Thursday, March 27, 2008
On the eve of the Depression, four adolescent girls confide their dreams on paper and commit them to posterity by storing them in a blue bottle in an attic. Sixty-five years later, a jaded female television reporter finds their girlhood wishes and determines to track the women down. While the plot may sound predictable, the protagonists are not; Stokes offers some of the strongest, most appealing women characters ever to appear in evangelical fiction (which is not a genre famous for its three-dimensional females). The novel has a happy ending, but not in the traditional sense of many evangelical novels written for a female audience: no godly heroes come riding in on white horses to rescue these women from poverty, abandonment and despair. Their stories involve broken dreams and betrayed hearts, but speak to an ultimate victory that is centered in God's unconditional love and their lifelong friendships with other women.
This book started out really good and had great potential. However, when I got to page 148 the author in her writing takes scripture out of context by having a character say that " When Jesus came, he was born to a poverty - stricken , homeless woman who wasn't even properly married at the time."
RED FLAG!!!!! RED FLAG!!!! Joseph and Mary were betrothed which in Jewish tradition is marriage. If they weren't, then why would Joseph be so torn about a public divorce, and Mary being stoned in the village streets when her condition was realized? Also they weren't HOMELESS!!!! Again in Jewish tradition, the groom would have to build a home for the bride and in this case since Joseph was quite a bit older than Mary, it is suspected that he had been working on a home for quite some time. They were in Bethlehem because Joseph had to go and be counted. Jesus had to be born there according to prophecy. I know, I am ranting! I just have a problem with an author writing Christian fiction and then taking God's word and twisting it to fit the story instead of the other way around.
I did contact Mrs. Stokes and she never got back to me. I wanted her to respond to my questions about this section of the book. When I didn't get a response I contacted West Bow who published the book and spoke with an editor there. I read her what I found in the book, and from what I could tell from my end of the phone she seemed to be looking up the book as well. She apologized, and told me to return the book to her- make sure to mark the section and she'd be happy to replace it with a book of my choice. I giggled and said that I was a member of CFBA and I read and review books for West Bow & Thomas Nelson, and that she didn't have to do that.
She was very pleasant and understanding.
I was really bummed because I was really looking forward to reading this book!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
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…
Leave a comment and I will draw the winner on April 1st. Please make sure to leave a way for me to get a hold of you. Contests are only open to US addresses only. Please keep your "nicknames" clean. This is a Christian blog, I review books for Christian authors, and I don't want to offend anyone. I reserve the right to remove a comment if I am offended by the nickname used or comment left.
THANKS FOR ENTERING & GOOD LUCK!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As the child of missionary parents, award-winning author and journalist Jeanette Windle grew up in the rural villages, jungles, and mountains of Colombia, now guerrilla hot zones. Her detailed research and writing is so realistic that it has prompted government agencies to question her to determine if she has received classified information. Currently based in Lancaster, PA, Jeanette has lived in six countries and traveled in more than twenty. She has more than a dozen books in print, including political/suspense best-seller CrossFire and the Parker Twins series.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Fires smolder endlessly below the dangerous surface of Guatemala City’s municipal dump.
Deadlier fires seethe beneath the tenuous calm of a nation recovering from brutal civil war. Anthropologist Vicki Andrews is researching Guatemala’s “garbage people” when she stumbles across a human body. Curiosity turns to horror as she uncovers no stranger, but an American environmentalist—Vicki’s only sister, Holly.
With authorities dismissing the death as another street crime, Vicki begins tracing Holly’s last steps, a pilgrimage leading from slum squalor to the breathtaking and endangered cloud forests of the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere. But every unraveled thread raises more questions. What betrayal connects Holly’s murder, the recent massacre of a Mayan village, and the long-ago deaths of Vicki’s own parents?
Nor is Vicki the only one demanding answers. Before her search reaches its startling end, the conflagration has spilled across international borders to threaten an American administration and the current war on terror. With no one turning out to be who they’d seemed, who can Vicki trust and who should she fear?
A politically relevant tale of international intrigue and God’s redemptive beauty and hope.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Spring Reading Thing 2008 is simply an opportunity for you to set some reading goals, share them with the blogosphere, and work toward them this spring. Perhaps you want to add some variety to your fiction reading. Or maybe you've had very good intentions as far as reading that book on budgeting or marriage or starting a home business, but...you haven't even cracked the cover yet. Some might want to read more with their children; others might feel guilty for never having read Wuthering Heights.
Or maybe you just love to read and want to share your reading list and check out everyone else's.
