen cupboard without comment and tips down a bottle of cooking oil. Charley’s as tall as a twelve-year-old. "I mean, let’s be real, Charley. You do, in the ultimate end of things, call the shots." I reach back for my glasses on the small shelf I installed in the side of the loft. It holds whatever book I’m reading and my journal. I love my glasses, horn-rimmed "cat glasses" as Charley calls them. Vintage 1961. Makes me want to do the twist and wear penny loafers. "Can I at least pull my hair back?" She huffs. "Oh, all right, Scotty! Why do you have to be so difficult?" Charley has no clue as to how difficult teenagers can actually be. Here I am, schooling myself on the road, no wild friends. No friends at all, actually, because I hate Internet friendships. I mean, how lame, right? No boyfriend, no drugs. No alcohol either, unless you count cold syrup, because the Y gets so cold during the winter and Charley’s a huge conservationist. (Big surprise there.) I should be thankful, though. At least she stopped wearing leather fringe a couple of years ago. I slide down from the loft, gather my circus hair into a ponytail, and slip into the driver’s seat. Charley reupholstered it last year with rainbow fabric. I asked her where the unicorns were and she just rolled her eyes. "Okay, let’s go. How long is it going to take?" "Oh." She looks down, picks up a red pepper and hides behind it. I turn on her. "You didn’t Google Map it?" "You’re the computer person, not me." She peers above the stem. "I’m sorry?" She shrugs. Man, I hate it when she’s so cute. "Really sorry?" "Charley, we’re in Wilmore, Kentucky. As in Ken-Tuck-EEE . As in the middle of nowhere." I climb out of my seat. "What part of North Carolina are we going to? It’s a wide state." "Toledo Island. Something like that. Near Ocracoke Island. Does that sound familiar?" "The Outer Banks?" "Are they in North Carolina?" Are you kidding me? "Let me log on. This is crazy, Charley. I don’t know why you do this to me all the time." "Sorry." She says it so Valley Girl-like. I really thought I’d be above TME: Teenage Mom Embarrassment. But no. Now, most kids don’t have mothers who dress like Stevie Nicks and took a little too much LSD back in the DAY. It doesn’t take ESP to realize who the adult in this setup is. And she had me, PDQ, out of the bonds of holy matrimony I might add, when she was forty (yes, I already told you that, but it’s still just as true), and that’s OLD to be caught in such an inconvenient situation, don’t you think? The woman had no excuse for such behavior, FYI. My theory: Charley’s a widow and it’s too painful to talk about my father. I mean, it’s plausible, right? The problem is, I can remember back to when I was at least four, and I definitely do not remember a man in the picture. Except for Jeremy. More on him later too. I flip up my laptop. I have a great satellite Internet setup in the Y. I rigged it myself because I’m a lonely geek with nothing better to do with her time than figure out this kind of stuff. I type in the info and wait for the directions. Satellite is slower than DSL, but it’s better than nothing. "Charley! It’s seventeen hours away!" I scan the list of twists and turns between here and there. "We have to take a ferry to Ocracoke, and then Toledo Island’s off of there." "Groovy!" "Groovy died with platform shoes and midis." "Whatever, Scotty." Only she says it all sunny. She’s a morning person. "That phrase should be dead." Honestly, I’m not big on lingo. I’ve never been good at it, which is fine by me. Who am I going to impress with cool-speak anyway? Uma Thurman? Yeah, right. "Okay, let’s go." "We can go as long as possible and break camp on the way, you know?" Charley. I climb back into the rainbow chair, throw the Y into drive, pull the brake, and we’re moving on down the road. Again.

Sample from Hollywood Nobody / ISBN: 1-60006-091-9 Copyright © 2006 NavPress Publishing. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Surrender Bay" by Denise Hunter

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
SURRENDER BAY
(Thomas Nelson November 6, 2007)
by
Denise Hunter

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped.Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!In addition to Surrender Bay, the second Nantucket book releases in April 2008. The title is The Convenient Groom and features Kate Lawrence, a relationship advice columnist, whose groom dumps her on her wedding day. Denise is currently at work on the third Nantucket book (Oct 2008) which is untitled so far.


ABOUT THE BOOK:


When Sam's estranged step-father dies, she inherits his ocean-front cottage in Nantucket--not because he kindly bequeathed it to her, but because he neglected to ever create a will. Sam returns to the island she left 11 years ago with her daughter Caden to fix up the house and sell it, but she isn't counting on is the fact that Landon Reed still lives two doors down from her childhood home.As their long-dormant romance begins to bud again, Sam must face the fact that Landon still doesn't know why she really left the island. Will the secrets she's hidden all these years tear them apart? Or is Landon's love really as unconditional as he claims?

