Wednesday, June 18, 2008

She Always Wore Red by Angela Hunt (and Giveaway)

***Leave a comment to be entered to win a copy until Tuesday June 24 at midnight. ***

My Review: I loved this book. It is another winner from one of my favorite authors Angela Hunt. It is packed with emotion and wonderful characters. Her motto is Expect the Unexpected. There are moments where I laughed out loud among more serious topics that are dealt with in this book. I highly recommend the entire Fairlawn series. The first book is Doesn't She Look Natural. She Always Wore Red is book two. And the last book will come out next year.

From Amazon:

Jennifer Graham--mother, student, and embalmer's apprentice--could use a friend. She finds one in McLane Larson, a newcomer to Mt. Dora, and is delighted to learn that the young woman is expecting a baby. While McLane's soldier-husband serves overseas, Jen promises to support McLane and then learns that her tie to this woman goes far deeper than friendship. When a difference of opinion threatens their relationship, Jennifer discovers weaknesses in her own character . . . and a faith far stronger than she had imagined.

It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!

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

Today's Wild Card author is:

and her book:

She Always Wore Red

Tyndale House Publishers (April 23, 2008)


Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over three million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children have reached their twenties, Angie and her husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Turner and Hooch and Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards--one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City.

Afterward, the dog gave out pawtographs at the airport.

Angela admits to being fascinated by animals, medicine, psychology, unexplained phenomena, and “just about everything” except sports. Books, she says, have always shaped her life— in the fifth grade she learned how to flirt from reading Gone with the Wind.

Her books have won the coveted Christy Award, several Angel Awards from Excellence in Media, and the Gold and Silver Medallions from Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. In 2007, her novel The Note was featured as a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel. Romantic Times Book Club presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

In 2006, Angela completed her Master of Biblical Studies in Theology degree and completed her doctorate in 2008. When she’s not home reading or writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course.

Visit her at her website.


Chapter One

The nameless cadaver on the cover of my anatomy textbook—a middle-aged man who is no longer black, white, or brown—would be counted among the orange in a census of the embalmed.

Someone should have adjusted the tint before they juiced him.

I flip the book open and study the color photographs of the cadaver’s aortic arch and brachiocephalic veins, then close my eyes and try to commit the multisyllable words to memory. Here I am, near the end of my first semester of mortuary school, and I’m still having trouble keeping my veins and arteries straight.

Behind me, an irate mother in the carpool line is honking, though we have a good three minutes before kindergarten dismissal. She probably has to pick up her child and get back to work before the end of her lunch hour. While I sympathize with her impatience, I wish she’d lay off the horn so I can concentrate.

I open one eye and examine the book propped on my steering wheel. The right internal jugular branches off the right and left brachiocephalic veins, which lie outside the brachiocephalic trunk. Brachiocephalic sounds like some kind of dinosaur. Bugs would like that word.

I turn the book sideways, but the photograph on the page looks nothing like a prehistoric animal. In fact, I find it hard to believe that anything like this jumble of tunnels and tubes exists in my body, but skin covers myriad mysteries.

I snap the book shut as the bell at Round lake elementary trills through the warm afternoon. The kindergarten classes troop out into the sunshine, their hands filled with lunch boxes and construction paper cutouts. The tired teachers stride to the curb and peer into various vehicles, then motion the appropriate children forward.

My spirits lift when my red-haired cherub catches my eye and waves. Bradley “Bugs” graham waits until his teacher calls his name and skips toward me.

“Hey, Mom.” He climbs into the backseat of the van as his teacher holds the door.

“Hey yourself, kiddo.” I check to make sure he’s snapped his seat belt before smiling my thanks at his teacher. “Did you have a good morning?”

“Yep.” He leans forward to peek into the front seat. “Do we hafta go home, or can we stop to get a snack?”

My thoughts veer toward the to-do list riding shotgun in the front passenger seat. I still have to run to the grocery store, swing by the dry cleaner’s to pick up gerald’s funeral suit, and stop to see if the bookstore has found a used copy of Introduction to Infectious Diseases, Second edition. Textbooks are usually pricey, but medical textbooks ought to come with fixed-rate mortgages. Still, I need to find that book if I’m going to complete my online course by the end of the semester.

“I’ll pull into a drive-through,” I tell Bugs, knowing he won’t mind. “You want McDonald’s?”

He nods, so I point the van toward Highway 441.

“Mr. gerald make any pickups today?” Bugs asks.