Here are the books that I hope to get through this spring:
Celebutantes - Amanda Goldberg
Still Summer - Jacquelyn Mitchard
Lost & Found - Carolyn Parkhurst
Black Olives - Martha Tod Dudman
Obedience - Will Lavendar
Bridge of Sighs - Richard Russo
The Wednesday Letters - Jason F. Wright
Becky - Lenore Hart
Rhett Butler's People - Donald McCaig
Change of Heart - Jodi Picoult
Light of the Moon - Luanne Rice
When Zefty Got a Clue - Peggy Darty
Amber Morn - Brandilyn Collins
Trouble The Water - Nicole Seitz
My Soul To Keep - Melanie Wells
Winter Haven - Athol Dickson
The Warriors - Mark Andrew Olsen
The Blue Bottle Club - Penelope Stokes
Stuck In The Middle - Virginia Smith
Sister's Inc - Rebeca Seitz
A total of 20 books. As I finish each book I will be posting a review and possible give away so keep your eyes open for those.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Maryland author Linda Windsor has written some twenty-nine historical and contemporary novels for both the secular and inspirational markets, but she is most noted for delivering “The Lift of Laughter and Spirit” in her modern inspirational romances.
A Christy finalist and winner of numerous industry awards, Linda has written for Multnomah Publishing (historical fiction and contemporary romances), Barbour Publishing (romcom novella), and Westbow Press (the Moonstruck romantic comedy trilogy). Wedding Bell Blues the first book in her new The Piper Cove Chronicles series, is featured on Avon Inspire's launch list.
In addition to writing and doing fiction-writing workshops at conferences across the country, Linda continues a music and lay speaking ministry started by her and her late husband, and she is a part-time financial analyst. She also works on “as desperately needed” home improvement projects on the 18th-century-plus house that she and her husband began restoring in 1986. Wallpaper and paint are definitely in her near future.
Jack's Religious Gift Shop
701 Snow Hill Road
Salisbury, MD 21804
The Gospel Shop
800 South Salisbury Blvd
Salisbury, MD 21801
ABOUT THE BOOK
For Pete's Sake is a remarkable story about the unlikely live between a grown-up tomboy and the millionaire next door.
Ellen Brittingham isn’t sure true live exists until she contracts to do the landscaping of the estate of the sophisticated widower next door, Adrian Sinclair. Adrian has it all—at least on the surface, He’s engaged to a beautiful woman who helped him build a successful business and he’ll soon have a mom for his troubled son Pete.
Yet, from the moment Ellen rescues a stranded Adrian on her Harley, his well-ordered world turns upside down, cracking his thin façade of happiness and revealing the void of faith and love behind it. Even more, his son seems to have his own sites set on Ellen – as his new mom.
As Ellen’s friendship grows with Pete, she realizes that his father is about to marry the wrong woman for the right reasons. And despite her resolve to remain “neighbors only” with the dad, the precocious boy works his way into her heart, drawing Ellen and Adrian closer. Close enough for heartbreak, for Pete’s sake!
But how can her heart think that Adrian Sinclair is the one when he’s engaged to a sophisticated beauty who is everything Ellen isn’t. When Ellen’s three best friends see she’s been bitten by the love bug, they jump into action and submit her to a makeover that reveals the woman underneath her rough exterior and puts her in contention for Adrian’s love.
But Ellen must ask herself whether she’s ready to risk the heart that she’s always held close. Will Ellen be able to trust that God brought this family into her life for a reason? Or will her fear of getting hurt cause her to turn away from God’s plan and her one true chance at love?
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Author/Singer/Songwriter Andrew Peterson, a 2005 Audie Award finalist for his readings of Ray Blackston’s Flabbergasted trilogy, wrote and produced the popular Christmas play and musical Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tale of the Coming of the Christ, and the album by the same name, which received the 2004 Best Album of the Year, World Christian Music’s Editors Choice Award. Andrew’s received critical acclaim for his seven albums and is at work on an eighth. He lives with his wife Jamie and their three young children near Nashville, Tennessee, where he reads storybooks aloud to his family each evening.
Artist Justin Gerard has illustrated several children’s books, including The Lightlings storybooks for young readers by R.C. Sproul. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina, and works as the chief creative officer for Portland Studios.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog Nugget. Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, their crippled sister Leeli are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice and pursue the Igibys who hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.