"I've always thought Denise Hunter was an amazing writer but this wonderful story sets her firmly at the forefront of compelling love stories. How Landon breaks down Samantha's determination that she is unworthy of love kept me glued to the pages. An amazing story!"--Colleen Coble, author of Fire Dancer (Smoke Jumper Series)
Brittanie: I did not get this one but it sounds great. That cover is beautiful.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"The Return" by Austin Boyd

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
THE RETURN(Navpress Publishing Group July 13, 2007)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:








Austin Boyd writes from his experience as a decorated Navy pilot, spacecraft engineer and an astronaut candidate finalist. Austin lives with his wife Cindy and four children in America’s “Rocket City”--Huntsville, Alabama, where he directs business development for a large NASA and defense contractor. His creative talents include inspirational fiction and poetry, finely crafted reproduction colonial furniture, archery and long distance cycling. He serves his community as an advocate for a crisis pregnancy center and as a motivational speaker in the area of lifestyle evangelism.THE RETURN is part of the Mars Hill Classified Series with The Evidence and The Proof



ABOUT THE BOOK:


IS SEEING BELIEVING?Six years after completing a manned mission to the Red Planet, Admiral John Wells is set to make another journey to Mars. But this time his crew is not alone, as John's team encounters a secret colony comprised of individuals pursuing John Raines' strange religion, the "Father Race."While John begins to uncover a web of lies on Mars, his wife and daughter are struggling for survival on earth. Now John must survive his dangerous mission and find a way back home, even as a shocking plan begins to unfold millions of miles away on earth.Austin Boyd is back with his third thrilling novel in the Mars Hill Classified series, full of high-tech intrigue, memorable characters, and adventure that transports readers to another world.From the Back Cover:With nothing left for him on Earth, Rear Admiral John Wells didn't hesitate to lead a third NASA team to Mars, but he never dreamed that one day they'd look out their laboratory module into the lights of a slow-moving vehicle not their own. In the third installment of the Mars Hill Classified series, life on Mars becomes increasingly more unpredictable as the past collides with the future and nothing, not even the dead, is as it seems.Meanwhile, back on Earth, the fate of hundreds, including John Wells' family--presumed dead these last six years--rests precariously in the hands of Malcolm Raines, self-proclaimed Guardian of the Mother Seed and Principal Cleric of Saint Michael's Remnant, and his insidious plans for the Father Race.Wells will find himself in a race against time and all odds to expose the truth: about Mars, about Malcolm Raines, and, if he's very brave, about himself.



"Austin Boyd is one of the brightest new voices in Christian fiction. His long association with the space program lends authenticity as he reveals the turmoil in the minds and hearts of those who are willing to risk everything by making that journey. In The Return, we learn that both human emotions and God's presence reach far beyond the pull of Earth's gravity."--Richard L Mabry, author of The Tender Scar




Brittanie: This book was very unique and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Do not worry about it being the third in a series the author does a good job of laying things out. I am sure for those that have read books one and two that book three probably had them squealing at various points. I know I did once things starting coming together. It read smooth and drew you in and did not let you go until the end. I love the ending. I highly recommend this book esp. if you are looking for something a little different in a good way.

P.S. I had the song Rocket Man by Elton John running through my head.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Miss Match" by Erynn Mangum



Book Summary:


Lauren Holbrook has found her life's calling: matchmaking for the romantically challenged.
And with the eclectic cast of characters in her world, there's tons of potential to play "connect the friends."She works for her best guy friend Brandon as a photographer and meets the beautiful blond Hannah when he hires her to be the new receptionist. Her dad is a retired somewhat wealthy germ a phobe widower. Inspired by the recent success of matching her sister and new husband, Lauren sets out to introduce Nick, her carefree singles' pastor, to Ruby, her neurotic coworker who plans every second of every day. Lauren gets thrown together with Ryan, Ruby's brother. They pretend to be dating so that everyone will leave them alone. What could possibly go wrong? Just about everything. When Lauren's foolproof plan begins to unravel, she learns that a simple introduction between friends can bring about complicated results. And as she reconsiders her new role as Cupid (as well as her vow to stay single forever), will Lauren finally decide that God's plan is always good enough? This book is open to a sequel and it has came out, "Rematch." The third book will be published next summer.