I ease onto the highway, amazed at how easily my children have accepted the ongoing work of the funeral home. “none today.”

“See this?”

I glance in the rearview mirror and see Bugs waving his construction paper creation. “Yes.”

“It’s a stegosaurus. Can I give it to gerald?”

“I think he’d like that.” I force a smile as an unexpected wave of grief rises within me. like a troublesome relative who doesn’t realize she’s worn out her welcome, sorrow often catches me by surprise. Gerald, the elderly embalmer at Fairlawn, has become a surrogate father for my sons. Thomas, my ex-husband and my children’s father, has been gone for months, but in some ways he’s never been closer. He lies in the Pine Forest Cemetery, less than two miles from our house, so we can’t help but think of him every time we drive by.

I get Bugs a vanilla ice cream cone at the McDonald’s drive-through, and then we run to the grocery store and the dry cleaner. I’ll call the bookstore later. no sense in going there when a simple phone call will suffice.

Finally we turn into the long driveway that leads to the Fairlawn Funeral Home.

Gerald has poured a new concrete pad next to the garage, and as I park on it, Bugs notices that the call car is gone. “uh-oh.” He looks at me. “Somebody bit the dust.”

I press my lips together. A couple of months ago I would have mumbled something about the old station wagon maybe needing a wash, but now I know there’s no reason to shield my children from the truth—we are in the death care industry. The squeamishness I felt when we first arrived vanished the day I walked into the prep room and gloved up to help gerald lay out my ex-husband.

“Come in the house,” I tell my son. “I’ll pour you a glass of milk.”


katylinvw said...

wow. i'm hooked! please put my name in the hat!

ChristyJan said...

You have me very intrigued with this book.

Please enter me in the drawing.


Karin said...

Please enter me in your drawing. Thank you!

Carolynn said...

I also love everything Angela Hunt writes...can't wait to read this one. Thanks for the chance to win!

Bebemiqui said...

I adore Hunt's books, they have more depth to them than most fiction.
Great giveaway! Count me in. bebemiqui82(at)yahoo(dot)com

kamewh said...

Sounds like a great book!

katy said...

I'd like to read the rest of the story. Thanks for the contest!

Tarasview said...

I like Angela Hunt!

bevsclark said...

What an interesting character. I love books with strong females. Count me in!

windycindy said...

Greetings! I have read really good things about this author and her book! It sounds like the two women are courageous individuals and I never tire of that in a story line!
The cover of the book is quite interesting, also! Please enter me in your drawing. I really appreciate it.
Many thanks, Cindi

Anita Yancey said...

A truly moving book. One I would be honored to read. Please enter me and thanks.

pintolinda said...

Please enter me in the contest. I like stories about women and how they confront life and grow from their experiences.
pintolinda (at) hotmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

This book sound so good my email is thanks for the contest:)

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in the drawing..thanks

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this! I'm in the middle of the first book right now :)

Courtney said...

I would like to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book please enter me! Thanks for the opportunity!

Unknown said...

I havent read any of her books but I,m sure I would enjoy them .

Lalycairn said...

Hmm, I have really liked her other books, but haven't read anything in this series yet. It would be fun to win it.

Lalycairn at

Anonymous said...

I'm liking the way that starts off. I'm very interested now. Thanks for sharing!


judybrittle said...

this sounds so good and she doesn't use those hard to pronounced words. love it. thank you so much.

kaylee8 said...

Looks like a fun read!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book


Karrie said...

I would love to win this book, sounds good

Annie said...

Never enough books ... count me in!

Tempest52 said...

Looks like a fascinating read. Please count me in.

Anonymous said...

I could use some unexpected right about now!


llm 96 at aol dot com

Lemonade said...

Book looks intresting, please enter me.

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book,count me in to win

klp1965 said...

count me in please :)

calgirl said...

I am always looking for a new author to read since I read everything by an author then move on.

Grateful Gramma said...

I'd love to read this one. Please enter my name in the drawing. Thanks!

Charlene Kuser said...

The book has a great start and
very interesting.Would love to
read this.please enter me and

Anonymous said...

Please enter me! This title caught my attention because it instantly reminded me of my mom who passed away in January at 70 years old. Years ago she did this color analysis that tells you what colors to wear in clothing. Out of her "colors" loved red and she, too, "always wore red".

maggie moran said...

Looks like you had a lot of participation! Sorry, I missed this! :(

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