Andrew Peterson spins a quirky and riveting tale of the Igibys’ extraordinary journey from Glipwood’s Dragon Day Festival and a secret hidden in the Books and Crannies Bookstore, past the terrifying Black Carriage, clutches of the horned hounds and loathsome toothy cows surrounding AnkleJelly Manor, through the Glipwood Forest and mysterious treehouse of Peet the Sock Man (known for a little softshoe and wearing tattered socks on his hands and arms), to the very edge of the Ice Prairies.
Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness presents a world of wonder and a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to discuss for its layers of meaning about life’s true treasure and tangle of the beautiful and horrible, temporal and eternal, and good and bad.
“So good–smart, funny, as full of ideas as action.”
–Jonathan Rogers, author of The Wilderking Trilogy
“A wildly imaginative, wonderfully irreverent epic that shines with wit and wisdom–and features excellent instructions on how to cope with Thwaps, Fangs, and the occasional Toothy Cow.”
–Allan Heinberg, writer/co-executive producer of ABC’s Grey's Anatomy, and co-creator of Marvel Comics Young Avengers
“Totally fun! Andrew Peterson, a natural storyteller in the oral tradition, has nailed the voice needed to translate a rip-roaring fantasy tale to the written page.”
–Donita K. Paul, author of DragonSpell, DragonKnight, DragonQuest, and DragonFire
Monday, March 17, 2008
Please keep your eyes out for my next book give away!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I graduated from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!) with a degree in Journalism. As a member of Phi Mu sorority, I partied my way though the last few years of college.
But, the truth is, and always will be, I belong to Jesus. At the age of six, I knelt at the altar of a Tulsa Methodist church and gave my life to the One who loves me.
After graduation, hired on at Harris Publishing as a software trainer, determined to see the world. And I did it without a laptop, a cell phone, an IPod or portable DVD player. Those were hard times.
But, I traveled to Ireland, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, Canada and the U.S. from California to Maine. But, life on the road is difficult. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, one doesn't get to see many of the sites. In Ireland, our company's distributor drove me around at night so I could see something of Dublin.
I met Tony, my husband, in '87, at church, of all places. We got married in '92. Tony has been a pastor for twenty years. I've worked with him in eighteen of those twenty. Our heart is to see teens and adults passionate, radical and whole hearted for Jesus.
Tony and I don't have any children of our own, lots of kids-in-the-Lord and we love them all. However, we do have a very spoiled dog, and an even more spoiled cat.
I've always wanted to be a writer. My dad used to tell me, "You're a writer." I have letters he wrote me post college, exhorting me to write. In this, I believe he had the heart of God.
In '93, I started an epic WW2 novel with two plots. It was well rejected. After that ordeal, I took a break and put efforts into my job as a software project manager. But, I missed writing and in late ' 99, I took up the craft again.
With a little help from my friends, my first book was published in ' 04, Lambert's Pride, a romance novel. I love writing chick lit and romance. I love writing. What an honor.
Rachel has several other books that have been received with great praise, including Diva Nash Vegas and Lost In Nash Vegas
You can purchase copies of Rachel's books, signed personally for you,
at this site: Signed by the Author.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
When a Southern waitress inherits the Lowcountry cafe where she works, she suddenly has to balance more than just her next food order.
Caroline Sweeney has always done the right thing--the responsible, dependable thing--unlike her mother who abandoned her family. But when her best friend challenges her to accept an exciting job adventure in Barcelona, Spain, Caroline says "yes" to destiny.
Then, without warning, ownership of the run-down cafe where she's been waitressing falls right into Caroline's lap. While she's trying to determine the cafe's future, handsome Deputy Sherriff J.D. Rand captures Caroline's heart.
But when her first love, Mitch O'Neal, comes back to town, fresh from the heat of his newly-found fame as a country music singer in Nashville, Caroline must make some hard choices about love and the pursuit of the sweet life.
Monday, March 10, 2008
This book is one of my favorites this year. Leave a comment and I will draw a name on Monday, March 17th - Saint Patrick's Day.
(all contest entries are limited to just the US.)
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Stephen Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries—the nation’s largest faith-based broadcast, counseling and treatment ministry—and is the host of the nationally syndicated “New Life Live!” daily radio...
By 1996 Nancy was a full-time writer. The Christian Heritage Series made that possible. She was writing those books from the early 1990's until 2000.
And then a new opportunity came along--the Lily series. If she ever doubted that she was going to make it as a writer, man, that little red-head put those fears to rest! And, of course, Sophie followed Lily, with some teen and grown-up books in between -- plus the non-fiction books designed just for you.