Author: Erynn Mangum is a 22 year old still living at home . This is her first book and she started writing just for fun. She is obsessed with chocolate and coffee especially Starbucks. Visit her online at http://www.erynnmangum.com/



Brittanie:

I lovved this book. I thought it was cute and funny. I had many laugh out loud moments. There were many references to Jane Austen and Emma in this book. They were great. She has a def. movie obsession. To me Lauren's extreme coffee obsession and chocolate is a little over the top. I do not drink coffee but I do love chocolate and if we eat like Lauren we will all be at least 400 lbs. Even with that this book was great. I ordered the sequel as soon as I finished it. I have read it so review coming soon on that one. I highly recommend this cute chick lit series.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Illuminated" by Matt Bronleewe

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Illuminated
(Thomas Nelson August 7, 2007)
by
Matt Bronleewe

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matt Bronleewe is a recognized producer, songwriter and author. The former member of the band Jars of Clay, has earned numerous awards producing and co-writing albums that have sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. His songs have recently been recorded by Disney pop sensations Aly & AJ, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, and more. Bronleewe has worked with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Michael W. Smith, International pop singer Natalie Imbruglia and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere.Born in Dallas, Texas, Bronleewe was raised on a farm in Kansas, where he lived until he left for college in 1992. At Greenville College in Illinois, Bronleewe formed the band Jars of Clay with his dorm roommate and two neighbors, and the group soon found success. Though Bronleewe opted to leave Jars of Clay early on to pursue an academic career, he soon found himself in Nashville, co-writing, producing, and playing music professionally.To add to his list of accomplishments, Bronleewe has expanded his love of story telling beyond music into authorship. He is currently penning a 5 book series for Thomas Nelson Fiction. Illuminated, in stores now, begins the adventurous series about rare manuscripts and the mysteries within.Bronleewe currently resides in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife and three children. He continues to write and produce music, and he also volunteers through his church to help disadvantaged youth in the community. Bronleewe enjoys reading, taste-testing good food and watching sports, as well as indulging his interests in art, architecture, design and science.


ABOUT THE BOOK:
IT'S BEEN 500 YEARS IN THE MAKING...PREPARE TO BE ILLUMINATED...August Adams has failed his family before. He's sacrificed relationships in pursuit of adventure, fame, and money. Now the very lives of those he loves depend on his ability to decipher a centuries-old puzzle encrypted in the colorful hand-painted illuminations that adorn three rare Gutenberg Bibles.It's a secret that could yield unimaginable wealth, undermine two major religions, and change the course of Western civilization. Two ruthless, ancient organizations are willing to do anything to get their hands on it. And August has the span of one transatlantic flight to figure it out.If he fails, those he holds most dear will die. If he succeeds, he'll destroy a national treasure.The clock ticks, the suspense mounts, and the body count rises as August pits his knowledge and his love for his family against the clock, secret societies, and even Johannes Gutenberg himself.

"...this rare breed of suspense thriller combines mysterious hidden clues, secret societies, buried treasure, double agents, and the Knights Templar...if you turned National Treasure into international treasure, traded DaVinci codes for Gutenberg Bibles, married it to Indiana Jones, and added the pacing of 24 you'd be in the neighborhood of Illuminated...on a scale of one to 10, this one goes to 11."-Aspiring Retail Magazine
Brittanie: I really liked this book. It drew me in from the first page and held onto me. I could not wait to see wait happened on the next page. I am invested in the characters. I would love to see another story with these characters. I liked the unique aspect of the main characters jobs. My only slight issue is the ending felt a little rushed to me. Other than that I loved it. I highly recommend this book.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My LIfe Unscripted by Tricia Goyer




Summary:

Drawing on Biblical principles, My Life, Unscripted guides girls through the tumultuous teen years by teaching them to have a plan of attack before temptation or hardship come.

Tricia's Script:

Looking back at my drama-filled teen years I now wonder ... What was I thinking?

The truth? I wasn't. I lived from day to day on every wave of emotion. Some days excitement and passion partnered up, pattering wildly within my heart.

Other days, depression and anxiety were my silent friends. I lived each day as it came, with no plan for my future, for my relationships, or for my heart.

I lived my life completely unscripted ... and, well, it didn't go well for me. Teen pregnancy and a broken heart were only two consequences. Yet my prayer is that when teen girls are asked Who's Writing Your Life? their answer will be ME ... with the guidance of God, My Director.


An interview with Tricia Goyer!

Q: Tell me about My Life, Unscripted

Sure! With real-life scripts, screenwriting terms, and timely topics, My Life, Unscripted helps teen girls explore their own inner struggles and outward relationships. It's my hope they'll learn the importance of "scripting" their own responses BEFORE challenging life-situations arise.

By contrasting real-life with TV/movies, it's my hope that teen girls will understand they don't have to get caught up in the drama. They don't have to face situations as they arise, but rather they can think about, pray about, and consider how to face these situations before they hit the big screen of their lives.

Q: Is it true that much of YOUR story shows up in these pages?

Gulp. Yes, I'm afraid so. In fact, I shared parts of my story that I SWORE I'd never tell a soul.

