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.