Nancy and her husband live in Tennessee now, overlooking a beautiful lake, lots of sycamore trees, and the rocky Tennessee hills. They have a bright yellow power boat named BANANA SPLIT which you can find us on no matter what the weather. Marijean and her husband live nearby with my three grand-dogs and three grand-cats (and two grand-snakes . . .)
ABOUT THE BOOK
With one flash of a camera, Demi's private life becomes public news. She doesn't know it yet, but her healing has just begun.
Christian college professor Demitria Costanas had vowed to end her affair with a colleague. But she gives into temptation one last time...and a lurking photographer captures her weakness for all to see. Quite literally, she's the woman caught in adultery. And almost everyone--herself included--has a stone to throw.
Enter Sullivan Crisp, a decidedly unorthodox psychologist with his own baggage. He's well-known for his quirky sense of humor and incorporation of "game show" theology into his counseling sessions. And yet there's something more he offers...hope for a fresh start.
Reluctantly the two of them begin an uplifting, uneven journey filled with healing and grace. By turns funny and touching, this story explores the ways humans hurt each other and deceive themselves. And it shows the endlessly creative means God uses to turn stones of accusation and shame into works of beauty that lead us onto the path of healing.
An auspicious debut for a candid yet tender series about pain, healing, and God's invitation for second chances.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Whispers from Yesterday), the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance (Patterns of Love and The Shepherd's Voice), two RT Career Achievement Awards (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 50 novels, including Catching Katie, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Library Journal.
Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home outside of Boise, sharing it with Poppet the high-maintenance Papillon.
She also likes to blog. Go leave her a comment at Write Thinking!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Katherine Clarkson has the perfect life. Married to Brad, a loving and handsome husband, respected in their church and the community. Two grown daughters on the verge of starting families of their own. A thriving ministry. Good friends. A comfortable life.
She has it all--until the day a reporter appears with shocking allegations. Splashed across the local news are accusations of Brad's financial impropriety at his foundation and worse, an affair with a former employee. Without warning, Katherine's marriage is shattered and her family torn apart. The reassuring words she's spoken to many brokenhearted women over the years offer little comfort now.
Her world spinning, Katherine wonders if she can find the truth in the chaos that consumes her. How can she survive the loss of what she thought was the perfect life?
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Julie Carobini is an award-winning writer whose stories often spotlight her family, the sea, and God's timely work in the lives of those around her. She lives with her husband, Dan, and their three children in Ventura Beach, California.
She also likes to blog! Go leave her a comment at Waves of Grace.
To celebrate my upcoming CFBA tour March 5-7, I'll be giving away a copy of Truffles by the Sea AND and a 1/2 lb. box of yummy truffles to three of your readers.
All they need to do is drop by my blog http://juliecarobini.blogspot.com/ during the tour and leave a comment and a way to contact them if they win!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
If you read, Julie's first book, Chocolate Beach, then you might remember Gaby as Bri’s dramatic, lovesick best friend. Unfortunately, things get worse—much worse—for her before they get…well, best not to give it away.
Sometimes all a girl has left is chocolate...
Gaby Flores has a penchant for drama and an unfortunate knack for dating Mr. So Wrong. After breaking off yet another relationship, watching her apartment building burn to the ground, and discovering that her dippy delivery guy has run off with most of her business, Gaby decides it’s time to turn things around.
So she moves to a tiny waterfront loft and takes on a new motto: “Be gullible no more!” With help from her friends, she works to rebuild her flower shop—and her life. But when legal troubles and quirky neighbors and two surprising romances enter her beachy world, Gaby’s motto and fledgling faith are put to the test.
Can a young woman prone to disaster in both work and love finally find happily ever after?
"Truffles by the Sea is delightful! Julie Carobini has a new fan in this reader, and she's earned a spot on my keeper shelf." --Kay James, RomanceReaderatHeart.com
"This book is a delight to read, and the author has us rooting for Gaby from page one. This girl's never-say-die attitude is incredible, and her life is filled with all kinds of foibles. This is chick lit with heart – about so much more than finding a man.... While keeping the light chick lit tone, this book satisfied while avoiding the tired old formulas. Just when I’m ready to give up on the genre, I stumble across an author who can write without relying on stereotypes." --Cara Putman, writerinterrupted.com
"I liked Julie Carobini's first novel, Chocolate Beach, but her sophomore release, Truffles By The Sea, greatly surpasses it. I thoroughly enjoyed Carobini's second book and felt her writing was much stronger throughout. The characters are deeper and yet funnier – a great combination.... It's a great read for a cold winter day – you can curl up with the book, a nice fire and pretend you're the one by the sea." --Jill Hart, RadiantLit.com