My teenage script (portrayed in the book as Trish Valley) wasn't one I'd suggest my daughter, nor my readers to copy.

Q: Tell me about these scripts.

The introductory script of Trish Valley shows a scene where Trish urges her mom to follow Trish's boyfriend into the McDonald's parking lot so she can "spill her news." The other girl in the car and her boyfriend's response to Trish's pregnancy are unfortunately not fiction. I wrote out the scenes as they would appear in an actual script. I even use all the correct terms and layout.


Q: In addition to teen pregnancy, what are some of the other "scripts"?

Do I have to tell? Well, I guess it's in print now! Let me see: fists fights with a rival, sneaking out of my parents' house, getting caught by my boyfriend kissing his best friend--does that give you an idea? Do I have to go on?

Q: No, you can stop there. But WHY? Why did you decide to share these stories?

First, because I want girls to understand the heartache of unwise decisions. I want to them to be able to relate to me, rather than feeling preached at. Also, I wanted to share my stories because many young women have faced the same type of situations, or they know friends who have. And finally because they are great object lessons for the importance of following biblical truth. That is something I did learn!

Q: What does your teenage daughter think about this book?

Leslie thinks it's great I'm able to connect with other teens. She's heard these stories for a while! She was 11-years-old when we first started volunteering together at a support group for teenage mothers together. As I taught the young moms things like nutrition and potty training, Leslie assisted adults in babysitting the toddlers. And while we loved giving and serving, it was the ride home that soon became the most meaningful part. As Leslie sat in the passenger's seat, I could see her mind considering my life as a teen mom, and she started asking questions.

Although it was hard to talk about my past mistakes, I knew this was an ideal opportunity to share real-life truths with my daughter. Each person walking this earth has regrets. Our talks showed me that instead of hiding my past troubles (and hoping my kids didn't find out) sharing my mistakes could actually give my daughter a better understanding to why values and wise decision-making skills are important.

Q: So now you're "having a heart-to-heart" with other teens through this book?

I sure hope that's how they see it! Those first talks with my daughter brought us closer, but I knew not every girl has had someone to offer advice such as: "build a supporting cast of people you can trust" or "consider the character qualities you'd like for a leading man."

Q: Okay, so your book is for teens, but what about the moms out there who feel they have past mistakes they don't want to share?

Well, they could each write a book about their teen years! Ha- just kidding!

But for those moms out there, maybe your teen years were not as drama-filled as mine. Or, if they were, maybe you are fearful of sharing them with your teen. The truth is, teens learn best not with information and knowledge, but rather by hearing life examples and understanding how decisions can affect all parts of our lives. So, time to get brave, Mom. Open your heart and share what worked and what didn't. It just might help your daughter write a better script for herself.

Oh, yes, and consider buying your daughter My Life, Unscripted! Hopefully every teen girl can get some take-away to scripting a bright future!


Bio:
Tricia Goyer has published over 300 articles for national publications such as Today's Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, and Focus on the Family, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible (Zondervan).She has written seven novels for Moody Publishing: From Dust and Ashes (2003); Night Song (2004), Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005); Arms of Deliverance (2006); A Valley of Betrayal (2007); A Shadow of Treason (Fall 2007); and A Whisper of Freedom (Spring 2008). Night Song was awarded American Christian Fiction Writer's 2005 Book of the Year for Best Long Historical. Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.Tricia has also written Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004), 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004), and Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006). Life Interrupted was a 2005 Gold Medallion finalist in the Youth Category. Also, coming out in the next year are: My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007), Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, Spring 2008), and 3:16-the teen version of the a book by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2008).Tricia and her husband John live with their three children in Kalispell, Montana. Tricia's grandmother also lives with them, and Tricia volunteers mentoring teen moms and leading children's church. Although Tricia doesn't live on a farm, she can hit one with a rock by standing on her back porch and giving it a good throw.Tricia has two books that will be out soon ...A Shadow of Treason (Moody Publishing), Fall 2007Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah), January 2008
Brittanie: This book has so much potential to help girls that it astounds me. I had a pretty clean record in high school. My parents were blessed. Not so much so with my sister. I student taught 8th and 9th grade and then taught summer school so I have a better idea know than ever about some of the situations in Tricia's book. My cousin Mollie is adopted from teenage parents and we have contact with them. It has been 10 years and the birth mother still struggles. So I know people who have made these mistakes. I learned a lot through reading Tricia's scripts from her own life and the biblical truths afterwards. Even without these particular mistakes you can learn a lot from this book. I know I did. I highly recommend this book. If you have contact with teenagers or youth group this is a perfect book to give them. Thank you Tricia for sharing your story with us and the godly insights you learned from your experiences.


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